Happy Thanksgiving! As we thank God for His blessings upon our lives, I think of Psalm 100:4-5: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
Despite the struggles of 2020 due to Covid-19, the Lord has worked through our ministry to change many lives for eternity. With your support, people are coming to faith in Jesus every day, others are hearing Scripture in their language for the first time, while still others are encouraged through our television programs and other resources.
I recently had the opportunity to share some ministry updates with donors regarding our 40 years of ministry. Here are just a few of the ways your prayers and support allow us to serve:
- Our television program reaches a potential 5 billion viewers in 200 countries and territories in 12 languages.
- On YouTube, our videos have been viewed 3 million times.
- Over 3 million radio podcasts have been played in 190 nations in the past 12 months.
- Over 3 million copies of our books have been sold in 16 languages.
- We reach many others through our website, app, and social media as well.
Yet Believers Are Facing Persecution
Internationally, our broadcasts reach into some of the most hostile areas of the planet. In Nigeria, where we have supplied many audio Bibles, many Christians have recently been killed by militant groups, while numerous church buildings have been destroyed.
In Russia, new laws are making evangelism and many church activities illegal. Though we broadcast across all 11 Russian time zones via satellite, those who watch are facing fines or arrest for studying and sharing their faith.
In India, eight of the 29 states have anti-conversion laws, making it illegal to convert to Christianity. Many Indian Christians in these areas have been beaten or arrested for their faith.
Yet the nation continues to experience widespread Christian growth, including the world’s fastest-growing church, with more than 200,000 members. Through our ministry, this church’s pastor has become a dear friend.
Worldwide, it has been noted that at least 11 Christians are killed per day for their faith. We need to pray for our Christian family facing persecution around the world and do all we can to support their growth and outreach to others.
Pandemics, Plagues, and Natural Disasters
Covid-19 has spread worldwide, sending nations into lockdown as health services struggle to respond. In the United States, over 200,000 deaths have now been reported. Why has God allowed this to happen? What is God’s role in this pandemic?
Did God cause Covid-19, or is He only an observer? Is this virus a judgment from God? What does the Bible say?
This month, we’ll conclude our series with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago. Dr. Lutzer served at Moody Church for 36 years, and is a renowned theologian and author of over 50 books.
His latest book, Pandemics, Plagues, and Natural Disasters: What Is God Saying to Us?, serves as the basis for our discussion. In our two-part series, we are making available 7 programs in which Dr. Erwin Lutzer lays out many of the important biblical answers God gives to our questions.
For example, does God always have our well-being in mind, even when He doesn’t immediately relieve the loss and suffering of this world? What comfort can God give to someone who has suddenly lost a loved one? How has God used pandemics and tragedies throughout the Bible to speak directly to His people?
Dr. Lutzer also explains how Christians can find lasting joy and relief during times of widespread trouble. Why? Because we know God’s promise that we will ultimately dwell with our glorious Lord in heaven for all eternity. To request your copy of these resources, please see the enclosed card.
The Difference an Audio Bible Makes
Through our audio Bible outreach with Faith Comes By Hearing, you have helped us reach many nations. As of our latest report, 4.6 million people now meet in audio Bible listening groups in 50 nations speaking 120 languages. Of these, approximately 2.3 million have become new believers.
To give you an idea of how many people you have reached, 4.6 million people is approximately the population of Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and Alaska combined. Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Together, this is exactly what we are doing.
Coming Soon on The John Ankerberg Show
As we look ahead to Christmas and the end of 2020, we are excited to bring you the latest stories of God’s work through audio Bibles. Through your gifts, millions of people are hearing God’s Word in their own language for the first time.
For example, in India many people have believed in Jesus despite a widespread lockdown. One pastor from India recently shared,
“By His grace, God helped us serve the needy during this very crucial time. Out of the 55 families we assisted, 25 families accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and 15 families started six house churches.”
In Nigeria, a field worker sharing audio Bibles you helped supply told us,
“Thanks to God’s audible Word, we have more than 100 new believers who have signed up for discipleship classes so they can dig deeper into God’s Word. Praise be to God.”
While many of our American churches struggle to regather and face restrictions regarding how many people can attend a service, our friends in Nigeria are experiencing widespread revival through listening to God’s Word. Thank you for making an eternal impact in the lives of these new believers!
Our 2020 Christmas Catalog
We invite you to help bring God’s Word to even more people who have yet to hear: 2.8 billion people have still never heard the gospel. Through your generosity, you will reach many who otherwise may never hear about the love of God.
Many opportunities are available, ranging from a micro-SD card to reach individuals or families, to Audio Proclaimers that will reach thousands for Christ. One Audio Proclaimer is used to reach an average of 90 people in listening groups, with 45 of those people coming to faith in Christ. However, in some nations, like the Philippines, people are currently responding at 13 times this number.
People have a great hunger to hear the gospel and respond. God may use your gift in an amazing and powerful way. Is this something you would like to do?
If so, let me encourage you to look at our Christmas catalog and choose how to best help. You may even use this ministry as a gift to someone who would be blessed to know you have given to share God’s Word on their behalf.
As I close, I pray that God will speak to your heart regarding how you can help this month. My prayer is that with your partnership, we will immediately be able to reach even more people with the gospel.
For those still waiting to hear,
John and Darlene
P.S. Please remember to request Dr. Lutzer’s series and book on the enclosed response form. When you choose our package with multiple books, you will receive additional copies of his new book to give away to family and friends regarding this important topic.