Ridgecrest church ships ’love packages’

Last fall Pastor Cliff Murray decided to seriously downsize his personal pastoral library grown over decades of serving churches.

Murray, pastor of Ridgecrest Foursquare Church, sorted through his collection — book by book, tape by tape, DVDs and CDs. Box by box they were packed and brought to the annex building of his church.

First he offered the materials to anyone at church who would take them. Although many of his treasures went home with members of the congregation, stacks remained heavily at church.

“Then RFC member Kevin Cousineau told him about the Love Packages.

Murray was excited when he heard about the Illinois-based ministry taking used Bibles, books and other Christian materials to send around the world. He was on a new mission.

It wasn’t long before volunteers stepped up to pack Murray’s materials for mailing. When Murray shared a video from Love Packages with his congregation, they took up the challenge to sort shelves at their homes, and more materials made their way to the annex for shipment.

Recently the church saw another video as this pastor joyfully shared finishing his project. He was astonished that the total weight of the shipments had neared 700 pounds by the time all was said and done. He had started the project before Christmas and finished in January.

“I told Cliff about Love Pack-ages because it was one of our favorite ministries before moving to Ridgecrest,” said Cousineau.

“Our final total reached nearly 1,100 pounds in roughly quarterly installments. We shipped as materials came to us from churches, county library volunteers and friends who heard what we were doing.

“We started out like Pastor Murray did, downsizing our home library. Before we knew it, boxes and bags of books and other materials were given to us. One church called us to come over and help them clean out closets full of outdated Sunday school materials. I think that last shipment was 208 pounds, the biggest one-time shipment we had made.

“But even our total poundage was a drop in the lake compared to what the good people at Love Packages ship every month,” Cousineau added.

Last year, according to Love Packages’ December 2012 newsletter, 1,681,970 pounds of materials were shipped in 63,330 packages to 19 countries — that’s 841 tons!

“All these materials make a difference in people’s lives, a difference that you can see with the response Love Packages receives every day. There can be no better reason to give them our used materials,” Cousineau added.

For more about Love Packages, find them on the web at www. lovepackages.org

Story First Published: 2013-02-13