Geoffrey gets very serious as he shares the circumstances that led him to Christ. “I grew up in a very impoverished area of Zambia known as Chongwe,” he says softly. “Many of the people in my village experienced mysterious deaths due to sorcery and black magic. I am one of eleven children, and seven of my own brothers have been killed because of witchcraft.” Adding to his grief, Geoffrey lost his right leg after a bad car accident, making it extremely difficult for him to continue working as a bricklayer.
“A friend invited me to a Project Philip Bible study at his home, they were all studying the Word of God,” he explains. “Christianity did not exist in my village. The teachings were so powerful, I encountered Jesus that very day!”
Geoffrey became a believer, and says he feels inner peace like he has never known. He wants to be sure other people in his community have the same opportunity.
“Thank you to all the donors that made this possible, it is a great work you do helping to change people’s lives through God’s Word,” he beams. “I am feeling the call of God to become a pastor, so I can share the Gospel with my family and the people of my village.”
Reaching the Rainforest with the Hope of Christ
Élistine, 38, knows about this firsthand because her own parents continue to practice witchcraft. She explains, “There are two things stifling the Gospel in Madagascar’s rainforest—witchcraft tradition and poor levels of education. We have many people who are eager to participate in Project Philip Bible studies, but they cannot read or write. The Audio Bible is very important for them, but we simply don’t have enough of them.”
Despite these obstacles, lives are being transformed. Élistine says she gets a lot of inspiration at the Project Philip Bible studies she leads. She beams, “I see amazing things happening through Project Philip. Before we start each lesson, the people attending take turns giving a short testimony about what is happening in their lives. They share how the Word of God teaches them new things, and how they are using it in their lives. It is quite remarkable to witness people who don’t read well memorize the Scriptures, verse by verse, so they can take part. We are grateful for your help, and I am grateful to God that I get to witness their faith growing!”
A Former Muslim Finds Faith in Christ
He decided to make his own way, moving to a Muslim neighborhood. He says he had a dream about Jesus that made him curious. He explains, “I dreamed that Jesus was holding my hand, and telling me that He was the Truth, the Way, and the Life!” Naim began to change the way he thought about Christianity. A few boys his age in his community noticed the change in Naim and beat him very badly. His new interest in Christ would not be deterred, and Naim moved back with his family. He also began attending church with them regularly.
A New Faith and a Prayer
Soon he started going to a Project Philip Bible study for teens. He says, “I will admit that the first session was a bit vague for me, but with the second session, things became clearer. I began to understand the Word of God. I learned to understand it. More than that, I learned to interpret the Scriptures and apply them to my life. This has been very beneficial to me.” Naim is grateful for every person who made it possible for him to attend a Project Philip Bible study. He is now helping others attending the lessons. “Last week, I was the one leading the Bible study group! I did as I was trained to do, to interpret the Scriptures and explain them to others,” he says, beaming.
Praise the Lord for the hundreds of children and youth in Zimbabwe who are engaged in God’s Word during their month-long holiday from school. As many graduate from Project Philip Bible studies in the coming weeks, pray that the Word of the Lord will take root in their hearts.
Praise God for the Bible-based Literacy classes taking place in Malaysia. May the Lord provide a special blessing of encouragement for all the teachers and class leaders who are helping men, women, and children learn to read through the Word of God.