“You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” –2 Timothy 3:15b
Fleeing want, finding Truth in Ghana
In the crowded streets of Accra, Ghana, hundreds of refugees struggle to find a way to survive the gripping famine that has driven them from their homes in the northern part of this West African nation. Many of them are Muslim and may have had little or no opportunity to know the truth of who Jesus is. One Friday night a team from Crusades for Christ went into the city giving out WMP Scripture booklets and inviting people to a meeting. Within minutes a crowd of approximately 600 people gathered to hear what this might b e all about. As the truth of God’s Word was shared, God’s Spirit moved among the people. At the close of the service many raised their arms as a sign of accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and renouncing the enemy that had held their souls and lives in the bondage of sin.
Crusades for Christ in Ghana just recently received a new shipment of WMP literature. They joyfully unloaded the container, one box at a time, and within a few days separate shipments of boxes were being sent out to various churches in the area. This ministry is just one of many in Africa that has new shipments in process, or recently received. Armed with a new supply of Scripture booklets they will head for the streets, the villages, the fields, and the rivers …wherever there is someone to tell about Jesus.
When Randy H. ordered more copies of A Bible Study on John for ministry in Ghana, he wrote, “WMP booklets have been with us the past 17 years as we have planted churches in Ghana. Over the 17 years, WMP has been a part of starting more than 165 new churches and more than 50,000 people who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.” Praise God!
Growing Need for Scripture booklets in Tanzania
A long-time major distributor in Tanzania expressed his appreciation, along with a request for replenishments, “Your ministry is very unique, powerful and active for winning the lost and building Christians to become mature spiritually. I last received 2,000 boxes of booklets sent through your coordinator in Tanzania, and it has been a great blessing to the churches and ministries in Tanzania. At present I am out of stock.”
Bishop Ungele, WMP’s national coordinator, reported that he had been receiving emails and calls for literature and having to tell people that they would have to wait until he received another container of WMP literature. But because of the continued requests, he decided to share boxes from his own supply of WMP booklets for distribution to unreached people in Dar-es-Salaam and other places.
The need in Tanzania is for two containers each year. In March of 2015 Brother Ungele received a 40’ container (2 million booklets). In addition, a 20’ container (1 million booklets) was received by EHC Tanzania for their home-to-home ministry. The current shipments (one 40’ container and one 20’ container) are expected to be shipped late in 2016 with arrival in Tanzania early 2017. This is almost a two-year interval. With the request for two containers each year, the need is far exceeding what we are sending.
Hearts Open to the Word in Rwanda
A recently received shipment for Rwanda included Scripture booklets for the refugee camps in Goma, on the western border of Democratic Republic of Congo, as Congolese pastors have expressed their need of WMP literature. Brother Ananie, in expressing the need for Rwanda, told us last year of training distributors. “There will be a lot of harvest from the fields due to 272 well-trained [distributors], ready to penetrate villages.” Earlier, Brother Ananie reported on a major distribution of WMP literature in 3 districts of Rwanda.
“We divided ourselves into groups in order to achieve the goal of giving out over 20,000 booklets. When each group reached its assigned village, it used to go two by two to different homes and also shared with the people on the way the love of Jesus. This strategy enabled distributors to distribute 21,524 booklets.
“Workers said it was amazing to get involved in this action of distributing Christian booklets. There was a good opportunity to socialize with people and they were open to us and to the Word of God. The ministry was so amazing because over 20,000 homes were visited and over 6,500 people received Christ as well. We thank the Lord that they will get to churches to nurture them in Christlikeness. Backslidden people repented and even churched people who heard us speak confessed that something new was added to their faith.”
New Opportunities in Zimbabwe and Liberia
A 40-foot container for Zimbabwe will include a variety of languages, including Chinese for Chinese workers there. The tragic meltdown of Zimbabwe as a nation needs God’s intervention and the hope which only He can provide. We have been encouraged to pursue translating WMP booklets into Ndebele, a language used by the second largest segment of Zimbabwe’s indigenous population.
Sydney T., WMP national coordinator for Liberia, reported the need for another shipment for Liberia, where stock was running low. He wrote, “We are very, very grateful for this partnership that greatly accelerates our quest to reach every home in Liberia with the unchanging gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
[You can help provide God’s Word for African nations. Every donated dollar puts 24 powerful Scripture booklets into the hands of God’s people zealous to share His Word. An investment of $25 will provide a Scripture booklet for 600 people; $100 will touch the lives of 2,400 people.]
When my uncle and aunt, Watson and Rose Goodman, returned from sixteen years of missionary service in South Africa, I learned of their excitement about starting a new faith venture in Winona Lake, Indiana, to be called World Missionary Press, Inc. It wasn’t until many years later that the Lord brought me to WMP, which had by then moved to New Paris.
In January of 1985 I hired on as a framer with a construction crew based in Bremen, Indiana. However my boss told me he would not be able to use me until the weather permitted getting concrete trucks into fields for pouring foundations. It was a very, very wet Spring. I was still waiting for the contractor’s call when WMP’s newsletter came in the mail announcing two or three job openings.
After consulting with my father, I called my uncle and offered my services. Watson said he would call me back. Later that same day he called to say that I could start working at WMP the following week. Within half an hour, the contractor called and said that he was ready for me to start work! I sensed that the Lord had kept that door closed long enough for Him to get me where He really wanted me, so I told the contractor, “Thank you very much. However, I already have a job.” My first day at WMP was May 7, 1985. I was trained to operate the web press bundler and soon made many friends.
As WMP’s dispatcher since 1997, I am responsible to gather boxes of languages/titles for freight shipments. After obtaining competitive quotes from forwarders and freight consolidators, I contract the shipment, and schedule loading from the warehouse. It is a real blessing to call WMP staff and volunteers together to pray over outgoing container shipments and see them leave WMP’s dock, headed for places all over the world!
God has been so good. I’ve experienced His abundant blessings and His marvelous mercies, which are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23). My wife Martha and I have two grown children and a wonderful son-in-law. As a family, we love to spend time together doing all manner of activities. For instance, just before July 4 we traveled to southwest Michigan to pick cherries together!
WMP Partners Around the World
As WMP’s national coordinators in Madagascar for more than ten years, Dries and Valerie are a great encouragement to us as distribution of WMP literature has increased, and their work as Every Home for Christ National Directors has grown. They have been involved in translating several WMP Scripture booklets into Malagasy, one of the official languages of Madagascar.
WMP: How long have you been distributing WMP literature?
Dries: In 1990 or even before, Valerie prepared our first order on a small manual typewriter. We first used the material for ministry to seamen in our port city in South Africa. At that stage we knew that we would go to Madagascar, but didn’t know the dates yet. We were waiting on the Lord. It was a blessing to minister to the seamen. We had so many different languages from WMP, we got carried away! Then we ordered some in Malagasy to use when we visited Madagascar in 1993. We distributed booklets to whoever moved!
When we moved to Madagascar fulltime in 1995, you were sending boxes of Scripture booklets in post-office bags. I think it was in 2003 that we were asked to become WMP co-coordinators. Soon EHC asked if they could come alongside us in Madagascar. You sent the first 20-foot container at the end of 2004, then others in 2006, 2009, and 2014.
WMP: How long does a shipment last now?
Dries: It was about the middle of July, 2015, that we received our first 40-foot container filled with powerful booklets. We know the next 40-foot shipment is in production for 2016. We have great faith that we will receive this shipment soon, because I do believe that we will run out of stock in the next 2 weeks (mid-July). So, it seems we need a 40-foot container at least once a year.
WMP: How effective are the Scripture booklets in evangelism?
Dries: They are so effective and powerful. In December, we visited more than 161,000 homes in six cities in three provinces before Christmas, distributing one Help From Above and one copy of The Way to God plus a seasonal tract to each home. What a joy it was to have 12,329 respond positively to the gospel! We see how effective the booklets are. Lives are changing when the logos words become a Rhema Word. It will not return void to the Lord, but brings forth fruit and seed. We also use the He Is Risen! salvation coloring book, another powerful blessed tool.
WMP: How does having free literature available affect evangelism in Madagascar?
Dries: Free literature is always a blessing, as most of the churches can’t afford to have tracts and material printed, so when we can’t supply them with free material, they just don’t share the gospel message the way it should be done. We have just seen how powerful your booklets are, as we used them during our midyear project. We visited about 185,000 homes, and we praise the Lord for all the fruit. On the island of Nosy, on the northwest coast, it was awesome to see how the churches took hold of the booklet distribution; some 38 denominations and churches took part in the project. To have booklets available free was a great blessing; they could not believe it! So many cell groups were planted and, as far as we know, to date three churches were planted. I was with our team for about ten days on the island, so I can say that is what I saw, and not only what our workers shared.