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Thai Christians Sharing Their Faith

 

Tom Silkwood is thrilled to report many more Thai people are hearing the Message of salvation and grace through videos, DVDs, and testimonies they upload to the Internet.

By Tom Silkwood, Regional Director of GNPI-Thailand and Freedom Films Productions

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Dr. Vacharee visited our office while she was in Thailand.

Left to Right:  Nitt, Dr. Vacharee, Noii, Woot, and Tom

 

Our Thai staff are always on the lookout for stories of Thai Christians that will encourage and motivate other Christians, as well as proclaim the Truth to the Buddhists who make up over 95 percent of Thailand’s population.

Recently, they produced a video of a Thai Christian dentist, Dr. Vacharee. She immigrated to Minnesota, got her education as a dentist, and set up a dental clinic that provided services to all who were in need, regardless of their ability to pay. Her testimony is an inspiration for us all to focus on the needs of others rather than our own personal gain.

The video team of GNPI ministry partner, Freedom Films Productions, captures stories of faith and encouragement. Some are testimonials, while others are of teachers sharing biblical Truths. Some are even of pastors in Thai churches who share powerful sermons in the Thai language. Tom and Gayle assist in providing English subtitles for each story. Thai speakers everywhere can now watch uploaded messages on YouTube.

Over 30 programs have been uploaded onto YouTube and can be viewed at “FFPThailand.” Watch as Thai Christians proclaim their faith (some stories even have English subtitles).  Below are links to four videos you can watch. Just press “click here” on each of the captions or the pictures.

 As a young girl, Dr. Vacharee began to question the beliefs of Buddhism. In studying English with missionaries in Thailand, she also learned of Jesus’ love for her.

Click here to watch a video of her testimony (with English subtitles).

 

Patara depended on compliments and praise from others for self-esteem, until she lost all her hair.  In her horror and shame, she searched for comfort from a Christian friend who led her to hope in Jesus Christ.  unnamed-3

Click here to watch a video of Patara’s testimony (with English subtitles).

 

 

Chaiyo was a gang member in Minnesota who was addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and stealing.  His nephew brought him into the Thai community of believers where he gave up his old life and received new life in Christ.  unnamed-4

Click here to see Chaiyo’s testimony, which is also subtitled in English.

 

 

Fahng was raised in a orphanage in Thailand.  A burden of low self-esteem and a feeling of being unlovable, even by God, led her to seek God for understanding of his love for her.  Now Fahng and her husband plant churches in unchurched areas in Thailand.

Click here to see Fahng’s story, subtitled in English.unnamed-5

 

 

 

We are greatly encouraged by you fellow believers who share in this calling with us through prayer and support to make the ministry possible.

Tough Choices in Puerto Rico

Carlos Perez works at Puerto Rico Christian school in Vega Baja. During the last few years he has used leadership training materials from GNPI, and recently sent this message.

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By Carlos Perez, campus minister of Puerto Rico Christian SchoolLocator_map_Puerto_Rico_Vega_Baja

 

Last week, I used the video Tough Choices¹ in our school. I showed it to three groups. We watched for 35 minutes (half of the video) on Tuesday and the other half on Wednesday. On Thursday I asked the students, “What do you think about the video? What impressed you? What stood out to you? What would you like to talk about? What questions do you have?”

Oh boy, the students learned a lot!

Many students said, “I will keep myself holy for my future spouse.”

Others said, “I better focus on God and my career first, then I can ask God to guide me for a partner.”

Some girls said that abortion is pretty bad, but also getting pregnant before married is bad also. Some boys said that we need to treat girls with respect, and so on.

They understood why the girl in the video decided to have the baby instead of having an abortion. “Not too many girls are brave like this one,” the students said. “She had to put up with a lot, but God blessed her.”

I am thinking of using another GNPI video soon. Please pray for me. I really want to make a difference in the life of these students.

 

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1 Tough Choices is a drama about four high school friends who, when faced with some of the life-changing decisions of youth, make very different choices, paving the way to very different futures. The grace of God shines the light of redemption on a new path for these young friends as they consider sensitive issues of abstinence, abortion, and faith. It was produced by GNPI in 2003.

 

The Change That Is Needed

by Greg Fish, creative media designer

Chile was my home growing up. My parents were missionaries there for 18 years. For me, it had been 14 years since I last set foot on Chilean soil. However, I recently went back to connect a GNPI supporting church in Plainfield, Indiana, to Habacuc Diaz and the NOMaD team in the booming capital of Santiago.

Much was very familiar: sights, sounds, and smells. However, I also noticed how much has changed. Most striking is the prevailing attitude of the unchurched toward religion. Chile is a country steeped in Catholic tradition. In the past you were placed in one of two groups, Catholic (the vast majority) or Protestant.

Today, there are still two major groups, but I’ve been told any religious group, whether Catholic or Protestant, is now lumped together and seen in a negative light. In Chile, religion and all that it stands for has become bad. Secular culture has moved to the forefront of this predominantly Catholic country. This is the ministry context for Chilean culture.

The decline of interest in the things of God is one reason project NOMaD is so important. Media has played a big role in Chilean cultural shifts and how people regard the Church. Misguided perceptions need to be reoriented. A connected and media-savvy generation of Chileans is searching for something significant. Habacuc has seen this search tear the fabric of society because Church is not valued, but any other sort of community is. He wants to use media (the language of the day) to try to pull people’s hearts back to God.

It’s not an easy task, and to even be considered, media must look modern and professional. Habacuc’s NOMaD team has been trained well, and their productions are meeting some of the greatest needs facing the Chilean church.

While I was in Chile we were able to provide the team additional, advanced training to help them learn and implement popular video effects commonplace and effective in secular media. The training will help their messages compete with those seen everyday by Chileans.

Please pray for Habacuc and his team as they continue to fight a tidal wave of closed mindedness toward God. The boundless Message of Jesus can speak through media to change lives. That change starts with the heart.

 

GNPI-Mexico’s Growing Outreach

By Abi Flores of GNPI-Mexico

Recently Gustavo Velázquez, regional director of GNPI-Mexico, was invited to a youth convention in the city of Monterrey, Mexico.

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More than 230 young people attended this event. Gustavo had the opportunity to share about the ministry and the scope of the outreach through mass media.

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At the same time he encouraged the young people to serve the Lord through ministry and in their churches.

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Gustavo also shared GNPI materials with other leaders and pastors.

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One leader commented: “Every day at my work station I listen online to Good News Radio. I turn up the volume for my colleagues, who are not Christians, so they can hear also. Some have asked me about the music of the season, and I take the opportunity to share the Word of God.”

They have made some improvements to the radio station in Mexico. Our radio booth now has a better workspace, a module specifically for radio. We also installed another microphone to allow live interviews and improve broadcasting over the Internet. Thank you for your prayers for this growing part of our ministry.

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GNPI’s International Consultant Bob Gurwell shared more about the outreach of the internet radio station when he visited with International Director Bob Sartoris recently. Bob said that one of the most encouraging comments they heard was that the station provides more than just music.

 

 

A Salute to a Special Teacher

Barbara Sachtleben

As a history teacher, Barbara Sachtleben has seen the benefit of technology in the classroom. As a GNPI Board member, Barbara also saw the benefit of technology for sharing the Gospel around the world. She has done her best to learn using all kinds of technology.

Barbara has served as a Board member since 2009. Before that, Barbara was gracious to drive her parents from Springfield, Illinois, to Joplin, Missouri, every year for the annual banquet and Board meetings as long as her parents were able to make the trip. Barbara’s father, John Sachtleben, was one of the original Board members of GNPI.

Barbara meticulously took the minutes for advisory council meetings for years before becoming a member of the Board of Directors. We appreciate the great investment of time, energy, and laughter in the ministry of GNPI.

Congratulations on your 40-year teaching career, Barb! Our staff is praying the Lord will fill your days with joy and contentment and bless you in your next endeavors.

Click here to read about Barbara in the State Journal-Register.

Congratulations!

by Jessica Agler, GNPI research assistant

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I was pleased to receive this message recently:

“Your Bible Plan is now live in the Bible App! The YouVersion Team hopes it ministers to lots of people. Congratulations!

Thank you so much for partnering with us in our mission To Help People Fully Engage With The Bible.”

GNPI has created a seven day Bible Plan in Russian. It is now available on YouVersion’s Bible App. The “Teachings of Jesus” plan covers the Sermon on the Mount. Each day features videos from The Global Gospel and also includes a link to the Scripture and a discipleship question.

This is our first time to use the discipleship questions Mark Moore helped develop. He is currently a teaching pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Arizona. We are excited to see the earth filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as written in Habakkuk 2:14.

Finding Joy in Christ (Part One)

TP, regional director of GNPI-SE Asia, received these testimonies of joy from an evangelist who uses the Christian media resources produced by GNPI. Watch for Finding Joy in Christ (Part Two) next week.

By DJO, evangelist in SE Asia

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My name is AT. I am 20 years old. I was taught to be a Buddhist by my parents. My parents are very poor, so I was thinking about finding a job. I went to visit another village.

Even though I was a Buddhist, I believed and accepted gods of all religions. I grew up thinking that all gods were the same. Many of my friends are Christians, so on Sundays they went to church. They invited me to go to church with them. I heard about God, but I believed all gods were the same.

One day DJO came to the village to where I was staying. All of a sudden, he asked me if I wanted to hear about God. I didn’t want to listen about God. Yet I said politely, “Yes.” He said, “Let’s pray first.” He prayed for me. He explained his faith to me. It made sense.

It is so exciting to know that Jesus is still living and helping believers. He is the first and the last. There is no one else that we should seek. I am so happy to know Jesus who is the Creator and the Savior. Now I have accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. I asked DJO to baptize me, and he did. He also gave me the Handbook for Evangelism. I want to encourage everyone to read it.

 

Hope for the Hardest and Hottest Places

Sergei reports about this historic chaplain training!

 By Sergei Golovin, Regional Director of GNPI-Ukraine

We had an extremely joyful trip to a seminary, not far from Kiev, to contribute to the first-ever, chaplains’ intensive training program. It truly was historic, a sign of changes in the society.

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Even more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was no legal ground for pastoral ministry at places like jails, military bases, clinics, etc. Some brothers were doing this ministry anyway as volunteers, but they did not have proper rights and could be stopped at any moment, or even persecuted for it.

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These people have faced challenges every day. They asked extremely meaningful questions that allowed us to dig into the Scriptures, looking for sound biblical answers together.

We are grateful to partner with these courageous guys who are working to bring the hope and comfort in Jesus to the hardest and hottest places! 

Seeing Skills and Servant’s Hearts

Plainfield Christian Church has partnered with GNPI and the NOMaD team in Santiago to reach Chilean people more effectively. Tim Gephart, Ron Lydick, and Kyle Ferguson from Plainfield Christian Church in Plainfield, Indiana, recently paid a visit to the NOMaD team in Chile. They joined GNPI’s creative media designer, Greg Fish, who went there to train the NOMaD team to use a powerful software program, After Effects, for their productions.

Tim Gephart, missions minister at Plainfield Christian Church, said of the NOMaD team members,

“It has been wonderful to see their skills and heart for the kingdom. Media is one of the ways the Gospel is being communicated in this culture. I appreciate their honest, loving attack of cultural issues – like pro life issues, even before abortion is legal in this country.”

plainfieldfullHabacuc, the NOMaD team leader, shared,

“We are living at a time when the Church can have a voice, not in a harsh or hateful way. We can tell people they need to know about these issues.”

Tim reflected the passion he sees in the team.

“We see Habacuc is excited, depending always on prayer. We are grateful to spend this time in Chile with them.”

Tim’s colleagues shared his enthusiasm.

“I appreciate the opportunity to verify the Scriptural background of the team,” said Ron, chairman of the Plainfield missions team. “I am confident they will do this project in a way to bring honor and glory to God. With this context and technology, they will preach Jesus Christ as Savior of the world.”

Tim and Ron were excited from the perspective of leadership and ministry, but Kyle is Plainfield’s technical coordinator and had positive things to say, too.

“Media and technology is just a small part of this [NOMaD team’s] ministry,” Kyle said. “Their heart for ministry and love for people is why they are so good.”

Habacuc explained they have divided their work in two areas: outreach and inreach. Outreach programs are directed toward those who don’t know Christ, primarily through the Web and social media. Inreach programs strengthen their local church network.

So far, the team has worked on the Searching series, an outreach to skateboarders. They also have plans for projects to address finances and marriage, in addition to creating a pro-life Website with videos.

The Chilean teacher of their series on finance summed it up best when he told the guests from Indiana, “What our people really need to know is Jesus Christ, that’s the Message.”

GNPI is very blessed by the partnership of Plainfield Christian Church and the NOMaD team in Chile as they work together to build up the body of Christ.

 

The Long Wait Blessing Program

Tom Silkwood shares about one of their recently released programs.

By Tom Silkwood, Regional Director of GNPI-Thailand and Freedom Films Productions

This program concerns happiness and the desire of people to be instantly gratified. Pastor Aree is teaching that God’s blessing isn’t always immediate, but many blessings come in God’s timing.

One of the Scriptures he uses in the program is Matthew 11:16. This passage illustrates that godly people, like John the Baptist, aren’t interested in earthly things. He says that we as Christians must eat the food of the Spirit of God. Earthly pleasures are not the supreme issue of life, but following and obeying God is. Although life in Christ isn’t always immediately gratifying it does, in fact, promise happiness beyond any earthly pleasure. We must be faithful, patient, and steadfast to the Lord through all things. If we are, God promises a peace and joy beyond anything we can experience here.

The work of the ministry continues, and we are thrilled to report many more Thai people are hearing the Message of salvation and grace through videos, DVDs, and testimonies we upload to the Internet. We are greatly encouraged by you, fellow believers, who share in this calling with us through prayer and support to make the ministry possible.”

 

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