By Carolyn C. Hunt/Special to the Review
The Athens Review
In spite of some visual difficulties, 85-year old Athens resident Leland Parker used to make it around town on his three-wheeled bicycle to collect and then sell aluminum cans for a very worthy cause — study Bibles (sometimes called Full-Life Study Bibles which in China were dubbed Fire Bibles).
Those Bibles are published in a number of different languages to be sent to numerous countries overseas for the purpose of providing ministerial help to pastors in needy areas of the world.
Leland’s son, Monte, who lives out of state, said his dad “doesn’t have much and never has had, but he’s a good Christian who would give the shirt off his back for anyone who needs it.” Leland’s wife, Betty, assists in the overall process of getting the funds they raise channeled through their church to the Assemblies of God Bible Alliance for the intended purpose.
Their passion to do this was ignited while walking around their neighborhood and seeing so many cans out for trash pickup. Later, some restaurants and other business began saving aluminum cans for Leland to collect in his three-wheeled bicycle-cart. Church friends have also joined in, contributing cans to this project. Leland and Betty’s love for God and His Word spurred them to direct the results of their efforts through the Bible Alliance.
This “Cans-to-Bibles” connection has been functioning for several years now. Who knows what the far-reaching, long-lasting spiritual influence brought about by the burden and hard work of this dedicated local man may be? To quote Leland: “Just as long as there is ‘Room at the Cross’ for one more, I believe that every aluminum can I collect will make an eternal difference in someone’s life somewhere, through the power of the Bible!”
Now with even more acute visual problems, some of his previous “customers” have continued to drop off cans for him. Should anyone desire to cooperate with this ongoing, worthwhile outreach that goes way beyond the borders of Henderson County, you may deposit aluminum cans in the receptacle provided alongside the front parking lot at the Parkers’ home church — First Assembly of God, 1310 S. Palestine in Athens.
Pastor Ken Jones states: “Leland has such a wonderful spirit of love for God and His Word. His “Cans-to-Bibles” work is an inspiration to all of us.”