It began with a stirring.
Amid the coronavirus quarantine, Chris and Jennifer Lange dove into God, which included listening to Francis Chan's Crazy Love and the story of a ministry leader whose life was changed when a missionary gave him a Bible after a failed suicide attempt. They were inspired to do more. So the Lakewood, Washington, couple launched a Bible ministry delivering Bibles out of their Kia Soul. The name of the good work? Caring Soul Ministry.
"We were limited to being at home or being in our Kia Soul, so it made us think: What can we do?" Chris said.
"We call churches in our area and ask for their Bibles and give them to people like friends, family, complete strangers and homeless people," he said, noting how the ministry has grown to include places like Tacoma Rescue Mission-Men's Shelter, Care Net Pregnancy Center, area prisons, outreach ministries and the Tacoma Seafarers' Center.
As the vision grew, the Langes began raising money for both a pastor friend in India and a missionary in Mexico to purchase Bibles.
Chris and Jennifer live in a condominium with their two children. Chris is a custodian at his church and Jennifer a stay-at-home mom.
"We want people to see how God could use nobodies like us to make an impact on people's lives," Chris said.
While Chris and Jennifer may consider themselves nobodies, they are doing what they can to distribute Bibles to serve God, who changed both of their lives before they met and married.
At 38, Chris can look back at a childhood of taking care of two younger brothers. A third brother was given up for adoption when Chris was 3.
"My parents partied a lot and were neglectful," he said.
By the age of 14, he was getting into drugs and dropped out of school. The broken road and a search for God led Chris to study Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Even as a partier, his dad directed him to the Bible. He opened it to Hebrews 13:9: "Do not be carried away with diverse and strange doctrines. It is a good thing that the heart be strengthened with grace, not with foods, which have not profited those who have been occupied with them."
"From that moment, I knew God was real," he said. "I gave my life to Jesus, and it forever changed."
Though Chris struggled with faith and direction when his dad died, he always knows Jesus is his only hope.
He met his wife, who had come to the United States from South Korea as a baby, on a Christian dating app. She was raised in Los Angeles, California, where her older brother was a gang member before he came to Christ and then died at 23.
But Jennifer's journey involves still more loss. After meeting a man and becoming pregnant in her early 20s, she gave in to pressure and aborted the baby. She remained involved with the father, who relapsed into addiction a few years into their relationship.
They moved to Washington state in 2004 for a fresh start. More addiction. A miscarriage and the birth of her son all led up to her husband's poor health and death.
In time, Chris and Jennifer met, choosing to marry three months later.
Together, they raise Jennifer's son and their daughter. Word is getting out about the ministry, with their stories being shared on two local radio programs, Catching the Spirit with Erica Parkerson on Spirit 105.3 and Heart of the City with Chuck Olmstead on 820 AM The Word.
They share their story because it's the basis for their lives of service. The couple created a GoFundMe page where people can donate toward purchasing Bibles.
Whether one, two or four of the Langes are loaded into the Kia Soul, Caring Soul Ministry will continue to deliver Bibles—knowing what kind of impact the Word of God has had on their lives. As they travel, they share their personal stories, free from shame and filled with purpose.
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