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Creating Beauty for the Eyes of the Beholder

  • Posted On March 3, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
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by Mike Schrage, Executive Director, GNPI

Of the six core values at GNPI, creativity is one of the things we do best and one of the ways we’re striving to imitate God.

Think about it. God spoke the world into existence!

That amazes me. Think of our expansive universe – just our solar system alone. Or, consider the intricacy of the human body. Equally incredible are the beauty of pink and orange sunsets, brilliantly arrayed flowers, or exotic tropical fish in crystal clear waters on planet earth!

I think about all these wonderful creations, and then I’m stopped in my tracks when I remember that he created us in his image. He put within us the power to create! Isn’t that exciting?

At GNPI, we seek to infuse creativity in each strategy designed to deliver Christ-centered, culturally relevant media. We are digital artists who use media to paint the stunning beauty found within the Truth.

A funny Russian public service announcement engages viewers then warns them of alcoholism. Music videos grab the attention of African teenagers and lead them into spiritual conversations. Thai dramas boldly address controversial issues like the sanctity of life. Spanish radio stations offer Christian music and live evangelistic DJ shows. Indian actors pour into productions of the parables giving hope to people caught in the grips of the caste system.

Creativity

Culturally relevant creativity looks different, depending on the canvas.

  • Bright purple in Thailand is a great color, but probably not for the American pallet.
  • Dramatic, over-the-top acting in Kenya might seem cheesy to the American acting guild, but totally “African” and cool to the targeted Kenyan audience.
  • Music in the Punjabi language might actually be grating to the American ear, but engaging to Sikh parents in Chandigarh.
  • Christian chants on audio might be “so 1970s,” but in SE Asia they’re so popular even Buddhist monks listen in their monasteries!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. At GNPI we create media to reach Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists whom God created and wants to redeem! That’s beautiful in any culture!

 

Ron and Mary’s Giving Perspective

  • Posted On February 28, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
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We are so thankful for the faithful servants God has brought to GNPI through the years. It never has been about the size or the frequency of a gift. It has always been about the heart.

We love to get notes with those gifts, like this one from Ron and Mary:

“It is so encouraging to hear reports from you concerning what GNPI is doing. Out of the five mission projects that Ron and I do, I can’t think of one that gives us more bang for our buck! Although each of them is doing a marvelous work and all are varied in their outreach, we realize we have to manage our resources well, because we basically live on our Social Security and a small check each month from a small retirement fund. I wish it could be so much more! There is no check I write monthly that gives me more joy than our missionary checks and the check to the church. Our material assets are small, but our eternal assets are “out of this world”!”

In Malachi 1:11, God said, “My name will be great among the nations…” This was not a command, it was a promise. He doesn’t need us to make sure that happens, but he allows us to be a part of it if we choose to.

Personal messages from the heart of the giver are so precious to us, because they are precious to God. We want to say thanks to all of you, all the Rons and the Marys who give sacrificially so that the name of Jesus can be made famous. We are glad you choose to join God in making His name famous by partnering with GNPI!

 

(Ron and Mary granted us permission to use their note.)

 

 

Partnerships Are Crucial

by Mike Schrage, Executive Director, GNPI

PartnershipWhen you hear the words “Strategic Partnership,” it sounds very official, doesn’t it? As one of our core values, it’s not just an official sounding phrase, it’s part of the essence of who we are.  Here’s why: strategic partnerships are where synergy is forged.

Synergy is another one of those fancy words, but it’s an essential and Biblical concept. It’s defined as  “the interaction of multiple elements in a system of collaboration to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects.

From the start, GNPI has wanted to maximize the impact that national leaders, missionaries, and Christian organizations could make. How? We wanted to accelerate global evangelism through media and technology. Our heart was to come alongside existing ministries, adding Christ-centered content and delivery tools to multiply the effect their message had on people who heard, and with our help, saw it.

Do you see how synergy is created?

Without them, our content would be useless because it wouldn’t be shared with the millions who need to hear about Jesus.

Without our content and technology tools, like Solar Kits, opportunities to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t have heard about Jesus, might be missed.

Partnership is also a critical factor as we seek to have impact among diverse belief systems like Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. Creating relevant media that can speak into a worldview completely different than ours demands strategic partnerships with local ministries. The combination is like salt on an icy sidewalk. The barrier melts away and a clear, safe path emerges, Good News to a Truth seeker.

Read our newsletters and you will see one example after another of how GNPI partners with national workers. Here’s a few examples that come to mind as I write:

  • In West Africa we’re mobilizing Solar Kits to help produce better evangelists.
  • In South Africa we partnered with MNET TV to show relevant, music videos during commercial breaks of World Cup soccer events.
  • In Pachuca, Mexico, we’re training hand-picked church leaders to use media to mature new disciples of Jesus through project NOMaD.
  • GNPI is working with other Christian organizations like Key Media to fund apps (theQuran.com) to reach Muslim audiences that we had no prior access to.

 The list goes on and on and on. And guess what, you’re our strategic partner too!  God has used your gifts and prayers to help strengthen and expand GNPI’s growing network for nearly four decades.

Strategic Partnership, it’s how Jesus builds his church. I’m so glad God is into strategic partnerships, aren’t you?

Steward Partnership Takes to the Road

  • Posted On February 21, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
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featuring David Duncan of The Steward Partnership and Matt Brock, Director of Development for GNPI

In our Winter Newsletter, we featured David Duncan of The Steward Partnership. David shared how a charitable remainder trust can benefit you and your family, while greatly assisting a ministry like GNPI.

In case you missed it, we thought it was worth posting this very informational video!

 

 

If you’d like to have The Steward Partnership conduct a free Legacy Planning Seminar at your church, no cost and no obligation, simply contact GNPI at 417-782-0060 or email plannedgiving@gnpi.org. We’d be happy to discuss the possibilities!

 

 

Cultural Relevance – A Look at Another of GNPI’s Core Values

  • Posted On February 17, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
  • Written By

by Mike Schrage, Executive Director, GNPI

Indian BrideHere are some surprising things you might hear in our production studios:

  • Don’t use yellow in the video. The United Nations did and the community assumed they were talking about contraception…huh?
  • The Indian bride’s dress should be red, not white. White is the color of death…what?
  • The photo of the Ugandan men holding hands is okay, but the picture of the married Kenyan couple holding hands in church won’t fly…are you serious?
  • Is she driving on the left or the wrong side…oops, a little judgment there!
  • Incredible how there is no word for ‘thank-you’ in a certain language, but there are 25 words for ‘a spotted cow.’

It’s hard to know what cultural priorities dictate. Make a wrong move in an environment different from yours, and you’ve got egg on your face (or whatever that translates to, wherever you are)! At GNPI we give high priority to cultural relevance.

Next to being faithful to the Word of God, this is most paramount.

Call it what you want: contextualized, customized, or produced on a case by case basis. However, understanding the following is key to understanding GNPI’s core value of cultural relevance: mmr Guitar

Our goal is for the viewers (probably not Americans) to understand the message of the media so that they can be reached for Christ. Therefore, GNPI’s global productions will often look different from what would be normally produced in the United States.

This is why we strive to work so closely with nationals and missionaries who work in these diverse places.

The incarnation is a great example of cultural relevance. God left his throne to walk our dusty streets and experience our sin-struck world. Since he did that for you and me, we’re going to do everything possible to share his message with people in a way that resonates with them. The colors, phrases, actions, settings, attitudes, they all communicate. In fact, experts believe 70% of communication is nonverbal; that’s something to talk about!

Wikipedia references this concept from The Definitive Book of Body Language by Barbara and Allen Pease. When a person or group is absorbing a message, they are focused on the entire environment around them. Meaning, they use all five senses in the interaction: 83% sight, 11% hearing, 3% smell, 2% touch and 1% taste. So culturally relevant video just makes sense!

Why be culturally relevant? It’s the only way to communicate the Good News of Jesus with power and effectiveness.

 

Celebrating 10 Years

  • Posted On February 12, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
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“Please pray for us. Our people want to worship the One true God. Pray that we can freely tell them!”

This is a paraphrase, but it is a prayer request we consistently get from our co-worker in South East Asia. To say that we are happy to see God working toward that end would be an understatement. A 10-year anniversary was celebrated over the weekend. Many, MANY changed lives have resulted from those 10 years. Here’s a quick look back…

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In 2003 the regional center that is now in SE Asia was just a dream and a drawing.

MMRevent20041

MMREVENT2006

MMREVENT2007

MMREVENT2011

MMREVENT2012

MMREVENT2014

 

 

 

 

 

God planted that dream in the hearts of many of you to pray and give, and the center became a reality in 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the restrictions of the land, many resources were created and distributed especially for the Buddhist people of that region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result, lives have been changed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavenly eternities have been chosen by many.

 

 

When this center began, print pieces were the main focus. But they have grown. They are a very talented staff, and they are moving into audio and video production. They are working on The Global Gospel, music videos for young people, and other video projects.

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t seem like 10 years have passed since that initial dedication and ribbon cutting, but this past Friday, February 7, 2014, GNPI-SE Asia celebrated its 10th anniversary!

 

International Director, Bob Sartoris and Director of Operations, Tom Nutt traveled to SE Asia to personally be a part of the celebration.

Join with us as we pray for growth, wisdom, and impact for this regional center for the next 10 years, and thank you for the part YOU played in this milestone!

 

Solar Kits Change Lives

Solar Kits change lives.

  • They are easy to transport.
  • They need no electricity.
  • They empower missionaries and Christian workers to speak to multiple people at once.
  • They draw a crowd because they show “moving pictures” anywhere—even in the most media starved areas of the world.

$1,000 is all it takes to change a life, a family, a village, a tribe, or maybe an entire nation.

Listen as mission workers Nathan Durant and Ron Morse talk about the powerful difference a Solar Kit can make.

 

You can make a Solar Kit available for a missionary or National Christian Worker anywhere in the world. Click the icon to the left and give any amount to help!

God’s Word at Our Core

  • Posted On February 10, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
  • Written By

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
– Hebrews 4:12

Engaging God’s Word is a powerful experience. It pierces, comforts, exposes, and enlightens. It is God’s breath on us, his spirit, his very essence. Reading, memorizing, and listening to it is important, but our hearts and souls are immediately and eternally shaped by living it. GNPI has an unrelenting commitment to the living Word of God.

Let me tell you a story.

GNPI-Damoh, India, hired a Muslim actor last year to dramatize the New Testament stories of Jesus used to produce The Global Gospel. The man came, thinking he was simply doing a job: helping us share our message in the Urdu language.

TGG

Little did he know how four days of pouring emotion into each verse and line of the 88 stories featured in The Global Gospel would change him. This Muslim actor knew little about Jesus when he started recording, but found himself weeping as the impact of Scripture resounded in his mind.

“I am honored that Allah chose my voice to be the voice of his great prophet Isa (Jesus),” he said, “But today, I am convinced he is more than just a prophet!”

I think Jesus would say to our Muslim friend what he said to the teacher of the law in Mark 12:34, “…you are not far from the Kingdom of God!”

You see, the Word stands alone.

God’s Word is full of integrity and grit. It can pierce all on its own when the soil is ready to receive the seed. No preaching, no apologetics, just the gentle, steady filling of the Word brought this Muslim man closer to being our brother in Christ.

That’s why we cherish the Word of God!

13 Years of GNPI in Photos

  • Posted On February 8, 2014
  • Categorized In Projects
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by Pa See Vang, Creative Team Assistant, GNPI

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A year and 8 months ago I walked into GNPI and began working to archive images. At the end of last month I was officially done archiving all photos from the years 2000 to 2013.  It’s kind of unreal to me that I have seen 13 years of GNPI’s ministry through the more than 10,000 photos I have processed. As a celebration, I chose to share my favorite images from my first folder I ever worked on. These photos were from the slums of Kenya.

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