Some 15,000 audio Bibles have been shipped to American chaplains and troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, a ministry reported Thursday.
The audio Bibles come in the form of the BibleStick – a digital audio player of the dramatized New Testament that is the size of a pack of gum. The military version retains the slim figure of the original BibleStick while taking on modifications to accommodate the needs of the troops.
In order to not stand out at night, the military version of the BibleStick is black in color (instead of white) and has a red light (instead of green).
On convoy trips, soldiers with the audio Bible can put on earphones and listen to the word of God while they stand guard under night stars. The soldiers are not allowed to take books or DVDs, Jon Wilke, media director for Faith Comes By Hearing, told The Christian Post. The former military journalist also noted that there are a lot of end-of-life questions among the troops.
According to Faith Comes By Hearing, an Army chaplain deployed to Iraq commented, "It's great to be able to offer our young soldiers something technology-based, as they practically grew up with cell phones and iPods. I've heard great comments about ease of use, portability, and the fact that now there's no excuse for a soldier to not carry his Bible when it's so easy."
Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost audio Bible ministry, has been distributing the military BibleSticks to chaplains since last June. As of late August, some 15,000 have been given out with another 12,000 requested by chaplains.
The BibleSticks are given to chaplains and troops for free and are paid for by donations to the ministry.
Wilke, however, says the ministry only has enough money presently to fulfill half the requests.
And according to Troy Carl, national director of the ministry, more and more chaplains are requesting to receive the "spiritual resources" for the members of their units.
"This is a wonderful way to engage in Scripture for those serving our country in so many trying and troubled spots of the world," Carl said.