Helicopters, gunfire, and then, “We got him.”
Behind those three simple words, comes a decade of fearless sacrifice from our nation’s soldiers. The final battle with Osama bin Laden lasted just minutes, but it took 10 years of dedication from the brave men and women serving in our military to achieve the most significant victory to date in the ongoing War on Terror.
Leaving behind their families and risking their personal safety, our soldiers have served our country fearlessly as they searched for the man responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people.
As I write to you today, emotions are still raw across the country as we each process in our own way what has happened.
Beyond politics, religion, or any other divide, there is one feeling that does not waver throughout this country, one emotion that unites us all: gratitude for our brave men and women in uniform.
This Memorial Day, as we celebrate our recent victory in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, we honor all those who, throughout the past, have sacrificed so much––even their lives––to protect the freedoms we hold dear.
Many have returned home with disabilities so severe that they aren’t even able to exercise one of the very freedoms for which they have given everything: opening a Bible and freely reading the Word of God. That’s why during this special time I can think of no gift more precious to a wounded soldier or a blinded veteran than the Spoken Word of God.
One of our partners working in a veteran’s hospital told us, “Your Audio Bibles provide one of the brightest beams of light for soldiers who arrive to us for long rehab stays and for those who have lost their vision or those who have lost two or three limbs.”
That’s where you come in. Your most generous gift helps provide Audio Bibles to wounded soldiers or blinded veterans who can no longer hold a book and read on their own. Your support is a profound, life-changing way of saying “Thank You” to those who have fought and bled for our freedom and safety.
This Memorial Day, I invite you to honor and memorialize our soldiers who have so courageously fought to preserve our freedom. We can never repay the debt we owe the brave men and women in our military, but the gift of peace and joy found in God’s Spoken Word is a poignant way to show our gratitude.
While not every veteran bears physical injuries from battle each carries a scar from the violence and trauma of war. For veterans like Aaron, the Audio Bible helps heal these hidden wounds.
“I was so depressed when I arrived at the unit, but I grew stronger every day, stronger in the Lord,” Aaron says. “Through Him, I kept reaching for better things, kept trying to become a better person, and people started noticing the change.”
For other veterans, the Audio Bible is a constant companion as they age, helping to bring peace to a troubled heart.
“I have no doubt of my place with the Lord and where I will spend eternity,” Norman, a veteran of two wars, said referring to the encouragement provided by his Audio Bible. “When I first learned of my vision trouble I was so worried as I am such an avid reader. I should not have been. I thank you for the Audio Bible. Life is good.”
I invite you to join us in honoring the sacrifices of our nation’s soldiers. Join us in giving an Audio Bible to a veteran who can no longer read the healing words of hope and joy found in the Scriptures. Your gift touches the hearts of those who have given everything for people like us that we might enjoy peace and security in this great nation.
Thank you for taking a moment to honor our veterans. Thank you for sharing the greatest gift, the message of God’s eternal love.
May you and your family be blessed this Memorial Day and always. And may you know the truest peace of all––that of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you would like to honor or memorialize someone special to you, you may give online at www.AudioBiblesForTheBlind.org/honor.
“That night the Lord pulled me from the claws of the dead.”
Hugo was a young man who, like so many, was filled with a desire to enlist in the military and serve this great country. Trained by the Army as a Field Artillery Mechanic, he found himself performing infantry duties in Iraq.
On the night of June 21, 2004, Hugo’s life changed drastically. While Hugo’s convoy was searching for improvised explosive devices (IED) they were suddenly ambushed. Hugo and his Humvee took the full impact of a detonated IED and his world went dark. For days, his life hung by a thread. In his conscious moments, he wondered if he would ever see his lovely wife and family again, but that night God indeed snatched him from the “claws of the dead.”
A devastated Hugo was left with permanent vision loss in his right eye and shrapnel in his left eye. Many surgeries followed as the blast had also crushed his skull, requiring him to have a craniotomy to save his life; but at least he was alive and eventually reunited with his family.
As Hugo continued to receive medical attention and rehabilitation for his severe injuries, someone at the VA Medical Center gave him an Audio Bible, a gift you made possible through your generous and faithful support of Audio Bibles for the Blind. Though his physical world had grown darker, the spiritual darkness of his soul was pierced with the light of God’s Word. With renewed hope, Hugo said, “I began praying hard for the Lord to touch my soul and give me a new life.”
Once I started hearing the Bible, I realized that Jesus was very close to me, yet we were separated. That night I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior.
Having his own Audio Bible meant Hugo no longer had to labor to read using magnification equipment that limited him to seeing only half a word at a time, forcing him to piece together words and sentences. He would become exhausted and fatigued after just a paragraph or two and despaired thinking that this is how it would be for the rest of his life. Now, his Audio Bible “gives me the opportunity to have a better understanding and comprehension of the Word of the Lord.”
The story of Hugo is a living reality of the Easter Resurrection story, and what it means in the lives of people today. Not only did God deliver Hugo from the claws of physical death on the battlefield, but He raised him from the dead spiritually by giving him a new life and a new hope. This is the reason Audio Bibles for the Blind was founded!
You see, that’s what Audio Bibles for the Blind is really about––sharing the joyous story of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the nearly 40 years of serving the spiritual needs of the visually impaired through providing free Audio Bibles, stories like Hugo’s are a continual source of encouragement for us. We trust that they will be an encouragement for you, as well. While we always rejoice to hear of the benefit the Audio Bible is to someone who has no other means to study God’s Word, we are especially excited to hear how God is using Audio Bibles for the Blind to bring someone from the darkness of unbelief into the light of saving faith.
Hugo and others like him, stand as a testament to the impact of an Audio Bible that you helped put into their hands, hearts and minds. In order to continue to meet the demand of those needing to hear God’s Word, we must depend upon the generous support of all our ministry partners, like you. Your contribution of any amount can help put an Audio Bible in the hands of someone like Hugo and perhaps introduce them for the first time to God’s Word and the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Back in 2007, we shared a very touching story about our Troops. The story inspired hundreds of our friends to send us thank you notes to send to our “wounded warriors” along with Audio Bibles.
Since we have added thousands of new friends since we shared that story, I wanted to share it with you once again as we honor our Troops this Memorial Day.
FOR THE TROOPS – October 2007
I recently heard from a recipient of one of our Audio Bibles.
But he was an American. A severely wounded member of our armed forces. And he could not have been more grateful for an Audio Bible.
For a long, painful season in their lives, they give up their families, their jobs, their hopes and dreams . . . and sometimes their very lives . . . all for you and me. Many permanently sacrifice their physical health, like the brave soul I just described.
One of our partners explains: “What we’re seeing in Iraq, increasingly, is unlike much of what we’ve seen in the past. Soldiers used to return to us with severe damage to one hand or one foot — maybe an entire arm or leg. But this war — and these wounds — are different; more and more soldiers are arriving to us with horrible, polytraumatic injuries . . . the loss of both legs, an arm, and vision in one eye — or both hands and complete vision loss — and so on.”
As you can imagine, these wounded warriors often spiral into a pit of depression and despair. And for some, the greatest pain is not even physical. You see, at their time of deepest need, they are unable to read a traditional Bible, whether because of blindness or because they are literally unable to hold God’s Word and turn its pages.
I’m writing you today because God is calling this ministry to be the safety line for these brave Americans who have sacrificed so much.
Right now, using our network of friends and partners, we have an opportunity to distribute Audio Bibles to our wounded American warriors.
But we must act today. So many are depending on us. Frankly, we never know how much time we have before it’s too late. One caregiver explains, “We’re giving soldiers your Audio Bibles — and they’re all requesting them. At such a serious and painful time in their lives, many of them are reaching out to God in search of meaning . . . answers . . . they want to reconnect with God.”
Another says: “Your Audio Bibles provide one of the brightest beams of light for these soldiers who arrive to us for long rehab stays and who have lost their vision and, sometimes, two or three limbs.”
But so many more are waiting and praying for God’s Word. We can let these brave, struggling men and women know they are not alone. We can throw them the only lifeline they will ever need: the Bible in a format they can easily use and understand.