On this 4th of July holiday, a ministry is reminding Americans of a way they can show appreciation for those serving to protect their freedoms.
With thousands of troops being deployed to Afghanistan and statistics showing 22 veterans commit suicide every day, military chaplains have been contacting the ministry Faith Comes By Hearing to request thousands of Military BibleSticks – a digital audio player about the size of a pack of chewing gum and pre-loaded with a dramatized recording of the New Testament and specially selected Psalms.
Troy Carl, vice president of the organization, tells OneNewsNow the BibleStick is an incredibly effective tool. He says it is the first time many of the soldiers have ever really engaged in the Bible and found what Jesus says about them, about eternal life, and salvation.
"And what makes it so unique is that as they listen to the Word of God," Carl explains, "it not only renews their minds, but it brings them peace, hope, comfort. It also empowers our chaplains to open up the door of discussion to those who may not be believers."
The ministry recently began distributing BibleSticks through VA chaplains. Last year alone, about 43,000 military BibleSticks were dispensed through VA chaplains in approximately 128 hospitals.
Carl tells the story of a soldier who had been hit by an IED. The soldier told Carl that with the help of doctors, the shrapnel was removed from his body. "He said 'But Troy, what do I do for the mental shrapnel that I have – that I deal with every day? When I listen to the Word of God, it drives the mental shrapnel right out of my mind, helps me reprogram my thoughts, and it gives me peace and comfort and hope.'"
More than 800,000 BibleSticks have been provided to members of the military and veterans at no cost to them through their chaplains.