During the winter Olympics of 2002 the
church in Salt Lake City was honored to provide hospitality and logistics
support to the many Bibles for America volunteers who came from churches
around the country to cooperate with the Lord in distributing a free New
Testament study Bible. The study bible that
Bibles for America distributes is called the
Recovery version. This fresh English translation from the
original Greek contains many valuable study aids including outlines of
each book, over 9000 footnotes and over 13,000 cross-references.
Prior to the start of the Olympics, an
advanced team of volunteers visited the city to get a feel for the layout
of various venues and to plan for the approach for distribution during the
Olympics. We enjoyed our time of fellowship and prayer with them acting as
tour guides around the city. Eventually, the team concluded that nearly
every visitor to the Olympics was likely to visit the Olympic Square in
the downtown area at least once during their time here so their efforts
focused on that area.
Bibles for America brought with them a
large, modern motor home which has effectively been a mobile billboard
announcing their presence as they have visited many college campuses and
public events across the country. Following 9/11 BfA commenced
Word of Truth U.S.A., a tour
across America with the motor home to offer the Recovery Version study
Bible to many who’ve had their hearts opened to God’s word. Beginning from
Irvine, California, the BfA volunteers experienced a tremendous response
as the mobile home made it’s way across the country in city after city. It
went to New York City where the team spent time with the volunteers from
the churches in that area at ground zero offering His word to many who
were working their way through the trauma and grief of the loss. The
mobile home went south along the east coast and made it’s way back to
southern California and to the Rose Bowl before setting out again, this
time for the Salt Lake
City Tour. Anticipating heavy traffic and limited parking
during the Olympics, the team decided to identify a fixed location for the
mobile home for the duration of the event. The Lord identified and brought
about an arrangement with a private parking facility giving the motor home
a prominent broad sided face to a major thoroughfare.
Bibles for America Salt Lake City Tour commenced the core team pioneered the way that
volunteers from churches around the country would follow as they lifted up
the Lord’s word to the public. Using the motor home as a base, teams of
volunteers fanned out around the downtown area to offer the Recovery
Version study Bible to the public. Unlike the often very positive response
which BfA volunteers experienced on college campuses, many people
with their face set toward the event which was on their heart paid little
attention to the unassuming people holding out an invitation or standing
by a display of study Bibles. However, hour-by-hour and day-by-day, those
whom the Lord had prepared opened to receive a brochure, a wallet card
invitation, or stopped to receive a Recovery Version study Bible.
Though the weather was often
quite cold and many in the crowds rejected the volunteers, there was an
underlying supply of the Spirit that sustained them. This supply, no doubt
was coming through the prayer of the members of the Lord's Body. Quite
often, other believers would stop at the table and bless the volunteers.
One brother, after receiving a Recovery Version, shook the volunteers hand
and held it firmly as he prayed strongly for the Lord's blessing on the
volunteers and the study Bible distribution.
Eventually, tens of thousands
of invitations went out resulting in thousands of Recovery Version study
Bibles being distributed to visitors from all over the United States and
around the world. A good number of these Bibles went to Utah residents.
Time will show how the Lord will use these many seeds to carry out His
interest over the earth and here in Utah. The volunteers in Utah were
refreshed and feel quite blessed by the Lord to have participated with Him
in this effort.