(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Dave Bullock)
A Michigan church's youth group is launching an effort to collect 20,000 Bibles to donate to a global ministry organization that will distribute them abroad.
SonRise Church of Howell will be collecting the Bibles until December 20, when they will give them to the Fowlerville-based Christian Resources International.
Jessica Wisuri, Special Projects Director for CRI, told The Christian Post that this was the first year that SonRise had involved itself with her organization's efforts.
"The Bibles will go to India and Africa. They are distributed through CRI missionaries to be used for training Pastors, Evangelism, Lending Libraries, and Bible Libraries," said Wisuri.
"We are not necessarily looking for specific versions of the Bible. Although, we do have a need for Study Bibles & Commentaries."
In an interview with local media, SonRise youth Pastor Patrick Erck credited the idea as coming from 14-year old church member Jordan Belanger.
"It's inspirational to see young people really to step out and do something beyond themselves," said Erck to livingstondaily.com.
"We just wanted to do something to get the name of God out there…I didn't expect anything to actually happen from something I said…But it's pretty cool," said Belanger to livingstondaily.com.
Geoffrey Morin, chief communications officer of American Bible Society, told The Christian Post that he was happy to hear of the interests of the SonRise youth to bring the Bible to others.
"We applaud 14-year-old Jordan Belanger and others at SonRise Church for their efforts to make the Bible available to many in Africa and India," said Morin.
When asked by CP about whether developing nations or developed nations were in greater need of new Bibles, Morin responded that the need was different.
"Regardless of where you live, the greatest spiritual need is to turn to God's Word to make sense of life. Beyond that, the spiritual needs of those in the developing world vs. the needs of those in the developed world are often different," said Morin.
"A pressing need in the developing world is to make the Bible available to individuals who have never owned one or don't have a copy in their native tongue. In the U.S., a pressing need is for people to take the Bible off their shelves so to speak and into their lives."
According to Wisuri of CRI, while an exact count of what has been presently gathered is not available, she estimated currently there were around 1,000 Bibles collected by the youth at SonRise.
Since its founding in the 1950s, Christian Resources International has donated approximately over $255 million dollars' worth of free Bibles as well as Christian teaching tools to more than 160 countries.
In this year alone, CRI has sent an estimated $4.5 million worth of Bibles to nations like Zambia, Sudan, Nepal, and Hong Kong.