FBCO Seniors Send Good News Around the World

In October, 16 FBCO senior adults headed 90 miles into central Illinois to help a ministry recycle used Bible teaching materials and spread the Good News around the world.

Love Packages, in Butler, IL, accepts new and used Sunday School curricula, Bibles, Christian DVDs and CDs, Bible maps, evangelism tracts, and other scripture teaching materials. The resources are distributed free of charge to international ministries around the world that can’t afford to purchase them.

One of the biggest needs is Bibles. Love Packages accepts new or used Bibles, or simply New Testaments, in any translation.

Senior Adult Minister Lee Sanders organized the trip for FBCO older adults. Future trips, he says “should engage students, adults of all ages, Sunday School classes, and families.” The Love Packages’ operation is designed for people of any age and ability to participate.”

“You didn’t need to have any skill. (Love Packages staff) taught us exactly what to do,” says Ann Justus, and
FBCO member on the trip.

“There was something everybody can do,” she says. “There were some people…who couldn’t stand up but
there were jobs for them to do sitting down.”

“It was a very good cause,” Ms. Justus says, “and I enjoyed being a part of it. If we did it again I’d volunteer.”

Opal Hoss, another volunteer on the trip, agreed.  “To be able to have the privilege to do something like that, it was rewarding.”

Prior to the one-day mission trip, FBCO collected used LIFE group teachers’ materials, study guides, wall posters and maps, and other donated materials. The seniors took those to Love Packages and then helped sort, box, and prep the resources for shipping.

Packed boxes are loaded into large metal containers, trucked to shipping ports, then shipped around the world. Shipping one container can cost $2,500-$6,000 depending on its destination. In 2020 the organization shipped 1,780 tons of materials.

Love Packages is completely funded by contributions from organizations and individuals and does not solicit funding. It has a full time four-person staff in Butler, and a similar size staff in its Decatur, AL warehouse.

During the seniors’ lunch break, Love Packages founder Steve Schmidt and his staff explained how materials are used by overseas organizations, and told stories of lives changed from receiving the Gospel materials.

“I learned so much,” Ms. Hoss says, “like a picture can be used to tell a story about Christ. It was quite impressive.”

At the end of the group’s workday, everyone gathered around the boxes packed that day and prayed over them: for the workers that would receive them, for the lives that would use them, and for the people changed by them.

At the end of the day “I was exhausted and I slept in the next morning,” says Ms. Hoss. “But, I’d do it all over again.”

FBCO plans to have future trips to Love Packages. However, we collect materials year-round. A marked collection bin is normally in the West Lobby to deposit donated Bibles and other materials.

Love Packages collects any new or used resources that can be used to teach or disciple people about Christ. Learn more about Love Packages and the items they accept here.