More Than 13,000 Bibles, 100,000 Steps to Christ to Be Shared Across Columbia Union
Story by V. Michelle Bernard
Yesterday, pastors and Hispanic Ministries coordinators gathered at the Columbia Union Conference headquarters in Columbia, Md., to pray over and take home (in total) more than 13,600 Bibles and 100,000 Steps to Christ in English and Spanish.
“We pray a special blessing on all these Bibles,” said Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president at the event. “As [the Bibles] go forth, may they be a wonderful light so many people might know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and prepare for the great, soon coming of Christ.”
To motivate members to engage in witnessing to their circles of influence, Rubén Ramos, vice president of Multilingual Ministries, says, “The minimum that we can do besides offering motivation and training is to give them the elements to share the good news—Bible lessons, the Bible and Steps to Christ.”
Ramos’ office organized the distribution and also recently provided 27,000 Bible lessons at a low cost to churches. Thanks to a substantial subsidization from Food for Life, Hispanic churches around the union will receive the materials—that arrived from the Pacific Press (Idaho) yesterday morning—at a very low price.
“Our small groups [across the union] will have the elements to share the good news to [conduct] Bible studies and to get a lot of people involved in studying the Bible. [We hope] a lot of baptisms will follow,” adds Ramos. “You cannot imagine the impact of these materials in the hands of people. It's impossible to even comprehend what the Lord can do. If the Lord can do a miracle with only one book, can you imagine [what can happen] with the books that we distributed today?”
Ramos adds that last year was the last time the union distributed Bibles, and many of the coordinators were desperately waiting for more to distribute, as they were out of Bibles. It was worth the wait, for these particular Bibles contained built-in Faith of Jesus Bible studies.
Ramón Campos, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s Emmanuel Spanish church in Mt. Rainer, Md., says that each family who receives a box of food from their food bank also receives a Bible. Members then offer to study with them. “Each Bible is going to somebody that we’re working with in the community, and it will be a blessing for their home.”
Walter Cardenas, Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the Mountain View Conference, took 1,000 Steps to Christ and about 300 Bibles home. He says his conference has a lot of new believers and people who don’t own physical Bibles. Many of their pastors go to their neighbors and create relationships through community activities and then invite them to study together. Whenever people are reading the Word of God, it changes lives, he says, adding, “We're expecting our communities to be transformed by the Word of God.”
Noting the union’s Year of the Bible emphasis, Ramos adds that the Bible is not only the core of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs but believers’ daily lives with the Lord. And that the Bible is an essential part of our closeness to God. It empowers us to want to share the love of God with others. “I know that the Lord will help our congregations and our believers to experience the power of God through them.”
Join the Year of the Bible Journey
To help you dig deeper into God’s Holy Word this year, we’re offering:
- Every Day—Read our Words of Life daily devotional book that features favorite Bible verses from members, pastors, students and leaders from across the Columbia Union. You can also read the devotionals on the Columbia Union app, and interact with the verses in our instagram stories.
- Every Week—Delivered straight to your email, read our e-newsletter by subscribing to Visitor News Bulletin at columbiaunionvisitor.com/vnb. Keep up with the latest Year of the Bible events, devotionals, videos and more.
- Every Month—This calendar, themed “Words of Life,” coincides with the devotional book and videos. It features a biblical topic and verse each month, with additional passages for further exploration, study and ideas on how to apply the concepts in your daily life.