[07.29.08] “Yellow-Ribbon” rallies are being held cross-country to raise funds to place special-edition Bibles into the hands of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since January, Revival Fires Ministry, an evangelism organization based in Branson West, Mo., has traveled to 11 states and 27 cities to hold rallies.
“These rallies are dedicated to celebrating our freedoms, supporting our troops valiantly serving our country in Iraq, honoring our veterans and providing Bibles for our soldiers, deployed to Iraq,” said Cecil Todd, 77, the ministry’s founder and president.
Todd said communities are packing venues across the country to support the effort dubbed “Bibles for Our Troops,”which since January has raised enough money to produce 25,000 Bibles for U.S. troops.
In July 2003, shortly after the Iraq War began, Todd said the chief chaplain of the Pentagon asked his ministry to help obtain Bibles for troops, offering to send and distribute the Bibles by military transport free of charge.
The Pentagon-approved Bibles are small enough to fit in a soldier’s pocket and cost $4 to print. The Bibles have a camouflage cover and contain the Old and New Testaments, the insignias of all five military branches and a military helps section with photos.
Now more than five years later 125,000 Bibles have been distributed resulting in dozens of changed lives.
“It is amazing to see when one is faced with their own mortality how even the nonreligious turn to the Word of God and prayer to find hope in their time of need,” said Brian K. Waite, a naval chaplain who was stationed in Iraq, in an appreciation letter sent to Revival Fire. “I saw hardened men literally devouring these small Bibles as if it were the last sustenance known to mankind!”
Waite said 60 soldiers accepted Christ and were baptized after receiving Bibles, adding that he had to baptize some in the Tigris River at midnight to avoid enemy fire.
Todd, who comes from a long line of military officers though never served in the Armed Forces himself, said the ministry would not stop providing Bibles for troops.
“We will continue providing Bibles for our soldiers as long as they are being deployed by our government to Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
The ministry had rallies scheduled into next year in states including Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas. —Felicia Mann