The Bible League – October 2019

For the children at Danville Primary School in South Africa, a Bible is a luxury item. Many of the students come from impoverished areas, and most families don’t go to church. For some of these students, their only meal is at school.

“How can a child’s parents afford a Bible when they can’t even put food on their table?” asks Mrs. Schwarz, one of the teachers.

But now, these kids have the opportunity to own their own Bibles and study the Word using Project Philip Bible studies. Since April, a local pastor has been holding Bible studies in the school and while the teachers had reservations, they have noticed a welcomed change in students’ behavior.

“They are learning to respect the grownups,” Mrs. Schwarz says. “They think, ‘If I can’t respect the human beings standing in front of us, how can I respect the Lord?’ Their way of doing things totally changed, not only behavioral but also in their knowledge.” This change is spilling into their home life, where parents are starting to read the Bible to find the goodness of God that their children have found.

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A Difficult Life

Renu was raised in a Buddhist family in Thailand. She regarded herself as a kind person, but her life was full of hardships. “Karma seems to have betrayed me,” she says.

Her parents divorced and because Renu was the oldest sibling, it became her responsibility to care for her mother and siblings, including taking on the financial burden of her brother’s education.

Even though she worked hard to take care of her family, Renu’s relationship with her mother was cold and broken.

“My mother disliked me as long as I can remember,” she says. “Everything that I did was wrong for her and she would always complain that I was no good. She never had a peaceful moment with me.”

Renu struggled with her difficult relationship with her mother and visited a Buddhist priest for help. “I spent a lot of money trying to bring peace and reconciliation between both of us through their mantras and charms, but nothing changed.”

Finding Change

A friend of Renu’s invited her to church and told her that God could help her situation. When she arrived, she was skeptical and unimpressed, but agreed to meet with the pastor.

“I did not understand everything that he said, but I was desperate and wanted to be released from the situation, so I opened my heart to accept Jesus Christ,” she says.

Weeks later, she hosted a prayer group at her home. She had kept her new life a secret from her unbelieving husband, so when he walked in on the prayer group, she was shocked when he accepted Christ on the spot. Renu eventually shared the Gospel with her mother.

“By God’s grace, my mother accepted Jesus Christ, too,” she says. “Our relationship has become much better. Praise the Lord!”

Renu and her husband were trained as Project Philip Bible study leaders and helped share the Gospel in 12 villages in their area. She currently ministers to multiple families and hopes to build a church in the future.

“Thank God for the new life,” she says. “No amount of meditation or medication has provided what Jesus has done for me. I am so peaceful and joyful now.”

Sharing the Gospel from Country to Country

“I was losing faith at that moment.”

Johane grew up attending church with her mother in Port-au-Prince and knew from an early age that she wanted to serve the Lord. But the road was far from easy. Following a devastating earthquake in 2010, she lost her job in telecommunications.

Her family tried to open their own business, but the struggles were just too much to continue. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere with 60% of the population living in poverty. Johane and her family were quickly becoming part of that percentage. They decided to leave their home and try for a better life in the United States.

“I prayed to God amid those circumstances. I told Him, ‘If you help me, I will preach for you, I will talk to people for you,’” she says.

The family moved to the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, six years ago. The area has a large Haitian and West African immigrant population. They lived in the basement of a friend’s home and searched tirelessly for jobs. The chaos of trying to survive took a toll on Johane’s evangelism work.

“Here in the U.S., in the middle of all the struggle, my son had a dream. He dreamt that God told him He was going to give us a house,” she says. “Honestly, I was losing faith at that moment.”

The Turnaround

Not long after her son’s dream, Johane’s husband got a job. The family moved into an apartment, then eventually a house. Overwhelmed with joy by the providence of God, Johane was reminded of the promise she made.

“After we moved into our house, I had a dream. I was before God, on my knees, asking Him for forgiveness and a second chance,” she recalls. “I remembered my prayers back in Haiti when I promised I would serve Him. After all these blessings, I knew I could not only serve Him, but my job from that time on would be to spread the Good News.”

Double Degree

Johane is a trained Philip (Project Philip Bible study leader) in both Haiti and the United States. She was ministering in Haiti when she moved, and after settling in the U.S., she searched for two years for ministry resources. As a last-ditch effort, she prayed asking for resources specifically from Bible League International.

“One night, my pastor gave me a brochure promoting a Bible League International training in a church nearby. When I saw that, I was screaming, I was so excited,” she says. “I led seven people to Christ from my community when I worked with Project Philip in Haiti!”

Serving in the U.S.

Johane has since shared the resources with her church leadership and members of her church, who are primarily Haitian immigrants. “The program made a massive difference in our church. Now, there is a fire burning in my pastor’s heart for evangelism and discipleship,” she says.

The Bible League International – September 2019

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One recent afternoon in a village in southeast Albania, near the border with Greece, 21 children and youth gathered at a local church for a Project Philip Bible study.

The boys and girls sat in a wide circle of plastic chairs. One of the children listening with rapt attention was 10-year-old Matteo. Like many kids, he enjoys soccer and hopes to play professionally one day. But he has another big dream. He wants to “serve the Lord and to serve in the church.”

Matteo loves going to church and studying God’s Word through this children’s Bible study. “The booklets are helping us to grow in the Word of God,” he says with a smile. “The most important thing I learned is that we should pray only to Jesus. He is the only real God.” Because of the support of friends like you, Matteo now has a Bible of his own, which he enjoys reading often at home.

A Life Worth Living

His Pain Only Grew

He recalls, “The older I became, the more issues I had.” For 14 years, he drank heavily, spent time with women who weren’t his wife, and fought so much with his family that they wanted him out of the house.

He says sadly, “As time passed, the conflicts just increased, the pain only grew bigger, and my addiction destroyed me. My life was not worth living anymore.” But his life changed when his son asked him to help make a cheese delivery to his pastor’s house. When they arrived, the pastor invited Santos to join him in a Project Philip Bible study. He explains, “It was at that moment in the pastor’s house that I met the Lord Jesus and gave my life to Him.”

Living a Miracle

Following his commitment to Christ, Santos began studying the Bible like a curious and hungry child. He notes, “After years of drunkenness and addictions, I started to live my life with more discipline and a desire to comprehend God’s Word.” As he studied God’s Word, he learned that he had the opportunity to live differently now. He asked his family to forgive him for the years of suffering and abuse. Recently, one of his children said, “Miracles are real,” when referencing Santos’ transformation.

Today, he is focused on planting churches and is an active Philip (Project Philip Bible study leader). Santos says, “I lead a few Bible study groups to help people understand what a new life in Christ means. Thank you for helping me to learn about Christ and for providing me materials so that I can teach others.”

 

Finding a True Relationship

The oldest of eight siblings, Ciella and her family regularly attended a church that often mixed Christianity with sorcery, so she did not feel safe there. Her parents allowed her to visit other churches, and she eventually found a church home, but something was missing. Ciella did not have a true relationship with God.

Turning Point

Earlier this year, Ciella signed up for a Project Philip Bible study at her school. “These lessons helped me to see and understand many things that I had ignored before,” she says. “I understand that Jesus died on the cross to set us free from our sins, and we can enter into a relationship with God our Creator through Jesus.”

Lesson after lesson, Ciella learned more about a relationship with God. Soon after she started the study, she gave her life to Christ and found the personal relationship promised in the Word of God. “l made the greatest decision to surrender my life to Jesus. Now, after going through the lessons, I know that God is near me and has changed my life,” she says.

Committed to Christ

At the end of the study, Ciella received her Bible, which she promises to read every day. She has committed her life to sharing all she has learned with others. “I thank God for helping me to follow the Project Philip program and am grateful for Bible League International,” she says. “The program helped me, and I hope that it can help others and bring them into a relationship with God. Thank you very much!”

Share God’s Word When You Shop at Christian Book Distributors!

Christian Book Distributors partners with us to donate 5-10% of your total purchase back to Bible League International.

Whether shopping for Bibles, study materials, or gifts for loved ones, check out the Christian Book Distributors’ Bible League Store Front to make your purchase!

 

Prayer Requests

Please pray for a children’s ministry in a village in central Albania’s Tirana County, where about 100 kids are using Project Philip Bible studies. Pray, too, that parents will be reached with the Gospel of Christ through their children.

Praise the Lord for the nearly 2,000 people in Ethiopia who received Bibles of their own after completing Project Philip Bible studies. May the hope of the Gospel be evident in their lives as they share God’s love in their communities.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support. Your gifts to Bible League International make it possible for our ministry to provide God’s Word to a world in need.