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Biblical and Relevant

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Longtime pastor, professor, and Promise Keepers speaker Howard Hendricks said,

“It is not too difficult to be biblical if you don’t care about being relevant. It is not difficult to be relevant if you don’t care about being biblical. But if you want to be both biblical and relevant in your teaching it is a very difficult task indeed.”

That’s exactly our task at GNPI, to be culturally relevant and biblically sound.

I’m reminded of a story some years ago in Kenya where a newly released music video entitled “In the Name of Jesus” was delivered to one of the local broadcasting stations. The program director loved it, but asked if we could remove about half of the statements referring to Jesus.

He had counted each one! The GNPI staff person sadly declined explaining this was how the song was created. He felt dejected as he started to return to the office with the master copy. Once outside, however, a courier was sent to stop him and said, “My boss said, ‘We will play it, but it will probably cost me my job.’ ”

The music was played, and while some criticized it, the vast majority of the audience loved it. It soon became a national hit on Kenya’s Christian music scene. God rewarded faithfulness in spite of criticism.

Being biblical and relevant offer a unique tension in any society. The mandate from the apostle Paul still stands, “…to speak the truth in love.” This is our prayer for all GNPI media offered around the world.

Prayers & Praises

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

Disciples Multiply: Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Eurasia writes, “We are still experiencing the same blessing the first church in Jerusalem received through persecutions and dispersion. Rather than declining in numbers, the movement multiplies through the partners and volunteers who spread the Message everywhere they flee. As a result, I am mostly involved in training and coaching. I enjoy seeing former students and partners growing in faith and leading new disciples. May the Lord be praised!”

Individual Transformation: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia shares the joyful testimony of a new believer who says, “My mother is a Christian, but my father is a Buddhist. I did not even care to learn about God. I was a drug addict. When I met with Christian leaders from GNPI, they taught me about the true God. My heart was touched, and I chose to be baptized. Now I want to be a witness for Christ in my life.”

Access to the Word Increases: Praise the Lord! GNPI’s regional partners now have 22 plans available in various languages on the most popular Bible app in the world. These YouVersion plan completions in 2017 totaled 36,275.

Biblical Principles Presented: Stephen Muturi of GNPI-Mbale, Uganda, writes, “The OneTribe Peace Project editing is now done. As we wait for the next phase, we are praying for opportunities for distribution. Our target is to have the material available to Christian workers who use our Solar Kits in Nimule, South Sudan.”

Social Media Outreach Grows: Manee Massey of GNPI-Damoh, India, writes, “We are praising the Lord for our ministry outreach! In the last year our YouTube channels have grown to more than 5,000 subscribers, and we have active discussion with over 550 viewers. We distributed over 2,500 DVDs to a potential audience of 12,000 people. In addition, we actively distribute and share our videos on Whatsapp and Facebook.”



Jesus Story Broadcast

You know how exciting it is to reach a long-term goal. You have helped GNPI reach a milestone with one of our most ambitious projects. It’s a special series airing for children in the Middle East.

A ministry partner in Cyprus has produced The Global Gospel (TGG) as a new series called Jesus Story which is a televised program for kids and includes an introduction, several stories, and a closing about the main theme in 13 half-hour episodes.

The Arabic Jesus Story series began airing last month on SAT-7 KIDS with nearly five million youth from the ages of 6-13 viewing the programs in the Arabic language alone! The release date was close to the 10-year anniversary of the station. Viewers tune in from every country in the region, with the largest audience in Egypt, followed by Syria, Morocco, and Yemen. Christian workers are following up with Jesus Story viewers on two different Facebook groups and distributing children’s books as a supplement to the series. A SAT-7 program director says the project is the most biblically based content he’s ever aired. Additional production has moved quickly, and the Jesus Story will soon be released in Farsi and Turkish.

Bridges to Christ

It can be intimidating to share the hope of Jesus with people from different faith backgrounds. The expanding GNPI network allows you to be part of an effective team working together in more than 160 nations to produce global media, train international leaders, and impact the lives of millions.

Your partnership is helping Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia equip leaders and churches to thrive through practical, month-long trainings. The first event was held six months ago. Several participants share what they learned about the one true God. It’s a careful strategy to present Christ to Buddhists in Southeast Asia, and it is stirring a new excitement as well as transforming the lives of those who participate.

Timothy is now hosting the fourth month-long training with 13 more people from around the region. Click here to watch testimonies from the first training.


God’s Desires

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I read Amos 5:21–24 in The Message version recently. Actually, I read it several times. The harsh, convicting message from the Lord caught my attention.  

“I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fundraising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.”

Would you pray that the members of GNPI’s global network will be humble and pray as much as we plan? You have given us a charge and mandate to accelerate global evangelism.

We don’t want to get hung up on projects, goals, or anything we can do in and of ourselves. We need God’s presence and power to move the hearts of men and women closer to their Creator.

That’s your desire. It’s our desire. It’s what God wants, too!

Prayers & Praises

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

New Year Follow Up: Evangelist Ajai Lall shared a Message of hope on a program prepared by our team at GNPI-Damoh, India. Ajai writes, “Thank you so much for your prayers and support as 42 million people heard the Gospel in the Hindi language in many countries on Christmas 2017. Over 1,200 preachers are ready to follow up in the Hindi-speaking areas of Central and North India. May people come to know the way, the truth, and the life that is only possible in Him who is our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.”

Drug User to Disciple Maker: Angela Morse of GNPI-Chiang Mai, Thailand, writes, “Praise the Lord! Our Changed episode is about Alan Chuwit a man who was truly transformed by God. He grew up in a Christian home but walked away from the Lord as he built his career. Later in life he renewed his relationship with the Lord and was just beginning to see the blessings when he found out he had terminal cancer. His journey through the shadow of death is one of faith, hope, unexpected blessings, and God’s unfailing love! His message to everyone is: with Christ we have no reason to fear!”

The Global Gospel Moves Ahead: John Mulkey of the Christian Church Theological School of Indonesia (CCTSI) writes, “The Global Gospel in Indonesian is moving ahead after some long delays. We’re grateful to our dedicated team who is pressing ahead, and we pray for God to reveal His Son to the people of this country.”

The Privilege to Preach: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia writes, “Happy New Year to you all. I recently had the privilege to preach at seven locations; two of them were mass gatherings. During Christmastime, 51 people accepted Christ and were baptized.”

A Great Platform: Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Eurasia writes, “One of the most important events of 2017 was the Eastern European Leadership Forum (EELF) where I coordinated the apologetics section. EELF is becoming a great platform for developing national Christian leaders from the countries of the former Soviet Union. Praise the Lord!”

“Around The Network” – 90 Second Journey

Isn’t it encouraging to watch people who are learning to trust the Lord daily? For those not yet connected to a family of believers, media can be a vehicle to move people forward in faith. Learn how your gifts are touching individuals for Christ through GNPI coworkers in Mexico and Thailand.

Thank you for helping others to encounter Christ on this journey of life.

P.S. – You are welcome to download this video on Vimeo to encourage your congregation or missions committee.

Fully Convinced

Your support is transforming individual lives, sustaining marriages, and strengthening the Church in SE Asia.Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia shares this encouraging testimony:

A new believer writes, “An evangelist who uses GNPI resources came to our village and met with my husband. Then my husband wanted to accept Jesus Christ and be baptized. I was so upset and angry with him. I told him that if he chose to be baptized, we must divorce. My husband ignored what I said, and he explained to me that Jesus Christ is the true and living God. Last month his explanations touched my heart. Later he took me to the evangelist who taught me with the Christian media.

Finally I was fully convinced that Jesus Christ is the true God and Savior, so I chose to be baptized. Now I tell my friends about Jesus in the factory where I work.”

Thank you for helping people in SE Asia become fully convinced about the hope of Jesus.

A Providential Plan

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? Well, that’s what’s happening with each detail of the production of the Jesus Story in Turkish.

First, I was visiting with a family in Kansas to update them on GNPI projects, and I mentioned the Jesus Story in Arabic. I showed them a short video sample, and in astonishment they said that the presenter from Cyprus was in their church the previous Sunday! What are the odds?

The next day at breakfast they set a check on the table for the full amount of the production costs of the 13-episode series.

A month later the Turkish production began due to the cancellation of another project. However, the Lord orchestrated plans so the right production people were already in the country and ready to consider a different plan! The Turkish program presenter had moved to a different country, and yet she was actually available that week. The weather, which usually is not cooperative, was pleasant for outdoor shooting in the midst of a wintry situation! The most exciting part was that the project already has a waiting broadcaster (free of charge by the way) and a waiting audience of young Turkish people.

It is amazing to watch our God bring a plan together!


Prayers & Praises

“And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” — Romans 5:4 (NLT)

Twelve Languages: Praise the Lord! Jessica Penick of YouVersion writes, “Thanks for sending us content in these languages. I can’t stress enough how grateful we are that you are providing content in language groups whose plan selections aren’t as populated. Thanks for expanding our library so that users all over the world can learn God’s Word.”

Buddhist Relatives: Gayle Silkwood of GNPI-Chiang Mai, Thailand, writes, “Pray for the entire staff. Many of our family members are still Buddhists without hope. With each production we finish, the team is hopeful that this will be the one that sparks an interest in our loved ones’ hearts. The team also continually prays that our work will impact more and more viewers.”

Marriage Enrichment: Gustavo Velázquez of GNPI-Piedras Negras, Mexico, writes, “Pray for the lessons about marriage. We have started the editing, and we want to finish it on schedule. Pray for God to use these programs to help many marriages.”

Sharing Jesus: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia is thrilled to share the news from one of the evangelists who shares the Gospel using GNPI resources. The 17-year-old man says, “I was a member of Anglican Church. I did not know much about Jesus Christ who is the true God. Fortunately, I was privileged to attend a two-day seminar at our hostel. I realized that I needed to be immersed in the name of Christ. I came to know about Jesus Christ as the true and living God and now dare to share Him with my Buddhist friends. Through this seminar, I understood clearly the most effective facts to explain to Buddhists.”

Investing in Youth: Stephen Muturi of GNPI-Mbale, Uganda, writes, “Praise the Lord! Our team provided media coverage for the graduation ceremony at the nearby Messiah Theological Institute (MTI). We also invited the students to the office for a tour and gave them a send-off package with our DVDs. MTI continues to be a major partner in our Solar Kit ministry. One of the MTI students leading a discipleship course used a Solar Kit in a village overlooking Mbale. He was impressed by the number of people who came to watch the Jesus movie he showed.”