Jim had a problem. A customer had walked into his bookstore in Miami and was looking for an Italian Bible. While his particular bookstore did happen to be bi-lingual, the materials were in Spanish and English, not Italian. Not deterred by this challenge, Jim picked up the phone and called the only people he knew that were likely to have this item in stock – Jay and Jean Krause. Sure enough, their small ministry called Multi-Language Media (MLM) had the exact Bible Jim’s customer needed. The customer was amazed and delighted and was looking forward to giving the Bible to his friend who would now be able to read God’s word in his heart language. This would not be the only time that Jim made a call to MLM in the following years.
Jay Krause is a quiet guy with a big heart. In the 1980’s, he was on one of the Operation Mobilization ships traveling around the world. He worked with their huge floating bookstore and saw firsthand that power of Christian literature to change lives. In addition, he helped to find books and Bibles in the local languages of the countries where the ship docked. This required a lot of research and relationship building. When he returned to the USA, God put a burden on his heart to start a ministry to people that spoke and read in foreign languages in America. Nobody was really doing anything comprehensive about this need and yet ministries to foreign students and ESL programs were beginning to grow all over the country. With his contacts in so many countries already established, Jay was ideally positioned to start this new work.
At the time that Jay began, both CLC and WEC had small multi-language sections of their ministries in the USA, but both encouraged Jay and in fact gave him materials and advice to get started. Over the years, CLC and WEC discontinued this aspect of their own work and Multi-Language Media grew and flourished. As the years wore on, Jay and his wife Jean, saw God do amazing things through their ministry. Thousands of Bibles and Books were sent out in languages like Turkish, Arabic, Chinese, Urdu, French and many more in the native languages of our nation’s immigrants and they began to get letters about the impact of these materials. People were seeing their friends and relatives give their hearts and lives to Jesus as a result of reading and many young believers were growing in their faith. God was truly blessing the work of this faithful couple.
After thirty years of growth and development, Jay and Jean realized it was soon time to retire, but they wanted their vital ministry to continue. When the Lord put it on their heart to pass this ministry on to a like-minded organization, they picked up the phone and called CLC. In a great irony, the person who answered that call was Jim, the same guy who had called them so many years before about an Italian Bible. Jim had harbored a dream for many years that one-day Multi-Language Media might become a part of CLC. Now working in leadership at the Fort Washington, PA headquarters of CLC, Jim was ideally positioned to help make this dream become a reality.
This past week, a ministry “heart transplant” took place. All of the books and Bibles were moved from Ephrata to Fort Washington and placed in the very heart of the CLC warehouse building in space that had been specially prepared for this very purpose. The transition team had worked together for several weeks ahead of this momentous move and had expected it to take a couple of weeks until “the dust settled” and orders could be processed. Surprisingly, it only took a couple of days for the set up to get going and orders were coming in right away. In just the first few days they got orders for materials in Haitian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Hindi, Shona, Tigrinya, Russian, Vietnamese and Japanese. This multi-language literature ministry really is at the heart of what CLC is all about as we seek to make evangelical Christian literature available to all nations. With so many foreign languages spoken America these days, we are well positioned to meet the needs and to carry on the important work that Jay and Jean pioneered many years ago.