Almost every initiative begins as a seed of an idea…a spark of inspiration…someone’s dream. Project NOMaD is no exception. The concept of training people who have video-making potential and a dream to reach their culture for Christ using media and technology has proven to be popular AND strategic.
Here’s Jason Miller, NOMaD Coordinator, giving you a very engaging update in ways that project NOMaD is growing! We are very excited and looking forward to what God will do as we forge ahead, following his lead as he guides us (YOU and GNPI) to build and nurture NOMaD teams all over the world.
by Sergei Golovin, Regional Director, GNPI-Ukraine
I am amazed how many opportunities to praise the Lord that difficult times provide! Over and over again it reminds us of accounts from the book of Acts when the believers were dispersed by secular powers, resulting in the spreading of the kingdom instead of its destruction.
Three Strategic Advancements
September started with a great trip to Zhitomir, a region we had never visited before. A trip like this would be exciting even in usual circumstances, but in a given situation it was even more exciting, as well as a great encouragement for us. We were able to serve on three strategically important levels. First of all, there was a group of volunteers – passionate, national leaders who are using our materials for the development of creation/worldview evangelism in the region. It was also a great joy for them and for us to discuss ministry opportunities, develop the vision and strategy for their work as Eurasian Apologetics Society coordinators, as well as future partnership and training. Please keep this vanguard of the spreading of God’s Word in the region in your prayers.
On the next level there were seminars for believers about the urgent need of a biblical strategy for shaping the worldview of the next generation. It was attended by ministers, youth pastors, and group leaders of various churches of the region. The material was received with great interest and motivation. An elderly minister, who had spent two terms in communist camps for his faith, came forward at the end and shared how much they had missed out on this kind of training before the collapse of communism and how much easier it would have been to spread the Good News if they had had such resources available back then. We were all deeply touched! Please pray for the brethren of Zhitomir and for the spread of the Truth of God in the region.
Finally, the most exciting opportunity of the trip was an invitation by the city education department to address public (state) school humanities teachers on “a common foundation for public ethics.” This opened a door to speak openly about God’s nature and his plan as the only reliable foundation for any ethical system, as well as about Scripture as his revelation for us about creation and our role and purpose in it. Only one lady out of the entire audience was unhappy about us “presenting only one view and only one religion instead of all of them” (please pray for her – something in her heart is resistant to admit the truth). However, other teachers were very open for the message – times of trouble make people search for the truth and hope desperately, and we have an exciting opportunity to share it. Please pray for the seeds planted among school teachers – people who will have the greatest impact on the next generation!
Moving Forward, Even Without a Car
After Zhitomir, the next place we went to was Crimea. I would hesitate to share some details of the trip for security reasons, but it was, as a whole, successful and useful, all things considered. We had a great opportunity to see and encourage the team, to evaluate the situation and the challenges that it brings, and to retrieve some winter clothing. It was a great reunion with the staff there, challenges and opportunities, evaluation and strategic planning, as well as a possibility to comfort and encourage many friends.
A Home Away from Home
We agreed that in God’s providence the ministry had been well prepared for the move of the office to Kiev. According to our leadership development plan, we already had two offices, so one of them just moved to the mainland. The Crimean office will continue to ship books and disks (our warehouses are still there) as well as Website management and development. They are going to provide more training for the body of believers in that region, as well as exploring new opportunities of equipping the saints for using media in evangelism, as well as expanding the ministry to mainland Russia. We will put special emphasis on training believers for Internet ministries development – through blogging, podcasts, social networks, etc. Our goal will be to develop an army of online evangelists! Please pray for that development.
After the visit we returned to Kiev, where our part of the team (Olga, I, our daughters, and many volunteers) continued to provide the ministry coordination, supply both ministry needs and personal needs for the Crimean team, as well as going on with teaching and training in mainland Ukraine. I already have quite a full teaching schedule till the end of the year.
Another exciting piece of news: our brand new project, Reliable Foundations Club, has started! People from several churches came to the first meeting; some were accompanied by their unbelieving friends. Online podcast made the club session available to many more people despite borders and wars. Praised be the Lord for the gift of modern technologies that allow the spreading of the message so effectively! The issue of the club season, The Good Creator of an Evil World, touches everyone personally, especially in these days in our part of the world. That is why deep and intensive discussion followed the presentation. It allowed us to better show God’s initial plan for the world (as it is revealed in Genesis 1-2, fulfilled in Jesus, and reaching its complete fulfillment soon) as the only true foundation that provides a proper understanding of the issues of evil and suffering. The meeting continued late into the night, but people were not going home until almost an hour after that, and continued discussions in groups. They earnestly requested that the club should continue and promised to spread the message about it more widely. So, we are making preparations for the next session. Please pray with us for them.
There are still a lot of uncertainties. However, the spread of the Truth is continuing! May the name of the Lord be glorified!
When I hear these words, I know something important is about to happen. Typically it means there is an announcement for the staff, but sometimes it means something more significant is about to take place: prayer. The first time I experienced an ‘all call’ for prayer I was humbled. It didn’t matter what everyone was doing, they came from their desk, their meetings, and gathered in the conference room.
Since my coming to GNPI last summer, I have been amazed time and time again what prayer means to this organization. Every morning we as a staff gather to pray: pray for those hurting in our community, for each other, for missionaries, for conflict in other countries, and for the Word of God to spread to all corners of the earth.
Because we at GNPI believe in the power of prayer, we make it a priority. Every week we post in our Group 5•16 blog, informing our friends and supporters about the prayer needs within GNPI’s network. I encourage you to look it up at http://gnpi.org/category/group-5•16.
One extra special time of prayer was last November when we used the Internet to join all of our regional centers together for an hour of prayer. Each center was prayed for by someone from a different regional center. Some prayed in English, and some prayed in their heart language. Even though thousands of miles separate us physically, the Internet connected us visually and the Holy Spirit connected our hearts.
As God’s sons and daughters, we can impact our world with our prayers. When thinking about prayer, What if His People Prayed by Casting Crowns comes to mind. Think about these lyrics:
What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face
And turn from their own way
He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He’s answered loud and clear, Yeah
If only we would pray
Whatever you’re doing right now, would you consider joining me in an ‘all call’ for prayer? Take a few moments to pray: pray for whatever God places on your heart. Imagine the difference we can make in this world if we would simply pray.
You never know where you’ll find our NOMaD Coordinator, Jason Miller these days. He might be in his office doing some training over the Internet using Skype with the NOMaD team in Chile, South America or Johannesburg, South Africa—or he could just as easily be in another country training a room full of NOMaD apprentices.
Jason recently finished a level one NOMaD training in Damoh, India. There were 15 trainees from five different states, and the training was conducted in Hindi and English. Jason shared, “I think some of the interviews and projects are the best so far. Some trainees had never seen or touched a camera or computer. They’ve mastered it quickly and have come so far in a short time.” The training days are long, and everyone puts in a lot of hard work: teaching and learning. However, they always manage to have a little fun as you can see in this video they shot in Damoh.
One trainee said, “I’ll definitely use this training to do God’s work. It’s helpful. I’m very thankful.”
Another said, “Thanks for arranging this training. Thanks for giving me a chance. I want to use what I learn in ministry.”
Regional Director Manee Massey of GNPI-Damoh, India, summed it up well when he said, “Thanks. I see many new people are benefiting from this training.”
After the Damoh training, Jason traveled on to Chennai, India for another scheduled training. This one would take place at a Bible college and included learners from around the area. A few of the Bible college students attended, but Jason found out that there were several more who wanted to be trained. So they decided to hold another training just for students the next week since he had scheduled a few extra days in Chennai anyway and had all the equipment.
This was a 2-1/2 day abbreviated version of the training curriculum put on for about 20 students. In all we will have trained about 65 apprentices during this trip alone, and 80 if you include the January trip. If even 1/3 of them use what they’ve learned it could make a substantial impact!
Many times I have traveled to other countries, and you never know what to expect. You try to keep an open mind and be ready to adapt to any situation you might find yourself in. I recently had the opportunity to travel and be part of a unique experience along with my co-worker, Stan.
One principle at the core of the ministry of GNPI is cultural relevance. We talk about culture in countries other than the US. The GNPI-Thai team was invited to film the testimony of a Thai-American dentist living in St. Paul, MN. It was a rare and interesting opportunity for them to offer a reversal for our US mindset of missions and show us what cultural relevance looks like as our Thai co-workers did “missions work” in Minnesota.
Watch this video and I think you’ll understand.
Romans 12 comes to mind for many reasons to help describe my feelings regarding this team and their commitment to follow God’s will and show God’s love in a country other than Thailand.
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
An exciting update on the work of the NOMaD team in South Africa by Jeff Kenee, Minister at Warrensburg Church of Christ and Evangelist with Reaching and Teaching South Africa Ministries
God continues to bless us under trying circumstances. Life in any country brings with it her own share of trying circumstances. Satan and his helpers use every opportunity they can to thwart the efforts of God’s people to reveal the hope there is in Jesus. South Africa has her share of general issues, as well as the struggles of an emerging country that has to deal with an epidemic of HIV and AIDS (workers estimate 53% of the community we work in is infected), a huge influx of people fleeing from poverty and political/tribal unrest, a growing unemployment (social workers in our areas of ministry estimate more than 70% are unemployed), and a poverty crisis of their own. It is in this environment that God has revealed his incredible power and influence.
Our leadership development continues successfully on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Maybe the sacrifice of time and effort, for hours in difficult and overcrowded situations, gives additional desire to make the commute worthwhile. Men and women come from several different areas to be a part of spiritual development classes. It is from these classes that we have seen God’s powerful hand at work. Even with our inability to document everything that has happened within our ministry, we know there is far more than one conversion every day taking place because of these leadership classes.
The NOMaD team that works with us is finally being seen as such a critical part of this expanding ministry. They have produced some very powerful videos on AIDS (like the one below) and some social choice issues.
Recently they finished two major projects. They filmed, edited, and produced with teaching aids, lessons on Inductive Bible Study and Growing in Spiritual Maturity (for leaders). These two lessons were produced together and became the first of a series. This first DVD resource has already been distributed to several hundred church leaders. We praise God for the vision and skill of our NOMaD team and for GNPI, for the vision God has given this ministry.
We are excited about other outreach opportunities also. Three of our leadership students have been accepted into a federal prison as teachers/chaplains; a responsibility that is extremely difficult to obtain in South African overcrowded prisons. Due to the class growth, the warden has made an allowance to make a larger hall available to the teachers. Our NOMaD team is planning to work with the New Life Behavior team. New Life Behavior is a series of lessons specifically developed by the church for inmates and people struggling with addiction. This series has been accepted by the prisons in South Africa as the official religious material to be used in prisons. We are planning to utilize the New Life Behavior team to present training to all of our leadership students and produce it as a future training DVD.
Our NOMaD team is opening amazing doors for us to expand our ministry to reach all sorts of people in all stages and places of life. By working together, we are reaching and teaching South Africa. www.reachingandteachingSA.com
I was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. That’s just one reason why it’s exciting for me to work with Habacuc Diaz, our point person on a Chilean NOMaD team. In fact, I used to go to school at Santiago Christian Academy where Habacuc’s wife, Liz, now teaches. So, let me have the honor of introducing you to our friend.
A supporter of Habacuc’s ministry once gave him an old DSLR camera which piqued his interest in photography. As you’ll see in the short video below, he started taking pictures of skaters to build relationships with these young people. He later learned about GNPI, specifically project NOMaD, from a old college buddy of his, Sergio Alvarado. Sergio leads the NOMaD team in Pachuca, Mexico. The rest is history, which is still in the making.
He’s calling the team “Indigno,” which means “Unworthy,” a name meant to create a dialogue about what Christ did for us. He hopes to create many resources—tools for the entire church community to use in order to have a greater impact in their ministries.
The team in Chile is working on some new projects, including a series called Sabías Que? (Did You Know?), which will educate youth regarding abortion. This will feature interviews with doctors, as well as real testimonies. A teaching series of premarital counseling material and one on biblical principles of finances is also in the works.
Take a few minutes to watch the video and see the world through Habacuc’s eyes!
So many of you participated in the Beyond Ourselves campaign, and for that we are truly grateful. To date, we’ve collected 93 percent of all pledges made toward the campaign – a wonderful testimony to your generosity and faithfulness to the legacy of GNPI. Eighty-five percent of churches who made a pledge have fulfilled their commitments.
You’ve helped continue a nearly 40-year legacy of ministry through the creation of NOMaD teams, helping complete projects like The Global Gospel, and upgrading the production capability of our regional centers.
Bob Sartoris, GNPI’s international director, recently traveled to Mexico to deliver some new equipment to the team there. They wanted to say “Thank you” for your generosity, so they shot this short video.
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.
Hannah came to our church three years ago and I actually saw the transformation in her! We showed All Things New, but she didn’t tell me her reaction until the following day—that she had actually “been thinking about” or “considering” or “I’ll get around to” forgiving her father. It was All Things New that gave that necessary push…the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. There were tears in her eyes as she recalled parts of the movie that touched her deeply.
We have such an awesome God! Although I know of stories of video materials touching people, I am still amazed at how God uses this medium to get his message across.
When Hannah asked her dad if it was ok to use the video publicly, he said, “Okay, if it will bless other people, push it.” The good thing about it is that Hannah’s dad no longer feels shame and guilt that he has to hide. Instead, he has experienced God’s grace and forgiveness so he can talk about his past, both with regret and joy! Even her mom has seen the video and hopes it will bless others too.
As tensions run high concerning the threat of the Ebola virus in the United States, let’s be faithful to pray for the countries in West Africa who have long been suffering from the effects of this devastating illness.
The Prayercast Website is a great place to find help in praying for countries around the world and other unique situations. (www.prayercast.com)