Building Bibles became a community event at the First Baptist Church of Marshall last month.
“We turned our Family Life Center into a ‘Bible-Making Factory,’” Millie Randolph, member and mission team leader, said. “We ordered 5,000 Bibles to assemble for the Philippines, but we ended up doing 7,290. Bill Barker of ‘From Our Hands to Their Hands’ brought the materials and tools to us.”
Randolph reported that 37 groups and churches with more than 400 people participated in the multiple-day event.
Wayne Doolin, education and music minister, was the staff organizer for the event.
“I’m connected to the pastors in the community,” he said. “I work with the ministerial alliance and the Salvation Army in the area, and the pastors in the community saw this as a wonderful mission opportunity.
“We drew people from 60 miles away to work on this project,” he continued. “One hundred sixty people were from our church, and the rest were from other churches or in the community. It took a lot of work and a lot of people, but God will bless it. The people dropped the doctrinal, denomination stuff at the door, and they were united around tables talking and sharing with the common goal of putting the Bibles in the hands of the people in the Philippines.”
“The Bibles that we assembled,” Randolph said, “were in English. We were able to pray with Pastor Jose DeJesus Vazquez in the Philippines. He was able to speak fluent English and requested English Bibles for his people. He is so appreciative of our work.”
Randolph has seen that appreciation first-hand.
“My husband and I went on a mission trip to Mexico several years ago,” she said. “We took 1,500 Spanish Bibles with us, and we began giving them out. We went into a café to pray with a new owner and when we came out, a line had formed around the bus for the Bibles.”
“As we would go down the streets,” she continued, “we would see people sitting in groups or by themselves reading the Bibles. The people had never owned a Bible and didn’t have the money to buy one. Extra money went to food and other necessities.”
“It is wonderful to see this love of Scripture,” she said. “When we have so many copies of the Bible and take it for granted.”
The tools for binding, cutting and gluing were needed.
“It took a lot of people and some were willing to be trained on these tools,” Randolph said. “We had divided into teams to accomplish this work. We even had a team to provide meals and snacks. All ages were involved, children picked up Bibles and carried to the checkers.”
Doolin highlighted the true involvement of the community. “The Saline County Emergency Management Department provided a generator because the voltage at the church would not support two binders,” he said. “The Marshall Sanitation Department provided a recycle bin at no charge and a local farmer donated a truck to take the boxes to Kansas City until arrangements could be made for shipping the Bibles to the Philippines.”
“Many hands completed the work,” Randolph said, “and God showed up to bless us with many new friends.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Vicki Stamps and originally published by Missouri’s the Pathway.