Latest posts by Troy Johnstone (see all)
The Lamb can be used in so many ways
Every once in a while we get an order that piques our curiousity as to how our evangelism and discipleship resources are being used. When a woman ordered 16 copies of our Children’s book, The Lamb, we noticed she had ordered another case just a few months previously. When we asked her why she was ordering so many Lamb books, we received this:
“I have never had my hands on a more thorough gospel message. It’s beautifully written and illustrated. I’ve used it in Sunday school and used it with my own kids to share with them the story of the gospel message and what God has done for us. God spoke to me about these books recently. He impressed upon me that each of our church members should have one. I ordered one case earlier on and realized we didn’t have enough to give each family so I’ve ordered another case to be here in time for Easter [so] each family will get one book. They may choose to keep it or give it away to someone who needs the gospel message. Thank you for providing this wonderful book.”
We have heard from many people who give copies of The Lamb at every baby shower or to new parents in their church, and many more stories of grandparents giving the books to their grandkids.
We love hearing back from people about how they use these books! Share your story with us at email@example.com.
Pregnancy Care Centre Resource
We also had a large order of several cases of The Lamb from a pregnancy care centre in Alberta. We asked them about what they plan to do with 100+ books, and they give one to each of their clients in a layette, a gift basket of supplies to help these expectant new parents. We think this is a wonderful outreach idea!
We have also heard from those who purchase a case of books at a discount to donate to their local centres as part of their personal ministry to their community.
Does your community have a faith-based pregnancy care centre that could make use of these books as part of their ministry?
It’s amazing the sort of impact one book can have. 20 years ago, in 1997, the book The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus was published. At the time, author John R. Cross and the men working with him had no idea that it would be the catalyst for a global ministry and how many people would come to faith in Christ through it. It was just one book with a simple message: a straightforward, systematic presentation of the gospel from creation to the cross.
The writing of The Stranger was drawn from decades of missionary experience of those working among tribal people in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. These tribes, previously unevangelised and ignorant of the Bible’s message, responded well to a chronological presentation of the gospel. So well, in fact, that whole villages were putting their faith in Christ, without the age-old problems of syncretism and “rice Christians.” When the Bible was presented from creation to Christ, it made profound sense. The people would understand and believe. Lives were transformed.
But was it only tribal groups who responded so well to the creation-to-Christ method? What about the Western world? As John and his colleagues interacted with people back home in North America and around the world, they realized that some of these people were just as ignorant of the Bible as the tribal people. They knew nothing about God. They didn’t understand who Jesus was and why he came. We live, for the most part, in a post-Christian culture.
The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus was, in a sense, an experiment. It was a book that used the same method that had proven so effective with tribal groups—a chronological approach to explaining the gospel—except this time for the Western world. It was designed so that it could be given away or used to guide people to a clear understanding of the Bible. But would it be relevant and effective?
Continue reading “20th Anniversary of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”
Within a few short weeks, pine and holly will be adorning front steps, carols will be coming across the radio and plans for yearly family gatherings will be in full swing. Christmas is right around the corner.
Christmas is a great opportunity to share the good news of who Jesus is and what he accomplished on the cross. The story of the baby in the manger can be an open door to share the full story of his actual identity and purpose. Why not prepare yourself to share the gospel this Christmas with your family, friends and neighbours?
Continue reading “Preparing for Christmas”
With thanksgiving to the Lord, we’re excited to announce that two major translations are now available:
Our translation teams have worked on these two books for a number of years. Though there were challenges and occasions when the work had to halt, we’re thankful they are now ready to be used in discipleship and evangelism.
Additionally, these other translations are now completed:
If you have friends or family who would appreciate learning the message of the gospel in these languages, please do tell them about it or better yet, share it with them.
Do note that not all our offices have copies of all these new translations. We are working hard to make them available on all our stores.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices.
The Faroe Islands. A network of 18 islands, connected by tunnels and ferries and bridges, situated halfway between Iceland and Norway. As in centuries past, fishing remains the economic ballast, and the sheep dotting the hillsides seem to agree with the Danish name for the country: “islands of sheep.” It has a landscape marked by rocky coastlines and rugged terrain, with the misty shores, hidden harbours and colourful villages making it a photographer’s paradise. Around 50,000 people call this unique and beautiful country home.
This past May, GoodSeed staff member Allan Ellingsgaard, along with John and Janice Cross, spent three weeks in the Faroe Islands. This was a trip back home for Allan, since he was raised in the Faroe Islands. For John and Janice, this was their first time in the country. Despite the innate tourist appeal of the country, the scenery and culture was not what primarily drew them to the Faroes. All three were there for the dedication of the Faroese edition of The Lamb, which was hot off the press.
It was 16 years ago that Allan first dreamed of having a book like The Lamb in Faroese. At the time, he was a leader at a youth camp in the Faroes, and he wished there was a resource that would systematically and chronologically present the gospel to children. It’s not as though the Faroese youth didn’t know the Bible’s stories. The majority of people in the Faroe Islands are very familiar with the basic tenets of the Bible—95% of the population profess to be Christians. But what Allan longed to see was a resource that put all the pieces of the Bible’s message together in a very simple way that would have a broad use, regardless of the background of the individual.
In 2008, this dream started to become a reality when a missionary from the Faroe Islands contacted Allan about the possibility of translating The Stranger into Faroese. It was deemed wise to start with a smaller project, so The Lamb was suggested as an alternative. The missionary was keen on the idea and in 2011, he began the process of translating The Lamb.
Continue reading “The launch of The Lamb in Faroese”
GoodSeed staff Jeremy* hung up the phone and stared at the hastily scribbled notes in his small notebook. Joy gripped his heart as he considered all that the Lord had been doing through the faithful witness of one couple, Ron and Laura. Jeremy had conducted a training session some years ago that the two of them had attended. It had made such an impact that they went home and began rearranging their lives so they could be more active in sharing the gospel.
Laura had told Jeremy over the phone, “Ron used to work construction on job sites long distances from home, which made it difficult for him to be involved in these studies. But God has helped us rearrange our lives so that he now has a job only two minutes away.”
Was this drastic change worth it? Laura said, “This is the easiest thing we have done with our lives… but not the quickest.” Sharing a clear gospel with others takes time, but the results are worth it. Both Ron and Laura felt that the tools provided by GoodSeed gave their outreach a greater impact.
Laura said, “When you learn to share the gospel this way [with these tools] it simplifies your life… you know what to do!”
Jeremy marvelled at what the couple had done. He smiled as he reviewed the stories they had shared with him.
Continue reading “We rearranged our lives to make sharing the gospel possible”
Often the means by which a person comes to faith in Christ are unexpected and unique. For Dhiya,* it meant moving halfway across the world.
Weston and Clara are cross-cultural missionaries in Latin America. As part of their ministry, they teach English as a second language and enjoy welcoming the students into their home. The couple love building relationships with the people and are excited to see their students studying the Bible on their own and with others.
Recently they discovered that their ministry is not just to the Latino community. At a barbecue hosted by their ministry coworkers, Clara met a lovely young woman named Dhiya. With her husband, Rais, they had come from India on temporary work visas. The missionary felt drawn to the younger woman, but was amazed when Dhiya impulsively took hold of her hands and said, “You need to come to my house!”
Continue reading “From India to Latin America… and to faith in Jesus”
Sometimes the journey of walking with the Lord is not always a straight or smooth path. And when the difficult choices affect our children and other family members, we often find ourselves agonizing over the best way forward. Marthe,* a Creole woman in Haiti, shared a part of her journey with us.
Marthe had come to understand the gospel many years previously. But she had little support for her faith. Her husband belonged to a Christian cult; her parents and other relatives were entrenched in a different belief system that was not welcoming toward the biblical worldview.
Each choice she tried to make in following the Lord brought criticism and a great deal of pressure from those she loved. After a while, it seemed easier for her to simply keep the peace and “not stir the waters to change things.” So, for several years, Marthe shoved her Christian beliefs to one side to remove the conflict from her life. But while her relationships within her family eased, her heart was not at peace.
Continue reading “Peace in the family at the cost of peace in her heart”
Easter is an open door to engage with the people around you, often resulting in giving a book or even guiding a study. This next month may hold opportunities for you to share the gospel with your boss… or your brother… or the neighbour who has gone through cancer this year… or the jogger who passes you every day on your morning walk.
For many people, Easter simply equals chocolate and bunnies. But there are those who are curious about the season and its significance. There are also those who still make their traditional visits to church on Easter Sunday. Often, people are more willing to hear about the death and resurrection of Jesus at this time of year. Therefore, as believers, let us proactively create opportunities to share the real meaning and significance of Easter this season.
Continue reading “Sharing the gospel at Easter”
Summer Bible camp. How Megan* loved the week-long escape into the quiet of nature. The rustic cabins nestled among the evergreens, the liveliness of the campers, the crackling bonfires in the evening… it was all one big highlight. But there was something that brought even more joy to Megan, and that was watching God at work in the hearts of the campers.
When Megan was asked to be a main speaker at a girls’ Bible camp, she was more than willing to oblige. She also knew what she would talk about. Ever since she had attended a TERM Seminar, she had been sharing the gospel using a Creation-to-Christ approach. She decided to use the five days of camp to do this once again.
Continue reading “Don’t stop! We want to hear more!”