The new recruit soldiers of the New Zealand Defence Force will now be able to take a bible with them while in the field. The military is issuing new recruits waterproof bibles, which are endorsed by world renowned British adventurer Bear Grylls.
Chaplain Class One Lance Lukin (CHCL1 Lukin) described how he was sifting through a bargain bin in Wellington 18 months ago when he came across a waterproof bible designed for outdoor adventurers.
"I saw it and immediately thought 'how cool is that' and wondered how it could be adapted into an NZDF resource specifically for new recruits," he said in the NZDF press release.
He then emailed and asked American publisher Bardin & Marsee to design a bible for NZDF personnel. After a year and a half years later, the chaplain holds a copy of the waterproof bible based on his original bargain bin discovery. It is printed with a plastic material that is similar to that of bank notes, and is designed to stand up to the harshness of outdoor living.
"It just seemed like the perfect solution for NZDF personnel heading into the field," the chaplain continued.
The bible is personally endorsed by Grylls, an openly Christian adventurer who is best known for his survival TV series.
"I contacted [Grylls] through his agent and he came back and said 'yes, he would love to do it,' and I really think it adds something pretty special to a unique publication," Chaplain Lukin was quoted by the APNZ.
Grylls' endorsement is printed on the 5000 copies of the waterproof NZDF-issued bibles.
The bibles cost $15 to produce, and the total cost of $32,000 was covered by personal and private donations from church groups. Any service personnel who ask for a copy will get one for free.
Chaplain Lukin also added that while there are not yet any waterproof Koran or holy books of other religions, they will "certainly open to providing these, and would be willing to talk to other faith groups who were wanting to partner with us and fund these resources."
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