Happy spring, fellow Bible Givers! Does this spring feel just a little bit different from previous years? I hope you are WELL, and actually THRIVING despite our current CoronaVirus pestilence.
Just like your personal lives, our IBG Ministry has been impacted by the social-actions taken to fight the pandemic. We cannot gather for Board or Bible giving meetings. We cannot have coffee with a missionary seeking Bibles for their third-world mission effort. It impacts our finances, resources, and even our ability to hold our annual meeting and find new volunteers for critical roles.
But amid the storm WE ARE STILL GIVING OUT BIBLES. Our mission may be a little bit harder, but the need remains, so we remain on task providing Bibles where there is need. Although we could not meet in March or April by order of the MN Governor, our Bible distribution team placed each couriers Bibles in a separate stack in the parking lot of First Baptist Church Anoka, and invited the couriers to come get their socially-distanced Bibles. They did just that. So, even though we could not meet, the Bible distribution has continued.
Our intentions to deliver Bibles into Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi has also been impacted, but we are finding ways to move ahead. Just last Friday, we received word that a wire we sent funding Bibles through the Bible Society of Malawi finally made it through, and arrangements had been made to pick up the Bibles to supply a Prison Fellowship ministry there. No one can travel into Malawi now, but God has provided the connections for us to give Bibles.
Conversation is ongoing regarding Rwanda. The short term mission to Rwanda cannot likely travel, but we are trying to make similar connections with the Rwandan Bible Society.
Many ministries we support have also been impacted by closures and stay at home orders. We only had 19 couriers in April, because people can’t do their normal ministry. I mention this for two reasons. First, if you know of a need – it’s a great time to get Bibles. Second – can you imagine the DEMAND for Bibles we will have as the nation comes out of the pandemic lockdown? We need to be prepared to meet a tsunami of requests.
Funding is down, and I am NOT worried one bit. Many of you are still giving regularly to the ministry and I thank you for that. Some of you have been impacted with job loss and are not in a place where you can support IBG right now. That’s fine. God is sovereign, and He knows your heart. He will provide for you just as he provides to IBG. I note that God blessed us richly in late 2019 – in retrospect, He was provisioning us to carry on the ministry in this difficult time. Even though the numbers don’t look very good right now, God will provide.
Our Annual Meeting did not occur in March due to the Shelter-in-Place order. The critical business was to affirm IBG leadership for 2020. We will hold this meeting at the first meeting we are able to convene in the future, possibly May 28. Until then, I have asked all leaders to continue in their role. I leave you with Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The world is in panic and doesn’t know what will come next. Hope in the treasures of the world is suddenly insecure. You, however, hold the HOPE of what WILL BE. Be in prayer and in the Word during this pandemic, and be bold! The world is lost and suddenly more open to spiritual matters than just weeks ago.
Give Hope. Give Life. Give Bibles!