As of last week, we have started our spring benefit season in the United States. This year’s motto, “Seeding is Believing,” was chosen to help remind all of God’s workers that our faith is demonstrated by faithfully sowing the Word of God—and that wherever His Word is sown and received by the fertile soil of a soft heart, it gives growth to a transforming new life.
2016 was a record setting year and we have been blessed with a very dynamic start of this new year. Here are the highlights:
Our typical January distribution of around 12,000-13,000 has jumped by another 10,000, bringing the total number of Bibles and biblical literature distributed in the first month of 2017 alone to 22,691. This gives us a good prognosis for the rest of this year, as some of our locations have been impacted by staff sickness and/or public holidays at the start of this year.
We have received further requests for literature from kindergartens in Ukraine. This follows the approval of a kindergarten curriculum that features EEM’s books, which we announced last year. New requests have come in to place literature in 414 kindergartens in Ivano-Frankivsk, with deliveries already being made in Volyn and Zhytomyr. This is a very natural outgrowth of our work as we have previously delivered Bible bundles to the public school system in these regions.
Finally, we are working on producing further resources for the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. The Slovak Children’s Bible and the Czech Teen Bible are just two of the 80 projects currently on our table. With 12 projects continuing from last year, we’re hoping to add 34 new books, and do 26 reprints as well as 8 updates to existing books.
We feel blessed to see so many opportunities out there. And as we continue to serve, we are humbled to see how much more work there is yet to be completed. More than 50 years after our ministry was started, there remains a plentiful harvest from the Czech Ore Mountains to the easternmost reaches of Russia, from the northern tip of Estonia to the islands of Greece, where many refugees have found new hope.
While refugees are among those whose lives are most radically changed by the Living Word, there are thousands upon thousands of individuals in all of these countries whose lives God continues to transform. We are witnesses and testify to this.“What we have seen and heard, what we have heard—this we proclaim to you,” as John would say.