it seems many people think that these bibles and prayer beads are unneeded, and should not have been sent. it has NOTHING to do with converting
anybody at all. these people WANT and feel they NEED these things. now to a non-believer i can see how they might think it is pointless and a waste of
money and space. but for those who DO believe, it IS a NECESSARY thing. do you realize that people through the years have DIED both while smuggling
bibles into area where they are illegal, or just for OWNING a bible. i have know people that were involved in this "smuggling" into the old USSR in
the "bad old days". and i know that currently they need to do this in a lot of "Muslim countries", and places like China where the risk of death
and torture is still an ongoing problem. yes people actually RISK THEIR LIVES by smuggling in or even just for OWNING a bible.
but something i received today has special relevance to this discussion. i have a friend who after the typhoon went down to the affected areas to help
where he can with a few others (i might have gone with them except for coming back to North America just before it hit). i will just post the ending
which seems to have a lot of relevance to this thread.
Again, thanks so much to all the people and churches who sent and gave their help. Truly, our brethren in Leyte, Samar, Capiz, Ilo-ilo and
Northern Cebu provinces need our help... and you just did help. but I would like to say, let's continue to help them as it would take them at least 6
months to rebuild their houses and their lives... One of our brethren said, "It will take us 7 years again to reap coconuts." What do they need
right now which maybe when all of our help will be united?
1. Chainsaw - to help them rebuild their chapel building and the houses
2. School supplies - for the children as they are now to resume their classes
3. Bibles - coz the Bibles in the churches were all wet and broken
4. Solar flashlights or lamps - as they will have no electricity till 3 to 6 months 5. If we can give them anything for their livelihood as their
source of income.
6. PRAYER - of course, let's continue to lift them up to the Lord and help them rise again!!
now first on the list of needed items is chainsaws, this is both to deal with downed trees and such, but can also be used to convert those downed
trees into building materials. makes sense, the only problem is currently chainsaws are a bit scarce (go figure), but also cost a fortune with prices
ranging from about $750 US each and UP.
then school supplies. yet again something really needed as these materials were either washed away or destroyed. and the children NEED to learn.
but look at number 3 on the list, BIBLES
isn't that interesting, while people here are whining about the waste and stupidity of sending
bibles to these poor people, THEY WANT THEM
and feel they NEED THEM
. this has NOTHING to do with trying to convert people during their
time of grief and pain, but for those who already BELIEVE, who have lost what they had. in fact many of these people CAN NOT AFFORD to buy themselves
a new bible, we are talking about people who may earn very little (poorer nation remember), and a bible may just be more than they can afford in
normal times, forget about the fact that many of them have now lost the ways they earned their living, not to mention all their possessions. many
would not know but i now live most of time there. i will always remember when my mother passed away there we gave her bible to a lady who lives in a
"squatter area" like many of the poorer people her bible, the look of sheer JOY on her face as she had always wanted one, but could never AFFORD to
buy one. i imagine these bibles that people have been damming in this thread will bring similar JOY to those that receive them.
next they ask for things like solar lights and such. which again makes sense, since many will be without power for a long time, due to things like
wires being down, not to mention at least one major power plant was put out of commission and will take awhile to fix. heck i know one area just got
cell phone reception back, (thank you Smart).
and what do we have at the end? why they are ASKING
. so it would seem that that "billboard" is more than just being
insensitive, but completely WRONG as well.
as for the sideline discussion about what organizations we should give money to. well i much PREFER giving to some religious organizations since at
least with THEM, ALL the MONEY COLLECTED actually GOES to give AID, unlike more secular institutions like red cross, and most others where a good
chunk of the money collected goes to overhead
like PAY and ADVERTISING.