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Love Packages

9 August 2013

I’ve been away from home this week (35.9 miles from the nearest Starbucks – hashtagLordhavemercy), with 16 amazing teenagers, at a magical place called Love Packages.

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About five years ago, maybe more, I started to wonder if there was anyone who could make good use of my old Bible that was just sitting on a shelf in our little apartment. I got online and quickly found Love Packages – a small organization that collects used Christian literature from all over the U.S., and ships it overseas to people who would otherwise never even dream of seeing a Bible.

I read the founder’s testimony. I read all the FAQ. (Can people overseas actually use English bibles, though?) I read dozens, if not hundreds, of testimonies, and then I discovered they operate out of a little town just four hours south of us. A little town just beyond the little town I visit several times a year to see my grandparents.

I packed up some books and planned a solo road-trip. (Well, I planned a two-person road-trip, but my wingman ended up not feeling well.)

When I got here that day, the founder, Steve, left his humble post at a folding table – in the midst of a sea of cardboard – to talk to me. He offered to give me “the nickel tour,” and I decided I could stand to walk around a bit before turning around and driving four hours home.

I’m typing this from the bottom mattress on one of 16 bunk beds in their upstairs dorm room. It’s now the fourth time I’ve been here in five or six years. Monday was the fourth time I’ve taken the nickel tour, and the fourth time I have been completely blown away by these guys.

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Their two warehouses are always full. 

There is always a seemingly impossible mountain of books and magazines and Sunday School material waiting to be sorted and packed and shipped. There are always stacks and stacks of pallets, full of “damaged” or out-dated material from publishers waiting to be reorganized and banded into sets. The conveyor line sending boxes down to the shipping warehouse is always loaded. The Sunday School shelves are always cycling. The shipping warehouse – an old school gym – is always piled floor-to-ceiling with plastic-wrapped skids waiting to bring hope and life to someone on the other side of the world.

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Major Christian publishing houses send them stuff. Benny Hinn sends them stuff. The 700 Club sends them stuff. In turn, they’ve shipped out over 700 tons of literature already this year.

They come and they sort and they pack and they ship, three guys, day after day after day.

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Our team packed about one million pieces of literature into a container yesterday that was headed to Liberia. From there, it will make its way all over Africa, and reach about 20 million people.

That’s mind-blowing to me.

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And it’s working. They send out 6800 newsletters every month that are about 10% Love Packages news, and 90% testimonies. There is a catalogue of testimonies on their websitestories of people and families and villages being saved, individuals on the verge of ending their lives catching hope, people finding love that their society does not offer.

Because one guy – and then two more – said, “Yes” to what God wanted to do. Steve started this thing in his basement. Vern left a good job with a good company and good benefits to work with him. Jason, with his wife and their new baby, have made some big sacrifices to do this.

It always makes me wonder what I’m doing. Or what God is asking of me. Is there something I’m ignoring because it seems too small? What could God do with just a few humble, obedient friends?

Pray for these guys. Connect with them on Facebook. Pack up all the Christian books that are gathering dust on your shelves. Consider a donation. (Those shipping containers cost, on average, about $4000 to send.)

It’s amazing what God is doing with three humble men, in a tiny town of 200 people, and a couple of unassuming warehouse buildings.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 9 August 2013 11:45 AM

    What a wonderful idea.

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