Category : Mike Schrage

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Josephine

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Christian workers in South Sudan recently sent this message to me. It reaffirms their hunger for Christ centered digital resources that they can use on tools like their phones. Even in remote areas like southern Sudan, I’m encouraged to continue moving forward with projects like The Global Gospel, and others, which can help others know Christ.

Josephine, or “Mama Kasara” as we call her, lives directly across from the church land. She does not have glasses, due to inability to be anywhere near an optometrist, and so she cannot read her Bible. Often, her daughter Kasara would read to her in English although she wanted to hear the Word in her mother tongue, Acholi.

As soon as the Acholi audio Bible was downloaded, Mama Kasara was one of the first to have it transferred onto her phone. You should have seen the happiness at having access to hear the Word anytime she wanted, without help, and in her own mother tongue! We would often hear her playing it as she washed laundry, and at such a high volume it was hard to talk when near it.

When she came to our home, she would always charge her phone. We asked her why her phone would run out of batteries so fast as to need it charged every day. She let us know that as soon as it became dark and the evening meal was finished, those in her family would gather around her phone in the dark and listen to the Bible until it ran out of batteries.

Thank you for being part of getting the Word into the hands of those who are wanting to hear it!

 

Obedience and Open Doors

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Many stories illustrate how God has gone before us in the completion of a template and 24 language versions of The Global Gospel (TGG). For security reasons, I will be a bit vague with this story about the newest version. Recently, a ministry partner wrote,

“We started yesterday, and everything went very well. The voice talent was from North Korea. He escaped more than 10 years ago and is very passionate about doing this project. One of the beautiful things about working with him is that he is using a North Korean accent for the recording. The words are pronounced in a way so they are clearly understood there. I am thankful he can speak Mandarin; that’s how we communicate. He learned Mandarin when he escaped to China and lived there for several years. God is blessing us with this project, and I am very pleased with how it is coming together.”

Did you catch that? They’re working together using Mandarin to record the Korean version of TGG. The narrator has risked much and illustrates the truth that “obedience when it’s hard is the greatest obedience of all.”

The obedience of these two men will allow millions in a difficult to reach part of the world to have access to the simple stories of Jesus. No door is closed so tightly that God cannot open it!

The First Years of GNPI

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

These are some of our favorite photos and video clips from our archives. Our founder Ziden Nutt recalls some of the foundational factors in his life leading to the establishment of GNPI:

My mother prayed for me and promised not to complain if God wanted use me anywhere in the world, since my life was spared as a toddler after I wondered onto the train tracks when the neighbor left the gate open in our yard.

My mother’s stay in the hospital in June 1952 initiated my use of applied technology. I found a way for her to listen to sermons on a wire recorder from her hospital room.

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Christian service camp greatly influenced me.

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Don Hargrave was a great Bible teacher and example who encouraged me to consider full-time Christian service at the Black Oak Church of Christ in northwest Indiana.

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The Black Oak Church of Christ purchased a 1933 Chevrolet bus frame to help me build a chapel on wheels, so we could start working among the unreached people of Gary, Indiana.

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Faithful missionaries, like J. Russell Morse, inspired me as well. He told me stories of using visual aids to draw people to hear the Gospel. He used a kerosene projector in 1933.

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Lincoln Christian College and Ozark Christian College provided a solid biblical background.

Ministry with Helen began with our marriage in 1958.

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Missionary Max Randall invited us to join the work in Southern Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe. Our home churches played a major role in sending us to Africa.

Next month we will see how early efforts paved the way for GNPI.

Report on Nicaragua

Mike Schrage

I hope you have enjoyed hearing more details about our recent meeting in Nicaragua from this week’s blogs: A Milestone Meeting and An Extraordinary Gathering.  Having the chance to dream with people from eight different countries was foundational to what we believe God will do in Latin America during the coming months. Our active production teams are in Mexico and Chile.

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Tom Nutt, director of operations, said, “It was clear that we had a room full of leaders with enormous servant hearts.” One of our favorite quotes from the meeting was from International Consultant Bob Gurwell, “The meeting was not just a home run. It was a grand slam.”

Listen to Tom Nutt’s Report on Nicaragua in his own words. He created this summary video himself using a Nomad Production Kit.

Thank you for helping to make meetings like this a reality.

Some of the participants have already produced tutorials for the group.

Imagine the Impact

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I had the privilege of speaking at the 50 year celebration of the Christian Student Foundation (CSF), a campus ministry at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The 250 alumni of this ministry showed its impact as they answered these questions:

  • How many became Christians at Ball State because of Christian Student Foundation?
  • How many enlarged their faith at Ball State because of the influence of CSF?
  • How many met their spouses at CSF?
  • How many received premarital counseling from a staff member at CSF?
  • How many were married in the actual CSF building?

Hands went up every time! We may never realize, 50 years later, the impact sharing our faith has for individuals, marriages, churches, ministries, and businesses, both locally and globally. That’s why at GNPI we’re in the business of planting seeds around world.

I can’t wait to see the impact of that in heaven someday. We will have eternity to reflect on the ways people taught us about His love.

Empowering

Mike Schrage

I recently watched via video the implosion of an old stock yard building near St. Louis. I have lots of memories of that building from my days as a farmer. Although there was no way to bring the dilapidated building back, I was sorry to see it destroyed.

I’m thankful God sees each person as someone worth restoring! His grace and mercy are always available to give new life and to sustain even those who are the farthest from Him.

This is exactly the type of work our Project Nomad team in Johannesburg, South Africa, is doing with your support. I was in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a few weeks ago visiting a church that supports the team. They recently sent a couple who are trained in media with Project Nomad Coordinator Mark Allen to provide additional training for them. The personal interaction and encouragement empowered the team and sharpened their skills for ministry.

We pray God will use their renewed energy to result in the spiritual renovation of many lives that may have otherwise been destroyed. Our prayer for you is the same. May you sense God’s empowerment in your life as you bring restoration to the people in your path.

 

Global Value

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once said, “A world without values quickly becomes a world without value.

It’s a wonderful idea, but a difficult task. I recently met with church leaders in Uganda and Sudan. Hearing about their difficult work was sobering. Yet disciples are coming to Christ, and media is part of their plan.

While in Africa, I was looking at at my email one evening and had several encouraging messages. I read about GNPI workers in India broadcasting a program in Hindi to millions over Easter weekend about the sacrificial death of Jesus and his powerful resurrection. In another message, I saw how a Solar Kit is blessing youth who are part of a skateboard community in Chile. My colleague Tom had copied me on a communication to a missions minister letting him know that we recently completed a version of The Global Gospel (TGG) for people in Nepal thanks to the funds his congregation provided. As I continued through more messages, I learned that Christian workers in a predominately Muslim eastern European nation were thanking GNPI for TGG in their language. They were using it in a Facebook outreach strategy that reached tens of thousands with the story of Jesus.

GNPI is in the business of propagating Kingdom values worldwide by making Christ centered media productions that are culturally relevant and eternally valuable!

Thank you for helping us with our task of adding value to the world we live in today.

Thanks, GNPI!

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I recently attended a missions meeting at my home church. One of the leaders read this simple message:

People from all over the country and the world are seeing the Good News in their homes, many for the first time! We are excited to see the impact. It’s far beyond what we could have imagined!

Stats on Facebook for The Global Gospel (TGG) videos:

2 videos with $10 each for advertising yielded

185,353 views of the videos and

75,026 views from start to finish.  

(Thanks, GNPI!!!!!!)

This data is for two of the 88 TGG stories (you can read more at www.theglobalgospel.org). The 75,026 views were watched from start to finish; these were not just the click and open rates! This is in a country with a Muslim majority population.

What a joy to be on the mission team of a globally-minded congregation who is partnering with GNPI. It’s a double blessing to be part of a supporting church that receives news from one of their global workers about the success of GNPI media in their hard-to-reach part of the world!

I want to pass on his words to you by saying, “Thanks, GNPI supporters!”

Significant Dates from the Ministry of GNPI

This is a special year for us to reflect on 40 years of ministry and God’s faithfulness. Enjoy this video from our archives as GNPI Founder Ziden Nutt explains what led him to start making filmstrips when he was in Africa.

1947 – Ziden Nutt dedicates his life to missions in Africa at Christian camp.

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1956 – Ziden is ordained into ministry.

1961 – The Nutt family arrives in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

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1967 – Ziden is challenged to make culturally relevant audio visual resources.

1969 – Good News Productions begins in Rhodesia.

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1975 – The Nutts return to the U.S. for the medical care of their daughter, Lynda.

1975 – Directors are chosen and Good News Productions becomes GNPI.

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1976 – The facility in Joplin is dedicated.

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1981 – The first Solar Kit is sent to Thailand.

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1987 – ABLE Satellite System broadcasts the first program.

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1989 – The regional center in Damoh, India is dedicated.

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1993 – GNPI signs an affiliation agreement with Freedom Films, which later results in a regional center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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1995 – The regional center in Nairobi, Kenya, is dedicated.

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1997 – GNPI signs an agreement with Colegio Biblico for office space. This leads a regional center for Spanish speakers in Texas; it later relocates to Piedras Negras, Mexico.

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1998 – The regional center in the Philippines is established.

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1999 – GNPI signs an affiliation agreement with Sergei Golovin, which later results in the regional center in Ukraine.

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2001 – The Don DeWelt Prayer Center is dedicated on GNPI property in Joplin.

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2003 – The regional center is dedicated in Chandigarh, India.

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2004 – The regional center is dedicated in SE Asia.

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2009 – The regional center is established in Mbale, Uganda.

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2009 – The first Project Nomad team is established in Eldoret, Kenya.

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2011 – GNPI completes The Global Gospel in English as the first language.

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2012 – First mobile app content is distributed to help seekers become disciples of Christ.

2015 – GNPI works to complete the world’s top 25 languages of The Global Gospel

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2016 – Today, the GNPI network includes nine regional centers and eight Nomad teams with more than 500 Solar Kits mobilized in close to 50 countries.

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Imagine Jesus’ Disciples Using Email

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

A friend forwarded this clever email, which illustrates cultural relevance, from Bob Shank of The Master’s Program. It encourages us to imagine how the disciples might have communicated with each other through email.

—–Original Message—–
From: simon@galileefishing.com
To: Jacob

Dear Jacob,

Simon here. I hope this e-mail address is still valid for you; it’s the only one I have. I sent it from my old simon@galileefishing.com account; you ought to update your contact list: peter@messiah.org.

I saw you yesterday when we came into the city. The crowd was so intense that, by the time we got Jesus through the gate and returned the donkey, I couldn’t find you. I know Jerusalem is crawling with people this week – we usually stay in Bethany and come into town every day for the events – and I didn’t know where you’d be staying. I hope you’re checking your emails and this gets through…

It’s been a few years since we’ve talked, but the last 36 months, for me, have been a whirlwind.

My brother and I were introduced to Jesus by John – remember the peculiar mystic who was drawing the big crowds by the river and getting people pumped-up about the imminent appearance of the Messiah? – and that set in motion a chain of events that we never imagined possible.

Andrew had been following John around for a while, met Jesus through him, and then he brought me to meet Jesus for myself. He was intriguing, but the big ah-ha moment happened for me when He showed up at the lake and asked me to take a leave-of-absence from the fishing business to join His inner circle and travel with Him. It didn’t take us much time to make the move: we put the boats in dry-dock and packed our bags. Opportunities like this don’t come along often, especially for nobodies like us.

You and I grew up in the same synagogue, and you remember those Sabbath mornings when the rabbi would tell us about the promised Messiah. All we ever heard at home was the daily dose of bitter hopelessness because of Rome’s occupation; no one had any solution for the foreign military presence that dominated our lives. The rabbi would talk about God’s promise for a future – “the Kingdom” – that would restore our dignity and fulfill His prophecies. We wrote it off as religious fantasy, but I think we spoke too soon…

The crowd yesterday – at the Eastern Gate – was astounding. We’ve had big gatherings all over Israel for the last couple of years, but the sense of anticipation has never reached what we saw yesterday. I could bend your ear for days telling you about things we’ve seen that no one would believe. You know I’m a no-nonsense guy, Jacob, but Jesus defies explanation. I’ve been there: He’s done things that no one can explain or replicate. People sick with everything from traumatic injuries to chronic diseases have been instantaneously restored and healed. On multiple occasions, He’s stretched a single meal into catering for thousands. I won’t put it in an e-mail, but we’ve seen Him do things that make us wonder who He really is. You know I’m a born skeptic, but He’s convinced me.

Based on what we saw yesterday, the crowd in Jerusalem is ready for something big to happen. Some of us met last night, and we think that this may be the week when He will announce His plans to negotiate a new arrangement with Rome and restore the monarchy. That’s what we signed on for. Get in early, and get in big is the strategy among the insiders (there are 12 of us). He’s promised each of us governorships over the 12 tribes; that’s what kept us going. There’s a payoff, and we think it’s soon.

If I see you this week in the city, let’s get coffee. I’ll see if I can get you in to meet Jesus.

Simon (Jesus gave me a nickname: don’t laugh, it’s Peter – the Rock)

 

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