Bibles lost in the floods caused by Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and NSW will be replaced by Bible Society Australia for free.
From Tuesday, April 11, churches and individuals who lost their Bibles in the natural disaster can get replacement copies of the Scriptures that were ruined, lost or destroyed.
“We know already that many Christian churches, individuals or groups have been affected,” says Chris Melville, Programmes and Campaigns Manager for Bible Society Australia. “We know how precious God’s Word is to them and want to stand by them, through replacing any of their Bibles destroyed during Cyclone Debbie or floods.”
Glenn Samuel is minister at Lismore Presbyterian Church. He tells Eternity that his church, and Lismore Uniting Church, were probably the worst affected by Cyclone Debbie, due to being located in Lismore’s CBD.
“But as I said to everyone yesterday, ‘It’s only stuff.’” – Glenn Samuel, Lismore Presbyterian Church
Lismore Presbyterian had about one and a half metres of water go through its heritage-building church, as well as its hall and Sunday School.
“Hardwood pews floating on their backs and water going up over the keyboard of a two-month old piano,” describes Glenn about the scale of the water damage in his church. “But as I said to everyone yesterday, ‘It’s only stuff.’
“Our spiritual site is on Jesus. Height nor depth, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus.’”
Glenn’s church lost many of its Bibles and he thinks it would be “wonderful” to receive free Bibles: “It’s absolutely fantastic to offer free Bibles to Lismore churches. To do something like that would be a wonderful gesture.”
“The free Bibles for flood victims is a great initiative.” – Craig Yeomans, Whitsunday Baptist Church
Pastor of Whitsunday Baptist Church in Airlie Beach Craig Yeomans tells Eternity how the cyclone has impacted entire communities. “A lot of people here have a lot of damage around their houses, but not inside. There are a handful who’ve lost a roof or a whole house. And how we connect in with those people is tricky.”
“We have food packages here to distribute, and we are trying to find the right people to give them to.
“But there are a gazillion people volunteering to help clean up. So, in some ways that has overtaken everyone. The practical needs are being met, and we are kind of losing the mechanism to care for people socially and spiritually.
“The free Bibles for flood victims is a great initiative. We have just got to work out how we do it.
“It could work to add a Bible to the food packages, but we are already distributing the food packages, so we would need the Bibles really quickly.”
Bible Society Australia is not applying a limit to the offer.
Bible Society Australia’s offer of free Bibles to victims of cyclone Debbie includes five different versions of the Bible. They are:
• A thin-line hardcover NIV pew Bible with a burgundy cover ( 9780647518694)
• Hard Cover ESV (9780564099535)
• Hardcover CEV, with burgundy cover (9780647506455)
• Hardcover King James with a black cover (9780840726858)
• Hardcover NLT with a blue cover (9781414302027)
The “ISBN” numbers of these Bibles have been listed, so people can check them out at bibleshop.com.au.
Bible Society Australia is not applying a limit to the offer and to apply for replacement Bibles, please go to bible.com.au/request or phone 1300 BIBLES (1300 242 537). To allow for Bible Society to organise distribution, please register a request before May 31, 2017. Delivery costs are covered.
Bulk copies of Bibles for outreach (to be given away) are also available from Bible Society, through their regular “Scripture Grants” programme for the flood regions. The best contact for outreach Bibles is [email protected]