Category : Mike Schrage

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Tribute to Tom Silkwood

We would like to honor the life of Tom Silkwood, our friend and coworker, who served as the regional director of GNPI-Chiang Mai, Thailand, since it opened in 1993. Tom passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on March 26, 2016.

We are thankful we had the chance to work with Tom and his wife, Gayle. We appreciate Tom’s example of love for Thai people and his passion for sharing the Gospel.

A Double Punch!

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

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Two short years ago at our Vision Night events, we shared our ambitious plans to find ways to distribute our content on apps. Two years later we see God working to make that vision a reality. After we laid our plans before God, GNPI was guided to partnerships with well respected organizations including Back to the BIble and YouVersion to distribute our content through mobile apps.

Two of our regional centers are working with Back to the Bible on custom apps. GNPI-Piedras Negras, Mexico is offering + Vida, and GNPI-Nairobi, Kenya, is preparing Yunami.

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In addition to this work with Back to the Bible, we’ve created Bible study plans in Russian, Ukrainian, Hindi, Spanish, and Tunisian Arabic for the YouVersion Bible app. This content covers some of the most basic stories of the life of Christ including His birth, His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, and His death and resurrection over ten thousand people have subscribed to these plans, and more than 7,500 have fully completed their plan subscriptions.

We’re working hard to integrate more of our content seamlessly across multiple mobile app channels. To this end, we reached a new milestone recently when GNPI-Piedras Negras, Mexico, made their Spanish Easter plan, La Semana Santa, available on both YouVersion and + Vida. It’s our first double punch in making the same content available on two platforms!

This may not have been the way we would have pictured our plans being accomplished two years ago, but we praise God for His purpose that prevails.

 

Easter Resources

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

As we celebrate Resurrection Day, thank God for bringing good things from the tragedy of Jesus’ death on the cross. Through His death and resurrection, we have eternal life! I hold this hope even more closely this year as my family continues to grieve after my Dad’s death in February.

My hope for the future gives my life purpose and entrusts me with a special Message to share. We want to help you share Jesus with your friends this Easter. Click on the link below to access special resources you may find to be personally enriching, and then you may want to use them to spread the Good News.

Because He lives!

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Identity Matters

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

GNPI-Eurasia is based in Kiev, Ukraine, and Simferopol, Crimea. Through the Internet and mobile delivery tools, media projects produced in these locations serve many nations throughout Europe and Asia.

Identity is a sensitive issue. In the New Testament a person identified as a Galilean was considered uneducated. Fishermen were equally held in low opinion. Jews looked down on Samaritans as half-breeds. Identity mattered, and it still matters today.

Shortly after the 2014 Summer Olympics, Vladimir Putin’s Russian army annexed a portion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. As a result, some GNPI staff members stayed and some had to leave. This created two campuses under GNPI-Ukraine: the Kiev campus and the Crimea campus.

Regional Director Dr. Sergei Golovin states, “We are one team with one vision, one strategy, and one budget. However, we have two locations. Nevertheless, our vision is much broader than Ukraine. Through the network of the Eurasian Apologetics Society, we are impacting all former Soviet Union countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Uzbekistan, and others. Until recently Crimea was just a home base for ministry.”

As a result of this current situation and looking towards the future, our colleagues have asked that we refer to them as GNPI-Eurasia.

Next time you check our website or read a blog, prayer request, or newsletter, please remember to pray for peace and for boldness in the work of GNPI-Eurasia. It spans ten time zones using innovative methods to accelerate global evangelism.

The “E” Word

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I’m thinking about an important word that starts with the letter “E.” Can you guess what it is? It’s critical to the world right now. No, it’s not election. It’s not economy. The truly big “E” word is neither of those. It’s eternity! Popular opinion or world circumstances cannot change this reality.

My father recently passed away, and I had the privilege of sharing his eulogy with a large crowd in his hometown, many of whom did not know Jesus. They work hard and are concerned about the economy. Yet, everyone feels the reality of death while standing next to a loved one’s casket. It’s a startling reminder to consider eternity. People can live 30 days without food and three days without water, but they cannot survive for three minutes without eternal hope.

As we think about this hope with Easter right around the corner, I wonder what my dad would say to us after a few days in eternity? Could he describe for us the awe of the God Almighty, the majesty of Jesus the Holy One, the number of angels, or the beauty of the homes Christ is building for each of His children? I think Dad would simply say, “Eternity is what Easter is all about! Eternity is what I want to be about.”

This is why I serve with GNPI and our ministry partners to accelerate global evangelism. Hey! There’s another important “E” word.

The Key to Identifying a Counterfeit

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

“Don’t worry about the counterfeit; just know the original.” Years ago this advice was given to a friend of our family. His daughter worked as a bank teller, and she was concerned about being cheated when she began her job. The principle for a bank teller, and for Christ followers, is to know the real thing instead of worrying about being faked out by every new doctrine.

GNPI works to share the “real thing,” the Good News, in relevant ways to cultures and communities around the world. Combating the false teachings of animism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam requires clear communication, so there is no doubt who Jesus is and what He wants His followers to do.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, the first and greatest commandment, is followed by His Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples. Jesus was not a counterfeit, and GNPI is committed to clearly communicating this simple truth to transform a diverse and dying world through our media messages.

God’s Love Is Evident

This Valentine’s Day was different for me than most. I reflected on the death of my father who passed away during the previous week at age 89.

During the eulogy I asked the church audience to think about what my Dad would tell us after entering eternity. It’s something we all need to think about. When he died on February 8, 2016, how did his priorities shift? What would he say to those of us still here today?

My father was an unselfish, hardworking farmer, civil servant, and Korean War veteran. Yet, with all due respect to my dad, nothing we do on earth compares to the God who loved us enough to give His only Son. In keeping with Valentine’s Day, my father might ask us simple questions.

Do you love God? Do you know Jesus? Are you ready for eternity?

Yes, even at my father’s funeral, the focus was on God’s incredible love. His love is wonderful. It’s evident even in times of great sorrow when a loved one leaves this earth.

Thank you for your part with GNPI as we share God’s love around the world.

Meeting Special Friends in Uganda

Mike Schrage, executive director of GNPI, visited with two special friends, Dennis Okoth and Kennedy Obura in Uganda.

Dennis is a GNPI board member who trains Christian leaders and mentors the GNPI-Uganda staff in Mbale.

Kennedy is part of a team in South Sudan who are distributing GNPI materials on mini SD cards. His team plans to work with GNPI-Uganda on future productions to help the churches they have planted.

We are blessed to be part of a wonderful network, including you, as well as Christian workers around the world.

Message of Authority

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

They were amazed by His teaching in Luke 4:32 because His Message had authority. A message has authority in three ways; it must be true, timely, and tested.

Truth has great authority. Nothing cuts to the quick or has the ability to convict hearts like truth. Two plus two always equals four, and truth is an eternal axiom. It withstands criticism from the majority simply because it is true. As light always dispels darkness, truth always dispels a lie.

Authority also comes with a timely message. The Holy Spirit helps you and I to achieve the “word aptly spoken” principle. God helps us to say the right things at the right times. Though our words may be common, when the situation is ripe and a heart is open, a timely message can invade the heart and soul. Common words become uncommonly relevant, convicting, and powerful! They are words with authority.

Finally, a message has authority when it is has been tested. When a truthful message from the Holy Spirit crosses our lips at the right time and is supported by a life of integrity, it is a word of authority! A principle is illustrated, a challenge is offered, and the path is blazed by the speaker’s own “skin in the game.” This “follow me” posture adds actions to words. No questions remain regarding the commitment of the one who is bringing the message.

Jesus spoke with authority of Truth. The Holy Spirit timed His Messages for relevant godly teaching. His life authenticated His Message even in giving His life for them, and us, regardless of whether the Message was accepted or rejected.

A listening and watching world is hungry for an authoritative message. GNPI’s mission has always been and will always be delivering God’s Word with great authority to people and cultures throughout the world.

The Void

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

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The world map on the wall in our Joplin GNPI office has black dots for our nine regional centers and photos of their staff. The eight maroon dots indicate Nomad team locations. These 17 production sites are the backbone of our global network. Much of the activity is in Asia and Africa. There is an absence of dots in Central and South America, where GNPI is not as involved. We have never been opposed to starting work in this region, but it has been slower to develop.

On February 11–13, more than 20 people representing several Spanish speaking countries plan to gather in Nicaragua to discuss what God has been doing through media in Central and South America and what God could do through future partnerships with GNPI. Bob Gurwell, our international consultant to the Hispanic world, has spent hundreds of hours conducting research, and we are excited to hear about the hopes and dreams of these local Christian workers.

We give God the glory for the way He continues to use our growing network to accelerate global evangelism through media and technology with production teams, strategic partnerships, and Solar Kits.

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