How the GLEAM Ministry Began

Dr. and Mrs. James Garlow were missionaries in Northeast India for 42 years. In 1981, seeking to reduce the number of foreign missionaries, the government of India refused to renew the Garlows' residential permit, and thus forced the Garlows to leave India in January of 1982.

Knowing of the crucial need for good Christian literature in India, they began to recycle Christian Sunday School materials and send them there. Along with the Sunday School materials, they sent Bibles, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and the like. This ministry was begun in their garage with the help of local Christians.

In 1991, the Lord provided $19,000 through special building offerings. The offering purchased materials to construct the GLEAM building on the property of Maranatha Baptist Church. Members of Maranatha, where the Garlows attended, and a Men for Missions group from First Baptist Church of Butler, PA, donated the labor. Maranatha, in cooperation with Baptist Mid-Missions, began to gradually take over the ministry from the Garlows who retired to Seattle, Washington in May of 1992. Maranatha Baptist Church volunteers now conduct the ministry.

The Lord blessed this effort. Because of the widespread usage of English, we currently are shipping Christian literature to nearly 200 recipients in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, Kenya and Ghana; and the number continues to grow.

We help over forty Bible schools, colleges, and Christian schools receive reference and textbooks for their libraries. Pastors also receive books for their study libraries.

While most of the literature received is donated freely, GLEAM must pay an average cost of about $2.99 per pound, or $2990 per shipment (1000 pounds, to 8-10 recipients) to the ship the materials.

Since all GLEAM workers are volunteers, the only costs involved are for shipping and supplies; Maranatha pays for the maintenance of the GLEAM building.  GLEAM is a faith ministry, relying on the Lord to move His people to meet the urgent needs of our East Asian brethren.  Since 1992, by the grace of God and the gifts of His people, GLEAM has annually shipped as much as 12 ½ tons of Bibles, reference books, Sunday School materials, devotionals and tracts.  Because of greatly increased shipping costs, our recent shipping rate has been about 2 1/2 tons per year.