Category : Regional Centers

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A Glimpse into the Philippines

The Philippines is a collection of more than 7,000 islands. Interestingly, it seems there are as many expressions of religious practice and worship as there are islands. This can be confusing indeed.

In fact, it is not uncommon for the people of the Philippines to bring together parts of different religions to practice strange “hybrid” sorts of worship. People could be in a cathedral in the morning, and then that same afternoon, they might offer sacrifices to small figurines in their homes.

Idols would not be something most Westerners would be accustomed to, but in the Philippines, idol worship is rampant. The same person who offers such devotion to an inanimate object could also carry a cross and be nailed to it during Easter week to honor Jesus!

GNPI-Philippines has been speaking into this worldview since 1998 with productions like My Worship: Real or Replacement? and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) series. These have become very popular broadcast series with the Filipino people. Strange, you say, but for Filipinos, these video series accurately communicate into their worldview.

As a result, the one true God is bringing a life of focus and clarity to many who are choosing his one and only son, Jesus.

 

Hannah’s Transformation

Hannah lives in the Philippines, and her transformation story comes to us from Nenette Pacoli, regional director of GNPI-Philippines.

Hannah is a young lady who had been deeply hurt by the actions of her father. Her family had been torn apart. She awoke every morning asking, “Why are we a broken family?”

Hannah was in so much pain that she turned to worldly comforts with terrible consequences. She even attempted suicide. However, in March (2014) she saw All Things New, a movie produced by GNPI-Philippines, and her world shifted.

Here is Hannah’s story in her own words:

Brainstorming in India

By Manee Massey, Regional Director of GNPI-Damoh, India

Today was an exciting day at GNPI-Damoh, India. We invited a number of families from the local Christian community to discuss problems many married couples in India face. Forty-eight people from different walks of life and a variety of family situations participated in the two-hour discussion. Together they brainstormed and reflected on numerous problems families face.

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Many timeless issues were raised such as a growing lack of interest or distrust between partners, as well as more modern issues like the growing effect of technology and the strain it can cause on marriages. It was an illuminating experience for all who were involved. Some remarked they had never really thought about all the daily hurdles they face in their families. Even though they had experienced some of these problems, they usually dismissed them.

Despite the seriousness of issues they thought about, everyone in the group seemed to enjoy the opportunity. Some of the husbands even joked that their wives were taking advantage of the platform to vent concerns and to bring up every perceived shortcoming in their husbands. Our prayers go with the husbands that they may not face their wives scorn after this friendly discussion.

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At the end of our time together, these 48 different people had listed 33 problems most families face. We feel the topics on this list can be explored through a dramatic video series illustrating these problems and encouraging discussion among families facing similar situations. At the same time, through the series families will learn they are not alone in these common struggles.

Our next step, as a result of this meeting, is to meet with a scriptwriter to develop scripts for 13 episodes for future productions.

All the participants enjoyed the lunch prepared by our staff. Before they left, we gave each of them a copy of The Global Gospel in Hindi.

A Glimpse into India

Know any great teachers? Chances are a great teacher is the reason why you chose your profession, developed a life-long passion for a hobby or special interest, and likely why you came to know Jesus. There’s something special about people who can take ideas and concepts and make them come alive to us. People who teach, especially about Jesus, deserve a place of honor in our society.

Teachers are given this high respect in the nation of India. It’s this veneration for learning that has given our series, The Parable, such high success and popularity.

The interest in the series comes in a place where Hinduism is alive and well and the worship of hundreds, if not thousands, of gods continues. The Parable series was effective in India because it allowed contextualized interpretation to occur between the pages of Scripture. This means people could easily apply what they were seeing on the screen to everyday issues and problems in their lives.

What would Jesus look like, who would he be, what caste would he be a member of if he had lived and taught in India? What would have been the hallmarks of his teaching and of his ministry in the community and in the country? Questions like these shaped what viewers saw. Finding ways Scripture could be portrayed in digital parables made all the difference for the Hindi-speaking population in India.

This impact was multiplied through access to local cable networks. While this great teaching reached thousands, there’s much work to be done. Only 2% of India’s more than one billion citizens follow Jesus. In fact, of more than 2,250 people groups in India, the latest numbers suggest 2,027 are still unreached. The need to make disciples in this great country is huge!

It’s going to take a lot of great teaching by a lot of great teachers. You know what? Your support of GNPI is helping people share the Gospel effectively. Thanks for helping GNPI accelerate global evangelism to places like India by providing Bible teachers with Christ-centered media content that answers everyday questions.

 

A Life-Changing Message Must Be Shared

Free food food does no good for the starving if they don’t know it’s available only a short walk away. Illness will persist for the sick if they don’t know about the treatment available just across the street.

The Gospel is a life-changing message. Yet, unless people hear, how can they believe and be saved? One man in India experienced this dilemma first hand. He had seen a DVD produced in Damoh, and it changed his heart. It answered questions he’d had all his life. He longed to share the message with his friends and family, but he was very poor and did not even have money to buy a bus ticket to travel to them.

David Lall, international consultant for GNPI, told us this story some years ago, but we think it’s still so relevant today. This man’s actions touched us when we first heard the story, and we hope you will be moved by his courage today.

 

A Glimpse into Kenya

Last week I invited you to come with me for a journey around the world to visit some of the places GNPI works, to meet our regional directors, and to learn more about the cultures and worldviews in which we work. First stop: Kenya.

The drama was entitled Dini ya Ukweli or True Religion. It was not exceptionally written or phenomenally produced, but was extremely popular with Africans. Why? Because this GNPI Swahili drama hit at the heart of an issue – the issue of religious men with dishonest hearts.

In this video, a local preacher (and friend of GNPI) plays the part of a shyster (and does it well). He is someone who takes advantage of the good intentions and ignorance of others. He is one who mocks his own culture, one laced with ancestral worship for the sake of making easy money.

People could identify with the film’s main character because it amplified his hypocrisy, and in the process exposed disingenuous hearts. At the end of the day, the African audiences who personally experienced or saw such shenanigans in real life knew they were not seeing what Jesus would do. True Religion was not an indictment. Instead, it was a mirror helping them see into their African culture, and it worked!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our stop in Kenya. Stay with me as we continue our trip next week with a visit to India.

A Brand New Church

by TP, Regional Director of GNPI-SE Asia

Last week I visited a village for the grand opening of a new church. It encouraged me when I found they are growing in their faith in Christ, and want to be involved in evangelism and Christian ministries.

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One family asked me to pray for their children to pass an important educational test, which is equal to completing 12 grades with distinction. The head of that family said he is praying that he will be able support a Bible school student next year.

The church leaders requested that we come and teach them once a year and lead an annual Christmas celebration. We also talked about the possibilities of productions in the Kanpetlet chin language with two of the leaders.

These church leaders told us they are growing more and more in Christ through the tools we have produced. They trust our productions and want more. If possible, they want us to produce materials in their language. For this reason, we have talked with a preacher who can teach and preach the Word of God in their language.

If we can organize one tribe after another to influence the young generations by sound doctrine through media productions, God will be glorified. Please pray for us continually.

Glimpses into the Regional Centers

As a former missionary or cross-cultural worker in Kenya for almost 20 years, I made my living studying the habits, languages, and attitudes of others in order to connect with them. The connection was vital if I was to impart Biblical knowledge and, more importantly, instill a call of the Divine into the heart and lives of future African disciples of Jesus. To do this well, language learning and cultural adaptation are key.

Marketing expert Seth Godin writes, “Worldview has nothing to do with you or your mission… it’s the way a person acts without you in the room.”

For the next couple of weeks, I’d like to share interesting, personal notes about some of our regional directors, the countries where they serve, and highlight a project with impact that is connected to their specific worldview.

My hope is that through these glimpses you’ll not only learn more about our regional directors and the centers they help lead, but that you’ll get to know, just a little bit better, the cultures and worldviews that are part of the people we ask God to help us reach on a daily basis.

So, come with me around the world. Our first stop in next week’s blog is the place I spent so much time and holds a special place in my heart, Kenya.

Not in Vain

by Vince Vigil, Regional Director of GNPI-Uganda

Some days people question why they do what they do, or if there is any benefit in continuing to struggle through with their work. Other days the fruits of the labor are evident, and there is no question that God is at work. We got to experience one in the latter category this month!

Three different ministries came together to serve. Each one of the ministries is absolutely incredible. Yet, when all three of them work together, it is a much richer experience.

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The ladies from our sewing ministry have been working hard to make clothes and cloth diapers for babies over the past few months. As a celebration of the end of the quarter, they took the time to give these gifts to some people in great need. We transported 30-40 women (in a van and pickup truck) to another local ministry called CURE Hospital. This ministry specifically serves as a neurosurgery hospital treating children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, among other things. Many of these children would not survive if this hospital were not serving the country. The women from our sewing ministry gave each mom a gift bag, sang songs of worship together, and then prayed over each of the children that were there.

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In the background of this scene, another ministry was also serving with their specific skill set. Two of our guys from GNPI came along to take video footage. Individually, the ministries make a positive impact, but when the skills are used together, the impact is huge.

I don’t know who went away more blessed today, but I know that every life was changed as a result of the day. I pray that God continues to encourage each of these people to share their skills to help each other.

Today was a reminder that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Click here to watch the video of these three ministries working together.

Acceptable Methods For All

by TP, Regional Director of GNPI-SE Asia

We are so thankful for your unceasing prayers. We have been busy preparing evangelistic charts, recording Gospel songs, and revising The Ten Keys for Evangelism.

Please pray for our trainings for evangelists. Without explanation, it is hard for people in SE Asia to understand clearly about the true God. Methods and strategy are essential. If people hear the message we share, God will surely be glorified, and we will see amazing things.

AKL

A man who has a Buddhist background visited my office two days ago. He highly recommends the tools we have produced for evangelism. With the help of these tools, it is possible to convince the hearts of Myanmar people to see the true and living God easily.

The visitor said these methods are acceptable for all, even monks. He was so pleased with these productions that he invited my wife and me to his place to encourage his people. His place is 100 miles away from here.

Thank you very much. May God bless you.

 

 

 

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