Thursday, August 23, 2007

Books and Borders

You may not be able to serve across the borders in a teaching capacity at this stage but you can help by sending books across borders to enrich somebody’s theological education.

Rod Benson (pictured) is a pastor, teacher and Director of the Centre for Christian Ethics at Morling College, Sydney, Australia. In addition Rod runs a book ministry called ‘Living Libraries’. He has many good books suited to undergraduate/graduate seminary studies and some funds to pay freight costs in sending them overseas. Most books donated to ‘Living Libraries’ come from retiring pastors or pastors moving from house to a retirement village.

‘Living Libraries’ is a vital ministry. Here is a more extensive description with the details of how you might be involved.

‘Living Libraries’ was established by Dr Roger Kemp as a partnership between Australian Baptist churches and training institutions in countries where theological books are at a premium. ‘Living Libraries’ is a joint venture of the Centre for Evangelism and Global Mission (CEGM) and Global Interaction Australia (GiA). Rod Benson coordinates the project from Sydney. Roger Kemp continues to advise on suitable recipients based on his extensive knowledge and networks in many countries.

Many students in Bible and theological colleges around the world have little or no access to even basic textbooks.

The idea of ‘Living Libraries’ is simple: collect suitable books (new and used) from people, churches and other agencies and send them to people who need them.

Where possible, they also seek to provide other assistance to colleges, such as subscriptions to periodicals.

So far ‘Living Libraries’ has sent over 8,000 books to 14 locations in nine countries!

How can you help?

Donate some of your own books

Ask family and friends to donate books

Make ‘Living Libraries’ a ministry of your small group

Encourage your pastor to adopt ‘Living Libraries’ as part of your church’s commitment to world mission

Give money toward postage and packaging

Pay for a journal for a specific college

Suggest a possible recipient

Offer to pack and record books for sending

Pray for overseas colleges and students

Who to contact?

Contact Rev Rod Benson at Morling College (email Rod Benson or phone +61 0412 421 678).

Send books to ‘Living Libraries’, Morling College, 120 Herring Rd, Eastwood, Australia 2122.

Make cheques payable to ‘Morling College’ (clearly marked for ‘Living Libraries’).

Remember the Parchments
Confined to prison, the apostle Paul in a letter says, “Remember to bring the parchments—send the books!” It is hard to think of doing theological and biblical study without having books—good quality books. However, when money is in short supply the book budget is often the first thing that is cut. Assisting in “Living Libraries” is a strategic way of enriching people’s theological development.

Geoff Pound

Image: Rod Benson, “Living Libraries”