OPERATION: IRAQI FREEDOM Thousands of troops request Bibles Retired
officer swamped with orders for Scripture in Ziploc bag
As coalition forces continue their push into Iraq, thoughts of
the battle that awaits them in Baghdad weigh heavy.
"It's an inferno that awaits them. Let them try their faltering
luck and they shall meet what awaits them," warned a defiant
While the soldiers have trained exhaustively for this mission,
have the backing of the most powerful military in the world
and Iraqi soldiers are surrendering by the droves, war is war. And
six of their own have already lost their lives in the line of duty in Operation
"We're basically on our plan and moving toward Baghdad,
but there are still many unknowns out there," Air Force Gen.
Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
summed up yesterday.
One piece of equipment thousands are relying on for
protection of mind is the RDK, or Rapid Deployment Kit.
Distributed by Military Ministry, a division of Campus
Crusade for Christ, the RDK is a Ziploc bag full of Scripture, including
the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs and
a 90-day devotional guide.
Soldiers of the tropospheric platoon of V Corps' 578th Signal
Company take time for prayer and reflection at Camp
As the Beverly LaHaye Institute first reported, the RDK
figures prominently in the gear shipped over to troops in the
Persian Gulf, and ministry workers are scrambling to fill some 40,000 orders.
Requests from commanders, chaplains, soldiers, sailors and airmen
continue to pour in, including one scrawled message
on a piece of cardboard which reads:
"I have a Bible .but the guys in my unit don't have any. Can
you send [Bibles] over?"
"I find the spiritual dimension of one's life extremely important
in the armed forces ... and certainly with soldiers protecting
our freedom, going into harm's way," retired Air Force Brig.
Gen. Dick Abel told the institute.
Abel runs the Military Ministry. He said demand for the RDK skyrocketed
in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
"I was sort of overwhelmed by it," he said. "We sent out 400,000
prior to the war. We have orders for 40,000 and
many of those are from the war zone."
"The reality of death for a young person becomes quite
apparent when you're going into battle. If you have faith in
Christ, that gives you peace that passes all understanding,
even in the midst of the storm or the battle."