As our political maelstrom has stirred both wheat and chaff into a frenzy I have, like many, listened for the gentle whispers of wisdom. It is difficult to discern wisdom within the rantings our our presumptive leaders. I have, more intentionally this election year than others, inclined my ear to listen to people who find nothing admirable in the popular candidate of the political party of my forebears. I find myself often in agreement with their criticisms. I have also, more intentionally this election year than others, attempted to find something admirable in the popular candidate of the other party. In this age of social media we also have the opportunity to hear counsel from other frequently wise, and unwise, counselors who cite many compelling reasons for both action and inaction during this season.
Three weeks ago I stood at my mother’s graveside. During the few days between her death and her memorial service I searched my memory for ways to understand life from her perspective. For the first time in my life I realized that she was just 8 years old when World War II began. She was 14 when World War II ended. She graduated from high school in 1950, the year the Korean War began. The next year the U.S. began requiring men between 18-26 years of age to register for military service. My parents married in the midst of that war.
“There is little doubt that the Bible is the worlds best-selling and most widely distributed book.” (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction/)
I don’t know when I first heard this statement. I assume it was decades ago. Until recently I would have found it to be quite encouraging. But now, not so much.
The business of selling Bibles tragically keeps God’s Word out of reach for hundreds of millions of people.
How in the world is that possible? Here’s how.
“We give everything away,” could be our slogan. It’s been a hallmark of Wycliffe Associates for forty nine years.
You might think that this is required for nonprofit organizations, but it’s not. Many nonprofit ministries give a portion away, but also charge for some goods and services for a variety of reasons. We choose not to charge. We choose to give. Over the years we’ve given away hundreds of buildings, properties, equipment and assets to partners advancing Bible translation worldwide. None of these appear on our balance sheet. Wycliffe Associates volunteers also give away, hundreds of thousands of hours of service every year.