Bible League International equips under-resourced churches with the Word of God in a way they can read, understand and share with their neighbors. These are the latest updates from our global ministry.
Almost 2 years ago in a small village in India, a passionate believer named Ajalria and his young family chose Similguda. “As I was training with Church Planter Training, I was sincerely touched by God’s Spirit. I knew I had to find a place with no existing church and start one,” he recalls. “So I prayed to God to lead me to a place to build a church and God led me here.”
From a modest Project Philip Bible study, Ajalria nurtured the new believers and together they began to grow. Soon, they were building a church for the group that grew to almost 50 people. “The people around us complained about us building a church in their area. They asked us to stop building. We told them that we are here to bring peace and that we believe God is building the church.”
Persecution and Growth
“Praise the Lord for His protection,” Ajalria adds, “and when we finished the little building some of the villagers started coming and are still with us.” Every Sunday morning, believers gather to worship together, study God’s Word, and pray—including their prayer that soon, they will be part of starting another new church nearby.
“This is a healthy church,” Ajalria comments, “and they need courage to be Christians in this village. Persecution comes from their neighbors and from local officials—from verbal warnings to threats against their safety, promises to ruin the building, and even warnings that I could be hurt.” He remains undeterred, “Thank God they have only taunted me, and thank God people here are trusting Jesus Christ as their Savior.”
Neglected as a boy, Vincente lived on the streets and as a teen he was tangled-up in drug use and theft. He quit school and soon immersed himself in a life of violence and eventually jail. After serving short jail sentences, Vincente fell deeper into the drug trade in Chile and found himself serving a serious term in a prison. But that’s when he heard the Gospel for the first time—in a rehabilitation center connected with the prison—and his life changed completely.
Soon, Vincente was made a leader in the rehabilitation center, and he found his true calling. “Because of my background, I knew the needs of the inmates,” he says, “and I knew that it was through studying God’s Word that these men had a chance to change their lives.”
From Prisoner to Pastor
Using Project Philip Bible studies today, Vincente is known as Pastor Vincente, and he leads the Cachapoal Rehabilitation Center in Peumo. “I’ve trained 34 residents to be Philips (Project Philip Bible study leaders), and the easy-to-read Bible is essential for these men,” Vincente reports. “They just don’t have any money, and therefore they need Christians to help them, and when they learn God’s Word through Project Philip they discover a way of sharing the Gospel with others. They also find meaning in their lives after wasting so much time using drugs and in prison.”
“Their lives are being changed, just like my life was changed,” Vincente confesses.
Amelia’s aunt tried everything in her power to help her—she invited Amelia into her home and helped her return to school. Amelia had missed so much, but she still dreamed of something more—she just couldn’t get herself out of trouble. “I had lost focus—of where I wanted to go, of the plans I had. And I also forgot the struggles that I went through,” she says. “My grades dropped drastically in most of my subjects. The school called my aunt many times, but I continued with my behavior.”
“Until one day, a Pastor who always preached in our school came with a rather interesting approach—better than the usual preaching which was really boring for most of us,” Amelia says. “He invited us to attend a program called Project Philip Bible studies, and it caught my attention from the start.”
A Life Transformed
“This program brought me back to life,” Amelia confesses, “and I started seeing things in a completely different way. I was able to see the difference between right and wrong. I joined the church nearby and found Jesus my Savior.” She continues, “It’s been such a reviving experience to see my life change. My academic achievements have improved and my relationships changed for the better. I see all of this as God’s greatest work and I thank Bible League International for this program. Glory be to God, my Creator, my Redeemer, my Savior.”
Amelia was reached through Bible League International’s Adopt-a-School program in South Africa—a ministry to provide God’s Word for children and youth in the poorest slums—those abandoned in the hopelessness of poverty and crime. Training and equipping believers in under-resourced churches nearby offer the opportunity of learning God’s Word using Project Philip Bible studies to offer hope where it’s needed most.