In a previous blog entry I mentioned that over 55,000 Cubans have been blessed and trained in the Bible using the Christian Worker Bible Study Series. We have felt led to share a little of the background so that you might get more insight into: "The rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say. These studies were first introduced in the Island nation of Cuba in the mid nineties by a pastor and his wife who were conducting marriage seminars in order to stem the tide of the high divorce rate in their nation. They were attracted to our five part series on the Christian family. This scriptural based approach in a simple, systematic workbook format, proved to be a valuable addition to the curricula they had been using.
They requested and received permission to duplicate the Bible studies in country since shipment and importation of Bible studies into a Communist nation would be difficult if not impossible. Soon after they began to reproduce additional titles of the Bible studies and quickly developed for their church, the curricula they titled "The Basic Course". Each new convert who desired to become a member was enrolled in the Bible studies. This mode of discipleship training has produced a tremendous harvest in numbers and spiritual maturity.
The following are a few testimonies we received a few days ago from Cuba expressing their gratitude for The Christian Worker Bible Study Series, which have increased their knowledge of the Lord and strengthened them in order to be able to face the challenges while living under a Marxist government and socialist culture.
"This Bible study series has given me strength and encouragement to dig deeper into the word of God. It has helped me to grow spiritually and become a better Christian; I'm now not just a hearer of His word, but now I'm also a doer."
" I thank God for the other brothers and sisters of our group, who patiently shared their biblical knowledge with me. I felt joy all the time as we studied the Bible. I will never forget how our relationship with each other was so close as we studied together!
"As a pastor, I can say that these studies have been a great blessing for our church. They provide a systematic and organized structure for Bible study. It is amazing to see the brethren keeping faith with increased interest in learning the truths of the kingdom of God. I'm sincerely grateful for the opportunity to use these studies. Thank God, and may He bless your ministry."
"I thank God for all the people who have helped to bring these studies into my life. Using them to study the Bible has improved my relationship with the Lord and enabled me to know Him more deeply. The clear and systematic format have helped me grow as a cell group leader. I mean; I have had such great inspiration and experiences in my study of the word of God, I don't have enough words to describe it! Thank you so very much!"
The leadership of Global Youth Evangelism have realized the tremendous financial challenges facing our Cuban brethren in this project and began to partner with them to ease their burden. Since that time those blessed and trained in the Bible and Christian faith has risen even above the 55,000 number mentioned above.
If you or your ministry would like to join with us in our partnership with our Cuban brethren and other missionary endeavors around the globe, you may do so by clicking on the "DONATION' button in the menu bar on our home page.
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE
One of the many blessings we receive while being in contact with various ministries and individuals around the globe, is to receive their testimonies and comments about the Christian Worker Bible Study Series.
The following are some of these testimonies our office has received:
Missionary in Chile:
"Thank you for the new studies in Spanish... I teach a course on Christian Education in our national Bible college...I have included this good material, (the Christian Worker Bible Study Series) for use in our churches...I trust that more [people] will take advantage of it."
Missionary in Colombia:
"On behalf of Colombian pastors and believers I want to express our gratitude to you for the excellent materials that your organization has made available... We have started a program of local Mini-Bible Schools in our churches. We are planning to make a special effort to train our lay workers. Since we are facing increasing guerrilla activities.there are many places where we can no longer send full-time pastors, but only work through our lay people."
"Thanks for all you have done for Portugal, Angola and Sad Tomí! We have about 5,000 students studying your courses in Angola. PTL!! Thanks for all you're doing."
A Midwestern Pastor in the USA:
"We have just learned about the Christian Worker Bible Study Series, and we are excited and anxious to get started. We are a well-established church, but we have been negligent in our obedience to the Great Commission. The Lord has been speaking to us that we need "to get" to the people with whom we are in contact every day! We have been an established church for ten years and have failed to make a significant impact on our community. We believe this is going to change."
Local church lay workers in the USA:
"Just a note in with this order to tell you how much help these workbooks are to our new converts. My husband and I teach the New Life Class here at our church. We start a new class about every eight weeks and so many tell us how much they enjoy working in the books and how much they have learned."
NOTE TO MINISTRY LEADERS: You may download a free "Pastors/Leaders Packet" with ideas/instructions on how to start your own Mini-Bible School in your group or ministry. From the menu bar on our homepage, select "RESOURCES" then PASTORS/LEADERS and choose either Spanish or English packets.
For our community of Orland, CA, this has been a month of both tragedy and hope. On April 10, 2014, a fiery head-on crash of a semi-truck and a charter bus filled with students occurred just about 100 yards north of our church property, which is located next to Interstate 5. There were students filled with hope as they journeyed to investigate their possible future enrollment in a North State University. The lives of so many, filled with hope for the future, suddenly were filled with heartache, sorrow and many questions.
The multiple sirens wailed as the first responders sped to the scene of the accident, guided by the column of thick, black smoke rising against the horizon. As the minutes and hours passed, the full extent of this horrific event began to unfold. Innocent teens looking forward to further education as well as productive lives, were among the ten fatal victims. We "Orlandites" were confronted with the fact that this was not happening back East nor in some Midwestern town. It was happening in our own community! Orland, California is barely visible on the map of United States, but now it was the focus of national news! How would the community, local government agencies and churches respond? A local town hall meeting later revealed the competency and speed of the first responders which included our volunteer firemen. The community response was so tremendous that the Red Cross asked that the public stop bringing food, water and blankets to help the victims.
Last Friday many in our community remembered another tragic, historical event which resulted in the death of an innocent and blameless person. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, gave up His life voluntarily on the cross. Sorrow and hopelessness also filled the hearts of His followers on that first "Good Friday". However, their sorrow and despair was changed into hope three days later as the word spread that Jesus was alive, and then they celebrated His resurrection!
In light of the tragedies of life which bring sorrow and despair, we who believe in Jesus Christ also often fail to come up with answers to life's questions of why. When we can't answer them and don't understand them, then we like Mary and Martha in the Gospel of John chapter 11, can also go to Jesus. When we do so, no doubt we will also hear the same message of hope that they received from Him: "Trust Me, for I am the Resurrection and the Life! He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live!"