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Surprising Ministry Connections

By Matt Brock, GNPI Director of Development

Last spring GNPI mobilized a Solar Kit to help Made In the Streets (MITS), a ministry in Kenya. MITS is a nonprofit organization that rescues children from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, and provides them with basic needs and skills for later in life.

The Solar Kit has been so effective for the work there that we’re in the process of sending another.

Jackton Omondi, of Made In the Streets ministry in Kenya writes, “Thank you very much, GNPI, for the donation of the God-given gift of the Solar Kit. We were able to use it on several different occasions and places.

We have used it with our students showing The Jesus Film and for leading worship at chapel. We are using it to show evangelistic videos to our graduates on their house wall. We also use it at our house to watch movies and Bible stories on the wall. The most interesting showing was when we used it with our Maasai guards. They were surprised to see such a small thing without electricity projecting on the wall. It takes the solar power charger to fully charge the battery in an hour. We are forced to take good care of it because it is tempting to all the people that have seen it. We have nicknamed it, Technology Matin, which means small technology.”

Then I received this message from Steve Sherman, missions professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Chairman of the missions team at Otter Creek Church of Christ.

Hi Matt,

I was in Kenya last week and found out that two of our graduates from Made in the Streets are working for GNPI! That was a wonderful discovery! I still have a hard time seeing these young people moving from children living on the streets to young, beautiful, Christian professionals!

We have been blessed with a some wonderful employees with strong ties to MITS. What a blessing to be able, in a small way, to return that blessing through your generosity and ultimately, Solar Kits.

It’s a blessing to see God working in many lives and ministries to grow his church around the world!

Have a great story to share about how God has impacted your life through GNPI? Email it to us at gnpi@gnpi.org.

Holiday Shopping with AmazonSmile

If you shop on Amazon, this message is for you!

Shop AmazonAmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) is a site operated by Amazon that offers the same selection of products and convenient shopping features as Amazon.com. When you use AmazonSmile, and choose GNPI as the non-profit of your choice, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the eligible purchases you make, which in most cases is everything you buy, to GNPI.

For one person, this may not be a whole lot. However, when multiple people use AmazonSmile, and choose GNPI, this can really add up!

It’s EASY to get started:

  • Click on this link: smile.amazon.com
  • If you already have an account with Amazon, you don’t have to create a separate login; use the same login and password you would use for your Amazon account.
  • When you’ve registered, the top of the page should read, “Supporting: Good News Productions, International.”

Shop Amazon Smile2

It’s that easy. AND, you only have to register once! The website remembers your selected organization!

As Christmas approaches, we may all be doing a bit more shopping. When you shop AmazonSmile, know that part of your purchase helped accelerate global evangelism through media and technology!

Thanks, happy shopping, and spread the word!

 

 

What A Great Day!

The campus where GNPI and several other ministries are located in Joplin, Missouri, was on the receiving end of great acts of kindness this past Sunday. A church in Joplin, College Heights Christian Church, and a few others in the area hold an annual event they call the Great Day of Service. They go out into the community as the Church and lend a helping hand to individuals and organizations wherever needed.

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A group came to GNPI to help do whatever needed doing. As you can see, one of the things they did was chop wood. There are several acres of woods on the campus, and some trees had died and needed to be cut down.

What a Great Day BannerThank you, CHCC, for your help each year. We appreciate you!!!

Thanks from Togo!

by Kpowbie Daniel, Christian worker in Togo, West Africa

We have been very busy in the past days as we had a team of 17 people from the Lexington Christian Academy visit us for almost a month. We did a lot of evangelism, and two new churches were started in two different locations. Later we went back to the two new churches and found they had grown. There were 111 people attending the first church and 102 attending the second one.

The Solar Kit was so useful in achieving this.

 

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In this picture, we were visiting three weeks later with some gifts for the kids. We still have a lot of programs in the next couple of months.
My partners, to whom I gave one Solar Kit, are very busy working among the Muslims in the central region. Keep praying for us.

Director of Operations Tom Nutt responded to Kpowbie, “Thank you for the report. May God’s name be glorified through the starting of the two new churches. We will indeed pray for both of these churches and those who have accepted Jesus and have been immersed in Christian baptism. What a blessing to hear and what a blessing to know that a Solar Kit, provided by friends in the US, helped make a kingdom impact in your beautiful part of the world. May God continue to use you to help his kingdom grow!”

A Glimpse into Uganda

While visiting Uganda, Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s prime minister during World War II, dubbed it the “Pearl of Africa!” There was no mistaking why. The beautiful landscape and fertile soil along the base of the mountains and along the great Nile River was inviting to many Western farmers relocating to start new coffee and tea plantations.

Uganda was thriving in many ways. In fact, at one time, the majority of African doctors practicing on the continent were educated in Uganda! After independence from Britain in 1962, decades of corrupt leadership caused Uganda to sink economically, socially, and spiritually.

Today, that tide is turning as Christianity once again gains a prominent place within the culture. In 2009, missionaries in Mbale, Uganda, invited GNPI to build a production center to aid in multiplying their church planting efforts.

The result? The number of church plants has grown from 200 to around 1000. These wise missionaries understood the truth that media can accelerate global evangelism!

Today, GNPI-Uganda in Mbale produces and distributes Christian audio and video content. It is also a training center for communications students at another bright spot in Uganda, the up-and-coming LivingStone International University.

Isn’t that encouraging? GNPI-Uganda is strategically located in a city with a growing Christian university in a country that is being revived!

Pray for continued revival in Uganda!

 

Solar Kits in South Sudan

We talk a lot about Solar Kits here at GNPI. That is because this little invention has been a game changer for many missionaries and national Christian workers. In places like Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, India, and the Philippines, a Solar Kit will draw a crowd just because of its ability to show “moving pictures” on a bed sheet, or the side of a hut! Once people settle in to watch the “show,” they hear the message of the Gospel, and hearts are impacted.

Eddie Gonzalez is a missionary in South Sudan who received two Solar Kits from GNPI. In this short video produced by GNPI-Uganda, Eddie shares about the impact those Solar Kits are having.

Moving and Changing to Share Christ’s Message

By Tom Silkwood, Regional Director of GNPI-Thailand

We have completed a new Biblical Extension Course (BEC) program on Christian unity with Mr. Boonsak Tongdee. In addition, our partners at Freedom Films have finished a new testimonial program in the Changed series featuring Mr. Boonsak.

Moving and Changing1

Moving and Changing 4201206_THA_Training_0026Mr Boonsak grew up in a strict, Christian home. When he left for college, he abandoned his Christian life. Then, in his second year of college, Boonsak happened to move into a Christian dormitory. From there he returned to faith in Jesus. Please pray that God would use these programs to teach and encourage many people.

Moving and Changing 3One of our most recent Changed programs features Panida Thongdi. She shares her testimony of how she went from being angry toward her father to a person who works in church ministry and now cares for her aging parents. She became angry with her father because he considered selling her to buy a house. She left her village and stayed with friends in Bangkok. Then she studied God’s Word, and she let God change her heart towards her parents. She lives a life of surrender, forgiveness, and freedom in Christ.

Several weeks ago, we uploaded Movement Everywhere #5. This episode is about how Pastor Nattapong is using his coffee plantation and coffee factory to influence people for Christ in his area. The fascinating art of coffee production is opening doors to share the Good News.

All these programs can be viewed on YouTube. (www.youtube.com/Ffpthailand)

My team is in the USA to visit an Asian church in Minnesota. This is a huge step for my coworkers, and hopefully, a potential new partner for our ministry. Our team is there at the church’s request, and the church is funding a majority of the trip.

My son, Jeff, and his family are doing well. However, Jeff has been shocked at what it takes to live here and the stress of it all. My daughter, Kari, and her husband, Dustin, now live here as well. Dustin and Kari are looking for new employment and have some opportunities that are very interesting. They are praying and trusting the Lord for their future.

All in all we are doing well and trust the Lord will provide, guide, and bless us as we trust him.

A Glimpse into Thailand

Good things come to those who wait, right? Do you remember the advertising campaign for Heinz Ketchup in the late 1980s? Apparently this particular condiment was so good, you’d be willing to tip the bottle and wait a few hours to add it to your burger as it finally came out of the bottle.

Well, if good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who faithfully plan, execute, make necessary adjustments, and then expectantly watch as growth and change occur.

I’m deeply convinced of this as I watch our friends at GNPI-Thailand. Thailand has always been a strategic point for missionaries reaching tribal people groups, like the Lisu and Lahu, as well as the main Buddhist populations of Thailand. Just as important, Thailand also serves as a gateway to more difficult-to-reach places, like Myanmar and even China.

GNPI-Thailand is a collaborative approach to using media and technology to accelerate evangelism, including a long-time partnership with missionary Tom Silkwood and Freedom Films. Tom’s faithful work in Chiang Mai has been building steadily over many years and is now bearing great fruit.

Exciting opportunities continue to emerge as Tom and his team produce videos in the national Thai language and leadership training materials like the Biblical Extension Courses (BEC) in other local vernaculars.

Yes, good things come to those who wait. Yet, reaching Buddhists for Christ takes decades. Better things are coming for the people of Thailand because of the patient presence and media productions of Tom Silkwood and GNPI-Thailand.

Throwback Thursday with Tom Silkwood

Here’s one from the archives! It’s fun to sometimes look back at some of the “old stuff on the shelf.”

We think this video is still very relevant, and Tom Silkwood does an excellent job of explaining how GNPI’s core values are at the heart of the resources each regional center creates. We hope you’ll have a few minutes to watch.

GNPI’s Core Values

 

God’s Word – Ensure all endeavors are Biblically based.
Cultural Relevance – Customize resources for specific world communities.
Strategic Partnerships – Create synergy through global networks.
Creativity – Infuse the ministry with imagination and innovation.
Excellence – Aspire to reflect God’s glory in all we do.
Integrity – Honor God in all relationships.

Juan’s Cartel Encounter

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by Greg Fish, Creative Media Designer

I was preparing for a trip to Mexico in July. Before I left, I received a prayer request from my friend, David. He told me that our mutual friend Juan had been taken hostage by the cartel. His captors took his money, laptop, and projector. Many of us began praying for Juan. Several days later, David sent this update.

I just returned from having lunch with Pastor Juan Roque. It was our first face-to-face meeting since he had been taken hostage on his last trek to the Aztec villages. There was a calm determination in his demeanor. Juan declared that he was pretty certain his meeting with cartel members had been arranged by God.

Two weeks before he left on that mission trip, Juan preached to the church in Las Palmas that in every encounter we have, God is working through us to be a blessing to others or through others to bring a blessing to us. Juan left that Monday in his daughter’s small car to see how it could make the trip. His white truck was constantly getting stopped on previous trips, so he decided some months ago to travel by small car to stay under the radar. As Juan approached the town of Padilla on the highway, the transmission began acting up. He called a mechanic from Matamoros to meet him with a different car.

On his way back, Juan was motioned over by armed cartel members. Having transmission issues, he had no choice but to pull over. In the past, the preferred method was to put the pedal to the metal. They put the a rifle through the rolled down window and began questioning him. “Where are you from?” Juan answered that he was from Matamoros, an area controlled by a rival cartel group. They began shouting at the others to come over because they had one from Matamoros. One of the leaders came over and in a loud, stern voice told him that this was the end of the road for him. With his head down, Juan continued to answer the barrage of questions. When asked what was in his glove compartment, Juan told them that he had another cell phone. As he opened up the glove box, a new book that he had purchased fell out. It was a Spanish edition of You Will Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado.

When the cartel member saw this, he laughed and told Juan that he was going to kill him that day. Juan was taken out of his car and transferred into several cars that took some back roads off the main highway. He was pretty sure that this was the end of the road for him. When he was put into the third car, a gruff leader began to question him.

Juan shared that he was a pastor from Matamoros. Juan doesn’t recall the exact exchange, but the man indicated the he was in charge of executing those taken captive. Juan noticed that the man’s attitude toward him changed. He confided to Juan that he never intended to be where he was, doing what he was doing. He had tried to find a good job. He had no success in finding honest work and that he had a family to support. The executioner also mentioned to Juan that his mother was a member of a Pentecostal church in Monterrey. He asked Juan if God listened to him. Juan replied that indeed God did listen, not only to himself, but to all who sincerely seek him. After traveling down the back road for some distance, the cartel leader told Juan that he was going to let him go home. Juan agreed that he would be going somewhere, either home to his family in Matamoros or home to his Father in Heaven. The leader clarified, “No, you are going home to Matamoros.” Juan never pleaded for his life or asked to be released.

He was then transferred to another vehicle and taken further back where he remained while one man shouted for a machete. As another man went to get it, Juan, face downward, could see that the other guard was wrapping his rifle in what appeared to be something to muffle the sound. Again Juan felt certain that his life on earth was about to end. After what must have seemed to be an eternity, the man who said he was going to help him get back home returned. The leader began shouting orders at the others to release Juan and put him in the leader’s car. Juan was returned to his car that had been stopped hours earlier.

Near Juan’s car was a truckload of armed men, who by then, had received word that Juan was a pastor and was going to be set free. As the cartel leader handed Juan back the keys to his car, he also put some money into his hand “for expenses.” Juan was grateful for his release and pleaded with the leader to spare the lives of the mother and child that had been stopped about the same time as he had. As Juan drove off, he could hear the men in the back of the truck shouting, “Pray for me. Pray for me.”

As Juan finished sharing with me, he looked up, smiled, and said,” I am pretty sure God arranged that meeting for me so I could be a blessing to them.” Juan plans to return to that roadside location and post a message of God’s love for all his children.

I know that this isn’t Juan’s first brush with danger or death, but I’m so glad that he indeed got through it! I, myself, was in Mexico soon after this took place. Because of some generous donors, I was able to replace Juan’s stolen projector and also provide a Solar Kit for him and his ministry partners. Praise the Lord that He can work through every encounter!

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