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Editor: Wayne Barrier Founding Editor: J.C. Choate Associate Editor, Design, Lay-out: Betty Burton Choate Publishers: J.C. Choate Publications/ World Literature Publications
A Mission Information Magazine for Churches of Christ
energies to those of J.C. and Betty Choate, something other than a personal identification had to be made. But we are still simply individual brethren who have individual sponsoring congregations, while choosing to work together in order to multiply our talents and effectiveness. Our plea to the world is that we all go back to the New Testament for everything that we teach, and we certainly would not want to do anything that would violate the pattern there. It is the work of the church to evangelize the world. Let us do that.
Wayne and Janet Barrier: 3000 County Road 10, Florence, AL 35633; Phone: 256-766-2807; Email: wbarrier@ highwaay.net Betty (J. C.) Choate: 708 Burton Drive, Winona, MS 38967; Ph. 662-283-1192; Email, Choate@WorldEvangelism.org; Website: WorldEvangelism.org
Team Members and Contact Information:
Byron and Gay Nichols: P.O. Box 11218, Springfield, MO 65808; Phone: 417-823-4918; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Jerry and Paula Bates: P.O. Box 172, Winona, MS 38967; Ph. 870-897-2373; Email: Jerry@worldevangelism.org Louis and Bonnie Rushmore: 705 Devine St., Winona, MS 38967; Ph: 662-739-3035; Email: rushmore@GospelGazette.com; Website: GospelGazette.com
Rafael and Kattia Barrantes: 19 Standridge Cv., Jackson TN 38305. Phone: 731-267-32 Email: email@example.com We have been asked if “World Evangelism” is a “para church” organization, doing the work of the church. Please let us make it clear that “world evangelism” is simply an identifying designation that we have found useful, dating from the years when we printed a report/newspaper by that name. As the work had grown and others added their
isclaimer: We believe that we must answer to God for what we teach and promote. It is our purpose to be biblical in all that we do and, to the best of our knowledge, we will not promote in these pages the work of unsound brethren. Because we cannot personally know all that anyone believes and teaches, we ask your help in guarding against unknowingly publicizing those who are either liberal or fanatical. If such material is inadvertantly printed, we ask your understanding
e invite submission of feature and report articles from biblically-sound brethren, along with colored photographs, for inclusion in future issues of Global Harvest.
Table of Contents
u First Century Methods..............Wayne Barrier............6 u A Million Dollars for Printing........J.C. Choate..............7 u What Does Prayer Accomplish?..................................4 u We’re Looking for Containers.....Betty B. Choate........8 u Such is Fund Raising.........Jeremiah McCarver..........18 u Mission Methods at Work..........C. Philip Slate..........20 u We Are Not the Author... .........Glover Shipp...............23 u It’s God’s Money... ............Betty B. Choate................34 u Are We Listening?.......................................................69 u The Church Needs a Global Mentality..Demar Elam...85 u God’s Plans, His Timing... .......Betty B. Choate...........87 u How Shall They Hear?...............Jerry Bates.................10 u The World Evangelism Team......Louis Rushmore......11 u Unknown Soldiers for Christ........Byron Nichols.......13 u World Evangelism School of Missions........................15 u The Hispanic Mission in America...Rafael Barrantes.16 u Maywood Missionary Retreat......................................17 u Tracts — Overseas Containers?.................................22
u Forty Years in Geneva, Switzerland......Doyle Kee......43 u Romania — Looking at Progress.....Harvey Starling...43 u France.........................Charles White............................44 u The Lord’s Church in Syktyvkar... .....Larry Little......45 u Work with Language Groups... .......Robert Prater......46 u Elders Appointed in Nazareth....Donnie S. Barnes.......47 u An Incredible Prison Story............Ruth Orr................48 u Operation French World.............Bren White..............50 u Setting Goals for “Gospel Chariots”....George Funk...51 u The Malawi Project.............Richard Stephens.............52 u Radio, WBS, ... in The Gambia.......Isaac K. Daye.........53 u Churches in the French World.....................................54 u Evangelism Trip to Wukari... ....Felix Onyeka............55 u The 2011 Evangelism Summit...Kinglsey Odogwu.....56 u They Came by the Thousands...LaDonna Armstrong...57 u The Preaching Power... ......Sylvester Imogoh.............58 u Aid for Pakistan’s Flooding..........Luis Cusi...............60 u Reporting Evangelism... ..........Sunny David..............61 u Gospel Meeting in Nended, India......Earnest Gill......62 u Impact of Bible Courses in India......Joshua Gootam...63 u First Century Evangelism... ...Philemon and Kingsly..65 u The Word of Christ in Tamil Nadu.....B. Arjunan........67 u Annual Bible Lectureship.......S. Rajanayagam...........68 u Mission Trip to Bihar..................P. R. Swamy..............70 u Chinese Agape Foundation..........................................71 u “Refuge of Grace” Grand Opening..............................72 u Indonesia............................Colin McKee......................73 u From Australia to Papua New Guinea...Tom Bunt......75 u Papua New Guinea.................Jab Mesa.......................76 u Sonlight in the Pacific.................Randy English............77 u Introduction to the Philippines.....Priscilla Sellers.......78 u Spiritual and Physical Aid........Salvador Cariaga.........79 u A Plea from Sunrise Christian Orphan Home............79 u Divide and Conquer... .....Aaron & Cindy Baker.........80 u Voice from Micronesia.............Scott Shanahan.............81 u Cambodia and Saigon................Luis Cusi....................82 u Mission Trip to Easter Island.........Robert Martin......84 u I Am a Missionary..........................................Back Cover
Middle East Africa
Reports from Team Members
Gleaning from the Fields
u Project Rescue................Ronnie Crocker....................19 u House to House.........................Matt Wallin................21 u Worldwide Radio Evangelism.......Larry Murdock.....25 uWork Among the Burmese...........George Achard........25 uWorld English Institute..........Katheryn Haddad.........27 u Mission Printing................Richard Renfro..................29 u World Video Bible School............................................31 u Gospel Broadcasting Network......Tyler Gilreath........32 u World Bible School......................................................35 u The Hands of Compassion..........Stacy Sikes...............33 u A Voice in a Barren Land.......Alejandro DelZotto.......36 u Haiti Christian Development......Dr. David Smith.......37 u The Collierville Church Prepares....Randy Gaddy.....38 u Ameridian Missions..........Jerry Davidson...................38 u Nicaraguan Evangelists...........Glover Shipp...............39 u Biblical Institute of Central America...George Hall...40 u The Garcias’ Peruvian Mission......Helmut Garcia.....42
Central and South America
8. List some ways in which American Christians may be spoiled and self-centered. 9. Why is it a problem in India for people to have a Bible? 10. What is being done by American Christians to help devastated brethren in Haiti? in Pakistan? orphans in India and China? 11. Has the church in Syktyvkar, Russia reached the point of maturity to have elders? in Nazareth, Israel? 12. What are “Gospel Chariots”? 13. What exciting thing happened recently in the Mzimba prison in Malawi? 14. The “J.C. School of Evangelism” trains members of local congregations to do what? 15. What does Jeremiah 29:11 say?
A little quiz from the pages..
1. Name four mass media tools that are very effective. 2. How could $6,000,000 be easily raised each month for souls? 3. Romans 10:13-15 asks, “How shall they hear without a _________, and how shall they preach unless they are _______? 4. The World Evangelism team, and visitors, are busy boxing up _______ to be shipped in ___________ to people overseas. 5. What are some beneficial results from the challenges of raising funds? 6. Does God have a purpose for our lives? 7. What is the primary work of “Mission Printing”?
We Need Your Help!
In order to make Global Harvest the informative, useful, and inspiring magazine we envision, we must have input from brethren, churches, and program projects throughout the brotherhood and all over the world. We will try to make you aware of services available and of needs you might help to cover.
We need four things from our readers/participants:
(1) Your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. (2) Submissions of articles (with accompanying high quality color photos; if sent over the internet, photos must be at least 200 dpi and 4x5 in size). Articles need to be story-form, rather than general ‘report’ form; they need to focus on a particular event, specific method of work, some turn of events, an exemplary person, etc. Writing should be succinct, professionally done, without exaggerations or embellishment of truth to make a more exciting story, allowing 750 to 1000 words for one page, preferably 11 pt., “Times New Roman”. (3) Please understand that we cover services made available through brethren, of printing, magazines, and various programs of work. We do not solicit or accept paid advertisements. (4) At this time it is our intention to print Global Harvest twice yearly, in the interest of helping bretren to be more aware of what is being done and of what needs to be done. Financial support will be greatly appreciated from brethren who will make a personal donation to receive the magazine individually, and from congregations that will pay for bundles to be supplied to their members. Individual donation: $5.00 per copy Congregational donation: $75.00 per 25 copies; $100.00 per 50 copies
What is the promise? “... I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13,14). What a bold statement! But does that mean that if I ask for a a new house and a car, Jesus will just give them to me? “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14,15). In order to properly understand Scripture, there must be harmony among the passages dealing with a particular subject. These verses promise that if the thing we are asking of God is according to His will — something that will be good for all who will be affected by the answering of the petition — then, not only will He do it, but a positive answer is of such certainty that, in effect, we already have the thing for which we asked! James further explained in James 5:16, “... The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” So prayer is probably the most powerful tool available to the faithful Christian, because we can petition God for His
What Does Prayer Accomplish?
help with any need that is beyond our human ability to meet. What a net of security! But prayer is even more than the act of “asking”. Think about what actually takes place when we pray: I, as a child of God, am turning in love, in need, or in thanksgiving to my Father. But I don’t go alone. God’s Holy Spirit, within me, helps me to formulate my pleas and requests with words beyond my own capability: “... the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26), as God grants us “... to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). And through Whom do I pray? Whose name becomes my “open door” to the heart of God? My Brother — Who died that I might have my sins washed away, Who died that it might be possible for me as a human to actually come into the presence of Almighty God — My Brother is my Mediator! So, in the act of prayer, God’s Spirit is helping this needy human to word the petition to and through My Brother, Who turns as Mediator to My heavenly Father, so that I may be assured that ... whatever I ask the Father in His name, according to His will, will be done! The Elohim of the universe is involved and is listening when I pray! (BBC)
First Century Methods in a Twentieth Century World
well planned and coordinated effort to carry out the mission of the church in the first century. We should be more careful to use the first century model today. A very important “mission work” text is Romans 10:13-15. The passage says “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” This passage includes several very important basic elements that must be modeled today for success in evangelizing the world. First, for one to be saved, one must hear the message of the Gospel and believe it. A believer then obeys what the Bible teaches. Confession of Christ, repentance, and baptism are commanded for entry into the body of Christ. But, the question is asked, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” Preachers must be trained for this work. Next, the question is asked, “How shall they preach unless they are sent?” Preachers go when and where they are sent. The task of bringing the lost to salvation is a partnership between those who send and those who go and preach. This is the Biblical model for us to follow. The massive population of the world today numbers almost 7 billion. Most people have never heard the Gospel. Why have they not heard? Obviously, a preacher has not taught them. Why? They have not gone there because they have no one to send them. The weak link in the evangelism process today is the shortage of “senders”. This can be corrected if brethren are better taught of this responsibility. Every congregation and every individual Christian should accept and respond to the responsibility of the church to send missionaries to every untaught person in the world. Well planned and accurate assessments of the mission field should be a part of the ongoing work of every congregation. These assessments would provide the basis of expending resources. Mission activities too often are near the bottom of the priority list of work for the congregation. This is reflected in the results of the collective mission effort of the church. Millions of people die every month that have never heard the Gospel. A congregation’s mission planning efforts should take into account the scope of work to be done across the world, the availability of resources, the work of other brethren and congregations, background for potential fields, etc. Mission efforts should be evaluated on a routine basis for efficiency and effectiveness. Missionaries should be held accountable for their work. Reports should be provided on a regular basis. The appropriate and essential criteria for success in mission efforts are the number of people taught the Gospel. Not all will obey when taught, but every person should be taught. The role of the “sender” can and should be much greater than we are accustomed to seeing in today’s average Continued on page 14
The Bible provides all the guidance needed for the church to know how to obey every aspect of God’s will. By studying the Bible, we know how to become a Christian, how to worship, and how to live from day-to-day. Also, we know how to carry out the mission of taking the Gospel to every person in the world as commanded in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15,16. The Biblical pattern for this enormous task is provided and we can succeed if we simply follow the pattern. This pattern involves many parts, including (1) an understanding that every Christian is required to conduct a “work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:1116), (2) an acceptance of responsibility for designing mission programs to help “seek and save the lost”, as in the first century by the apostle Paul that “go to all the world” with evangelistic efforts that touch every person, (3) training of new Christians to be preachers, teachers, and leaders as quickly as possible for involvement in the world evangelism process, and (4) deployment of missionaries that are selected, trained, and sent (Romans 10:13-17, 2 Timothy 2) to do the specific work of world evangelism. The book of Acts and Paul’s letters provide an excellent account of a very
A Million Dollars for Printing
have been begun in their areas of the world. We need congregations that will give and send those who are willing to go. We further need to think in terms of working on a scale that will change lives and whole countries and will have a definite impact on the world itself. For too long we have done only enough to say we were doing something, belittling the very image of the Lord we serve. We have used mission work as a toy, as a game. We have not been serious about it, and therefore we have not done enough to challenge ourselves, much less to challenge others. Brethren, the world is lost. What are we going to do about it? The more I do, the more I realize how little I am doing in comparison to the need. What difference have my efforts made in changing the world for better? Unless the work I’ve begun is continued after I’m gone, the little gain my family and I have made will soon evaporate, and it will be as though I never lived. That is true with all of us. I have decided, therefore, that I want to do all I can in my few remaining years to take the Gospel to as many people and nations as I can. As far as I am concerned, that work is all that is important. After this life, nothing else will count. It will not matter about my salary, whether I had two cars, or how many degrees I had. Thousands of things will not matter. But it will matter whether I was a Christian, and a faithful Christian, and how much I did to take the Gospel to others. I think the same will be true with you. Right now, we need a million dollars for the printing of Christian literature. I know that would shock some of you. Of course, brethren can put millions of dollars into church buildings and other projects, but when it comes to preaching the Gospel, we want to lower the budget to just a token amount. But how far would a million dollars go in printing literature for numerous countries around the world? That answer would depend on how we would look at it. Compared to what we have been doing, a million dollars would make a tremendous impact! Compared to the size of the untaught population of the world, a million dollars would hardly be noticed. So, on further thought, forgive me for thinking so small. I am guilty of the same small vision as my brethren. We could use a million dollars in each country where we work, and that would just be a beginning. And while I am at it, I will add that we also need millions of dollars for radio and TV preaching. We need more millions for the church’s own cable network that would reach the world with the Gospel, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. But someone might ask, “Isn’t that stretching it some?” No, not at all. Look at our religious friends and see what they are doing. They put us to a blushing shame. Do you wonder why they are growing? It is because they believe in their cause enough to take their message to the world. “O Lord, forgive us for thinking so small and doing so little and for getting in Your way so much.” We can evangelize the world any time we are ready. The world is ready; the many tools that God has provided are ready; isn’t it a shame that the Lord’s
Continued on page 14
As the Lord’s people, we are too accustomed to thinking small. We seldom look beyond having a missionary or two in any given country. After that, our thinking gets even smaller. We reason that they should go there on a shoestring and within two or three years be able to leave a thriving, independent church. If we dared to go beyond that, other brethren would surely find fault with us for wasting manpower in such a place and for spending too much money. “Back to the Bible” people currently have more than 90 radio broadcasts in the relatively small country of Italy. The programs sponsored by the church for the entire rest of the world would not exceed that number by much. With this kind of thinking, it is no wonder we have not evangelized the world and, furthermore, there is no way we will ever do it if we continue following such a pattern. Brethren, we need to lift up our eyes and see that the fields are white unto harvest. We need to open our hearts to the golden opportunities for evangelizing the world. We need men and women who will go and live in their chosen fields, where the church is being newly established. And we need more Christians who can be “circuit riders”, going about as Paul did, to strengthen the churches that
We’re Looking for Containers!
Betty Burton Choate
Here at the beginning of 2011, I want to share with readers of Global Harvest a greatly enlarged phase of the mission efforts of our “World Evangelism” team. When J.C. passed away, only God knew what would become of the radio/TV and literature programs he had worked so hard to develop. It has been three years since his death, and my understanding of God has grown immeasurably during this time. The unnecessary pressure I once felt is there no more. The work is God’s, not ours — and God takes care of what is His. Congregations and individual Christians have supported the efforts through the years, and have continued without fail because their commitment is to God, and not to any human. We are deeply thankful for that faithfulness. I want to share some further thinking with you. Giving a little history, J.C. was writing his first book of sermon outlines when he preached in a meeting in Winona in 1952. His love of writing, and his belief in the value of the printed page, became a focus of his life and work, here as well as overseas. After we began the radio programs in India, necessitating his being in the States half of each year to raise funds for the new phase of the work, he gradually added to the books he had self-published. At first his thinking was that he would build the printing into a business that could provide his personal support, so that he wouldn’t have to beg from churches. But with the passing of time and a growing realization of the tremendous importance of literature, he decided that providing materials for those who needed them should take precedence over being independent. So, through the years, the money from sales to individuals and to book stores was reinvested in the printing of more books — a personal “business” whose purpose had become a “service”. Many books were given away in the States and many were sent overseas in response to requests. put out the word: We want to have materials in any container being shipped by the Lord’s church to any English speaking country. In response, groups have come to Winona to help package books for sharing with churches, preachers, and preacher training schools, and to fill specific requests. About 15,000 books and magazines were being loaded in these photos for transport to Arlington, TX, and onward shipment to Nigeria, along
In 35 (plus) years, a stock has built up, in spite of freely giving. We know that we must keep a basic supply on hand to sell, in order to continue to have books for sharing, but we have
with materials prepared by the brethren with “Mission Printing”. Two thousnd additional pounds were shipped directly Continued on page 9
in India, and we had only two people helping in the office. Today’s situation is different: there are five of us in the office much of the time, and we are here regularly enough to be able to have groups to come in and work at getting books packaged and ready to send out. We are in position to do the massive distribution that thrills us to the core. Please understand that the books are being donated. Nobody is being charged anything for them. Of course, the shipping costs are there and must be covered, but we are doing everything we can to keep those costs down. Some would say, “Why bother with books? CDs and the Internet are the wave of the future!” While that may be true, masses of people in the world do not have computers, CD players, or Internet connections. The printed page is still the best way to get God’s message out and into the hands of those who will treasure it, read it, and pass it on to others. We are grateful for the literature and postal funds available to us, to cover the shipping costs of these precious gifts. Without the o n - g o i n g partnership in reaching out to the world, we couldn’t be undertaking this massive movement of materials. Our sincere thanks to all who are a part of this greatly expanded arm of the work. If you know of people who should be added to our mailing list overseas (we prefer to send to addresses, rather than make bulk shipments for storage and gradual distribution), or if you know of a container going out in 2011, please call us: 662-283-1192. (BBC) U
Containers to the World . . .
US is a mission field, too. Paula asked me today if I anticipate dying soon. No, I expect to be around for a long time, but the surplus of books owned by “J.C. Choate Publications” can be doing a lot of good for souls if we can just get them out to where they are most desperately needed. We have deliberately printed in
Continued from page 8 from the printer. In February we plan to make a similar consignment to South Africa, including 3000 copies of The Church of the Bible, 1000 copies of The Gospel of Christ, and 1000 copies of The Holy Spirit, for George Funk for his “Gospel Chariots” — 18-wheeler trucks equipped to go into cities and villages throughout southern Africa with literature and tent facilities for setting up “camp” for impromptu Gospel meetings. Other books will be addressed to the libraries of preacher training schools. Last month, we sent most of our stock of French books to Benin, in West Africa and to Haiti, for distribution among those French speaking people. Weeks earlier, we had shipped about 2000 pounds of books in a container to the Philippines. Today we received word from Salvador Cariaga that they are in the process of being distributed to those to whom they were addressed. Yesterday I talked to one of the elders of the Jacksonville Church of Christ, responsible for the publication of “House to House”, an excellent evangelistic tool. I am sending samples of some of our books as possible selections that they may offer, free of charge, to their readers — after all, the
large enough quantities to enable us to keep the price of individual books down, so that they would pay for t h e m s e l v e s and still leave a good supply for distribution. We don’t owe anything on any of the books, and they are sound materials, written by faithful brethren. I am thankful for J.C.’s perseverance in getting the books printed, and establishing a base that has allowed us to continue to add to the titles available. During his lifetime, we shared thousands of books, and 20,000 copies of The Voice of Truth International each quarter, with brethren overseas. But much of his time had to be spent
How Shall They Hear?
Jerry and Paula Bates
“For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (Romans 10:14). This passage of Scripture clearly emphasizes the need for Gospel preachers and teachers. Sometimes we try to blunt the impact of the words by saying that preachers were especially needed in the first century because few people were fortunate enough to own a copy of the Bible. However, the theory goes that today it is different: Bibles are plentiful and they are cheap, so preachers are not as necessary as in former times. Just send Bibles all over the world, and let the people read and learn for themselves what God expects from us. Yes, Bibles are absolutely essential. We help supply Bibles as we have funds available to do so. However, just sending Bibles alone cannot take the place of a teacher. For example, we were in Tamale, Ghana a few months ago, teaching in the Tamale Bible Institute. Paula had classes with the wives of the preacher students. Soon after she began to teach the ladies, she learned that most of them could not read or write. In such a case it is not practical to think they can just “read the Bible for themselves”. And this is not an isolated case. In many countries there are whole villages wherein most of the inhabitants are illiterate, or if they can read and write, it may be in some tribal language into which the Bible has not been translated. In such cases as these, someone has to verbally teach the people. How else will they ever come to know about Jesus? Most likely they will learn from some native teacher who takes the time to instruct them. Moreover, who will teach the teachers to teach or preach? Will it be some denomination or their Muslim neighbors? No, it should be us, those who are striving to follow the pattern as set forth in the pages of the New Testament. Can a person who learns the Gospel teach without being able to read? Of course! People teach every day, verbally. The question is, what are we teaching our friends and family? It could be only what we have always heard, something passed down from generation to generation. It could be some new idea that we have recently heard someone teach.
Jerry Bates and Kingsly Rajah addressing a meeting in Madurai, India.
Or it could be the truth that we have learned from someone and verified it by studying the Bible for ourselves to “see if those things were so” (Acts 17:11). If we know the truth, it is our responsibility to be teaching that truth to others. It is not enough just to send the Bible, but we must also teach the Bible. More than ever, we realize why God chose to use preachers and teachers to relay His message to His children on earth. He needs someone to make it personal.
Paula Bates with women who traveled distances to attend her classes in Tamale, Ghana. Continued on page 12
The World Evangelism T eam
Bonnie and I made two excursions abroad in 2010 – Myanmar (Burma) in June; India and Myanmar in October and November. In June, we were accompanied by our daughter, Rebecca Rushmore, and Randy Gaddy, both members of the Collierville (TN) Church of Christ. On the latter campaign, Therman Hodge, minister for the Macon (MS) Church of Christ rounded out our team. Ordinarily, we primarily teach brethren (especially in Bible schools and seminars), better equipping them to evangelize their own nations. Secondarily, non-Christians may attend those sessions, and occasionally one of them obeys the Gospel. However, Bonnie, Rebecca, Randy and I accepted an invitation in June to teach English Grammar, Conversational English, Bible Reading and several biblical subjects over two weeks to mostly Buddhists, some Baptists and a Catholic. Unlike other opportunities, this time we taught all educated persons, in high school, college or post-college. As a sort of bonus, since we were meeting in a nursery school, Bonnie and Rebecca taught 25 preschoolers, too. The site of our little school was a small, steamy and humid building, which was concealed by banana, coconut and mango trees, besides being shrouded in brush, too. salvation, Christian living, Christian service, Christian worship, Christian doctrine and the book, Getting to Know the Bible. Randy guided a breakout men’s class in what the Bible teaches about true love, how to be good husbands and fathers, and the importance of being morally pure. Bonnie and Rebecca taught ladies’ classes especially fitting for them, too. We gave away books (The Church of the Bible and Baptism), literature, 30 NKJV Bibles (from which we read together frequently), plus toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens, tablets and snack food. I dispensed hundreds of dollars for translation of tracts in several languages of Myanmar. Funds were provided for feeding students and staff a full meal daily, as well as for all other program expenses (local government fees, building rent, local taxis for the students and long-distance taxis for the staff daily). In summary, we broke new ground in conducting a summer school primarily among non-Christians in Burma. The four of us were 42+ hours in the air, 20½ hours waiting for airplanes in airports and 17½ hours in taxis. We taught a combined 146 man-hours. Further, we gave away hundreds of pieces of literature and books, Bibles, four Teacher Activity Bags and supplemental teaching materials for teaching children. We encouraged the brethren of the Yangon region (including the three congregations with which we worshipped on Sunday). After a little reflection, we realize that we made a modest investment in priceless souls (Matthew 16:26). We went to plant and water the “seed of the kingdom” (Luke 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:6), and we did just that. In October, Bonnie and I, along with Therman Hodge, spent 30 days abroad from October 6 through November 6, 2010. Our travels took us approximately 25,000 miles from Memphis to the other side of the planet and back, on 13 airplanes operated by four different airlines. We spent 63 total hours in the air, twice more than 12 hours at a time, plus over 17 hours in airports waiting for our flights. Further, we were 53½ hours (plus additional incidental taxis) aboard one form or another of foreign vehicles for ground travel, ranging from motorized rickshaws to The Myanmar team: Randy Gaddy, Rebecca Rushmore, moving wrecks dubbed taxis to occasionally a comfortable and Louis and Bonnie Rushmore. contemporary and roadworthy car. Our adventures abroad in the fall took us to various Collectively, our little team instructed young adults in biblical apologetics with a heavy emphasis on the Creator cities and villages in India and Myanmar. Bonnie had and creation, plus seeing the Master Designer in nature’s opportunity to speak 25 hours to ladies and children, intricate design. We explained biblical miracles, The One True Church of the Bible, the two covenants, Christian Continued on page 12
sometimes to over 200 at a time. I spoke 32 hours, and Therman Hodge spoke 44½ hours, for a team total of 101½ hours. (Additional World Evangelism team members joined us in Myanmar, and still others had preceded us and left already by the time of our arrival. Their hours of instruction are not included herein.) Our team of three had 54 occasions to speak publicly in India and Myanmar, and in those instances, we addressed a sum of about 1,655 precious souls. On more than one occasion, especially Therman and I addressed persons representing over 13 congregations, and on other occasions in a different place, we spoke to evangelists from 72 churches of Christ. Visible results included 24 baptisms — 14 of which occurred in one village — and two restorations. Brethren expressed appreciation to us and determined to evangelize their communities more zealously with the Gospel of Christ. Our trip was shortened by ten days due to tenuous political circumstances in Myanmar, but our month out this time netted positive results. Other experiences along the way included hospitality in the homes of Christians for two weeks in India, providing funds in both of the Therman Hodge teaching a class. countries visited for the publication of a total of about 20,000 tracts, purchasing Bibles in two languages of Myanmar as well as almost becoming a grease spot on the highway on two occasions while crossing a Yangon street. Stateside, Bonnie and I typically travel about 3,000 miles monthly by car, whereupon I speak usually to two congregations per Sunday about our mission work or present other biblical lessons. Weekdays, we help keep the printed material in production (i.e., The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines, hundreds of various books and tracts) and publish Gospel Gazette Online. For more information or to find links to our newsletters, go to www.gospelgazette.com. U
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The World Evangelism T eam
How Shall They Hear?
There are many ways we can teach the truth. It can be done through Bible schools, preacher training schools, inhome Bible studies, Bible classes, sermons, TV and radio programs, and maybe other ways I have not specifically mentioned. The “How” is not important. God has not specified the how; however, He did command that we teach. Don’t just think that in today’s world, since Bibles and Bible literature are so plentiful, we can simply send literature without personally going. The printed page is vitally important, but it is not enough by itself. Still, some may say what has just been said is true in regards to many of the third world countries; however, we in the US do not live in a third world country. We live in a developed country where most of the people are literate and have easy access to the Bible. Surely in such a situation, if anyone is interested in learning the truth of God, they can read it for themselves. We agree that such a thing is possible, but how many people around us truly READ and STUDY the Bible? Surveys show that most people, even those who attend a church, spend little time actually studying God’s Word. Look at the Bible classes even in churches of Christ. Most of the participants never study the lesson beforehand. If our own people spend little time at home studying, how can we expect a non-Christian to do so? The fact remains, if people are going to learn the truth, most likely it will be initially through verbal teaching. Yes, God knew exactly what He was doing, and He knew what it would take for most people to learn the truth. Let us be teaching about Jesus, God, and the Bible every day, verbally. Being a Christian is more than just living a good life. Many think they teach by their lifestyle. That is good and indispensable. Nevertheless, verbal teaching is also necessary. A person will never learn how to become a Christian by seeing us love our neighbor. That requires verbal teaching, which requires Gospel preachers or teachers. Will you be the teacher? Will you help send teachers to others? Let us be ready to help people around the world to have what we have been blessed to receive, the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. U
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In this age of almost seven billion souls in the world, God has not failed to supply His family with the many means needed to reach them: word of mouth, public meetings, the written Word, telephone, radio, television, the internet, the World Wide Web ...
Unknown Soldiers of Christ
One of the most significant privileges that I have ever had as an American citizen was to visit Arlington National Cemetery, where approximately 260,000 of America’s bravest lie buried, after having done what they could to promote and pre-serve our freedom. There lie U.S. Presidents, generals, and great military heroes. But the great majority of those buried at Arlington are folks whose names are not familiar to any of us — these are just common, ordinary Americans who displayed uncommon and extraordinary bravery and courage in giving their lives for their country. In nearly all instances, the markers are alike. Audie Murphy was America’s most decorated military combat hero ever. He was awarded every decoration that is given by our military, some of them more than once, yet this great hero’s grave marker looks very much like the rest of those at Arlington. Without a doubt, the most special place in this totally special place is what is known as the Tomb of the Unknowns. In this hallowed spot lie the remains of four servicemen, one each from World
War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. These four Americans are representatives of the thousands who have died for their country without their remains ever being identified. Various other countries around the world have similar burial places where their military heroes have been honored and lie buried. Like America’s Tomb of the Unknowns, some or all of these cemeteries also include far too many whose identity is still unknown. Isn’t it sad that we know so little about those who gave so much?! In the greatest army of all— THE LORD’S ARMY, there have also been many who are unknown — a whole host of faithful soldiers through the centuries who diligently followed the orders of their Commander-in-Chief, but who have not been rewarded with medals for their courage and bravery, or for their diligence in serving to the best of their ability. They were not honored with an impressive funeral or burial service. These soldiers of Christ just rose to the occasion, to the task at hand. In so doing, countless numbers truly performed heroically. They rescued some of their fellow-soldiers from certain death by somehow getting them out of the grasp of the enemy, Satan. They encouraged some comrades to keep on fighting, in spite of the fact that they had become convinced that they just could not fight the enemy any longer. These valiant warriors stood firm in their opposition to the foe and stood faithfully with their Commander.
There are many similarly gallant heroes serving in Christ’s army right now. Numerous ones have served with valor and distinction, and are continuing to do so. In the military, it isn’t always those who hold the highest rank and receive the most publicity that render the greatest service, and likewise, it isn’t always the most prominent members of the Lord’s Army who wind up having rendered the greatest and most noble service. So many are to be found, even today, working in the shadows rather than out in front of the spotlight, because their focus is not on themselves, but on carrying out the orders of their Commanding Officer to the best of their ability. The Bible makes mention of a great many servants of God who rendered outstanding service for the Lord, but whose names are not given. It is evident that their deeds were much more significant to God than their names were! Examples of such humble and dedicated servants include: — The unnamed giver of the greatest monetary gift mentioned in all the Bible: (the poor widow in Mark 12). — Unnamed heroes of the faith (read Hebrews 11:32-38). While recognition is nice, it is not necessary for the true soldier of Christ. He or she is not nearly as concerned with plaques or monuments as with a crown after this life is over. Dear friends, as soldiers of Christ we must stand, contend, and fight the good fight of faith, laying hold of eternal life. Continued on page 14
A Million Dollars for Printing
If we as a brotherhood shifted our emphasis from church buildings to evangelization, how many hundreds of millions of dollars would be available for taking the Gospel to the world? Is that bank account not the Lord’s money, intended by Him primarily for outreach to the world? Have we not been presumptuous to make decisions to siphon off most of the weekly contributions to Him, investing them in our own comforts and self-edification? If, instead, we were focussed on using most of the funds, and the brightest and best of our preachers and teachers, in evangelizing the world, while each Christian at home was taking responsibility in edifying the church and teaching friends and neighbors, would not the scenario be entirely different? Do you deny these facts? Then what can you and I and all of us do, more than we have been doing? We must all band together now and make that difference for the world. If we can get things turned around, and be what the Lord would have us to be, we will someday be able to look back and say, “It was so easy to give a million dollars — even many millions of dollars — to evangelize the world.” The solution to the problem — just to get us started in the right direction —
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is so simple: Let each faithful Christian add only $1.00 each week to his regular contribution, to be used solely for mission work. The result would be at least $6,000,000 more every month for the winning of souls! No — don’t say we cannot evangelize the world. The Lord’s people can accomplish that work — any time we choose to do so! U
J.C. Choate was Editor and Publisher of Global Harvest until his death in 2008.
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Unknown Soldiers of Christ
First Century Methods ...
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congregation. Mission resources should be allocated to get the job done. The Gospel was taught to all the world in the first century (Colossians 1:23). We can do the same today. I believe we will be held accountable for obeying the “great commission” (Matthew 28:18-20) — or for not obeying it — just as we are accountable to obeying the commands to be baptized for remission of sins or to worship each first day of the week. We must re-evaluate our attitude, approach, and efforts to evangelize the world’s population. We can do better. Let’s pray together that our individual and collective efforts will result in this job being done in this generation. U
It’s unimportant whether our names are widely known. It really doesn’t matter whether any earthly monuments will be erected in our honor. What is important is that all who knew us knew whose side we fought on. Though we were fearful at times, they will know that we didn’t run. They will know what we stood for and what we stood against. Through the centuries millions of devoted warriors have served faithfully in the Lord’s Army, but nearly all of them remain unknown to us today. Many are imminently qualified as heroes of the faith, in spite of our lack of knowledge of their names. We have every assurance that every single one of these who are unknown to us is definitely known to the Lord. He most certainly recognizes and remembers the deeds of His troops. Jesus revealed the greatest honor that man can receive. He said, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5). What a marvelous and matchless reward awaits those faithful, but unknown, soldiers of Christ! U
Will You Take the Challenge?
1. Will you determine today to give just $1.00 extra each Lord’s day for missions? 2. Will you encourage others in the congregation to do the same, working toward 100% participation among the membership, to reach the goal? Please write us: World Evangelism Team, P.O. Box 72, Winona, MS 38967; or email: Choate@WorldEvangelism.org or call: 662-283-1192.
The new Mission Training Manual, designed particularly for use in the World Evangelism School of Missions, has come from the printer and is available as the text and guide for those who attend the sessions. The Manual has additional uses, though, and we encourage readers to consider these facts: Numerous elderships have expressed interest in having our team come to their area and conduct classes. We are able to respond to these invitations only in a limited way because of many other responsibilities. However, those who are interested in having such classes can use the manual as a guide and can have their own training school! How is that possible? Because the lessons are self-contained in the manual,
so that the needed guidance is there for classes. We would encourage, in addition, that those organizing such a local training program contact former missionaries, those involved in shortterm mission efforts, and area elders who have sponsored works abroad, and schedule two such seasoned men to participate in each class, adding their experience and first-hand knowledge to what is written in the manual. In fact, this has been our practice in the World Evangelism School of Missions. We cannot afford to ignore the great contributions that experienced brothers and sisters can make. If we can be of help in any way, contact us:
Wayne Barrier at 256-766-2807, wbarrier@ hiwaay.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
World Evangelism School of Missions
The second class of students, numbering 30-35 per session, has almost finished the World Evangelism School of Missions program. Classes are held once a month at the Double Springs Church of Christ, Double Springs, Alabama. Instructors for the year include Don Green (Asia and Eastern Europe), Gordon Hogan (Southeast Asia), Joey Barrier (World Evangelism Missions), Loy Mitchell (Africa), Don Petty (Pakistan and Iran), L.T. Gurganus (Japan, Southeast Asia, Ukraine, Russia), James Jones (World Mission Radio), Dennis Larson (Indonesia), Therman Hodge (Burma), Louis Rushmore (World Evangelism), Jeremy Barrier (Asia and Latin America), and Wayne Barrier (World Evangelism Missions). Betty Choate and Janet Barrier will teach the ladies classes. The goal of the school is to prepare workers for mission field assignments. Classes cover every aspect of mission work, ranging from interaction and relationship with those who sponsor and support the missionary to development of mission field converts for leadership and evangelism. The vast experiences of instructors provide the basis for the material in each course. By studying lessons learned over the years, mistakes of the past can be avoided and successful approaches and methods can be duplicated. Contact us if you are interested in attending our next session. U
The Hispanic Mission in America
Six years ago a Panamanian preacher moved from Panama to the United States with a goal in his mind to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost souls among the Hispanic community in the northern part of South Carolina. It was a great challenge for Carlos and Mary Hugues and their family, but they were supported by a visionary eldership of the Church of Christ in Boiling Spring. After many months of preparation and a lot of prayers, the mission began, and six years later more than eighty souls have been baptized. The growing Hispanic congregation was meeting in the former auditorium of the church, which had become the fellowship hall. In one part of the building, more than two hundred members were worshiping in the English language, while at the other end of the building close to a hundred Hispanic members were worshiping in the Spanish language. It was obvious that more room was needed, so the elders made an important decision to locate a larger place for the Hispanic congregation. They found a church building for sale, one that can hold more than five hundred people. The building would cost a lot of money, but they were sure the funds would be well spent it. Many Anglo congregations joined their effort to get such a nice building for the Hispanic brethren. They had the inauguration of the new facility the second Sunday of October, 2010. Of course there are still many goals ahead for the Hispanic church in this area, but they are now rejoicing over an important accomplishment for the Lord. This kind of work can be done in many places of the United States. The population of the Spanish speaking people has increased rapidly, and we need to do something for those lost souls. By the last decade of the twentieth century there were twenty-two million Hispanics living in the United States. They have now become the largest minority group in the country, and are close to thirty million. It is estimated that by 2025 the American population will rise from 310 million to 340 million, with the greatest increase among the Hispanic people, considering their higher birth rate. If there is a sizeable Hispanic population in your area, you should consider starting a Spanish ministry in your congregation. Good leadership with a strong commitment must be the first stone in order to build an effective work. It is just like planting churches in a foreign field. There will be a different language, different cultures, and different people. They behave like Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans etc. even living in the United States. “Leadership is critical because organizations rarely grow beyond the vision and performance of their leaders” (Rheenen & Waldron). That is why the elders must have a strong vision and they need to be well informed of the background and culture of the Hispanic people in order to be aware of the differences.
The spacious meeting place for the Hispanic congregation of the church of Christ in Boiling Spring, S. Carolina.
It is recommended that the leadership attend workshops and seminars for training in how to start the mission, or invite a Hispanic minister to work with the mission committee. Elders need to be knowledgeable about the Hispanic work they want to do, realizing that this is a mission field right here at home, and less expensive to evangelize than it would be to go to a foreign land. Time, progress and maturity of the Hispanic work are slow in many of the cases. They both, elders and ministers, need to have a great sense of involvement. “Pulpit ministers profoundly affect their congregations’ mission involvement.” Many congregations (Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, AL; North Highlands church in Russellville, AL; North Jackson church in TN; Greenwood church in MS, and College Ave. church in Tahlequah, OK) have been very successful in the Hispanic ministry because of strong elders-ministry involvement. U
Rafael Barrantes is Editor of the Spanish Voice of Truth International. Email address: email@example.comN
Maywood Missionary Retreat Plan to Come in May!
The fifth annual Maywood Missionary Retreat is scheduled for May 12-14, 2011. Each year, 100-150 mission workers gather for two days of fellowship, sharing, and relaxation. Excellent meals are provided but participants are, of course, expected to bring their own sheets and towels (It is a camp, remember!) “Are You Willing to Do the Job?” is the theme of this year’s retreat. Each speaker is assigned a specific area or approach related to the theme. The speakers planned for this year include: Jeff Jenkins – “What Should a Man of God Do in a World that Has Lost its Way?” Stacy Ferguson – “South Pacific Experiences” Robert Martin – “Long Term Commitments to a Field” Don Petty – “Will You Prepare to Go Gather People to Worship God?” Colin McKee – “Indonesia - The Future” Loy Mitchell – “Africa – Progress in an Economic Disaster” Louis Rushmore – “Missions Program Literature” Ricky Gootam – “India – Retention Methods” Jody Apple – “Missionary Training” Jeremy Barrier – “Thinking Big: Strategic Missions” Wayne Barrier – “Integrated Methods” Gordon Hogan – “Lesson Learned from 50 years in Southeast Asia” Joey Barrier – “China – A Plan”
Between lessons, there is also ample time for sharing among participants and visitors. Impromptu Bible discussions take place, mission themes are enlarged upon, and a general atmosphere of spiritual emphasis pervades the entire event. Anyone interested in mission work is encouraged to join us. Every year participants declare that the retreat is the highlight of their year. Please come and enjoy this event with us. Maywood Christian Camp is near Hamilton, Alabama. The camp has air conditioned cabins, acres and acres of trees, comfortable assembly areas, and except for our activities, only the sounds of nature can be heard. U
For reservations, call or email Janet at 256-7866-2807 or wbarrier@ hiwaay.net
Reports will also be given by these brethren:
Randal Matheny Ronnie Crocker James Lee James Jones Ken Wilkey Don Norwood Tony Forrest Ralph Williams Larry Murdock Don Green Roy Wilson Don Posey Jerry Bates Wayne Kilpatrick Arvy Dupy L.D. Willis L.T. Gurganus Leroy Cox Jared Kelly others
Usually on Friday night, entertainment is provided by the musical Barrier bunch!
Joy and Disappointment, Challenge and Opportunity:
Such Is Fund-Raising!
Amanda, Elijah, and Jeremiah McCarver
In mid-February, 2009, my wife and I began raising funds for a short-term (1 month) mission trip to Tutuila, American Samoa. The trip’s purpose was to formulate plans for long-term work in the South Pacific. March 26 was the target date for arrival. We had one month to raise $7,000. We worked hard and trusted in God. Yet, lying in bed on a Saturday night two weeks prior to departure, unable to sleep due to a realization that we were thousands of dollars behind our goal, I felt a tinge of panic begin to scratch at the door of my mind, wanting in. I answered this threat with prayer and renewed faith. I slept in peace, awoke, and attended services. The one who collected our mail approached me with envelopes containing several thousand dollars total. By the time we boarded the plane, we had raised $11,000! A time of joy, not disappointment, it was, and with God, we had met challenges successfully. Opportunity awaited! Readers who have embarked on such trips may find the preceding to be familiar. Yet, missionaries know that fund-raising for a long-term work is a different animal. The amounts are much larger: thousands more in one-time funds, plus regular commitments (such as monthly) that amount to tens of thousands of dollars annually. Opportunities and joys increase, but so do challenges and disappointments. In most cases, would-be missionaries are “required” to use the Continued on page 24
“Shotgun Approach” to fund-raising1. (To our shame, some denominations do a better job of getting missionaries to the field, because they do not place upon them this unnecessary burden.*) Using this method by necessity, future mission families run themselves ragged, chasing rabbits down holes and pursuing seemingly hopeful leads to dead ends after sending out hundreds of packets, all in order to come away with as many as 30-40 regularly supporting congregations and individuals. The result: Once on the field, when the mission family’s reporting year comes around, they return to the States to spend nearly all of their time and energies reporting, rather than resting with their friends and family. The Shotgun Approach is a full-time effort, meaning the fund-raising family spends its time doing just that, rather than preparing spiritually for the work ahead.* According to one source, about 50 cents of every dollar raised goes to fund-raising expenses, and 6 months to 1 year are required to get in the field.* Due significantly to the present economy, my family has been at it for almost 1.5 years, with much support still to raise! I can almost hear the apostle Paul saying, “Brethren, these things ought not to be so!” Rod Rutherford points out that nearly all missionaries agree that a better method overall is for one congregation to support a mission family in entirety, or at least cover the bulk of the support needed.* Yet, as long as the Shotgun Approach remains the unfortunate reality, there is the potential for some good to result. Even this undesirable situation can be used by God to accomplish His will. The fund-raising process as described previously is a trying and tiring one that requires perseverance, faith, and character. It is a test that reveals the future mission family’s readiness to handle the rigors of work in the field. The theory is that the committed family will struggle and strive, growing in the process, while the family not committed or not “cut out” for the work will be “weeded out” before they get to the field and use up valuable resources, only to return home early, as many do anyway. The committed family will emerge triumphant and more refined for the work. The uncommitted might sink into despair, imagining they will never reach their goals and their work will have been in vain, dreading the shame, embarrassment, and potential bitterness to come. They might stop praying,
serving “the least of these”. We are now working to raise our personal monthly financial support. Ronnie & Charles would be happy to have opportunities to speak to congregations regarding this American mission field and the problem of addiction in the church. It has been difficult to convince many congregations of the great need of addressing the drug abuse in this country. Since it is often swept under the rug, the magnitude of the issue has been overlooked by the church. We are encouraged to find a congregation that really “gets it”. We hope many others will follow their example and get involved in this spiritual problem that threatens to destroy so many people. We don’t require professionals in the field of drug addiction. We just need Bible teachers and committed people who have a love for lost souls. Please spread the word to any sound and qualified teachers. We would appreciate all the help we can get — even for short periods of time. Your continued support is so greatly needed and appreciated as we make this move to serve more souls in crisis. It’s exciting to know that we are causing rejoicing in heaven as this work is instrumental in bringing souls to Christ. Lives are being changed, and we count ourselves blessed to be involved in this work. We are presently ministering to 11 men and 3 women! Our heartfelt thanks go to all of you who have partnered with us in this project as we serve the Lord together. May God continue to bless each of you. U Please mail all checks and correspondence to:
When we began this work almost four years ago, we believed we would be in Waycross until God called us home. All our actions and decisions were based upon that commitment. When we first received a call from Charles Baggett regarding our involvement in a work in Alabama, we immediately dismissed it because we were so heavily involved with the work in Waycross. Project Rescue was stronger than ever and we were determined to work out existing problems. By the time the second call came from Charles, we began to think about our prayers for God’s will. Was he showing us His will by those telephone calls? We began to listen to Charles and in early January we made a trip to investigate the possibilities. When we saw first hand the strength of the Beltline church of Christ and the interest and excitement among the surrounding congregations, it became obvious that God had opened a great door of opportunity. Before we came into the picture, a serious search was being made for
facilities for the program. It has now been narrowed down to a 19 acre apartment complex in Priceville, Alabama, near Decatur and Huntsville. A decision should be made soon. Charles Baggett is the chaplain for Limestone Correctional (the largest prison in Alabama) and has been working with the Beltline church of Christ in Decatur, Alabama for many years. Charles will be the director of Project Rescue and Ronnie will be the program manager. We moved Jeanie’s parents (Bill & Gerry Nicks) to a beautiful assisted living facility in Priceville, Alabama, and they are happily settled in their new home in the independent section. Jeanie and our daughter, Kim Johnson, and granddaughter, Marlee, remain in Waycross to tie up loose ends, with plans to come to Alabama soon. Project Rescue, Inc. has been converted into an Alabama corporation (501c3) with a board of directors comprised of faithful Christian men, to serve along with Ronnie and Jeanie. What a blessing to have co-workers who are committed to the Lord and to
Project Rescue, % Ronnie Crocker (Manager), 1231 Main Street W, Hartselle, AL 35640. Visit our web page at www. projectrescue.org; email address: Ronnie Crocker firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission Methods that Work
C. Philip Slate
Consciously or not, everyone who does “missions” or evangelism engages in some kind of methodology. It might be simplistic or very detailed, good or bad; indeed, one may not even be able to describe what he or she does as a matter of routine. But it is there. Obviously, it is not possible to develop a one-size-fits-all method since among the world’s peoples there are so many differences of language, value systems, and worldviews. Already in the book of Acts we observe the value of approaching Jews one way and Gentiles another. Check out the sermon differences in Acts 14:15-17 and 17:22-31 with some of those to Jews, as in 2:1436 and 7:2-53. All sermons end with Jesus, but the beginning points and lines of argument are different. But in 2000 years or so of global evangelizing, what can be learned about methods from both the New Testament and the experiences of others? es’ live up to their claim to be New Testament Christians is whether or not they have sensitivity to all people who have never heard the message in a meaningful way. This is not arguable. Some efforts will be made to reach neighbors or immigrants, people at home or abroad. 2. Communicate clearly enough for people to make a valid decision about following Jesus. Jesus was King as well as Savior. His parables are kingdom parables. The task of a king is to reign, to rule, and living under the rule of Christ is what is involved in being a disciple of Jesus. Disciples are not only learners; they are also attached to their teacher. Jesus cautioned against thoughtless, half-hearted efforts to follow Him; He called upon people to “count the cost” (Luke 24:25-33; cf. Matthew 8:19-22; Luke 9:57-62). While everyone must grow in godliness, nothing takes the place of a valid initial decision to “sell out” to Jesus. Whatever it takes to get that messaage across must be done. Of course, the credentials of Jesus must be communicated and the Gospel must be present as “good news” in each culture. These are necessary preconditions of making a valid decision. It is possible for people to give invalid “Yes” answers (hoping to get rice or a chance to study in Europe or America) and invalid “No” answers (responding to crazy missionaries or cankered churches rather than the message of Jesus). People must give valid “Yes” answers to be valid disciples of Jesus. One must consider the efforts that are involved in such communication adequacy: learning languages, figures of speech, conceptual frameworks and value systems, and choice of appropriate
A Minimal Framework
For many years I have argued from the New Testament, both briefly and in detail, that “making disciples”, which is what Jesus said to do (Matthew 28:1920), involves three minimal components. Within these components there must be many variations. In a sense, these components are both objectives and methods. 1. Universalize the message. It is the nature of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit to be concerned about the entire world of humans. Terms like “all the world,” “all nations,” and “every tribe and language and people and nation” are inherent features of the Gospel (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:46,47; Revelation 5:9). One sure test of whether individuals and church-
message material. One’s life must not stand in the way of the message (1 Timothy 4:12-16). New churches must “make sense” to local people at the practical level of Christian service, singing, and lifestyle. 3. Strive for persistence of faith. Jesus made it clear that He did not want three-month disciples who would turn back after putting their hands to the plow (Luke 9:62). As surely as it is imperative for people to begin discipleship, it is a matter of life and death that they continue in their discipleship (Colossians 2:6-7). While individuals will answer for themselves, it is also true that those who plant and water, or who build on the one foundation, must take care how they build (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) since their work will be tested. Realizing initial converts to Christ is not the end of the process. Paul and his companions went back to previously planted churches in order to “strengthen” (Gr., επιστηρίζων) them (Acts 15:41; 16:5; cf. 14:22; 15:32; Continued on page 26
meeting, or Vacation Bible School, the back page of House to House is a great way to tell people about it. For just 13 cents a piece, in English or Spanish, it is a very affordable way to leave something in the hands of those that you visit and study with. We also have some very appropriate HTH tracts you can order, to leave teaching materials in the hands of those who are briefly contacted in campaign work. Do you or your congregation currently support a missionary? Are you a missionary or a member of the church in a foreign field? House to House is ideal for work in other countries. It is a customizable, eight-page, color magazine and is printed every two months, for a total of six issues a year. Each issue is filled with Gospel lessons, simple biblical truths, and encouraging stories that your congregation can use to build bridges with those in the community. It is a personal invitation to the members of your community to visit services and to ask Bible questions. It is attractive and colorful. It’s something that a congregation can be happy to share and leave with someone. Using House to House can get the truth into the hands of people, get you invited into homes for further study, and start conversations with those with whom you come in contact. Does your congregation have a stateside mission work, or do you help financially to support a smaller congregation? House to House can be a great way to support a congregation! It helps advertise events, provides invitations to people to the services, and gives the local body something to work on and contacts to follow up with. Send House to House in English into 1,000 homes—including both printing and postage—in their community for just $290 an issue (that’s just $145 a month). If you’re sending 1000 copies to a foreign work, you pay just $130 (13 cents a piece) plus shipping (that’s just $65 a month).
How to Use House to House in Foreign Fields
In the last issue of Global Harvest we talked about how a church in the United States can use House to House Heart to Heart to spread the Gospel in its community. As of January 2011, more than 2,500 congregations in the United States have used House to House. The magazine has always been an effective way to reach communities in our country, but it is also a very effective tool in other countries. To date, House to House has been sent into 24 foreign countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Canada, England, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Japan, Malawi, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Since House to House is printed in English and in Spanish (we are starting to explore other languages), it is ideal for use in several different situations. Numerous stateside congregations that regularly print House to House also use it when they go on mission trips. Whether or not you currently print, you can do a one-time printing for a mission trip. This can be customized for the local congregation in the foreign field. The visiting missionaries or local members can write an article or advertise an event on the back page. If you’re hosting a campaign, Gospel
Supporting other congregations
How Can We Use House to House Heart to Heart in Our Mission Work?
For more information about the benefits of the program and its costs, or to request a free packet of information, you may email us at email@example.com, or call the office toll-free at 877.338.3397 and ask for Blake Hamm or Derek Raulerson. For additional information and archives of articles, please visit our Web site at http://www. housetohouse.com. U
Available NOW! Full-color, pocket-sized, tri-fold tracts on 76 topics, written in old-time Gospel clarity. Call 662-283-1192 for a list of the titles and to place your order. These conveniently-sized tools will be helpful for outreach and for strengthening young Christians. We are making an introductory price of only ten cents each, $5.00 for 50, plus postage.
We’ve heard about that thief, that he must have been saved without baptism because he couldn’t come down from the cross. And we know the Biblical response, that he died before the beginning of the Christian age, while Christ was still alive, when the command of baptism for salvation was not yet in force, and so Christ could and did save him because of his faith. But let’s look a little closer. As is pointed out in one of our newly printed tracts, how did the thief address that man who was dying on the center cross? As LORD! How did he see in a crucified man a personage he felt compelled to call LORD? And what request did he make of Him? “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” What??? What kind of faith did that thief have? And where did he learn such Gospel, that in spite of the appearance of failure and defeat, and Christ dying like a criminal on a cross — that even after death that central figure would be able to do something for him? And — wonder of wonders — how did the thief know anything about Christ’s KINGDOM, and that DEATH would not prevent its coming into existence? How did such a man understand more about the message and mission of Christ at that point in time than even the twelve apostles? We may never know how he came to die as a thief, but this was definitely not his first knowledge of Christ. (BBC) U
That Thief on the Cross
We folks in the office here in Winona would like to partner with others in the church who are shipping containers to points overseas. We have books, tracts, and magazines (English, Spanish, French) that we want to share with those brethren who so desperately need literature. We would be willing to pay our percentage of the cost for shipping, believing that sharing the load will enable all of us to do more. Please contact us at 662-283-1192.
We Are Not the Authors of our Life
the idea of purpose in life: An elderly farmer was digging holes on his property. Despite the heat of the day, he was singing. A passerby asked him, “Old man, what do you have to sing about. You are tired and sweaty. What do you hope to accomplish? Why not take it easy?” The farmer answered, “I’m planting fruit trees.” “But, at your age, why plant fruit trees? You will not live to eat their fruit.” The old man paused, wiped the sweat from his face and said, “Certainly I won’t eat of their fruit, but I am doing for the next generation what my parents did for me. I am leaving my farm a better place than it was when I inherited it.” Such an attitude reveals a sound model of ethics, human dignity and understanding of what we owe previous and future generations. We repay our parents and teachers by using wisely what they transmitted to us. Just today I was conversing with a Christian nurse. She commented that the younger generation of nurses has a weak work ethic. They appear to be blind to the needs around them, unless those needs are repeatedly pointed out to them. Being motivated to do good to others brings us huge benefits. Being useful to others, we become useful also to ourselves. We do not serve to be served. We serve because that is the nature that God instilled in us. Yet, as we serve, we find ourselves blessed beyond measure. “Give and you shall receive,” says Jesus in Luke 6:38. During the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C., the director applauded the thousands of volunteers who went beyond what was expected of them, to make the Olympics a reality. As Olympics organizers were all interdependent, so we are all interdependent. John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less ... ” We are here because God wills for us to be here. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 that we are not our own; we were bought with a price (the blood of Jesus). Writer Allen Webster notes that Jesus made a blood donation to us. Since the cost was so high of rescuing us from sin and giving us the opportunity to live in Heaven with our Savior, we must realize that we have a purpose for living. What is our purpose? What is our mission in life? How we understand and answer these questions has a significant influence on how we travel through life and into eternity. U
Glover Shipp served as a missionary in Brazil. He and his wife, Margie, now live in Edmond, OK, where he is an elder in the church.
The prizewinning Brazilian author Antônio Lopes de Sá wrote a surprising article for The Brazilians, January 2010, a publication for Brazilians in the United States. Quoting Cicero, he noted that “our souls are nothing less that emanations from the universal divine mind.” He went on to conclude that there are two obvious consequences to this assertion: • That a superior intelligence which gave birth to our existence is present in us. • Such a presence demands that we fulfill our mission or objective for our life. His points were well taken. We are the result of a superior act of intelligence, which means that we are here for a purpose far beyond just serving ourselves. Paul reminded us, “For me to live is Christ … ” (Philippians 1:21). Our purpose for living is engraved on our souls from our conception. It is to glorify God and serve Christ in our own unique way. Each person is unique, with gifts and talents that no one else possesses to the same degree. Inertia, accommodation to this world, failing to fulfill or overlooking our gifts — these are grave illnesses of soul and heart. The following tale expresses well
Dr. Shipp is a prolific and inspirational writer. We recommend his study on evidences, “God’s Hand or No Hand”. While working in Brazil, Dr. Shipp found almost no material in Portuguese dealing with the subject, so he wrote this course which is now available in English. You may go on line to www.WorldEvangelism.org to place your order. The cost is $9.00, plus shipping.
... Such Is Fund-Raising!
Continued from page 18 stop trusting in God, and stop making phone calls (working). The committed family faces the same temptations, but resists them and uses them as an opportunity to grow spiritually, thus becoming better prepared for one of the greatest challenges they will face on the field: maintaining the support raised, or replacing what they will lose inevitably, but with the added difficulty of being afar*! That’s the theory. Why do we future missionaries subject ourselves to this process? 1. We are motivated by love for lost souls (1 Corinthians 13). 2. We feel that we are “called” providentially to our chosen field of labor, because of the great needs we see, and because of our personal bonding with those people. 3. We gain peace of mind through God and His Word (e.g. 2 Corinthians 9:8-10*). 4. We look to the future joy in heaven of seeing the “fruits” grown by God from the ground in which we labored to plant and water the seed. 5. We want to awaken the church out of its evangelistic sleepiness to see the opportunities of which God has called them to take hold with us (Matthew 28:18-20). The “Macedonian call” has gone forth; the fields are white with harvest; a family has responded: “Here we are, send us!” What remains are for churches and individuals to turn outward and partake of the spirit of Jesus and His mission on earth (Luke 19:10). When we have obeyed the Great Commission and the whole world is evangelized in the 21st Century as it was in the 1st (Colossians 1:23),* then we can pave parking lots, save up money for roofs, add congregational activities and programs, start evangelism classes, and attend lectureships (where lectures
Newthe Bookstore at: Books!!! Check
Byron Nichols’ compilation of Messages of Truth. 140 pages, $8.00
on missions are rare because few would attend). All of the preceding are things good and sometimes necessary, some definitely more so than others. Yet, in focusing inwardly on those good things now, our numbers are still shrinking overall, not growing (because, “the church that grows is the church that goes!”), and some of our congregations have a “reputation of being alive,” but are dead, really, because of apathy (Revelation 3:1)!* In the 21st century, we have the Bible in every believer’s hand, better educated members, and much greater means! Why can we not evangelize the world? Do we have the spirit and focus of the early Christians? My wife and I have been refreshed by those congregations and individuals that do, and our joy is made more complete, thus we are emboldened to face the challenges and disappointments lying ahead and lay hold of the opportunities passing by! Our sponsor, the New Hope Road Church of Christ, Dacula, Georgia, is just such a congregation! Thank God for them, for all of our monthly and one-time supporters, for those who have done kind acts toward us in the name of Jesus, and for those who pray! If you, the reader, are a missionary or mission work supporter, let my family say to you: Thank you! U
Jeremiah and Amanda McCarver have made the commitment to move to the Samoan Islands to further evangelize that part of the world. They need help with monthly support. You may contact them at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Rutherford, Rod. Practical Principles of World Evangelism, Rutherford Publications, 1996. NOTE: An asterisk (*) after certain phrases or sentences denotes influence by the above publication. See pages: 65, 69, 71, 77, & 82.
Louis Rushmore’s study of Biblical Companions: how sacred history, archaelology, and geography work together to confirm truth. 212 pages, $8.00 Louis Rushmore’s warnings concerning hermaneutics: No Hermaneutical Gymnastics, Please! 59 pages, $6.00
Bonnie Rushmore’s study for ladies’ classes, Living Principles; an analysis of well-known and little known women of Scripture. 128 pages, $8.00 Order from: J.C. Choate Publications P.O. Box 72 Winona, MS 38967 662-283-1192
Worldwide Radio Evangelism
“Placing the Gospel within the Reach of Millions”
THE VISION Shortwave radio can reach far more people with the Gospel than any other current mass media tool. This tool has been used for many years by Gospel preachers and missionaries. J.C. Choate (Voice of Truth), Roy Beasley (Restoration Radio), and Joe Gray (Treasure of Truth) are three examples of current works that target millions of people weekly with Gospel broadcasts via shortwave radio. Since a major portion of the world receives its “news” via shortwave radio, this media is still an effective means of reaching lost souls with the power of the Gospel broadcast. And, it is working! Around 300,000 responses a year are recorded by Voice of Truth partners. Between 3,000 and 4,000 baptisms each year are attributed to that team effort. The vision: place the Gospel within the reach of millions and a substantial number will be drawn to the light by the power of the Gospel. THE MISSION To produce and distribute Gospel messages for broadcast via radio in order to “make disciples”. THE LEADERS The elders of the Pulaski Street Church of Christ in Lawrenceburg, TN oversee the work of Larry Murdock and the development of Worldwide Radio Evangelism. Their oversight will ensure progress and the continuance of the work. Larry Murdock serves as the coordinator of Worldwide Radio Evangelism. 1. Larry will write, produce, and distribute broadcasts in English. 2. He will also recruit and partner with other radio speakers to distribute their programs in both English and national languages. 3. He will raise funds for a multiple number of “projects”. 4. He will coordinate a broadcast schedule that supports each “project”. 5. He will follow-up on responses and coordinate follow-up efforts with churches of Christ around the world. THE PARTNERS Partners in this work include supporting churches of Christ, American radio preachers, brotherhood evangelistic programs and foreign radio preachers. Partners also include existing brotherhood mission programs: World Evangelism of Double Springs, AL and Winona, MS. A special partnership exists with the mission efforts of the Double Springs, AL church of Christ. Led by the elders of the church and brother Wayne Barrier, an extensive mission work stretches across the subcontinent of India and Southeast Asia. Radio broadcasts are an essential element of that outreach. Larry has now become the English speaker for the Voice of Truth programs broadcast for the island of Sri Lanka, supported by the World Evangelism mission team. We invite the partnership and support of churches of Christ to help us expand the broadcasts and the number of stations in the world that air them. The goal is to “Place the gospel within reach of millions” through means available to multiplied millions of people around the world — shortwave radio. U
Larry Murdock at 256-810-5078, or write the Pulaski Street Church of Christ, 247 Pulaski Street, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464.
Larry Paul Murdock
Work Among the Burmese in the USA
George Achard, right and center, in a Bible study with refugees from Myanmar (Burma).
George and Gertrude Achard, with from his work with the American their three children, came to Florence, Embassy. Having been Christians AL five years ago when George retired Continued on page 26
18:23). For that reason “quickie missions” will not get the job done. It is to be remembered that every book in the New Testament has for at least one of its purposes that of strengthening, stabilizing, guiding, or protecting the disciples of Jesus. Specifics of this process involve a goal of planting culturally meaningful churches. That is the clear precedent in the New Testament, and it is also a clear message from the history of missions. L.S. Latourette’s writings have demonstrated this to be the case. Isolated Christians rarely survive; the people of God were to function in edifying groups as well as individually. The “one-another” passages in the New Testament point to an important element of God’s survival and growth arrangements for His people.
Continued from page 20
Churches of Christ are described by some as a “church-sponsored missions” group, meaning that we do not turn world evangelizing over to a missionary society. Thus, the local church must learn what is involved when it supports something financially. When churches provide such support and/or guidance in the global evangelizing enterprise, they should select workers that understand and are committed to this basic three-component framework or its equivalent. A person can focus on any one of the components more than the others, but he should have some concept of how his or her work is related to the whole. Further, churches should assure that the workers they send possess the qualifications necessary to perform the tasks they undertake, whatever that may
What Supporting Churches Should Do
Continued from page 25 and strong leaders in the small church of Christ in Yangon for many years, George enrolled in the program at Heritage Christian University. Sideby-side with his studies, he has been active in translation work, enabling the printing of materials in the Burmese language and, more recently, he has worked among refugees in the Nashville area. Gertrude reported: “As for translation, we are still working on The Gospel of Christ. We’ve already finished Bible Keys, Gospel Sermonnettes, The Church of the Bible, and Why We Believe What We Believe,Vol. 1 & 2. I am also typing the hymns George translated into Burmese. We have already done 100 songs. “We go up to Smyrna & Nashville TN the first, second, and third weekends of each month. We’ve made many trips already and six souls were converted. “One new lady whose name is Sawng Hing (of the Chin people, 27 years old) was baptized on Saturday after her Bible study class at Woodson Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville. She said, ‘I am so happy to be in the Lord’s Church.’ She said that she was unhappy before she took baptism. Wrapping Up She attended regular Bible study with Responsible churches will see George for quite a long time.” U to it that responsible workers are sent George and Gertrude Achard’s email adout to work responsibly on biblical and dress: email@example.com achievable goals. Our Lord deserves no less than our best Philip Slate’s Lest focused efforts to reach the lost We Forget, a compiand strive for their continuance lation of mini-biograin the faith. U
be — Bible translation, training leaders, hard-line evangelizing, developing indigenous hymns, producing supportive literature, developing churches, and so forth. In each case, everything that is done should deliberately contribute to one or more of the three components mentioned above. Busyness and bustle with good things that cannot be related meaningfully to the three components fail to accomplish what is needed. One of my teachers told the story of a young man who learned John 3:16 in an African dialect, went to every hut in a village, quoted the verse in the dialect, and then insisted he had evangelized the village! I don’t know who sent him, but they knew as little about what they were doing as the young man did about what he was doing! Thus, supporting churches need to learn how to ask appropriate questions about individual and group activities. A lot of virtually useless — and sometimes even harmful activities — can be carried out under the general umbrella of “Missions” or “extending the kingdom” or “spreading the Word”. It is important to be specific and realistically focused. This is God’s work.
C. Philip Slate, longtime missionary to the UK, and professor of Preaching and Missiology at Harding Graduate School, now serves as missions consultant and trainer for Churches of Christ.
phies of 84 missionaries of churches of Christ in the early part of the 20th Century. 120 pages, $8.00. Call 662-283-1192
World English Institute
Katheryn Maddox Haddad
to keep the school running year around. If anyone can spend a month or more teaching WEI students in Phnom Penh, contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Food and lodging “If the apostles had had WEI, they may not have had to will cost you only $13 a day. That may be the best deal use ‘tongues’.” This is said with a smile, but perhaps it is anywhere in short-term missions. close to being the case. World English Institute has made it so that pagans throughout the world don’t decry or barely AFRICA There are WEI language centers in Awasa, Ethiopia, tolerate the Bible. They are ASKING for it! founded by John Ed Clark and Behailu Abebe; and in Abak, No longer do congregations need to beg people to come to them so they can teach them how to save their souls from Nigeria, directed by Aniefiok and Etang Akpan. There have hell. There is a way for the lost to do the begging; albeit, been hundreds of baptisms as a result of these works. not to save their souls, but to learn today’s global language INDIA — English. Prabhu Kumar was an internet student of Mike Hale in English is now the official language of the UN, NATO, Organization of Islamic Conference, NAFTA, the European Texas. After completing his studies, he taught his own first Union, Pacific Island Forum, Council of Europe (to name a class with twenty-five students. He challenged his ten best few) and of 53 countries of the world. English is also the students who had become Christians to establish language dominant language of communications, science, business, Continued on page 28 entertainment, radio, diplomacy. Intelligent people in all professions, as well as university students, are turning to World English Institute (WEI) to learn English and, in the process, are learning the Bible. Teachers do not need to remember all their high-school grammar rules. WEI workbooks provide very simple and short lessons along with the answers. Most of the time is spent seeing if the student understood the Bible lesson written in English.
Start an English Language Center in Your Congregation’s Building
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
The PIP/WEI English Language Center in Cambodia was established by Bill and Marie-Claire McDonough in 2003. This work is now being carried on by Julie Broyles. Their building is rented and very nicely meets their needs. While helping out at the center, Dick Ady (founder of WEI) studied with a Muslim. One day, the student bragged, “We Muslims pray five times a day. How often do you pray?” Dick replied that he prayed without ceasing. “In fact, I pray for you every day,” he said. Then he demonstrated how he prayed for him. “When I looked up, his eyes were filled with tears.” Julie is doing a terrific job as Director of the English Bible school in Phnom Penh. Most students are Buddhist, and there have been numerous baptisms. Her blogs are full of exciting news and pictures. But she needs more teachers
World English Institute
Continued from page 27
centers in their home cities. Thus far thirty-four WEI language centers have been established in this one country, and hundreds are being baptized. WEI provides diplomas for graduates. Language centers are encouraged to have graduation ceremonies. Pictured here is a graduation last year at the Vyasarpadi center in Chennai, India. Erik Tryggestad, Assistant Managing Editor of the Christian Chronicle, was guest speaker. Having a guest speaker and banquet are other ideas for making graduation from WEI special.
But others have reverted to Islam, the religion of their grandparents. Baptisms abound, as we see in the picture of Brother Erik Oirjaqi baptizing one of the Tirana students into Christ. Eighty percent of those baptized in Albania come from Muslim families.
interpreters over a private speaker system. Baptisms always result. The church also provides child care. A special banquet is given for graduates. Several have been baptized into Christ as a result of this one congregation’s reaching out to local immigrants. Simple posters can be placed in the personnel offices of local companies that hire immigrants. Keep in mind that the US requires immigrants to have a source of income before allowing them to come, legally. Many are engineers, scientists and teachers with good jobs. Other posters can be placed in restaurants or grocery stores in the neighborhoods where many immigrants have settled. Missionaries or national preachers in non-English-speaking countries usually prefer their posters to be both in English and the native language. Ads are also placed in newspapers. For more information on starting a WEI language center, advertising, and ordering study workbooks, go to www. weiady.org or contact founder and author of all the lessons, Dick Ady at email@example.com, or Tom Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org U
Dick Ady periodically visits English language centers in areas of the world where national preachers and missionaries use WEI’s materials. Tom Langley, Vice-President of WEI, leads campaigns in Oradea, Romania, where a WEI language center has been established in the church building. Tom is available to organize shortterm mission efforts and help establish WEI language centers anywhere in the world. Christians all over North America participate in these campaigns which normally last four to six weeks. Pictured is Dick with a student in Tirana, Albana, during one such campaign. Many of the students in Albania have no religion, having been schooled in Communistic atheism.
With so many immigrants to Canada and the United States, there should be a WEI language center in every one of our brotherhood church buildings in areas where there are many immigrants. One such language center is at the Antioch, TN Church of Christ. L. and G. Taylor help immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Somolia, and Ethiopia in their studies. Sue Thweat teaches a large class of beginners. Pictured is Lisa Steele with a Muslim student. Students are encouraged to attend worship with the congregation. Those Katheryn Maddox Haddad who are beginners and do not understand Haddad1940@yahoo.com the lessons very well are provided with 519-948-2828 or 520-509-8090
located in Arlington, Texas, is a nonprofit organization that prints and distributes Gospel tracts throughout the world for free. We are a ‘work of the churches of Christ’. God has blessed us for over thirty years with hardworking Christian volunteers and generous contributors who want to supply the world with “World Evangelism by the Printed Page”. We have two full time personnel and hundreds of volunteers who do thousands of tasks. A dozen congregations are now involved in collating and stapling our material in their own buildings. Mission Printing does not sell anything; we exist as God blesses us with dedicated contributors to continue His work of spreading the Gospel. These tracts are especially important for missionaries to utilize with their preaching and studying with different people. We print, only in English, approximately eighty individual tracts targeting many different biblical topics explaining ‘how to become a Christian’ to ‘living the Christian life’. Please go to our webpage http://www. missionprinting.us/ to view the tracts in their entirety and learn all about us. Each year we print millions of tracts and ship them to individuals in many different countries. Our process begins with the Trustees and the Director examining and reviewing the individual tract for doctrinal soundness and applicability for our readers. The tract is proofed for grammar and spelling as well as for correct scriptural references. Then we convert it to a software program that allows us to burn a printing plate for the offset
Another 30,000 pounds (app. 600,000 tracts) are due to arrive in Ghana, November 20, 2010. We are now working on another 40,000 pounds for Nigeria. World Evangelism of Winona, MS was able to ship many of their materials with our last shipment to Ghana. They are planning to ship material in our next container to Nigeria in February. A key to successful ocean container shipping is finding a volunteer Distribution Manager in the proposed country who is willing to distribute the tracts quickly to those who are requesting them. This takes a person with great experience in the local area churches and who has many contacts that can help him complete the task. The Distribution Manager usually does some follow-up work with each This is our first shipment to Ghana recipient. Preaching school directors in Oct 2009. make great Distribution Managers because they have many students who need these tools to start their preaching careers, and they have an eagerness to spread the Gospel. The most difficult task of shipping via ocean container is plowing through all the government ‘red tape’ of each country’s requirements for customs clearance. Some countries will not accept the ‘tax free’ material without a large tax charge or government fee. As Nigerian preachers gather to distriba volunteer Vice-president of Mission ute tracts in August. Printing, I traveled to Ghana last year Ghana received 32,000 pounds of to see the conditions for our shipment tracts (app. 640,000 tracts) in January to Brother Willie Gley. I plan to go to and Nigeria received 40,000 pounds (app. 800,000 tracts) in August. Continued on page 30
printer. Volunteers proof, print, fold, collate, staple, trim, box, and ship the tracts to their destinations. Also we utilize our booklet maker that collates, staples, folds and trims our smaller tracts at more than 2,500 per hour. Last year we began shipping the majority of our material via ocean containers ($0.30 per pound) and saving $100,000 versus the US Mail costs ($3.00 per pound). Now we are able to ship more than twice as many tracts as last year.
Giving out tracts on the streets. Continued from page 29 South Africa in January, Lord willing, to discuss with Brother Rohan Jones about being our Distribution Manager and to explore the conditions for our possible shipment to Cape Town. One of our Trustees has offered to pay my airfare with his air miles. Monday John Akpakpan is one of our Distribution Managers in Nigeria and Brother Reuben Egwu is another one. I have two more brothers in Nigeria who are waiting on their opportunity to receive an ocean container as well. Mission Printing receives requests daily from around the world via email, letter or phone for religious tracts. We pray that God will bless us with more donors who will enable us to send
Books being selected and packaged for shipment from the World Evangelism office in Winona to the Mission Printing container in Dallas, Texas, for libraries for preacher training schools in Nigeria.
at least four ocean containers (about 150,000 pounds) per year in response to these requests. This would give the world a free gift of about 3,000,000 Gospel tracts a year to learn how to live for Jesus.
May God bless the efforts of the brotherhood as we work together to spread the Gospel. U
Please contact me, Richard Renfro, on my cell 972.977.3680 for more information.
Spanish Materials Available for Evangelism and Grounding in the Faith
The Voice of Truth International magazine
Class and study books. Call 662-283-1192
World Video Bible School
Contact Information: World Video Bible School, 25 Lantana Lane, Maxwell, TX 78656; www.WVBS.org Bible Study@wvbs,org; Orders: 877-398-5211
Over 60,000 Searching for Truth books, over 800,000 Searching for Truth DVDs; over 1.5 million tapes and DVDs! A newly expanded edition of the Searching for Truth Study Guide has arrived. This great evangelism tool now includes three page-sized full-color teaching charts, modeled after our teaching posters. The charts include “Where do we go when we die?”, “Modern Churches Timeline”, and “The Ten Commandments?” Only $2.00 each for 20 copies of the book; single copies, $5.00.
Sent Out Around the World:
may view GBN, homebound Christians can be encouraged. Also, the network can uplift individuals who live a long distance from a sound, faithful congregation. Prior to the launching of GBN, some Christians may have felt isolated because of the distance from brethren of like precious faith. Because GBN streams on the World Wide Web 24/7, they are just a click away from sitting in a Bible class or worship service of the church. Brethren, though we live in a time when many are saving money for rainy days, we ask congregations of the Lord’s church to continue to spend money to save precious souls. Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:35,36). With cooperation, we can fulfill the words of Jesus. Thank you for your past, present and future support of Gospel Broadcasting Network!
Tyler Gilreath, evangelist, Highland Church of Christ
I am confident that churches of Christ all over the globe have a deep and burning desire to see souls saved and want to do whatever it takes to accomplish this. This was the attitude and desire Paul had, when he recorded the following words: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Romans 10:1). “I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:2,3). The apostle Paul dedicated his life to spreading the good news of his Lord. What about us today? We are very fortunate to have the ability to sow the seed in the hearts of men and women, particularly via mass media. I thank God in my prayers daily for Gospel Broadcasting Network, as do many of you. Without the efforts of GBN, many souls would never hear the simple and pure Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3). Gospel Broadcasting Network could not exist without the prayers and financial support of many good brethren. Paul wrote to the Galatians: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). With your continued financial support, you are living the directive of Paul. One may ask, but how? As a located preacher in Dalton, Georgia, I have seen firsthand how GBN helps the souls of both Christians and non-Christians in the community. Several months ago, a man discovered GBN on the local cable company here in Dalton. After much time spent watching and studying, he decided to contact the Highland congregation and requested to be baptized for the remission of his sins. Often, he expresses to me how thankful he is for GBN. He is confident he would not have heard the truth without it. The financial contributions you make are helping continually to save souls from death (James 5:20). Though Gospel Broadcasting Network is instrumental in saving the lost, it also helps keep the saved, saved. Your generosity helps to provide 24/7 sound teaching and preaching to members who are homebound. Individuals can become very discouraged when unable to attend the services of the church. Sadly, some shut-ins and home bound individuals begin to fall away from their first love, spiritually decaying from the disease of discouragement. With the installation of a KU Band dish, through which they
The elders of the Highland Church of Christ in Dalton, GA, who oversee Gospel Broadcasting Network, have announced Don Blackwell as the network’s new Director. Brother Blackwell is well recognized and respected in the brotherhood, not only for his soundness in the faith, but for his effective work with local congregations and as a speaker for such media efforts as Truth for the World and World Video Bible School, as well as for GBN. The elders believe this new leadership will assist them in establishing a solid foundation upon which the network may expand its effectiveness and coverage in the years ahead. U
Gospel Broadcasting Network, 3969 Cloud Springs Rd., Ringgold, GA 30736; Phone: 866-525-4677; Email: email@example.com
New Executive Director for GBN
It’s fake, of course (Uncle Sam hasn’t started printing million dollar bills YET) but God’s plan of salvation on the back is real. This is an eye-catching little tract.
35 cents each; $30 for 100. Call 662-283-1192
Hey! How would you like to give away a million dollars?
email: Choate@ WorldEvangelism. org
The Hands of Compassion Ministry
With WBS Connect, your congregation can use WBS’ products and technologies and your own promotional efforts to seek, enroll, and teach your own WBS students, wherever you want. The newly-announced WBS Connect program will appeal to many churches. Why? Because the church in America isn’t growing — not even keeping up with the growth of the population. (How’s your church doing?) We all must do more to share Jesus right here in the U.S. God will bless motivated, evangelistic churches, including those who proactively share the Good News, through WBS materials, in their own communities. Here’s what you’ll get with the WBS Connect program: Ideas — We’ll give you promotional ideas and tools to help your congregation cost-effectively find Bible students in a targeted area using your own outreach programs. A Site — You will have your own customized, WBS-branded Web site integrated into WBS’ worldwide student site. Your targeted promotions will direct potential students to this site where they can enroll to study the Bible and be taught by members where you worship. Students — All postal and email students who enroll at your WBS Connect site will be assigned to WBS Study Helpers at your church. All Web students who enroll will be identified with your congregation and will be assigned to a Study Helper with your brethren when they request one. Join WBS Connect! See www.worldbibleschool.net/connect. Let’s connect with those around us. Together we can enroll more Bible students, with less cost, and involve more Christians in sharing the Good News of Jesus. U
World Bible School, P.O. Box 2169, Cedar Park, TX 78630; 800-311-2006; firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you reaching your community?
“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate” (Psalm 116:5). The Hands of Compassion Ministry in Rochester, Minnesota is a benevolent work providing free housing and hospital chaplaincy to Mayo Clinic patients and their families. The door of such benevolence often makes this an evangelistic ministry leading to many opportunities to teach the Gospel. According to our 25-year history, approximately half of the 7,000 people served in the House of Compassion, as well as numerous others in the Mayo’s two hospitals, were not members of the Church of Christ. We need YOUR help in addressing our ministries’ financial need. We are asking every individual member of your congregation to donate ONLY $1.00 and $1.00 ONLY. Though this may seem like small pocket change for the individual, collectively it can make a substantial difference toward supporting this work. Will you help us in this way? What compassion God has poured out upon us to enrich our lives and to then bring compassionate change in the lives of our fellow man. Our Lord is indeed the Father’s Compassion! Ways you can help with ongoing funding needs: A. Donations are tax deductible! HOC is a charitable organization; check with your employer to see if they have a matching gift program. B. Register at http://www.iGive.com/hocrochester or http://www.iSearchiGive.com/hocrochester so that every time you shop or, even, search online, HOC can receive income. C. Consider signing up for our “Adopt-A-Room” program where you commit for one year to raise or donate money to replace items that frequently wear out -- towels, sheets, pillows, etc. D. Have your church, employer, or school organization collect “Compassionate Change” jars. This is also a great way to teach young children in Sunday school classes the power of how their change can make a difference. E. Don’t need anything yourself for the next birthday? Suggest to family and friends that they make a donation to HOC in your honor in lieu of a gift. F. Spread the word about HOC to your family and friends and ask them to help support us. U
Send donations to: Hands of Compassion 840 W. Center St.; Rochester, MN 55902 Cell: (507) 9510628
How Do We Spend It for Him?
It is so very easy for Americans to live in an isolated world of our own making. It is so very easy for us to be spoiled rotten, and not even to realize it because we live in denial of the reality for most of our planet. We have an excess of everything. We waste more than most of the rest of the world consumes. We complain; we indulge in daily food orgies; we trivialize the important, and then we focus full attention on entertainment, sports, and fads. The most exorbitant salaries in the US are paid to those who entertain us while wrecking our morals and culture. As major disasters are taking place in a neighboring country, our news media may be devoting 23-hour coverage to the sordid details of some scandal involving a nothing of an entertainer. If we looked squarely at ourselves, as the rest of the world must, we would find ourselves to be trite and despicable in too many instances.
It’s God’s Money.
our spiritual needs being met. So how do we value this great gift of salvation? Too often, we neglect it; we take it for granted; we feel imposed upon if we are asked to do anything, or we expect to be paid for every service. And when someone comes and asks for help to go somewhere to evangelize, too many times the elders say there are no funds available because we have to build a new fellowship hall or swap out our pews at a cost of thousands of dollars for the chairs that are today’s fads, or indulge in some other frivilous use of God’s money. One day, each of us will stand in judgment before our very just God. He has given us much, and He promises that He also requires much. In all honesty, how would you judge yourself on the basis of how you spend His money?
It is so very easy. . . .
How would you like to swap your old-fashioned pews for these chairs?
It is so very easy. . . .
It is so very easy for the Lord’s church in America to live in an isolated world of our own making. We were born in the country where the Restoration Movement resulted in many churches of Christ and many Christians. Most of us have been blessed with a Christian heritage from our parents — we didn’t have the challenge of searching for the Truth among pagan religions and fanatics who were sworn to kill those who left the established “faith”. We have it easy, in most cases. We draw strength from fellow Christians, we can faithfully worship — or not — with an organized congregation, in a comfortable building, with all
About 70% of those enrolled in India for Bible courses complete the courses. This is mainly because we offer them a copy of the Bible free. Most Indians do not know where and how to get a copy of the Bible. Since this is predominantly a Hindu country, there are no Bible bookstores in the towns and villages over the country. The Bible Society of India is the only place where you can get Bibles, and it has branches only in BIG cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, and Hyderabad. Even professing Christians often do not know where and how to get a Bible! U
Do You Have a Bible???
Or how about these “top of the line” pews? Notice the ladies in the aisle? This is a worship assembly of your brothers and sisters.
Does your baptistery look like this?
Worldwide, It’s God’s Family . . .
Imagine for a moment that you were not born in the United States, but in a third-world country. At five-years-old you wander daily from door-todoor begging food from the people of Pothanur village, a city in south India. Because you live in a predominantly Hindu country, most of the children are not allowed to associate with you. Their parents fear that your bad karma will rub off on their children and bring bad fortune to their family. Because you have no home, there is no place to shower, and your appearance and smell are repelling to most. You exist because ungodly men raped your mentally challenged (retarded) mother, who also roams the streets, homeless, helpless. What will your tomorrow be like? Do you want to be a doctor, policeman, or lawyer? You can’t worry about that and the necessary education. You only have time to think about tonight, as your stomach growls from hunger, and which house might possibly provide your breakfast in the morning. One day, your life took a different direction. A social worker brought you to live at Deva Anbu Illam. Immediately, you were introduced to 120 other children who will not look down on you or be prejudiced toward you because you are an orphan. They know how you feel. As you approach the cottage that will be your new home, you see for the first time your smiling new house mother and the five other children who will grow to be your brothers and sisters. How will you get food? This is so far from the Pothanur houses where you have always begged. Meet Devanesan and Dorisami, our cooks at DAI. From this day onward you can have all of the food you want to eat. Curiously, you observe your first worship service, and a young man stands to lead singing, and one of your friends leans to explain that this is Paul, and he is going to school to be an attorney. Imagine if you were Reuben. Reuben is with us now. He couldn’t help where or to whom he was born. He needed someone who cared, and he found just that. The Lord willing, he will spend his life praising God for His mercy and grace to the fatherless. Before long, he will likely be the one leading the songs, the prayers, the preaching, just like all of the others who have come. God is great! Reuben’s clothing, food and housing will cost $35 per month. A commitment to take on the support of one of these children could be the best resolution you ever made. U
Contact us at the Banner Elk Church of Christ; doniverson@juno,com
IMAGINE IF YOU WERE REUBEN. . .
The hurricane in Haiti left many of your brothers homeless. Are you helping build this “earth bag” house?
Bathrooms have to be “just so”. Does yours look anything like this?
Our American schools are so underfunded. Are they this color. . . .? Masses in the world have no problem with obesity. . . .
They are starving. Many of our Christian brothers and sisters face natural disasters and other crises too great for them to handle alone. Is it through the hearts of American Christians that God would bring them succor? But even greater than the physical needs, what about the SOULS? (BBC)
A Voice in a Barren Land
My name is Alex Del Zotto. I am forty five years old, married for twenty two years, originally from Argentina, where my Italian grandfather had settled after WWI. In 1999, the economy in Argentina wasn’t great, and it wasn’t a safe place to raise our daughters. We moved to the United States, to Naples, FL. We were Catholics and we went to a Catholic church but it wasn’t fulfilling our spiritual needs. We met the Martinez family in 2002. They came from Argentina also, and had been members of the church of Christ all their adult lives. We started having Bible studies together and decided later to begin attending the Naples Church of Christ. In 2005, my oldest daughter, Fiorella, was baptized. A few months later, my wife, Patricia, and I decided to become Christians, and we were baptized as well. Lucia, our youngest daughter, was baptized in 2009. From the time I became a Christian, I was committed to be a follower of our Master, Jesus Christ. Daniel Martinez and I began working with a small group of Spanish people in our area. The church later asked us to move our meetings to the church building, which was good because we were growing. After a year of classes, the Martinez family moved to Spain. I kept the classes going and also started visiting the church of Christ in Immokalee, about 25 miles from our home. I saw the need there and offered my help. I started giving Bible classes during the week and later became the song leader, too. In 2008, I started a school for preachers online and invited the men of the Immokalee church to participate in the video-conference classes. I know from the bottom of my heart the need to be in Christ Jesus and, for the lack of understanding the language, many people are lost and without hope. My commitment comes from the letter of Jude: “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” We are so thankful for the joy we have in Christ Jesus our Lord and our Redeemer, and this joy cannot be kept in ourselves any longer. We need your help to reach places where the church of Christ is not in the area. Entre Rios, Argentina has 1,200,000 people and, officially, there is not a congregation in that state. For two years and a half we have been sending the Gospel by FM radio station in the northwest of the state. In the state of Buenos Aires, a small congregation asked for help to broadcast our programs at a cost of $750 for a year! This cost covers the transmission of two programs per week for 52 weeks, 10 minutes each time. You can be a part of this effort with an annual pledge of only $15. This means that the people there will receive the Gospel program and an invitation to be part of God’s family two times a week for a full year! U Join with us in this effort!
For more information, call 662-650-0055. My email is DESCUBRIENDOAJESUS@ GMAIL.COM Send your support to Liberty Church of Christ, 689 Highway 25 Dennis, Mississippi. 38838; (Mention “Discovering Jesus” on the envelope)
Haiti Christian Development Project and Recovery Effort
Dr. David Smith
Thank you for your love and caring. Please know that the elders are faithfully overseeing this recovery work and while remaining totally committed to evangelism and church planting (which continues as we respond to physical needs). The books being donated by “World Evangelism” will be absolutely fabulous. We are quite serious about trying to have a library, and we plan to primarily utilize our building (we are moving to another building next door – “headquarters”) as a place from which books can be kept as a library and teaching materials can be dispensed. There is no other such place in Haiti. This container is a unique opportunity for us to ship them without the usual high cost. The set of 150 books for the library of the preacher training school will be wonderful. We will be sure that the copies in French of The Gospel of Christ, The Church of the Bible, New
Children being fed.
Testament Worship, Building under construction for the use of the and You Can Be Just a church and outreach programs in Gonaives. Christian are put to good use. We want brethren to know that in the midst of all of the turmoil and chaos of this year, evangelism has not been neglected at the Poteau church of Christ. Pacius has reported: “We have more than 125 people as new converts in our We then traveled to Bangnol (Baycongregation. We go door to door to onaisse foothills) with the preacher, preach every second Saturday of the John Peter Merihil. We met with some month. People come from different of the people in the village, visited areas in Gonaives to attend our service. the tuition-free school conducted in Now we have more than 300 in our a tarp-wrapped tent-like structure. worship service. For instance, today we We saw the arbor-loo latrine, saw the have 248 people in the worship. I did children pump and carry water from the not expect that because of the election, property well, and then saw them enjoy but this goes over our expectation. the feeding center (for some, their only People walked to come to worship meal of the day). because there was no Tap-Tap today.” John Peter then traveled back with In working with Pacius in the us to Gonaives to the office of Dr. recovery effort, I made a trip to Haiti. Due Grenson Jeune, Pacius’ cousin. Thirtyto delays created in Port au Prince, we nine year-old John Peter suffers from stayed in a hotel near Montrous, but we Sickle Cell anemia, and the ulcer on his were up at 4:45 A.M. and off to Gonaives. leg has been a major source of disability We visited the new construction at the for him. Dr. Jeune and I biopsied the leg HCDP headquarters and set up Pacius’ in hopes of finding a treatable infection new computer which will allow us to that would hasten its recovery. It was communicate through Skype. an interesting journey back to the US Next, we met with the Poteau elders with the specimens which had to be for two hours and discussed some of kept on ice — not such a problem here, their physical needs. It was such an but interesting in Haiti, going through encouragement to hear them reason customs, etc. together in such a harmonious way. We visited the Bois Marchand Other key issues included the building farm, visited with the chief, and saw the and management of the proposed recent improvements. New bunk beds Continued on page 41 village in Bangnol.
Collierville Church of Christ Prepares for Guyana, South America, 2011!
What began as a spark has taken flame. The Collierville congregation located in Collierville, TN completed its 3rd trip in July, 2010 to Guyana, South America, after teaming up with two other congregations in efforts to share the Gospel with precious souls and to encourage the faithful. A fourth campaign is planned for July, 2011. What began as a team of two within the congregation on the first journey to South America has now grown to six people (Randy Gaddy, Staci Gaddy, Ashea Gorden, Khristian Kellum, Beckie McGill, and Rebecca Rushmore) with hopes of increasing that number. During that week in Guyana, in addition to the scheduled classes on Saturday and each evening, 14 Americans conducted Bible studies with 56 individuals, set up four Bible correspondence courses, and witnessed three baptisms. The local brethren plan to continue the studies that weren’t finished when we left. The work that was done was a great encouragement to all who participated.
Randy L Gaddy
Evening meetings with Christians and visitors during the Collierville campaign.
Amerindian Missions — Guyana
Mission: The Lord’s Church in Every Village and a Bible in Every Hut
Jerry O. Davidson
Yupukari Village is located deep in the interior of Guyana. The village is made up of Amerindians of the Maku- shi tribe. Our mission was to establish the Lord’s church. The team consisted of 10 Americans, 2 Trinidadians, and about 25 Guyanese brethren. We arrived in mid afternoon, just in time to select a location for our camp before sun down. A site was located in the heart of the village for conducting services. A string of light bulbs were strung up and, with the use of our generator, we had lighting for the first service of which would be an open air campaign. Several team members walked throughout the village to announce that we would be having services that very night. We were thrilled to have an attendance of 275. Last October we visited the village of Yupukari and met a number of villagers. One was Maureen Laurindo who is a member of the village council. She seemed to be a good prospect, so when we arrived there on this trip I went to her house where I met her husband Clifton. After visiting a while, we began a study of the Bible. Clifton had a list of Scriptures he wanted me to explain. The next day he had a new list. After studying, Clifton said, “I’ve been waiting for you to come.” What he meant was that he had been waiting for someone to come to teach him the truth. I wonder how many there are, all over the world, who are waiting for someone to come teach them the Gospel? After several days of studying with Clifton and Maureen, they decided to be baptized. Two by two we crossed the river in a canoe to a sandbar. After having prayer together, they were baptized. Clifton changed into dry clothing and threw his old pants into the river and said, “The old is gone and the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). With that Continued on page 41
Recently I Took a Mission Trip
Recently, I took a mission trip to Guyana, South America. I honestly thought I wasn’t ready to go on such a trip. When I first arrived there it was very late. I was shocked to find that I loved being there, and I didn’t mind stepping up to lead a devo before going out to start our daily routine of door knocking or leading a Bible study. If anything, going on the mission trip made me want to get up and lead. If I was given the chance to do it again, I would have to say “ABSOLUTELY”. U
Nicaraguan Evangelists in New Groundbreaking Role
David and Kim Romero were missionaries to Nicaragua, sponsored by the Edmond, Okla., church. Upon their return to the U.S., they wanted to see their efforts there continue to flourish. As a result, they proposed to the Edmond missions committee that three young national evangelists be supported by Edmond. he established, or sent others to them, repeating what was done at Masaya. to build them up in the faith. They tell us that there are dozens of In keeping with this model, the small churches in Nicaragua, most of three moved recently to the town of them just struggling to survive, so they Masaya. The young church there had see no end to the circuit they intend to attendances of about 25, which has now make in coming years. grown to 40. When they discovered that One long-range goal of these three a number of the members had fallen men is to be vocational missionaries, away, they first concentrated on them, earning at least part of their expenses nine of whom have been restored. The through secular employment. To this team has visited all of the members, end they are learning English and both faithful and non-faithful. It taking university courses, along with has started classes for both men and Bible studies. The Edmond elders women, preparing them for service. believe them to be on a sound biblical Members are more dedicated track, one that will not tie them down now to attending weeknight services. permanently to one congregation or to They report that “one Monday night American support. As Paul made tents, the building was almost full and the so they will have secular professions presence of so many members excited on which to rely in their efforts to serve the leaders so much that some went the Lord effectively in Nicaragua. forward to express their joy over the The development of this mission attendance that night.” strategy was a collaborative effort The team has not neglected among the three evangelists, David and evangelism, with continued baptisms. Kim Romero, the elders assigned to Fifteen people are attending a class missions, and members of the mission for newly-baptized members. They committee, all of whom had a strong are also studying with fourteen new desire to see the work and investment contacts. the Edmond church had made in The team’s goals include conducting Nicaragua continue in a new way. U seminars and Gospel meetings on a Glover Shipp is an elder in the Edmond, OK regular basis, challenging the church church, with years of missionary experience. through sermons and practical classes, and acquiring a more adequate meeting place for the church. The present facilities are too small, they report, and in a location that is not conducive to real growth. Once the Masaya church is more firmly established, the team plans to move on to another congregation, Members of the Masaya church in front of their building.
Back row, left to right: Juan Pablo and Fatima Perez, Cruz and Gabriel Rivera. Front row, left to right: Keyling Perez (Juan Pablo Perez’s oldest daughter), Jose Guido and Rebecca Perez (Juan Pablo’s youngest daughter).
That appears to be nothing new in itself, but it is. The three young men — Juan Pablo Pérez, Gabriel Rivera, and José Guido — were to circulate among small, struggling congregations and attempt to build them up numerically and spiritually, so that they could become self-sufficient and able to evangelize and support their own minister. In this, the three evangelists would imitate the efforts of the apostle Paul, who moved among the churches
Biblical Institute of Central America
George W. Hall
Come, let us reason together. God’s mission demands it. See if the following makes good sense to you. Let’s look at some numbers as we compare two different approaches: (1) Traditional (2) Another way. Suppose the local church wants to commit $70,000 a year for 12 years to teach the lost in a certain area. The traditional way would be to send a family from the USA to another country. Typically, culture and language study would be involved. Often private school for the children would be a need. Generally furniture and vehicles are shipped. Every year or two a trip to the USA would be customary for reporting and family visits. Surely the missions people of the church would visit the field, etc. If they convert 20 a year, at the end of 12 years you would have a church of 240 people. With the addition of 20 per year for 40 more years, the church will have 1,040 members in a total of 52 years. Not bad — not excellent. Perhaps the USA brethren spend an additional $100,000 for a building. Maybe a local person is put on USA support for years. Dependency kills! Often there is a leadership vacuum when the missionary returns to the USA. Let’s look at another way. Let’s use the $70,000 differently. Let’s invest in building men who will be lifetime selfsupported (not dependent) missionaries in their own culture. Suppose you support 15 students in BICA, a twoyear school. If seven are graduated yearly, then in 12 years (10 graduating classes) 70 will have graduated. Since most are young, we project 40 years of service. Forty years times seventy graduates equals 2800 years of service. (That’s like one man working from the time of Christ until now, with 800 more years to work.) It is clear; for On weekends, the students work the same investment you get 2,800 with congregations to teach the lost and years compared to 12. We estimate that teach the members to teach the lost. they will baptize about 20 per year per Ten weeks per year they are on a weekgraduate. Twenty per year times 2,800 long evangelistic campaign. In 2009, years equals 56,000 baptisms. the students started 21 house churches. WOW! However, this is just a drop Drop them from a plane with a Bible in the bucket when you consider the 2 and a parachute, and they will have a Timothy 2:2 effect — teaching others church meeting in two weeks. While to teach others. If they only teach one in school, they will have had 600-700 to teach one every year, there will be Bible studies with the lost. They get 2,800 teachers of the lost. The result is some vocational help, sometimes in multiplication. The 70 will start many the form of tools of their trade. Others new churches. What do you think? get schooling, while still others get What do you dream—70, 200, 500 material assistance. new churches? Suppose 30 churches Many people on missions committake up the challenge to support BICA tees are ready to bear witness to this with $70,000 per year ($70,000—that’s work. Simply request references, and 14 students). The 56,000 baptisms they will be supplied. Contact me, times 30 equals 1,680,000 saved, not George Hall, Executive Director, counting the tremendous 2 Timothy 2:2 at email@example.com or David effect. You see it. I know you do. As Romero, Associate Director, at david. you work with BICA, your joy will be firstname.lastname@example.org. We seek your immeasurable. Together, you, BICA, fellowship in this work. and God will make it happen. All of We encourage you, your friends, our mission eggs are not in one basket. and church leaders to sign up for the While in the Biblical Institute monthly BICA newsletter by email. of Central America for two years, Notify either of the above contacts or the student becomes an excellent email@example.com. Please share this evangelist. Without passion for the with friends and church leaders. U vision, our work is in vain. Jesus displayed compassion for the people (Matthew 9:35-38). You can teach your lips off, but without passion nothing happens. The student will have studied every book of the Bible, evangelism, the church, homiletics, etc. The school is steady, hard, practical work. (We work seven days per week.) Monday — Friday is classroom work. Often at night, they teach the lost. Students at the Biblical Institute of Central America.
Recovery in Haiti
Dr. David O. Smith
Continued from page 37
Amerindian Missions — Guyana
Continued from page 38
had been built for us by Hope for Haiti work volunteers, and assembled by Charlie McGee. We saw the big smile on the face of Pierre Charles as he showed us the completed earth bag house that would allow him to live and provide security to our Bois Marchand farm. At 2 p.m. Pacius and I had our first meal of the day (I would not be a good Haitian) of delicious rice and chicken. I then had a profitable 45-minute discussion with one of the preachers, Daniel Alexandre, whom I have known since he was about 5 years old. We left Gonaives about 3:15 p.m. and headed back toward Port au Prince. Wow, a delicious meal and good rest! The nightly tropical thunderstorm made for good sleeping for us, but I could not help but hurt for those thousands in their tents, tarps and sheet shelters for whom rain continues to be a major irritant. After landing in Port au Prince, we had a historic meeting with our attorney, Ms. Kim Sassine. Pacius and I signed the papers for the formation of Haiti Christian Development Project as an official organization in Haiti. This should help us in importing some of our shipments with less import taxes, and it may even allow us to acquire some government grants that were not accessible previously. We also met with Harry Hames of Healing Hands International and discussed the well-drilling operation in Haiti. We are still trying to help in numerous ways and to create housing for the many refugees in our area (it has been said that the largest numbers of refugees went to the Artibonite). Some of our Christians from 30 miles south and surrounding areas died from cholera, but the numbers are not great. Our previous teaching about good hygiene has saved lives. We are now trying to get water filters and purification equipment to appropriate areas. We will be working to create housing for the refugees over the next many months. It is a slow process, but these little earthbag (concrete stucco) houses are very strong and affordable ($2200-2500). They will give appropriate housing for scores of people. The people will have a pure water supply, and there will be some areas for gardens and for animals — goats/rabbits, etc. U
David E. Smith, MD, of Heart Clinic Arkansas, 10100 Kanis Road, Little Rock, AR, 72205, works with the Haiti Christian Development Project in Gonaives, Haiti. The web site for reporting on the Haiti recovery effort is www.hcdp.net.
comment I was certain he understood what had just taken place. On the way back to the village, Clifton was very quiet. When we stopped the vehicle at his house, I noticed his entire body was trembling. He was weeping tears of joy over his conversion. I will never forget that day. Another couple I met was Kenneth and Inez Dorrick. He is a forrner captain of the village and she is a teacher at the primary school. Several individuals on our team had studied with them. After each session they were encouraged to obey the Gospel. Finally, they scheduled a time for us to come to their house. We walked down to the lake for their baptism. However, Kenneth said he was not ready that day. He said he wanted several people to be present when he was baptized so there will be no question about his baptism. A few days later Kenneth, his teenage daughter and her boy friend were immersed into Christ. Mr. Osmond Holden had been one of the first in the village to be baptized. His son, Sylvester, the Health Worker in the village and his wife, Sharia, a teacher at the primary school, were also converted. We were thrilled that at least eight couples obeyed the Gospel during this campaign. I believe the church will be stronger, having both husband and wife as Christians. In June, a forty-foot container was loaded with supplies and shipped to Guyana. This is a vital part of the evangelistic work we are doing to help the poor brethren there with some basic needs, such as shoes and clothing. This is an ongoing project, and the participation of congregations in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi make this work possible. U
Jerry O. Davidson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Garcias’ Peruvian Mission Trip
During ten days the local Hispanic minister from North Highlands church in Russellville, AL, Juan Garcia and his lovely wife, Laura, spent time at the two Peruvian Amazon congregations. Being away from their home-country for 4 1/2 years, they felt truly blessed to return and to be able to work with the church members from those amazing places called Requena, over the Ucayali River, and Iquitos, the main city in the Peruvian jungle over the Amazon River. First day: There were ladies’ classes on Saturday afternoon with an attendance of about 25 Christian women, and from 7 to 9 P.M. a Gospel meeting was held at the Requena congregation with 45 people attending. Second day: At Sunday morning worship services, there were 60 people, and when the meeting was over two new souls were added to the Lord’s church. Sixty-five people came for the evening class. Third day through day six, there was a VBS. For the last VBS class, 125 children were present. For five days in a row, several Bible studies were set up during morning and afternoon sessions. Children are a blessing and we recall our Lord saying: “Allow little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Everybody rejoiced about such Bible studies and home evangelism classes, and several brethren wanted us to stay another week, teaching them God’s Word. When we were about to leave some church members were close to the boat, begging us not to go. We remembered the Scripture when Paul saw for the last time the Ephesus elders at Miletus offshore, crying out, since they would not see him again. We were grateful to God to know those faithful Christian families in the Peruvian jungle. They are doing a great job daily and, hopefully, more church missionaries will be willing to come down and strengthen them. Back in Iquitos City, several brethren were waiting for the Garcias to spend time with the local congregation that meets about 10 minutes away from downtown. This new congregation was established ten months ago, in an area close to Putumayo Avenue, a main road. Several brethren from Lima and Requena have been going there to help out this very new church work, the only one in that area. It is a great blessing to have them as our fellow-Christians and to inspire us not to give up on working harder for the Lord. Coming back to Lima city after two weeks of working at the town Amazon congregations, there were Bible lessons and studies with the church and with individuals. We met together with the Montecarlo church, located in Lima north area, and took two current pictures, where the congregation worships and also of our family. We thank God for the opportunity to teach His Word, as Scripture says: “Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, since you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Juan and Laura Garcia minister at the Hispanic congregation in Russellville, Alabama. U
North Highlands Church of Christ. P.O. Drawer H Russellville, Alabama 35653; Phone: (256) 332-3315; http://picasaweb. google.com/HfromSouthAmerica/AmazonChurchExperiencesAndStuff#
Above: Juan and Laura Garcia, with their son, Helmut, their daughter, Maria Laura, and her daughter, Damaris, with grandmom, Teofila. Below: the Montecarlo church and building in Lima, Peru.
Forty Years of the Church in Geneva, Switzerland
The church in Geneva began in the spring of 1970 with the arrival of Doyle and Barbara Kee and their three children. With the help of many other workers during campaigns and one to two years’ residences in Geneva, the church has matured. Today, there are four elders, four deacons, and one full-time brother who works with the educational activities of the church. The teaching and preaching is a mutual ministry (no paid preacher) with as many as eight brothers involved. There are about 90 members and an attendance regularly surpassing 100 participants. The church has good facilities of five classrooms and an auditorium that can hold a maximum of 130 people. The Geneva church is ready to move ahead into its next 40 years of history. It is growing locally Doyle and Barbara Kee, missionaries to Geneva for forty years. and has a strong mission program into June 13, 2010, the Geneva, Switzerland, church celebrated its 40th French-speaking countries. More information can be obtained anniversary. Participants in the week-long work and celebration emphasis came at www.Geneva-churchofchrist.com or from Scotland, Canada, France, and the USA. James Jones, Yann Opsitch, and Thekees@bluewin.ch. U Arlin Hendrix were special speakers.
Romania — Looking at Progress
Attendance for Second Annual Youth Day — 110 Quarterly Saturday Deaf Bible School in Pitesti — 37 Number of Romanian Gospel Preachers available in three districts — 15 Bibles purchased for distribution in 2011 — 1,000 Number of children taught each Sunday in 7 churches — 176 Newsletters published and distributed in 7 churches — 300 Number of ladies in Craiova and Pitesti making warm garments for the needy — 50 The willing liberality and sacrifice of so many congregations, small and large, and of individuals makes the work in Romania possible. We do not plan to “keep house” and let things “go as they may”. Certainly God’s will must be done ,but as you have read in the newsletter, He is ready when we are. Conversions come one by one, but there are many ways to find and teach people. Of course, this report sounds good but I assure you we are far from “giving our all” to reach more souls. We can do a better job in every way. There seems to be a great spirit of unity among the Romanian brethren and also with the some 25 or so U.S. Bible teachers who come to work “short term” each year in the three districts. The Midway church is a wonderful congregation. They sacrifice much for the Romania work and also receive all contributions for the work we do. There would have been no “good news” this past year without them. Great numbers of people have helped in many ways in the past 20 years of our work here, and many are committed to continuing the spread of the kingdom in the years ahead. Specific plans have been made for 2011 and 2012 and Continued on page 44
We spent the December holidays with Pam’s family, after coming from Colorado Springs where our daughter, Tess, and Stephen were married. They made a beautiful couple; very much in love and committed to God and to each other. Even the folks who were handling the details in the wedding — people who do this all the time — were particularly moved. All in all, it was a truly lovely day. We were also delighted to spend some time with Tami and Tia and their families during the preparations and the wedding. Having all three daughters in the same place is becoming a rare phenomenon. Another special blessing was the presence of Liliane Raude, Tess’ best friend from France, and Lynda Allibbe, a member of the church in Lyon. It was like having part of home with us in this strange land! So, when the third little bird finds her mate, the nest is truly empty. But, you know, it is still as large as it always was. In fact, it is even a bit larger than when all the girls were still home. If Pam and I seem a little alone in our apartment, we are certainly not lonely. We enjoy being together and busy at home; and there is plenty of room for
the little birds to visit with their mates and their offspring. We look forward to it, though we are happy while waiting. Meanwhile, back in Lyon, the church is doing well, even though at the present moment neither of the missionary families is present. It’s the sign of a maturing group. A letter I received this morning tells me of one of our future elders who preached and challenged the church for the New Year. Here are the seven challenges: 1) articipate in all spiritual activities P of the assembly; 2) et rid of something in your life G that displeases God; 3) alk to people about the Lord; T 4) earn two Bible verses per week; L 5) e an active member of the church; B “Time flees, and carries me along; 6) ive regularly to the contribution; Even as I speak, this moment is gone.” G 7) pend at least ten minutes a day in S All the more reason to “redeem the prayer. time for the days are evil” (Ephesians That’s a pretty good list, and I’m 5:16). U told that it particularly touched the Charles and Pam White, Lyon, France Email: email@example.com assembly. We give thanks to God for the joy of preaching the Gospel in Romania for nearly 20 years. The challenges and opportunities are greater now than ever before, and we have hardly “touched the hem of His garment”. The God of eternity is on His throne and we must renew our determination to work and pray with trust in Him. He is faithful! If we continue to plant and water, He will give the increase. If we linger and close our eyes to what we must do or wait on Him to do it all, the church will die and some will wonder why. U
Our leading men are moving closer to the eldership as they teach and preach, visit, and counsel. I’m really proud of them; and, if I am tempted to feel I am training them, I know for a fact that not I but the Spirit of the Lord is preparing these faithful men, giving them love and wisdom, knowledge of the Word and experience. Please do pray for Antoinette, one of our sisters who is pregnant but at risk of losing her baby because of complications from a previous pregnancy, and for our sister Danielle, still confined. Thanks, too, for your prayers for our health and for the resolution of the insurance situation in which we find ourselves at present. A brother asked the Lord to bless the New Year, 2012. That’s right, 2012! A lapse, of course. But if things continue to go as they are going, we’ll be in 2012 ... tomorrow. A famous French writer said it this way:
Romania . . .
Charles White writes on two subjects:
Continued from page 43 beyond. You can help by providing funds. The Romanian brethren work and they give. There is a sufficient number of U.S. Christians committed to go and teach, but we are constantly hindered by a lack of funds to carry out the plans made. The needs for the year ahead are many, and we ask those who wish to give to do so as soon as possible. Every day is important. It is urgent that more hear, that they may Harvey M. Starling: 101 Kelly Valley Lane, have the opportunity to be forgiven and Harvest, AL 35749; firstname.lastname@example.org; added to the Lord’s church. Phone: 256-430-9914
Upright, Traits of the Righteous Heart ...
Lessons for serious Christians $8.00 The Missionary Myth... An important study for those planning to send or go. $8.00 J.C. Choate Publications 662-283-1192
The Lord’s Church in Syktyvkar, Russia
The decade of the 90’s began with the dramatic downfall of the “Iron Curtain” and communism in the Soviet Union. Immediately, hundreds of Christians from the West began pouring into the atheistic country with evangelistic campaigns. The Gospel was proclaimed, believers were baptized, and churches were planted. In the fall of 1991, one city where this occurred was Syktyvkar, the capitol of the Komi Republic in northern, European Russia. Within a year of the first campaign, there existed a congregation of around 50 Christians. It soon unusually blessed with excellent leadership material. Thus, by the year 2000, the church had selected and appointed two qualified men to serve as their first shepherds and, in the following year, full-time missionary presence ceased. Brother Elam also envisioned a Bible and preacher training school based in Syktyvkar. In 1993 the elders of the West Main congregation in Tupelo, Mississippi committed to overseeing and underwriting what is now called the Syktyvkar Bible School. Following Demar as the first Dean were Charles Tharp, West Main’s preacher at the time, and W.C. (Dub) Hill, one of their elders. Larry Little currently serves as Dean. From the beginning, the simple purpose of the two-year men’s program and one-year women’s program was to train Russian men in their own country and culture to become evangelists, Bible teachers and church leaders, and Russian women how to teach the Bible to children. Through the years, qualified American and Russian Christians have taught the courses. Now in its 17th year, over 90 men and women have been trained by the school and are at work in the kingdom. Gennady Scherbakov, one of Syktyvkar’s elders, serves as director, and administration of the school is now under the oversight of the Syktyvkar elders. Left to right: Three elders of the Syktyvkar congregation, In addition to the school, the Lord has continued to and the local preacher whom they support. use the Syktyvkar Church of Christ in other mighty ways became evident that attention needed to be directed toward within the Kingdom in Russia. Beginning in 1996, James grounding these babes in Christ and preparing Gospel Continued on page 50 preachers. Rising to the challenge, two American elderships made long-term commitments destined to serve both the Syktyvkar church, and the Russian brotherhood at large in the years to come. This is the story of the Lord’s work in Syktyvkar, Russia. Demar Elam of, what was then, Southern Christian University, was primarily responsible for organizing and leading the first campaigns into Syktyvkar. Two elders and others from the Midway congregation in Trinity, Alabama participated in those first campaigns that resulted in the church being planted there. Soon the Midway elders began to realize the need for grounding the young Syktyvkar church and training local leadership. In the winter of 1992, in response to the Syktyvkar church’s invitation, the elders assumed oversight of Larry and Kay Little to work full-time in maturing the young The meeting place of the Syktyvkar congregation. church. From the beginning, the Syktyvkar church was
Work with Language Groups in Your Area
Brethren, it is evident that most every city, on most every continent, that has a university and/or businesses and industries that are caught up in the sweep of globalization, will have Bible study groups or churches in multiple languages. Erlangen, Germany, with a population of some 104,000, but with a 280+ year-old university having an enrollment of more than 20,000 students, has “Christian” assemblies in the immediate area worshiping in Greek, Russian, Thai, Turkish, one or more Iranian languages, and one or more Philippine dialects. Larger cities should have even more. Perhaps all will not be open to outside influence, but some surely will be, if approached with an authentic demonstration of “the fruit of the Spirit”. You do not need personal knowledge of the languages spoken in your city; all you need is one reliable person in the contact group, with whom you share a common language, who can interpret for you. Foreign students and employees of international corporations will, of necessity, speak the language of the people who surround them, and, likely, will proudly exhibit their skill in interpretation. Some may have even studied interpretation as a separate discipline. One student at Changsha University practised simultaneous interpretation of newscasts, Chinese to English, or vice versa, which demanded a high level of competence. The opportunity is there, beloved, and those who have “come to the knowledge of the truth” themselves, and who have the directive of “the King of kings and Lord of lords”, will assuredly want to enable others to be saved by enabling them to come to the knowledge of the same truth, “buying up the opportunity”. Despite under-funding, which besets many disciples of the Lord abroad, an attempt is nevertheless being made by myself to say “Yes” to every appeal that is received, in the spirit expressed by the apostle Paul: “And I do all things for the gospel’s sake . . .” (1 Corinthians 9:23). This represents a personal objective that was inspired by a visiting evangelist at the congregation that was then “home”, and adopted, at the age of 16. He proposed, in effect: “Don’t ever say ‘No’ to any appeal for service to Christ”. This remains a dominant life-rule, and will, God willing, as long as life, health and means endure. Arising from the love engendered in my heart for the Chinese people, an opening was gratefully exploited here in Erlangen, beginning in February, 2010, to meet, usually each Sunday afternoon (after morning worship with the saints in Wuerzburg) and Wednesday evening, with a Chinese assembly. Quasi-Pentecostal, they said that they had been praying for someone to come and teach them the truth more accurately. Preaching and teaching publicly and privately “the power of God unto salvation”, progress has been slow, but the seed has been sowed, truth in things pertaining to “life and godliness” has been inculcated. In early 2006, I began a renewed effort to learn Spanish, and I have twice read through the revised version of the “Reina Valera” Bible. I discovered that a Baptist Latino congregation, with both Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking members, was meeting in Erlangen, and this newly-minted Spanish student lost little time in joining them for their Saturday evening meetings. They have been informed about the availability of World Bible School courses in Spanish and Portuguese, and the Jule Miller filmstrips in Spanish, as well as the World English Institute courses, and mild interest has been awakened. Meanwhile, their friendshp is being cultivated and personal study of Spanish intensified. Friday evenings are devoted to a group of Frenchspeaking Camerounians. I have encouraged them to include in their weekly meetings a serious study of the Word of God, instead of simply singing choruses, praying and giving “testimony”. In 1942, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugurated the OSS, fore-runner of the CIA, the original document stipulated that that those chosen for this duty should be prepared to “go anywhere, bear any burden, pay any price”. In seeking to measure up to this worthy standard in fulfilling a ministry for the Lord Jesus, only the words: “for the gospel’s sake” have been added. U
Robert Prater: Email address:email@example.com
The Chinese group to which I am teaching “the truth more accurately”.
Donnie S. Barnes
The Lord’s Church in Nazareth, Israel, now has elders. On Sunday, October 10, Bishara Bishara, and Suhail Shleyan were appointed as elders of the Nazareth Church of Christ before a record attendance of 76 people. The audience was comprised of members of the Nazareth congregation, family members, visitors from the community, and six American brethren invited for the special occasion. responsible for keeping the Lord’s church alive in Nazareth during some very difficult years in the past The congregation’s minister, Maurice Jadon, has served the people of Nazareth for almost three decades. It has long been his desire to see leadership develop among the men of the congregation. In addition to the two new elders, the congregation is anticipating the future appointment of deacons. Maurice began the October 10 service with reasons why this was such an important step in the life of the congregation in Nazareth. Elders from three congregations in Tennessee participated in the ordination service. Bob Mayes, elder from the Signal Mountain Church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN, represented the congregation that has supported the local evangelist in Nazareth for the past thirteen years. Bob Cowan, an elder from the Red Boiling Springs Church of Christ, along with his wife, Regina, represented the church that will be taking on a more involved role with the Nazareth congregation in January. Evertt W. Huffard, an elder from the White Station Church of Christ in Memphis, TN, along with his wife, Ileene, served as missionaries in Nazareth for five years and now regularly return to teach and encourage the church in Nazareth. Donnie S. Barnes, minister of the Red Boiling Springs Church of Christ and formerly an elder in Myrtle Beach, SC, has had a continued involvement with the Nazareth congregation for 40 years. The Lord’s church was planted through the pioneering efforts of Ralph T. Henley and Ernest Stewart in 1960. More than nine families have served as missionaries in Nazareth since that time. Many efforts through the past 50 years, and especially during the past three years, led to the historical day of October 10, 2010, in Nazareth, Israel. To current knowledge, this is the first time in the history of the churches of Christ in the Middle East that a church has appointed elders, since biblical times. Even now plans are being formulated to increase the Lord’s work in Nazareth and throughout the Galilee. May these good efforts and these lovely Arab brethren be included in your prayers. May God be glorified and many souls be brought to Him as a result. U
Bishara, age 70, is a retired educator. For over thirty years he served as principal of Galilee Christian High School in the village of Eilaboun. In addition to his administrative duties, Bishara taught English and Hebrew and presided over the daily chapel program. A history teacher from the school commented during the October 10 service that Bishara lived each day of the week as if it were Sunday. Since his obedience to the Gospel in 1958, his humble demeanor, astute wisdom, and faithfulness to God’s Word have long served the cause of Christ throughout the Galilee. He and his wife Anesseh have four children, two of which are teachers, and four grandchildren. Anesseh is presently working with a school, also. Suhail, age 50, has been a faithful Christian since obeying the Gospel in 1982. He is an engineer with the municipality (city government) of Nazareth. He and his wife, Mayada, are the parents of two teenage sons. His love for the Bible and the church are well known to all who have been associated with Donnie S. Barnes, Minister, Red Boiling Springs Church of the Lord’s work in Nazareth. Along with Bishara, Suhail is Christ, Red Boiling Springs, TN,
AN INCREDIBLE PRISON STORY
This article could be a continuation of the Spring 2010 Global Harvest article, “A Change of Heart, A Change of Life” because Timplex, featured in that article, has truly given his life to God and His work since being restored to his first love two years ago. We knew as Jesus’ disciples, we were instructed to go, go into the world of the lost, meet them where they hurt. Go places we would normally not go; often working with the most difficult of people, in the most challenging of circumstances. Why? Because each soul is so precious. Prissy Sellers and I were willing to walk through that open door. God had made it possible for many souls to be taught the Gospel at a place called Mzimba prison, a prison which has been built to set an example for all prisoners in Malawi. It can accommodate 600 male prisoners and 15 female prisoners. No one had ever been in this place to teach or work with the inmates until Timplex Nkosi went there, hoping to hand out tracts and World Bible School lessons. Through the chaplain’s office, the World Bible School lessons were gladly received and many signed up to take the courses. When Prissy and I went to Mzimba, all we knew was that there were many World Bible School students and that Church Street had sent over money to build a baptistery for some 42 men requesting baptism. We also knew that Timplex was trying to get the Lord’s church started inside the prison, but we were really not prepared for what we saw and heard when we got there. I had worked in many prisons in Africa and knew the rules, so we had our passports ready as the guard opened the door. He said, “We don’t need those.” We were even allowed to keep all our belongings. He then introduced himself and said, “I am Peter. I will be your guide and I am one of your World Bible School students.” He then told us that we were the first white women to ever enter this prison. We could not help but feel a little honored and over- whelmed by that. The first day we were given a tour of the prison, we met all the guards in charge and a schedule was made Those who taught in the prison for 7 days: Prissy Sellers, for the work we National Prison Chaplain from Zomba, Melvin Kalimanihoped to do. Peter sha, William Bongwa, Timplex Nkosi, two other preachers said that we would from Mzimba, and Ruth Orr. be allowed to come back every day for the next six days to with him our goals and intentions, and teach and work with the prisoners. What he agreed with all we wanted to do and an incredible opportunity was given us, was amazed at what he was hearing and we stood almost speechless at what and seeing. He granted permission to we were seeing and hearing! baptize those that desired to submit to the The next two days we were allowed Gospel of Christ and even said he would to teach all the prisoners. I was to teach allow us to take pictures of the baptisms 15 World Bible School students for one — something no one had ever allowed and one half hours, and then another before at any prison. 15 would come in for one and one half hours until all would be taught. At that time we had 187 World Bible School students, so it would take the two days to teach them all. Prissy would go to each cell and teach those who were not World Bible School students. As we taught and they requested baptism, their names were written down and submitted to the chaplain for authorization. On the second day at the Baptism of one of the 122 prisoners baptized that prison, the National Chapday, others waiting to be baptized. lain for all the 30 prisons in Malawi came from headquarters in the Saturday afternoon was scheduled Southern region of the country, some 15 for the baptisms. Every prisoner, man hours away, to see what was going on. and woman, had been taught the Gospel He had heard of the reform in the lives the past two days, and what happened of so many and wanted to know what that evening is almost impossible to had caused such a change. We shared Continued on page 49
AN INCREDIBLE PRISON STORY
Continued from page 48
share in words. We all stood outside at the edge of the concrete baptistery and watched as the Lord added to His church 113 souls, as each confessed his faith and was baptized for the remission of his sins. Tears flowed from prisoners as well as all who witnessed over four hours of baptisms! Certainly, God gave the increase to the seed that was planted in their hearts.
One WBS student with arms outstretched after his baptism.
The National Chaplain said that he had never seen anything like what he had observed over the past two days and that, of the 30 prisons in Malawi, there had never been anyone in any of them to teach as we had, and certainly there had never been a baptism in any of them. He saw how God’s Word could truly transform the prisoners. He then invited Prissy and me to come to the National Headquarters in Zomba to meet with the commissioner of the prisons and talk about what can be done at the others through World Bible School teaching. The next day being Sunday, the chaplain gathered all 600 men prisoners and 14 women prisoners together for the worship service. Our preachers, one at a time, stood up before that great assembly and spoke the Word of God. When it came time for the Lord’s Supper, the officer in charge had all the Christians come up to the front and sit on the ground and all the
other prisoners sat at the back. There This was on Saturday, and on Sunwas complete silence as the Supper day as we gathered for worship at the was observed by all the new Christians. prison, Martin came running to us and The Lord’s Church now exists in the said, “I am going to high court!” We Mzimba prison! were all shocked and asked, “How The next week we were asked to did this happen?” He said he did not come back and teach all the guards. So know but the guards were ready to take on Tuesday night every guard gathered him right then, so we just prayed with in the library as the Gospel, in its him and wished him the best before he simplicity, was presented to them. Each left. On Wednesday of the next week, asked for the World Bible School lessons Martin came back to the prison a “free to be given to them. We went back on man”. The National Chaplain had Thursday and asked if we could meet made it happen in three days! with just the Christians to encourage Martin and his family have now them. We presented them with bags moved to Tombolombo, Mzimba to made by our women at Church Street, help teach and preach in some of the a Bible, and literature to read, and soap. newly established congregations started The next Sunday, 15 more con- while we were there. God answered our fessed their faith and were baptized prayers of how those young churches for the remission of their sins, and God would have help growing spiritually by added them to the group that is now setting Martin free to work for Him! worshiping and growing in Christ. God opened wide a door at the One day as we were teaching World Mzimba prison and we walked through, Bible School students, one young but He also opened many other doors prisoner, Martin Kamanga, wanted to talk which we were grateful to enter and with me. He told of his being accused of teach His Word. something at work that he did not do, but because he did not have funds to take his case to high court, he had been in prison for almost three years. He left a wife and 4 small c h i l d r e n 600 Prisoners. 500 are WBS students; 328 are Christians now and behind. He worship each sunday. had grown up in a Christian home and The preachers, Prissy, and I plantwas a faithful Christian when he was put ed seed, God gave the increase, and in prison. Everyone there knew he was we thank Him for this awesome, lifeinnocent, they said. So, I just mentioned changing experience in which He to the National Chaplain about Martin allowed us to take part. U and asked him why he could not go to high court. He simply said, “He can,” Ruth Orr, 1272 Yell Road, Lewisburg, TN and walked out of the room. 37091
Operation French World
For the past 16 years, Bren & Cheryl White have been working with churches of Christ around the globe to help train more workers for God’s Mission, and to help spread the Gospel to Frenchspeaking areas where there is no New Testament church. This informal evangelistic effort is called ‘Operation French World’. Doyle Kee, S.F. Timmerman, Bob Grigg, Sr., J. Lee Roberts, Hilton Terry & Maurice Hall encouraged Bren to head up just such an effort during a mission campaign in Brussels in 1994. Bren has worked on mission efforts since a very young age, but worked as a manager in international business for nearly 20 years before focusing full-time on world evangelism. Bren and Cheryl have helped to start churches in Maryland, France, Quebec and the West Indies. They are currently working with local Christians to start churches in Colmar, France, La Rochelle, France, Baie St. Paul, Quebec, on the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. As a part of their outreach efforts, they are using J.C. Choate books in English, French and Spanish. Next Bren and his wife, Cheryl, are headed to other islands, this time in the Caribbean. They will be working in March with the St. Maarten Saba Island e v a n g e l i s t , Marlon Lawrie, and his wife, Subrena, to do initial outreach in Statia and Saba (among the Netherland Antilles), with the aim of starting the first New Testament churches on these two tiny islands. Pray that searching souls will be found and churches can be established in these places. U
If you would like more information, please contact Bren at firstname.lastname@example.org
. . . Syktyvkar, Russia
Continued from page 45
Mettenbrink, a former missionary in the Komi Republic, began a ministry of translating sound brotherhood works into Russian for the Russian church. The Syktyvkar church agreed to work with him and now serves as distribution center for the country. To date, 42 books and nine monographs have been distributed and are now in the hands of Russian Christians, free of charge. In 2000, W.C. (Dub) Hill and his wife, Shirley, had a dream of establishing a foster home for children in Syktyvkar. Brother Hill worked with the Syktyvkar elders and the dream became reality. Today, the program is under the oversight and administration of the Syktyvkar church and boasts 15 homes, housing some 85 widows, destitute women and children, including 35 foster children. Another 90 women and children have benefited, having already passed through the program. Many have obeyed the Gospel, and the church has received much credibility in the eyes of the government and the community. Through the years, men such as Marlon Rutherford and Mike Nix, along with others, have continued to return to the Komi region, evangelizing and strengthening the congregations. In 2009 the Syktyvkar church, working with Marlon and Ronnie Morrison, established a new congregation in a nearby village, and they continue to nurture it in its development. Today, nearing their 20th anniversary, the Syktyvkar church is around 140 in number, served by three shepherds, a full-time evangelist (paid from the church treasury), has numerous classes for children and adults, is engaged in many ministries and has their own building which also houses the Syktyvkar Bible School. But, also, there are growing challenges for the Lord’s people in Russia. Under Syktyvkar’s oversight, the church is active in regional evangelization and developing a distance learning program through the school that will take Bible training to congregations throughout Russia that are weak in the faith. Indeed, to use the language of 1 Thessalonians 1:8, the word of the Lord continues to sound forth from Syktyvkar, evangelizing the lost and strengthening a Russian brotherhood in need of revival. Thanks be unto God and all praise, honor and glory be unto Him for His church in Syktyvkar. U
Larry Little, 23110 AL Hwy 24, Moulton, AL 35650 email@example.com; Phone: 256 460 7068
Setting Goals for “Gospel Chariots”
started the Downtown Pretoria Church of Christ with short term Bible School; relocated to the Western Cape and started the Lord’s Church in Plettenberg Bay and in Rundu and Walvis Bay, Namibia; built and started the Vhembe Bible School in The people of Venda; built and started the Bible School in Plettenberg Bay. North Africa need God has blessed us over the years to not only travel with a “Gospel Chariot” too. the Chariots into 11 countries, but to try to get another work up and running every year. This way, we have been helping We are very excited about 2011. There is so much planned Africans evangelize Africa. Our goal is to leave a legacy and for this year. The Chariots will once again be heading out take advantage of the receptivity of a wonderful continent. and reaching as many as possible. Last year was amazing, and every year seems to get better and better as leaders in One kind of portable baptistery. surrounding countries work with us and take advantage of this receptive continent. Almost 1000 souls were baptized last year alone. Our goal is to build a new Gospel Chariot for North Africa in 2012, the Lord willing. As you know, for many years now, we, at the begining of every year, set a goal and try to reach it. As they say: If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. It has been so exciting through the years, taking a step of faith and just trying to accomplish a goal, over and above what we should be able to do. Here are some of the goals achieved through God who has blessed us with a desire to do that extra project for Him. By the grace of God we started the Downtown Johannesburg Church of Christ; built the first Gospel Chariot; started the Lord’s Church in Nelspruit; started the Downtown Durban Church and office; built the second Gospel Chariot for central Africa; started the Lord’s Church in Windhoek, Namibia;
People gathered for one of the tent meetings.
Our goal for this year, is to establish a study room in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. A strong eldership and congregation in Pretoria will be helping us oversee the operation. This project is all about literature and the printed word. Once completed, it will assist all Churches of Christ with evangelism and leadership materials. Many denominations will be attracted to this office and, the Lord willing, many, many doors will open. We hope to have this project up and running by mid year. Please pray for this goal. 2011 has hardly started, and we know what we would love to do in 2012. Our desire to reach more of Africa has been on our hearts for many years now. Our goal is to build
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Malawi is a breathtaking land that has been hidden from the world’s view for time immemorial, but today her people are opening its doors for the world to see its treasures. It is a door worth walking through.
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
The Malawi Project was created in the year 2000 after two of its founders, Richard (Dick) and Diana (Suzi) Stephens of Indianapolis, Indiana had been serving in Malawi, Africa since 1993. During those years they experienced the intense need of its people. A vision was formed to create a conduit through which humanitarian aid could be funneled to a number of associate programs. This would not be a project that would imitate aid program endeavors of the past. It would be based on a different set of principles. In a practical sense, the Malawi Project would be an incubator where new programs could be birthed, established programs could be nourished, then both given independence to grow and prosper. Today, the Malawi Project serves the people of Malawi in every region of the nation. These associated programs do not have a profit-making goal, but are designed to be b e n e v o l e n t g r o u p s serving the p h y s i c a l a n d
The Malawi Project
spiritual needs of the nation. The groups may be without sufficient capital, or in need of equipment or expertise to accomplish the lofty goals they have set for themselves. The Malawi Project comes in as a partner and provides the needed resources to help them get on their feet. After this is done, the organization is expected to be self-sufficient. The Malawi Project owns no property or vehicles in Malawi and works at the discretion of the Malawians who desire its presence. As aid programs exist around the world, the Malawi Project is unique. Members of the Project are sensitive not to create an unhealthy dependency that will lead to American oversight and management of the programs that should be carried out by the local people themselves. It seems to be part of human spirit to desire to accomplish noble acts, to be the change, to inspire others to greatness. The noble accomplishments of people making a difference, of doing those things that help others, of reaching beyond themselves to serve others is seen nearly every day in a thousand little ways through those who serve the people of Malawi from other parts of the world.
effort. Thousands in Malawi will have soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste that would not have otherwise been blessed with these items. “Being the change” is a small boy choosing not to spend his allowance on himself but giving his grandfather the $3.00 allowance so the children of Malawi can have something to eat. “Being the change” is when a boy sacrifices, not just one of his many books for children in Malawi, but it is seen when he gives them his favorite book. “Being the change” is when a young woman makes a single quilt for someone in Malawi, and others catch her vision and prepare and send hundreds of quilts. “Being the change” is in a man’s work center where he produces bicycle carrier units for people he may never meet to get their supplies to and from a trading center deep in Africa.
Literature Fills a Critical Role
The African Continent is different than most other parts of the world in its almost unquenchable thirst for learning. Estimates conclude that each piece of literature is read by at least 10 people. Several examples have been brought to light by members of the Project who tell of literature sent to Malawi in the early 70’s that is still being used today by their proud owners. From booklets to books, Bibles to brochures, correspondence courses to pamphlets on AIDS, the Malawi Project is both a publisher and a conduit for hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature each year. Shipments have included 185,000 Bible courses, and over 10,000 booklets were shipped to preachers in Malawi and Mozambique. Approximately 10,000 books and booklets on moral character and Christian principles were written specifically for the Malawi culture and sent to the country. U
“Being the change” is seen in Andy at his lemon-aid stand working to persuade his neighbors to send 1000 pairs of shoes to the children of Malawi. “Being the change” is evident when the children in an entire school committed themselves to obtaining soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Trunk after trunk after www.malawiproject.org; trunk were filled with the results of their Phone: 317-255-2758
You can “Be the Change...”
Continued from page 51
Radio, WBS, Conversions in The Gambia
Power is the capacity to produce result and nothing has the power to produce salvation other then the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). The Hebrews writer says the Gospel is powerful and effective, and Isaiah declares it is productive. Yes, indeed the Gospel has multiple effects, some visible and others invisible. Often it is the visible results that grip our attention. One such result that has brought me and the saints here in Bakau great joy is the conversion and baptism of Leticia Davies who started visiting us with her mother, who came to know about the church via my weekly radio broadcast about three months ago. Leticia took her mother by surprise when she requested baptism without consulting her first. Her mother asked, “Why did you not wait for me, as I am contemplating my own baptism?” I said to her that “Baptism for one’s salvation is personal and the only consultation needed is with the Master, Jesus.” To that, the mother said Leticia should be baptized immediately while she reflects on her own response to the Gospel. Once more we have seen the great visible power of the Gospel in the death and resurrection of a dead and lost soul. Leticia’s mother is not far from following her daughter’s example. Your prayers can accelerate her decision. With the reopening of our school, we will be adding our sixth grade class. Special thanks go
Isaac K. Daye
a 3rd Gospel Chariot for North Africa. We have made a commitment in this regard for 2012. However, there are some structures we need to put in place, first, before running ahead with this project. Then, it is all systems go. It is not just about finding the funding for the Chariot. Every dream has to have a team.
This is what we need in this stage of the preparation:
1. We are looking for a USA congregation that already works in Ghana or Nigeria, that would like to be part of this work. 2. We need an African congregation with an eldership in Ghana or Nigeria to oversee this Chariot’s travels. So, in essence, we want to share responsibility with US and African leaders. This way we will be tapping into organization and leadership that already exists, with accounting structures and so forth. We are from South Africa and very far from North Africa. Our leadership style has never been one of micromanaging works outside of our country, but rather of motivating, encouraging, and stimulating evangelism. Thus, our goal is not to compete with others, but to work with them. We have plans of advertising this in the brotherhood’s Christian Chronicle newspaper. Our goal is to get more congregations and brethren involved. This will be a HUGE evangelistic project for North Africa, and is tremendously exciting! PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS EFFORT. U
George Funk’s email address: george. firstname.lastname@example.org
to all our sponsors and mission work supporters, most especially to my sponsoring congregation, the Center Street Church of Christ that has provided my family not only with financial support but with love and prayers over the last 14 years of mission work, spanning three nations — The Gambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We were blessed with the visit of Eugene Prince, minister of the Alabaster Church in Alabama, who donated $8,000 towards our land purchase and and another $2,000 towards the concreting of the front slab of our new edifice at Kanifing Church of Christ in The Gambia. I need your prayers for my next mission trip to Liberia and Sierra Leone and I wish to offer special thanks to Tusculum Church of Christ for their assistance in getting me a new and stronger PA system and $500 to purchase some Bibles for my up- coming trip. I stay in need of Bibles for free distribution to our graduating WBS students. U
ISAAC K. DAYE P.O. BOX 4066, BAKAU, THE GAMBIA. Phone 220 992 5398; EMAIL: email@example.com
The Churches of Christ in the French-Speaking World
October 22-24, Montreux, Switzerland, hosted for three days the 13th summit of the world’s French-speaking countries. This included the 32 countries where French is the official language, and 38 others where French is the second language. From the Pacific islands to Canada to Mauritius and beyond into Asia, it is estimated that there are 220 million people who speak French as a first or second language. This represents 13% of the world’s population and nearly all of them are not yet God’s children! By 2050 there will be between 700 and 750 million French speakers. French is the third language on the Internet (after English and German, and ahead of Spanish). It is the 2nd language in the European Union after German and before English. Fortyfour percent of the French-speaking people of the world live in sub-Sahara countries of Africa where the number will reach 500 million by 2050.
FRENCH WORLD SUMMIT
with the Lord’s Supper. For many years David preached once a month, until his eyes could no longer see the Bible print. He never attended a Bible school like us. David was and still is a Bible man; he read the entire Bible five or six times a year. Unseen Hero? Yes! During 38 years, he never tried to be in front of anything to impose his opinion and never tried to have the last word, using his advanced age. It is a privilege for me to inform you of this hero in Christ, as I truly believe that this man is a great example to us all.
be the kind of fruit which causes heaven and earth to rejoice.
Rejean Desbiens died seven days after his baptism in Saguenay, Canada. He had a rapidly growing cancer. However, when he understood the importance of an obedient faith, he readily obeyed the Gospel in the waters of baptism. Even though he could hardly walk, nothing could stop him from obeying the Lord’s command. He was baptized at the hospital for cancer patients. The staff UNSEEN HEROES was very helpful and respectful to allow the brethren to baptize Rejean. Heaven Sylvio Salomon Sunday, the 15 August 2010, the and earth rejoiced at the obediant faith church on the island of Mauritius of this new brother. After spiritually celebrated the 90th birthday of David coming to life with Jesus, Rejean died Emmanuelle, our oldest brother in Christ. physcially seven days later. David called the church his true and Now for the rest of the story: real family. He was added to the church Jean Grenier, the preacher in Saguenayin 1972, baptized by Eddy Kodye Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada, relates who was a Bible student at that time that after the baptism of Rejean Desbiens, in Mauritius. As far as I know, David his daugther Nadia was baptized. Later, has never missed one Thursday prayer his son Jacques followed their example. meeting during 38 years. He never Paul said to “come before winter” (2 missed one Sunday service, except Timothy 4:21), which applied to us when he was in bed due to sickness. means to do what needs to be done before We only went to his house three times it is too late. And when we do, there can
REJEAN DESBIENS: 1941-2010
In August, Jean-Claude Schmidt and Bren White flew to Portland, Maine, then drove 11 hours through Canada to fly from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to two tiny islands off the coast of Newfoundland. St. Pierre and Miquelon, the oldest French overseas territory, is actually a part of North America. Bordered by English-speaking Canadian provinces, these beautiful and unique islands have maintained their distinctive French culture and language since the 1600’s. Very few people visit these hardto-get-to islands, and no one from the churches of Christ has ever shared the Good News. In fact, to our knowledge, no non-Catholic churches have ever existed here. Bren has been praying for souls on these islands for 16 years. With this one brief visit, God opened up many doors! Bren and JeanClaude talked with over 80 people and established 40 contacts for follow-up. This level of receptivity is unheard of in French-speaking areas outside of Africa and the Caribbean. Since no Bibles were spotted anywhere on the islands, fifteen were distributed. Additional Bibles and materials will be sent to contacts throughout this year, and rapport and interest will be developed through email, Skype and regular mail. Public meetings have been discussed and are being planned for next year. If you are interested in being involved in this outreach effort in some way, please contact Bren at firstname.lastname@example.org. U
REpORT FROM ST. pIERRE AND MIqUELON
Evangelism Trip to Wukari and Jalingo, Nigeria
I wanted to share the outcome of our proposed campaign at Okwe area of Asaba in Delta State of Nigeria. To my greatest surprise, the brethren that honoured the invitation were twice my expectation. About 100 turned out for the Campaign! We were able to stage open-air preaching at two distinct points simultaneously, and a great number of those in attendance embarked on house to house preaching. To God’s glory, besides two families of about six Christians who were converts through our TV program, we found seven other Christians who live in that area and are now part of the church which we started there with the first assembly on the following Sunday. Fourteen adults and six children were present. Some of our prospects could not attend, owing to a heavy downpour. After the service I visited some of the prospects, along with some of those who had worshipped. If all is well, we will baptize a husband and wife who are serious members of Pentecostal Churches and had read and digested the tracts given out to them on Saturday. I was just asked to clarify some issues. We also had a productive trip to Wukari and Jalingo in Taraba State of Nigeria. I thank God the journey was made without any mishaps on our ways to and from the two cities in Taraba. We (Raymond Onwumere, Tawo Peter Odu — a student preacher who is on teaching practice with my congregation — and I) left Onitsha around 10:20 A.M. and got to Wukari, around 6:15 P.M. Brother Stephen Ugbo had made arrangements for us to meet with WBS students in that area. We checked in at a Lodge and followed Stephen to check on one of the students close by. As the student was not at home, we retired to our lodging place after visiting Stephen’s residence. The next day we met the student and also talked to one of the attendants at our lodge. Both affirmed the truthfulness of the message they heard, but none yielded for baptism. We left Wukari later that morning for Jalingo (about three hours drive from Wukari) as Stephen had arranged for us to meet with some of the students from noon and attend to others on Thursday. We were disappointed as only one student showed up. We attended the evening service of Air Strip Church of Christ where Stephen worships and pleaded that they ask those whom they know as students of WBS or those who want to enroll to see us at the scheduled venue the next day. They appreciated our visit and promised to help. Thursday morning, we started the day with the visit of a Deeper Life Bible Church Pastor who wants to enroll with WBS (Geoffrey Gogoni). He was referred to us by a member of Air Strip Church of Christ. He was followed by John G. Moses, the founder of Fire of God Church denomination and a WBS Student. Both attest to learning the truth but insist that they have to go home and ponder over the things they were taught while still studying WBS lessons. We persuaded Geoffrey to possibly arrange for us to minister to his entire congregation, whom he said he is grooming for baptism. We pray that after having thought further about the message of salvation he heard he will not only submit himself but will allow us an audience with his group. In my judgment, the two are only afraid of losing their position and the material benefits they derive from those they lead. We also talked with one Overseer Yaro, a member of the Baptist Church. Overseer was so happy about learning the truth that he insisted that we would not bear the cost of transport to the stream to baptize him. The moment we returned from the waters of baptism, he went out and came back with some money, begging us to take it as he was very happy. With the baptism of Overseer, we all rejoiced and prayed for God to give us more souls. A group of about 20 young men and women were assembled through the effort of Stephen’s wife and one brother Philip, a school teacher who lives close to Stephen. Most of those were members of United Methodist Church of Nigeria (UMCN), and a good number of them were students of a College of Education close by. To God’s glory, four young ladies out of the lot decided to put on Christ in spite of distractions from their peers. On Friday morning, Peter re-invited some of those talked to the previous day for further discussion, but none of those were moved to obey the Gospel. We left Jalingo for Wukari to see if we could meet with some other students before our return to Anambra State. It is good that this move resulted in the conversion of two young men who were invited by brother Peter — Emmanuel Tanko and Danasabe Ingyeka. I can still feel the dirtiness of the muddy water where I baptized these two young men. In all, I really thank God for His mercies. Please pray for these precious souls that they might remain firm in the faith. U
Felix Onyeka’s email address: email@example.com
P th fa an su p
Organized by The Voice of Truth in Nigeria (V.T.N.) at the Auditorium of the Egbeda Church of Christ in Lagos State, Nigeria
The first annual “February Evangelism Summit of the Voice of Truth in Nigeria” (V.T.N) took place this year, as one of the outreach programs of the Churches of Christ of the area. This meeting was brought into being by dint of hard work and determination.
The 2011 Evangelism Summit
PREPARATIONS FOR THE SUMMIT
In December of 2010, the decision to have the 2011 Evangelism Summit was reached even though the team (V.T.N) had nothing in its treasury. This did not discourage us as had always been the case in the previous years. The first positive response was when we wrote to the leadership of the Church of Christ, Egbeda in Lagos State, on the 1st of January 2011 as regards to using their auditorium for the Summit. This request was granted immediately, after which we started sending appeals for financial assistance to some brethren in Lagos to enable us to organize the meeting. We also sent invitations to all the congregations in Lagos State and beyond, to other brethren in neighboring countries, like the Republic of Benin and Ghana, all in the West African region.
Some of the group attending the Summit.
This particular situation brought fears to some of us because we were faced with a lot of worries on what next to do. However, the determination to make the 2011 Evangelism Summit a reality did not in any way weaken; instead, we trusted on God to bring the Summit to pass. Four days to the event,
A WEEK BEFORE THE SUMMIT
Jesus said in Mark 9:23 that, “if you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” This statement is just as He said it. One week before the Summit, nothing was realized from the financial appeals we had George Akpabli, Director of the Bepreviously sent out, while thousands nin Bible Training Center, was one of invitations had already been mailed. of the speakers at the Summit.
the situation remained unchanged. At this stage, some of the organizers started giving up and suggested that the program be cancelled, but I said NO to that because the God we serve is a living God. He only requires us to trust and obey Him. And on that same day, I mentioned the situation to a sister in Christ who has been a lover and supporter of God’s business all her life. And, on the following day, the money used to organize the Summit was sent by this dedicated, loving, caring, and faithful sister. I pray that the Almighty God will bless her abundantly and open more windows of blessings to her in Jesus’ name.
THE EVE OF THE SUMMIT
The arrival of our brethren, among whom were brothers George Akpabli, Samson Ekwe, and Patrick Ogbonna, all from Cotonou, the capital of Benin Republic, on Friday evening added some new faces to the Summit premises,
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They Came By the Thousands
This year, the Zambia Medical Mission was incredible with an outstanding team that worked extremely hard to see that we took care of all the patients who came for care. We set all-time records, seeing the most patients in one day at our last clinic at Mabuyu: 3,740. This brought our overall total to 19,560! These patients were treated with kindness, respect, and with the love that Jesus showed to those with whom He came in contact. Everyone that was treated for a medical condition knew that we were there because of Jesus and the example He set. Over 80 souls were baptized and oth rs will follow after more study e with the Church Development team. The free wheel hair program has c made such a differ nce for so many e peo le. Sheryl (Hamby) Ramsey p initiated this program last year. These wheelchairs are made especially for the terrain in ru al areas. Almost 60 were r given out during the clinics. It was so wonderful to know that when you saw someone being car ied or struggling so r hard to walk, you could call Sheryl, and she would be there with a wheelchair for the individual. The burden that is lifted from the family is great and the patients are thrilled to have a little independence to move about on their own. Sheryl remained in Zambia for another month to take wheelchairs to rural health clinics all over the Southern Province. It was a great joy to see that we gave out all the Clean Delivery Kits; 501 of these kits were given to women who were in their last tri-mester of pregnancy. Each year about 60 million women in develop ng countries give birth with i only the help of an untrained attendant
Zambia Medical Mission
or family member, or with no help at all. The infection rate is high and hundreds of women die from com lications assop ciated with pregnancy or childbirth, and infection is a leading cause. Many of these infections can be avoided when Clean Delivery Kits (CDKs) are used. Ours include a bar of soap, square yard of plastic sheet, razor blade, string for umbilical cord, sealed bag for packaging, baby blanket, infant sleeper, candle, matches, and two pairs disposable gloves. These simple items will help save the lives of countless mothers and babies. We try our best to meet the needs of the patients who come to our clinics. Only with God’s help and the help of so many who contribute to send a team member, give funds for medicine, CDKs, wheelchairs, etc. were we able to have such a successful mission. It is a team effort, and our Leader is the Lord.
Cataract Surgery at Namwianga
At Simalundu, on our first set of clinics, an elderly man slowly walked in, cautiously holding on to the end of a stick that a young family member used to lead him. The old man had been blind for 10 years and depended on others to guide him. Living in the Gwembe Valley in the Simalundu area is one of the most difficult existences a person can have in Zambia. Life is tough, as the land is not good and the rains are very sparse. These people were displaced in the 1950’s when the Kariba Dam was built. They left a very fertile valley and were brought to a desolate land. On that fateful day, the blind man most likely walked several kilometers in the hopes of seeing a doctor for his many ailments. Little did he know that the trip to the Zambia Medical Mission outreach clinic would embark him on Continued on page 58
a road that would change his life. He knew the medical team was coming, but no one in the area knew we were going to be offering the hope of having eye ight restored. s A year ago when Sheryl Ramsey was at the Livingstone Gener l Hospital a donat ng wheelchairs, she met Dr. i Monze. Dr Monze is the administrator for the hospital, but he is also an ophthalmologist. He is associated with a British Optical Aid Organization called Sightsavers. When Sheryl told him what we do on the medical mission and that we send patients to Zimba for cataract surgery, Dr. Monze was very excited and said he thought Sightsavers could work out a cataract sur ery partnership with g ZMM. Throughout the year, there was dialogue between Dr. Monze and Sheryl. When I flew into Zambia the first of June, Shepherd Mbumwae, our hospital administrator, and I met in Lusaka with the Program Director of Sightsavers. It was obvious they wanted to partner with us. The plan was for ZMM Optical Clinic to identify the patients who had cataracts, and then we would bring them in by Lorry to Namwianga where Dr. Monze and his assistants would perform the cataract surgery. They knew we did not have a surgery (theatre) room at Namwianga, but they said all they needed was a sterile room with an operating table and light. There would be absolutely no cost for ZMM except for providing food and lodging for Dr. Monze and his team. We also had to contract with lorries to transport the patients, and then we provided food and blankets for the patients and their family members. When the old man came to the Optical Clinic, he was diagnosed with
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The 2011 Evangelism Summit
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Bilateral Cataracts and was in the first group of patients who traveled to Namwianga Health Center. The old man, as did all the others, calmly went through the surgery. I am certain he did not know what the outcome would be as it is also thought by many that if you go to surgery you do not return alive. No one was prepared for what happened the next day when the bandage was removed from the one eye on which they had done surgery. He pro eeded to jump out of bed and c started running uncontrollably around the grounds, singing praises to the Lord and shouting, “I will see my cows — I will see my grandchildren!” He did not recognize any of the villagers from Simalundu and only knew who they were when he was able to identify their voices. A few weeks later, he came back and was taken to Dr. Monze in Livingstone where he had the other eye operated on. Dr. Monze is an amazing doctor as he has great compassion for his people. He was the only surgeon, and he started early in the morn ng and operated until i after midnight, trying to take care of as many cases as possible. He was very excited to have the patients we brought in as he said normally these people from so deep in the valley never have the opportunity for cataract surgery. He was also very happy with our facility and kept bragging on our wonderful operating table. He said it moved up and down with just putting his foot on a pedal — he did not have such a table as this at the Livingstone hospital. Dr. Monze performed 52 cataract and several other types of optical surgeries. He already has scheduled partnering with ZMM in 2011. U
Zambia Mission Fund, 3103 East Memorial Road, Edmond, OK 73013
as local brethren also started trooping in and out of the church auditorium to greet these missionaries from the Republic of Benin with tears of joy in their eyes. After the Friday evening service and a dinner, they were driven down to a nearby hotel where we had previously secured accommodations for them.
THE SUMMIT DAY PROPER (5TH FEBRUARY, 2011)
As early as 7:00 A.M., the church auditorium was already calling brethren in with the rendition of an Accappella CD titled “Songs of Faith and Praise” sent to us by brother Edward Mosby (USA). As the Summit participants entered the auditorium, the camera man was already standing with his photo and video cameras well positioned. Brother Monday Femi Uzoyare (The Lagos State Coordinator of the V.T.N) was the moderator for the day, while brother Mcintosh Chimezirim, also of the Lagos State branch of the V.T.N, was the song leader for the day (a very good song leader). The Summit opening prayer was said by brother Sunday Effiong (One of the elders in the Egbeda Church of Christ). I read the welcome address, after which there was a series of songs before the second welcome address written by sister Betty Choate (USA) which was delivered by brother George Akpabli, a Cotonoubased missionary working in the French speaking countries of Africa. I then delivered the report of the achievements and challenges recorded so far by the team (V.T.N) since inception in 2008 till date. After some responses on the report and suggestions for the way forward from the participants, the first Summit Bible lesson titled “The Power
of God unto Salvation” was delivered by brother Moses O. Obakemi, the minister of the church of Christ at Lawanson in Lagos State. This was followed by the presentation of the second lesson, titled “The Church and Evangelism” by brother Oji O. Oji, the minister of the church of Christ at Ikeja in Lagos State. After rendering some songs, the participants were refreshed, and then came the distribution of the Bible study materials sent by the Mission Printing and the World Evangelism Office in Winona, MS, USA, as well as some CDs from brother Roger Dickson in South Africa. The closing remarks and vote of thanks were made by me, while the closing prayer was said by brother Adewole Gege from the Egbeda Church of Christ. The Summit came to an end at 4:00 P.M. and everybody who attended went home rejoicing. The next year’s edition will take place at the church of Christ, Ikeja, Lagos State. The following Team Leaders from the Lagos State branch of the V.T.N joined me in organizing the Summit: Bro. Monday Femi Uzoyare Bro. Ikechukwu God’spower Ossai Bro. Augustine Ibra Dick Bro. Ilesami Samson Bro. Peter Igbekele We appreciate all the brethren who helped to make this Summit a reality, from within and outside the country. May the Almighty God, whose work you have supported, bless you all in Jesus’ name. U
Kingsley C. Odogwu, V.T.N National co-ordinator, P.O.Box 20615 UI, Ibadan 200005, Oyo State, Nigeria. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com; Tel: +2348062893417.
The Preaching Power of the Printed Page
This has been the heart of the rainy season, and it has been raining ‘cats and dogs’ and a few other animals! Many activities have taken place during the past months. Leadership Seminars: July 3, August 7, and September 4th. We had 58 in attendance for July, and 75 in August. But for September, the day turned into mourning for us as we lost one of our brothers that same day. Brother Adekunle Emmanuel had graduated from the Bible school on August 14th. He received the best student awards for moral behavior and academic excellence. He was someone wholly prepared for service in the church. But we lost him before we could use him. Evangelism at Ososo: We went for a campaign at Okeh-Ososo and two obeyed the Gospel. We went again to another quarter of Ososo and had a day of door knocking. It was a rainy day, but we had a good turn out. We went to the river in the rains and baptized nine souls. Evangelism at Dagbala: We went to this village for a one-day campaign. At the end, we converted six souls to Christ. Funeral Service at Owan: The brethren at Eruere-Osi in Owan West Local Area invited me to preach at the funeral of the brother who had died at the age of 102 years. His believing children converted the late brother at the age of 95 years. World Bible School: I was very busy going from village to village and trying the best I can to receive and distribute the WBS lessons that came to my post office box from various teachers and congregations in the USA. I went as far as Ageva and Ogori in Kogi state to contact students. Key To The Kingdom: The KTTK program, as a result of the TV broadcasts, has also ensured that I continue to have people who contact me by phone and by emails to request our free Bible courses, Bibles, and prayers. I am happy to be useful in this regard also. continue to mail them. Now I seek out opportunities to send them through brethren to congregations far and near. I have sent to churches in Benin, Owo, Ikare, Akungba, Abeokuta, Abraka, and Agbor. And I have taken many boxes with me on speaking appointments to Kano, Abuja, Maiduguri, Sabo, and other places. Locally, preachers and members come to my house or to the church building to collect tracts for their congregation’s use, or to send to others in other states. At church, every visitor receives a package of tracts. We give them out at road blocks when we travel. There is no day in which one or all of us, whose phone numbers are listed, do not receive a call, asking questions, asking location, or requesting more tracts. A friend of mine who lives in The Gambia came home for the holidays. He read the tracts and immediately asked for some to take with him for the Church of Christ in The Gambia. [He is not a member, but he knows our brethren in that country.] In the light of the whole ignorance and errors of denominations around us, and some in the brotherhood who are ‘eying’ the fanciful doctrines of men in the many Nigerian [indigenous] churches, then these tracts are in great need. Printing Press: In the light of the many challenges facing the church of Christ in Nigeria in the areas of provision of Bible literature, my hope is that we would ultimately be able to have a printing press to produce tracts and books for the Nigerian brotherhood. Please pray with us to see this dream fulfilled. U
The Need for Tracts and Other Literature
Tracts: In this quarter, I have written and published four tracts in the “Let the Bible Speak” series: “The Church of Christ Is Not a Denomination”, “Religious Titles”, “Unity In Christ”, and “Salvation In Christ”. Also, I was able to reprint two others. Thus, for this quarter, we produced a total of 30,000 tracts, and altogether, since we started, we have printed 80,000 which are being used in many ways to advance the Gospel across Nigeria. We take these tracts with us when we go for our regular village campaigns. As we go from house-to- house, we leave a tract or two with our audiences. Also, in our Bible lectures, seminars and workshops, we hand out tracts to anyone who wants to read one. Usually, there are not enough to go around. We have placed tracts in the post office here at Igarra for the public, and the tracts go along with the World Bible School lessons in schools, to both staff and students. As the tracts started growing in popularity, requests began coming from different places. At first, I mailed tracts to a few preachers who called to request them, but I soon discovered that the same ‘reason’ that necessitated the writing Imogoh A Sylvester, P O Box 251, Igarra, of the tracts [cost] would not let me Edo State, Nigeria. firstname.lastname@example.org
Aid for Pakistan’s Flooding
When I am asked “How was Pakistan?” the first word that comes to mind is Enigma; in the context of a nation, the Free Online Dictionary uses ENIGMA in a sentence in this manner: This country remains an enigma for the outside world. Relief work has always been the raison d’etre of MARCH for Christ — Medical Action for Relief, Counseling and Healing; work done all in the name of Christ, to the glory of Christ. A massive earthquake in the city of Baguio in the northern Philippines in 1990 gave rise to this banding together of about 20 Christian doctors, dentists, nurses, preachers, and plain members. Their desire was to point people in the direction of God in times of disaster and to discover God’s love in spite of calamity. Since 1990, by God’s grace, this MARCH for Christ has conducted 54 missions throughout the Philippine islands, and in tragedy-stricken countries in Asia (Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Cambodia — our first peace time mission); always working with the churches of Christ. In some areas, we help churches grow their contacts through our benevolent work, and in others we helped plant new churches even as far as Myanmar. Trusting in God’s mission for us in Pakistan, we set out for Pakistan. Like Gideon and his 300 soldiers, the 3 of us set out to this land known as the cradle of Islamic fundamentalism, and asked God to multiply our resources and to open doors for us. We imagined we were the 3 columns that God used to defeat the Midianites. Did God answer our prayers and multiply our resources? You be the judge. We arrived 10:30 P.M., October 5 in Lahore, got into our hotel at midnight. At 8:30 A.M., the Philippine Consul picked us up to bring us to a meeting and press conference at the Lahore General Hospital. The hospital’s bigwigs led by Dr. Salahuddin Khan, Consul Rizwan Fareed and others presented the MARCH for Christ relief team on nationwide television. And in a short time we were in an ambulance headed for the city of Muza Fargargh — almost a seven-hour drive. While we were in Muzaffargargh till Saturday, October 9, Dr. Gerry Teves teamed up with LGH Dr. Mohammed Andnan Bhutta, a very likeable man who spoke English and Spanish. Together, they treated over a thousand patients in five different villages close to the area hit by the floods and where refugees had relocated. Shem and I teamed up with Naeem Sabir, preacher for the Sahiwal Church of Christ, to organize relief goods and then distribute them to 132 Christian families from that area.
Clinic under the trees.
From Muzaffargargh, we would backtrack three and a half hours to Sahiwal City, where we would stay and work with the Church of Christ until departure time. Dr. Teves would team up with husband and wife Drs. Aftab and Sabia to have medical camps, treating brethren and their Muslim neighbors from Sunday afternoon up to Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, Dr. Teves had a solo medical camp with Shem and Naeem in a village in Okarra city. Christian flood refugees traveled from 40 kilometers away to be treated and to receive relief goods that we had prepared. In all, we gave away 460 packages of flour, rice, cooking oil, dahl, sugar, tea, bath soap, and laundry Luis Cusi (center) discussing work plans with brethren. soap — two sack loads per family. We would learn when we arrived in Sahiwal the reason for the over protectiveness of Naeem. He would not allow us to go out of the gate or to walk in the streets by ourselves. The church compound even had guards with an AK 47 assault rifle and a shotgun. A few months earlier (or was it a year ago), two Christian men studying Bible with Naeem were arrested by police while distributing tracts. They were jailed and charged with
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Reporting Evangelism from New Delhi, India
Since 1969, soon after the planting of the church in New Delhi, many thousands of books in English and Hindi languages have been printed, distributed, and mailed throughout the country. With their circulation, we have been able to provide much needed sound Bible teaching on many subjects. In fact, the Lord’s church, itself, has been well represented to people everywhere in the country through these books, and those printed in additional languages in other states of India. Brother J.C. Choate, who initiated this wonderful literature ministry, used to bring manuscripts of books, and books which had already been printed in the States, at least twice every year for printing or reprinting. All of this material was written by many sound and faithful brethren in the States, with the addition of radio sermon books by Indian brethren. Also back then, in 1969, we began printing a monthly magazine, The Bible Teacher, which continues to be published each month and is presently in its 41st year. A few years ago, we began a Hindi edition also. Almost all the articles printed each month in these magazines are reproduced from articles in various brotherhood journals and bulletins in the States, such as Gospel Advocate, The Spiritual Sword, The Voice of Truth International, etc. There would be countless numbers of people in this country, from every religious background, who would have known nothing about the true church of the Bible and pure New Testament Christianity if they had not had access to the kind of Bible-based literature that was made available to them from the New Delhi church. Though in the major cities of India one might find a bookstore offering “Christian” books and literature, we have no such business operated by members of churches of Christ. A service, such as we have offered, has helped to fill that void. Preachers and members of the Lord’s church in various places all over the country have been benefited by these numerous books supplied to them, free of cost. Many people still write and ask me if I could send them copies of a particular book they require. Through these years, we have continually made sound Bible material available to people of all religious backgrounds, to churches, Bible seminaries, theological schools and colleges, libraries, etc. Only eternity will reveal the good done. To reach more and more people with the Gospel, in 1975 we began using the radio — Radio Sri lanka — as it had become available by then. J.C. had broadcasts in English and I in Hindi. We also added programs in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam, with preachers from other states joining us in that part of the work. As time passed, television became available, and that, too, became a means of evangelism in various languages. We miss brother Choate immensely, as he was the source of encouragement to all of us in these great works of the Lord. For the past two years, I have been producing DVDs with Gospel messages in Hindi and English. As more and more people are coming to know about the availability of these, this work, too, is generating a good response. Not only are members and preachers in the church asking for them, but people from various denominational groups and their preachers, and even some Catholic “Fathers” are requesting them. To God be the glory through all that is being done to accomplish His will. As Hindi is the national language of India and is videly spoken in many states, we tremendously need a television program in Hindi. I have been making enquiries about the cost of a thirty-minute telecast, and I have found that the cost will be $1000.00 for each program. The viewership will be several million. How wonderful it would be if we could have a Hindi Telecast for this nation of more than one billion souls, 85 percent of which follow the Hindu religion! I hope and pray that brethren will think about this great opportunity of reaching millions with the saving Gospel. It is a wonderful time in which we are living today, when we have so many different tools available. May God help us to see what can be done to fulfill His Great Commission. U
Sunny David’s email address: email@example.com
DVDs available in the Hindi Language.
Gospel Meeting in Nanded, India
In 2010 we faced challenges to make alterations in our places of worship and work. On October 31st we changed the place of worship to an auditorium. It is a costly venture but we had no choice. But on November 1, I got the good news from brother Sonu who works in Gangoh (Saharanpur District of U.P. state) over the phone that seven people obeyed the Gospel on Sunday. It was an encouraging thing for us that the Lord gives us hope whenever we are discouraged with the things we face. Started in September, our Daily Bible Verse Service now has more than 300 contacts. Across the country through SMS, daily at 6 A.M. - 7 A.M., we send God’s Word to the people. Out of this, some who are believers and some who have never read the Bible are given a chance to know God’s will. Students in the North India Bible College face trouble most of the time because they were asked by neighboring tenants not to sing in daily morning and evening devotions. Singing is a necessary tool for their spiritual growth, but we seek God’s providence in this matter. Brother Subodh Gual from Balco township, Chhattisgarh, said that three more souls obeyed the Lord from the Mahant family, and some others also were being prepared. This has counted 20 baptisms at his place in this past year, and a total of 80 baptized people now worship in that congregation every Lord’s Day. They are growing in number, and the need of the space for gathering increases day by day. With their limited resources, they are planning to buy a piece of land for worship. In Nanded, Maharashtra state (1900+ kilometers from here, 32-hour journey by train), brother S. Sheranappa arranged a two-day class for me. He spoke, along with brother Amul Bansod and brother Barnabas from Aurangabad for a short time, but I was the main teacher. I had few hours and thought to stop at Aurangabad and met with brother Bansod’s family. I talked with the students and staff of the
Copies of the Hindi Bible course given to those who attended the meetings in Nanded.
Aurangabad Bible College and some of the local preachers. I should not forget to mention here that brother Sheranappa came in contact with me through the Truth for Today books. After getting our literature he contacted me and, during these years, the relationship has grown to this level that he wanted me to preach in the meeting he arranged. He, among many, never forgets to tell me that these books are a great blessing to him. Indian people are so privileged to have such study materials. He says that in his 40 years of preaching he is very impressed with the style of translation and the language used. He has made a library at his house of the Truth for Today books and encourages people to learn from them. In Nanded, about 150 heard the Gospel. People appreciated the study and were glad that they were hearing this kind of teaching for the first time in their life. One good thing that came from the meeting was that some people asked me to come and have such meetings in other places. Some young people even wanted to be our students, and the Lord willing they will be enrolled for the next session of the school. While I was there, I received good reports over the phone of the Gospel being taken to the other areas as well. Brother Ritesh James who works in Satna, MP state, told me that they have distributed 400 Bible Courses in Hindi to various people, and they want to invite me for a Gospel meeting in Satna very soon. He also asked for 40 Hindi Bibles to be given to people with whom he has been in touch. U
Earnest Gill operates the North India Bible College in Chandigarh, India. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Earnest Gill introducing the Hindi Bible Course, “Seeking a Better Life”.
IMPACT OF Bible Correspondence Courses IN INDIA
The city of Kakinada on the south eastern coast of India is better known as the Jerusalem of India, if not the Telugu speaking state of Andhra Paradesh which has a population of a 100 milllion people. One reason why the Telugu brotherhood feels that way is due to the fact that out of here goes forth the Word of God though radio, TV, and the printed page. This is also a city where the first school of preaching was established in India about 40 years back by brother J.C. Bailey. It turns out at least 100 Gospel preachers each year, men who are well trained in a two year program. However, it is the Bible Correspondence course work that is impressive here. I started running the Bible courses almost from the very next week after I became a Christian, way back in 1964, working along with brother J.C. Bailey. In fact I obeyed the Gospel after taking the Basic Bible course in English written by Ira Rice Jr.! After becoming a Christian, I wanted to translate that course into Telugu. Since it was extensive and would need much funding to print it, brother Bailey decided to run a more comprehensive and well organized Bible course written by brother J.C. Choate during the years he was a missionary in Karachi, Pakistan. We ran this course (it was later printed as Bible Keys in book form) from 1964 to 1995. Hundreds of thousands of people took this course, so much so that currently we have about 3.3 The Voice of Truth in Telugu. million people who were enrolled through the years. This has enabled the church in language in 1995, to cover the people Andhra state to spread rapidly. of Orissa who speak that language. The Oriya language course, in turn, has How We Get the Contacts In the early days of our work, we helped to spread the truth into many used to advertize in the newspapers and homes in Orissa, and small congregations also took advantage of denominational are resulting in that state due to our work. papers. But from 1976 to 2003 most of There are about a 100,000 now enrolled our contacts came through our radio from Orissa. Incidentally, we also have programs, arranged by brother Choate a bimonthly magazine in ORIYA which and broadcast on the short wave radio goes into 3000 homes, as of now. station from Colombo, Sri Lanka. At The Success Rate the end of each lesson, we would offer About 70% enrolled complete the a FREE Bible Correspondence course courses. This is mainly because we in TELUGU. When students finished offer them a copy of the Bible free. the course, we would gift them a copy Most Indians do not know where and of the New Testament how to get a copy of the Bible. Since and/or send them a book this is predominantly a Hindu country, of the radio sermons. there are no Bible bookstores in the After receiving these towns and villages over the country. gifts, they would in The Bible Society of India is the only turn enroll their family place where you can get Bibles, and members or friends. it has branches only in BIG cities like Thus, the enollment Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta swelled like anything. and Hyderabad. Even professing From 1995, we Christians often do not know where began to offer each one a and how to get a Bible! copy of the Bible FREE Thankfully, at the moment a copy either in Telugu or Oriya. of the Bible is available here in India We introduced the Basic for only $2.75, including shipping Bible course in ORIYA Continued on page 64 Joshua Gootam with a shipment of Bibles.
Bible Correspondence Courses . . .
costs. Though this sounds cheap, most Indians cannot afford even that. It translates to 120 Rupees in Indian currency, which is more than a man’s daily wages. But here we are, offering them a copy of the Bible and that, too, after completing the Bible course! They write and ask for the course and finish it as quickly as possible, and within no time a Bible is delivered to them at their door step! Isn’t it wonderful?
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blaspheming Mohammed. On their way to court, two Muslims shot them at close range. Christians protested their death, demonstrated and burned tires in the streets. Naeem was one of those who led in filing charges against the killers; as a result, he told us that there were constant death threats against him and the church. SO HOW WAS OUR TRIP TO PAKISTAN? Let me tell you why Enigma is the first word that comes to mind. It is like a scene right out from the movies, and you are the man in the camera’s lenses. Donkey carts and bicycles alongside motorized rickshaws, motorcycles, and cars screaming through the streets, tooting their horns endlessly — you see this scene in the side streets, markets, in the highways and expressways. Men wearing their traditional white, cream or light blue chemise, bearded, wearing caps; women in different styles of clothing with veils covering their heads, some showing just their eyes, and as soon as they see you, their eyes all rivet on you. And yet, we shall return as the Lord wills it. Winter is coming and the supplies we gave were just enough for food. We were not even able to reach the brethren in Peshawar. The flash floods affected 20 million people; some of them are our brethren, asking, waiting, and expecting help. We cannot turn our backs. Our meeting with preachers in Lahore on our way home was for us God’s signal that there is more to be done. Unlike Jonah, we will return to our Nineveh. If Pakistan is the only way from the sea for NATO forces to enter Afghanistan, perhaps Pakistan, as the cradle of Islamic fundamentalism, is the way into the hearts of our Muslim friends and leaders. U
Contact Luis Cusi at email@example.com
Preparing Bibles for mailing.
Many Hindus also want to read the Bible, so they take the course and soon have their own copy. The Basic Bible course is written in such a way that if a person stays through the entire course, he would obey the Gospel sooner or later. We now estimate about 400 people are being baptized each year due to this effort. Brother Choate helped us to begin to telecast the VOICE OF TRUTH (Satya Vani) programs from 2003. People hear the message and see our work on TV and enroll themselves to know more about the Bible. This has given us an opportunity to place the Word of God in many thousands of homes through the years. And I reckon it is being read in most of those homes on a daily basis because they see it as a precious possession. One woman wrote that she received her copy of the Bible from us on her knees when the postman delivered it to her. One lady who watched our telecasts in New Jersey, USA, enrolled in the Bible course, completed it
and received her copy through the mail. Her joy knew no bounds when she got the Bible in her own mother tongue in a foreign land! Another reason for the success of the entire program of work is that we have a motto in our office which says “24 HOURS”, which means we respond to each contact within 24 hours! I am assisted with a committed saff of 16 people who work 5 hours each day, enrolling, grading and mailing the courses. We are averaging about 300 letters per day from our new contacts now. We are mailing 1000 Bibles per month to those that have succesfully completed the Basic Bible Course. And another 200 Bibles are personally collected by the local contacts. Whenever any of these contacts request us for baptism, we put him or her in touch with the nearest congregation. Occasionally, people come here to be baptized also. Since religious conversion is prohibited in Orissa, people come to our office in Kakinada to be baptized and then go back to their places and meet as a small congregation. The people of Andhra Pradesh are taught well through the Radio, TV, the printed page and from man to man. People know what to do to be saved and are ready to respond. So, no wonder you see or read about 100s of people obeying in meetings when American brethren come here to teach. We prepare the ground, sow the Gospel seed faithfully, and it is the Lord who gives the increase. Each local congregation has enough well taught people that can teach others in turn. The church increases in faith, and the Lord is glorified. Please keep this work in your prayers. God bless you. U
JOSHUA GOOTAM’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Continued from page 60
How the Church Benefits
First Century Evangelism Methods at Work, Effectively…
Philemon and Kingsly Rajah
First, it is God who gives us strength and wisdom to do His work, and we give Glory to Him. Thank God for the Choates who have developed ordinary men like us, to plan this “new” method to train the members of the Lord’s Church for evangelism as the first century Christians did, in our “JC School of Evangelism”. Also, we thank the Bates for their encouragement and guidance in carrying out this fruitful method of winning souls for Christ. After two years of training the ordinary Christians of the Lord’s church for evangelism, it is simply amazing to see the results of this school. Apart from the five days of theory classes each month, we give practical field training to our evangelism school students to work with their own congregations in the following way: 1. Going door to door and distributing Bible lessons and tracts. 2. Getting appointments for house Bible studies. 3. Organizing Special Area Bible studies. 4. Conducting Gospel meetings. 5. Establishing new congregations. And all these are arranged by our students, about whom we were thinking that “these people cannot do anything to evangelize”. It is true that, rightly motivated and trained, men and women of the Lord’s Church can do anything for Christ. Yes, they live in their same house, with the same family, same job and situations, but their priority has changed. These men and women, who were previously saying that, “We live for our family and we have come to church worship service and to Christ for our blessings,” now started saying that, “We live for Christ and His church.” We request your prayers and encouragement for these dedicated Christians who wish to bring at least one soul a month to their congregation. Crippled young men, handicapped young men, visually challenging men and women, partially mentally retarded men and women, and ordinary men and women, all these people are working for the development of their congregations and bringing souls to teach the truth to them. Now, we have really started attended by some 15 members of their household, and they are still studying every Friday. But all the members of this large family have already started attending the worship service at Arasaradi Church of Christ. I am really amazed by one of our deaf and dumb women students of JC School of Evangelism class who is presently studying in our second batch in Madurai. This woman, who is our Arasaradi congregation member, after starting the classes, keeps on
Philemon Rajah and Kingsly with an evangelism class.
feeling that, “We are doing nothing when compared to these people.” For example, our JC School of Evangelism students in Madurai and K’palayam added 22 souls to their respective congregations in the months of September and October 2010, alone. One husband and wife from Roman Catholic background, who are our contacts through JC School students, have taken baptism, and they are faithful members now. Initially they were contacted by our students, and then brothers Kingsly and Antony were taking Bible class in their house every Friday evening for nearly fourand-one-half months. The study was
Continued on page 66
bringing someone to the worship service and Bible study. She lives in the underprivileged area, and she brings vegetable selling women, fish selling women, friends of hers who work in hotels, washing the waste plates. And I am also very happy about another young man, who lives in our church building itself. He is fully crippled and moves about on a handpedaled tricycle to go and visit people. He is a graduate student of our evangelism school (1st batch, Madurai) and he is very eagerly working now to win souls. He was instrumental in bringing and baptizing one of his friends and his wife.
First Century Evangelism . . .
Continued from page 65 Now he is tirelessly working by going on his tricycle and also crawling in small lanes where his vehicle cannot go and taking classes to his well known school friends’ houses and their relatives. To be honest, I am really feeling shamed before this crippled handicapped student, in his great zeal. Christian women with great lessons. Following is a statement by one of the students named Mohan Raj, from the Kumarapalayam congregation: “I have already gone to Bible school and studied there for two years, but due to my family needs I am now working. I was encouraged by my preacher to attend the School of Evangelism classes. Till now I was thinking that I can only teach in the church worship and in the Bible study. But after attending the JC School of Evangelism, now I have learned to go house to house and to teach and reach the nearby houses. When I attended the last month’s classes in the name of “Denominational Doctrines”, I have taken a strong decision that it is my duty to meet my denominational friends to teach them the New Testament truth. Because till now I was thinking that the church of Christ is the true Bible church, but at the same time other churches are also good.” Here is a statement by a local preacher: “After the School of evangelism classes being attended by my congregation members, now they are asking me voluntarily what they can do for the church development and for the needs of our congregation. For the last few months our contribution has raised. In the beginning, to motivate the members to attend this class was hard, but now they are very much involved in the evangelism work. Now they say this is ‘my’ church and I have to do whatever I can, for my Lord and God.” A blind man gave a strong endorsement: “I was baptized when brother J.C. Choate came the very first time to Madurai. In those days, Philemon Rajah motivated me and gave me good training to serve among the visually challenged people. But due to my
Baptism into Christ ...
Two legs crippled handicapped student “Anbu Yesudoss” of graduated 1st batch of Evangelism school. Pray for him to have a motor fitted three wheeler.
At present we are conducting this JC School of Evangelism classes in two places, one in Madurai, our local city where the second batch students are being trained. There are 22 students, coming from five con-gregations of our city. The second place is Kumarapalayam where twelve students from three congregations are getting training for evangelism. We thank God for the opportunity given to us to develop these thirsty Christians to work for the cause of Christ. Our sincere thanks to World Evangelism team and especially to our Academic President, Jerry Bates, and sister Paula who encourages many
financial problems, I could not continue my service for the Lord, and then I lost my fellowship with other Christians. Recently my Christian faith was restored by the JC school students in Madurai. Now I have started to study the Word of God in the School of Evangelism, second batch. “The classes by brother Philemon Rajah, Kingsly Rajah, and Antony Raj motivated me to work again among the visually challenged people. Now I am preaching among 35 people, the exclusive congregation for the blind people started by Arasaradi Church of Christ. Thanks to JC School and to brother Jerry and sister Paula Bates. When they visited us recently, they taught our visually challenged people. Sister Paula took womens’ classes and one of the Arasaradi church sisters helped in the translation.” Due to the work of the JC School students, and also the work among the blind people, three new congregations were started in October of 2010, one of them by the efforts of the students at Karur with four recently baptized members. The other two congregations are for visually handicapped people, one in Madurai with our TVOTI Braille magazine and Bible lesson readers, and another one in Trichy where five of our Braille magazine readers recently were baptized. Please pray for us. U
Philemon rajah, Kingsly Rajah & Antony Raj reporting from Madurai. Email: email@example.com obey2Jesus@gmail.com
The Word of Christ in Tamil Nadu
We thank God for giving us the opportunity to take the Gospel throughout Tamilnadu, India. From 2001 up till now, we have systematically travelled to 32 districts in our state, conducting ‘The Word of Christ’ monthly magazine seminars and introducing our beloved brother J.C.’s books, TV, Radio, magazines, tracts, and TVOTI. Through all of these methods, we have harvested hundreds and hundreds of people for the kingdom of Christ. Our radio, TV and magazine programs are going well. A Hindu blind man named Ravichandran heard our radio program and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord, dying to his sin and being baptized. Regularly he hears our radio programs and informs us happily through phone that he is listening. Like him, the son of one of our team preachers, who is the second generation in the church of Christ, was baptized. Along with him, his friend was also baptized. All three are our TV, radio and magazine viewers, listeners and readers. We are very glad about these young people. Additional young people baptized are two girls, aged 17 and 18 years, who have been coming to Sunday classes. We conducted “The Fourth Church of Christ Preachers Family Fellowship Meeting” at Kodaikanal in September of 2010. Our neighbouring district preachers’ families attended the meeting. They all decided to evan-gelize Back Row: Rajanayagam, Paula, Jerry, vigorously in their places. Kingsly, Antony. Front Row: Arjunan, One of the preachers Glory, Baby, Philemon, Priya. told us that very soon they will build a church building in their place and introduce The Voice of Truth International magazine and our other books, magazines and TV and radio programs in their area. We conducted preachers’ meeting at reader. Her name is Mrs. Maragathem. Dharapuram also. All those attending are She lives in our neighbouring district self-supported preachers from through- and is very intrested in the ministry and out Tamilnadu. The Voice of Truth books introducing our magazine to others. and CDs, church materials, grape juice Every month she invites a group of ladies bottles, Bibles, tracts, song books etc., to gather and pray at her house. She were given to help them in their local asked us to come to their place and give work, since they do not have outside the message among the ladies. When we support. They were very happy. Our went, Glory taught on the topic of ‘Why team preachers and I had Bible classes Did God Create Us?’ All the ladies were for them. They want to continue such a very happy to hear the lesson. Still they meeting twice yearly. speak about it and how much it meant to In September of 2010, the ‘World them. Mrs. Maragathem often calls me Evangelism’ team workers’ fellowship on the phone. meeting was conducted at Rameswaram, We thank God that all the programs Tamilnadu. We were very glad to discuss are going well. We pray for our World about evangelism with brother Jerry and Evangelism family and team workers sister Paula. We expected beloved sister and sponsors. Thank you. U Betty but she didn’t come to India. God willing, we will meet her in the coming B. Arjunan: firstname.lastname@example.org trip. Our old office room was not sufficient, so we built a new ‘The Word of Christ’ office on our compound. It was opened by me. We would have liked that it had been opened by J.C., but we are sorry that could not be. Nearby we made a small ‘Shunammite’s Room’ for visiting preachers to stay. In our Gospel journey, Glory took classes among ladies. One well-educated, retired Headmistress is our magazine
Thirteenth Annual Bible Lectureship Kangayam, Tamil Nadu, India
Warm greetings to you all, who have been extending support to the work of “World Evangelism”, which is propagating the Gospel in all possible ways and means, in the matchless name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As a co-ordinator of the spiritual feast named above, I am extremely happy to announce that the lectureship went very well, fulfilling the expectations of all who participated. Here, I have no hesitation to say that, as the sponsoring church, we had some concern for the lectureship this year. The previous ones were conducted on public holidays, when all the offices, schools, and companies remained closed, enabling Christians across the state to attend without much problem. But this lectureship fell on working days, causing some concern about the attendance. However, the Christians in the state proved without any shadow of doubt that they are hungry and thirsty for the Gospel of Christ, no matter if the lectureship comes on holidays or working days. We thank and praise God for the faith and zeal of the Christians in this part of the world. Actually, we had Christians attending from THREE states of South India! The attendance crossed the 450 mark and this number represented 70 congregations of the three States, from at least 60 cities, towns, and villages. This kind of saints-gathering is very rare in this part of India. We had the participation of many of our magazine readers and TV viewers, even from long distances. We praise God that every year this lectureship is gaining momentum. Although there were no baptisms during the lectureship
Theme: The Gospel of Christ
dates, we had six in the following week from three different places, including Kangayam. All were people who attended the lectures, and we are getting news that there will be several more conversions in the near future as the result of the program. We are happy and proud that we were able to instill in the minds of the people about the need and the importance of the Gospel of Christ. Like last year, brother Jerry Bates and his wife, sister Paula Bates, participated in this lectureship on the second day. Jerry spoke on the topic, “The Gospel of Grace “ (Acts 20:24), while Paula taught the children who attended. Her subject was “The Living Jesus”, explaining and showing pictures of Jesus before and after the crucifixion. Besides brother Jerry, we had nine other eloquent participants who spoke on nine different topics related to THE GOSPEL. All the speakers did their part well, sticking to their assigned topic. It was a tough job to speak on almost the same subject without breaking the barrier. On the second day of the lectureship we released three books in Tamil for the use of the Tamil world Christian population. The first two were written by our much respected brother, J.C. Choate, on the topic, WHY WE BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE, Vols. 1 & 2. The third one was a collection of my editorials that have appeared in our Tamil monthly magazine, “THIRUMARAI AASAAN” (Bible Teacher), which has been in publication for 41 years. The title of my book is SOUL SAVING SERMONS. All the preachers and the Christians very much appreciated these publications. When I read the topics that were very well Continued on page 69
Thirteenth Annual Bible Lectureship
arranged and handled by our brother J.C. Choate, they felt that this is the need of the hour, if at all the church is to grow in this land. Each and every Christian must be in a position to defend his faith (1 Peter 3:15). One preacher commented that “If the flock is to increase, the Sheep need to yield [fruit] and not the Shepherd.” He was confident that this book will really help to achieve this goal. So, everyone ordered their copies for the church need and for individual use. The Kangayam church had to spend a considerable amount of money for this spiritual feast, and we are very happy to say that we took care of all the expenses, including food for three meals for 450 people, giving shelter to more than 100 people, and helping with travel expenses for some speakers, printing of invitations and song books, etc. I always thank God for this congregation and am privileged and blessed to serve as their preacher. As you might be aware, in addition to this annual lectureship, the Kangayam church has conducted a Summer Bible Camp on its own for the past many years. We as a church determined to do more good for the Lord in the coming days to spread the Gospel through this pagan land. In closing, brethren, we covet your prayers and continued support for all that we do to carry out the great commission of our Lord. U
S. Rajanayagam's email address is email@example.com
Are We Listening?
Continued from page 68
I went to a new place today, about 160 KM from Kangayam, to have a study with a group of people by the invitation of one brother who attended our recent lectures. About 50, including children, took part in the meeting. We had a special baptism class for the ones who wanted to know about the church. It was attended by two young couples. Finally, three obeyed.
Mission Trip to Bihar State and Nepal
The purpose of this trip: Brother Prasad has been worshipping with Davis Road church for about ten years. He is originally from a small village situated in the India-Nepal border area. This state is very poor and employment opportunities are less, so for want of a job, people migrate to other states in India. Regarding climactic conditions, there will be four months of heavy rain, four months of extreme cold, and four months of extreme heat. While living in the Bihari village, Prasad — a Hindu — began listening to Sunny David’s Hindi broadcasts over Radio Sri Lanka. He moved to New Delhi and settled there, working for the Holy Family Hospital for 20 years. During that time, he searched out Sunny David, and also met Francis David and J.C. Choate. Sunny and brother Choate shared the Gospel with Prasad and his family. In June, 1984, he, his wife, and one of their sons were baptized and began to faithfully attend the services of the church. Prasad left his job at Holy Family Hospital and went to Secundrabad. There, he worked with the “Back to the Bible” organization for two years and at Duncan Hospital, Raxaul for two years. Finally, he joined the Gospel Recording Services and came to Bangalore in 2000. He identified with the Davis Road church and started attending faithfully every Sunday. He is a Bihari and knows his State language, Bojpuri, and Hindi. Prasad’s heart’s desire and prayer to God for the people of his state is that they may be saved, so he persuaded Vernon Douglas to go and preach to them. In Feb, 2010, Douglas took Prasad and others to Bihar and shared the Gospel in his village and started the work. They baptized three souls and, in the follow up, three more. Douglas brought Munilal, and his wife, and another young man, Sunil, to Bangalore. We taught them the Bible, and we are preparing them to be leaders to take care of the Bihar work. Prasad’s younger son lives in the USA. He visited J.C. and Betty Choate in Winona, MS. The Choates had gone to Prasad’s small house in New Delhi several times during his studies before his conversion. They appreciated his good faith, the fact that here was a family, reached through radio broadcasts, who could not have been initially taught in any other way. On this follow-up trip that we made to Bihar: Departure by train to Muzzaffarpur at 11.55 P.M. with Prasad. Nearly 2732 km and took 3 days and 3 nights. Arrived at midnight at Muzzaffarpur. Very, very cold. We stayed on the platform until dawn. At 6 A.M., bought the ticket for Raxaul and went to a small hotel in front of the railway station. Refreshed for some time and came back to the station and caught another train to Raxaul at 1 P.M., reaching there at 5 P.M.. The train was so slow. Munilal came and we went by taxi to their small village called Ghora Sahan, situated in the Indo-Nepal
border. The population is approximately 1000. Prasad and I stayed in his younger brother’s, Chotilal’s, house. All are farmers and the village is undeveloped and poor. No standard school. Eleven children who are in our Ooty children’s home are from this and neighboring villages. Each family has half a dozen children. I asked one lady, “Why do you want six children, when you are poor and can’t feed them and educate them?” She said, “If four die, at least I have two to call my name.” On Sunday we conducted worship at Prasad’s younger brother’s house. I spoke in English and Prasad translated into Hindi, while Munilal translated into native Bojpuri. Twenty gathered. Beside Prasad and me, seven broke bread. Prasad, Munilal and I did door knocking and spent the rest of the day encouraging those who were already members to be soul-winners for Christ. We spent Monday door knocking and sharing the Gospel with the willing souls. On Tuesday seven were ready to obey. We took them to a dapur tank and I let Prasad do the baptisms. U
P.R. Swamy’s Email Address: prsdoug@ hotmail.com
CHINESE AGAPE FOUNDATION
events, I ended up teaching not only the orphans, but also a group of local children at a public school in Tiandeng during one week of my stay. The school teachers and headmaster were also in attendance. I was nervous to say the least, but everyone was very gracious and made me feel so welcome. They even asked if I would return every year! The great thing about this assignment was the opportunity I had to meet many more people and feel a real part of the community. The unfortunate part was that I had to stick strictly to teaching English. The Bible lessons were saved for evenings back at the care center. These Bible lessons took many forms. There were lessons taught in a classroom setting with visual aids, during a stroll through the rice fields, while sitting on a stool outside in the dark of night, on a bunk bed listening to rain beat down on the tin roof, and on the steps of a footbridge over a waterway. Some lessons were translated and some were not, but all were understood. I was pleased to find out the children are familiar with many Bible stories. They especially enjoy the excitement of the Old Testament. With a little help, I am confident they will begin to see the New Testament as the real excitement because they each have roles to play, and best of all, they get to participate in the never ending cast-party! What an exhilarating and humbling experience it was to teach these young souls. What an awesome responsibility. I have so much to learn about how to reach them. I think about going back and my mind reels debating what to do first, do next, do again, and do over. I’ve tried to think of a word to best describe my experience in China last July and “unforgettable” is as close as I can get. Living in another culture so vastly different from my own and navigating the language barrier are obviously unforgettable. Sure, I remember the discomforts, inconveniences and fears, but those impressions have faded into oblivion. In sharp contrast, permanently imprinted on my mind are the sweet faces of the children and their bright smiles, surprisingly undimmed by their circumstances. And what is absolutely unforgettable, untouchable by any other experience thus far, unmatched in impact on my soul, is the trust I timidly placed in God as I left the comforts of home and the abundant, overflowing, immeasurable blessings He poured upon me as my undeserved reward. The result of this “other” mission will forever change my perception of life, its struggles, and its uncertainties. There are no struggles for the Christian other than to let go of our burdens and surrender them to Him. There are no uncertainties in God’s providence, His care, His love, and His promises. (Carole Booker) U
China Mission 201 S. Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree City, GA 30269 Tel: 678-423-4396
On June 29th, 2010, I boarded a flight to Beijing and set out on a mission. The purpose of this mission was to teach English and Bible for three and a half weeks to the orphans at the John Connor Brown Christian Care Center near Tiandeng, China. But this was not the only mission in which I participated. There was another, the purpose of which was to mold me into a better servant for Him. I wouldn’t say I was spiritually slothful prior to this mission, on the contrary I have always been involved in teaching Bible and youth work. But I was sedentary. I stayed in one place and did not venture outside my little circle. That was always for someone else to do... a real missionary... not me. The teaching mission was a delight and a challenge. It was a struggle for me to figure out how to teach English to those who were completely unfamiliar with it. I came up with a method that was a combination of a few ideas I had gleaned from others. I was encouraged when Asan, my translator, said the lessons were very effective. Through a curious turn of
full day to enjoy their company. They were beautiful well-mannered children. They were clean. They have a very beautiful home with good food, all of which is provided by the Jackson Family Foundation. We ate lunch with the children, took many pictures, put together a large puzzle in the activity room floor, and gave them the many gifts purchased with funds from the associates. New books for the library, art supplies, bracelets, toys, and shoes were brought to the children. The children performed songs for us and then enjoyed the fresh fruits we brought them. There was so much joy and no tears until time for us to leave. As the van pulled away from the Jackson Family Foundation Christian Care Center in Zigong, I could not hold back the tears. I wanted to stay there with the orphans. It was a day filled with joy and sorrow. The joy came from seeing the happy orphans living and enjoying a great life which they had never had before. The sorrow came because they needed me to be there to love them, but I was leaving. Even though it was about 35C (98 degrees here) in the shade and we were dripping with sweat, I did not want to leave. No, it is a day I will not ever forget. U (Leigh Ann Dotson)
“Refuge of Grace” Grand Opening
Our newest care center, Refuge of Grace Christian Care Center, has opened in Luxi, PingXiang, China. Children began arriving there in August, and 200 children will hopefully fill the walls of this beautiful building soon. The building was given to us by the government of PingXiang, and the Jackson Family Foundation provided funds to renovate the building. A new kitchen and dining area were added as well as bathrooms on each floor. Roof repairs and other maintenance work had to be done throughout the three-story building. The building was freshly painted and cleaned for the children who began to arrive recently. There are eighty orphans at the facility now, and more will be arriving soon. Luxi is in a coal mining district, and many men are killed each year in coal mine accidents. Many more die of black lung disease. This leaves several thousand orphans who need care. It
takes time to find the orphans and to evaluate their conditions to make sure they are true orphans. Our workers go into the homes of each orphan to make this evaluation before they are accepted to come to the care center to live.
A Day I will not Forget
Children at Jackson Family Care China Mission Center were on the summer break from their school. T w e n t y - f i v e children returned from visiting with relatives to be with us and joined the other five children who stayed at the care center for the summer holidays. When we arrived, they were patiently waiting. We had a
having to temporarily live in the shop house that is used for worship, classes, and seminars. Steve Cate is busy raising and funneling the funds for this “Kids of Indonesia” project. I taught classes most afternoons and nights and, as usual, they dealt much more with the Bible than with English. We also had a six-hour Bible seminar one Saturday, and I had classes on “The Distinctive Nature of the New Testament Church”. Many of those present were non-members and we dealt with a variety of questions after each session. We gave out tracts that I had just written, dealing with a number of the most common questions asked in seminars and classes. Brother Adam, an older brother who left Islam some time ago and went into a denomination, was converted last year and is a diligent student of the Word. He has almost worn out his Bible with highlighted passages and notes throughout the text. It is a real delight to see someone so hungry for the truth and so willing to search and study. Another brother who has recently been converted from Islam is having real difficulties as he faces strong opposition and persecution from his family, They have abducted him several times, trying to turn him back from Christ. Please pray that Darmawan will have the strength to resist their efforts and maintain his faith. We had joint services with the Bekasi and Darmawangsa congregations because the place that Darmawangsa rents for worship was being used at that particular time for wedding ceremonies. The Darmawangsa brethren are in the process of setting up a foundation so they can purchase a place of their own to be used for worship, classes, and as an office for correspondence courses and a literature distribution center. They have some funds already toward the amount needed, and we are planning to help them with the initial down payment outlay; then they can maintain the regular monthly expense after that. Brother Alip Djoehari is one of the leaders of that congregation and does the preaching each week. He and I work together in translating Truth for Today materials as well as other literature for the Indonesian churches. From Bekasi we traveled to Medan in North Sumatra, a city of about 3 million, some 1000 miles away. We conducted training classes for the Suka Baru congregation each night, Monday – Friday. I taught on the “Greatness of Love” and manuscripted and copied the material for the class members. One afternoon we visited the plot of land that many of you have helped to purchase with your generous contributions. It is in a strategic place, and I believe it will be a big boost to the growth of the congregation. Their building will give them recognition in the community and will be used for classes, and literature storage and distribution, as well as a place for worship and fellowship. They are running into a number of delays in trying to get the permit to begin construction, but we pray that it will soon be in hand. Brother Ndruru is doing a very fine job working with the congregation, and he also preaches two times per month at another location in the city, as well as translating books into the Nias language from books we have
Continued on page 74
Colin and Ellen McKee
On our last trip to Indonesia we visited and worked again in the monstrous metropolis of Jakarta, and suburbs, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi with a population in excess of 23 million souls, on the island of Java. Java’s population, itself, exceeds 100 million! It is the most densely populated place on earth, and it is about 90% Moslem. It was a genuine pleasure to work again with brother Daniel Setiabudi who conducts regular classes, teaching English by using the Bible text. He also has a weekly radio program in Jakarta that reaches the entire Jabodetabek area. He, along with other Bekasi members, is maintaining a benevolent program for some of the abjectly poor garbage collectors’ families. Daniel is now overseeing a new endeavor to care for orphans in his own home, and the renovation of that building is almost complete. It will accommodate 15-20 orphans, and there will be room for a place of worship and office/classroom facility. He and his wife have already accepted a needy child into their home, although they are
Medan ( Sumatra)
In d o n e s i a
Continued from page 73 previously published in Indonesian. There has been a lot of growth in the congregation over the past year and they had two baptisms on the last Sunday that we worshipped with them. Ellen had prepared four sets of special laminated visuals for children, and they were excited to receive those and to have them for Bible classes. The volcano in the area, Mount Sinabung, which has been active but hasn’t erupted for 400 years, has become active again. The commercial enterprises, especially farming, have been disrupted and many people have been forced to evacuate. We have sent funds to help some of those displaced, including church members, in that area. Brother Ndruru has conducted some special meetings, and five who were evacuees have recently been baptized in the Berastagi vicinity and two in Medan. He says the receptivity is directly related to the help that was received from the church.
Alepson Silalahi, who is originally from North Sumatra, has moved with his family from Semarang in Central Java back to his home area. He served the churches in Semarang and Limbangan for several years and did a very good job in the work there. We and the congregation at Darmawangsa in Jakarta have been providing some support for him in Semarang and will continue to provide that in Siantar. We sent him funds for equipment to get things going, and he was very grateful for the help. He is facing a lot of opposition from denominational groups and even some from his own relatives. Join us in praying that his efforts will be fruitful for the Lord’s cause in that part of Batak Land. He is well schooled and sound in his understanding and practice
Siantar ( Sumatra)
of the truth and has proven himself work of women is widely accepted in that trustworthy over the years. culture. We supplied Bible concordances for 85 men who serve in various capacities Nias (Sumatra) From Medan we flew to Nias for the for the Nias congregations. We also took last leg of our teaching/training sessions. four sets of visuals for them to use in Men who are local leaders came for teaching Sunday School. Those will be four days of leadership training. The used on a rotating basis, week by week, subject matter was as in Medan, “The as men go from Gunung Sitoli to teach in Greatness of Love”, plus material village congregations. They were excited on “Peacemakers”, and copies of the and thankful to have such materials lessons were given to each participant. available. Many thanks to all of you who Also, ten women from the vocational have given funds to provide these vital sewing classes attended an early devo tools for the churches of Nias and other session where we gave instruction on parts of Indonesia. Indonesia seems to be pulling out teaching children’s class-es to them and the 12 men who travel on weekends to of the economic crisis overall, but the teach classes and help conduct services average person has not felt any benefit. The price of basic commodities has in some 70 village churches. sky-rocketed, and the price of some The program for high school and college students that Dennis Cady is vegetables has more than doubled in overseeing is going well. They have the last month. News reports told of dorms in Gunung Sitoli for the students several families who were having to who primarily come from members’ limit themselves to one meal a day homes. It is a great opportunity for in order to afford schooling for their them to further their education as well children. The people are also under as receive regular instruction in Bible constant stress from natural disasters classes and worship with the church in like floods, mudslides, earthquakes, Gunung Sitoli. There are only two high and tsunamis. In contrast to the very schools on the entire island, and most poor who constantly struggle, the daily do not have access to them. This term, news told of corrupt officials who have they have 40 new students, 28 boys and skimmed off millions of dollars from the 12 girls. The new students were present government and various programs, but on the Sunday we met with the church, although they are accused in the media, and there was an apparent delight on very few are ever held accountable or their faces because they are now given brought to justice. We are blessed to be able to write, the opportunity for further education, translate, and produce literature to disboth secular and spiritual. We have just published two books in tribute so that the Gospel can somehow the Nias language. One is a Bible index get out to this vast nation of about 230 written by Doyle Gilliam and published million souls. We believe that there are years ago by J.C. Choate and is a top quality still many who will answer the call of the printing. We also have printed the book, Gospel if we do our part in getting it to The Role of Women by Betty Choate them. Please continue to pray for us and in that language. This is an important the work of the kingdom in Indonesia. U addition to the tools for the church there Colin and Ellen McKee can be contacted since the denominational concept of the through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Australia to Papua New Guinea
This year the team landed in Port Moresby, blessed in that we managed to take with us ‘extra weight’ at no additional cost. This included give away clothing, books, teaching materials, soccer balls, and other things that we could give to the brethren in PNG. After a couple of days preparation in Lae, we flew to Indagen, a village that Tom and Steve had previously visited in 2006. We safely returned to Lae after the week in Indagen and then spent the remainder of our time assisting several congregations within driving distance of the Lae Ministry Centre. Key events included conducting a nightly Gospel meeting at Tampawi, visit to Tikeling, preaching and teaching at Boundary Rd Church of Christ and conducting other studies and visits in the Lae area. One of the highlights of this PNG trip was the week spent at Indagen, about 45 minutes flight from Lae and 5,500 feet above sea level. It is a village with no electricity, vehicles or modern amenities (a common situation in PNG). Indagen, though is truly a beautiful place. The congregation has a membership of about 120, and they welcomed the team into their homes, lives, and hearts. During our week long visit, the team participated in preaching the Gospel each night. Many visitors came to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, and during the meetings 10 new souls were added to the Lord’s church. Many of the baptisms occurred at night in the nearby river. By torch light, the Christians would walk to the river, rejoicing that a new soul was being saved. In addition to the Gospel meetings, the team taught men’s classes, ladies’ classes, children’s classes, visited schools, clinics, and neighbouring villages. During our week at Indagen we were able to walk to the nearby village of Musep. Musep is within close proximately to Indagen. Several years back when a few Christians from Indagen started to study the Gospel with some people in the village of Musep, they were physically attacked. These attacks were violent in nature and saw some brothers being hit very hard on the head with clumps of timber, stabbed, and rejected. Our brethren from the Indagen church of Christ persevered through this persecution, but things started to go wrong for the people of Musep. They believed that bad things were happening to them because they had treated the people from the church of Christ so poorly. During our visit, the village of Musep was pleased to have us accompany the church at Indagen to a ‘repentance ceremony’. At this ceremony, the people of Musep sought God’s forgiveness, the forgiveness from the Indagen church of Christ, and the forgiveness of the church of Christ worldwide. The people at Musep really wanted to make amends for their past violence!
Persecution Stops at Musep
One of the great social problems in PNG is the criminal activity committed by the youth of the country. In the cities like Lae, these young men will congregate in groups known as ‘rascals’ and can cause absolute chaos. At Indagen, the whole district is working very hard to parent, teach, and raise the children not to participate in such sinful behaviour. The church is helping pave the way by running a preschool and teaching the children Godly behaviour and morals while they are very young. The team had the privilege of helping at the preschool and visiting local primary and high schools. Tampawi is located close to the centre of Lae and is a location that Wesley and Tupolin Wosse have been working with for some years. The team held a Gospel meeting at Tampawi over several nights with many in attendance each night. Christians were ‘trucked in’ from all over Lae, and a lot of local advertising was done to promote the series. Visitors attended, and our hope is that Bible studies will be initiated with some of these folks. U
Tom Bunt: email@example.com
Raising Children at Indagen
Tampawi Gospel Meetings
Ten People Baptized
The first week of August brings our sixth and the final block of our school year. Classes taught were: Christian Evidences; Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus for the Basic Year. The One Mile Clinic continues to assist the sick students, and we are thankful to our Lord for Velma and her team. Our students are given a slot for short preaching lessons each morning from Mondays to Fridays between 7:00 and 7:30 A.M.,. as a devotional time for the sick coming in for help in their sicknesses and sores. It’s another way of planting the Seed (God’s Word) into the hearts of sick people. Some have started coming to worship services with us. God is good.
Papua New Guinea
from Emagave in the Eastern Highlands and Garry Geseng from the Markham Valley in the Morobe Province. Two wives of students also graduated with certificates for sitting in the women’s classes. Another wife of a first year student, who cannot read and write, with a young man from the settlement, also receive certificates from Becky their teacher. They can now read their Bibles in Pidgin and write as well. Becky has done a wonderful job over the years teaching the literacy class. boat service announced they would not have any ship for 2 weeks. That meant that those who went had no choice but to fly out to their home provinces.
Outreach on the Highway
I was asked to drive out 40 miles on the 25th of September to meet a group of men from different congregations in the Markham District, to drive them on to another market at Leron where they wanted to do an open air Gospel meeting. Three were MBC graduates with other church leaders, ten in all. I joined them in the Gospel meeting. I was indeed encouraged, and within me a deep sense of joy seeing these brothers taking charge of their responsibilities to plant the Word of God. It’s about two hours’ drive from Lae. They asked me to preach in their combined worship service the next day, so Becky and I drove out to be with them. I preached on their theme of the month, “Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming”. We are grateful for many missionaries that came to Papua New Guinea and have helped with church planting and training many locals who are serving our Lord faithfully. Some got caught up in Satan’s snare, yet many kept struggling forward. Few missionaries make it back to encourage and motivate us. Fred and Sandy are among those who wanted to equip leaders. TTM classes continue to challenge us to read our Bibles and let the Bible speak as we learn from the men and women of God. The study at this time is on Ezekiel. U
I recorded nine more lessons for Sunday sermons from the book of First John for September and October. The Lord continues to open doors for His message through the air waves. Responses from those around the country who can receive the signal have been great. Christians tune in to the sermon which is aired at Graduating students and their families. 7:30 am and repeated 7:30 We moved our graduation forward pm on Sundays. World Radio supports from Saturday, the 11th, as half of our this ministry. Thank you, those who staff, Becky Mesa, Kamau Dobadob, give funds to pay for the air time. God Michael and Dogo Tatara and their bless you. The Kibung turned out well despite two daughters, and Velma had to get on a boat the afternoon of the 10th, traveling to Alotau for the PNG Kibung (churches of Christ in PNG Forum). I had to stay back as I have RI classes for the two Secondary Schools still going on Thursdays and Fridays. Three married students graduated, Billboard advertizing the Kibung completing the required 2-year biblical studies. Among them is an elder from a lot of rain. Becky kept me updated Badighawa church of Christ in Port on the classes and happenings. The Moresby in his mid 60s, Samuel Raho forum helped the local churches in and Misi. The other two are Suti Namiro around the Milne Bay Province. The Jab Mesa: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Necessity of Excellent Bible Teaching Materials
In our daily lives we no doubt consider many things useful, yea necessary. Pacific Islanders and other people living in remote areas of the world have learned to live without many of the so called “necessities” of life. In fact, some would say that they do quite well without these things. Even so, there are some things that they do not need to live without… namely, food, shelter, clothing, water, and certainly the Gospel. Without even hearing the Gospel, mankind is lost — we cannot believe what we have not heard, as Paul reminds us in Romans. 10:14. With each passing day, Sharon and I realize just how necessary the Gospel is to the Pacific Island nations, and yea, to all of mankind. Yet, there are millions of people here in the Pacific who have never heard the simple Gospel that Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 15:14 and in Romans 6:1-4, but are willing to hear...imagine that! And although we live in a remote area of the world, there’s more good news in the fact that these millions of people are reachable with the Gospel. They’re reachable with the Word of God through our combined efforts with you in “going” to preach and teach, through “sending” and distributing excellent printed Bible materials and radio programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you for joining us for a closer look at how the necessary Gospel is spreading through necessary means.
Sonlight in the Pacific
Randy E. English
of new printed Bible materials. For over 20 years, we’ve had the joy of distributing Bible materials in nations where such is appreciated and used. It matters not in what country we are laboring — there are people who are interested in reading and using well written/ produced Bible materials. I’m talking about tracts, books, CD’s, and other media that can be placed into the hands of people. During a recent Gospel meeting in America Samoa, we made it our goal to give every visitor several different pieces of Bible materials. Some requested and received Bibles, too. In a mission trip to the capital city of the Solomon Islands, we distributed Bible studies on DVD, together with various study guides for the Bible. In French Polynesia earlier this year, we were blessed to provide Bible tracts in French, English, and Tahitian. These Bible materials were well received and used by the people. One thing that we have noticed over and over again is that people here in the Literature Pacific will read Bible materials over In the past few weeks, it has been and over again! When you give them our privilege to receive a good quantity a tract, they want to read it! — and are
then ready to ask questions about it. We often get the opportunity to sit and personally study with those receiving Bible materials. Any of our co-workers can tell you how encouraging it is to know that these materials are being read and studied, thus enabling the person to learn the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for giving many people the opportunity to learn and obey the Gospel. U
Randy E. English, email@example.com; Tutuila Island, American Samoa, Christmas Island.
Introduction to the Philippines
When you think of Asia, you might think of Buddhism, Taoism, and rocky soil in which Christianity has a hard time taking root. Allow me to introduce you to the Philippines. The Philippines is the second-largest archipelago in the world, with 7107 tropical islands and the 12th most populated country, with an estimated population of around 92 million. Rare in the Asian world, 90% of the Filipinos claim Roman Catholicism as their religion. Although the Filipino version of Catholicism mixes mysticism with Christian principles, the widespread knowledge of the name of Jesus means that there is an unprecedented foundation laid for Christian evangelism in the Philippines. And the harvest is plentiful. It has been estimated that there is an 80% retention rate with those who obey the Gospel. That means that out of all of the converted believers, approximately 80% continue on to become active members of their congregation! That is practically unheard of in the rest of the world. the overwhelming response, there is a great need of workers for the harvest. This is where you come in.
It is our dream to make a “CHILDREN’S TUTORIAL KIT”. We believe this is the MISSING LINK to connecting the local congregations to the community. This kit would equip the congregations to do what they cannot do for themselves. It would provide a one-year academic and Bible curriculum, materials, and equipment, along with a one week VBS curriculum, and a full year Sunday Bible school curriculum, training women how to use the materials for the first year. Then, for year two and following, it would be each congregation’s responsibility to replace the “consumable” items in the kit and to continue the program. The congregations would then begin to reach out to the parents with the Gospel. The kits would be sponsored by congregations/individuals Current Involvement in the U.S., and around the world. There would be a one-time For two years now, local churches have been holding contribution to get these kits into the hands of Filipino church “children’s tutorials” throughout Luzon, the most densely workers. Once the initial year is over, the local congregations populated island. This pilot program has canvassed the would be responsible for the succeeding years. metropolis of Manila. Local Christians have teamed with Your Involvement visiting missionaries to reach out to the communities. Their This may sound like it will cost a lot of money to goal: to seek and save the lost by teaching and training accomplish, but due to the amazing exchange rate, and how children, preparing them for their educational future, and at far the dollar will stretch in the Philippines, the cost of each the same time, teaching basic biblical truths. The teachers kit is actually quite affordable, especially when we all band work diligently on a daily basis to teach habits and behaviors together. We pray that you will prayerfully consider joining that will lead to academic excellence in the local school together with us, in this momentous effort to spread God’s systems. This also allows them the unique opportunity to lay love to a people who are ready, and waiting. You don’t have the foundation for biblically grounded theology. While the to travel to the Philippines to evangelize them. You just need children are being taught inside the classroom, local church to be willing to give of your resources, and participate where members follow up with their parents, setting up Bible the Lord is already at work. Our goal is to create interest in studies and inviting them to outreach programs. this mission endeavor. Later in the year, short term mission teams from the United Below are Level options for your involvement: States and other countries journey to Manila and continue Level 1 – Sponsor one complete kit for one year for only $3500 one-on-one Bible studies, supporting the local work. Level 2 – Sponsor ½ of a kit for one year for only $1750 To date, over 160 have been enrolled in the tutorials, Level 3 – Donate a $1000 towards the Missing Link Program and 110 of the parents have obeyed the Gospel. A new Level 4 – Donate another amount $__________ U congregation of 96 firm believers has been born of these For more information please call 573-883-9644, or e-mail efforts. This is a direct result of God’s hand in this program. us at: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.missionhim-possible. When children are taught the Gospel, the parents follow. The tutorial programs are reaching both the children and the org. Please make donation checks payable to: Flat River Church parents in amazing numbers. But there is a problem. The of Christ (In the memo write “Missing Link”); then mail to: economical situation in the Philippines is dire. Churches do Mission Him Possible, P.O. Box 21, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670. not have enough money to pay their ministers, much less to Prissy Sellers is the widow of Dale Sellers, long-time missionbegin new programs. Because of the unique opportunity and aries to the Philippines.
physically grueling and emotionally exhausting works I have ever done. Today, listening to the sound of goats in every home is music to my ears. Seeing their lush vegetable fields puts twinkles in my eyes. Seeing our worship halls filled with men, women, and children lifts my soul. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36 U
Spiritual and Physical Aid for the Philippines
Over three years ago, most of our neighbors in a village called Arapal (in Bogo, Cebu), did not raise goats. Today everyone of them are now goat raisers. Over four years ago, most of my neighbors did not raise their own vegetables. Today, most of them have their own gardens and people are now buying from them, instead of the other way around. Soon, we hope that this village will be the bread basket of this part of Cebu and the center of goat raising in the region, if not the entire country. This, in turn, will help them become self-sufficient and be on the giving side of human need. Because all our goat and garden technicians ‘happen’ to be gospel preachers, we now have church buildings and house churches in and around Arapal. We now have over a thousand goats. In ten years, we hope to have tens of thousands of goats. During that time, we hope to expand beyond Arapal, beyond Cebu, and help plant hundreds of churches and help build up existing congregations of our brotherhood.
Just as the goat served as a bridge between God and man in the Old Testament (Leviticus 16), and Jesus being the ultimate scape goat, our modern goat connects us to the community to which we are reaching out. We teach them the economic value of the goats (money, milk, manure, and meat). We engage them in making productive use of their time, talent and treasure (land). We earnestly show them how much we care Salvador Cariaga’s email address: carfor days, weeks, months, and years. We email@example.com have worked with them, a t t e n d e d w e d d i n g s , funerals, and birthdays. We have cried and laughed with them. This is not an overnight project. It is certainly one of the hardest and most
A Plea from Sunrise Christian Orphan Home
Less than five years ago, we brought 18 young people from Leyte. They were from a village that was completely buried by a massive mudslide. Over 2000 people were killed instantly. Last March 2010, four of those young people graduated college with Bachelors of Arts in Education. All four now have jobs and are productive citizens. At the end of this year (2010), the foundation that helped us start the orphanage will officially cease to exist. We now need new donors to help us continue supporting the remaining and younger kids there. One of them is Mercy Naparota, who is currently the acting student body president of her college. Last year’s student body leader and the top academic student of Sunrise Christian College was also from Leyte. Mercy lost her mother and father and four siblings in the disaster. Her dream is to finish her degree and become a school teacher.
If you could help Mercy and other kids in our program, it would make a world of difference in their lives. Please send your tax-deductible contribution to our US 501c3 nonprofit organizations called Shepherds Hill International, PO Box 3131, Abilene, Texas 79601. Our Philippine orphanage is also registered with the Philippine government as a non-profit organization. For more information, please check this site: http://leyteorphans.shutterfly.com/ neworphans You may also contact Cariaga@yahoo.com.
Divide and Conquer for the Truth
Aaron and Cindy Baker
The Vanuatu Team
It has been almost six years since our mission team left the blizzard conditions of Denver, Colorado and set foot in our new hot and sticky home of Port Vila, Vanuatu. The past years have brought some good tidings to rejoice in, some difficulties to overcome, but also much growth for the Lord’s church in Vanuatu. In the last six years we have spent much time evangelizing and have been blessed to witness numerous people converted to Christ. One of these most successful tools was Truth Bible School, a two year, 16-course Bible training school developed by the three men of our mission team: Aaron Baker, Eric Brandell and Mike Olson. Being held two days a week for two hours, men and women gained basic knowledge of the Bible, in-depth study of doctrinal themes, as well as practical teaching on several topics dealing with everyday Ni-Vanuatu life. Now, the time has come for a change. As with all indigenous mission works, we are striving to essentially work ourselves out of a job by equipping the local church to be self-sustaining Our mission team is looking into a future that will bring much change and great potential for growth. For the first time in almost six years we are splitting up. We will be dividing our efforts and moving our focus to the islands outside the main island of Efate (where we currently live), so that we can get the Gospel into the hands of the people. Aaron and I (Cindy) and our two daughters, Kaela (6) and Melia (3), will be moving to the island of Tanna, an hour plane flight south of Efate. Our contact with Tanna Island began at the end of 2005 when we met and began studying with two couples from Etas Village: Sam and Leimawa, and Pbles and Ruth. From the time of their baptism in January 2006, many members of their immediate and extended family have studied and been added to the church in Etas Village.
However, knowing the Truth for themselves wasn’t enough for these young Christians. They began to think of their family members back on their home island of Tanna and asked Aaron to go and teach them the Truth, as well. So, in August 2007, Aaron and a group of men from Etas took their first trip to Tanna Island to spread the Gospel. The wheels began turning in Aaron’s head and he asked me if I would consider moving to Tanna to live. We spent much time in thought, prayer, and investigation as we considered this opportunity for our family. In the end, we decided that we were ready to take on this new challenge of living in Lorokau Village and will spend most of 2011 in Tanna, three months at a time with a one month break in Port Vila to get supplies, touch base with congregations on Efate, take a break from primitive village life, and enjoy a hot shower!
The Bakers’ house in Lorokau Village
Eric and Shawnda Brandell and their two children, Titus (4) and Alexis (3), will soon be moving to Malekula Island, a one hour puddle-jumping plane ride north before you finally land on a grass airstrip near a ramshackle building called, “Norsup Airport”. Eric and Shawnda will be facing many challenges in their work, one of the greatest being the extremely primitive conditions of Malekula Island. Their connection with the work in Malekula began in 2005 when Eric met and began studying with a young man named Flexon Robbie. Flexon proved to be a dedicated student of the Word and was soon won over by the Truth, bringing along with him his young wife, Fiona, who was baptized not long after Flexon. Flexon and Fiona have come to be some of the most faithful members of the Port Vila congregation. Flexon, too, wanted his family to know the
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Voice from Micronesia: What a Combination of Age, Experience, and Dedication Can Do . . .
Scott and Rebecca Shanahan
I first met Bill Benton in July of 2001. I was on my way to Fiji for my first ever campaign. With my fellow campaigners, I was sitting in the international departures lounge, fretting about what I was about to do, when a very old couple entered. The husband was rolling his wife in a wheel chair. It turned out to be Bill and his sweet wife, Vida. At the time, they were 79 years old. On that trip, Bill earned the nickname, “Bill the baptizer”, because it just seemed like every five minutes he was in the hotel swimming pool baptizing someone into Christ. Two years later I returned to Fiji with my brand new wife (that’s Rebecca in case you didn’t know), and Bill and Vida, now in their 80’s, were right there with us. The next year we made the first ever campaign for Christ in Pohnpei, and there were the Bentons still going strong. By that time Vida had gotten weaker, but she managed to have as many, if not more, Bible studies as the rest of us. In 2006 we had another campaign in Pohnpei, and yet again the Bentons were in full swing. Bill was out door knocking and conducting studies on a daily basis while Vida was conducting personal Bible studies in her hotel room with any and every person that was in the vicinity. Sadly for us, but fortunately for Vida, she was called to be with her Lord in 2007. Fast forward to this year, after great trips to Chuuk and Kosrae, it was time for some good work to be done on Pohnpei. Bill was just the man for the job. He arrived on Saturday (after a grueling trip from Atlanta, which included a nine hour layover for which he did not get a hotel room), ready to work. We spent the day fellowshipping, visiting, and making plans for the next two weeks. The following day we worshipped together with both congregations and set up studies with some regular visitors. The members of the church were impressed that Bill, at 88 years old, made the trip to Pohnpei to see them and to work with them. In Pohnpei, 88 is ancient. Very few people live to be in their 80’s, and those who do are not normally able to get around at all. The very next day we started our personal evangelism work — five studies with 13 people. These included faithful Christians, unfaithful Christians, and non-Christians. Bill led all but one of these. Charley and Christian were able to attend some of the studies and help translate, which was good training for them, and we were thankful to see their growth. Also that day we set up a study with Urusula. She is married to a member of the church named Eliezer. Eliezer was first taught the Gospel by Bill in 2006 and has been a faithful Christian since. Urusula has attended worship with us some. What a great blessing it was for her to be taught by the same man who taught her husband. We studied twice with Charley translating. They are from different islands, but their languages are similar so it was a very big help to have Charley with us. The next day we studied with Urusula again, but Charley could not be there. Her understanding of English is not very good, but she does speak Pohnpeiian, so I was able to translate for Bill, and we made it through the lesson, answering some very difficult questions. The next day we got together again, with Charley translating, to make sure she really understood everything we had studied the night before. She told Charley that she was sad when we left because she wanted to keep learning (we had been studying for over an hour and a half and had to go to midweek Bible class). That day we went over the plan of salvation again and Urusula said she was ready to become a Christian. We went straight to the ocean where she declared that Jesus is Lord, and Charley baptized her into Christ. We had some great follow up classes with her, and she is starting off on the right foot. Unfortunately, Eliezer has been off the island for several months, but he is due back in two weeks. He is in for a great surprise! The days went by quickly with many great studies and opportunities for the Lord. We stopped at a store on the way home from a study where the keeper was very kind and
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second is an Evangelization Seminar for believers’ families and friends. They envision bringing 50 contacts to a distant place, house them for one night and have a two-day gospel seminar. Since they do not have funds for this, they are requesting assistance in the amount of $1000 per seminar (they plan two a year if there is a sponsor). June and Reuben had recently baptized their Baptist translator (formerly known as Pastor/Rev.), who is now deeply involved with the church of Christ in Saigon. He is helping brother Minh with the leadership. It is our prayer that they will soon be able to get recognition from the government as a religious group. The other church of Christ in Saigon had recently claimed they were already recognized, but reports reaching us say they are still being harassed by the police. Hopefully, in time, the police will stop harassing them and the group of Minh will also gain recognition. Since we are not able to do a medical mission in Saigon soon, we purchased and gave $200 worth of assorted over-the-counter medicines which our brethren had requested for them and for their families. U
In Cambodia and Saigon
In Phnom Penh, we spent the days teaching lessons on faith and prayer to about 15 young men and women, most of whom were from Muslim backgrounds. Sunday morning I preached on the need for those who trust in Jesus to flee from sin such as idolatry and immorality (2 Timothy 2:22). Prior to meeting Sokhom I had heard many good things about him. On this trip we met the man and had the opportunity to see what was in his heart and being, so one cannot help but want to partner in the Lord’s work with him. Cambodia is an open land for the Gospel to be preached, and even now there are many who are turning to denominations. The time for the Lord’s people to move is now. Medical, livelihood and other humanitarian works with strong follow ups by our preachers would be effective in opening doors for the Gospel. While the preacher training school prepares/ trains future preachers and teachers to evangelize and edify the country, there is the need for the interim involvement of missionaries who will teach in the preacher training school, teach English and read the Bible with Cambodians desiring to learn English, and at the same time plant and grow churches — multi-tasking missionaries who can do all of the above. A key conversion in Phnom Penh is that of brother Sreng, who grew up a Muslim. Being employed in the government’s office of the Interior, he is very influential and is responsible for leading to the conversion of 18 young Muslim men from his village who are now enrolled at the Preacher Training School. He is also instrumental in leading other Muslim men to believe in Christ. One request that Sokhom made was to help establish an English school. His
vision is for this school be an incomegenerating business that can support the mission work in Cambodia after his five-year support is up. We also visited with Julie Broyles and hope that someday Tess and I can stay a month with her to teach at her English school. I will be bringing my son, John, to Cambodia to familiarize him with the country and the Lord’s work there. I am praying that it is God’s direction for him to get his missionary feet wet in Cambodia after he graduates from SPBC. I am also busy now forming the MARCH team that will be helping out in the Cambodian Medical & Dental mission. So far, we have four dentists committed to go, while we are still looking for two optometrists. Please pray that we will be able to complete the team soon. In Vietnam, we sat down with two preachers and made plans for 2011. The first a Bible Seminar for preachers (which are the usual classes that Jeremy Barrier has been sponsoring), and the Luis Cusi: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eager participants in a Bible Class.
spoke English. Bill, not wanting a great opportunity to go to waste, asked her if she would like to study. She said we could stop by anytime and have a class. We had two great studies with her and her husband (during one of them, two other friends sat in). We stopped by the next day to have another session and, with tears in her eyes, Bennita told me that they could no longer meet with us. We were crushed! The studies had gone so well, what could have gone wrong? It turned out that her and her husband’s families put pressure on them to discontinue the studies. She was very upset to have to tell us this, but this sort of thing happens all the time in Pohnpei. The Lord willing, we will get back with them very soon and try to arrange a meeting with their families as well. There were other great opportunities while Bill was here. We studied with several unfaithful brethren, five of whom asked for prayers for restoration. When we were not in already scheduled classes, we went door knocking. As a result, we got studies going with two separate families and passed out many tracts. God truly blessed us with a great co-worker in brother Benton. During his stay, he conducted or assisted in 46 Bibles studies with 45 different people, went door knocking and stayed busy encouraging brethren. As a result, one soul was added to the Lord and five were restored. Thank you, Bill, for making your way out here, and thank God for this great blessing of being able to work together! U
Scott Shanahan’s email address is email@example.com
...for the Truth
Truth. In early 2009, Eric and Flexon began making plans to go to Malekula to teach his family, but then Flexon’s father passed away. While on his trip back home to Malekula, Flexon couldn’t help but think of how his father had not had the opportunity to hear the Truth. This reality brought him much grief, but also spurred him on to tell his family of his and Eric’s plans to come back to Tulwei Village and teach the Gospel. The two made their first trip to Malekula in June 2009, teaching many members of Flexon’s family. On their second trip in October, Flexon’s brother, Alsen, was baptized and several others seemed to be very close to obeying the Gospel. Eric has since made a total of six trips into Malekula and has had the joy of seeing the church grow to 10 members and offering possibilities for much more increase. Due to the teaching that Eric has previously done in Tulwei, there are doors open for the Truth in at least two other villages on the island, as well. Seeing the need for someone to work with these young Christians and other prospects, Eric and Shawnda prayerfully made the decision to move to the remote village of Tulwei. Their family will be on a “two months in Tulwei, two months in Port Vila” rotation. As for Mike Olson, he has also seen the need for workers in the outer islands. He is in the initial planning stages of working more actively with the Christians that meet on Espiritu Santo and Ambae Islands, both located in the far northern part of Vanuatu. For Mike, there is a possibility that he will relocate to the only other city (albeit a much smaller one) in Vanuatu. Luganville is located on Espiritu Santo Island
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Espiritu Santo and Ambae Islands
and would be an excellent base for work in the northern islands of Vanuatu. For a long time now there have been small pockets of one or two Christians living in a few different places on this large island of “Santo”. However, none of them live close enough to meet together regularly. In essence, these Christians are struggling due to the isolation that poor roads and lack of transportation bring. In addition to Mike’s desire to strengthen those who are already Christians, he sees much potential for growth from the people on this island who have been taking our Bible Correspondence Courses. Mike has spent a good deal of time grading and answering questions for these BCCs, and with 146 students located on Santo alone, there is hope for increase of the Lord’s church on this particular island. Many times our team has heard the words, “You all are so brave,” and many times we have tried to assure people that, no, we are not all that brave. We simply have seen a need, set goals for ourselves and are working to reach them. And if it were not for the strength of Christ or the message of the cross that we are sharing we would not be ready, able, or even willing to take the Gospel to these outer islands. “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13) U
For more information, reports, pictures and a list of current needs, please visit our website at www.missionvanuatu.com
Mission Trip to Easter Island
On November 6th I left for Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, for ten days to carry the Gospel to another of the Pacific Islands. The population is 4,888. Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. It is a special territory of Chile, the official language is Spanish and (Repa Nui) Polynesian language. It is an isolated, far-flung island 2,300 miles from Chile and 2,500 miles from Tahiti, 15 miles long and 10 miles wide. It was discovered by Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, on Easter Sunday 1722. There are 887 statutes called “moai”, on the island that have attracted research people from all over the world. But what had attracted me to this island is the fact that there are 4,888 precious souls who have worshipped stone idols and who need the Gospel of Christ. Two and half years ago I went to our elders and asked that they give me the opportunity to target the last of the countries/territories (7 nations/territories) in the Pacific, to carry the gospel and to plant the Lord’s church. They agreed, and we started working very diligently to come up with a plan for each nation/
Offering Bible courses in Spanish.
territory, which would include finding the partners who could help us in this all important work for the Lord. We have called the plan “that final push” to reach the last unreached areas of the Pacific. Easter Island is a part of that group of nations/territories. On this trip, I met up with Josh Blackmer who is a missionary to Asuncion, Paraguay in Santiago, Chile. Josh and his family are overseen by the Palm Beach Lakes elders in West Palm Beach, Florida. This congregation is also one of our faithful supporters. So, away Josh and I went on this first missionary trip to take the Gospel and to plant the Lord’s church on Easter Island. A few years ago Josh had said, “We have always wanted to work with you on one of the islands of the Pacific.” When we landed Josh did not know how much this older missionary was depending on him and how the Lord would be using him. Josh and I started immediately learning all that we could about the island, the culture, customs, and the “mind set” of the people about religion and life. We were busy meeting people, giving out Bible Correspondence course enrollment cards, and also giving out the booklet, “Searching for Truth”, in Spanish. I kept sharing with Josh “that if we will: learn, use wisdom, be patient, and show the people a loving and kind heart toward them, that the Lord will bless our efforts for Him”. I was really impressed on this trip as I worked with
Josh and saw the way he would move among the people. He did it in such a loving, kind, thoughtful, and patient way that I knew that he will do a great work among the wonderful Spanish speaking Polynesian people of Easter Island. It was because we worked in this way that “things” began to come together for future trips. First a bed and breakfast place for Josh and Kara Blackmer to stay. Secondly, and very important, a place for night Bible studies to be conducted, right on main street. Meeting the owner of the bed & breakfast house and the restaurant that she has offered for Bible studies was a real blessing. Vanessa and her family have an “open mind to religion” and you could just see the “open heart”. I simply thought, “Well here again “the Lord has opened a door” for His work to be done (2 Corinthians 2:12). We are so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with Josh and Kara Blackmer who have accepted the challenge, opportunity, and responsibility of taking the gospel and planting the Lord’s church on Easter Island. We are so thankful for the West Palm Beach congregation and elders for sending such a dedicated and wonderful family to work on the foreign mission field in Paraguay, South American, so that they might work with us in carrying the gospel and planting the Lord’s church in Easter Island. U
Robert Martin can be reached at email: RobertFIJI@aol.com
The Church Needs a Global Mentality
with presidents of universities to open doors of opportunity on their campuses. He needs to be capable of meeting with the president or prime minister of a country, should the opportunity arise. He must understand that many laws and privileges afforded citizens of the U.S.A. may not exist in the foreign country in which he is working. It will be too late for poorly trained missionaries sent to foreign lands to then discover that they should have been educated and trained in crosscultural evangelism prior to their departure for the target country. Even with training, culture shock often hinders and disables missionaries. The likelihood of that happening increases when there has been no proper training. The apostle Paul often prayed for boldness. He requested prayer from fellow Christians that he might have boldness: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all Send the Best perseverance and supplication for all With that being said, I want to the saints—and for me, that utterance address a flawed practice in the church may be given to me, that I may open that has cropped up from time to time my mouth boldly to make known the through a lack of knowledge. Wellmystery of the gospel, for which I am intended individuals have all too often an ambassador in chains: that in it I said, “Well, if a man just can’t make it may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” here in the United States (Ephesians 6:18-20). we ought to send him to M i s s i o n a r i e s the mission field.” Why? themselves often fail The fact is nothing could to speak out boldly be further from the truth. concerning this subject The dawning of a new because they do not want day is needed regarding the to seem boastful about qualifications of missiontheir own qualifications. aries sent to serve in Although they know foreign lands. If anything, how important it is for we should be sending the church to send only some of our most talented, effective missionaries most educated and most to the mission field, Students in the Philippine Theological College effective men to carry the Continued on page 86 Gospel to the nations of the world. The missionary will leave behind a strong spiritual environment and go into a foreign country where he’ll face innumerable challenges, starting the moment he steps off the plane and heads to immigration. He finds himself working with a relatively small number of people. He must be capable of making decisions he never had to make before. He discovers that the talent pool has diminished greatly.There will be no elders, no deacons, no faithful Christian parents, relatives, or friends. Congregations in America are blessed with talented leadership, organization, and the blessings of numerically and spiritually strong congregations. Necessity is laid upon him to communicate effectively with government departments just to stay in the country where he is working. He must handle matters with all sorts of government agencies that will be foreign to him. There will be Customs, Immigration, Tax Department, and a host of other bureaucracies with which he must deal according to their laws. In some countries even the mayors must be reckoned with because they have tremendous powers that can make or break one’s work. He needs to meet The need is great for the church to refocus its vision on global evangelism. Satan cannot be confronted on just one battlefront, here in the U.S., because he is all over the globe trying to influence men for evil. Therefore, the outreach of God’s people for converting lost souls to Christ needs to be global, reaching far beyond our local congregations. In this new millennium the leaders in the church need to be focused, unwavering and driven if they are to reach the masses with the Gospel of Christ! Success in global missions calls for passion and intensity in our endeavors. The church has been blessed in years past with some great missionaries who exhibited immense dedication, wisdom and zeal. They have done untold good in spreading the Gospel in distant lands at great sacrifice to themselves. I have tremendous respect for all those pioneer missionaries who paved the way for many of us.
Without strong local congregations to provide the “supply line,” there would be no missionaries going out from the U.S.A. However, as much as we need effective men at home, even more so do we need effective men working on the mission fields! The truth of the matter is that America is less receptive to the message of Christ than many of the Third-World countries. We should extend ourselves to preach in these lands where the people are receptive to the Gospel. We need to educate, train, motivate and activate the best we have for service on the battlefronts that will produce the greatest results for God. It just makes sense that we would concentrate our efforts in areas where it will do the most good. This would be true in a commercial business. It is just as true in the Lord’s business.
. . . a Global Mentality
they sometimes fear that some will misunderstand their intentions. Missionaries need boldness and they need to plead the case for sending individuals who have the talent, ability, zeal, education and training to get the job done. Like Paul, we need to pray for boldness regarding these matters. We need the courage to speak out as we ought to speak, addressing the real issues facing us in global evangelism.
Continued from page 85
Send Effective Men
Not just anyone should become a missionary. If a man is not willing to receive education, instruction and training prior to going abroad, perhaps we should question his sincerity. Why would a person want to just jump up and go overseas without first preparing himself? We don’t just need more preachers or just more missionaries! We need more effective preachers and more effective missionaries! We need individuals who are driven when it comes to fulfilling the Lord’s command of global conquest. Missionary endeavor calls for the best we have in every area and this includes the personnel being sent to the target countries to carry out evangelistic outreach. What do you think about Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy and Titus, who went out to the mission field? Were they some of the best qualified men or were they sent because they were not talented enough to accomplish the work in Jerusalem and Antioch? Of course, we know the answer to this question. This is not to throw off on anyone who has gone and sacrificed and given the best they had to the Lord. No, indeed! Thank God for everyone who has ever gone and given God service in foreign lands. I am not trying to criticize, condemn, or make light of anyone who has served. What I am
trying to say is that we need to wakeup and send out some men like Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy and Titus. We can do better preparing individuals for missionary service. We need missionaries totally grounded in God’s Truth! We need missionaries who are capable of dealing with government officials. We need missionaries who can carry on when there is a lack of leadership and congregational strength to draw from. We need missionaries who are capable soul winners and capable preachers of God’s Word. Never forget this: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). Preaching has taken a back seat in the minds of many in today’s world, but the Holy Spirit teaches that it is through the foolishness of preaching that men are saved. Hence, we need to send the best preachers we have to complete the greatest challenge before the church today, that is, teaching the masses of humanity residing in nations that are presently hungering and thirsting for the salvation offered them by the uplifted Christ (John 12:32). The responsibility to put our best foot forward in proclamation is vital in global missions. Missionaries today have been entrusted with the same message of reconciliation that was entrusted to Paul (2 Corinthians 5:1421). Notice Paul was compelled to proclaim that message to the lost of his day — Paul was driven! Where does the Lord’s church need to concentrate its most talented and effective men? Of course we need to have talented, educated and dedicated men here at home to preach in the local congregations.
Unused Talents at Home
Many American congregations have elders, deacons and men sitting in the pews every Sunday as listeners who could themselves be up preaching and teaching and handling the worship service for the local congregations. The “front row” illustration is still as true as it ever was. If you had an auditorium full of starving people but you fed only the front row over and over, disregarding the pleas of all the other people, it just wouldn’t be right. Sometimes in the church we have been guilty of continually feeding the front row and ignoring the people who live in distant lands who desperately need to know about the “Bread of life.” In conclusion, we need to realize the necessity of sending effective and qualified men to the mission fields and we need to be generous to other countries in sending some of the best that we’ve got to teach and preach! U
Demar Elam, D. MIN. Director Mission Studies Amridge University; Chancellor Philippine Theological College; email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
God’s Plans, His Timing and Measuring, and our Will
Betty Burton Choate
Christ in Nashville. Barry Baggott works with the French World Mission there, so I contacted him. He said that Paul Gerber would be driving down in a truck to pick up the materials they had printed for distribution among the French speaking nations of Africa. He gave me the contact information, and I emailed Paul. His reply was that they would be happy to include our boxes and that he would be driving to Nashville early in the following week. None of our World Evangelism team had planned a trip to Nashville, and we would be having one of the Mission Training Sessions over the weekend, so I was the only one who could go. Before committing almost our entire stock of French books to Africa, I wrote Dr. David Smith who works with the French population of Haiti. He was thrilled that books could come to them, and said that the Judsonia church in Searcy, AR with brother John Kachelman, was in the process of filling a container. Brother Kachelman confirmed that their shipment was being readied to go out in two weeks. So the contacts had all come together, and in just the right time! As I drove along, I was thinking of the verse of Scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you ...” How exciting, that God had envisioned this excursion even before I knew of it! In my joy, I thought of how long ago He had been bringing things together, in anticipation of this very day: I began to trace back in my mind all that had been done to make it possible for us to have the books to share. In 1967 we had moved to Sri Lanka to begin the church, and J.C. had written the studies [The Church of the Bible; The Gospel of Christ; New Testament Worship; and Jim Massey, missionary to Africa for many years had written You Can Be Just a Christian] as correspondence courses. J.C. had afterwards printed them in English in the US, but there was also the desire to make them available in other languages. He had asked Charles White, missionary to Lyon, France, to translate them into French. Barry Baggott later translated Why We Believe What We Believe. Many copies had been sent to the French speaking world since their printing, but here was an opportunity to move most of our stock out and into the hands of people who are looking for the Truth! How many years, how many people, God had moved around on His board of activity to share His Gospel with hungry hearts! Driving along, I felt such a special part of a great “working together”, realizing that even in our inadequacies, God will take our willingness to be used and will weave it into His beautiful tapestry of outreach to humanity! In addition to His overall plan, He covered it with the promise that He will always provide all sufficiency in all things, so that we may have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8)! We can rest in those words of assurance: if we are willing to be used, He will do the planning and the completion of the work, in just the right time, and with the “whoever”, “whatever” and “whenever” is needed! What joy! U
Recently I made what was, for me, an unexpected trip in the van, driving from Winona, MS to Nashville, TN, down to Lewisburg, TN, across to Searcy, AR, and back to Winona — thirteen hours to think, pray, and sing along with beautiful hymns on CDs, continually conscious of J.C.’s presence (because in 52 years of marriage we drove far more than a million such miles together) and of God’s, because this was — as our little granddaughter, Arwen, would say — a “God trip”. I was taking about 3,500 copies of books to be included in containers for shipment to Benin, West Africa and to Haiti. As I drove along, I began backtracking in my thinking of how this trip had come together. Earlier, we had put out word that we would be willing to donate books for shipment in containers being sent to other countries by our brethren. George Akpabli, in Benin, West Africa responded that brethren in Maryland would be collecting things for a container at the Crieve Hall Church of
I am a missionary. I am being used of God to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; I have a tremendous task. I am a missionary, Yet the weakness of the body does not slow me down. I never get a headache, I never have a cold, I never get tired. I am a missionary that knows no barriers. I can reach into the homes of the rich and the poor, Into respectable homes and into the places of ill repute. The race or creed of a man does not restrain me; Bars are not a barrier to me, Nor are the curtains of iron or bamboo. Homes are open to me That would never open to a preacher, Ears will hear my message eagerly Though they would not go to an assembly of the church. I am an educated missionary. I speak the language perfectly; I speak so the professional can comprehend as well as the uneducated. I can approach every person on his level of understanding. I am an effective missionary. I can reach more people at one time Than Paul reached in a lifetime. I can cover more territory with the Gospel in fifteen minutes Than the average missionary could cover in many months. I am man-made .... but God-sent!
I AM A MISSIONARY ...
I AM RADIO! I AM TELEVISION!
— Author Unknown
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