Two police officers (Muslims) walked into our warehouse and said, “We want to read for ourselves what is in your Bible, can you quickly get us one each?” Last week, one of them came and demanded five bibles for his wife and children. He explained to me of how his whole family is now saved. Read the whole story from Ghana …
The truth is, the U.S.—and many other western nations—are so flooded with bibles that we don’t even realize it. There are hundreds of bibles collecting dust on all kinds of shelves. There are hundreds more available for less than we often spend on a cup of coffee. The same book that would cost a year’s salary for a villager or a pastor in parts of Africa or eastern Asia is regularly discounted at stores we visit every week.
We’ve been inspired by some of our church partners and bible sourcing heros from all over the country. Many of their tips are below. If you know of one we missed, please leave a comment and let everyone know!
1. Resale / Thrift Stores
Just about every resale store has a small set of bookshelves stuffed with old best seller titles and smudged children’s books. Many of them also have a “religious” section, where you can generally find a bible or two.
Some resale stores—like GoodWill and Savers—even offer discount days for members, and books are usually part of the program.
2. Dollar Stores
Your local dollar or discount store almost definitely has a selection of books, and many have a small selection of bibles.
A stack of dollar store bibles at a youth group’s bible collection station.
We’ve heard from people who save up a small sum just for this reason, and from others who just make a point to always grab two or three whenever they’re at the dollar store.
3. Garage and Rummage Sales
It’s garage sale season! If your neighbors are out on the driveway, or you drive by a sign at an intersection, check it out!
Extra tip: Ask for free bibles! If you notice bibles (or other Christian books) at a garage sale, it never hurts to ask if you can have it for free in order to send it to the mission field. Explain who Love Packages is (keep a newsletter in your car, maybe) and tell the owner that you’re always looking for bibles to donate.
If the owner is unsure, you can always offer to come back at the end of the sale (if you can). If the book(s) hasn’t sold by the end of the weekend, they’ll probably let you take it.
4. Grocery Stores
Many grocery stores have a selection of easy reader kids’ books, discounted titles, and … religious books. Watch for those discount days!
5. Antique Stores
We’ve been told that some antique stores have small bookshelves, so if you’re out antiquing, it’s worth asking. Some of our collectors have gotten free bibles from antique store owners when they mentioned that the bibles were going to be donated.
6. Closed Churches
Local churches frequently stock their chairs and pews with bibles, or keep some on-hand for anyone who needs one. When churches merge or close, the congregation or leadership frequently leaves behind much of what was in the building – including bibles.
If there’s a closed church building in your area, you can usually contact the realtor on the sign and ask about collecting bibles from inside to donate.
If the realtor is willing to help, he or she will have to talk to the seller first and get back to you. Be aware that if the realtor chooses to help, he or she is taking some extra time to do so (they know you’re not going to buy the building), and may even be decreasing the value of the property by letting you remove the bibles.
With that in mind, make it very easy for the realtor to communicate with the seller. Give him/her a short explanation: “I volunteer with an organization that sends used bibles overseas.” That’s easy to communicate back to the seller.
7. Your Favorite Department Store
The book shelves are not the most popular section of WalMart or Target, but they do exist. Again, be aware of the discount days!
Target discounts books on Mondays, for example, and it’s been reported that WalMart’s widest sales often happen on Tuesdays.
In my churches where I minister there is a lack of spiritual food, Bibles, tracts, tapes, and so on. Concerning Bibles, people are using tract verses to make a Bible. Please help us if you can. From Mozambique
8. Discount Book Websites
There is no end to the number of online bookstores that offer discounted prices on bibles—especially if you buy in bulk. An added benefit to buying online is you can have them shipped directly to us!
We’ve never ordered from these sites, so this is not an endorsement—just a few options to explore. There are lots!
Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It …
Last weekend, a friend visited our Butler location with a rented cargo van full of (mostly) bibles and New Testaments.
It wasn’t a youth group or a church-wide bible drive. Almost all of it came from one man who learned that there are people in the world who pastor churches and lead bible studies … with no bibles. Every weekend, for a few months, he made a regular route of resale stores and discount stores, and then he found his nearest Love Packages drop-off location.
His collection, plus about a dozen boxes from a couple other local churches in the area, filled two pallet boxes.
Are you a bible sourcing hero? Did we miss any good resources? Leave a comment below and let us know where and how you find bibles!
We went to Children’s section in the hospital, we give them some of the children’s material and pray with them the Lord heal some of them. Please send us more of Bible and Christian educational books. From Nigeria