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Using Media Wisely

Executive Director, Mike Schrage

Media doesn’t have power by itself. It has to be created and then used by people. How it’s used is determined by us. Consider recent comments from different parts of the world that have crossed my desk.

“If ISIS can use media to motivate people to blow themselves up, surely we can use media to tell them about Jesus.”

“Christian media tools can go to places we cannot go and work among the hearts of people .”

“I just wanted to let you know that 10,120 plans were completed on YouVersion in five different languages.”

If the Internet, Facebook, and smartphones are being used to establish powerful global companies, create massive wealth, and even promote destruction, shouldn’t we be using them to redeem the time? Christ wants us to use media and technology for His purposes and His glory. Church, let’s use these awesome tools to share the Gospel so that more people will seek and find Christ!

Only God

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I visited missionaries in Sudan and national workers in Uganda recently.

GNPI is privileged to help both communities of workers through resources like Solar Kits for evangelism or a marriage series designed especially to educate and edify newly married couples in Uganda.

While on the trip I met missionaries coming to Africa to work and other missionaries leaving to return to their homes. In the process 1 Corinthians 3:7 became more clear in my mind: “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

You and I serve the needs of missionaries and national church leaders alike by using technology. They partner with us to toil and plant. Yet at the end of the day, it is God, and only God, who gives the spiritual increase as we serve Him together.

That is Good News!

 

Early Efforts Pave the Way

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

During our 40th anniversary year, we’ve been sharing some favorite photos and video clips from our archives. Our founder Ziden Nutt recalls in the following video several important conversations which led him to realize the power of visuals for communicating the Gospel.

Ziden and his wife Helen went to Zimbabwe in 1961 to minister to the Shona Makorekore people.

Next month we will see some of the encouraging endorsements the ministry of GNPI received as it emerged.

Joy in the Circle of Life

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Joy is personally experiencing Christ’s timely, marvelous, and bountiful grace! Where did that happen for you? I experienced that joy in November 1976 at a swimming pool turned baptistery in Carbondale, Illinois. I had no idea how that moment would lead to today as I help deliver joy to others through media and technology.

It’s amazing what the quest for seeing this joy in the life of others will cause one to do. Whether it’s staying up until 2:00 am to finish an edit in Africa, or working until 2:00 am in a Missouri harvest field to donate grain proceeds for the very editing equipment and software, our team of staff and supporters go to great lengths to supply joy.

It all results in unsurpassed joy when we see the plan come together at the intersection of life’s crossroads. We hear how a worship song, drama, teaching video, radio talk show, or plan on a digital app deliver truth and hope and is used by the Holy Spirit at just the right moment to deliver eternal joy.

Do you see the unending cycle? We’re given joyous spiritual life for the purpose of giving it to others. Such beauty is found in the circle of life!

 

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.

Nicaragua

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.

 

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