Davi* met a 13-year-old boy when he was getting the tire of his car fixed. Thiago walked up and asked if he could shine Davi’s shoes. Davi agreed, and struck up a conversation with the boy as he worked. He asked if Thiago had ever drank living water. Thiago had no idea what Davi was talking about but was curious. Davi shared that 34 years ago, he had learnt about the living waters and when he understood what it was, he drank it and found new life and everything he had ever longed for in his heart. Davi offered to lead the boy through a study and at the end of it, he would understand what living water was and how to drink it, just as clearly as he understood how to shine shoes.
An elderly gentleman called our office the other day. He was full of enthusiasm and was talking a mile a minute. What he wanted to share was that he was a regular visitor of the local thrift store in his town. He goes there once a week to check out the clothes and the books. Just a while ago, he had come across a book entitled, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Intrigued, he bought it for $3 and went home to read it. He could not put it down.
A story from our staff member in Luxembourg. He had the opportunity to speak with two pastors, both of whom had taken to using the Luxembourgish translation of The Lamb in their churches. Pastor Pol* and Pastor Pier* had taken to distributing copies of “D’Lämmchen” to their congregations and had received very positive feedback from them. In all, over the Christmas season, 11 boxes of D’Lämmchen were distributed! Pastor Pier is now considering following up by guiding his congregation through a study of the German version of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”.
One of our staff members in our US office had been receiving a series of phone calls all week. Each order was the same: one copy of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” and one copy of the companion workbook. And all of these orders were coming from Texas. Intrigued by this string of orders, our staff member asked the next customer who wanted her order shipped to Texas if she knew what was going on. Susan*, the customer explained.
Susan said that she has been leading book studies based on The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus for years and found that if people buy their own copy of the book, they would then “buy into it” and stick with the study and complete it. She shares more in her own words.
The following story is an encouraging way to start the new year. The story highlights the importance of not assuming that our friends and family have biblical understanding of concepts like sin and a Holy God. Instead, we need to carefully explain biblical truths so that they are on the same page. Then the gospel makes sense.
My wife and I served on the mission field in the Brazilian amazon in the early 1990s. One day I was with two Brazilian Christian friends who we attended church with. We were at the river one morning and encountered a friend of theirs. This friend was not a Christian but was a very religious person. So my two Christian friends Tim* and Victor began sharing the gospel with their friend. As I listened (I had just become fluent in Portuguese) it seemed like their friend did not understand the message that they were relating to him. Suddenly I had a thought. Did this young man understand the biblical meaning of sin? So I asked Tim to enquire what his concept of sin was. The young man answered, “Oh I am not a bad person. I don’t steal or do bad things with girls. I try to help people when I can.”
A light clicked on for me. Tim and Victor were giving an answer to a person who did not have a question. If his concept of sin was not correct, neither was his concept of a Holy God. And if those two concepts were not right, it will be impossible for him to see his need for a sufficient substitute. Which explained why he saw no need for personal faith in the Saviour.
Over a number of years now, we have had the privilege of taking many through The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Most all of them had no questions or the wrong questions at the beginning of the book. But at the finish of the book, most of them were suddenly asking the right questions. A good number of them trusted the Saviour. A few of the ones who were saved are now taking others through The Stranger book, and have seen some trust the Lord. This outstanding tool helps people come face to face with the right questions, which is absolutely essential to form the right conclusion on the gospel. And, it provides a great pattern and method for the new believer to share their faith.
In the tiny city-state of Singapore, there are many foreign nationals who go there to find work. They are employed as domestic helpers, construction workers, service staff and more. For churches in Singapore, they see that the “foreign mission field” has arrived at their doorsteps. These churches organize activities and programs to cater to the needs of these foreign nationals. They also conduct Bible studies and help to explain the gospel. Here is a story from Jessica,* a Bible study leader, who learned that there was more that God could do with these migrant workers.
Recently, Dori Huenefeld placed a memorial donation at GoodSeed for her parents, James and Ruth Moore. She shared with us how her parents were such faithful servants of the Lord. It is such an encouraging and moving testimony that we just had to share it too. We pray that James and Ruth’s story will be an encouragement for all believers.
Christmas came early this year for 220 Thai Pastors who recently received a Thai edition of By This Name and a Worldview Rethink Basic ToolBox of visual aids. Together these resources are a dynamic package that they can use to clearly teach the Bible’s message from Creation to the Cross in their own Thai language. Please pray for these leaders as they return to their congregations and communities to begin studies. And please pray too, that as people hear the Gospel for the first time, it will be clear to them and that through these studies, many will come to believe in the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We were very encouraged when we opened a prayer letter from a missionary family and read the following testimony. We asked for permission to share it and our friends said to go ahead! So here it is:
Even though we adults in the house are not as thrilled by the things that surround Christmas, we’re beginning to see some opportunities that come with Christmas that do excite us! We’ve recently had it on our hearts to share about Jesus’ coming to the people closest to us—our neighbors. On a walk around the block, God gave us an idea to pray through our neighborhood and distribute a great little book called What are Christmas and Easter All About? published by GoodSeed. This is a quality, 80-page book that thoroughly explains the Gospel in a way that is easy to understand. We’ve also given these books out to about 100 international students last week at a Christmas banquet. If you’re interested in getting some to use for yourself, check out the GoodSeed website at goodseed.com. If you order them by the case (100 copies) you can get them for $1 each—almost the price of a tract!
Thanks to our friends for letting us share their story. We pray that everyone who received a copy of the book will read and understand the life-saving message of the gospel.
Since they were young, Emily and Seana* were very close friends. Emily experimented with the occult and led Seana into it as well. Emily invented a whole world for the two of them and taught Seana how to conduct seances and use a ouija board. Both of them did not know how getting involved with witchcraft could damage their lives.