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.
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.
Mr 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.
One 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.
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.
“. . . Mary . . . sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.” — Luke 10:39 (NKJV)
“May the Lord be praised!” Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Ukraine says, “The Lord continues to provide reasons to rejoice in the midst of troubles. I got a chance to share the Word at the baptism service of a congregation that appreciates our ministry and uses our resources for proclaiming the Truth to the world effectively. I know there are many other churches, groups, and ministries we equip as well. In painful times like now, this is a very special privilege and encouragement to see at least some of the fruit of our work! May the Lord be praised!”
Exciting News! Nenette Pacoli of GNPI-Philippines shares, “I have exciting news. Hannah called me yesterday requesting to borrow All Things New. (She is the young lady whose life was transformed by this movie. God used it to help her forgive her father for the pain he caused her family.) She and her dad are arranging to show it to young people in their hometown this month. The hometown is about 20 miles from here, but they will provide their own equipment and venue, etc. It will be the first time that Ronnie, Hannah’s dad, will be seeing the video. Please pray for the showing, so that other young people will get to know Jesus too. Thank you so much.”
Motivation to Work! Gustavo Velázquez of GNPI-Mexico says, “Here is some feedback from users on Vimeo and YouTube of The Last Prayer. ‘The message of this film helped me realize I need to change my life and accept Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior.’ Another says, ‘I thank God for the creators of this Christian film. Pray that God will bless your ministry together with your families today and always.’ No doubt each of these comments motivates us to work with greater enthusiasm and commitment!”
“We can’t wait!” Jesca of GNPI-Uganda writes, “Stephen Muturi will be our new operations manager starting on Monday. Stephen is newly married. He was an administrative assistant at this office back in 2011 when he was doing his internship. Then he went back to Kenya to pursue his Master’s degree. We are happy to have him back, and we can’t wait to see what God will enable us achieve as a family of GNPI.”
“We extend our gratitude to you!” Isaac Masiga of GNPI-Kenya says, “Mwanga is an urban Christian music band, one of whom we are partnering with to be part of the contributors to our new DETOX series. They were launching their music album this past Sunday and requested us to cover the event. The band sent us the following message: ‘From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to extend our gratitude to you, GNPI, for videotaping our album launch. From the very instant we agreed, you have been prompt and professional! Thank you for coming, and we look forward to the final product!’ ”
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.