225 thousand Bibles are being sent by a ministry to North Macedonia, where many people do not have access to Scripture in their own language.
North Macedonia in Eastern Europe, where many children lack access to Scripture in their native language, just received the biggest donation of children’s Bibles from a Texas-based Christian organization that formerly smuggled Bibles into the Soviet Union.
Eastern European Missions (EEM) is an organization that has been around since 1961. It publishes and gives away free Bibles in Eastern Europe and the countries nearby. These Bibles go to youth camps, schools, refugee shelters, and other places where people need to read the Bible.
The organization was founded when a few missionaries began smuggling Bibles into the Soviet Union, and it has since continued to provide people access to the Bible in apparently inaccessible locations.
After hearing about EEM’s efforts and receiving authorization from the country’s administration to distribute Bibles there, EEM recently sent over 225,000 children’s Bibles to North Macedonia. The contribution was made possible via the group’s Bibles for Kids fundraising initiative.
The authorities were informed that EEM transported 650,000 bibles to Croatian public schools last year using nine semi-trailer vehicles.
According to Bart Rybinski, vice president of EEM’s European Operations, the ministry established ties with the government of North Macedonia as a result of the company’s prior engagement with the Bible Society of North Macedonia. EEM had ties to the local government and Orthodox churches; therefore, the organization approached the Bible society to request permission to print their writings.
When the company first started, the team was fortunate if they could give a few hundred to a few thousand Bibles a year, according to EEM President Bob Burckle, who spoke to The Christian Post. However, the organization has expanded in recent years, and last year it sent 1.5 million Bibles in more than 20 languages to more than 30 nations.
In an interview, Burckle stated, “God’s word is a seed that we’ve been planting. We partner up and come together with a lot of other groups to help us achieve that. To get their translations, we travel to renowned Bible translators like the Bible League and, subsequently, several Bible groups. The books are then taken, formatted, and placed into printed form, after which we print, publish, and distribute them.
Burckle said that churches and private donors provide the majority of the group’s financing. He said that at least 1,082 congregations in the US now help fund the work of the group.
The Bibles were handed over by EEM in July to the Department of Religious Relations in North Macedonia, who subsequently gave them to congregations and private customers. At an event in Skopje to commemorate the gift and present copies of the books they are providing to students, Rybinski and Burckle were both there.
Several of North Macedonia’s neighbors have been at odds with it since Yugoslavia’s breakup in the early 1990s. As a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, the Republic of Macedonia declared its independence that year.
The name of their nation has been a source of contention with the Greek state for many years, according to Rybinski. “With regard to being acknowledged as a national Orthodox church in its own right, they recently had a disagreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church this year. “Culture and history are in dispute from the Bulgarian side.”
Rybinski said that the absence of encouraging influences led the nation’s government and religious authorities to recognize the need to provide children with a Bible in their native tongue since such a book is not often accessible there.
It’s not only the Bible, said Rybinski. It’s the Bible in their own tongue, and that has great significance for them.
According to Burckle, the officials of North Macedonia requested EEM to send 225,000 more bibles in 2023, and the group plans to comply with their request.
He noted that there is a “spirit of oneness” that unites people and said that everyone can agree that everyone should have access to God’s message.
The president of EEM said that his group works to guarantee that everyone has access to a Bible and that they will read it.
To truly appreciate and comprehend what God has done for us and what our future hope is for how to handle the challenges of life, which we all face, you need to get [God’s message] in your heart; you need to get it thoroughly into your whole body and spirit.
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