On February 18, we informed you that our men in Pakistan needed five motorcycles (see the original email here). Then, after our email was sent to you, we were told that their need had grown to seven. Rather than send out a correction, we waited to see what you would give, and by February 23, we had received enough for all seven motorcycles. Our marvelous, all-knowing Lord moved in your hearts even though you did not know the entire need. Serving Him keeps getting better and better.
It takes time to process your giving and wire it to the receiver’s bank. Then it takes a few days for them to clear the international wire and release the funds. So, about a week ago, we received a photo of the five motorcycles for the Lahore church planters, and last night Pastor Shaukat sent photos of the two given to desert church planters. Along with the photos, Pastor Shaukat sent this message:
Please keep praying for us because it is a very hard task for us to reach more lost souls and win them for the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have received word regarding your help in feeding a village of people in the Middle East. You will recall that the Governor, a man who previously persecuted our people, asked if these same persecuted people would help to feed the people of his village. It is incredible a governor would have to ask for help in the first place, and it demonstrates the dire situation in his country. But even more so, to ask for help from Christians. It was, of course, American believers who gave the money, but it was channeled through Believers in his land who provided the food. In this way, God gets the glory. We cannot let people know that American Believers are the funding source.)
If you need a reminder of what this was all about, click here to see the original request from a few weeks ago.
Our Director for the Middle East and North Africa sent the following email:
"I just arrived in *********, safe and sound, and am ready to preach over the next four days, all day, to the house churches and meet with some pastors that have been referred to me. But I wanted to send you this short note about feeding the Governor's family and neighbors in his hometown.
We prepared the basic necessities of daily life and were only hindered by the Coronavirus, spreading rapidly and the severe cold weather. However, we were able to take care of 125 families, which was 1,365 individuals. We gave each family milk, oil, burgal (an Arabic grain similar to rice), cans of meat, bread, and 5,000 liters of water. We also gave each family 600 liters of oil to warm their houses and blankets. Besides this, the Governor fulfilled his promise to allow us to distribute Bibles and evangelize. We distributed 1,737. As we distributed the food and started preaching, many neighbors came to listen to us, and so we gave 400 additional Bibles to those families.
By our Lord's grace, many of them were surprised to see a group from a church come to serve Muslim families. First, we were able to show them the love, mercy, and care of Christ; then, we shared the gospel of Christ with them and explained the reason for our Savior to come to the earth. In the four days that we were in their village, more than 3,681 people came to listen to us under the Governor's protection. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough Bibles to give everyone who attended, but by the grace of God, we saw 72 individuals accept the Lord as their Savior.
I'll tell you that this area will surprise us very soon. We are planning to revisit all those families again and explain the gospel to the rest of the families in the village. And we plan to provide Bibles to give to each family as we visit."
In my initial letter to you, I expressed that we intended to win souls and plant a new house church. That was accomplished. The reality is, it will take a huge house to hold all the new believers. As with most of our churches, they will have to attend by schedule so that everyone can be taught. Many of our house churches have seven services a day. Those who attend one may never meet those who attend the others. Because of some things happening in this country, and the fact that God has given us favor in the eyes of the government, before long, who knows – they may even let us build a Baptist church in their village. (Sorry, but that's all I can say for now.)
Those who received help were so grateful that they sat and listened for days to the preaching about our loving Father and His son Jesus, who brought them the bread and water of life they have lived for thousands of years with no knowledge of. Like water poured out on a desert, the gospel was consumed by their thirsty souls, and a new body of believers has been formed.
We asked for $10,000, and you ultimately gave $10,004. The extra $4 was used to buy one of the Bibles that was distributed. Once again, you made a difference. We asked -- you gave -- and now Christ is reaping the glory! Thank you for praying and giving and for making our beautiful Lord so appealing to those who had only heard wrong about Him.
As you know, because we are perpetually raising funds to print and smuggle Bibles in the Islamic world where they are forbidden, we felt that we also needed to give attention to the rest of the globe. After all, everyone should have a copy of God’s Word to read. So, in August, our home team scheduled which projects we felt we would concentrate on for the remainder of the year. That in itself is no small task, as we receive requests probably at the rate of more than once a day. We have criteria for making our decisions, and the need for Bibles met that criteria. However, I wanted to get the other projects fulfilled first, and as always, you rose to the call. In fact, every project we adopted in 2020 and 2021 was fully met. If that is not a miracle, please tell me what is.
I don’t want to say that we saved the best project to last, but we intentionally met the other needs before announcing our final project of 2021, with the prayer that it, too, would be met entirely before Christmas.
In late September, Pastor Steve Ware at Tabernacle Baptist in Orlando contacted me, saying his church wanted to give $10,000 to buy Bibles for the rest of the world. To me, this was confirmation that we were clearly under our Lord’s guidance, so we accepted their funds as $10,000 of the $25,000 that we had targeted. As a result, I adapted our plan, asking you to donate only $15,000 -- and you did. In fact, you gave $15,416.00 -- two days before Christmas!
So then, we have been able to provide the number of Bibles per our initial request with a surplus of $416. So, that too will be used to purchase Bibles.
Over the next month, as emails and photographs come to us, we will share them with you. But, until then, I think we will let you rest for the final week of the year -- unless something changes. In the meantime, expect us to have another Bible Project before summer. I would like to see us do this at least twice a year until our Lord returns.
Oh, and by the way, during the last month, we also smuggled more than 25,000 Bibles into various countries where the Bible is banned, and having a copy brings the death penalty. We also raised $120,000+ for more illegal Bibles. So, I think you will agree; it was time for us to turn our attention and yours to giving Bibles to the rest of the world—Thank you for enabling us to do just that.
From Him the power to Him the glory!
Jon Nelms and the entire global, Final Frontiers team
If you would like a reminder of this project from its initial announcement, then please see below;
For thirty-five years, I have been recruiting like-minded Believers to help me support national church planters. The blessings that God has showered on those donors and me are incredible as we have followed the light He shined on our paths.
These gallant servants of God, who serve where we cannot and probably would not, live humbly. I sometimes refer to their "houses" and wonder if you know what kind of structure they live in. To be sure, it is a house, but it may be less than 100 square feet (10' x 10') and be made of mud and sticks or bamboo. Yet, they are thankful for their "house" and feel incredibly blessed by God. And they are.
Sometimes they ask for help so they can perform their ministries more effectively. For example, they may need a bicycle ($125) or motorcycle ($1300). Others may request help for a necessary surgery or to help to pay a hospital bill. Others request travel funds to plant a church in a remote village or rescue them from imprisonment because of their faith. We even get requests to help bury a pastor, his wife, child, or a church member who has passed and had no provision for such. Once, we had to bury forty-eight young people who three men shot with machine guns as they were praying in their house church.
Their needs are as vital to them as our needs are to us. As Americans, the difference is that our needs are often our wants, whereas their needs are precisely that, -- they don't even dream of acquiring a want. Yet, through all these years and in every country (the 90+ where we have served them), there is one item they all ask for, and they ask continually. That need is for Bibles.
We expend a lot of time and effort to raise funds for Arabic and Farsi Bibles as we strive to cover North Africa and the Middle East with Bibles; in the last week, we took 25,000 Bibles into just one country in that region. Their response was, "When can we get more?" They are not trying to stack copy upon copy on their bookshelf. They are merely hoping to get enough so each family in their house churches can have one and to have a surplus to give to the new converts. Imagine turning from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Animism, where you have been indoctrinated with the nuances of those faiths all your life. You have rejected them, and perhaps your family has rejected you. Yet, you have no Bible with which to learn about your new Lord and Savior. Therefore, we must provide these converts with a Bible.
In August, we decided to dedicate our efforts to raise funds to purchase Bibles, not for the Middle East but the rest of the world. So I wrote to some of our national directors scattered globally, asking them the prices and number of Bibles they need. The prices range from $3 to $10, and they ask for thousands of copies.
In this effort, we will be ignoring Latin America for the most part, as there are so many missionaries there who can get Bibles donated and shipped to them. So instead, we are going to concentrate on those regions where Bibles are available, but the people cannot afford one. $3 is not much, neither is $10, but when your average monthly income is only $4, you cannot afford to give a month's income to buy one. In addition, you may need six months' income to travel to the closest Bible bookstore.
So, as a Christmas present to our Lord, I ask you to help us raise at least $15,000. You can donate online by giving through our donations page and selecting "Special Projects" and then "Christmas Bibles", or by mailing in a check and designating it to "Christmas Bibles".
We hoped to raise $25,000, but Tabernacle Baptist in Orlando already gave $10,000, so we have already purchased several thousand Bibles for Kenya, Pakistan, and India.
What will we do if you give more than the $15,000? -- We'll buy more Bibles. -- Personally, I hope you will give $50,000 for this project.
When Christ was born, the angels declared that His birth would be good news for all nations. So, let's join with them and do what we can to declare that good news to those who have neither heard it nor had the opportunity to read about it. Imagine the tens of thousands of Believers who will this Christmas, for the first time in their lives, be able to sit and read the story of our Lord's birth in Luke, chapter two. They will be as amazed as the shepherds! Thank you for making that possible for them, and Merry Christmas!
You may recall our request to help the new Believers in Afghanistan that we had to relocate after two of their numbers were publicly martyred. As a result, seven families were taken into a neighboring country, and our churches there took the responsibility to house, feed, clothe and assimilate them into the society. (They are among a people group – the Jews -- that span both sides of the border, thus the language and culture are the same.)
For the approximately 700 remaining, we had to relocate them in their own country but far enough away to a city where none are known. We saved the lives of nearly eight hundred new Believers by doing this. After they were successfully relocated, I asked you to give so that we could provide them with food, clothing, medicines, etc., as they had to leave behind all their belongings. We took your funds and rented fourteen apartments to house them, putting nearly fifty people in each apartment. The funds secured their housing for three months but left precious little for food. So, again I asked for your help, and as usual, you responded. But because it was you who prayed and you who gave, it was not we but you who saved them all. How does that make you feel? With certainty, when you stand before God, receiving the rewards He has laid up for you, you will revisit this event and be thankful you played a part.
This morning I woke to an email that arrived while I slept. Our director for the region had sent some of our church members and pastors back into the country to preach and teach the struggling new Believers, encourage them, and verify that their relief had arrived. Here is his brief report:
Our 700 Believers have received the help, including milk, flour, oil, rice, some types of local cheese, tea, sugar, eggs, chicken, clean water, and oil containers to use to heat their homes. Those will help us for the next couple of months. Thank you.
In a few months, when the funding has been exhausted, if they have not been able to find employment, I will let you know, and we can once again bring aid to these children of Abraham who have become Believers in the Messiah.
If you want to review the entire story, you can read all the related correspondence through the links below. Beginning with the first and ending with this update.
September 4th; https://conta.cc/328bbR0
September 11th; https://conta.cc/3E78ts6
November 9th; https://conta.cc/3p0EjCF
November 17th; https://conta.cc/3dYzvYc
Today, the young lady has had her second of two surgeries. We spoke to the doctor by phone, and he said that she would need to come back and see him in about fifteen days, but he does not anticipate any problem. She is doing fine and is expected to be able to see perfectly. She wanted to express her gratitude to those who gave her this gift of sight and let them know how much their generosity benefits her and how grateful she is. Now she will abide by the doctor's instruction and have her bandages removed in two weeks. At that time, she will give glory to God for His healing and get busy again in her service for the Lord.
Those of you who gave to help her did so for your own personal reasons. We are so thankful for you demonstrating God's love to this young sister. You have changed her life for the better and given her the ability to serve Him as never before. You are amazing, just as your Father is. I hope that someday, somehow, we will be able to get you a photo of her.
You all know by now about our farms in Myanmar. They are up and running a bit now; still, the civil war in that country continues. Pastor Vel wrote the other day to give me an update and shared a story that was a blessing. I thought it would be to you as well, so here it is.
Yesterday, our deacon and I brought our church's widow and her three grandchildren to our new farmland and built a temporary hut for them to stay. They have been living on the side of the road in our area, on municipal property, and they were forced to leave the place by the military on Tuesday. So, the widow came to me and asked for help and said that she wanted to live in our new land. So we brought them and built for them a temporary shelter.
A very simple hut and I pray we will be able to build a better or decent one than this soon. We also need to build a toilet as well. Our farm watcher, his older brother with our deacon, and two of our orphan boys helped build the hut.
How wonderful it is to see those among the poorest of God's servants doing what they can to take care of a family in even worse financial shape. How grateful I am for them and for you, whose offerings for recent projects have allowed us to help so many churches, families, and pastors.
You may remember back in April we raised funds for a project over in the Democratic Republic of Congo for 2 corn grinder machines. These would allow the local church to help members grind their own corn, sell corn flour to others and bring in a small income by charging others to use it. We wanted to give you a short video update on the project now that they have been using them for the last 6 months or so, so please enjoy!
Each day Pastor Shaukat sent photos and videos of the camp, starting with teaching sessions for the 30 workers from his churches. Many of the photos were of them eating (I guess he knew what was important to me) and many of the services. One night at 11:30 PM, I hooked up with them via Zoom and preached (talked) to them from scripture. It was a blessing to see how they received the Word, though the 5-second delay was a little hard to get used to.
Shaukat wrote this morning to tell us that 50 of the campers (from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds) accepted Christ during the four-day camp, and 70 campers committed to join his team as co-laborers. He has selected from among them to attend his youth seminar this Sunday to begin their training.
Michael and Daniel thought it would be good to have Joshua Martyn (our videographer) make this short presentation for you using the photos and clips Shaukat sent us. I know it will be a blessing to you. (BTW, the next season of Ernest Livingstone is in the final stages of post-production, so get ready to re-join him in his missionary adventures.)
In about 5-6 months, he will have his winter camp. So if you want, you can give now in preparation for that or wait for our notice. Enjoy the short video, filmed entirely in Pakistan
A big thank you to those who gave to help the poor widow who was robbed of all her funds last week. We took what you gave and sent it to our National Director, Lucas Ulo, and he promptly gave it to Sister Amadi Charity. To be sure you knew that what you gave arrived as intended, he snapped this photo of himself giving the funds to her. In addition, he attached a note saying that she has received your funds with great appreciation.
You can see it is a bundle of money. But, as usual, and like our Father, you gave “exceeding and abundantly above” what was asked for. In fact, you exceeded the amount by about 10%. Isn’t it great to be used by the Lord to help a fellow Believer on the other side of the world? One who will not be able to thank you personally until you meet in Heaven. The Word says that God sees those who bless the poor and considers what they give as a personal loan to HIM; and assures us that He will pay us back, WITH INTEREST.
Now, as my dad always said, don’t spend it all in one place!