The Bibles for China Thrift Center is located in a shopping area near Bellevue Baptist Church. When you arrive, you see a familiar phrase emblazoned on a window sticker: Bellevue Loves Memphis. Inside is a large room full of donated clothes, shoes, and furniture. However, Bibles for China is having a far deeper impact than just offering great deals to thrift shoppers in Memphis. As its name suggests, this ministry has been sending Bibles to China since its inception—and today, it’s accomplishing even more.
In 2014, the Missions Ministry at Bellevue was approached by the operators of Bibles for China in the interest of collaboration. The store was having a difficult time finding the manpower to accomplish its mission of ministering internationally. After much prayer and seeking the Lord, Bellevue stepped into partnership with the store. Now, Bibles for China is filled with donated items and smiling volunteers. All proceeds from the store are used to send Bibles around the world and equip missionaries to be sent out from Bellevue.
Gill Bennett, the Store Manager at Bibles for China, has an eternal perspective shared by the volunteers he works alongside each day. This group has seen how God can use this ordinary ministry in extraordinary ways. He shared, “There may be a Bible that gets into the hands of a future Billy Graham because something was done here that may have seemed very meager.”
Bibles for China is involved in international missions in a number of other ways. Proceeds provide Bibles and tracts in multiple languages to local prisons, Bellevue’s Christian Mobile Dental Clinic, and other like-minded ministries in the city. Bibles for China also provides resources and training materials internationally through a ministry called Pioneer Evangelism.
“There is a weekly impact that many people in our church aren’t aware of,” said Kent Mathis, Bellevue’s Minister of National and International Missions. “As Bellevue ministers to pastors and church planters around the world, many of the training materials are provided by funds generated through Bibles for China.”
Through a unique scholarship program with Bibles for China, its volunteers come face to face with missionaries their work will support. Many of the participants in Bellevue’s Send Out Training serve at Bibles for China while they prepare for life on mission. Through the time spent at the store, they receive a scholarship to help fund the call God has on their lives. Tyler, one of the first Bellevue members to go through the Send Out Training, elaborated on this program, “The purpose is to allow our goers to earn their scholarship while also serving alongside those who are working—week in and week out—to send people like yourself overseas.” Both Gill and Tyler agree that through this partnership, a kind of family is formed among the volunteers—those who are staying and those who will be going.
If you are looking for a way to serve locally while making an international impact, Bibles for China is a great option, and volunteers are always needed. When you volunteer with this ministry, you have an opportunity to join in the missionary task. There are simple ways you can get involved, whether it’s through sorting clothes, picking up donated furniture, or even making your own donations. As you give of your time, talents, and treasure, you, too, can make an eternal impact.
Learn how to become involved at the Bibles for China Thrift Center by visiting bellevue.org/info/bibles-for-china.
Bibles for China is located at 6184 Macon Road.