In South Africa, Pastor M and his team of volunteers handed out The Way to God booklets along with food parcels. They reported that the community was highly appreciative not only for the relief parcels but also for the Scripture booklets as they were printed in the vernacular languages, making them easy to understand and share. Volunteers were able to continue to spread the gospel despite the limitations of a lockdown. “Many pastors have been requesting The Way to God booklets as they have seen how people value them. Many people have turned to Christ amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and need guidance. This booklet makes the work of the evangelist very easy.”
The combination of a viral pandemic, restricting activity, and straining resources, with natural disasters, has not only brought suffering to millions of people, but it has also awakened many churches as to how to meet the overwhelming needs. God has revealed new avenues of service, ways to reach into villages long shut to the gospel, and how to demonstrate His love in practical ways. A testimony from a WMP partner ministry working in Nicaragua is representative of many such reports:
“All around there are many needs. Sometimes we feel powerless because we cannot respond to every need. However, we cannot sit still. We are to pray for others, but we must also take action. I got permission to go into the hospital, with some restrictions. While we were ministering, people were asking for prayer and even those just passing by on the street stopped. There were tears on their faces and we heard some say how much they needed this. About 20 taxi drivers stopped to request prayer and listen to the message. We saw 20 people receive Jesus there!”
With a band of young criminals, Barto began robbing churches! During one robbery he saw a backpack and took it along. In it, he found a Bible with some literature. As he read and reread The Way to God, a Scripture booklet that had been tucked in the Bible, confusing emotions filled his heart. He felt hope, but also a deep sense of guilt pressed on his heart for things he had done. With a sense of urgency, he called the phone number inside the Bible and found someone who tenderly led him to faith in Christ.
In early April Ben B. requested 10,000 copies of The Way to God Scripture booklet in Spanish and as many Spanish New Testaments as we could provide. He and The Way of the Cross Ministries, long-time partners of World Missionary Press, were setting up a drive-through food give-away in their Texas hometown and were completely out of WMP literature!
After receiving the Scripture booklets and 1,000 New Testaments, and opening up the drive-through food bank, Ben sent an update: “We have seen 2,520 salvations in the past three weeks! This is one of the good things that has come out of this desperate time in America’s life. People are turning to Jesus. Praise the Lord!”
The wind blew and it felt so humid and hot. He was swimming deep down in his thoughts as he was trying to recall what had happened in the previous day. Ever since he got the job at the sugar plantation in Marromeu, Tinos has never seen what he does with his earnings. After receiving his salary he would go straight to drink and squander all the money.
The previous day had started by friends inviting him to just pass through the bar and get just one pint each before they go home. However, it ended being a drinking spree that led into the wee hours of the following morning. As he had looked into his pockets the following morning he had seen his pockets empty. “What really happened to my money?” he asked himself.
Tinos’ life had been marred with addiction to alcohol. Although he is a non-smoker, alcohol had been his water. Each and every day would be a dear opportunity to drink again and enjoying himself but certainly the following morning will be pain and more pain. This had been the trend for long and he had been in that position for years. Family life had been badly severed with chaos, poverty, hunger and misery being the silhouette of his family. The fighting with his wife was the order of the day and his children were all malnourished.
The alcohol addiction is a common factor that affects many people in the nation of Mozambique. The law doesn’t prohibit the abuse of alcohol and in fact it is viewed as an essential part of the diet in the Mozambican culture. When you go to other countries the laws do not permit the consumption of alcohol in undesignated areas but sadly in Mozambique it is allowed to drink alcohol anytime and anywhere. This has influenced people to be alcohol addicts and in both urban and rural, both males and females are seen consuming alcohol in excess. This therefore has led to the youths to emulate and they believe the abuse of alcohol is a painkiller for forgetting their troubles and tribulations.
The life at Tinos’ home was really messy and pejorative. Just by merely looking at what his household looked like, it was a clear panorama of how misery looks like. The pain the kids were going through was written all over their faces and poverty there was so loud that we couldn’t quantify the decibels of noise it was making. We couldn’t even talk about school because it was quite obvious that the pain the kids were going through at home meant that there wasn’t any extra money that would be used in investing in their education.
As Tinos sat down under a big mango tree at his home, he lifted up his eyes and saw a team of visitors coming to his house. Grappled by fear as he felt that he had done something wrong the previous night at the Bar, he looked at them with feeble eyes. He felt that probably he was in another problem which could be bigger than what he would ever imagine. Looking at the team without any energy in his body, his eyes were clearly saying that, “I am here and vulnerable and defeated already.” To his surprise, the strangers were all smiles when they were looking at him. Smiles are contagious always, as he saw the smiles on the team’s faces, his face quickly brightened up and he also had a smile on his face.
The team was comprised of EHC workers who were going home to home sharing about Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a “one treatment for all”. As the team shared the Gospel with Tinos, his heart was brought closer to them and he opened up about his personal life. He started to narrate about how he started drinking at a tender age. He felt his life had been so demolished that it could not be repaired anymore. The time wasted was so much that it couldn’t be repaid. He felt like he was drowning in the pool of humongous sorrow that would just suffocate him to death. All hope was gone and there wasn’t any ray of light left in his heart. Darkness had engulfed every part of his life and that of his family.
As they shared various pieces of literature with him and explained how Jesus could give him New Life, a glimpse of hope was evident in his eyes. He wanted to hear more about this Jesus who is the giver of hope and life. He wanted to hear more on how other Christians would accept someone they knew as a drunkard into the church. His concerns were so significant and evidently affecting him. “Jesus loves you the way you are. You just need to give him all the pieces of your broken life and he will meant them and restore your life to the factory settings. You will be able to live again the life that the LORD has always wanted you to have,” Tiago one of the team members explained to him.
“I want Jesus to come and cure me from alcohol addiction and restore my family. Please can you wait for my wife to come back she has gone to fetch firewood so I also want her to hear the Gospel you are sharing. I want my family to be happy again,” Tinos said with tears pooling up in his eyes.
As the team waited for his wife to come back they continued to share more words of Hope in Christ with him and he was evidently receiving his transformation and a new vessel of Christ was being birthed in him. As they finished praying for Tiago, it wasn’t before his wife also arrived and only to find glad tidings awaiting her at home. The family managed to have their deliverance.
Tinos opened the doors of his home to have a Christ Group planted at his home and he has developed so much passion for the Gospel because of the BFAM lessons that he is receiving together with his wife. One of Tinos’ friends Fanuel, is also attending the Christ Group although some of his friends have not yet accepted the Gospel.
When asked if there were any significant changes at their home, Margarita, Tinos’ wife said,” I used to be a married widow. I was married but living as a widow. Jesus gave me back my husband. Even if we don’t have money at our home these days, we are a happy family because every day my husband arrives back home on time. Jesus is indeed my best friend who took all my worries away.”
Tinos says he can’t continue to associate himself with his old friends who are still drinking because he is afraid that they might influence him again to go back into drinking. “I am not strong enough yet to resist beer temptation so I don’t want to be tempted that is the reason why I am avoiding them,” Tinos said with a chuckle.
-Godfrey B., Mozambique, Africa
“Until February 14, 2018, I had taken no thought of why people give their lives to Jesus. On that day, I heard people in my village talking about Him from a distance. My son came running to me as I sat at the doorway of my house. He showed me what he had in his hand. It was a WMP Scripture booklet. He started reading to me, and I was touched by the words which were written in that booklet. My son asked who I wanted to serve. I told him to read more and in the process I asked him what I could do to serve Jesus. He then whistled to the neighbors who were a group of people from EHC-Zambia. Six of them came and helped me to give my life to the Lord. My son ran to our house because he thought we would miss this wonderful salvation. Thank God for the team from EHC-Zambia and my son for bringing this Gospel to me.” -Sellina M., Zambia
As a young lad, Manuel J. used to go to church with his parents. They were devout Christians who wanted their children to grow in Christian values. “To them Christianity was the key to everything regardless of the fact that we were very poor,” Manuel recalls.
He also remembers some of the stories from the Bible he used to learn as a young boy in Sunday school. Although he had grown up in a Christian family, he had never allowed his heart to accept Jesus. To him it was an issue of hearing some history stories and quotes but nothing appealing but instead appalling in his ears. As he grew older, he started to become rebellious and started to refrain from attending church, which he and his friends viewed as backward and nugatory. Conflict with his parents started and it became friction and more friction everyday as the parents were trying to push him to attend church but to no avail.
As the parents gave up on him, this is the time his friends introduced him to marijuana which he was told was an herb of wisdom and excessive energy. “Marijuana became the food of my soul and I became so addicted that I couldn’t do anything without smoking marijuana,” Manual explained.
Commonly known as “suruma” in Mozambique, marijuana is becoming a severe cancer amongst many Mozambican youths. Talking to EHC recently, Police Chief of Operations in Beira’s Ponta-Gea Borough, Mr. Nharinge said, “The abuse of drugs amongst Mozambican juveniles is becoming relatively alarming and almost on daily basis the youths are arrested on several counts of heinous felonies. In the cells, some will be shivering as if they are almost dying due to drug addiction.
This calls for Christian organizations like Every Home for Christ to also invest in rehabilitation centers for drug addicts which is not a common thing here in Mozambique.”
It is believed that hoards of dangerous drugs, intoxicating substances, and many other contraband items are smuggled into Mozambique through our seaports that are seemingly porous.
As a victim of marijuana, Manuel became a stray young lad who diverged from the lessons he was taught by his parents and found himself struggling with a melee of evil thoughts and actions that were influenced by the drug he was using.
As a young man, he felt it was fashionable to also marry at a young age. At the age of 24, he found himself being a husband and a father of three. He was already selling his labor at the sugar-cane plantations and his day would be filled with so much hard work as you are paid according to the amount of work you will have done during that day.
Looking at the now 28, young man, you would think he is above 40, due to the rigorous activities that are gradually tearing his body down. One thing that had been eating him up was that he sometimes found himself in scary situations when he became so rude and cruel to his wife. “I love my wife, but sometimes I just get angry with her over trivial issues and I become so violent,” Manuel said with visibly wet eyes.
The time the EHC team visited his home, Manuel was out working at the sugar-cane estate. They shared the Gospel with his wife and she clearly told the team that even though she wanted to be a Christian she couldn’t because she was too scared to do that because of her husband’s behavior. “I can only be a Christian if my husband allows me to or if he also becomes a Christian, which I believe is something totally impossible,” Margarita said with a sad face.
The team prayed asking the LORD to do a miracle and allow that woman to have freedom of worshipping God. The team left some Scripture booklets with her and their contact number before they continued to move from home to home and village to village, person to person.
Manuel came back in the evening from work. That day he came back a little bit early and that surprised his wife, but she never wanted to inquire why he was home that early. Manuel later told the EHC team that it was because he usually passed through the home of one man in the village who peddles marijuana, but that day something just made him too weak to pass through there and he wanted to come home early to rest.
As he was taking his evening meal, he noticed some Scripture booklets on the table. He was curious to know what they were all about. He felt he needed to finish up his meal quickly and have time to read the booklets. As he washed his hands after the meal and his wife took away the plates, he quickly jumped in the Scripture booklets to read each one of them sentence by sentence, word by word.
In the villages, it is rare to have any new literature in the homes, because the people are very far from the city. This means that each time a Scripture booklet is left in a home, curiosity attracts hands and souls to it. People can’t resist reading a Scripture booklet or tract because they can’t have any other printed media in the village. This therefore becomes one of the greatest advantages that EHC should capitalize on. This therefore calls for a systematic saturation of the villages with scripture booklets and tracts.
“As I read the tracts, they rekindled my childhood memories and I became so much in love with my past and how my parents wanted me to hear the things of God,” Manuel explained. The reminiscence of his childhood that was decorated with Christianity was triggered by the Scripture booklets and it seems that childhood was so fantastic when he reflects about it in this day.
The Scripture booklets brought back memories and tears began trickling down Manuel’s eyes. This was worrisome to his wife, Margarita, who quickly asked him what was going on in his mind. She thought he had a bad day at work and she linked that to his earliness in coming back home that day.
“Where did you get these tracts?” Manuel asked. His wife took time to explain as she thought she was in trouble because of the tracts. “My parents wanted me to live a life for Jesus and these tracts have just reminded the passion and vision of my parents on my life. I want Jesus again in my life and I want you as well to have him and we will be a couple who believe in Christ and have our kids grow up in God’s hands,” Manuel said.
Upon hearing these words Margarita screamed and started to weep as she was so shocked and surprised that the prayer conducted in the afternoon had been answered so quickly. “Jesus, I am a sinner please don’t destroy me because I have seen you are here,” Margarita said...sounding so scared about what had just happened. She felt that the coming of Jesus into her home as a sinner would actually destroy her and she was so scared that night as she felt that Jesus was indeed in her house. She felt she really needed to bring the team the following day so that they pray for her home not to be destroyed by Jesus.
It is quite sad that many who have heard the Gospel before think that Jesus is just an inch away waiting to destroy sinners and send them to hell. They were not told about the Gospel of the Love that God has for the world. Many people see Jesus as just a policeman, policing their sins and waiting to punish them severely.
The EHC team came back the following day as Margarita has requested and they were equally shocked to know that Manuel had responded to the Gospel in a positive way that surpassed their expectations. Manuel and Margarita are now part of a Christ Group that is a stone-throw from their home.
-Submitted by EHC Mozambique’s National Director, Godfrey Bhodyera
"I was a Muslim. I found a Satan Versus CHRIST booklet in May of this year (2015). When I read it, I found Christianity is the perfect way to go for everyone on earth. In August I decided to write to you for more booklets so as to help myself [learn]. At the moment, I just want to read all the booklets, one by one, and know more about God."
Zach S., South Africa
“During our MTC (Mobile Training Centre) program in Dowa, we had the opportunity to conduct outreaches in the afternoon. We encouraged the participants to go out two-by-two to the surrounding villages. The results were overwhelming: 4,246 homes were reached, and we were helped by 63 volunteers from churches in the area. The victory in this outreach was the number of people who were reached; 691 positive responses to the gospel were recorded during this outreach.”
-Nicky C., Malawi
“We are on furlough from Costa Rica. I came across a few hundred of these booklets in a closet in our camp in Costa Rica. I read through a booklet and loved how it presented the Gospel. We used these booklets in our ministry—evangelism and medical outreach. It was amazing to see God work. We had distributed over 400 booklets to the people of Costa Rica and refugees and saw in a year over 200 people making decisions for Christ."
-Robert B., Canada