Skip to content
Students sitting outside Bockman

Story Magazine

Second Quarter 2008

LILAP Gives Words to the World

by Laura Kaslow, Communication Specialist

For these institutions, gifts of theological books from the Lutheran International Library Assistance Project (LILAP) mean that they are able to build a theological library.

To continue LILAP's mission to bring books to theological institutions in developing countries, Marianna Forde, LILAP program coordinator, says she seeks academic theological books in good condition that will translate well to an international audience. Gifts of recently published books are especially appreciated. Monetary gifts are also essential, because international shipping costs are very expensive.

Referring to donations from the LILAP collection, a Malaysian international student at Luther Seminary once told Forde, "To you this is nothing, but to us this is everything."

Each year LILAP ships about 10,000 books, most of which have been donated by retiring pastors or theological professors. The majority of these books are shipped to Africa and Asia, as well as Eastern European countries that were once under communist rule. While LILAP works to keep shipping expenses down, about $9,000 each year is spent to ship boxes of books.

By giving books to LILAP, donors have the chance to spread the gospel to places they may not otherwise reach. As one person wrote, "One can only imagine the countless people that have heard the gospel in their lives because of the word that (LILAP has) helped spread throughout the world. It would be impossible for those who receive LILAP books to obtain them on their own. (This is) so important for the mission of the Christian church worldwide."

The majority of funding for LILAP comes from ELCA Global Mission and the Global Mission Institute at Luther Seminary. For more information on LILAP e-mail

Interested in giving a gift to LILAP? Contact the Office of Seminary Relations at 888-358-8437 or