A container packed with Bibles and books to help build the Church arrived in Albania Nov. 9, said Mission Cry President Jason Woolford. The 27,000 books in the container cost half a million dollars.
To ship the container into the majority-Muslim country, Mission Cry had to carefully navigate bureaucracy, Woolford told The Christian Post. A little over half of Albanians practice Islam, he said. When Muslim workers unloading containers spot Christian book titles, they often notify authorities, who fight the shipment with paperwork.
“We had to go through a lot of hoops for documentation, paperwork and clearing agents so everything was done above and beyond reproach,” he said. “They’ll find every undotted ‘i’ or uncrossed ‘t.’ We asked people to pray, and God worked because the container’s clear.”
Believers in Albania are receiving the Bibles now, he said.
Woolford is a former Marine drill sergeant who felt inspired to name Mission Cry as a battle cry for God.
He said that God once gave him a vision of Christians putting on the armor of God but still losing battles. When he felt confused, God told him to look closer. He noticed something missing.
“They didn’t have the shield of faith or the sword of the Word of God,” Woolford said.
“If people don’t have the Word of God, it’s impossible for them to have the shield and the sword.”
To help Mission Cry equip believers, American Christians donate books and Bibles to ship around the world, he said. Mission Cry also prints its own American Standard Bible New Testaments with an attached discipleship program.
Mission Cry’s work is important because most pastors around the world don’t possess their own Bible, he said. In Albania, the Church has grown rapidly, but the number of Bibles remains low.
Without the Bible and Christian books, new believers struggle to take the next steps in faith and develop a strong theology, he said. The need for Bibles outweighs the need even for food and water.
“Food, water, and clothes are nice things but eventually they return void,” Woolford said. “You can give someone a cup of water and it will satisfy them for a minute, but when you give them the Word, it will satisfy them for all eternity.”
Christian books also change peoples’ lives, he said. They explain the Bible and faith so people can understand them. John Newton, the slave trader who wrote “Amazing Grace,” became a Christian after reading a Christian book.
In the organization’s 64 years of service, it has gifted over $375 million in Bibles to 178 nations, its website says.
“These were Bibles and Christian books that were sitting on peoples’ shelves in the United States,” Woolford noted. “We are the best bang for buck for sending Bibles. It costs us about 30 cents to get the book into the hands of someone overseas. It’s really synergistic.”
He said prayer is the best way to help Mission Cry. People can also help by donating money or books.
“This gives people an opportunity to be a missionary without ever leaving the country,” he said.