Bibles for Missions celebrates 25 years in Abbotsford

Thrift store began in 1990 on South Fraser Way

Board member Magdelene Vanderlinde and store manager Peter VanBelle prepare to showcase Christmas items during an open house held Saturday in celebration of Bibles for Missions' 25th anniversary in Abbotsford.

Board member Magdelene Vanderlinde and store manager Peter VanBelle prepare to showcase Christmas items during an open house held Saturday in celebration of Bibles for Missions' 25th anniversary in Abbotsford.

Bibles for Missions has celebrated its 25th anniversary in Abbotsford.

The thrift store was started by a group of Christians, who saw an opportunity to change the lives of people in the Soviet Union who had been ruled for 75 years by the Communist party.

Under  ”Glasnost,” it became possible to send Christian literature and Bibles.

The Abbotsford group decided to open a thrift store to raise funds for the Bible League of Canada to spread the gospel in Eastern Europe.

The first store opened Oct. 19, 1990 on South Fraser Way, and $9,000 was donated that year.

More goods were donated than could be placed, and a larger store was leased. However, due to an issue with a BC Hydro transformer, the store burned down on Sept. 1, 1994.

With the help of Mennonite Central Committee, volunteers opened a new store.

That location became too small again so the society bought  property at 2337 West Railway St., and a building was erected.

An addition was planned in 2011, and that will likely open in January 2016.