The Good News is a monthly report of effective ways congregations among churches of Christ in the United States are spreading the Word in their communities.
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World English Institute
One of the broadest outreach programs among churches of Christ is the World English Institute, founded twenty-one years ago by Dick Ady. During those years, the Institute has contacted people in 202 different nations with the saving message of the gospel.
The plan offers free English lessons, both in print and through the internet, which provide the opportunity to study the Bible while learning English. Since people all over the world are anxious to learn English, many are attracted to the program. Their most effective advertising has come through announcements on Google. By running Google ads for an hour a day around the globe, WEI is attracting more than a thousand new students each month. Each student is assigned to a teacher who guides them through the program.
Of special interest is that almost 40 percent of the WEI students are Muslims and nearly all of these are studying via the internet. Many tell their story of accepting Jesus Christ after studying through WEI materials.
A recent publication from WEI says: “Churches in the U. S. (such as Sunset in Lubbock, Texas; Waterview in Richardson, Texas; Adams Blvd. in Bartlesville, OK, etc.) have used WEI MATERIAL FOR PLANTING CHURHES in Albania, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, to name a few. In many cases, if funds are available, we mail WEI materials to national preachers free of charge to help them reap a fruitful harvest. In some cases, we send one set of materials to missionaries, and they reproduce them locally. God is also using WEI materials in jail and prison ministries throughout the U.S and in local Hispanic outreach ministries. As time passes by, more and more churches and church leaders are using WEI as an evangelistic tool for saving the lost.”
As a specific example of those working with WEI is the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas. Here the teachers range from eighteen to eighty-four and they teach Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Communist-athiests who come from all over the Orient, from South America and from the Middle East. The teachers can work from their home computers as they receive lessons, grade them, and send back a response with the next lesson.
The April/June 2010 WEI newsletter, called UPDATE, reports on baptisms in India, Albania, Romania, Peru, Nigeria, and in an Oklahoma prison work. A WEI teacher in China baptized 193 in three years. More than 1200 WEI students have been baptized in Albania with fifteen congregations established. In Romania more than 1,000 have been baptized.
Particularly over the summers, teams using WEI materials do campaigns in many places over the world. For these campaigns, WEI leaders especially seek to recruit workers from a congregation that sponsors a mission effort. In this way, those from the sponsoring congregation can go to work with the missionaries they support, not only helping them in their work, but also increasing the bond between the missionary and his/her supporting church.
Because WEI materials are available on the internet, they can reach people in places where missionaries would not be allowed to go. One WEI teacher, for example, serves 500 WEI students, mostly in the Middle and Far East. Recently, one of her Muslim students, a university professor, arranged to go to a hotel with a hot tub so he could be baptized there as he had been taught. He wrote, “I went to private hotel, and I followed the instructions you sent to me. I wanted the baptism to be from my belief and heart.”
Those interested in learning more about World English Institute may go to www.weiady.org. To reach Dick Ady to discuss becoming a WEI worker or to contribute to this work, write to email@example.com. The home office for WEI is at the Metro Church of Christ, 1525 NW Division St., Gresham, OR 97030. Phone 503-661-0348.