My Family Will Be Different

eNews_1603_story1Living the Light

“Did you know that only a few people have electricity here in our Gaza Province?” Ndava says with a wry smile, “and my life is so different because I live in the light and I am bringing others to this light. I will never go back to the darkness that I lived in.”

“My parents and the rest of my family were not believers. Instead, we lived according to the traditional practices of worshiping family ancestors and trusting witchdoctors to help us when we were sick or scared,” Ndava recalls, “and we were just like everyone else in Xai-Xai—except for the Christians.”

“It all changed for me when I was reached through a Project Philip Bible study. You see, there was a flood back in 2000 and we all had to take refuge in a shelter nearby. God sent a Philip to lead Bible studies for us, and that’s when I heard about Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior,” he says.

A New Job Now

“After receiving Jesus I became a new person,” Ndava reports, “and I started telling others about my new life—telling my family that only Jesus Christ is Lord, and that only in Him will we find the solutions for all our problems.”

This led Ndava to admit he needed help. “I began attending the Project Philip training for Philips because I sensed that I wanted to keep winning souls to my Lord,” Ndava admits. “This is my job now—my training to be a Philip. My job to take care of our food and home is my second job now.

A Life Without Hope

eNews_1703_story2I Met Jesus

She lives in a small city in Venezuela—a country facing a desperate financial crisis that punishes the poor most of all. Religion is often a confused mix of superstition and culture in Armanda’s city, and they find little consolation. Without the help of believers like you, the great majority of people in Venezuela simply cannot afford the cost of a Bible. And in desperation, people like Armanda consult spirits, “searching for help and answers to solve our problems,” she says.

“But when the Lord Jesus Christ came into my life, it was when I needed Him the most,” she adds, “because it was when I was diagnosed with cancer.” She began her chemotherapy treatments and continued to attend a Project Philip Bible study near her home. “I felt weak because of the treatments and spent my days in tears, but in that Bible study I met Jesus and He strengthened me and gave me peace.”

My Savior and Healer

“Today I repeat this prayer, ‘The Lord is my Savior and Healer, and I shall not want,’” she says with determination. “I am your sister in the Lord, because I have come to know Jesus as my Savior and I have given myself wholeheartedly to Him. To those who made this possible, thank you.”

Armanda says, “You have helped me know God’s Word for the first time in my life—when I needed it the most—and God has changed the way I think, live, and how I live with my family and friends. I know my Lord Jesus Christ has allowed me to see things from an entirely new perspective.”

Hope Has Arrived

Hope Has Arrived

God is Building the Church

Almost 2 years ago, a passionate believer named Ajalria and his young family settles in a small village in India. “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.”

New Life in Chile

New Life in ChileChanged Lives

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.

Searching for Hope in South Africa

Finding a Way

Hope in South Africa
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.

Lost in Albania

Nothing Changed

Lost in Albania
He felt the pain and pressure of a violent home. “My father was violent to us, his children, and our mother, and I felt helpless to do anything,” Luka says with sadness, “I became an adult without ever having been to school. I was horrible toward my own family—to my own wife and children.”

“We were poor like everyone else here, and everyone in my family lived with us—my father, brother, and sister—because they didn’t have work, and we never had enough money,” Luka admits. “I asked for help, continued to go to mosque and observe my family’s religion, but nothing changed.”

God’s Word Changed Him

Then Luka’s daughter invited the family to a church she had started visiting—for a concert, and since they enjoyed music Luka was happy to attend. “There were a lot of people there and everyone wanted to talk about God’s love and how Jesus will save those who seek help. Those words affected me. I sought out someone who could help me, and that person invited me to a Project Philip Bible study.”

“That’s where I realized this God is the true God, and I gave my life to Jesus because He died on the cross for me,” Luka confesses, “and that’s when Jesus started to change my life. First I felt peace, then I stopped my drinking. I asked my wife to come to church with me, but my family refused my invitation and abused us because of this new faith.”

Even though my family punishes us because of my faith in Jesus, I still talk to others about salvation. Every night my wife and our children read the Bible and pray together,” Luka says, “and I’m so thankful for God’s Word in our lives.”

Literacy and New Life

Literacy and New Life

Reaching Those Who Need God’s Word

Ying’s experience is increasingly common in the region, and it offers an important opportunity for believers who want to reach others—using Philip Literacy™ as a ministry to reach those who would otherwise never hear the Gospel, read the Bible, or visit a church.

“Because I realized English is important in daily life, and I want to teach my son English to help him, I needed to learn for myself and my child,” Ying says. When she tried to help her son, she struggled with simple words. She recalls, “He used to say to me, ‘Mom, you don’t even know the 26 English letters of the alphabet—how can you help me?’” So when Ying heard of Bible League International’s Philip Literacy™ classes, “and without hesitation I registered. I heard about the class from my Christian friend and she encouraged me to join,” Ying says.

A Family Saved

Ying’s story shows how important Philip Literacy™ is as a ministry in this area. Through this class, the Gospel has reached her entire family. Her teacher says, “Praise the Lord, Ying can now read the Bible words and speak some English, and she started coming to our Sunday church service. And the best news is that she accepted Jesus as her Savior as she learned to read and write using God’s Word. She is a new believer.”

And Ying adds this, “I want to thank you for this ministry. The most important thing to me is that I learned English with my kids and husband as well. We learn together at home, because of the good progress, my husband also started to come to Church for the Sunday service. I am so happy.”

From Confusion to Christ

From Confusion to ChristAladaugo’s Story

The religious tensions of Ghana’s landscape are a challenge to ministry. And limited access to Bibles and biblical resources means too many people live in confusion or uncertainty—like Aladaugo did. “My parents were traditional believers, they worshipped gods and brought me up with similar values. When I was around 13 years old, my uncle took me to the southern part of Ghana to stay with him and his family.”

“You see,” Aladaugo recalls, “my uncle is a Muslim and made me become a Muslim too. I had no choice but to surrender to his instructions. So I practiced Islam until I left his place.” Soon, he found work as a carpenter and was surprised to learn that his teacher was also a pastor. “And he talked to me about Jesus as he taught me carpentry. That’s when I gave my life to Jesus Christ.”

He Believed God’s Word

Next came the opportunity to join a Philip Acts 8™ Bible study—to help him grow in his new faith. “He invited me and I learned how to live as a believer,” Aladaugo says, “and I learned that I had a problem with my uncle—I found it difficult to forgive him for forcing me to live as a Muslim.” That’s when Aladaugo learned about forgiveness. “I said I was a Christian but I couldn’t forgive, and that had to change. I had to change,” he admits.

“I learned from the Bible that I was able to forgive my uncle, and today we are on speaking terms. I now live happily without things against people, and I feel free and will continue to live for God alone,” Aladaugo promises.

Transforming Prison Ministry

eNews_1603_story1It’s Already Working

“The rate of re-offense among inmates wasn’t going down,” a Rockford pastor notes. They needed a solution, and they’re finding one with Philip Acts 8™ (Project Philip) training for inmates. “We need to move ministry inside the prison—instead of inmates being served by someone else, we needed to shift the approach from just saving sinners to training leaders as well,” he says.

So earlier this year, there was an intensive training of Philips (prisoners who are believers being trained as Bible study leaders themselves). An inmate named Quincy participated and says, “This training is already working. Just five minutes after our training I started a Bible study in my cell block. It’s already a thing and God is going to do more here.” Quincy adds with a laugh.

Finding His Way—Again

Another one of those newly trained Philips is Aaron. “It’s really hard being a Christian in jail,” he says. As odd as that may sound, Aaron’s story is, unfortunately, common—someone who believes the Gospel lost his way.

Aaron says, “Thank you for showing us that you don’t believe we’re all just a lost cause. You’re showing us how to be accountable, and Philip Acts 8™ will help me reach others. I will use this with my friends and family and when I find a church home when I’m released. And it has helped me see what’s important—being a Christian is about more than just going to church, it’s about being and doing the right thing.”

Today there are over 40 inmates involved in different Bible studies led by these new Philips, using Philip Acts 8™ Bible studies. And the leaders—the inmates themselves—are ready to reach more with the Gospel of a new life in Jesus Christ.

It Was Almost Too Late

eNews_1603_story1Go Back to Church

After a night of troublemaking with friends, Cossa was arrested for theft (someone in the group had stolen some electronics that night and Cossa was implicated alongside others). “I was put in prison because one of my friends stole something expensive,” Cossa says, “and I spent 7 days there.” This got his attention.

“My mom told me, ‘Son, you stopped going to church and now you went to prison instead. Please go back to church,’” Cossa admits shyly. And he did—and that’s where a believer heard his story and encouraged him to join a Philip Acts 8™ (Project Philip) Bible study. “After several Bible studies, I saw the need of receiving Jesus and I did receive Him as my Savior.”

According to God’s Word

“The first thing I felt was peace in my heart. If I’d lived according to God’s Word, I wouldn’t have to fear prison,” Cossa says. “I am a different person now because Jesus transformed my life through the Bible. Instead of getting into trouble late at night, I’m studying God’s Word. I even went to my mom and asked her forgiveness for the pain I caused her. And I thank God for those who provided the Philip Acts 8™ Bible study for me, and today I have my own Bible. Thank you.”

Mozambique is a country facing violent political divides and devastating economic hardship—these obstacles often hinder ministry for the most vulnerable. But when under-resourced churches receive training and are equipped with God’s Word, they eagerly reach those at risk—whether near larger cities or in rural areas. In the face of significant suffering, people’s lives are being transformed today.