By Ryan Rempel
Nearly five years ago, Give the Word was two years into our launch in Winnipeg, MB. We were a growing ministry, raising funds to give away Bibles for free to ministries that needed them across Canada.
One morning, we received a call from Reynold Maines (the son of David Maines who founded 100 Huntley Street). Reynold says, “I don’t know if you remember me but I was in Winnipeg awhile ago and we were briefly introduced. You didn’t have time to chat long but you gave me one of your Bibles and your business card.” He went on to say how they had a ministry in Uganda that was in desperate need of Bibles for community outreach and evangelism. He specified how they were looking for 500-1000 copies of the New Living Translation Bible in hardcover that would be suitable for outreach and asked if Give the Word would be able to donate them.
As much as I wanted to be able to say yes, we were not yet in the position to provide for this request. We did not have these Bibles in stock which meant we would have to take this on as a new project and raise funds for it. One thousand hardcover Bibles is no small price tag. I relayed to Reynold that we were still a small ministry and that we would not be able to provide those Bibles at this time and that we were also not set up to be able to ship a large order like this overseas, due to the high cost. He replied, “No problem at all. I didn’t know how big or small of an organization you were and figured I would just ask.”
I hung up the phone, moved on with my day and put it out of my mind.
That same night, around 6 pm, I get a phone call from Regina. It was a businessman who was asking about Give the Word. He said “We don’t know each other but I’ve been following online what you guys are doing, and noticed that you give away the New Living Translation.” “We sure do,” I told him,“what can I help you with?”
He went on to tell me his story of how he got saved through someone giving him a New Living Translation Bible and God has put it on his heart to give others that same opportunity. He ended up funding a project with his own money to have 10,000 copies printed of the New Living Translation Bible in hardcover that was designed for outreach, that also has his own personal testimony of salvation in it. He shared that an entire distribution plan for these Bibles had recently fallen apart. He says to me “Ryan, I have 10,000 Hardcover NLT Bibles in my warehouse, I don’t know what to do with. I know that my ministry can’t continue like I had planned but I’d like it to continue through Give the Word and I would like to donate the entire 10,000 Bibles to you.”
Ummm WHAT?? That’s about $150,000 worth of Bibles for absolutely free, and these were the exact Bibles that Reynold was asking for in Uganda and now we were being offered 10 times what they needed.
We accepted the offer and they were shipped to us a few days later. We even had all 10 pallets of them shipped for free from a local trucking company.
I called Reynold back and told him the news that we had the Bibles he needed, and all we had to do was figure out shipping to Uganda.
A day or two after the news about getting the Bibles for free, I visited one of our donors. He owns a farm equipment company. I sat down with him in his office and before we even started the meeting, he hands me a cheque for $10,000 and says to use it wherever it’s needed. Amazing! I decided to tell him about what had just happened and asked if he would be ok with us using some of this cheque to ship 1,000 Bibles to Uganda. He pauses for a second and starts to chuckle. He says “Ryan, I am filling a container of farm equipment at this very moment that is destined for Uganda for a humanitarian project I am working on. Why don’t I just put the Bibles in my container and that way it costs you nothing.
I was floored! Twenty-four hours ago, this Bible request was an impossible ask, but God was at work here long before those Bible were even requests – and we had 9,000 Bibles left over.
I called Reynold and told him the news. We both just laughed and thanked God for orchestrating the impossible. To make it even sweeter, the distance from where the container was going to in Uganda to where the ministry was that needed the Bibles was only a 1 hour drive.
God’s word never returns void. It’s one of God’s many promises. Isaiah 55:11 says God’s word will never return void, but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it.
PS…the other 9000 Bibles were donated to Bible camps across Canada as well as to some Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada. (We even had an airline fly them up north at no cost.) Praise the Lord!
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