400,000+ Military BibleSticks Now in Hands of Chaplains
Since 2008, Faith Comes By Hearing audio Bible ministry has provided free of charge more than 400,000 Military BibleSticks to America’s military, reports Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service.
The small, portable digital device contains a dramatized recording of the New Testament with 65 minutes of specially selected Psalms, and is distributed to troops through their chaplains.
According to a news release from Faith Comes by Hearing (FCBH), since the program's inception, over 1,400 chaplains have requested BibleSticks. They have been distributed during pre-deployment briefings, counseling sessions, Bible studies, weekly chapel services, and upon direct request of service members.
“When we started this outreach in 2008, we had no idea the demand would reach these levels,” said Troy Carl, Faith Comes By Hearing vice president, speaking in the news release.
Initial production was a small run of just 1,000 units, which were quickly dispersed in a few weeks by the handful of chaplains who were the original participants in the program. As word spread about the deployment-friendly devices, regular requests from other chaplains soon demonstrated that this was not to be only a short-lived outreach.
“We ... continue to be - amazed by the demand (for BibleSticks),” Carl said. “And how could anyone ever say no to those who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to protect and defend our country?”
Wanting to meet every request, the ministry has looked to a number of sources for funding to meet the ongoing need.
According to FCBH, among these sources are individual donors through Christian radio and TV campaigns, and thousands of churches from all across America that have given in support of the troops.
“Many of our church partners have participated and given three and four times,” Carl said.
He added, “There is clearly a heart for our military members throughout the American church.”
The ministry works with churches by providing video and printed material about the outreach that they can share with their congregations.
While working year-round to meet the demand from chaplain requests, FCBH also focuses the project around holidays that are meaningful for those serving and their loved ones back home.
Upcoming holidays include Easter (April), Armed Forces week (May) and Father's Day (June).