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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Bibles for men

Truck stop owner invests in men's ministry

Truck stops owned and operated by Bill Sapp are easily identified by the gigantic coffee pot that hovers over them. But coffee isn't the only thing Sapp cares about. He's also concerned about what you might read over a mug of steaming coffee.

Sapp puts his money where his concerns lie. For 30 years Sapp, a Gideon, has put Bibles in the hands of truckers throughout the United States. A year ago he told Doug Haugen, director of the ELCA Lutheran Men in Mission, that men need a good study Bible.

Haugen then sent Sapp, a member of American Lutheran Church, Ashland, Neb., a Serendipity [Study] Bible. Sapp liked it and anted up $5,000 to print 500 Bibles. They were given to congregations attending last year's LMM gathering; those congregations were asked to identify a church to which two men's Bibles would be sent.

Trinity Lutheran Church, Lemoyne, Pa., received two Bibles. Several men from Trinity met Tuesday mornings for breakfast. On more than one occasion they talked about adding more faith enrichment to their breakfasts.

After the anonymous Bibles arrived, the group agreed with good humor that it was a "sign from God."

"I'm happy to say that our group has now grown to eight men. Our focus is not on eggs, bacon and waffles. We — a pastor, two engineers, an accountant, a teacher, a computer programmer, a printer and a stand-up comic — are more concerned about being spiritually fed," said member Ron Orendi.

The initial supply of Bibles has since been depleted, as have most of the 5,000 Bibles that were printed later.

The Master Builders Bible for Men is designed for small groups and includes 28,000 questions.

"One reason men like this Bible is because it's nonthreatening," Haugen said. "Men are intimidated by Scripture and intimacy. This Bible helps break down both [barriers]."


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