African student’s death shows need for urgency in evangelism

africa-flagsSOMEWHERE IN AFRICA (BNc) — Barry Baggott is in the process of setting up a new teaching center for World English Institute in a sensitive area in Africa. He wrote recently:

“A man who came to Bible studies signed up on the WEI website, did the introduction lesson and was assigned a teacher. In my report I mentioned visiting him in the hospital. Today I received word that he had died.” Continue reading

‘I spend time in the gym’ winning souls, says Christian bodybuilder

Dave (l) converted the bodybuilder on the right.

Dave (l) converted the bodybuilder on the right.

WINSLOW, Ariz. (BNc) — Many Facebook Christians know Dave Hart. Dave is a prodigious poster of articles and Christian content on the site. He has preached full-time with the Winslow congregation for 10 years.

But there’s more to Dave than meets the eye. Continue reading

‘He didn’t need to study theology’: Brother baptizes brother

Brother baptizes brother

Lorivan baptizes his brother Samuel

CAMPO GRANDE, Brazil (BNc) by Jose Carlos Balabuch — Lorivan understood that in order to preach the gospel and make followers of Christ (Mk 16.15-16; Mt 28.19-20), he didn’t need to study a theology course, an evangelism course or wait for a special call. Continue reading

Seventeen Baptized in Guyana Mission Effort

SUMMERDALE, Ala (BNc) — Jerry O. Davidson, missionary to the Amerindian villages in Guyana, and the mission team traveled to Guyana October 14 – November 4, 2013, for another soul-saving effort. They worked in five Amerindian villages, with a total of 17 baptisms. Guyana truck Continue reading

Paraguay: Christian woman converts co-worker

Missionary Troy Spradlin baptizes Gabriel Balbuena

Missionary Troy Spradlin baptizes Gabriel Balbuena

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay (BNc) by Troy Spradlin — Gabriel Balbuena is a friend and co-worker of our sister in Christ, Raquel Franco. She taught him the gospel over the course of several months and he finally came to the decision to be baptized. We rejoice with the angels in heaven!

In the Avenida Sacramento congregation, the ladies held their annual Mujeres de Fe Conference Sat., Nov. 9. Two sisters, Raquel Franco and Leti Alfonso, extended the lessons on the theme of “Quiero Ver” (I Want to See) taken from Mark 10:51. There was a great turn out of ladies from all the congregations, as well as visitors.

Paraguay Mission Monthly Report

Evangelist baptizes 30 since his conversion in January

Mozambique on the African continent. Source: Wikipedia.

Mozambique on the African continent. Source: Wikipedia.

TETE, Mozambique (BNc) — Since his conversion in January of this year, Samuel Mtaula has baptized 30 people so far, Lola Crouch, his World English Institute teacher, said today.

“I should say that I am a most grateful person to have been his teacher through all of the WEI lessons that he quickly completed. He travels to other villages and rural areas to teach the gospel,” Lola said in an email.

Samuel noted the troubled political situation in the country.

“Continue to pray for us. Many people have started running away to neighboring countries. The opposition and the government soldiers are still fighting, and the opposition says that there will be elections this year November. If any person tries to go to vote, it will be shoot to kill,” he said, according to Jan Towell of WEI.

Samuel’s wife suggested that she and the children should go to her home in Malawi until the situation becomes calm.

Youth group Samuel is evangelizing

Youth group Samuel is evangelizing

“On Saturday I went for evangelism with two other brothers, and we taught a group of 16 youth who asked for lessons on the true church, baptism, and the Old and New Testaments. It is 54 km from my home, and brother Matias helped us with to and fro transport money. It was a good time and we will go again for more lessons. Hoping to baptize the group,” Samuel said.

“Please pray for the uprising and violence to stop there,” Lola added.

As a former colony of Portugal, Mozambique’s official language is Portuguese, which is spoken by about half the population as a second language.

‘Simple New Testament Christianity intrigued’ pastor on hearing restoration plea

Preacher Neal Pollard

Preacher Neal Pollard

DENVER, Colo. (BNc) — In an impromptu Bible study with the leader of a diverse group of believers, Neal Pollard wrote yesterday that the pastor “had never heard of … approaching the plan of salvation or how to worship or anything else by using nothing but the Bible.”

The pastor was searching for a congregation to plug his nearly 100 followers into. Neal said,

While he seemed very interested in the concept, his “pragmatic” side did not allow him to see how that would work with the group with which he already worked. …  Yet, as strident as he was about their beliefs, this idea of non-denominational, simple New Testament Christianity intrigued him.

The hour-long discussion ended with plans to talk further about the restoration plea.

Of that experience, Neal observed,

Perhaps we have bought into the idea that the “restoration plea” has been tried and has failed to find a following.  If [this leader] is in any way representative of the religious world, and I have reason to believe he is, there are a great many who are totally unaware of that plea. Could there be a whole world of religious people out there, disenchanted with mainline evangelical denominationalism, who would be open to New Testament Christianity? Let’s pray for opportunities to share it and see what happens!

Read Neal’s entire post at this link.

Poll: Most Americans say Jesus dislikes ‘modern Christianity’

christianity-poll(BNc) — Eighty-one percent of Americans say Jesus would disapprove of what the ISideWith.com website called “modern Christianity”, if he were to suddenly return today.

The ongoing poll had, at post time, 3,617 responses.

The poll website is designed to allow a person to compare his responses to those given by people in the major political parties.

While the reasons given for Jesus’ disapproval would certainly vary and at times contradict, the poll would seem to indicate that an appeal to return to the Bible in order to restore the faith that the Lord established might be a welcome message today.

Christians who follow the New Testament as their pattern in faith and service, therefore, can be encouraged in their efforts to proclaim the Christ who has revealed how to be approved of God.

Man converted after Adventist friend points him to the church

 

Doyle Farris, who worked with Stephen

Doyle Farris, who worked with Stephen

GALLATIN, Tenn. (BNc) by Ken Thomas — A South Sudanese man in Tennessee learned the gospel because an Adventist friend in Minnesota encouraged him to seek out a church of Christ.

This interesting case of conversion was reported by Doyle Farris, outreach minister with the Hartsville Pike congregation.

Recently, Stephen, a local man with South Sudanese background, went to Hartsville Pike’s Sunday assembly and asked for information about the churches of Christ. An elder gave him a study booklet which teaches first principles of the gospel. By Monday he had studied and filled out the questions in a good portion of the study. He asked for a personal study with Doyle.

Later in the week, he returned for another study, and eventually he carried the information he had learned to his wife and four children. They attended worship together, and this past Friday the man was baptized into Christ.

Stephen had been a member of a Sudanese Presbyterian church but felt he was not growing spiritually as he should. He contacted a friend in Minnesota and asked for advice as to where to turn spiritually.

The friend, a Seventh-Day Adventist, had been convinced that he, himself, needed to make a change spiritually, and he advised his Gallatin friend to find a church of Christ to receive accurate instruction in the scriptures. It was on the advice of a South Sudanese man who had migrated to Minnesota that a Tennessee resident learned about the churches of Christ.

Two men who escaped the horrors of South Sudanese violence in the past have now found the peace and security that is in Christ. Santino Haar was able to get acquainted with his new brother in Christ this week. Having met in the past, they now have a common bond that is much more important than their human origins in two tribes of Sudan.

Who knows but what the advice of Santino to those who gathered in Omaha in May (to discuss plans to build a clinic in Unity State, South Sudan) helped cause what happened this past week. He told the Panaruu conference that when they went home they needed to find a church of Christ and learn the Bible. And that was before he, himself, had been baptized.

In Gallatin there is now a family of six which has begun to learn about the Lord’s church.

Also, in far-away Kenya, Santino’s wife and four children and other relatives Santino supports will soon have opportunity to study the Word more carefully. Personal contact has already been made by Christians who have visited their home. Pray that the seed sown will bear more fruit for the kingdom of Christ.

I believe that the kindness and warmth shown to Santino during his visits at the Beech Grove congregation near Murfreesboro had a part in his conversion. Without doubt, if no conversation had been made with him about the church, he would not have been a Christian now.

Let us all understand that when the seed of the kingdom, the Word of God (Lk 8:11), is planted in honest hearts by teaching, and when it is watered by others who provide encouragement to the seeking soul, God gives the increase (1Co 3.5-10).

Use every open door you can find to share the gospel, and use every opportunity to help encourage both students and teachers of the Word of God. The gospel is for all, so let us be busy getting the message out (Rm 1.14-16).

Christians evangelize on Rio sidewalks with signs challenging denominations

brazil-sign-evangelismRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (BNc) — These unidentified saints from the Tanque congregation walk the sidewalks wearing signs that challenge popular ideas about Christianity. They stand beside a table offering information about the church.

Their signs say:

  • Don’t be deceived. Read the Bible.
  • Why are there so many churches?
  • Who is the owner of your church?

Their blog says of them:

We are concerned to share only the truth. We are against all impiety and we preach only the gospel of the Kingdom. Many curse us, insult us, say we won’t go far. But whatever the cost, we will defend the truth. We are against sin, against evangelical churches that call themselves Christians, but are not because many do not follow the Bible as they should. We are against pastors who call themselves men of God teaching wrongly the Scriptures, because the truth is that they teach doctrines of demons. We are against all and any way which says it will take one to God, because there is only one: Jesus. Our idea is to return to primitive Christianity, the same instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and followed by the apostles and first Christians. We are not reformers, but restorers; we want to restore the church of the first century, the church of our Master Jesus.

Getting kicked out leads to conversion

Preacher Jeff Archey with Tom Leffler

Preacher Jeff Archey with Tom Leffler

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (BNc) — Getting kicked out of the house of a woman he met over the Internet was the best thing that had ever happened to Tom Leffler.

From there he went to the Cleveland Emergency Shelter.

While at the shelter, he received food and an invitation from a local congregation’s ministry.

“This one gentleman named Sam Carico invited me to East Side Church of Christ,” Tom said. “I started attending and felt this was where I needed to be and on July 17, I was baptized. It has been going great ever since.”

Every other Monday night, the East Side congregation prepares supper for the residents of the shelter, located just down the street from the church building.

The Cleveland Daily Banner ran Tom’s story Sept. 15 and highlighted the work of the shelter.

BNc asked Jeff Archey, preacher with the East Side congregation, about Tom.

“I met Tom the first time at our mid-week Bible Study,” Jeff said. “He was very gracious and friendly and began attending faithfully. After his obedience to the gospel, he has always been a willing servant.”

“He refreshed our tract racks and keeps them refilled. His vision of helping others less fortunate is exceptional. When he was staying at the Economy Inn, he would share food with others and invite them to worship. He used our House to House/Heart to Heart publication by leaving them in the lobby and at the laundromat where he washed his clothes. This Laundromat is in a Hispanic area which prompted Tom to ask about the House to House Hispanic version. He seeks out good works and is willing to help any way possible. He is well loved, appreciated and is a blessing to our work and family at East Side,” Jeff said.

The newspaper article noted that Tom now works as a custodian at the local high school and lives in a nice apartment.

House to House passes 3 million mark with single issue

hth-recordJACKSONVILLE, Ala. (BNc) — The House to House, Heart to Heart ministry, which mails an evangelistic magazine quarterly to homes, announced Aug. 21 that the September issue would reach over three million households.

Congregations work with the ministry to send the magazine to local addresses.

The Jacksonville elders oversee the work of HTH.