OAK GROVE – First Baptist Church, Oak Grove, distributed 3,000 “Find it Here” New Testaments to their community under the leadership of Pastor Randy Messer.
Messer shared this vision with nearby Grace Baptist, and together the churches mobilized a number of distribution teams. They planned to distribute the New Testaments to every home in Oak Grove, so the churches stuffed bags with the New Testaments and invitations to several events, such as Vacation Bible School.
“A student in one of the homes told her mom she wished she had a Bible,” said Messer. “Her mom said, ‘Have you asked God about it?’ So the young lady prayed that day for a Bible.”
That evening one of the teams knocked on the student’s home. The girl answered the door. Students on that team introduced themselves. They said they were from First Baptist and Grace Baptist and that they were giving Bibles away.
“When they asked if she would like one,” Messer said, “the young lady got this surprised look on her face and told the team that she had prayed for one. With tears of joy on her face and the team members’ faces, the exchange was made. It was a great lesson for the young lady. And the team realized the importance even more of why Missouri Baptists were concerned that every home in our state gets Bibles.”
Messer confessed that “sometimes we take for granted that everyone in America has a Bible.”
One woman took a New Testament, although she explained that she already had one. The team doing the distribution encouraged her to share it with someone.
“This lady had put it in her car,” Messer said. “It was still there the next day when she picked up her friends who carpooled to work. One of the passengers saw it and asked about it. She said, ‘I have never read the Bible.’ The driver said, ‘Help yourself.’ The passenger began to read and read it all the way to work in Kansas City. When they loaded up after work, she picked up and began to read again. (She said,) ‘Wow I can understand what I am reading.’”
“These are some of the stories we heard,” Messer said. “I believe there are many we may not hear about until we get to heaven.”
Messer also expressed his gratitude to the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and the North American Mission Board for providing the New Testaments.
Mark Snowden, MBC evangelism-discipleship strategist, explained that First Oak Grove was one of about 40 churches, associations and ministries that were part of a test pilot group that distributed more than 47,000 “Find it Here” New Testaments. The project was part of launching Light Up Missouri, the next two-year phase of GPS that includes distributing One Million Bibles during 2014. GPS stands for God’s Plan for Sharing, a 10-year SBC evangelism emphasis.
“What happened in Oak Grove,” Snowden said, “is what God can do when His Word takes on authority in every community.”
To learn more about how to be involved in “Light Up Missouri,” visit www.mobaptist.org/light. This website also provides resources for helping MBC churches purchase Bibles and distribute them in their communities.