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While Project Connect topical booklets and display stands are frequent fixtures in church narthexes, offices of business, and other places where people gather, you might not expect to see them at truck stops. Well, Gene Mackay from Nebraska is changing all that.

You see, Mackay, a lifetime member of the LCMS and long-time fan of Lutheran Hour Ministries, has found an outlet for these powerful little booklets-and it just might be a stroke of inspired genius. He's teamed up with a friend of his, Bill Sapp. As CEO of Sapp Brothers Travel Centers, Sapp has given Mackay the green light to place Project Connect standing display racks in each of his 17 locations. Altogether they stretch from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Fairfield, Pennsylvania, with locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, in between.

Envisioning the multi-location arrangement went something like this, according to Mackay. "I was talking to Bill, and he believes in putting out the Word of God. I showed him what Project Connect looked like, and he was very impressed. He was going to have a meeting with all his managers and see what they thought. And it turns out they all very much approved of them."

Mackay sees the trucker's need-and the lonesomeness of this lifestyle. "They're out there pretty much by themselves. There's a lot of spare time and just being away from home a lot. It's a rough life, really," he said. He's also a believer in the value of Project Connect booklets. "I've got two of them in my home church (Good Shepherd Lutheran in Gretna), and I've put a couple of display stands in a couple of other churches" (nearby Lutheran churches in Papillion and Plattsmouth).

To date ten Project Connect display stands have been set up at Sapp Travel Centers. At sites remote from Mackay's home in Gretna, the stands are placed on company trucks heading to the various Sapp locations. Upon arrival, they are assembled and loaded with booklets. Mackay is personally funding the stands and the booklets. He anticipates all 17 will be in place in about a year. "I've had to restock at least four of them already; they're going out so fast. Two were totally empty; the other two were about halfway depleted," Mackay said.

Sapp is more than happy to help Mackay in his quest to share some words of hope and encouragement with the truckers and travelers who visit his travel centers. "Give him all the credit; it's his idea. He's putting up these display stands for truck drivers," he said. Mackay and Sapp's friendship goes back to when they and their wives were active in square-dancing. Lately, however, their connection revolves more around their work with Gideons International where Mackay has been active for some seven years and Sapp, quite a bit longer than that.

It's not just travel centers and church narthexes where Mackay is busy. Recently, he was found doing some double duty work at the Sarpy County Fair in Springfield, Nebraska. There he manned a booth where Gideons Bibles and Project Connect booklets were made available to visitors. "We got a fairly big booth with Project Connect brochures all over it," he said of his effort there to reach fair-goers with the Good News of Jesus.

For more information on Project Connect, go to There you will find our booklet list, display stand options, a tip sheet, and answers to frequently asked questions. Available too is a Project Connect mobile app, so you can access these booklets wherever you are. You can also download booklets as a FREE PDF from our Virtual Library to save, print, and read.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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