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Two Key Words

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

What a full itinerary! International Director Mark Johnson and I made a trip to India to visit five GNPI production teams via 15 flights in 17 days!

GNPI’s presence continues to grow steadily in this marvelous country of more than a billion people. That means nearly one in seven people who share the planet with us live in India!

It was a blessing to travel with our colleagues to meet young and established media disciples alike. I wish you could have heard their excitement as they talked about the Hindu seekers who called to have prayer and ask questions after their television broadcast on Christmas.

I wish you could have met the young students from the Nomad teams enthusiastically sharing about the impact of their video productions on their peers and communities. Their only request was, “When can you come and train us again?”

I wish you could have been in the college classroom as one team near the Nepal border explained how they watched a young couple come to know the Lord. They worked on a production during their college break. They introduced the actress and actor to Christians and shared their love for Christ. Later both of the actors became serious followers of Jesus, married, and now a year later, have been blessed with a son!

Yes, the trip was long but fulfilling. The key words in my heart were “thankful” and “potential” as we finished our curry and chai and said good-bye to these dear friends.

This journey of training, equipping, and encouraging could not have happened without your partnership. Thank you!

Heroes of the Faith

Here are some of the spotlight moments of the 2018 Vision Night.

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

God speaks in His Word about heroes of the faith. We can all point to heroes who are active among us doing so much good for God’s Kingdom.

For some of you who know Ziden and Helen Nutt, you’ve supported their mission work starting in Africa 50 years ago.

It was during that season of ministry in Zimbabwe that GNPI was born and some of you have supported not only their family, but GNPI for 40 years! Your perseverance in prayer and your generosity of heart has made the following blessings possible. 

At GNPI, we’re constantly amazed by what God does through our heroes, his people, around the world.  Chris DeWelt is a former missionary and president of College Press. He is currently the Director of Intercultural Studies at Ozark Christian College. Thousands have been taught in his classroom and hundreds mobilized for cross-cultural work globally. Chris is a noted speaker, writer, and world traveller.  He also serves as an elder and statesman for the Church. Chris provides a glimpse into what God is doing around the world through heroes God has used.


Alan Wan is originally from China, a graduate of Ozark Christian College, and now a valuable part of the GNPI family. Alan is just one of the many people God is mobilizing in China for service around the world.

We’re excited about the opportunities to build the Kingdom in China. You may remember GNPI produced a movie called Source of Love some years ago. Last year, with the help of a ministry partner, we distributed 500 thumb drives worth of resources to Chinese pastors. Within the last two years, we also conducted two Nomad trainings inside of China.

One of the exciting projects at GNPI is Project Nomad.

Project Nomad empowers local people to use media for their own local church planting and evangelistic needs. Sergio Alvarado is a friend we have invested in through Project Nomad. From being a young missionary to a church planter who knew media could enable his work to go further and deeper, Sergio shares about his team’s progress in Mexico through Project Nomad.

Several years ago, the GNPI board agreed that we needed to reach out more intentionally to the world’s three major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Through intentional prayer and God’s guidance, good strides have been made in preparing materials for Christian workers among those religious views.

As I think about Islam, I can hear in my ears the call to prayer at 5:15 AM in India. I can see the giant mosque in Tunisia next to the rubble where a church building for Christians once stood.

At that site, leaders convened and canonized the books of the Bible (to insure it was not corrupted as many Muslims believe).

I firmly believe the answer to Islamic terrorism is not more sanctions or bombs but more love and truth. Islam may be growing in the West, but in the Middle East and North Africa, incredible changes are occurring as thousands upon thousands are seeking Allah and finding Jesus instead!

In partnership with a Christian media team in Cyprus, GNPI has produced Jesus Story, a series with 13 episodes of half-hour programs for Arabic-speaking children. The estimated viewership is five million and, with our social media engagement plan, hundreds of families have received discipleship material, prayer, and encouragement. Like The Global Gospel, Jesus Story is a template that any of our 16 production teams could adapt for use in their language and country.

In Indonesia, where more Muslims live today than anywhere else in the world, our most audacious plan for GNPI is underway.

Again in partnership with a Christian media ministry there, 20 fully animated short Bible stories have been created for families. It is called The New Angle Media Project. By using video, web, and social media engagement, you can enable local Christians to connect with seeking Muslim families. The desire is to make disciples who make other disciples. Think of it as a gold detector. Research indicates that at any moment in time, 2.5% of all Indonesians are open to spiritual change! That’s 6.5 million people!

This media project helps local Christians to identify the people whom the Holy Spirit has already been working in as they seek truth and search for eternal meaning.

What excites me about this project is that it reaches families who are asking spiritual questions.

Bible stories have present-day relevant content for Indonesian families. Christian workers are immediately notified on their mobile devices when a family downloads one of the videos, so they can pray for that specific family to watch, discover, and obey Jesus. The Holy Spirit, combined with prayer and media, allows you to make disciples in Indonesia. You are our heroes in helping others go deeper!

After a family watches a story or two, they are asked if they want to contact a Christ-follower. To arrange the meeting, they simply text a phone number that appears at the end of the video and conversations can begin.

They will be contacting Christian workers who have been invited to help with this important follow-up process. Animated Bible stories and interactive media connect Muslims with Christians who have already prayed for them! Like The Global Gospel and Jesus Story, this project can be reproduced in multiple languages by simply replacing the audio and text. That’s what deeper is all about! 

When I first began to seek Christ, I went to a Christian concert and then read a New Testament before ever going to a worship service. Some of you might have a similar story of how God used different types of media to invite you to meet other Christians individually or to attend church for the first time. Today God has given us tools of video and social media to identify and introduce seekers who could potentially become our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Together we are helping build God’s Church and meet the real needs of people in their everyday lives!

Curling and the Gospel

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Millions around the world recently watched the quadrennial spectacle known as the Winter Olympics. Besides the surprises and disappointments of athletes who competed to find their place on the podium and in history books, we saw politics, doping, and sexual innuendos finding their way into this story as well.

Did you have a chance to see any of the Olympic curling matches?

Started 500 years ago, it is a sport known for its kindness. Imagine! Not only do winners compliment losers, but during their actual completion, there are no referees. They admire, judge, and regulate themselves!

To me, that is a stellar example of what the Gospel can do for us. It regulates our hearts so we are kind and honorable to others. The Gospel can help us realize we are all broken and, therefore, should honor others above ourselves.

I’m not planning to take up curling anytime soon, but I certainly have developed an appreciation for a sport that puts a new spin on life!

A Tale of Two Cities

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, is the second most widely distributed single volume book ever. In the novel, Dickens compares two cities, London and Paris. The famous phrase, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” was lifted from this book which was set in 1859.

Let me compare for you two very different cities in India. Varanasi has a population of more than a million, and Shillong has a mere 150,000. Varanasi is considered the spiritual mecca for Hinduism and Buddhism, while Shillong has a majority Christian population— indeed a rarity in India.

The crowded filthiness and spiritual darkness of Varanasi, and the feeling of countless people grasping for hope is palpable. There are more than 2,000 Hindu temples along the famous Ganges River in Varanasi. Many royal families built their summer homes with steps leading down to this highly regarded riverfront. The combination of home and steps are called “ghats.” Up to 80 ghats line the Ganges.

One of the strong traditions is to pay for the privilege of delivering the dead to one of the ghats and have “puja” (prayer) recited over the body as it is cremated and eased into the river in hopes their loved one will be fast-tracked to heaven. Though it costs thousands of rupees and days of struggle to transport the body, families have done this continually for a thousand years.

Varanasi is also home to the Sarnath Temple, maintained by Tibetan Buddhists. Believed to be the place where Buddha gave his first sermon, thousands of visitors come daily to spin the prayer wheels and bow down seeking hope and peace.

Compare this to the Northeastern city of Shillong, and the tribal Khasi people who live there. They are small in number and marginalized by the majority of Indians because they are considered a backward people. Yet, their city is clean. The faces of citizens are joyful, the streets are less congested and cleaner. One wonders if the overall pleasant demeanor of the people in this city comes as a result that 70 percent are Christian.

May the tale of these two cities change so the joy and light of Christ in Shillong will one day beam in Varanasi and beyond.


Salted with Fire

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant in Mark 9:49 when He said, “Everyone will be salted with fire”?

I recently visited North Africa where believers are few, and those who do follow suffer in a plethora of ways. You can walk through the cemeteries of hundreds who have died for their faith, such as those who were used as bait in the arena, or listen to stories about thousands of children sacrificed to false gods. Those were horribly trying times, and it still happens today.

However, there are other types of fire. What if you are a mother of three beautiful daughters with hopes of attending college, a happy marriage, great relationships with extended family, nice cars, and good jobs? Then one day the Truth comes. You have to make a choice to keep the status quo and enjoy the current life, or take the risk and announce to all that you follow the Messiah.

The costs are real. Your husband will divorce you, your daughters will disown you, your mother will feel shame for not raising her daughter well. The job will be gone. There will be no intimacy, no diplomacy, and no legacy. Only day after day of shame, poverty, and loneliness.

Relatives hope the pressure will make this woman crumble. Yet somewhere from within she finds the fortitude and strength to endure, not only endure, but also to pray for her family who persecuted her. Mother dies, and she cannot attend the funeral. The daughters graduate, and she can only see them for a few minutes for fear of losing visiting rights altogether.

Yes, everyone will be salted by fire. Anything I’ve thought was tough pales in comparison to the stories of martyrs or this sister in Christ. I pray God will enable her to stay the course of faithfulness in her home, village, and country.


A New India

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

You can see similar sites in many cities in India. Along the sides of its busy streets, you find skinny dogs scrounging in the garbage, boisterous cows with broken horns owning the roads, and the constant barrage of tooting horns from cars warning riders on two-wheeled transportation of who is faster, bigger, and very close.

Those who aren’t speeding by from one place to the next go about their lives too.  A few fortunate citizens who are part of shining India talk on one of the multiple mobile phones they use, shop at local malls, or get in their Toyota SUVs. Then you have the members of suffering India. They struggle for a few rupees each day by picking up garbage, driving rickshaws built for two, or doing dangerous construction for a new downtown freeway.

These diverse paths converge onto a shared religious heritage. Monks trek from Myanmar to visit the elite temple where many of the world’s half-billion Buddhists believe Buddha delivered his first sermon. Other visitors pay homage to prayer wheels, a holy tree, scores of statues, and exceptional artwork on the temple walls which depict heavenly stories.

Located a short 15 minutes away we find a ghat or a broad set of steps leading down to the Ganges river. Wealthy families built these paths, which for 2,000 years have led families every hour of the day, as they bring their loved ones who have passed away to the water’s edge. They believe you can place a burned body in the Ganges to ensure a fast track to Heaven.

These complex Hindu religious systems for Buddhists and the billion Hindus who call India home aren’t alone among the people’s beliefs. Though they number a billion throughout the world, Muslims who stop to pray at the booming call from the mosques are much smaller in number here. There are even fewer of the poor but dedicated Christians.  

A new day for India is dawning, though. It appears the Christian movement, seemingly ineffective for 2,000 years, is beginning to gain momentum.  Disciplined prayer and work by faithful believers over the long season has sparked a small flame in a culture, which seems to find a connection with the humble baby born in a manger so long ago.  

Out of the fog that hovers over the worship on the Ganges, there’s a clarity emerging from the “guru” Jesus to whom Christ-followers pledge their allegiance. In India’s quest for spiritual answers, this sinless man who lived a seemingly poor and insignificant life for 33 years inspires hope. This new flicker in the lives of a searching people is quietly finding traction among so many who can relate to the suffering Savior.

Spiritual darkness covers India. Yet Christians who meet, often secretly, in small groups to pray, serve, and disciple are bringing light. Hope is dawning for a future, spiritually shining, India.

Completing the Great Commission

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

What if all churches worked together to complete the Great Commission? Crazy idea right?

Doug Lucas mentioned in a recent edition of Brigada,

“A couple of years ago, the Director of International Missions at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, wrote an article to encourage local churches to band together globally to fulfill the Great Commission. His point was that, while the Great Commission was certainly spoken to individuals, there’s a lot to be said for the corporate church taking the baton as a group. His basis? He observed that the command was given to a corporate body (all the apostles) rather than to an individual. Jesus told them as a group to pray for more laborers (Luke 10:2) and as a church to support those who go (3 John 8). The idea, he wrote, was to help everyone in all congregations to think and act with a global evangelization mindset. It’s tempting to think, ‘If we don’t go, who will?’ However the truth is, it’s the global church’s job—not any one person or nation… No matter our church’s size, age, resources, or challenges, we are not powerless, poor, or alone. Christ’s promise is for us today. He rules all things, earthly and heavenly, and He is with us to the end of the age. He will complete His mission.”  

GNPI is first and foremost a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and secondly an outreach arm of His bride, the Church. Our prayer is to be able to see the unity of the Church, hear the mandate, and go in His power with prayers and provision from the body of believers.

You can see Ryan King’s complete article:



A Remarkable Story

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Have you listened to any of the Venture in Faith podcasts yet? Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

As a missionary to Africa for 20 years and a person who travels the world as part of my ministry, I am often encouraged and inspired by courageous people serving the Lord around the world.

Here’s one of my favorites with Steve Saint:

Steve was only five years old when the Auca Indians in Ecuador killed his father, Nate Saint and four fellow missionaries as well. Steve recounts the events following his father’s death and how the Lord used Jim Elliot’s widow, Elisabeth Elliot, and Rachel Saint, Steve’s aunt, to fulfill the dream of the martyred men and take the Gospel to this village. Steve shares how the people who killed his father are not his enemies, as some would expect. One of the men in the village even baptized Steve. As an adult, Steve also spent time living and serving the people in this same village in Ecuador.




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.

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!