FEBRUARY 2018

Worshiping cows didn’t help them,
but Jesus changed everything!

Worshiping oxen was just one way Nanda’s family taught her to serve the local gods.

Sadly, worshiping cows didn’t seem to help the family — they struggled to keep food on the table. Eleven-year-old Nanda and her three siblings often went hungry.

Then Nanda joined an after-school Bible club. She received the Book of Hope and studied it with the other children …

She discovered that Jesus is the One True God — the One who came to earth to save her — she was amazed and overwhelmed!

Nanda committed her life to Christ. Soon her mother noticed the change in her and came to church with her. Now, she is following Jesus, too.

Thank you for sharing God’s love and bringing Nanda’s family hope for today and tomorrow!

Strategic partnerships and the power of prayer
by President Rob Hoskins

It’s a nation where Christians face some of the most violent opposition in the world. It’s in the Top 25 for most severe persecution on the Open Doors’ World Watch List.

For security reasons, I can’t put the name of the nation in print — yet despite the danger to Christianity there, it’s where some of our most strategic partnerships have formed with local churches, schools and ministries. By God’s grace, young lives are being transformed!

One way this is happening, as you’ll read in this Global Report, is through after-school Bible clubs in local villages. Children not only study together through the Book of Hope or God’s Big Story, but they also play games, sing songs, pray together — and often the clubs provide tutoring and help with homework, lessons on personal hygiene, and much more. These are places of real transformation … and we’re also seeing the children going home to tell the Bible stories they’re learning to their families — usually they’re followers of the local Eastern religion, or some tribal religion, or even Islam. But hearing the Word of God from their own children or grandchildren can change everything!

Such strategic partnerships are rapidly moving us toward the vision of “God’s Word. Every Child.”

But I consider you a strategic partner as well. Your generosity, and especially your prayers, make a huge impact. You’re helping to provide the power of God’s Word through the Book of Hope, The GodMan film, God’s Big Story and other important Scripture engagement programs for children and young people worldwide.

And your prayers are helping to keep the doors open, protect local Christians from persecution as they reach out to the next generation, and so much more. Thank you for being a part of all this. Great is your reward!

She went from scoffer to believer — thanks to you!

Meera’s father taught her to reverence their Hindu religion. They went to temple together, took part in the rituals, observed all the most important rites.

Meera even observed how her father scoffed at Christian children and harangued them! Theirs was a majority Hindu region where Christians suffered persecution. Her father’s cruelty to these children made Meera think there was something wrong with them, so she abused them, too.

Then Meera fell ill. Nothing could ease the pains in her stomach. Her father took her to doctors who were no help, then he took her to Hindu priests and witch doctors — on their directions he even sacrificed a goat for her. Nothing worked.

Until the local Christian pastor prayed for her. And she was healed!

Meera was so grateful to God that she accepted the pastor’s invitation to join an after-school Bible club. She discovered the children she used to make fun of were friendly and caring.

She didn’t know anything about Jesus who had healed her, but she received the Book of Hope and, with the other children, learned about Him. Soon she decided to give her life to Christ!

Today Meera and her mother are following Jesus as their Savior, and are praying Meera’s father will soon come to know Christ as well.

Thank you for sharing God’s Word, and His love, with Meera and her family. What a difference you made.

After school Bible clubs
bring the hope of God's Word to children in need

Ganesh receives hope — and gives it away

He was very small when his father died. In the majority Hindu nation where he lives, it’s hard for a woman to provide for a family alone — Ganesh’s mother struggled to put food on the table for him and his sister … and often failed.

Then the next-door neighbor offered to take Ganesh off her hands — and his mother was grateful. Now Ganesh had two mothers, his neighbor Mary with whom he lived, and his “real” mom Neeraja right next door.

When Ganesh was six years old, a friend of Mary’s launched an after-school Bible club in their village, and Ganesh was allowed to attend. He was amazed to receive his own Book of Hope and discover that there is One True God, who created the whole world … and yet knows every child by name.

Then his mother became ill. Ganesh asked his Bible club leader and friends to pray for her — and the very next day he reported that she had been healed. Ganesh was so amazed by God’s power, and overwhelmed by the idea that God loved him that he chose to dedicate his life to Christ.

Today Ganesh is following Jesus as Savior. Please join him in praying that both of his “mothers” will soon choose to follow Jesus, too!

A light in the darkness

Tahina’s world fell apart when his mother died — and he was left in the care of his father, an alcoholic.

In their home nation of Madagascar, poverty and addiction often go hand-in-hand. Tahina’s father couldn’t provide for his five children alone — especially because he spent so much time and money at the local watering hole.

Tahina’s elder brother became addicted to drugs to escape the pain … Tahina just withdrew into himself. He would barely speak to anyone.

But then he was invited to a Bible club at the local church. He received his own copy of the Book of Hope and began to learn about Jesus Christ. Soon, he decided to commit his life to Christ!

Today, Tahina still has a difficult home life, but he prays for his father and says that he wants to be a light in their home, drawing the whole family to Jesus.

He’s also much happier than before, willing to chat and play with his Bible club friends. He’s part of the local faith community where his new “church family” lifts him up.

Thanks for helping Tahina find his way into the light of Christ’s love!

God's Big Story brings hope and
shares the Good News!

A children’s worker in South Africa sent this note of thanks for the God’s Big Story program:

God’s Big Story is an easy way to tell the Bible stories to the children’s church. It is also easy for the children to understand and participate in the storytelling. The theme for every story also makes it easy for children to remember what they have learned in the previous weeks.

Many ways of teaching the memory verse after every story makes it interesting both for me and the children. The activities are also helping to make every child understand the story. Issuing the review cards is also the best because by showing the children one card they are able to tell the story from seeing the pictures only.

It has been a great and awesome experience for me doing God’s Big Story.”

Thanks for helping children discover the plan of salvation through God’s Big Story!

Nation by Nation

Jean Ivory Coast

IVORY COAST — Thanks to you, he heard the Good News!

His hearing was failing — although he was only eight years old, Jean Claude was going deaf. He sat up front at every Bible club meeting so he could strain to hear the story that went with each illustrated card from the God’s Big Story program.

Then came the day he saw The GodMan film — he was so impressed by the healing power of Jesus that he prayed Jesus would heal him. And miraculously, his hearing was restored!

The very next day, he brought his mother with him to the Bible club to learn more about Jesus. And today, Jean Claude is following Christ as his Savior!

VENEZUELA

Deisy didn’t know anything about God. Her family wasn’t religious at all. But when she received the Book of Hope, she learned how God created the world … how sin entered and cursed humanity … and how Christ Himself came to save people from their sins. Deisy committed her life to Christ, and today she is growing in God.

MOLDOVA

She had never heard anything like this before! Katea lives in a very poor village, and she was delighted when a local church offered an ongoing Bible club and gave her a Book of Hope of her own. The book introduced her to Jesus, and she chose to follow Him. But then she wanted to do even more: she asked for any extra books to distribute to her friends and share the Good News with them.

SENSITIVE NATION

Yiyi is one of the children forgotten when her parents left their rural village to look for work in a big city. Yiyi lives with her elderly grandparents, but she had no respect for them and was causing them a lot of heartache … until she received the Book of Hope and chose to follow Jesus. Now she is growing in God and in love and service to her family as well.

God’s Word. Every Child.
In a region with fierce opposition to the Gospel — a family is transformed!

Their family was nominally part of the traditional religion of their “sensitive” nation — but Tanuja thought her father actually worshiped liquor. He was an alcoholic who regularly beat his wife and caused havoc in his home.

Tanuja’s mother tried to shield her daughter from him and even sent her to the local church to attend the after-school Bible club, to get her out of the house, help her make friends and have positive memories …

And it worked! Tanuja loved the club. She enjoyed playing and singing with the other children in a safe environment. And she especially loved learning about Jesus from her own Book of Hope. She decided to dedicate her life to Jesus — and she asked the club leader to pray that her family would come to faith in Christ, too.

Soon her mother began attending a fellowship group and chose to follow Jesus. Together, they prayed for Tanuja’s father’s salvation.

But then he showed up — drunk — at the worship service! His plan was to beat Tanuja’s mother in front of the other Christians and forbid her and Tanuja from ever going back. He was waiting in the back of the hall … but then he began to feel something he could never remember feeling before … a feeling of peace.

Not only did he abandon his plan to beat his wife, but he began attending church with his family. Soon he gave up drinking. And today he, too, has committed his life to Christ!

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