The International Bible Society proved once again answered the call of thousands of troops in need of God’s words during battle. The organization, founded in 1809, has been sending bibles since the war of 1812 to military personnel.
In the war against Iraq alone, the IBS sent out more than 60,000 New International Version Bibles and New Testaments with desert camoflauge covers. With overwhelming requests from military chaplains for these editions, IBS cannot keep the shelves stocked.
"The printer cannot print them fast enough to get them to us for us to address them and send them back out to our military people," Chuck Adams, IBS Military representative and retired A/G Chaplain, said.
Copies are sent to military chaplains for distribution to the troops in what is called the Military Chaplain Outreach program, which is funded totally by donation. When the cases come in from the printer, a representative from IBS will open the box, place a signed "thank-you" note and reseal the box to be shipped that same afternoon. "We can't keep them in the warehouse," Adams said.
The camouflage editions were first printed in the mid-1980s; Adams was first introduced to the camouflage edition in 1989, when he was on active duty at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. "A man from IBS introduced me to this camouflage Bible, and I bought it for my soldiers at Fort Campbell. They arrived two days before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. I was in the 101st Airborne Division -- so when my soldiers left, they had these camouflage Bibles...Here I am 10 years later sending Bibles right back to the same place," Adams said.
One chaplain sent word to IBS thanking the organization for this ministry to troops. "I would be happy to receive anything you can send to my Marines," the chaplain wrote.
Many of the chaplains are communicating the openness in the hearts of military troops. One chaplain said, "Response to the preaching of the Word is astounding." Others have reported performing a great number of baptisms.
By Pauline J.