USA (MNN) — July 4 marks the 233rd birthday of the United States of America — Independence Day. It's a day for picnics, family and fireworks. But this weekend more than 400 churches will do something to help soldiers who are serving overseas.
Troy Carl with Faith Comes By Hearing says these churches are helping with a special program. "At the request of troops as well as chaplains in all the branches of the military, our ministry has developed a device called a Military Bible Stick. It's a preloaded audio Scripture listening device, much like an ipod, but it's totaly devoted to the Bible in dramatized form."
According to Carl, 9,000 of these Military Bible Sticks are in use around the world. "At a time when they need to know the truth of the Gospel and the peace and comfort that the Scriptures can bring, this device is having a huge impact on our military who are serving."
The Military Bible Sticks were developed after those who were participating in their Bible listening program through their local church. When church members were deployed, they took their regular Bible sticks to the field. Carl says, "Then the chaplains started contacting us literally from Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and other deployed areas around the world, asking us to provide something special for the military."
These devices are in huge demand. "We have about 12,000 right now that are on back-order as chaplains continue to request them. In fact, if people knew the need, we could probably have more than we could possibly provide," he says.
Right now they don't have the money to fulfill the requests. "We provide it free of charge to the soldier. We also provide an audio Bible to their family member back home, if they'd like, as a part of that package. For $25 we can provide a troop with a Military Bible Stick and also provide the Scriptures for their family members as well."
That price even takes care of shipping.
Many of the soldiers who are receiving the audio Bibles are Christians, but many are not. "Many, many people who have never had the opportunity to know the Gospel message," says Carl, "are sharing those Bible sticks. We've heard that as many as eight or nine soldiers are actually sharing one Bible stick."
He says it's having a spiritual impact. "There are new believers who are coming to Christ. People are getting baptized as a result of wanting to have a deeper relationship with the Lord. For those who do know that Lord, it's bringing peace and comfort."
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