July Good News Has Stories from the US, Africa, the Caribbean, and Online Lessons

The Good News Newsletter for July has stories good things happening to convert people in the US, good news items from Africa, a marriage seminar conducted on the Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe, and a widely used set of lessons available online.  Also there is a note about the upcoming Oklahoma Christian University Lectureship. The next Good News newsletter will be in September.

Please send story ideas to stafford.north@oc.edu.  We need to hear your good news story.

Posted on July 21st, 2014

Much Good for the Lord Happening in Africa

Kenya and Nigeria

by Stafford North

Having spent time on several occasions in the African countries of Kenya and Nigeria, I am always interested in what is happening there.  Many in different African countries are so receptive to the gospel and there are many efforts going to reach them.  Below is a brief report on just three of the many good things happening in Africa.  We will have more stories about Africa in the September issue of Good News.

Tony Hopper is with the 850-member Vaughn Park Church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama, and is now on his sixth trip Africa trip where he will visit two countries.  Hopper will conduct three one-day seminars for church leaders in Meru, Kenya, speak at the Nairobi Great Commission School Annual Alumni Meeting in Nairobi, preach and conduct a two-day seminar for church leaders at Oyugi, Kenya, and then do a two-day church planning effort at the Masai village of Olepolos.  Following that he will be at Blantyre, Malawi for a two-day seminar for church leaders and do a seminar for the Malawi Bible Institute. 

Ken and Pat Beckloff spent many years as full time missionaries in Kenya and now go back for about two months each year.  They start their trip by teaching in the Great Commission School in Nairobi and then go to work with churches in the Mombasa area.  One of the twenty extension programs of the Great Commission School is in Mombasa and students from there spread out on the weekends to work with existing churches and to start new ones.  So, Mombasa has become the hub for spreading the Word to that whole area.

Kenya and Nigeria

Africa International Missions is seeking to get a Bible to …

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Posted on July 21st, 2014

Many Ways to Reach Out

by Stafford North

Yesterday at the congregation where I attend, the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, two women were baptized from among those who come to church each week from a “pre-release center.”  Each week a church volunteer drives a van to this center to pick up women who are being “re-oriented” as they are released from prison.  Others help provide lunch for them and visit with these women.  They are allowed to have jobs and go to church but have to be back to their Center at night. Many women have been baptized through this program.

As another part of our jail/prison ministry, people go each week to teach in the County Jail and once a month we are allowed to baptize and usually there are fifteen or twenty each time.

Last week I was visiting with a man who said that he and his friend go each week to visit those in jail who have been recently converted so these people can be strengthened in their faith and will be more likely to be faithful when they are released.

Also last week I received the July newsletter about the book Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank which says that more than 10,000 people have been baptized through reading this book.  The book is written in narrative form but works its way through many doctrinal issues with which those in the story must deal.  Many churches have purchased copies and asked members just to hand them to friends and say, “Let me know what you think of this book.”  The newsletter tells of many people who share their story of how they read the book and then decided to be baptized for forgiveness of sins.  To subscribe to their newsletter go to www.muscleandashovel.com

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Posted on July 21st, 2014

Online Lessons Draw Huge Response

Charles Valentine, an artist who worked for many years with Sunset International Bible Institute and who taught art in Siberian schools, began in 2001 to develop a website primarily for children to study the Bible in interesting ways.  Since then, he has prepared lessons that cover the Old Testament story from Genesis to King David and all the New Testament books except Hebrews.

The response has been remarkable.  In the thirteen years since the program was begun, the site has had 110 million page hits, and through letters and emails Valentine knows that all kinds of religious groups over the world are using the materials which are available at www.childrensbiblestudy.com. 

He has also created www.creationevolution.org and www.biblestraighttalk.com which are more adult oriented.  With over 100,000 email addresses, mainly in the southwest and northwest, he sends out information on forty-four movies and other options from which to choose.  Just in March and April of 2014, there were more than 120,000 viewings of the movies which are posted on the biblestraighttalk site.

Valentine notes that every eight days, the world population growth increases by a number about equal to the number in the Lord’s church.  Thus, he says, every Christian would have to baptize one person every eight days, just to stay even.  Obviously, Valentine observes, we have to use the public forum like the early church did on Pentecost and Mars Hill to reach many people.  His objective, therefore, is to use the public means available to “make presentations of truth and offer follow-up studies . . . depending on God to provide the increase.”  To reach Valentine, go to cvalentine@childrensbiblestudy.com

Posted on July 21st, 2014

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