by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Thanks to Sugar Grove residents Rich and Laura Wood, their children and fellow church-goers, about 5,000 area families recently received a Bible in a packet hanging on their front doorknob. Included in the packet were a few readings and reflections about the story of Christmas, and an invitation to attend Christmas services at the Village Bible Church in Sugar Grove.
Although for the most part, there was no one at home, Laura said they did encounter a few people, including a man hanging up his Christmas lights. She said that the responses they received were positive, and that the experience was enjoyable.
The Woods were a few of the 100 or so Village Bible Church members who volunteered their time on Dec. 5 to pass out copies of the New Testament to their neighbors and surrounding areas.
The Village Bible Church, located on Route 47 near Wheeler Road, is a non-denominational church, with a belief in the Bible as the core foundation to who they are and how they live.
Since they believe it is the word of God that transforms lives, Pastor Keith Duff said putting a Bible in the hands of their neighbors seemed like a potentially powerful way to have an impact.
Duff and the other church members said the Bibles may not be read right away. However, their hope is that if it ends up sitting on someone’s end table, eventually someone will pick it up and begin reading itâ€”perhaps for the first time.
â€œWhat if only 1 percent of these Bibles are actually read by someone who hasn’t read God’s Word before?â€ he asked. â€œThat would be 50 new people reading God’s Word; and 5 percent would be 250 people.â€
Duff said that even if someone already has his or her own Bible, chances are it is an older version that has been around for awhile. He said the one they passed out, an English Standard Version Bible, is a current translation, and reads closer to the way people speak today.
According to Pastor Tim Badal, the Village Bible Church has always been known for its missions emphasis, which is usually focused on far-away places. However, the past couple of years, the church has been looking for more ways to reach out to its own community.
Duff said he hopes the people in the community gain something from the Bibles. However, in the act of passing out the Bibles to their neighbors, the church members have already gained something, he said. While walking through their neighborhoods, many of them prayed for the people who live in the homes they passed.
â€œThese are homes we drive past every day,â€ he said. â€œWe become islands in our own homes.â€
He explained that the church members have begun to think about their neighbors in a whole new way.
Photo: Tim Badal and Travis Fleming at Crossway publishers in Wheaton, Ill., picking up 7,000 New Testamentsl; 5,000 were for Village Bible Church in Sugar Grove while 2,000 were for Grace Bible Church in Aurora.