A critical shortage of Bibles in the Central African Republic has recently come to light. Because of the collapse of a previous Bible distribution system and the destruction of so many Bibles and Christian literature during recent uprisings, in some cases as many as six Bible school students have been sharing one Bible.
Missionary Jim Hocking located a supply of Sango and French Bibles and has been ready to place a multi-mission order (about six missions cooperating, including the Grace Brethren), but needed $10,000 USD for transporting the Bibles. A number of weeks into the project, he’d raised about $1,000 toward that amount.
Then came an early-April e-mail from Pastor Rich Schnieders, whose Grace Brethren church of 30-35 people in Fort Myers, Florida, showed they have a whopping vision and generous hearts. Here, in Pastor Schnieders’ own words, is the report:
“WOW! God is surely good! Friendship Community Church had an annual business meeting this morning to receive corporate reports. We were blessed during the time we met in our home to save some money. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The church had lost its rented facility, met for a time in Pastor Schnieders’ home, and is now back in a newly-rented facility] Our financial health is good. But apparently our spiritual health is even better.
“I had read to the congregation the e-mail concerning the elections in CAR and the need for funding for Bibles for the CAR. When the meeting turned to new business I asked the church to consider a gift to support Bibles for CAR. I was thinking the congregation would suggest $500 or maybe $1,000.
“God had other plans. We received a commitment from one donor for a $1,000 special gift and the church voted unanimously to give another $8,000 to the Bibles for CAR out of our banked funds. So a total of $9,000 will be coming in the mail this week from FCC. I had to confess to the congregation my lack of faith.
“God is good and surely does provide. I trust that the $9,000 will make it possible for many to receive the Word of God and bring many to Him. It is such a blessing to be able to watch God at work in the lives of His people. Thank you for making the need known and giving us the opportunity to participate in meeting the need.”