Dr. Joseph Mefonyan from Bafut in Cameroun leafs through a score of study Bibles and commentaries, searching for titles that will enable him to train pastors in Cameroun.
Books on counseling and evangelism have caught Anna Manjula Roul's eye. At home in India, she'll use these works to do follow-up evangelism with listeners of a Gospel radio broadcast.
At another table, Sara Perez of Puerto Rico picks up a copy of Charles Spurgeon's classic, What the Holy Spirit Does in a Believer's Life. Excitement fills her eyes as she speaks of the help the book will provide as she prepares to lead an upcoming women's conference in Columbia.
These three know the power of the printed word: to convict of sin, to encourage Christians struggling in their spiritual life, to equip pastors and leaders to build the church.
That's why they're perusing from the $60,000 in books shipped here from the United States.
At the helm of this operation is manager Don Veldboom of Operation Mobilization Literature Ministry.
As he walks through the stacks of books in English, French, Spanish and Russian, customers catch his eye. One man makes an offer on four books on counseling. Veldboom takes the offer and fields more questions. In between, he speaks of the book stand's primary purpose: placing resources into the hands of those engaged in ministry.
"We really want to see these books go to people who might not otherwise have access to them," he says. So far, the majority of buyers have come from places other than North America.Veldboom moves from table to table, pointing to his wares. A $14 book has been slashed to $4. On another table, $50 Bibles are on sale for $20. The inventory is heavy in books on missiology, prayer and discipleship.
"Many of these are closeout books. Were subsidizing the price to get books into the people's hands."
Bible commentaries, the top sellers, sold out the first day.
Mefonyan understands why. Books are scarce in his native Bafut, located in a remote area of his country. And as a translator who has helped translate 50 percent of the New Testament into Bafut, Mefonyan knows the power of the Bible.
The 100-year-old church in his village experienced a revival when parts of the New Testament were finally available to them.
"As people read the Scriptures, they started to pray. Now they're being trained to bring others to Christ," he says with excitement. "Whenever I travel, I bring back a satchel full of books, not only to equip myself, but to see that others are equipped."
For Veldbloom, that sort of comment makes all of the effort in supervising the busy open-air book mart worth it.