Tuesday, 18 August 2009


A new report from Voice of the Martyrs says the millionth Bible dispatched under its Bibles Unbound program has been sent by a Texas woman sponsoring the effort to a private address in China.
The organization's program was started in 2006 to let Christians in free parts of the world send Bibles directly to individuals in restricted nations such as North Korea, China and Columbia.
As WND reported, the program shipped off its 100,000th Bible to Egypt after only nine months of operation.
The pace has increased since then, and in the 42 months of operations, the program has shipped about 800 Bibles per day – about 24,000 per month.
The Bibles Unbound effort is based on a very simple fact. While a truckload or container of Bibles can be spotted and stopped, the same amount of Bibles, wrapped and mailed individually, disappears into even a nation that restricts access to religious books.
In an announcement yesterday, Voice of the Martyrs confirmed the milestone came when a Bibles Unbound sponsor named Mary, living in Crane, Texas, mailed a Chinese Bible to an address she had been given under the program.
Christians, students, missionaries and others working within the restricted nations collect addresses, channeling them into the program for sponsors to use.
"Our persecuted brothers and sisters joined in the project by collecting names and addresses of those who would be blessed by receiving God's Word. Our readers responded excitedly, and New Testaments began to go out from every part of the United States to hostile nations all over the world," the announcement said. "With your help, in just 42 months we have shipped the story of God's love for all mankind and his free offer of salvation through Christ to non-believers in several restricted nations."
VOM also now offers an opportunity to support a "covert operation" to get Bibles into regions of the world where not even mailing is possible.
"The Bibles are delivered by very courageous believers who know the dangers associated with evangelizing these regions," VOM explains.
"They personally carry Bibles in and distribute them at great risk. Who are the Christian 'evangelists' partnering with you to carry New Testaments into difficult places? Some are former communists, Muslims, Hindus or terrorists who used to oppose Christians. Others are Christians who have experienced persecution and understand the risks. All are committed believers in whom God has placed an extra measure of compassion and courage."
In the covert operations, names of Bible recipients cannot be distributed. Sponsors do receive a name representing those responsible for the Bible deliveries.
About the only other details that can be shared with sponsors is the name of the nation where the undercover outreach took place.
In North Korea and Columbia, only covert operations are possible, VOM said.
The mailing program reaches intensively into nations such as Egypt and China. For $30 monthly, sponsors are sent a package of five Bibles with addresses. Tens of thousands of addresses already have been compiled to which to send more Bibles, VOM says.
"Christians in today's hostile countries are frequently beaten or arrested for sharing their faith in Jesus Christ. However, they will not back down. They are ready to share their faith with curious neighbors, co-workers and even those opposed to the gospel. Until recently, all that most Christians in the free world could do was pray for their safety and courageous efforts. Now through Bibles Unbound, we can put actions to our prayers by partnering with them in the direct distribution of New Testaments," VOM said.
A Chinese house church leader reported, "I know everyone in my village enjoys getting mail and loves to read, so when they get a New Testament in the mail, they are intrigued, and many will begin to read it. Then when I, or others from our church, speak to them about Christ, they will have questions because of the New Testament that was already sent to them."
VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians persecuted for their faith and to educate the world about the persecuted church. Headquartered in Bartlesville, Okla., it has 30 affiliated international offices.
The group was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania, where he was tortured for his refusal to recant his Christian faith.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book "Tortured for Christ" was released.