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.

How He Serves God

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Church Planting Where Needed Most

Abera grew up in a rural area, and since he was a child he’s seen how important a church is for people. “I was raised in a Christian family and was always active in church ministries,” he says, “and today I’m happy to help churches in my area with youth ministry.” He is modest about the time and travel he undertakes, but shows how confident he is that God’s Word will accomplish His purpose.

As Abera travels constantly, he always carries Bibles and Philip Acts 8™ (Project Philip) Bible study materials with him. “After a Philip Acts 8™ Bible study concludes, the people go to evangelize others who have never heard the Gospel nearby,” Abera says, “and many accepted Christ as their Savior because of this.”

How They Show Transformation

Hundreds of people in the area are participating in these Philip Acts 8™ (Project Philip) Bible studies thanks to Abera’s hard work and the generosity of those who help provide God’s Word in this region of Ethiopia. “Everyone is always thankful once they learn the Gospel,” Abera says.

And when people learn God’s Word, Abera says, “they practice Christian charity by helping the less fortunate—their collection went to support orphans, clothing was donated to families, and then people went to work on the farmland of several widows and the elderly.” Abera adds, “This is how they show their transformation.”

She Needs a Different Life

Gloria heard the Gospel

She Prayed a Lot

But a neighbor knew what Gloria was going through. “She prayed a lot and she invited me to attend a Philip Acts 8™ (Project Philip) Bible study,” she says. A small group meets in the village—sharing the few booklets they have and always able to use more for new people ready to study God’s Word.

This is when Gloria heard the Gospel for the first time. And, she also learned how she could be the one to tell others about salvation and new life in Jesus Christ. New believers are characteristically bold and eager to share with others the story of their transformation, and when Gloria heard this, she confessed that she wanted a story to tell of how God changed her life.

I am a Philip

“I accepted Jesus as my Savior, and now I am a Philip and not just a Gloria,” she says with a smile. In this rural area of Zambia, poverty and personal hardships seem to go hand-in-hand, but Gloria found help in God’s Word.

“I have started a Bible study in my house, and the most exciting part is that even my husband has joined the discussions we have.” The way God has transformed Gloria’s life gives her the opportunity to reach others in her village—everyone knew her old story and today they’re learning her new story of life in Jesus Christ.

Turning to God

Project Philip Bible study

His First Bible

The pastor of Likpamor’s church received training with Project Philip evangelistic and discipleship Bible studies, and began to share what he was learning with the church. “He brought us a Project Philip Bible study in our language —Konkomba — and told us when we study these lessons we can receive our own Bible,” Likpamor says.

Distance and poverty make access to God’s Word difficult in this area of Ghana. So, providing pastors with Project Philip training, and equipping them to reach their villages with Bible studies and Bibles is essential to transforming lives. For many, this was the first time they had the opportunity to learn God’s Word by studying the Bible, and most had never been able to afford a Bible of their own — until today.

Living for Jesus

“When we studied the story of Nicodemus where Jesus told him unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God, I pondered the message and realized I was deceiving myself,” Likpamor confesses. “There I made up my mind to serve the Lord Jesus and stop the idol worship. I dedicated my life to Christ and since then my life has been transformed.”

Likpamor says, “My life has changed, and I am now active in my church. I thank God for my life and I will continue to live for Him alone.”

Finding New Life in Zimbabwe

Finding New Life in Zimbabwe

I Remember that Day

“I witnessed the coming of Muslims into our community and converting everybody. We did not have any religion,” he says, “then we had this.” It wasn’t until a man, trained and equipped by Bible League International, visited the village, that Rungano heard of salvation. “I remember that day very well, when he took his time to explain the Bible. People asked questions and he was very patient with us.” And, Rungano adds, “I accepted Jesus.”

Studying God’s Word through Project Philip in his local language — Shona — Rungano says gladly, “I could read and understand the lesson. I’m so thankful.”

Now a Free Man

“I am now a free man. I do not want to hear of the old ways because there is so much confusion in the teachings. I embraced Christian faith because it is full of love and compassion,” he says. Rungano admits that before he was always upset, “I was always fighting my wife, children, my neighbors, and even the wind,” he says with a laugh. Now — at age 79 — Rungano is learning to live with love and forgiveness.

“Like Noah, I want to walk with God. I want to have a personal relationship. The evil that I used to do, I am doing it no more.”

God’s Word in School

South Africa, transformation

Life for Most

Nosipho was sent to live with her grandmother because of her family’s poverty, and she never knew her dad. In even worse circumstances in her teen years, her life spiraled out of control quickly. “I grew up in a very rough, wild environment,” she says, “and deep down in my heart I was uncontrollable and very unhappy.” This is life for many in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.

Adopt-a-School

Home to Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Gauteng Province is also home to some of the poorest and most neglected — with so many schools overwhelmed with violence and poor performance. But local churches in these communities stepped-in as everyone else was giving up. Through the Adopt-a-School program, trained and equipped with Project Philip Bible studies, schools once on the brink of closure are now thriving, and parents and school officials are asking for more Bible studies.

It’s the transformation in young lives that captures the attention of school leaders and families. So in these 4-12 grade programs, thousands of South Africa’s youth are learning God’s Word, and their lives are being transformed.

Nosipho and God’s Word

A local pastor offered Nosipho’s class the opportunity to study the Bible. It was his message that day — about losing hope in life but finding it in God’s Word – that convinced Nosipho to sign-up. Lesson by lesson, she learned of God’s love, and a different way of life in Jesus Christ.

“With the knowledge that Christ paid the heavy price of death, blameless as He was, just for me to be saved from all my sins, makes me feel so blessed,” she confesses. And today she adds, “I have every reason to say thank you to God, and to Bible League International.” This is how your generosity looks in South Africa.

Life in Zambia

Life in ZambiaOnce a Day

There are no schools in the shanty compound in Lusaka, known as George in Zambia, but there are many children. Among the adults, there are few jobs, little opportunity, and illiteracy is high. “You can see the kind of homes people live in,” Yvonne says, “we don’t have clean water here, sanitation is very poor, we have nowhere to dispose of our waste, and food is a problem.”

“People eat just once a day,” Yvonne explains, “and children spend their days on the streets begging for food because their parents cannot afford to give them what they need.” And about her four young children, she says, “it’s very difficult to feed them.”

The First Sign of Hope

Without schools and opportunities, crime is high in the area. And young mothers like Yvonne find refuge in a church in the compound—truly under-resourced, but it provides the first sign of hope in the area. She says, “Finding a proper, paying job depends on being literate, even as a housemaid you must know some English, and how to read and write.” But as Yvonne learned to read and write, she also discovered hope in God’s Word.

“In this Bible-based Literacy book we learn to read and write, but God’s Word is also included. That’s the goodness of this book,” she says. “Actually having faith in Jesus really gives me strength because I know when I believe in Jesus, it’s Jesus who can take care of my life. Jesus provides, protects, and keeps me.”

The giver of peace

Mozambique

How Project Philip works

Although a majority of the country of Mozambique call themselves Christian, in this very poor African nation very few have access to a Bible, or a church in the sprawling areas beyond the larger cities. And where Aventina and her family live, unless someone goes out of their way, there is little opportunity to hear the Good News of salvation. But that’s exactly what someone did for Aventina.

It was a new graduate of a Project Philip Bible study who reached out to Aventina, “He is the one who introduced us to Jesus,” she says. That’s how Project Philip Bible studies work—through understanding and new faith, new believers are shown how to share the story of their transformed life.

What was lacking

Aventina immediately joined a Bible study. “I was happy and excited because during my Bible studies in Project Philip, I found what I was lacking in life—the Lord Jesus. And from that time, peace was restored in our hearts and in my family,” Aventina says. When you give to Bible League International, essential Bibles, biblical resources, and training are available in remote, under-resourced churches, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and plant new churches where they are desperately needed.

Today, Aventina is a church planter trainee, learning how to lead others to new faith and a new way of life in Jesus Christ. “Now I have decided to take the Good News of Jesus to others and pray to God for His help in the ministry that I am doing—planting a new church.”

Africa – New life at a funeral

Project Philip, Africa, Bible study

Talking about God with such boldness

Travelling along with relatives, Jane’s extended family had gathered. Sitting with the women the night before the burial, Jane listened as they talked excitedly about a new Bible study they enjoyed – Project Philip.

One woman took out the Project Philip book and read aloud and with such confidence that Jane admired her, “this was the first time to see a woman talking about God with such boldness,” she says. As Jane listened to the woman read, she knew what she was hearing was true, and that God did love her.

Throughout her difficult life, Jane had never cared about God because she was sure God didn’t care about her. But now she knew the truth. “The woman asked if anyone who wanted to give their life to Christ, and I raised my hand,” Jane shares, “I gave my life to Christ there and then.”

The Bible helped me

Jane immediately asked questions – not of doubt, but eager curiosity – about how to live her life, how to find out more about Jesus, and how much God loved her. And she heard the answers in God’s Word in a Project Philip Bible study. “God has transformed me,” she says, “and I can honestly say the Project Philip program was made for me.”

“The Bible helped me understand myself as a woman,” she says confidently. “I have learned how to respect others. My home is now a happy place, and my husband joins us when we go for Bible study. And I am learning how to share the Word of God confidently.”

With confidence and boldness

The Gospel transforms lives when it is shared with confidence and boldness—for Jane and others who learn and believe God’s Word through Project Philip Bible studies. This is how God’s Word changes women, men, and children through Bible League International’s ministry. Your generosity makes this possible. Thank you.

Discovering an Alternative

It opened my eyes

She was so eager to attend a Bible study her friend told her about and heard so many of her own troubles discussed with answers from God’s Word. “I was invited to a Project Philip Bible study,” she says, “and I felt that I need to give it a try. It opened my eyes. I was comforted by the Word. I was so happy to realize God cares for me that much.” “From that day, I am so joyful in my heart,” confesses Gwendolene. After twenty years of confusion and uncertainty, she found a new life through God’s Word.

An Example to Others

Today, Gwendolene shares God’s Word with her family, friends and community. “I am an evangelist,” she says with joy. She is learning a trade, and hopes to open her own sewing shop soon in her village and be an example to so many little girls who struggle as she did with poverty and uncertainty – to help them find faith in Jesus Christ. Her gratefulness for your generosity and commitment to share God’s Word is an inspiring example. Thank you for helping transform Gwendolene’s life!

An Example of Christ in Kenya

Ayoki admits that he brought most of his troubles on himself. His family broke apart when he was young, and he was shuttled to relatives’ houses, in and out of schools, and working any jobs he could find to support his ailing grandmother, but he looks back on all his choices and has many regrets. As a young adult he found a wife, had a child, but he continued to live as he pleased. Today he is HIV positive and a recovering alcoholic, but he’s also found new life in Jesus Christ.

God Forgave Me

Through Bible League International’s ministry in a local church near Ayoki’s home, a counselor asked Ayoki to join a Bible study. He went for personal help with his health, and “being taught about God’s Word was not what I expected,” he admits. “Gradually I was able to overcome my drinking habit and within two months of attending the Bible study sessions I gave my life to Christ. It was amazing to understand that though I thought my sins could not be forgiven, God’s Word cleared these doubts,” Ayoki says.

“I have now seen the light and life has a meaning. I am determined to live for Christ the rest of my life and with hope that one day, my children will also receive Christ and follow my footsteps,” he says. Ayoki is an eager evangelist today, and his life is now an example for others to follow – that’s the amazing change God made in his life, and it’s because of your generosity that Ayoki heard of God’s forgiveness.