Thousands of Troops Request Bible

Mar 24, 2003 10:24 AM EST

As coalition forces continue their push into Iraq, thoughts of the battle that awaits them in Baghdad weigh heavy.

"It's an inferno that awaits them. Let them try their faltering luck and they shall meet what awaits them," warned a defiant Saddam Hussein.

While the soldiers have trained exhaustively for this mission, have the backing of the most powerful military in the world and Iraqi soldiers are surrendering by the droves, war is war. And six of their own have already lost their lives in the line of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"We're basically on our plan and moving toward Baghdad, but there are still many unknowns out there," Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, summed up yesterday.

One piece of equipment thousands are relying on for protection and peace of mind is the RDK, or Rapid Deployment Kit.

Distributed by Military Ministry, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ, the RDK is a Ziploc bag full of Scripture, including the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs and a 90-day devotional guide.

As the Beverly LaHaye Institute first reported, the RDK figures prominently in the gear shipped over to troops in the Persian Gulf, and ministry workers are scrambling to fill some 40,000 orders.

Requests from commanders, chaplains, soldiers, sailors and airmen continue to pour in, including one scrawled message on a piece of cardboard which reads: "I have a Bible …but the guys in my unit don't have any. Can you send [Bibles] over?"

"I find the spiritual dimension of one's life extremely important in the armed forces ... and certainly with soldiers protecting our freedom, going into harm's way," retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dick Abel told the institute.

Abel runs the Military Ministry. He said demand for the RDK skyrocketed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

"I was sort of overwhelmed by it," he said. "We sent out 400,000 prior to the war. We have orders for 40,000 and many of those are from the war zone."

"The reality of death for a young person becomes quite apparent when you're going into battle. If you have faith in Christ, that gives you peace that passes all understanding, even in the midst of the storm or the battle."

By Albert H. Lee
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