100,000 Bibles from Rogue Valley

(The following is a reprint of the article posted in the December-January edition of the Christian Journal.)

In September, the Oregonian released the findings of a study that showed Oregon to be the least-churched state in the United States. The study showed that the I-5 corridor in Southern Oregon and Northern California is the least churched area in the region. I'm not a statistician, but that tells me that we are living in the least churched area in the country!

Of course, we don't need a study to tell us that there is plenty of work to do to introduce people to the incredible glory of our Father in heaven. Because of this work, a burden fell on John Hardey about five years ago. He wanted to reach out to people with the Word of God. He did not have any formal training in evangelism, but he knew that the written word is powerful to change lives. He began "Pass the Word" a non-profit missionary organization taking the Word of God to the streets of America.

At first we were leaving boxes of New Testaments at local hospitals. Then we moved to the streets and park evangelism giving away one Bible at a time. But, God has rapidly expanded our boundaries. We are now on the internet at www.mission2america.org. We are sending Bibles to Florida, New York, Canada, Mexico, and just about everywhere in between. And, we still drop off boxes of Bibles to social workers at local hospitals just like when we started.

We have just crossed a major milestone in our ministry's life. Sitting right next to me, at this moment, is a box of 100 New Testaments. Somewhere buried in that stack of Bibles is the one-hundred thousandth Bible to be given away. By the time this is published in December, that Bible will be in the hands of a local person. We believe he or she will be fertile soil enriched by the seed of the scriptures.

Most of the Bibles "Pass the Word" gives away end up right here in Southern Oregon. They have been taken and read by your neighbors, business people, the homeless that you pass on the street, and by students and their families. Maybe you have seen a small cardboard display of Bibles in your favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Maybe you even read one while eating, maybe you took one for yourself or a friend.

Because of the support of people like you, this beloved home of ours has the seeds of the gospel growing in its soil. Right now, there are over 200 businesses in Jackson County that have placed Bibles on their counters, as distribution sites. The next time you see that little box that is so powerful, thank the clerk, hostess, receptionist or manager that put their neck on the line to preach God's Word. It is because of them that 100,000 Bibles have been placed in the hands of people who need God.

We believe that this is just the beginning. There are millions more who have never owned their own Bible, or have never read it. We need more volunteers to help us reach them. We need more Bibles to give to them. We need daily prayer support for wisdom and courage to fight the apathetic comfort of the dying. We need every Christian in this county to preach the gospel. We don't have to be intellectual giants, or have a blow-your-doors-off kind of testimony. God uses all of His children to save the lost.

We are considering a workshop to teach people of every temperament, background and denomination how to use your own personality to witness to others. If you share this burden and are looking for a way to lift up Jesus' name, or if you want to help us in any other ways, please call us at 541-608-2828. We need your time, abilities, prayer and financial support to buy more Bibles. We have just begun spreading 100,000 more Seeds!