A lot has happened in the Global Youth Evangelism ministry since my posting last Summer. During a Global Youth Evangelism board meeting last September, it became clear to me that I must pass on the leadership of our organization to the younger generation.
After more than 53 years of serving the Lord and GYE in ministry, I could see that the vision, direction and emphasis of our organization was about to change. This "new" vision is not in keeping with a burden and vision that the Lord had planted and sustained in my own heart concerning the operation and extension of the Christian Worker Bible Study Series. Our desire and focus was to make available a simple, low-cost Bible study to every hungry soul who desired to study the word of God. By God's mercy and grace, He has enabled us to reach hundreds of thousands in six continents with these Bible study materials. They are now helping believers in seventeen different languages to grow in their relationship with their Lord Jesus.
We believe that the Lord has blessed our efforts, because we continued to follow the spiritual principle of sowing (reinvesting) the benefits and proceeds derived the Christian Worker Bible Study Series, back into the same ministry. Following this principle of scripture (Isaiah 55:10, 11) of sowing the seed rather than consuming it, has been proven effective over the past five decades. Our desire and prayer is that under new leadership this principle will continue to guide future vision and practices.
So, in closing this final posting, I ask that you pray for the new president of Global Youth Evangelism, Rev Mike Farias. Please pray for wisdom, direction and guidance by the Holy Spirit and submission to the Good Shepherd Who is always gentle and merciful to His sheep.
We give praise and thanks to the Lord for a successful 50th Year Jubilee celebration. On May 16th our GYE family and friends gathered for the celebration at the House of Prayer in Orland for a time of praise, fellowship and remembering all that our faithful Lord has done for us during the Past 50 years. Fond memories and praises to Lord sprang from our hearts during the 20 minute video presentation capturing the highlights of the past 50 years of GYE's ministry. We remembered the youth outreaches of the early sixties, the language studies at Guadalara, Mexico, the many young lives trained through the Bible schools, the trips to the Pacific Islands , Central & South America, on GYE's sailing vessel the Morning Star, The Log church at Mount Hull, WA built by Bible school students and church members! Another one of the highlights was the sharing of greetings and congratulations from Africa and Central America by those who were unable to attend.
We give glory and praise to our Father in heaven for His faithful mercy and grace! We do not know what the future holds but we do know Who holds the future!
By the way we just received this morning, an email from Thailand requesting our Bible study series on the Kingdom of God.
Later we will sharing more information about a different way to explore the Bible!
Global Youth Evangelism will celebrate 50 years of international ministry, May 16, 2015. The Jubilee celebration activities are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. at 1044 Trinity Street, Orland, CA. The program will include music, a video presentation highlighting the 50 years of ministry plus the dedication of the recently reconstructed publishing building. A long-time friend of the church, pastor Gaylord Enns will be the featured speaker. Rev. Enns is the published author of "Love Revolution" and has traveled extensively in connection with his book.
Global Youth Evangelism or "GYE" as it is known to its constituents was incorporated June 1, 1965 at Chico, CA. Since those early days to the present, with the work of their missionaries and ministry friends, the mission of Evangelism through Discipleship has touched six continents as well as several Pacific Island groups.
During the past 50 years "GYE" has been involved in: planting churches and youth training centers with one year Bible schools, publishing the Christian Worker Bible Study Series, an international boat ministry with its sailing vessel the Morning Star and establishing a Spanish Language School. Through these endeavors the Lord has graciously extended the influence of His kingdom touching the lives of hundreds of thousands around the globe.
Recently in a meeting when we were discussing the impact of the Christian Worker Bible Study Series around the world, I recalled the time when our Bible studies were introduced into the nation of Cuba in the mid-nineties. At that time we had met a Cuban pastor and his wife who were involved in conducting marriage seminars throughout their nation in order to help stem the tide of a high divorce rate among Cuban families.
Our published five part Bible study series on the Christian family attracted their attention. In response to their request, we were able to partner with them and they began to produce the studies in country using these studies as follow up materials to their marriage seminars. Later on they used more of the Bible lessons and introduced them as a basic course of study for all new converts.
It was shortly after this that we were made aware of a testimony of another pastor who also was conducting marriage seminars under the mentorship of the above-mentioned pastor.
At a celebration banquet which was held at the conclusion of each marriage seminar, a grateful man approached the pastor with the following words: " I am a member of the Communist party and I don't claim to be a Christian, but I want to thank you for saving my marriage!" We don't know what eventually happened to this person; however, the Word of God is a powerful seed that has the potential of producing fruit in all kinds of soil!
We at Global Youth Evangelism give praise to God for His faithful sustaining power! 2015 is our 50th year of service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Church. In this, our year of Jubilee, the Lord continues to increase the outreach of the Christian Worker Bible Study Series. As 2014 came to a close, we received the following reports from the Southern part of the African continent. Missionaries and national leaders are using these Bible studies to help them train pastors and workers for the work of the gospel.
In South Africa proper, pastors are being trained and graduated from different Bible schools. (A few years ago we received word that the Christian Worker Bible Study Series had been translated into the Afrikaan language). In addition to South Africa, this same South African missionary has also provided our Bible study materials to help in training pastors and leaders in the countries of Malawi and Mozambique. (Mozambique uses the Portuguese language version of our Bible studies.)
Last month, we also received a report from Namibia. There, several of the Bible studies have already been translated into the Kwanyama language for the training of pastors and workers in that country. This nation is located just south of Angola in the southern part of Africa.
Finally, we also received a newsletter from Angola that reported the graduation of about 20 Bible school graduates in Sao Tomé (Saint Thomas). This small, Portuguese speaking, Island nation is located farther North just south of Nigeria.
As previously mentioned, Global youth Evangelism is celebrating its 50th year of ministry. (1965-2015) Please stay connected for details as plans are developed for our celebration!
One year ago on August 15, 2013 the ceiling in the building where we publish the Christian Worker Bible Study Series began to collapse. The damage would result in the eventual necessity of replacing the trusses and the total roof structure. An insurance company adjuster ordered us to immediately evacuate the premises and store our materials and equipment in five containers. We called our insurance company with our claim, and they informed us by mail that there was a question whether or not our insurance policy would cover the replacement costs. We then sent out an urgent prayer request for prayer to our partners in Africa, India, Cuba, Nicaragua as well as to our friends in the U.S.A.
P. T. L.! After waiting over three months for their decision, in the midst of hearing many negative reports, we finally received their approval. Nevertheless we continued to function, although greatly handicapped and operating with reduced facilities. Finally, after nearly a year of standing in faith and trusting God's promise and operating with reduced facilities, we are now back into our 5,000 square foot publishing building!
To view some photos of the rebuild project click on the link below.
All of us at G.Y.E. wish to express our gratitude to God for His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises and to the thousands of our friends around the globe who stood with us in prayer and faith during this difficult time. We announce that we are now back operating at full capacity making the Bible studies available to all who have a hunger and thirst to study the Word of God.
NOTE: As we moved our equipment and materials back into our refurbished building, we realized that we were greatly overstocked on many of our Spanish Bible studies. Therefore, we invite all of our U.S. customers to check our website for these "great deals" for many of our overstocked Spanish studies with discounts up to 60%
VALUE IN THE INSIGNIFICANT:
Several times in this blog we have shared reports from different places telling of the thousands who have benefited from The Christian Worker Bible Study Series, and we have been encouraged by these reports. Today we will share a couple of individual experiences which have also been an encouragement to us. These individual reports are examples illustrating the truth that nothing is insignificant in the Kingdom of God. ("You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things." (Matthew 25:23 NKJV)
Several years ago, a former graduate of our Bible school in Guadalajara, Mexico asked me to return and help him teach a Christian Worker's conference. On the very first day I was approached by a local missionary who said: "So you're the one who helps produce the Christian Worker Bible Study Series". He then proceeded to relate an experience that happened during a mission outreach in the Southern mountains of Mexico. In a small, primitive and insignificant village, tucked away in the mountains, they met a family of new believers. They did not even have a Bible, but somehow were receiving inspiration from a small booklet titled: The Christian Worker Bible Study Series, study of Galatians! The word of God is like a seed that will grow where ever it falls into the soil of a hungry heart! (Luke 8:11)
While I was reflecting on that memory, I recalled that years ago, our office received a request for a Bible study from Central Africa. The request was a note scribbled on a food-stained sheet of blue paper. The sheet of blue paper was the inside cover torn from our Introductory Bible Study. The note said: "I was visiting a friend in his home, and he served me a piece of bread wrapped in this paper. When I returned home, I read the words printed on the paper that spoke of a Bible study that was produced for all who have a hunger and thirst to know the truth of God's word. How can I get the Bible study described on this sheet of paper?" He was hungry for more than physical bread, which can never satisfy the spiritual hunger of the soul!
To most folks these two incidences may seem to be insignificant. However, to the workers and staff that have labored during the past thirty plus years to expand and increase The Christian Worker Bible Study Series, they are much more! We are encouraged to keep on with the ministry that He has placed in our hands. Thanks be to God that in His faithfulness, He has enabled Global Youth Evangelism to introduce these Bible studies around the globe into six continents!
As we post the "rest of the story", we would like to relate one more testimony before we get to the reason for the title of this article.
"A new convert fell ill and doctors told him 'you're going to die; there is nothing more we can do'. That night, after three hours of waiting on God's hand, the elders and this young man witnessed the power of the Lord as God raised him up from the agony of his death bed. The next morning he was up early to complete a bit of yard work neglected during his illness.
Time would fail to tell of great testings and great miracles, including the meeting of impossible financial needs not mentioned to anyone but our gracious Provider."
Now, for the reason behind the title of this article.
"It was a Tuesday evening service; great fear and great expectancy possessed the people. The Holy Spirit took charge of the church service, and people were entering in to know the Lord -- the atmosphere seemed charged! Suddenly the Holy Spirit broke forth in waves throughout the congregation and men could not stand to minister because of the strength of His presence. Soon after this outpouring, a commotion erupted outside as firemen with hoses and axes went about to investigate the building. It seems that one passer-by and then another had reported that the top of the roof was engulfed in flames. They saw fire on the roof! The fireman didn't know what to make of it. But we did."
NOTE: All these events happened in a small church hidden away in the Santa Cruz mountains; it seldom ran over 120 in number. The nearest town was more than ten miles away. Out of that small insignificant beginning, the Lord has raised up a ministry, (Global Youth Evangelism) that has touched six continents with the word of God!
To conclude this blog posting, we refer to the words of Jonathan, son of King Saul, in 1 Samuel 14:6 "... it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few." (NKJV)
Testimonies are taken from the article "Fire in Our Time" , Behold He Cometh, published by Global Youth Evangelism, June, 1966 (Used with Permission)
Several events of the recent Thanksgiving season, along with some comments in a recent newsletter of a fellow minister, drew me to the Apostle Peter's second letter. Several times in his letter he exhorted his readers to remember. Memory for many is a "mixed bag" of some good times, but also contains experiences we would rather forget.
Returning our focus to Peter's letter, it appears that he was stirring up their memories with words of warning previously declared by the prophets of old and spoken of by his contemporary apostles, to better prepare them to avoid to pitfalls lethargy and deception.
However, the comments in the above-mentioned newsletter caused this writer to recall and focus on several personal experiences of powerful movings of the Holy Spirit over the past decades. The effect being twofold; first, as a reminder that God the Holy Spirit is still desiring to transform lives through the miraculous, and secondly it awakened a cry and spiritual hunger that too often dozes in the comfort and blessing of daily living. Thanks be to Jesus who is always faithful, even when we are not. (2 Timothy 2:13)
We wonder are there others who perhaps remember powerful times when the Spirit moved in our midst, but somehow these experiences have faded into just memories of how things used to be. If we cry out to our faithful God, He will begin to stir our hearts, not just to remember the piles of stones of past experiences and ask "what do these stones mean?" (Joshua 4:6, 7) , but crying out to our faithful God to move again by the power of His Spirit and transform our churches, our cities and our nation so that we also can set up our own piles of stones. Stones as memorials to contemporary exploits of our Mighty God! May those who come after us ask: "what do these stones mean"!
There is something deep within me desiring to declare the words of Elisha as he struck the waters of the Jordan River with Elijah's mantle: "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?"! Are there others who will join in the cry?
Some time age we received this report from the brethren who are utilizing the Christian Worker Bible Study Series in the Island nation of Cuba.
" I trust that this report will give you an over-all picture of the work we have been able to accomplish with the Christian Worker Bible studies here in Cuba.
With several different printings we have been able to produce enough materials to help train over 55,000 men and women in the Bible both in churches and in prisons throughout our nation!"
If you have a story about your experience with the Christian Worker Bible Studies in your location and or ministry that you would like to share with the GYE family, we welcome your comments.
In Paul the Apostle's letters to the Ephesians and Colossians, one can begin to understand his position and practice concerning prayer. Both in Ephesians 1:16-19; & 3:19, 20 and then again in Colossians 1:11. He emphasizes the greatness of God's mighty power at work in us.
Rather than pray that the trials and persecutions of those first century Christians would cease or be diminished, he prayed that their understanding of God's love for them would increase. He prayed that the Lord would give them "mighty inner strength through the Holy Spirit". He seemed to indicate that the greatness of God's power within the believer would be more evident as a result of an increased understanding of how much God loved them.
In light of his own personal experience of having to depend upon the grace of God, he summed up his prayer to the Ephesians by writing: "Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work in us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope!" Eph. 3:20 (NLT)
Therefore, may our prayer life focus on the greatness of God's mighty power within us, rather than on the difficulties and hardships of any present trial or testing we may be facing.
(An excerpt from our missions page)
In early 1982, without knowing the full reasons for the trip but sensing that "God was in it", preparations began to be made to sail the Morning Star to the Marshall Islands. During the six month preparation time, which included repainting the boat and the installation of new equipment, the crew was aware of a constant urging from within. We were also blessed with many providential provisions of specific supplies needed for the 5000 mile trip.
Months later a clearer understanding of the purpose for the Morning Star's building and voyage to the Marshall Islands became apparent. At the close of a small church service on the Marshall Island atoll Ebon, Ebon, an elderly Christian gentleman came forward and through an interpreter expressed his gratitude to God for the return of the Morning Star to the Marshall Islands. He expressed, "Now I know that there is a God in heaven who hears and answers prayer." When asked if he had been praying for the Morning Star to return to his islands, he responded in the affirmative. Like a bolt of spiritual lightening the Lord spoke to our hearts and said: "You now have your answer. This is the reason you brought the Morning Star to the Marshall Islands, to be the answer to this man's prayer."
We will never forget the impact of that experience! God loves His servants so much that He will interrupt the lives of dozens of people at a cost of thousands of dollars in order to answer the prayers of His loved ones.
A few days ago I was reviewing our file of testimonies that our office receives from time to time. I came across an order form requesting a complete set of our Christian Worker Bible Study Series. The paper was all stained with water marks and a little difficult to read. It was mailed to us shortly after September 11, 2001, and included with the order was this note: "Sorry about the water damage; believe it or not this was recovered from my office in the Pentagon from the September, 11 attack."
It hardly seems like twelve years ago when our nation was shocked by that terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. I remember how our nation came together. Members of congress gathered on the steps of the capitol and sang God Bless America. All of the previous political bickering was forgotten (at least for the moment). Churches were well attended (at least for a couple of weeks). How soon we forget.
However, in the midst of so many changing values and views in our culture there is the unchangeable word of God to lead and guide us, whether we be an individual, a church or a nation. "The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8 NLT
We are truly amazed at the marvelous work the Lord has done through the GYE ministry with the Christian Worker Bible Study Series. During these past decades ten if not hundreds of thousands of people around the world, who are hungry and thirsty for the word of God, are using this tool. (Many are able to study in their own language!)
Recently we received a note from a missionary to Portugal and Angola. He said, and I quote: “Thanks for all you have done for Portugal, San Tomí and Angola! We have about 5,000 students studying in Angola PTL!” He went on further to relate that they have plans for new buildings in order to expand their educational program for leadership training!