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Late Lawson: The George Washington Carver of Togo

Togo is a relatively small western African country of seven million people. Late Lawson is from Togo, and he has visions of lifting his nation from poverty one farmer at a time.

Seventy percent of all Togo’s citizens are farmers. With high rates of illiteracy, farming is often one of very few options for work. With small plots, a lack of fertilizer, and worn hoes, opportunities are difficult to imagine.

Yet Late, a trained consultant in the area of agricultural engineering, says that, “God has given us everything we need to become self-sustaining and even rich.”

Late is the George Washington Carver of Togo. He and his wife, Minen, are founding members of Afrika Excel, a Christian NGO specializing in advising subsistence farmers and offering micro-loans of $150 to plant corn, peanuts, and pineapples.

Recently, copies of The Global Gospel were given to Late and Minen to share during literacy classes held in the village where they work. The 88 stories of the life of Christ will be a fantastic supplement to the textbook they use, the Bible.

Late sees himself as a vessel God is using to deliver connecting resources with his people. Perhaps as important as providing training, loans, and education for farmers is the spiritual nourishment farmers will receive from The Global Gospel.

Praise God for vessels like Late Lawson who connect resources around the world!

 

Solar Kits Train Tomorrow’s Leaders

Austin and Amanda Ganyo share about how a Solar Kit has expanded their ministry, Training Tomorrow’s Leaders. They have been using one Solar Kit throughout the seven regions where they work in northern Ghana and Togo.

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They are excited to continue the partnership with GNPI and use more Solar Kits as they focus on church planting and discipleship. Watch for another video highlighting the Ganyos’ strategies to train Christian leaders.

Thank you for helping us provide Solar Kits equipped with culturally relevant materials for Christian workers around the world!

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If you are interested in using a Solar Kit for your ministry, please click Solar Kit application.

If you are interested in providing a Solar Kit for national church workers around the world, click http://gnpi.org/solarkits/#!/page_Sponsor

 

Thank You for Helping “Say It Forward” at GNPI-Philippines!

Last month we asked our wonderful supporters to help fund a project based out of the Philippines called Say it Forward. These Ted-Talk style presentations feature prominent Christians from the Philippines sharing how they negotiate the Christian life.

Not only did you help fund the project, you helped fund another! The response to the project through the social media platform GoFundMe and our email updates was fantastic. You provided enough to fund Say it Forward and the next project on the docket for the Philippines,

Life Matters, a 10-minute video Bible study video for those looking to enrich their faith.

We are grateful for your help in funding this project. You have been an encouragement to all our staff! We are excited to see what the Lord will do in the Philippines with this new series.

If you didn’t have a chance to see the project overview for Say it Forward, watch as Regional Director Nenette Pacoli explains what the series is about, enlists prayer partners, and expresses her appreciation.


Thank you for helping accelerate global evangelism through media and technology.

Spoken Word

I just returned from an enriching time at the 2015 North American Christian Convention (NACC). The theme for the gathering was “We Speak.”

Obviously, you and I understand what’s behind the spoken word.  One of us opens our mouth, something comes out, it’s taken in and processed by the other, and responded to in some way.

However, did you know there is a literary process called “Spoken word?”

Spoken word involves performance-based poetry. It makes use of wordplay and storytelling to dramatically highlight a concept or idea. Performers of spoken word weave in poetic components like rhyme, repetition, slang, improvisation, along with tone, gestures, and facial expressions to create a unique audience experience.

Watch the video I’ve included below and listen to this wonderful perspective about how the global Church has been present to tackle the issues of education, healthcare, slavery, racism, and others!

At GNPI we believe Jesus was the paramount Spoken Word. Sharing His story brings hope and healing to a world desperately searching for peace. Yes, Jesus is still Lord of all!

 

Bringing Hope to Kibera

By Isaac Masiga, Regional Director of GNPI-Kenya

For some time we’ve been partnering with African Inland Church and African Inland Mission to reach out to the people of Kibera (the largest slum in Africa and one of the largest in the world), bringing hope and the Good News. These ministry partners have been blessed with Solar Kits, which they have been using in Kibera to show several of our productions.


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201505_KEN_Kibera-Outreach_0015201505_KEN_Kibera-Outreach_0011In addition we are working with them to bring hope to Kibera’s kids through nurturing their talents (so they can one day use these talents to be able to have a stable future and also glorify God), especially through the arts. We are producing two songs with them. Hopefully they will get the exposure they need, raise support for themselves, and eventually be able to improve their situation.

 Thank you for helping us reach out to the people of Kibera.

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Maya in Monterrey and Beyond

Edith Medellín is a young mother living in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She loves reading and has found this an excellent way to share the Gospel with her neighbors. She encourages reading by taking books to parks and even promotes her interests with a reading room she created. Here she shares Gospel stories that carry morals and messages from the Word.

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On many occasions she reads Christian stories to children. Recently, GNPI-Mexico gifted her with the series of “Maya, the Macaw.” Edith wrote back to us, sharing this about the books:

“We have this new trilogy of a very likeable friend named, Maya, the Macaw. This beautiful character teaches our children important lessons through her interesting adventures. Additionally, these books have important advice for parents to encourage and support their children in love and wisdom.

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I give thanks to God for these beautiful stories shared with me by Brother Gustavo Velázquez, director of the regional center in Piedras Negras, Mexico.
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Diego, like many children, was drawn to Maya in the reading room, so I loaned him the book to share with his mom. When I next saw him at school, he joyfully told me he had read the story to his dad and was looking forward to reading the other two stories.

Diego frequently uses the reading room. Recently he came in with his mom, who told me he preferred to come to the library (as he calls it) instead of going to a party. Filled with curiosity, she decided to accompany him to the reading session and said it was a wonderful experience. As a result, she borrowed a book by Max Lucado that interested her.”

International Consultant Bob Gurwell shares a few more details about Edith, Diego, and a surprising discovery of where more Maya books were found.

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GNPI is thrilled to help Christians around the world find creative ways to share the Gospel with their neighbors.

 

Relevance Requires Real Homework

Peter Ignatius, president of Lakeview Bible College & Seminary, recently visited GNPI in Joplin. All the students training for church planting ministry in Chennai, India, must take some media training to make them more effective. Peter said the young people of India do not respond to the spoken word, so visual and media are extremely important in this country.

Peter has a passion to be relevant with the Gospel. He says being relevant requires doing some real homework.

Here are two videos produced by the NOMaD team in Chennai. They call their NOMaD team Xpressions: Valalyam and Selvi.

 

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.

 

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