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The Bible on the Front Lines in Iraq

By David Sanford
Special to ASSIST News Service PORTLAND, OREGON (ANS) -- Roadside bombs, suicide bombers, and mortar attacks can’t hold back the spread of God’s Word. The Starting Point Study Bible from Zondervan is now ministering to soldiers on the front lines in Iraq.

For the past few months, Brad Blauser has been collecting the Bibles from friends and family back home in Texas and distributing them to soldiers in Iraq. Recently, three men near his battalion were killed, causing Blauser and other personnel to be even more acutely aware that they could be facing eternity the next time they leave the base.

When Blauser decided to begin a class for soldiers who had recently trusted Jesus Christ, he realized he was missing one crucial element—Bibles. So, he issued a plea over the Internet to his friends and family back home in Texas to buy Starting Point Study Bibles and send them to him in Iraq.

Blauser didn’t have to wait long for a response. A children’s Sunday school class from his home church took a collection to purchase Bibles and send them to Iraq, and several small group Bible Studies took on the project as well. A Methodist Church in Irving, Texas, chose to send some Bibles as part of their quarterly missions effort. So far, Blauser has given away 40 Starting Point Study Bibles, and he expects more to arrive daily.

“This Bible is a great addition to any care package headed for the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Blauser said.

Blauser also pointed out that the introduction of the Starting Point Study Bible includes a presentation of the gospel message and an explanation of how a person can become a Christian, making it a great witnessing tool for soldiers who are seeking answers. The Christian soldiers there are eager to receive more Bibles that they can give to their bunk-mates and friends. Many soldiers have been asking for a copy of the Starting Point Study Bible they have seen other soldiers carrying around.

Since its release in 2002, the Starting Point Study Bible has sold well over 60,000 copies. It includes several features that help the reader dig deeper into God’s Word. A “Frequently Asked Questions” section covers issues that interest new Christians, and other articles, maps, charts, and indexes help the reader navigate through the life-changing Scriptures.

David Sanford is a widely published author, editor, and literary agent. He serves as president of Sanford Communications, Inc., in Portland, Oregon.

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