Each year Light Bearers is privileged to provide more than 20 million pieces of gospel literature in local languages to developing countries—all printed, packaged, and shipped free of charge to regions in need of resources that they do not have the means to produce themselves. Sending literature to the mission field takes planning, organization, communication, and lots of prayer!
When a container is requested, the recipient must have a solid organization and distribution plan in place. After the container is cleared through customs, the receivers unstuff almost 800 50-pound boxes of literature, transport it to storage, and then organize it for distribution. It’s a massive amount of literature—about 2 million pieces! We work with divisions, unions, missions, and conferences because of the enormous effort the whole process takes. We also have the privilege of occasionally working with other ministries. This year we, again, partnered with Water for Life and sent a container of Spanish literature to Guatemala to be used in conjunction with their well drilling efforts.
Water for Life has been drilling wells and providing safe water to remote villages in Guatemala for years. Drilling wells is one of many ways they seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ to people living in Guatemala. They have touched lives and literally saved thousands through the doors that have opened to the gospel through the untiring efforts of their volunteers from all over the world. Gary Bartholomew, co-founder of Water for Life, shared the following report:
The hand pump installation was completed on the new well in the village of Aguacatillo, Guatemala. Many villagers gathered and the excitement ran high as they realized they were about to experience the first safe water in their village. Often the villagers are a little shy and reticent in front of all their peers about being the first to pump water from the well. Huberto pumped several strokes on the large Baker pump and we drank the clear, fresh water. Then the villagers couldn’t wait any longer! They drank it, washed their faces in it, threw it at those nearby, and began filling their water pots to carry back to their shacks. It was a happy time.
Before leaving our shop that morning, I’d put cases of Spanish Bibles, Spanish Discover Guide lessons and Spanish To All the World magazines, donated by Light Bearers, in the utility box in the pump service truck. I told Huberto that now was the time to get the literature out and I had him explain some parallels between the pure, abundant water and Jesus, the true Water of Life. As I opened the cases, I explained we had a gift for those who could read Spanish, not knowing how many that would be. In most of the remote Mayan villages where we work, the major Mayan dialect Q’eqchi is spoken but the schools are required to teach Spanish. Huberto was on top of the service box of the truck with the Bibles and studies and I stood on the ground to give them out. I soon found myself being mobbed and jostled as anxious villagers reached for the literature. I told Huberto, “I may need my hardhat!” Before long, all the Bibles and studies were gone. The villagers were so delighted to have something this valuable in their hands and often tears came to their eyes as they received their gifts.
By drilling a well, Water For Life develops and enjoys a very close relationship with the villagers. At the Aguacatillo well site, the village chief invited us to his humble home for a nice meal. In the course of conversation he asked if we had more Bibles. We assured him we could bring more on another day. As we left the village that afternoon, we observed several villagers under trees or by their shacks reading their new Bibles. When we returned at a later date, we took our Bible workers with us to hand out more Bibles and they were able to enroll many villagers in Bible studies with the material Light Bearers provided.
At most sites, after the well is completed and the pump is installed, we generally send the Bible workers to have a well dedication. This brings all the villagers, some civil leaders and representatives from the government health ministry, and any local pastors or priests. The celebration is a big fiesta with speeches, songs, prayer, balloons, and many decorations on the pump. The most popular feature is handing out Bibles and scheduling Bible studies; it is truly an awesome time, followed by a meal provided by the villagers. The Lord is truly blessing Water for Life and the printed word is getting out, thanks to Light Bearers.