Bible Reading Marathon 2016
Final preparations for the Bible Reading Marathon occurred on June 29, 2016 at the Centerville Square at 8:00 p.m. There were twelve people who prayer walked around the square with many of the participants walking around the square seven times as did the Israelites around the Walls of Jericho. We were met with many questioning and apprehensive looks from the Centerville residents who spend a lot of time on the square during the night hours. We prayed that God would touch our town and county as well as our state and Nation for God’s Kingdom to come on earth. We prayed for the many people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus in our communities. As asked that the Lord would bless them with the opportunity to meet Jesus as their Lord and Savior and experience Him as their best friend. Many other prayer requests went out for Appanoose County regarding employment needs and opportunities for our citizens to find purpose in the community, but mostly purpose through Jesus Christ. Praises were lifted up for the Power of God’s Word to change and transform our community through the Bible Reading Marathon.
June 30, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. the Bible Reading Marathon began in Appanoose County at the Band shell on the courthouse lawn. 173 individuals participated in the event. The reading slots were divided into 2 hour sessions. Each slot within each session was setup for 15 minutes. Initially, people were concerned that 15 minute increments would be too long for them read. However, when they finished their 15 minute time segment, they wanted to read longer. Many of those people came back two and three different times to read. Others wanted to read additional times but time slots were filled and they were unable to read again. In the end, every available two hour time slot between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. was filled. The time slots from 10:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. had enough readers to maintain around the clock reading schedule. At midnight July 1, 2016, we were halfway in the Bible.
A prayer request for rain that has been lifted up in recent days within many Churches in Appanoose County was answered Saturday. The air was fall like but that did not dampen the desire of the Bible Readers to come and read the Bible. Close to 20 different churches around Appanoose County were represented by groups of people or individuals.
We ministered to several people who came close to the band shell. One story in particular that touched our hearts was a young man homeless man living in his car, whose mother died of colon cancer a year ago. When he approached the band shell he appeared somewhat apprehensive. One of the readers welcoming people explained to him what was occurring in the Band shell. When asked if he wanted to read, he declined but stated “My mom loved the Bible and I just want to listen to what she loved so much.”
There are many other stories that can be shared about lives touched that we are aware of and many more that the Lord will reveal in coming days.
On July 3, 2016 at 12:45 p.m., the last words of Revelation were read. A very touching moment occurred at this time when only three people were present; the County Captain, the Bible reader finishing the last words and the Editor of the Iowegian. All three shed tears. When the County Captain asked the editor of the local paper if he was a believer, he nodded his head as the tears rolled down his cheeks.
The Bible reading did not stop then. Because there were about 20 more people who were scheduled to read, we went back to Proverbs, John, and Acts to read in the Bible until every person who was signed up had the opportunity to read. At 5:30 p.m., the County Captain read Ephesians 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”