It was a deal Al Braley couldn’t refuse—32 rolls of 20-pound Bible-printing paper for $0.40 per pound—about $14,000. As the director of Bearing Precious Seed (BPS), the ministry of First Baptist Church, Milford, Ohio, which prints Bibles in multiple languages, Al knew the price of this paper should be about $40,000. “There is a catch,” the supplier warned. “The color is canary yellow!”
“CANARY YELLOW!” Al responded. “What will I do with that?” But then he thought, “If someone has never seen a Bible, that person does not know the pages are supposed to be white.”
“Send it,” Al told his supplier decisively. “I’ll find a use for it!” Little did Al know that God already had a plan.
Three months passed. The presses at Bearing Precious Seed continued to roll out thousands of New Testaments and John and Romans for multiple missionaries and national pastors. Although BPS uses 50 semi loads of paper every year, the canary yellow paper sat unused in the print shop until . . .
On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Simultaneous bombing in Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, and Mariupol caused a massive exodus of refugees to Western Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and other European countries. Fear gripped the nation. The desperate Ukrainian people sought God. Christians begged the West to pray and send Bibles—NOW!
Bearing Precious Seed sprang into action and printed 70,000 Ukrainian New Testaments on, of all things, canary yellow paper with royal blue covers! The brilliant choice of colors made perfect sense. Why? Because the Ukrainian flag is royal blue and canary yellow.
“Only God could have planned this,” Al Braley affirmed with assurance. “I know I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!”
The story became even more exciting when Pastors Jerry Siler and Charles Webb from Cornerstone Baptist Temple in Dayton, Ohio, heard about the project. “How long will it take to get a container to Ukraine?’” Charles questioned.
“Possibly six months,” was the reply.
“Too long!” Charles decided. “We will take the Bibles in ourselves!”
Pastor Webb found three men to travel with him to Ukraine. They packed 500 Bibles in plastic totes, raised $1,850 for the fees, and carried the Bibles on the plane to Hungary, where Missionaries Jim and Laura Pranger joined the project. The very first Ukrainian refugees to receive “canary” Bibles were Tonya, Natasha, Nadia, and their children, who were staying with the Prangers.
The Cornerstone Baptist Church men witnessed and distributed Bibles in one border town, where a population of 25,000 was housing 75,000 refugees everywhere—even in university dorms and an abandoned school. A hotel restaurant provided free meals for refugees, and the manager offered his office as a base for future Bible distribution and ministry. At the military base, the commander asked if the Americans would do trauma counseling for embattled soldiers. Everyone, everywhere gladly accepted a Bible! One distraught woman who received a Bible wept. “Thank you for bringing light into this horrible darkness. Please BRING MORE LIGHT!”
Editor’s Note: Pastor Webb has organized two more trips for June and July. The goal is to transport 25,000 Scriptures to Ukraine.
Refugees Anatolii, Kateryna, and Olha thank all CRI supporters who prayed for and gave to help them emigrate from Ukraine to the U.S. All nine family members are living safely in a Chicago suburb. They have found housing, and Anatolii has a job. A vibrant Ukrainian Baptist Church is five minutes from their house. They are so grateful for everyone who helped them come to the U.S.! Please pray for Olha’s husband and Anatolii’s two sons who were required to stay and fight.
VOICES FROM UKRAINE
Revelation Ministries—Testimony from Pastor Valodia in Russian-Controlled Villages
I have been ministering for over 25 years, and I have never seen so many people, including soldiers, with such open hearts. The people are in shock; all have lost family members and witnessed suffering beyond belief. They have lost everything, and all hope is gone. When we tell them Jesus is their hope, their hearts are open, and they pray and sing with us.
Pastors’ Conference Turned Revival!
CRI broadcaster Dr. Tom Williams, whose program Facing Tomorrow is aired on more than 20 stations, including Liberia, West Africa, preached in Malawi at a Pastors’ Conference sponsored by Gardiner Gentry. An expected 1,000 participants mushroomed into a totally unexpected crowd of 2,000 people. The Holy Spirit came down, and 600 were saved!
Testimony from the Scottish Bible Society
I have been listening to Christian radio programs for months. I write down everything, every verse, every explanation. Then I share it with my family, friends, or anybody who will listen to me.
Christian Radio International