Truckloads of Emergency Gideon Bibles Sent to Thirsty Detroiters
DETROIT — Thousands of people lined up early this morning at local schoolyards to receive what they’d heard through the grapevine was free bottled water.
The good news rumors were wrong and they all walked home with a complimentary Gideon Bible and a bright white button that read “He who believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35.”
“Damn man. You can’t drink a book. Chew on it maybe…get the saliva going I guess,” one middle-aged man told the Detroit Free Press.
“Now what in the hell were these Gideoners thinking?”
More than 15,000 Detroit households have had their water turned off if they owe more than $150 or are in arrears for any amount over $10 for more than 60 days. Businesses are behind in payments by an estimated $9.5 million and the State of Michigan itself is currently 180 days in arrears on $5 million owing but no move has been made to shut down water to office buildings, Walmarts or the Joe Louis Arena.
“We help in any way we can in times of need,” said Thomas Rivers, Director of Preachers for Gideons International.
“The good people of Detroit can now drink up the good word.”
Gideon Bibles are distributed around the world mostly in one-star motels, food banks and for-profit prisons. More than 91 million were shared in 2013 alone and there are four free copies in the International Space Station.
32-year-old Vera Stanley had heard yesterday that a semi-trailer of bottled water was arriving in her waterless neighborhood so she left her husband to feed their two children breakfast this morning and hurried to the nearby school.
She joined the long lineup of people and said she was “some mad” when the handout turned out to be Bibles and not the rumored cases of Desani water bottled by Coca-Cola from the Detroit River.
“Really? Really? We don’t have any water and these brilliant guys are going to save our thirsty asses by giving us Bibles?” Stanley told the Free Press.
“The Lord may work in mysterious ways but this one’s got me stumped.”
“Guess I’ll go home and read to my kids. Huh!”
Detroit Emergency Manager Bill Nowling announced last week that the City would stop shutting off water to homes for a “cooling-off period” of 15 days.
“We’re not heartless,” said Nowling.
“We know it’s hot out and having no water is an inconvenience.”
“So now people who can’t pay their bills have more than two weeks to fill their bathtubs, sinks and maybe even empty beer bottles with water.”
“It’s the least we can do for people.”
Reportering for The Lapine