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.
Picture, if you can, a shrine on the side of a dusty, Mexican road with a statue of Mary, flowers, a picture of a skull, and money offerings – modern day indulgences to gain supernatural favor.
The payee is none other than the leader of the cult Santa Muerte (Holy Death) – also a drug lord. He has hired people as priests to intercede for the group so their cartel would be more prosperous and dominate other gangs.
Drugs and deity may seem strange bedfellows, but that is the culture in Mexico today.
Bob Gurwell and Gustavo Velazquez, working for our regional center in Piedras Negras, Mexico, have written, directed, and produced Criba (The Sifting). In this real-life drama, a young man is drawn into the downward spiral of darkness, danger, and fear.
Thousands have watched with nodding heads, saying they can identify with such occurrences. The GNPI regional center in Piedras Negras is making a difference in addressing difficult issues in light of the truth of God’s Word.
You can watch Criba too (it’s in Spanish). Simply navigate your browser to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTOqH66sQE and see how God is using GNPI-Mexico to create culturally relevant, media content addressing today’s issues.
Harland Cary was called to receive his eternal reward earlier this week. Tomorrow (Saturday, September 12, 2014) many will celebrate his life at his memorial service. Brother Cary has blessed hundreds, if not thousands, through his life of 97 years. GNPI is just one of many ministries that has been blessed beyond words. Bob Gurwell, GNPI international coordinator, was just one of those impacted.
As a young man, Bob considered becoming a medical doctor until one day Brother Cary suggested he instead consider becoming a “doctor of the soul.” That conversation set a new course for the young Mr. Gurwell. This so typifies the impact of this working warrior for Christ!
Not that long ago, GNPI’s regional center in Piedras Negras, Mexico, did a video tribute to Harland Cary that we would like to share with you. Please praise the Lord for this life well lived, and pray for the extended family at this time of loss.
Meredith is a 16-year old high school student from Missouri who went to Mexico on a missions trip this past summer with her church. They helped with a few projects at the regional center in Piedras Negras. One of the things she says was most memorable to her was the day they went into a destitute, poverty-stricken area to hand out food. Here’s how Meredith tells the story:
“The people in the area we went to literally had nothing. Most of the houses were constructed of wooden pallets, scraps of plywood, torn tarps, and cardboard boxes put together to create shelters of sorts.
When we first pulled into the area, we stopped and handed out a few packages of food, and moved on down the line of shacks. Before we had gone very far, people began to walk up to our vehicles and ask for food. They were desperate for it, and they just kept coming. It was so hard to have to turn people away when we ran out.
As we were driving away, an elderly lady hobbled out of her house and began calling to us. I couldn’t understand her Spanish words, but her meaning was crystal clear; she needed food. The lady looked like she could hardly walk, and as she gripped her cane with one hand, she held out her other hand to us, pleading for help. We had nothing left to give her. It was heartbreaking to see her and not be able to help. The image of that woman’s face will be ingrained in my memory for a long time to come.”
Meredith certainly paints a vivid picture with her words, doesn’t she?
Raising a family in this environment can leave people with wounds that may never heal unless they find the ultimate Healer. Raziel grew up in this kind of environment. The 20-minute video below, Desatado Por Sangre (Freed by Blood), is the condensed story of his life, produced by GNPI-Mexico. Raziel was freed from his life of darkness and addiction by the blood of Jesus and has gone on to become a Youth Minister—telling others about the Good News that he found!
Thank you Meredith, for sharing your story with us. (To read Meredith’s entire blog, click here.)
There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, and this is no accident.
In Genesis 11:7, speaking about the tower of Babel, God says, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other (NIV).” Verse nine says that he then scattered the people all over the face of the earth. This scattering resulted in many things including cultural differences, from what we eat to who and how we worship.
God did this on purpose. He also knew that telling the whole world about Jesus would be a challenge because of the resulting cultural differences—the ways, concepts, emotions, and word meanings often get lost in translation.
This is why GNPI’s regional centers continue to work on projects like this music video from SE Asia. The title for this song translates to the English word, Essential. Written, arranged, and performed by local artists and staff from our SE Asia center, they are taking a bold stand for Christ in their country.
At GNPI, we create culturally relevant materials that speak to the hearts of people worldwide. Our regional center staff, lead by nationals in most cases, know the best way to do that.
The language of this song may not be your first language, but the message is pretty clear.
Essential is based on some hard-hitting truth found in Revelation 2:1-5 revealing how God feels about those who forsake their first love. It’s pretty obvious that it is essential to get back to our first love if we want to please God. We need to do whatever it takes to rekindle that spark we first had for Jesus.
Famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for the quote, “God is dead.” In few places has the attempt to remove God from societal life been more prevalent than the nations of the communist former Soviet Union. Even now, the departure from God as the center of life has created the political and military unrest gripping Russia and Ukraine.
You and I know that God is certainly alive and well in our world. Yet, for people who have known nothing but life without God, the quest for truth can be an elusive search, full of struggle and uncertainty.
Dr. Sergei Golovin is the regional director for our center in Ukraine. However, he used to oppose God and his Word. A scientist by training, Sergei was looking to disprove the Bible while conducting research at an isolated location in Siberia. He was all alone. He came across a copy of God’s Word, so he started reading.
What he started out to disprove would eventually win him over. As he poured over the Scripture, he discovered science proved the Bible true, and that this Jesus, whom the Bible spoke of, was actually the author and keeper of all truth.
Dr. Sergei Golovin, a brilliant man and holder of several patents, was convinced from reading the Bible, and looking at the evidence of creation, that there had to be a creative designer.
He was right! This new passion for knowing God turned into a lifelong mission to bring others to know that they need the saving grace of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to set them free from sin.
Today, nearly two decades after he met the God of the universe, Sergei and his team use science and apologetics to win the cultural wars inside his homeland of Ukraine and in Russia. Hundreds of books and tracts, now augmented with video, deliver a better way!
To learn more about the work of Sergei Golovin and GNPI-Ukraine, watch this video we produced in 2013 while helping to raise funds for a new training facility in Ukraine.
Pray for Sergei and Ukraine, particularly during these unsettling times.
Ukraine has been in the news lately, along with countless other regions where unrest and violence continues to escalate. Russia began her crusade to occupy Crimea (the location of one of GNPI’s regional centers) in March, and that was just about the time the music video embedded below was completed.
I am on staff at GNPI and had some surgery back in April. I was in the hospital when I received the communication from Lena, the office manager in Crimea, that their third music video, Take My Life, was complete. As I sat there in my hospital room, watching the video on my phone, I thought about what my Ukrainian friends were facing—ugly photos coming out of Kiev where Russian troops had already invaded, the threat of violence and war, the threat to their physical safety, so much uncertainty!
Yet, the music video is the exact opposite of that. It’s calm, assuring, and strikingly beautiful. Take My Life, an old hymn, is a song about trusting God and giving him our lives.
I messaged Lena and asked her, “How much of the footage in the video was shot during the conflict of the troops moving in?”
She answered me, “All of it, and the shots by the sea were actually shot during the invasion. In fact, we had to postpone the first studio shooting day because that very morning we were occupied.”
The reality of this reduced me to tears. As I watched the video again and prayed for their safety, God revealed to me that even in the most dangerous storms of our lives, he can calm us with his quiet, tender presence.
I find it remarkable that media has the ability to transcend the limitations of cultures and languages and deeply touch someone in a hospital room thousands miles away. So take my life, Lord. You are certainly more capable of doing something good with it than I am.
I was able to meet Anyway Mupesewa, a young man from Zimbabwe, at the North American Christian Convention last month. GNPI provided a Solar Kit for him to take back to his home country to use in sharing the Gospel there.
I think you’ll agree, he is a delightful young man. His response represents the appreciation we hear expressed from so many (Yet, we aren’t able to record most of them).
We agree with Anyway’s prayer for you, our ministry partners, “May God bless you and keep his face shining upon you. May he watch over your lives, your plans, and be with you all the time.”
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.
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.