AuthorGNPI

Home»Articles Posted by GNPI (Page 89)

I Was Worshipping False Gods

Ma Myit FamilyFrom time to time, we receive testimonies from or about people who have been touched by GNPI productions. Our prayer is that they’ll serve as an inspiration to you. Know that your support for GNPI is making an eternal difference in the lives of evangelists reaching people throughout the world!

By AS, Evangelist and Coworker at GNPI-SE Asia

I want to testify about a Buddhist family who became Christians. Last year, in 2013, I went back to my home village to teach in summer Bible school. I met a Christian woman named MM. She was a Buddhist before she knew Jesus. She had some kind of sickness, and she spent so much money for treatment. The medicines did not help her. Then she went to a shaman. The shaman could not help her either. One day she heard about a Christian woman who prayed for the sick, so she went to that village. She was baptized after hearing the Word of God. The Christian woman prayed for MM, and her sickness was gone.

Her husband was not happy about her becoming a Christian, and she did not know how to tell him about God. She did not know much about God. All she knew was that she believed in God the Creator, who healed her sickness. She sent her children to summer Bible School because she wanted her children to know about God. At that time I was teaching from TP’s book, Who Is the True God? TP had trained me how to teach non-Christians from his book for this summer Bible school. After a week of teaching, MM’s children decided to accept Jesus as their Savior and were baptized. They were old enough to make their own decisions.

However, the husband/father grew unhappy. He was always angry at them. The wife made a date and asked me to meet with her husband. When I visited their house there were many Buddhist images in their house. We talked about various things. He was a nice man. Then we came to the point that I could tell him about the true God. The husband asked me if there was a true God and if there were any false gods. I told him that there are many false gods. I compared the true God and the false gods. I left him a copy of Who Is the True God?

I went back to my village again the next summer in 2014, to teach in summer Bible school. I also went back to visit MM’s family. I was surprised that I did not see any statues this time. I asked UC, MM’s husband, what happened to the those images. He told me, “After reading Who Is the True God? I realized that I was worshipping false gods. False gods will not save me from the eternal punishment of hell. Now I am a believer.” When he was telling me all about it, I saw tears coming down from MM’s eyes. I was so happy that I thanked God from my heart. They are very happy to be Christians as a family. He told me he was already baptized on August 5, 2013, not long after I met him the first time.

This time we were able to talk about challenges to their faith. They are farmers. They make a living by growing rice. He told me after he became a Christian, all four of his buffalos died. People were saying that the gods were punishing his family. He struggled with the question of why God didn’t keep his buffalos from dying.

Then we discussed about the evil one, which always causes many unpleasant things for Christians and tempts Christians to fall away from worshipping the true God. We prayed together for God’s protection from the evil one. He understands now that they should stay close to God all the time.

This family wants to start a church in their own village, so they have tried to purchase a piece of property for the future church. However, the village authorities would not allow the family to buy the property because they do not allow any foreign religions into the village. I would like to request prayer for UC and MM’s family in this village. Pray they would stay strong in the Lord and have wisdom for their next steps.

 

Get Back to Your First Love

There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, and this is no accident.

languageIn Genesis 11:7, speaking about the tower of Babel, God says, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other (NIV).” Verse nine says that he then scattered the people all over the face of the earth. This scattering resulted in many things including cultural differences, from what we eat to who and how we worship.

God did this on purpose. He also knew that telling the whole world about Jesus would be a challenge because of the resulting cultural differences—the ways, concepts, emotions, and word meanings often get lost in translation.

Challenging? Yes.
Impossible? No!

This is why GNPI’s regional centers continue to work on projects like this music video from SE Asia. The title for this song translates to the English word, Essential. Written, arranged, and performed by local artists and staff from our SE Asia center, they are taking a bold stand for Christ in their country.

At GNPI, we create culturally relevant materials that speak to the hearts of people worldwide. Our regional center staff, lead by nationals in most cases, know the best way to do that.

The language of this song may not be your first language, but the message is pretty clear.

Essential is based on some hard-hitting truth found in Revelation 2:1-5 revealing how God feels about those who forsake their first love. It’s pretty obvious that it is essential to get back to our first love if we want to please God. We need to do whatever it takes to rekindle that spark we first had for Jesus.

Creator Camp 2014

By Sergei Golovin, Regional Director of GNPI-Ukraine

With great joy, I am glad to say that the most challenging project of the year has been completed! We successfully managed to arrange The Creator Children’s Camp at the occupied territory. The troubles of the world did not stop us. We just regrouped for new conditions. As usual, the camp was a testing field for new curriculum for camps, Sunday schools, and children’s programs.

Camp 014

This year the theme of the curriculum was Creator of the Universe. It was focused on the design of the universe, the ways people study it, as well as God’s plan for it according to the Scriptures. Various games, sports activities, and experiments helped the kids have a lot of fun and learn the material effectively at the same time.

We had 20-30 children participate, and 10 percent of them were from non-Christian families. All of the media work at the camp was done by last year’s media training course graduates! The main difference this year was a day-camp format.

Camp 006

Nevertheless, we made several field trips. We went to the seashore and also to the Multi-Purpose Resource Center training facilities for games and astronomical observations. We also took the campers to view the Space Center. At the end of the camp, the children gave a special performance at the church to share what they learned. This was a special occasion for them to bring their parents and friends who don’t usually go to church. The guests received some of our books as a gift.

Now, after some revisions and editing, the curriculum will be available online for other churches and ministries alongside the ones we have issued in previous years. Please pray with us for the seeds planted, both at the camp and after it!

Here is a video trailer about the camp.

Prayers & Praises

“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” – Psalm 147:11

 

The response was marvelous!
Isaac Masiga of GNPI-Kenya says, “We praise God for success in the Solar Kit ministry. The Ogiek community wants us back again and is organizing seminars. Please pray for financial resources to reach out more to this isolated community. The strategy for us is to empower the local missionaries with resources that they can use for the Ogiek people. We also sent a Solar Kit along to another remote part of Kenya called Teso. The minister who used it said that the response was marvelous.”

Joy in the Midst of Troubles!
Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Ukraine shares, “God definitely brings us joy in the midst of any troubles of the world! A church in Kiev, where I teach and do seminars from time to time, has invited me to share the word of God at their baptism retreat. Despite all the turmoil, all the wars and the rumors of war, the Lord is adding to the church daily! Praised be his name! What a joy to see the fruit in each of us by the grace of the Lord! As Paul put it, one plants, another waters; but God gives the increase! Troubles under heaven make people seek the answers from above. God is already using the current situation for spiritual awakening in Ukraine. I believe, in a few years, the church of Ukraine will became a much more powerful agent for delivering God’s truth to every corner of Russia, and Crimea will be a special door for it! May the Lord continue to lead us and guide us in spreading his glory!”

New Disciples of Jesus!
Jesca of GNPI-Uganda writes, “About the Solar Kits, 1,120 people watched [GNPI video productions] Proverbs, Dume, and Promise of Love, and five people decided to give their lives to Jesus. The coordinators are now preparing them for baptism by teaching them about baptism and Christianity.”

Changing and Growing!
Tom Silkwood of GNPI-Thailand reports that they have completed a new Biblical Extension Course (BEC) program on Christian unity with Mr. Boonsak Tongdee. Tom also said that our partners at Freedom Films have finished a new testimonial program in the Changed series featuring Mr. Boonsak. He grew up in a strict, Christian home. When he left for college, he abandoned his Christian life. Then, in his second year of college, Boonsak happened to move into a Christian dormitory.  From there he returned to faith in Jesus. Please pray that God would use these programs to teach and encourage many people.

Sent to Committee!
The Spanish version of The Global Gospel has been sent to a committee of the United Bible Society for final permission. Please pray for a timely decision, so this completed version can be released and used to help Spanish speakers learn about Jesus.

A Glimpse into Ukraine

Famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for the quote, “God is dead.” In few places has the attempt to remove God from societal life been more prevalent than the nations of the communist former Soviet Union. Even now, the departure from God as the center of life has created the political and military unrest gripping Russia and Ukraine.

You and I know that God is certainly alive and well in our world. Yet, for people who have known nothing but life without God, the quest for truth can be an elusive search, full of struggle and uncertainty.

Dr. Sergei Golovin is the regional director for our center in Ukraine. However, he used to oppose God and his Word. A scientist by training, Sergei was looking to disprove the Bible while conducting research at an isolated location in Siberia. He was all alone. He came across a copy of God’s Word, so he started reading.

What he started out to disprove would eventually win him over. As he poured over the Scripture, he discovered science proved the Bible true, and that this Jesus, whom the Bible spoke of, was actually the author and keeper of all truth.

Dr. Sergei Golovin, a brilliant man and holder of several patents, was convinced from reading the Bible, and looking at the evidence of creation, that there had to be a creative designer.

He was right! This new passion for knowing God turned into a lifelong mission to bring others to know that they need the saving grace of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to set them free from sin.

Today, nearly two decades after he met the God of the universe, Sergei and his team use science and apologetics to win the cultural wars inside his homeland of Ukraine and in Russia. Hundreds of books and tracts, now augmented with video, deliver a better way!

To learn more about the work of Sergei Golovin and GNPI-Ukraine, watch this video we produced in 2013 while helping to raise funds for a new training facility in Ukraine.

Pray for Sergei and Ukraine, particularly during these unsettling times.

Take My Life

By Marsha Bacon, Communications Coordinator, GNPI

Kiev BannerUkraine has been in the news lately, along with countless other regions where unrest and violence continues to escalate. Russia began her crusade to occupy Crimea (the location of one of GNPI’s regional centers) in March, and that was just about the time the music video embedded below was completed.

I am on staff at GNPI and had some surgery back in April. I was in the hospital when I received the communication from Lena, the office manager in Crimea, that their third music video, Take My Life, was complete. As I sat there in my hospital room, watching the video on my phone, I thought about what my Ukrainian friends were facing—ugly photos coming out of Kiev where Russian troops had already invaded, the threat of violence and war, the threat to their physical safety, so much uncertainty!

Yet, the music video is the exact opposite of that. It’s calm, assuring, and strikingly beautiful. Take My Life, an old hymn, is a song about trusting God and giving him our lives.

I messaged Lena and asked her, “How much of the footage in the video was shot during the conflict of the troops moving in?”

She answered me, “All of it, and the shots by the sea were actually shot during the invasion. In fact, we had to postpone the first studio shooting day because that very morning we were occupied.”

The reality of this reduced me to tears. As I watched the video again and prayed for their safety, God revealed to me that even in the most dangerous storms of our lives, he can calm us with his quiet, tender presence.

I find it remarkable that media has the ability to transcend the limitations of cultures and languages and deeply touch someone in a hospital room thousands miles away. So take my life, Lord. You are certainly more capable of doing something good with it than I am.

Prayers & Praises

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.” — Jeremiah 17:7

 

Expanding Our Outreach!
Eddie Gonzalez, a Christian worker in South Sudan, is excited about using technology and materials produced by GNPI. Eddie writes, “Our team has a big vision for spreading recorded teachings and audio Bibles throughout this country. It has already begun with vendors in the market, neighbors, officials we meet at the border, and chaplains in the army. Long after we leave, these files can keep spreading. Long after the sun goes down on a village without electricity, they can keep listening. Pray that the people who hear the audio Bibles will share them with others and produce fruit in their lives. Pray for us to produce good teaching.”

Weary and Cautious!
Simmi Dhingra of GNPI-Chandigarh, India, writes, “Please pray. Due to changes in the government here, there is now a lot of pressure on our Christian workers. While there has not been any serious problem, we are still quite weary and cautious for what India may look like for Christians. Continue to pray for all of our field workers completing projects and evangelizing. Our God is great. We have nothing to fear, but keep us in your prayers.”

A Big Thing That I Appreciate About GNPI!
Sixteen-year-old Meredith Simmons reflects on a recent trip to Mexico with her church group. Meredith writes, “Being with the people of Piedras Negras was a blessing. It was special to see how Christians from another country serve the Lord, and it really showed me how God is using people from all over the world to advance the Gospel. That’s a big thing that I appreciate about GNPI. They help train and equip people from all different areas to spread the Gospel among their own communities. We may look different on the outside. Yet, on the inside God has given us the same heart, one that desires to serve him.”

Such an Inspiration!
Carol Morris from Indiana writes, “It is a blessing to me to be able to forward this check to you. Thank you for sending me the prayer requests month after month. Sergei Golovin [of GNPI-Ukraine] has been such an inspiration as he shares the opportunities God is giving and the strengthening of their faith to keep on even when circumstances are difficult. I’m also thankful to read of Simmi and the team’s work continuing [at GNPI-Chandigarh, India]. It is good to see how God is answering prayers and the success of many endeavors. May God continue to be the one who directs your work for him.”

Getting Things in Order!
Jesca of GNPI-Uganda writes, “We are trying to get everything in order before Vince leaves the office [to transition to other ministry work in the US]. We are learning and taking ownership in different departments. It’s kind of overwhelming, but we are praying that we can manage and take this Mbale office to a great high level. Please pray that God gives us confidence as a team. We are also looking forward to the new staff member who will be joining us soon. It’s our prayer that we will all work together for the kingdom of God.”

May the Lord Finish What He Started!

by Nenette Pacoli, Regional Director of GNPI-Philippines

 

6I recently had the chance to leave the office and see how GNPI productions help draw a crowd and open doors to present the Gospel. Our mission team was composed of seven people from our church (including my husband, Bert, and me). We visited three different communities.

Our road trip began with a 14-hour drive to a seaport where we put the whole van on a ship that crossed the Pacific Ocean. We got off in Allen, parked the van, and got on a motorized banca (equipment, big speakers, and all) to get to San Juan, Lavezares, Northern Samar, a small island of about 300 families where our church planted an outreach ministry over 7 years ago. We showed All Things New (a GNPI drama about the impact of Christian discipleship on the lives of street children). We showed the drama that Saturday night in their town plaza to approximately 500 individuals (half of them kids!) with lots more watching from their houses. We were interrupted twice by 30-second power outages, but the local pastor was able to explain the message of salvation based on what the movie said.

The following day at church, a lady, who is a leader in the church, welcomed our team and mentioned watching the movie the night before. With a catch in her voice, she said that the lesson she learned was that we shouldn’t be focusing on the mistakes or faults of others but instead looking to Jesus for growth, strength, and faith. (Her tears alone made the long trip worth it for me!)

1We left the island after lunch, and we drove another four hours to get to Catbalogan, Western Samar. Around lunch time the next day, we loaded all equipment again on another motorized fishing boat to get to Casab-ahan, another island of about 200 families. (Our speakers, amplifiers, and tripods were stashed among bottles of vinegar, crates of dried fish, blocks of ice, big bags of chips, etc.) The team and I were afraid that the boat seemed overloaded, but the owner assured us that we would stay afloat. Maqueda Bay was calm, so the one-hour trip was uneventful. That night, we were allowed to set up in the middle of the busiest street where most of the people converged. There were absolutely no cars on the island.

We showed the film to approximately 200 people, again half of them were kids, but there were more men in the audience too. In fact, I observed the best reactions from the men as they applauded the antics of one movie character (Nardo) toward another character (Pastor Rico). They called Nardo, “bad boy,” but they grew quiet at the scene where Pastor Rico has a heart-to-heart talk with Nardo. Bert gave the message of salvation in the local dialect, as the pastor of this church was away on a retreat until the following day.

Early the next afternoon, we loaded all the equipment again on the boat to get to Cagot-saan, an island about 15 minutes away. This time a local pastor, Pastor Allan, was with us. It was another fishing village of about 300 families. Since there was still daylight, I saw what seemed like throngs/multitudes of kids, and they came swarming around us as we set up the equipment. I started taking pictures, and I watched these kids’ faces as they smiled and played around me.

3

We showed the movie when it grew dark, and after the Pastor Rico-Nardo scene, we paused and Pastor Allan stood up to talk about salvation. He was crying! He said he was so touched by the movie. (He was seeing it for the first time.) In the quiet of night, he led people in prayer. We finished the movie, packed up, and got ready to go home. As we were on the boat, our host, Ellen, told us that her husband, Benjamin, made the decision to accept Christ. She was overjoyed because he was a member of a different sect, and though for over 20 years of marriage he was very supportive of Ellen and their children in their church activities, he never really realized his need to accept Jesus for himself until that night after watching the movie!

The movie was the talk of these three communities. We were able to plant seeds of faith and seeds of knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we are leaving it to the Lord to make these seeds grow, mature, and make a difference in these people’s lives. Let’s fully rely on the Lord to finish what he started.

A Glimpse into the Philippines

The Philippines is a collection of more than 7,000 islands. Interestingly, it seems there are as many expressions of religious practice and worship as there are islands. This can be confusing indeed.

In fact, it is not uncommon for the people of the Philippines to bring together parts of different religions to practice strange “hybrid” sorts of worship. People could be in a cathedral in the morning, and then that same afternoon, they might offer sacrifices to small figurines in their homes.

Idols would not be something most Westerners would be accustomed to, but in the Philippines, idol worship is rampant. The same person who offers such devotion to an inanimate object could also carry a cross and be nailed to it during Easter week to honor Jesus!

GNPI-Philippines has been speaking into this worldview since 1998 with productions like My Worship: Real or Replacement? and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) series. These have become very popular broadcast series with the Filipino people. Strange, you say, but for Filipinos, these video series accurately communicate into their worldview.

As a result, the one true God is bringing a life of focus and clarity to many who are choosing his one and only son, Jesus.

 

Appreciation from Anyway!

by Tom Nutt, Director of Operations

I was able to meet Anyway Mupesewa, a young man from Zimbabwe, at the North American Christian Convention last month. GNPI provided a Solar Kit for him to take back to his home country to use in sharing the Gospel there.

I think you’ll agree, he is a delightful young man. His response represents the appreciation we hear expressed from so many (Yet, we aren’t able to record most of them).

We agree with Anyway’s prayer for you, our ministry partners, “May God bless you and keep his face shining upon you. May he watch over your lives, your plans, and be with you all the time.”

 

 

UA-961736-4