Missionary couple brings 'Bibles to Peoples'
July 29, 2011 at 2:29 a.m.
Full-time missionaries Colby and Sarah Sturm have a vision: to bring current translation Bibles to peoples around the world.
And through their non profit organization Bibles for Peoples, that's exactly what they're doing.
But the Bibles the Sturms distribute aren't given without a strategic plan. When given in the United States, they're translated in current language, leather-bound, and engraved with individual names on the front.
"It makes a bigger impact when they're personalized," Colby Sturm, 22, said.
The Sturms are also drawn to the New Living Translation because of its reading ease, and inclusion of study notes, and guides on how to come to know Jesus Christ as a personal savior.
"This is not a Hooked on Phonics Bible. God has blessed this translation . you can understand it clearly," said Sarah Sturm, 21.
Two weeks ago, the young, married couple returned to Cuero from Mexico, where they took their vision to peoples living in isolated, impoverished areas of the country - where Bibles translated in current Spanish vernacular, and sometimes even the Bibles themselves, are hard to come by.
"The translations of the Bibles available down there are older . written in language similar to the King James Version, sort of, which was last updated in the 1960s. It's also the Spanish of Spain, not of Mexico," Colby Sturm said.
"And even if they could get a Bible in some of the poorer areas, they probably couldn't afford it," Sarah Sturm, added.
About two years ago, impassioned with a love for God's word, Colby Sturm raised about $600 at a church garage sale, which was matched by a private donation, and purchased 200 Spanish language Bibles to transport to Mexico.
"I put them in a duffle bag, and bought a bus ticket," the Cuero native said. "It was more Bibles than I needed when I got down there."
He attempted to drop them off at Christian-based Mexican Indian Training Center in Cordoba, Veracruz, in Central Mexico. But when he got there, it seemed they were fully stocked on the written word.
"I thought, 'Hey, God, these Bibles need to go somewhere," Sturm recalled.
An old friend Sturm met on a previous mission trip arrived at MITC and asked if he wanted to travel to Chiapas to distribute the Bibles to a prison. A team of doctors were heading down there to perform medical and dental assistance on the inmates, Strum said.
He stayed two days, and distributed 100 Bibles to prisoners in their modern tongue. And when he returned home to Cuero, Bibles for Peoples was born.
"That's when the whole mission was started; when I knew I wanted to put people's names on the Bibles," he said.
Sturm, who knew he was romantically interested in Sarah, tested out his Bible vision first, on her.
"I gave one to her, and she went crazy over it," Colby Strum said.
Since then, Colby has continued to build his vision. And since marrying Sarah last year, they have decided to pursue Bibles for Peoples together.
"God's word is very important. And we want to give nice looking Bibles that you would want to own yourself," Colby said. "We want to give them out and say, 'This is for you because Jesus loves you.'"
While the non-profit seeks its independent 501c3 status, Bibles for Peoples is piggy-backing off Lifeway Church in Cuero.
But the Sturms are driven to carry their vision forward, take beautiful, personalized Bibles to any person, in any part of the world, who needs one - for free.
"My hope is that all peoples will have a Bible they understand and they would want," Colby Sturm said. "It's such a blessing, and it has taught us how a church should be."