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A Person with Purpose

We are honored to share the testimony of a young man who interned and worked at our office in Kenya. He has made great progress in his life, despite the hardships of living in the slums and on the streets as a youth. May God continue to bless him as he uses his gifts and talents in other career interests in the future.

by Dennis Kamau

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I am 23 years old, and I aspire telling stories through films and photography that challenge the way we live and see things.

I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, in the Mathare slums, one of the largest slum areas in Africa. Being raised in the slum by a single mother made life very hard. She was the sole breadwinner in our family. She was struggling a lot to make sure she placed something on the table for us. I was the eldest of four children. The reality of life forced me to the streets, where I thought I would get refuge. I went to beg for money, but the street life exposed me to other dangerous activities, such as stealing and doing drugs. These habits sunk me deep into the harsh street life.

After a couple of years I was rescued by Made in the Streets (MITS), a non-governmental organization. For 20 years now MITS has been devoted to loving and serving street kids and giving them opportunities to build their skills through a training school, helping them begin new lives in the outside world.

While at MITS I learned about the love of God, about life, and through that, my life was redeemed. Somehow God began opening up my mind, and I was able to see a bright future ahead.

The organization slowly began incorporating different learning activities: carpentry, mechanical skills, agriculture, catering, and IT among others. This was a way of instilling important skills in us.

At different times MITS used to take us to camps and field trips. It was at these moments that I could take a camera and begin taking photos just for fun. Upon going back after a fascinating trip, I would put together the photos then present a slideshow after morning
devotions.

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As the time went by the idea of art of photography grew, and I developed an interest in technology. This attracted me to attend IT classes at MITS, where I was able to advance.

Then MITS took me to an outside college to learn more about photography and film production. After finishing my course I got an internship at GNPI-Kenya with the help of MITS. The internship lasted for six months. During this period it was a challenge for me to impress my supervisors with my job skills, owing that I was very young and new in the outside world. I am very grateful for my internship at GNPI and for my time on staff there. I will always thank God for that opportunity. Being at GNPI allowed me to meet people with diverse ideas and helped me to grow strong in different ways, including my field of work and my socio-economic life. I have come to love my profession so much that I feel fulfilled when I am doing it.

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God really changed the course of my life
to make me a person
who lives and works with purpose.

God’s Word Is Enough

One of our newest board members shares his perspective of GNPI as he and his wife, Lori, recently visited the regional center in Kenya with Mike Schrage. Robb Good says the trip to Nairobi allowed him to see GNPI’s impact in the community and globally. Robb says he saw firsthand how God’s Word is enough.

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by Robb Good, GNPI board member

I’m so impressed by what I see happening here. It’s simple.

What they’re doing is not necessarily how we would reach people in the United States.

People need Jesus.

Continue the hard work  . . . because you can see the fruit.

Being Raised in the Hmong Culture

I would like to share a short series of articles highlighting our GNPI staff members who have learned the importance of cultural relevance by living in a different culture themselves. They have gained new perspectives which they apply to the ministry in practical and valuable ways.

Pa See Caby began working in digital asset management as a college student and a new believer. After she finished her degree in Communications from Pittsburg State University, she gradually took on more responsibility in our office. Now Pa See works as our creative graphic designer. We appreciate her talent, work ethic, and respectful attitude. (Click on the names to see the other articles in this series by Angie Anderson and Greg Fish.)

 

Wedding

By Pa See Caby, creative graphic designer at GNPI

My siblings and I grew up in a Hmong household, but outside our home there was an American world. Two cultures collided with different values. Although growing up this way had some disadvantages, it also had advantages. In college I realized that my upbringing allowed me to relate well with immigrants.

During my first year of college, I met two Muslim sisters from Pakistan. They were new immigrants who left their country with the hope of a better future in the United States. We bonded over our love of Bollywood films and identified with one another’s values.

In the duration of the year, the sisters became engaged. One fell in love, and the other sister confided in me that her engagement was an arranged marriage to a guy she had never met. She was worried, but she wasn’t worried for herself. She was concerned about my reaction to her engagement. The photo above shows the sisters and me at the arranged marriage. It was a joyful time, but they wanted to protect their identities.

It wasn’t strange at all for me. In the Hmong community, although it is becoming more rare, arranged marriages still happen. She was surprised by my reaction because she had been worried that people would look at her in horror instead of rejoice with her. Even though it’s unfamiliar to most people in the US, she has been happy in her marriage, and I am glad for this family.

If I hadn’t grown up in a different culture, I wouldn’t have been able to see it from her perspective. Cultural relevance is extremely important. Thank God for our differences because they can provide timely opportunities to show understanding and God’s grace to others.

 

 

The Crying Guy in Seat 7

I would like to share a short series of articles highlighting our GNPI staff members who have learned the importance of cultural relevance by living in a different culture themselves. They have gained new perspectives which they apply to the ministry in practical and valuable ways.

Greg Fish is a great asset to GNPI. He is a versatile team player who fills in where he is needed. While we were looking for a new NOMaD coordinator, our NOMaD team in Chile asked for some training. Greg, who actually was born and raised on the mission field in Chile, created a training manual for the team, and took along some church partners from Plainfield Christian Church in Indiana to meet the team. We appreciate this patient, pleasant, and productive coworker. Here are some reflections he put down on paper while on the trip amidst a flurry of familiar surroundings. (Click here to see the first article in this series by Angie Anderson, Accepting Gifts.)

The Crying Guy in Seat 7 by Greg Fish, creative media designer

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It was the strangest time. It was nothing special or out of the ordinary. And that’s just it. That’s when a wave of emotion hit me, that took my breath away. It caused tears to well up in my eyes and break free (even now as I write). The cliched lump in the throat was all too real for me.

photoIt was only a lady on her cell phone. I didn’t even see her. Don’t know what she looks like. I just overheard a plain conversation on a bus ride through the Chilean countryside. What she said didn’t matter. In fact, it was simply a short and boring exchange with a family member, I suppose. It was the way she talked. It was how she sounded.

It wasn’t like the Spanish I’ve heard the last decade and a half. It was Chilean Spanish, complete with all of its nuances. It was Chilean personality coming out on full display. It wasn’t the actual trigger which caused this temporary loss of composure in me. The trigger was the last four days leading up to this moment of eavesdropping. It was all of the familiar old sights and sounds and smells and places and silly things like name brands and more important parts of culture like food and drink. It was old friends and new friends alike.

It was realizing that my childhood friend’s teenage kid is the same age I was when I left this place, and that it’s been just as many years since I last visited. It was hearing this type of Spanish now for the better part of a week.

 

So it was on a fairly quiet bus ride back from the picturesque coastal city of Pichilemu back to Santiago where my previously delinquent emotions started to come out. I’m glad I asked for napkins at the sandwich shop before getting on the bus so I could wipe the tears that ran down my cheeks and blow my nose and try to breathe regularly again. I only hope that I still blend in enough not to look like a complete fool. But being surrounded by such beauty, taking in the gorgeous landscapes of the country I grew up in, which I used to call home, I don’t really mind if I appear somewhat foolish given the circumstances.

“What’s wrong with the crying guy in seat 7?” Absolutely nothing.

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This article first appeared on Greg’s personal blog.

A New Way to Slice It

We are within reach of our goal to produce The Global Gospel in the world’s top 25 languages by the end of 2015. Praise God for His faithfulness and the generosity of His people! We are down to funding the last three languages.

Smithfield Christian Church in Carl Junction, Missouri, has pledged funds toward the Italian language of The Global Gospel. They found a fun way to keep track of their commitment via the Pizza Tracker they created.

We recently received this message from our friends at Smithfield:

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“Just a quick picture of our pizza tracker.

We pulled our 2nd piece off of it today.

Counting the additional gifts we received today,

we are now a little over $1,900 along the way.”

 

 

 

 

We thank God for this exciting progress and for all the partners who have worked together to make this happen! We are still looking for a production partner to help with the Turkish language. For more details, visit www.gnpi.org.

 

Accepting Gifts

I would like to share a short series of articles highlighting our GNPI staff members who have learned the importance of cultural relevance by living in a different culture themselves. They have gained new perspectives which they apply to the ministry in practical and valuable ways.

Angie Anderson worked as Administrative Assistant for nearly three years. Before that she and her husband, Steve, served with Team Expansion as missionaries in China for four years. Angie recently stepped down from her role at GNPI. She and Steve and their son, Ian, are preparing to welcome a new baby to their family this summer. Angie’s careful work and organizational skill in the processes she set up will continue to be a blessing for us in the years to come.

By Angie AndersonIMG_20150528_082907570-1

It’s difficult to understand how deeply culture penetrates our thinking until we are immersed in a new one. How we eat, what colors we wear, and how we receive and open gifts are all heavily influenced by the culture in which we grew up. I was reminded of this fact recently as I stood in front of co-workers and opened the generous gifts they had given in celebration of my son who is due to be born in August. During our four years living in China, we learned to never open a gift in front of the giver as it was considered rude. Needless to say, their birthday parties and baby showers don’t include a time of opening gifts like they do in the US!

We also found that many gifts were given with the expectation that the recipient would later reciprocate with a gift of equal or greater value. For that reason, a dear friend of ours nearly refused the relatively expensive birthday present a few close friends had gathered funds to purchase for her. Only after several conversations and much convincing did she finally agree to keep it!

Within that cultural context, God’s free gift of grace proved to be all the more unique and difficult to grasp. How amazing, indeed, that God freely gave the life of his own precious Son that his enemies might be adopted into his family as sons and daughters! We continue to pray more and more people in China would fully accept this extravagant gift that’s offered openly with no strings attached!

 

 

Let the Little Children Come

Recently a group of young people came to visit GNPI. We enjoyed sharing with them about our ministry and answering their questions. The students learned that God can use each of us to help spread the Gospel around the world.

Are you thinking about your VBS missions for next summer or looking for a missions awareness tool for your children’s ministry throughout the year?

GNPI’s Liam & Ruby is available. Each Liam & Ruby episode is under five minutes. Kids of all ages will listen, laugh, and learn along with these two curious siblings. Discussion questions are included.

Liam & Ruby learn about sharing the Gospel around the world. They decide to raise money for a Solar Kit that can be used to share the Gospel. They also get a chance to visit with Manee Massey, regional director of GNPI-Damoh, India.

Liam & Ruby can be downloaded from:

https://vimeo.com/album/3115479 .

For more information, or to order the DVDs, call 417-782-0060 or email info@gnpi.org.

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Scouting Opportunities

By Stephen Muturi, Operations Manager of GNPI-Uganda

My coworker, Othaina, and I recently took a trip to parts of northern Uganda and Nimule, South Sudan, where we captured testimonies on the impact of the Solar Kits on people’s lives in rural areas previously unreached.

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We were also able to scout the opportunities to spread the Gospel through media. The Nimule mission team has two Solar Kits. They have showed GNPI media to the Madi, Dinka, and among other local language speakers. In addition they have started another program, where they buy memory cards, load them with audio Bibles and GNPI materials, and distribute them. A partnership with another local ministry has made their distribution goals more attainable. The call to translate The Global Gospel and other projects into Madi or Acholi has excited us as a possible need to explore.

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In addition to working with another local ministry, the mission team in Nimule has established a relationship with a local radio station that has been useful in making known what GNPI produces. Lastly, the team has been actively involved in youth empowerment and training through the MTI extension center there. Our discussions with the team here pointed to a team of young people who can be trained in basic media editing by a NOMaD team to spread positive messages in the area. We also trained one young man in Solar Kit use,

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gave him a kit, and gave out copies of The Global Gospel to one of the ministry leaders, Eddie Gonzalez, for distribution.

How Do You Use This

We wish to express our appreciation for your continued support for the team in east Africa. Our work for the Kingdom could not be possible without your support, prayers, and encouragement.

 

Creation Exploration Teenagers Club

by Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Ukraine

“The branches of the Eurasian Apologetics Society in Russia keep growing. An eastern group at Blagoveschensk, along the Amur River area, has started a new project: the Creation Exploration Teenagers Club.

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This club teaches kids science with our textbooks, videos, and other resources. Studies of Genesis are a major issue of the club programs. God has provided this great opportunity.

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Right after the kids explored the evidences for the biblical flood and Ice Age accounts theoretically, a friendly evolutionary paleontologist, Yuri, agreed to help with some practical classes on fossils. Knowing the difference between facts and their interpretations, the young people were excited to have real discussion on the issue. Yuri is not yet convinced (years of knowing nothing but evolution stiffened his perception), but the kids were greatly strengthened in the veracity of the Genesis account!

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Please pray for these future missionaries to Russia, as well as for Yuri’s opening to the Truth.”

 

Telling the Story Simply

Thank you for helping us make great progress on The Global Gospel this summer. We have less than $50,000 remaining to reach our goal for funding this program. With your support, and God’s help, we will complete the world’s top 25 languages in the next five months. We are currently arranging for production partners to complete the following languages: German, Italian, Javanese, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish, Vietnamese, and Wu. You may download and use The Global Gospel App for free on your favorite device or learn more on our website at www.theglobalgospel.org.

unnamedVictor Knowles

By Victor Knowles, GNPI Board Member and President of Peace on Earth Ministries in Joplin, Missouri

I’ve been pleased to serve on the board of directors for GNPI since 1990, including nine years as Chairman of the Board. I don’t know of any other ministry that gives such precision and detail to doing what GNPI has been accomplishing for nearly 40 years. It is truly a unique and classic ministry that has blessed multiplied millions around the globe.

Recently I spent two weeks in Hungary and Poland. Once again I was reminded of the pressing need to reach millions more with the saving Message of Jesus Christ before He  comes again. Not long ago Mike Schrage challenged the Board with some words from a recent book by David Platt, A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture. The author wrote,  “We care much about earthly suffering, but we care more about eternal suffering.” So does GNPI. We know that mankind’s greatest need is for the Good News of Jesus.

That’s why I’m sold on GNPI’s magnificent obsession, The Global Gospel. This intriguing project may be the best thing GNPI has ever come up with. While the world obsesses over the life warping 50 Shades of Grey, GNPI has produced a life-changing series of 88 stories, The Global Gospel. Who doesn’t like a story? We have the greatest story ever told – except that for far too many it is “the greatest story never told,” but not any more!

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In 88 short videos The Global Gospel presents the Message of Christ in the language of its audience in a culturally relevant way. GNPI is currently working to produce The Global Gospel in the world’s top 25 most widely spoken languages. When this project is complete, more than 3.6 billion people worldwide will have access to a Gospel presentation in their own language! Did you know that 80 percent of the unreached world cannot read or prefers visual learning? That’s why The Global Gospel is so powerful. It’s a visual storytelling of the life of Christ taken directly from Scripture.

In her timeless hymn “Tell Me the Old, Old Story,” Kate Hankey (1824­-1911) wrote,  “Tell me the story simply, as to a little child, / For I am weak and weary and helpless and defiled.” The Global Gospel does just that; it tells the story simply, and visually, as to a little child. Even adults are mesmerized as they see the story of Jesus unfold before their eyes, and the eye is the gateway to the heart. Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).

YOU can be a big part of getting this “old, old story of Jesus and His love” to those who have never heard. As you pray for the spread of the Gospel, remember to send a generous gift to GNPI to hasten the day of salvation for the weak and weary one who cries, “Remember I’m the sinner / Whom Jesus came to save.”

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