After a full six months of not shaving, the beards on the faces of a group of men are getting longer, thicker and a little more unruly.

But it’s all for a good cause.

Fourteen men have committed to be a part of The Tide global radio ministry’s “Year Beard” challenge and vowed not to shave their beards for the entire year of 2019 to raise awareness and funds for the Chambersburg-based ministry.

Thus far, more than $14,000 has been raised to help purchase more airtime for The Tide ministry’s Gospel radio broadcasts in Asia, Africa and Europe. A motivating factor is the knowledge that for every dollar given, 20 more people worldwide can hear about Jesus.

“After six months of beard growth, the Year Beard challenge is catching on, as people who knew nothing of our global radio ministry are being told about The Tide ministry as they ask, ‘What’s up with that beard?’” said Director of Development Mark Story of Greencastle, who initiated the project and is also a participant. “Interestingly, this applies to believers and nonbelievers. Christians are excited to learn about global evangelism and non-Christians like that we’re doing something unique and different, as they, too, hear about the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Several of the brave men are excited about allowing their beards to serve as a conversation piece for The Tide ministry and its work around the globe.

“Year Beard gives me a reason to grow for a full 12 months — something I’ve always wanted to try. I’m a big fan of missions work, and I like supporting these kinds of causes,” said participant David Baer.

“I have done a lot of things to serve, and growing facial hair seemed like a new, easy and unique way to help promote the Gospel," said Brad Graham, Antrim Township administrator.

Those who are growing their beards have a fundraising goal of $1,000 each. Participants are working toward that goal by sending personal fundraising letters and emails, conducting lunches and dinners and engaging in other fundraising tactics so that more people will be able to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ in their own language, such as this listener named Tomide in Nigeria.

“I want to thank you for the radio you gave to me,” she said. “The ‘Labarun Lafia’ (program) is really a source hope for me and family. I want to glorify God for the advice you gave me. The teaching of love has so much improved my daily life in the family.”

The Tide ministry will also welcome Year Beard participants who are interested in a shorter commitment to help spread the Gospel over radio airwaves. “No-Shave November” will serve as a n extension of Year Beard, when men can commit to raise $100 for The Tide ministry and receive a Year Beard T-shirt. Signups may be made online at

www.YearBeard.org

For more on The Tide, visit:

www.thetide.org