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Agents of Transformation

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Fire converts wood to heat and light. Sunlight converts snow to ice and water. Plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Conversion occurs through transformation; it’s God’s design.

GNPI’s global network has the privilege of serving as agents of transformation. We partner with God to convert intentional prayer, faithful gifts of money, and volunteer labor into training, equipment, and media productions that help people from different languages, cultures, and customs understand the love of Christ.

Stories of transformation fill the Gospels, and they fill the archives of GNPI as well.

Michael Simbwa, minister of Mityana Church of Christ, shares:

Mityana is a small community outside of Kampala, Uganda, where tradition and other religious practices are prevalent. Many people call themselves Christians in this area, yet I have noticed a great need for extensive biblical teaching. Christ called me to minister to the people in my village in 2014.

The believers have grown stronger in the Lord, thanks to the Solar Kits. In particular the teachings of Jesus in The Global Gospel, have been helpful for debunking myths and false teachings. The majority of our church members are from the Bible study we host in the community. The Solar Kit has catalyzed the growth of our ministry in ways we never imagined. Ministering in the villages outside Kampala, we have been able to draw more and more people to Christ by teaching them the Truth and baptizing them as Christ commanded.  

GNPI has been instrumental in our efforts to teach people about the Gospel of Christ. We started and grew our young church from a small group to over 60 regular members. We celebrate the progress and God’s work in the area.

May God continue to use our partnership to create more agents of transformation in 2017.

God’s Strength in Our Weakness

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Would you praise God if you had four surgeries in five weeks, could not remember two weeks of your life, and had several organs temporarily shut down? What if you were a refugee who had lived in a rented apartment for three years because you had to flee and leave your home, the office you built, and the staff you invested in for years? Would you praise God if your budget was drastically reduced, your staff was cut in half, and you dealt with constant concerns of government instability?

The paradox of the Christian life is that we can praise God even when the world around us would see absolutely no reason whatsoever to do so. One of our ministry partners from Eurasia recently shared the above challenges as victories in 2016!

He wrote, “The main lesson I received in practice, not in theory, is how amazing our Lord is. His work is revealed in the ways that probably sound like an oxymoron to people who do not know Him. His strength comes in weakness. His peace comes in the midst of troubles. His guidance comes in turmoil.”

Instead of expressing discouragement and defeat, this brother shared with joy and confidence that despite all the struggles God blessed the growth of His Kingdom in 2016 as significantly as in any previous year.

Doesn’t that remind you of the Apostle Paul?

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” — 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)

We praise God for the victories He brings us through trials.

 

Light

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

A recent visit of a regional director to the U.S. reminded me of this simple truth: light is light regardless of where it’s shining!

Shining a flashlight at noon won’t be noticed very much, but the same flashlight along a country road on cloud-covered night can be a lifesaver! The light isn’t any stronger; it’s just easier to see when it’s pitch-black all around.

Our GNPI regional directors share their light everywhere they go. In most cases they serve in places of great spiritual darkness where the light of the Gospel is easy to see. When this light shines on people, it may expose them to danger. We are constantly in prayer as they make the way clear in these places.

Sometimes our regional directors leave their homelands to shine their light in the U.S. While there are many more shining around them here, their beams of spiritual light impact us greatly. They brighten our spirits. We are enlightened by their wisdom and perseverance. In fact, they impact non-believers for Christ while they are visiting!

Join us in asking God to continue to allow our regional directors to shine the light of Christ, wherever they are. Let’s pray for each of us to be the same kind of transforming light for Christ in 2017.

Connection

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Our world is interconnected in many ways:

  • A hurricane warning comes a week in advance of the storm hitting the shore.
  • News from China hits Facebook within minutes.
  • Presidential tweets send the stock market into a buzz.

Technology and education connect us to each other.

In fact, fifty percent of today’s world leaders studied at some point in the United States. Global leadership is connected with U.S.-based education. Look at this photo of the Iranian cabinet and where they studied. We are connected!

We go to a waiting world as missionaries, workers, and short-term visitors, yet today, the world is coming to us as never before. Over one million come as international students annually. Imagine the friendship many of us could freely offer as we welcome international students who want to practice their English skills and learn about American culture.

Faith is rolled into our culture and what better way to share our faith and ensure as neighbors we continue to honor, love, and respect one another through building bridges of international friendship. GNPI partnered with ICOM in 2016 to create and launch The RISE Project (www.theriseproject.com).

Take a look at the resources on the website and then initiate a conversation with an international student near you. You, our guests, and our world will benefit!

 

Media Strategies Matter

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Content alone used to be king; it was all about the message. This is changing. With today’s technology, media methodology and the timing of the delivery are also critical. Today, the message and the media strategy matter!

As an illustration, President-elect Donald Trump was chosen as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” Why? It’s due to his disruption of the normal political process. Regardless of who received your vote, there have been huge changes. Here is what Jim Dennison wrote:

“Every successful presidential candidate in my lifetime was chosen by a political party that then provided the infrastructure necessary for him to get his message to the nation. The candidate was obligated to work with the media in this regard, since they determine what they will print and air. Donald Trump’s candidacy followed none of these norms. Most of the Republican Party establishment did all it could to prevent his nomination. Most of the mainstream media did all they could to prevent his election. But the technology of our day enabled him to speak directly to his followers in ways that galvanized their support and fueled his movement.”

Of course the message is critical, but media delivery is important as well. In this case Trump’s use of social media, specifically Twitter, went directly to the people.

At GNPI, we focus on excellence in media strategy and excellence in media production. How the media will be used, who the audience is, what response we want to see, and what follow-up data indicates is more important than ever as we seek to make an impact through disciples who make disciples.

Mr. Trump may be “Person of the Year,” but we pursue the best way to use media strategies and biblical content to effectively communicate to a diverse world that Jesus Christ is the “Person for Eternity!”

A Favorite Highlight: Five Reasons

(This “Highlights of the Year” blog was originally posted on October 4, 2016. It was a milestone for us to release The GNPI App to improve communication with our ministry partners.)

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

We officially launched The GNPI App at the International Conference on Missions (ICOM).

Here are five reasons it brings value to your experience with GNPI:

#5 You can almost effortlessly pass on what God is doing through GNPI with your friends through convenient “share” buttons.

#4 You can donate to specific projects instantly as we communicate about them.

#3 You can keep a pulse on news affecting Christian workers throughout the world.

#2 You can access culturally and biblically accurate materials to offer to a missionary or use on your next mission trip.

#1 You can receive timely notifications of specific prayer requests for GNPI.

Download it today on your preferred mobile platform.

Apple iOS

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-gnpi-app/id1149007709?ls=1&mt=8

Andriod

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bluebridgechurches.goodnewsproductions&hl=en

Please conect The GNPI App with a friend, relative, church missions leader, and others in your congregation.

 

Fertilizing Spiritual Crops

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Putting fertilizer on seedless soil is useless. However, even a small amount of fertilizer applied at the right time in close proximity to seeds or plants can have a great impact on the harvest. I learned this as the son of a farmer. Now as the son-in-law to the founder of GNPI and a former missionary in Kenya, I’ve learned how the right kind of media in conjunction with godly relationships and conversations can accelerate the growth of spiritual produce.

My brother-in-law, Tom Nutt, recently had a conversation with Larry, a Christian leader, affiliated with One Mission Society (OMS). The church planting catalyst of OMS, Every Community for Christ, works in a little over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. As Larry looked at the three church multiplication processes they use around the world to start church planting movements, he got excited by the way media could be used, and is being used, as a tool for abundant Gospel sowing. Once again GNPI stands at the crossroads producing relevant media and teaching others how to use media for their purposes.

That’s joyful news this Christmas.

I wish you could have been there!

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I was standing at the whiteboard in my office in Joplin listening to Timothy P., our regional director at GNPI-SE Asia, share his plans for reaching not only his community and city, but his COUNTRY! When was the last time you sat with someone who had that type of God-sized vision?

To accomplish this, Timothy has implemented a methodical plan I wrote on the board as he explained it – a plan that is already in motion, including new projects from a recently established production site. Timothy believes God is using media to help Buddhists see clearly from their experiences and worldview that the one Creator God is for them, and more importantly, He loves them.

I saw in Timothy a childlike faith – so confident and pure. It was refreshing to sit in his presence, listen, and soak it all in. I just wish you could have been there too!

Christmas 2016 Resources

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

My hope for the future gives me purpose and a special Message to share. We want to give you resources for your friends this Christmas. Click on the link below to access special materials you may find to be personally enriching, or you may want to use them to spread the Good News.

Because He lives!

Christmas Resources

A Day of Generosity

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Giving Tuesday: it’s a national day of generosity as the world recognizes the opening of year-end giving campaigns that sustain many nonprofits, including GNPI.

I’m challenging our friends and donors to supply an additional $10,000 for GNPI’s general fund today. This will allow you to play an active role in what GNPI has accomplished in 2016, including:

  • Training more than 100 believers to create media productions and strategies to evangelize unreached peoples through Project Nomad
  • Completing new languages of The Global Gospel (TGG) and updating our format for prime impact through smartphones.
  • Using TGG to produce an Arabic made-for-television series.
  • Releasing The GNPI App, which you can download for free!
  • Creating a new children’s program in the Indonesian language of Bahasa that will serve as a prototype for additional releases in multiple languages throughout the world.
  • Operating eight regional centers that create culturally relevant media throughout the world, even in dangerous and insecure places like Russia and India.

If you’d like to help us, click here to make a donation today. We look forward to seeing what God will do through you.

P.S. Download The GNPI App today by visiting your App Store. You’ll receive updates, including prayer requests, and have access to tools you can use or provide to others for evangelism.

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