If you are like me, you are proud of the 100,000 U.S. troops who are serving in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, defending democracy and waging war on terrorism. These brave men and women are serving under very difficult circumstances far from family and friends. Their work is dangerous and tiring and benefits us all.
A few months ago we had the privilege of publishing a book about our president titled The Faith of George W. Bush. We have been encouraged by the response to the book and the powerful message of faith author Stephen Mansfield crafted.
Now, we have an opportunity to get this book into the hands of military personnel who we believe will be blessed by the message and inspired by the faith of their commander in chief.
The book, which was on one of The New York Times best-seller lists for two weeks, is not a political book. It is the story of how a man who was considered the mediocre son of a famous father and who had a troubled marriage and a drinking problem was totally transformed after he came to faith in Christ. Twelve years later, the Lord spoke to this man and told him his country would need him in a time of crisis and he should run for president.
Scott Plakon, a businessman from Longwood, Florida, and a good friend of mine, read the book and asked for some copies to send to servicemen serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Scott was inspired by reading the book of the president's spiritual odyssey and thought that people who were risking their lives in defense of our freedoms might benefit by gaining a better understanding of their commander in chief.
Around Christmas Scott came to me and offered to make the book available to other troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. He said he would give a donation to our nonprofit partner, Christian Life Missions, to provide the books for thousands of servicemen and women. I told him I would match his donation and try to involve our readers in this project.
Because we like to do things based on relationship, we began contacting chaplains to ask them if they would be interested in helping. We got an enthusiastic response from retired Army Col. E. H. "Jim" Ammerman, head of the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, which has approximately 200 Spirit-filled chaplains serving in the armed forces. Ammerman had read the book and believed it would bless the troops. He is working with us to distribute the books through his own chaplains and to make contacts in high places in the military.
Our plan is simple. We will start by giving out as many books as we have money to pay for, and we will continue to distribute them as funds become available.
Our company is making the books available at our cost, with no royalty for the author and no profit for our company. The only additional cost is the shipping.
A few weeks ago we published a companion study guide, which takes the principles in the book and expounds on them in a format appropriate for group discussion. Because The Faith of George W. Bush was co-published with Penguin Group (USA) Inc., it was written without a lot of references to Scripture and without specific commentary on the spiritual concepts involved. The study guide explores these spiritual concepts. It is perfect for the troops to use with their chaplains.
We want to raise money to send between 25,000 and 50,000 copies of the book and the study guide to chaplains, who will distribute them to the men and women under their leadership in the armed forces. Our company will do its part, but we need readers such as you to give whatever you can for this project.
Tell us if you would like a copy of the book or the study guide for yourself. Christian Life Missions will be happy to send one to you as a thank you for your donation, deducting the fair market value of the book (as required by law) from the tax-exempt donation amount on the receipt you will receive.
We ask that you give generously. We need a big response to meet this need! You can trust us to use the money as outlined above and to report back later on the results.
Please send your tax-deductible gift to Christian Life Missions, P.O. Box 952248, Lake Mary, FL 32795-2248. Thank you for partnering with us to bless our servicemen and women!
Stephen Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma.