NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A mission to bring bibles to the island country of Haiti all started with a question from a 15 year-old Haitian, that surprised Jeff Awtrey.
Awtrey, a member of Fredonia Hill Baptist Church, helped start the group Bib La. The group was formed as a mission project to help bring bibles to the residents of Haiti. The idea first came to Awtrey while he was visiting with some children.
"This group of kids just came up and started playing with us," Awtrey said. "I came to a group of 15 year- olds and told them what we were doing and one of them asked us if we had any bibles. It just struck me how they weren't asking for food or money. They just wanted a bible."
Awtrey said the comment would hit deep and he started to look at how they could help. When he talked with his group at night, the other people were on board with the idea.
"A lot of our group felt the same way," Arely Victorio said. "We felt the need for more bibles."
Victorio said the Haitians need help and it is hard for Americans to relate.
"Many of the people do not have electricity," Victorio said. "They do not have a car so they have to walk up mountains. They do not have houses like us. A really bad house here is a really nice house there."
The Bib La project is full of volunteers of all ages.
Teenager Lexi Weems is one of the youngest volunteers. Weems has gone on multiple trips to Haiti and said she was shocked the first time a person asked her for a bible.
"You go up and ask, what do you want," Weems said. "Do you want money? Do you want food? Do you want clothes? Then they say we want a bible. They do not want material things. They want something more."
Weems said it is hard to grasp the importance of having just one bible.
"You don't understand how crazy people want something like the word of God, when you have five at your house," Weems said.
The goal of Bib La is to raise $20,000 to help provide bibles to the Haitians when Fredonia Hill Baptist go back on mission trips.
"We are accepting donations right now," Awtrey said. "You do not need to bring us bibles. We are just taking money and buying the bibles in Haiti."
Awtrey said he chose the name Bib La, because that is the word for bible in the Creole language used by the residents of Haiti.
"It's believed that many of the people there cannot read," Awtrey said. "But it is important for us to get the bibles in their language because the younger people are starting to learn to read and have interest. These are people wanting the word and can't get it, so why wouldn't we help with that?"
Project Bib La has several events coming up:
Nov. 6 – Whataburger Night Out. 25% of purchase goes to the project.
March 2015 – Bib La Benefit Golf Tournament
April 2015 – Bib La Benefit Fun Run