Page 1

A F R I C A

|

A S I A

|

E U R O PE

|

L ATI N

A M E R I C A

|

M I D D LE

E A ST

|

U. S .

Your gift of

God’s Word gives strength to the

PERSECUTED You comfort me in my suffering, because your promise gives me new life. Psalm 119:50 ERV

ACTION REPORT MAR/APR 2018 | VOLUME 14 | ISSUE 2


Persecution is growing… but so is God’s Church What We Do Serving the under-resourced Church globally through the provision of Bibles, biblical resources, and training to transform lives worldwide through God’s Word.

International Ministry Center 1 Bible League Plaza Crete, IL 60417 For more information: 866-825-4636 info@bibleleague.org

bibleleague.org FOLLOW US ON

Believers like Pastor Nagaraj in southwest India know full well the dangers they face each day because they follow Jesus. He’s among thousands of believers who have been recent victims of persecution. Hindu extremists beat him and burned his possessions, all while local authorities looked the other way. Wherever they are, persecuted believers cling tightly to the promises they find in God’s Word. And they thank God for your gift of His Word. They see the difference it makes in their communities. That’s especially evident in the Philippines, where believers are boldly sharing God’s Word in Mindanao. They’re working to stem the growth of Islam in this Muslim stronghold in the southern part of the country. By God’s grace and your gift of Bibles and training, they’re succeeding. Last year, in that region alone, they reached tens of thousands of people with God’s Word through Project Philip Bible studies and planted more than 200 new Bible-believing churches. That’s significant! Right now, the possibility looms that this island may soon come under Islamic rule. The more the Church there can grow in numbers and maturity today, the better it will survive in what could well be a hostile environment in the future. Believers in Mindanao and across Asia realize they must do all they can to reach more people for Jesus Christ—while there is still time.

2


In parts of Nepal and India, new anti-conversion laws now make it illegal to convert to Christianity. Government leaders in Bangladesh and Malaysia recently passed restrictions that put believers under intense scrutiny. Newly passed laws in China severely limit sharing God’s Word with children. Believers there are now using Bible-based Literacy to reach the nation’s children. It soon may be the only legal way for churches in China to reach children with the Gospel. Will you pray for persecuted believers across Asia—and around the world? Pray that they will find strength in your gift of God’s Word. And, as we work together, please ask God to help us reach people whose hearts are open to receive Jesus Christ, even as doors to the Gospel in some places are closing. Thank you for your gifts and prayers!

We have sufferings now, but these are

nothing

compared to the

great glory that will be

Jos Snoep President and CEO

given to us. Romans 8:18 ERV

bibleleague.org

3


AFRICA

Persecution in Africa

Thank you for strengthening the persecuted Church in Africa with God’s Word Africa is home to some of the most aggressively persecuted believers in the world, particularly in Ethiopia. The feuding between rival radical Islamic groups in neighboring Somalia and Sudan is spilling over into the country, bringing violence and danger. Believers have been physically assaulted, the ruling party of the country blocks opportunities for people to gather and exercise any kind of freedom of expression, and religious institutions face heavy scrutiny. Yet, the desire for the Word of God is strong across the persecuted areas of Africa.

4

A former anti-Christian becomes one

Jamaal grew up in a Muslim family. He recalls a time from his childhood that changed the entire direction of his life: “When I was young, I was completely against Christians. When I heard there was a Christian conference at a local stadium, me and my friends went to disrupt the entire program,” he says solemnly. “We actually threw heavy stones at the crowd.” A transformed life

Instead of scolding them, the preacher invited them to be a part of the service. “I received Christ during that service,” he remembers. Although he joined

a local church and became an active member, he admits he had no knowledge about the Word of God at first. “My Muslim friends tried to get me to come back to Islam, and challenged me about my new faith. I had no answer because I had not read the Bible or undergone any training.” God’s Word opens his eyes

This prompted Jamaal to attend a Project Philip Bible study. “You provided training that is easy for lay people like me to understand and to give witness to others. These materials opened my eyes and helped me to read the Bible and understand what it says,” he comments gratefully.


The difference you make

Your gifts helped provide encouragement to believers in Africa facing persecution for believing in Christ. You equipped them to share the Good News even as they faced threats of banishment, physical harm, and financial ruin. Thank you for your prayers. bibleleague.org

5


ASIA

Beaten for sharing his faith in Jesus Christ

Because of you, persecuted believers in Asia continue to boldly share God’s Word Throughout his life, Jayanth, a believer in India, has faced persecution for following Jesus Christ. Despite this, he stays committed to sharing the Gospel with those living in areas where Hindu extremists have strongholds. After completing Church Planter Training, he got right to work planting a church. He believes God chose him to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ—despite opposition. “In the beginning, I felt trapped,” Jayanth says. “I felt I had no chance of starting a church here, but the Lord strengthened me.” He began by leading a small Project Philip Bible study group 6

with a handful of believers. That group has now grown to 25. “It’s a great joy to serve the Lord and share the Gospel with the people. I travel about 34 miles to conduct worship service,” he says. Suffering for the Gospel

Although he is happy to travel long distances to share the Word of God, his travels are not always safe. “Last month I was attacked by a very large Hindu group. They started to beat me, accusing me of converting Hindus to Christianity by giving them fake promises. “They shouted to stop the worship service and pulled me out from the church. I tried to explain to

them, but they refused to listen. They never gave me any chance to talk to them.” The group brought him to the police, and they arrested him. Thankfully, the police found him innocent and released him. Your gifts and prayers will help strengthen the faith of Christians in Asia like Jayanth so they can continue to share their faith. Prayers for perseverance

Jayanth was badly beaten and arrested, yet he continues God’s work in this village because of faithful friends like you who encourage him. Please pray for Jayanth as he boldly proclaims the Gospel in his community.


Thank you

for encouraging believers like Jayanth in Asia to spread the Gospel in their communities— even as they face threats for following Jesus Christ. Pray they find strength and hope in God’s Word. bibleleague.org

7


EUROPE

Albert finally has peace in his heart

Despite persecution, he’s grateful that you gave him “God’s wonderful Word” For almost 40 years, Albert’s life was a never-ending cycle of poverty and booze. He always thought that life would improve if he followed Islam’s rituals and was a good Muslim. It never did…until your gift of God’s Word helped him find new life in Jesus Christ. Discovering God’s Truth

Though part of a devout Muslim family, Albert never found solace in his faith. Jobs were always hard to find, but whenever he found work playing music at someone’s wedding, it only caused more problems. Whatever money he earned went with him to a bar rather than home to help support his family. 8

He wasn’t around enough to know that one of his daughters had started visiting a local church. Then one day, she invited him to come along to a concert there. He loved music, so he agreed. “At the end of the concert, they talked about God’s love and that Jesus saves people,” says Albert. “That really affected me. Someone prayed with me and took my phone number.” A couple of days later, a church member called to invite Albert to join a Project Philip Bible study. “As I studied God’s Word, I came to realize that He is the true God and began to believe,” he explains.

“I let Him enter my heart and He changed it. I felt peace for the first time! I stopped drinking and gave my life to Jesus.” From peace to persecution

Albert’s father and his siblings were irate. How could Albert, his wife, and children dare to put their faith in Jesus! They beat Albert’s wife and drove the family out of the house. But they remain faithful to the Savior. “We continue to go to church and tell people that Jesus is the Truth,” says Albert. “Each night as a family, we read the Bible and pray together. Thank you for putting God’s wonderful Word in our hands!”


Thank you

Project Philip Bible studies are reaching parts of Albania where opposition to the Gospel is growing—but so is God’s Church. God’s Word is transforming lives, including Albert’s (pictured left). Thank you for your gift of Bibles and training! bibleleague.org

9


MIDDLE EAST

From party girl to persecuted believer

Your gift of God’s Word helps keep her faith strong—and leads to baptism A self-proclaimed “party girl,” Ruba’s lifestyle was in direct contrast to her influential family’s conservative Muslim values. “I was not a religious person,” she notes. “I never followed Islam’s prayer and fasting rituals.” Still, no one in her family ever said a word. “Everyone was too involved in their own lives and business dealings,” explains Ruba. “Nobody really cared.” A spiritual journey…

Years of partying took their toll. Ruba finally saw her life for what it was—empty and lonely. She decided it was time to return to her Muslim roots.

10

Taking one of her family’s many untouched Korans off a shelf, she began reading. As she did, she was dismayed that her god “seemed to be a very moody one.”

“I took the beating of a lifetime,” she says of the day her family found out. The next day, she packed a few belongings and left home.

Discouraged, she set out to learn about other religions, not knowing what she would find. Surprised by the loving Savior she read about in the New Testament, she found new life in Jesus Christ.

Today she lives in another country in the Middle East, where she belongs to a local church—a church that receives Bibles and training you help provide. Now Ruba’s faith is growing as she takes part in Project Philip Bible studies.

…that leads to persecution

Though in her heart she believed in Jesus Christ, she never told anyone. It was her secret, until the day one of her brothers found the New Testament she had hidden in her room. He immediately told his parents.

Despite being cut off from her own family, she happily reports, “God is a gracious Father and a wonderful Provider. He is good and His mercy is forever. I was baptized a couple of months ago.”


Thank you

for sharing the Good News of Jesus the Messiah in eight countries across the Middle East. In this region where many oppose the Gospel, your gift of God’s Word is helping people to find new life in Jesus Christ.

How We Serve Project Philip Ministry™ Project Philip Evangelistic Bible studies Church Planter Training Bible-based Literacy

Where We Serve Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East U.S.

Worldwide Impact Since 1938 3.7 million people trained to share God’s Word

Over 68,000 churches planted

*Stock photo used due to security risks

Over 50 million people reached with the Gospel

bibleleague.org 11


When God’s Word is

bel ieved and und er stood,

lives are changed. $5 sends a Bible to a waiting believer

1 Bible League Plaza

Crete, IL 60417

866-825-4636

bibleleague.org

info@bibleleague.org

March/April 2018 Action Report  
March/April 2018 Action Report  
Advertisement