By Dan Wooding
May 10, 2001
PHOENIX, AZ (ANS) – Bibles Unlimited, a Phoenix-based ministry that grew out of the New Life League, has been able to distribute some 7,500 Christian Resource Libraries to new believers and “seekers” in Ukraine over the past three years.
The project began when Stan Runnels, founder and president of Bibles Unlimited, heard about the “Bridge of Friendship” pen pal program that ASSIST Ministries of Garden Grove, CA, had begun with people in the former Soviet Union, including those in Ukraine.
He immediately put together a package, which included a complete Russian Bible and other materials, and had them printed at the New Life League’s printing press in Hatoyama , Japan, and then shipped to Kiev, Ukraine, where the CBN head there, Steve Weber, handled the shipment.
Runnels then made two trips to Kiev to hand out the first packages to people who had responded to ASSIST’s Bridge of Friendship pen pal program.
“After this, I began working with Steve Weber to obtain the most recent respondents to their programming (mostly kids) and to have CBN’s cell church ministry distribute the packages,” said Runnels. “They, Emmanuel, began a cell church ministry and were corresponding with individuals who responded to the TV programming. Their job was to place the Christian Resource Library in the hands of new believers or ‘seekers’ and follow-up with discipleship.”
Bibles Unlimited then shipped 14 tons of materials from Japan to Kiev as well as cash to this cell church division of Emmanuel for a “test run” of distribution to these new people, but sadly the project did not work out.
“Welcome to Ukraine,” said Runnels. “The present status is that we have are working with a group of young Ukrainian people, all well educated and most professionals, who have a ministry called International Partnership, who are distributing materials to the list we obtained from CBN and some of their own people. IP is an outgrowth of the Co-Mission of several years ago. They are doing a great job, distributing materials, communicating with me, and conducting inductive style Bible Studies.
“We have distributed, through all means, about 7,500 Christian Resource Libraries (a little over 7-1/2 tons of materials) with continued reports of significant personal impact on those receiving the material. We have about 2,500 packages left to distribute in phase I.
“God has, and is using this project, to impact thousands of lives, and for that I am thankful.
“It is amazing to place the Bible and resource materials in the hands of professional people who earn as little as $30 per month, and have them in tears thanking God for answering their prayers. How humbling an experience.”
This project has been a difficult one but I suppose if it were easy everyone would be doing it! Please keep us in your prayers as we complete phase one and begin phase two.”