People ask me sometimes, how in the world did Love Packages get started, anyway? Well, maybe there’s some of you, don’t even know what Love Package is. So let me start with that, first.
What is Love Packages?
At Love Packages, we collect used Christian literature—all your old Bibles, Sunday school materials, daily devotionals, Christian books, reference material, magazines, things that just sit around collecting dust all across the United States.
We collect those things, and we sort them, repackage them, and ship them overseas to people who don’t really have very much at all.
How Love Packages Began: “You’re Wasting That!”
In the spring of 1975, I had a little stack of Decision magazines from Billy Graham, some daily devotionals, and a couple Bibles sitting in the corner of my dining room. And every time I walked through there that spring, God pointed his finger at me and said, “Steve, you’re wasting that.”
Now, I don’t know whether you’re like I am or not, but I argue with the Lord sometimes—not too smart, but I do. And so I was arguing with the Lord and I said, “No Lord, you know what I’m gonna do is I’m going to file that. I’m going to prepare lessons with it.” And he said, “No, you’re not, you’re gonna leave it sit there. You’re gonna spill a Coke on it one of these days, and you’re gonna throw it away.”
But I didn’t really know what to do with the stuff. You know, what I mean?
I was ministering on the street at the time. In the middle of the night, I’d go out on the street and talk to druggies and drunkards. You just can’t go up and give someone a four- or five-year-old magazine in the United States and expect people to be thrilled about it. So I didn’t know what to do with these things.
So I wrote to some men overseas. I wrote to five guys, in four different countries and I asked them, “Can you use English literature? And if so, how much and how soon?” And seemed like the letters were only gone a couple days before there were letters were back and the said, “Yes! We can use English literature: as much as you can get here, as soon as you can get it here.”
Bible Donations Grow (and Grow)
I didn’t know everybody had a whole bunch of stuff that they didn’t know what to do with anymore. My wife and I just started collecting from our church. But then as I would talk to people—I’d go to the Calvary Baptist chicken dinner or the Free Methodist pancake supper—they’d say, “What have you been doing Steve?” I’d say, “Well, I’ve been collecting Bibles and Sunday school materials and things like that, and I’ve been sending them all around the world.”
They’d go, “Wow, we’ve got a whole closet full of that stuff at our church! Would it be okay if we bring ours over to you, too?” And I said, “Well, yeah, I guess so.” So the first year my wife and I did 60 little boxes, little 12-pound packages, that we sent to those five men.
Pretty soon we had people bringing it in from everywhere. That second year we did three-and-a-half tons, and then the next year we did seven tons, and then 11 tons. It started in the basement of my home. We outgrew the basement and went to a double car garage and outgrew the double car garage with 20-something tons that year.
And every year it’s grown. The last four years in a row, we’ve sent over 1000 tons of literature each year. To give you an idea what that is: That’s enough literature for 50 million people to read every year. One thousand tons is 50 million pieces of literature.
Now the people who do the statistics tell us that every piece of literature we put on the field—every book, every Bible, every Sunday school book—is going to be read by a minimum of 20 people. So 50 million pieces times 20 is a billion reads every year for the last four years.
Are there materials sitting around collecting dust at your house or church? Bring or mail them to one of our locations and we’ll get them overseas! If you’re wondering how the material gets used overseas, read a few of the many testimonies we’ve received from distributors all over the world.