Truth Festival: Bad News, Good News

Center City Park in Greensboro, NC is the target site for the 2018 Truth Festival.

First, the bad news. The 2017 Truth Festival in downtown Belmont has been cancelled. After much prayer, we decided not to host the third festival in Stowe Park again. We really felt the Lord calling us in another direction which leads us to the good news. We are confident the next Truth Festival will be in Greensboro, NC. Here is what we know so far.

  • Date: April or May 2018.
  • Location: Most likely Center City Park in downtown Greensboro.
  • Next Step: Working through final details with city officials.

Our team dedicated a month of prayer to the questions, improvements, and needs for the next Truth Festival. The Lord provided answers to each of those and through that it became clear the third festival should move on to its second location. We also have received interest to host the Truth Festival in Boone, NC and Colorado so Greensboro appears to be a step in that direction.

Impact Of Tablets & Solar Power in Ethiopia

Last July, Global Cross announced we were taking light and power to Ethiopia.  The project called for the distribution of Parchment tablets and Firefly solar chargers to Doctor of Ministry students. Each tablet was loaded with the ministry resources needed for their own growth but also to assist in their discipleship efforts. The solar charger enabled them to go throughout Ethiopia.  We partnered with AEG International, SIM, and the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) to make this a reality.

It has been eight months since we returned from Ethiopia and wanted to share some of the information and photos we have received.

The tablets distribution process have been successful. Last weekend we traveled to Wolayita to distribute tablets for those who are living outside from Addis Ababa. It is located South Western Ethiopia and about 340kms from Addis, capital of Ethiopia. Students came to Wolayita from different directions: Kucha, Arbaminch, Chencha, Dawuro, Durame and Shone areas. The students were very happy receiving their tablets.
We thank God for your ministry. The Firefly and Parchments (tablets) are working well. All doctoral students are highly appreciating Global Cross for their contribution for the sake of expansion of God’s kingdom. I am also one of EKHC BILD Doctor of Ministry students using both the Firefly and Parchment. The Firefly is producing very high power. All EKHC DMIN students are using Firefly for both purposes: for light and charging Parchments and mobile phones. We are using Parchments to read our school materials. Wherever we go now we have library in our pocket. This is our sincere appreciation for your esteemed organization. We are using all materials to glorify God and for expansion of His glorious kingdom.

The project has been so well received EKHC and SIM have begun talking about expanding it to others within their organization and affliations.

What would you think about a next step? We would like to inform you that EKHC has more than 9000 local church Pastors and ministers waiting for your Firefly and Parchments for their ministry.
— Alemayehu "Alex" Anjulo, EKHC
What a huge blessing this is to all of the Doctor of Ministry students. Sounds like all the EKHC pastors desire to have a Parchment and Firefly. Let’s dream together how we can keep joining the Lord in advancing His cause in equipping HIS church.
— Joe Harding, SIM

Representatives of Global Cross, EKHC, SIM, and AEG International in Addis Ababa in August 2016.

Global Cross and SIM had a follow-up trip to Ethiopia in early April where we met with the EKHC again. The Kale Heywet Church believes this program is "clearly from God" and want to march ahead with a project that includes the following:

  • 9,000 of their pastors and ministers.
  • More than one hundred Amharic Bible schools.
  • Four or five theological colleges.

This initiative could encompass more than 20,000 people in all. We have begun work by researching specifications for the next Parchment tablet, testing a sample tablet, and communicating with our technology manufacturers. Global Cross will continue to walk it out while seeking the Lord's direction. We also thank Him for including us in such exciting work.

Retrospective on a Business As Mission Venture

Global Cross has been supporting ministry and missions in Nicaragua and its surrounding communities for several years.  During the summer of 2015, we felt led to create a Business As Mission (BAM) application in Diriamba. BAM has been around for many years but it seems to have grown in popularity recently.  The purpose of this blog post is to share our experience with one of our Business As Mission projects so others considering BAM for their own ministries will get a realistic idea of what it is and the challenges and benefits that come out of it.

Phase I - Concept

Church services were commonly held outdoors on the property of one of the members.

One of our team members did his first short-term mission trip to Nicaragua in November 2014.  It was during that trip he saw the poverty of the people of Nicaragua and how our local ministry partner struggled to help the community while supporting themselves. It became clear American donations were not a sustainable solution. We had to figure out how to create revenue. The purpose of our BAM project was to provide employment to unemployed followers of Christ and, through their labor, support local ministry and outreach. The project was code named Ascensor which is a Spanish variation of “to lift” or “uplift”.

During our time there, we discovered agriculture was not the answer. While the land was fertile and able to grow crops, the surrounding community could not support a business dedicated to selling produce to neighbors. It was possible to ship goods to the capital of Managua, but the high transportation costs would cut out the profit margin (there are few things as costly as owning and operating a vehicle in Nicaragua).

Then we looked to our next available resource, the Pacific. Our ministry partners were also doing discipleship and evangelism in Tepano which is just a few minutes from the coast. While we could have fished, the coast had not developed any tourism yet so there was not a significant consumer market nearby. The same cost-prohibitive transportation issues were a non-starter here as well.

In the end, we were led to remote working. The idea was to enable them to do computer labor for outside companies and use their low cost of living to create a cost advantage.  We considered transcription and translation but getting some initial jobs proved to be too difficult.  We eventually landed on kitchen design and taught them how to use software to design kitchens for American companies who can use the resulting 3D renderings to sell new cabinets to home owners and builders.  We also had two other BAM companies that could provide work immediately.

Phase II - Discovery

Clock tower in Diriamba, Nicaragua.

We had a reasonable idea and needed to find out if it was viable. The internet was a critical link in the chain so we started there. Our Nicaraguan team could not get internet at their home so we looked for an office in Diriamba.  We settled on one close to their home which cost $150/month. The fastest internet speed available was 5 Mbps down and the cost was $53/month.  Then, we determined we could donate two very modest laptops. We decided against laptops with more hardware horsepower because this was a trial run. We needed to confirm this was going to work before a significant investment was made. Next, we found we could do a payment plan for the ProKitchen design software which was $448/month for two licenses. It would have been cheaper to pay for it in full, but once again we needed to prove the concept before making a large investment. With the 12-month payment plan, we could terminate it at any time while also working towards eventual ownership of the ProKitchen design software.

We had donors take on the cost of the two laptops and two ProKitchen licenses. While this was not ideal, we were OK with this one-time donation because our goal was to create a self-sustaining business venture. To this point, the Ascensor team was responsible for recurring monthly overhead like the office rent and internet which totaled $203.  This meant Ascensor only had to do three kitchen designs to cover their overhead.

At this point, our initial math was confirmed and it was time to tackle the next big question: Can we teach Nicaraguans how to do kitchen design using software they have never seen for products they had no experience with. They knew what cabinets were and there were four wall cabinets in the pastor's home. However, acquiring those cabinets was much different than what we are used to in the United States. Our Nicaraguan friends provided wood to a local carpenter who hand crafted some simple cabinets and then they just nailed them to the kitchen wall. There was never a decision on the style or color of the cabinets and they were not constructed with the rest of the kitchen in mind.

Phase III - Execution

The first Ascensor team in the first office.

The first two phases were satisfied and now it was time for a return trip to Nicaragua.  In July of 2015, we went back to Nicaragua with our two laptops and installed software.  We had been communicating frequently with our missionary, Pastor Luis, and his family. We selected four people that were unemployed but were also serving in Pastor Luis' ministry. All but one were part of Pastor Luis' family.  The first day we set up the wireless network in the open air office and then begin helping the 4-person Ascensor team get familiar with the laptops and their software.

  • Skype:  We knew we would not be able to answer every question for every situation during that week so we set up Skype for video conferencing after we returned to the US.  Skype was also used to encourage the team and for prayer time.
  • GoToMyPC:  Our Nicaraguan team was just getting accustomed to the laptops so we could not expect them to maintain them as well. We set up GoToMyPC to allow us to remotely log into the laptops from the US to handle software updates, problems, and questions from the Ascensor team.
  • Trello:  We created a basic Trello board to help them manage the jobs they received. It had 4 columns to keep it simple: Not Ready, To Do, Ready for Review, and Done. The team was tasked with emptying the To Do column by completing each job that landed there and moving it to the Ready for Review column.
  • WhatsApp: We needed to be able to communicate with the team when they were not in the office. In the beginning, they didn't have much work so they only needed to be in the office when new jobs were available.

These tools enabled us to connect the teams in Nicaragua and the United States. Communication is key when you have groups in different locations, different time zones, and speaking different languages.  The team leader in Nicaragua could translate while the rest of the Ascensor team was learning English.

We spent the week doing example kitchen designs.  The team even took the laptops back to their homes to continue learning.  This led to a fifth member joining the team.  He taught himself at night and eventually became of the best designers.  At the end of the week, we felt confident the team was capable of doing kitchen design at a basic level and returned home knowing we could continue to help them using the tools in place.

Phase IV - Ups & Downs

Like all small businesses, life can be a roller coaster.  It's hard work and not always due to outside factors.  Here are a few of the highs and lows the Ascensor project experienced.

Current Ascensor team in the new office.

  • July 2015 - The team completes their first jobs and gets the satisfaction of receiving their first pay check. All were previously unemployed so we encouraged them to celebrate and they all went out for pizza.
  • September 2015 - Any time you introduce money into a situation, there can be difficulties. In this case, the team had an uncomfortable issue with one member regarding money.
  • October 2015 - After 3 months, it became clear Ascensor was not receiving enough work to support 5 team members. We had to let 2 people go which is never easy.
  • January 2016 - The team shrinks again. This time the team leader asks to leave. She struggled with the hardships that come with this type of situation and didn't want to do it any longer. At this point, Ascensor is down to 2 people and no longer has a translator.
  • February 2016 - One of the team members had a family of 5 and he needed $240/month in order to support his family. February was the first month Ascensor provided enough income for his family.
  • March - May 2016 - Business really slows down in the US which means there is very little work for Ascensor.
  • May 2016 - Final payment on the very expensive kitchen design software. This reduces overhead quite a bit and greatly increases the sustainability of this BAM project.
  • June - July 2016 - Business jumps and these 2 months nearly exceed the total for the previous 4 months.
  • September 2016 - During the down months, donors had helped out the Ascensor team when they didn't have enough work to pay their bills. After a year in business, this had to come to an end so the payment structure was reworked so all initial revenue went to overhead first.
  • October 2016 - Ascensor moves to a new office which decreases their rent from $150/month to $75/month. Less overhead helps in several ways.
  • November 2016 - First outside customer! Up to this point, all of the work Ascensor received was from sister BAM companies. Additional customers help smooth out the cash flow and confirm the team can serve other US companies.
  • December 2016 - In what had historically been the slowest month, Ascensor had their best month ever in December.

The Ultimate Goal

Pastor Luis and his wife Massiel with Global Cross missionary Sarah Broome and her husband Andy.

Ascensor set out with an eternal goal. We wanted to support the local ministry in Diriamba and employ those actively working in that ministry. Prior to July 2015, the ministry was completely dependent on donations. Pastor Luis and his family would often go without essentials in order to serve their community. In the 18 months since then, the Ascensor project provided gainful employment and paid out $6,405 to team members who were previously unemployed. Ascensor also donated $2,691 (18.7%) of their revenue to Pastor Luis and the local ministry. Lastly, we are proud to say that Global Cross received no donations from Ascensor and none of our BAM companies collected any of the revenue produced by Ascensor.

What's next? Business is trending up, but we don't know what will come. We thank God for how He has guided and provided throughout. It's amazing when we look back to see how the Lord was there at each step. We're excited to see what He has in store. Thank you Jesus.

A Letter from Pastor Luis

Global Cross and missionary Sarah Broome have been working with Pastor Luis and his family in Diriamba, Nicaragua for a several years now, and we continue to see God's hand on this ministry. Sarah and Pastor Luis have followed the Lord's leading to start a feeding kitchen for children, build homes for families in need, teach Scripture to kids, and now a church in Tepano. Not only are we thankful for support through donations and prayer, but so is Pastor Luis and the people in Nicaragua. Here is a letter from Pastor Luis on how the ministry has grown, and where they are today:

Pastor Luis preaching at the church dedication service.

We started visiting Tepano by the middle of 2013 and people started getting saved. We had the first baptisms in March 16 of 2014. The people was willing for us to have services on their yards. Every time more people was coming and we were excited about how receptive they were to the Gospel. So we continued visiting, evangelizing, and inviting them to get together with us. It has been a great joy seeing the group to grow up.
The people houses are too little and the dry seasons had been too hard when all the trees lose their leaves and there was not shade to stay under. When the rain comes and it is just a little sprinkle the people stand it and stay. But when we are there and the rain comes, the people start looking for somewhere else to go, especially if they have babies. Many times the chairs have become very dirty for being at a muddy yard. We started praying about a piece of land and a house to get together to worship. There were three places people said we could buy, even when we did not have the money. But God was already touching hearts. But no one of them had title. So, finally we did find a 1.6 acre land. Not beside the road, but about 400 yards from the road. At first I did not liked it because it was not as near the the road as I wanted. It was a dirty place, a lot of bushes and trash. As there was not option, we bought this property and to start building it. It has been a joy to see the people working voluntarily cleaning the place, digging for the foundation and doing what they could. Now we have a nice shelter and the people is happy to have a place to get together to worship.

Church dedication for Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida.

On August 7, 2016 we had a church dedication service. This is a very exciting time for Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida we pray that his church honors and glorifies God and that God uses them with His mighty power and saving grace to reach the people for Him. The name of the church was the purpose to give the Gospel to the people in that community to see them walking in new life and that is what have happened. So, for me there is nothing better to give the church the name of New Life Baptist Church. There are many need around but this one is already supplied, praise to the Almighty God. Now we are building a restroom. Thank everybody that generously has given to make all this possible! 
May our Heavenly Father richly bless you.

Pastor Luis and missionary Sarah Broome hope to build the church in four phases: 

  • Phase 1 constructs the church (without walls) and a bathroom. Complete.
  • Phase 2 will add walls and doors to the church.
  • Phase 3 includes two classrooms.
  • Phase 4 should be a small house.

Please continue to pray for the ministry of Pastor Luis and his family. If you feel led to give, you can donate here. We're excited to see what God has in store for Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida and the people in Tepano!

One Story from the Truth Festival

I was going to do something very bad.
— Johnny

We hosted our second annual Truth Festival in Belmont last Saturday and we're still wrapping up various tasks, processing photos, returning items, and giving thanks. However, we have heard some incredible and encouraging stories from our many volunteers and contributors.  We thought we would share one with you to give you a glimpse of the Truth Festival.

Andy & Sarah Broome are Global Cross missionaries serving Nicaragua.

Sarah Broome is a Global Cross missionary and was serving in one of our festival tents by sharing what the Lord is doing in Nicaragua.  A gentleman, we will call him Johnny, walks off the street and stops at her tent. They begin talking about Nicaragua and Johnny's cousin who went there on a recent mission trip. Johnny was interested in going to Nicaragua as well so Sarah asked him if he was saved. Johnny began sharing his current situation:

  • Just moved to the area 2 weeks ago.
  • As soon as he got settled down with his girlfriend, she told him it was over.
  • They have two children together.
  • Only had $200 left and no job.

It looked like Johnny had reached the bottom and decided to "do something very bad" the morning of the Truth Festival. Johnny set his GPS and ended up in a church parking lot.  He left the parking lot and went to Sammy's Pub in downtown Belmont. Johnny had a drink and then left. He went to use his phone, but noticed he did not have a mobile signal. He began walking through downtown Belmont and finally got a signal when he stopped in front of Sarah's tent in Stowe Park.

Nicaragua tent at the 2016 Truth Festival in Belmont, NC.

Plan of Salvation. A valley separates people (left) and God (right). Many think philosophy, good works, and religion can reach God but they all fall short. Only the cross can bridge the divide. Jesus is the only way (John 14:6).

Sarah explained God is the solution to our problems. Johnny said he was trying to do better and he wanted to get right before he was baptized. Sarah told him that was not possible and he didn't have to wait. She asked Johnny if he wanted to get saved and he said yes. At that moment, Doc Lawing walked by and she introduced him. Doc quickly sketched out the plan of salvation and asked him which side he was on. Johnny said he was on the opposite side from God and asked Doc how to get there.  Doc shared it with him. Johnny prayed and asked Jesus to forgive him and to come into his life.

Doc invited Johnny to church. Johnny said he might not have a car because of his girlfriend so Doc offered to pick up Johnny and his family. Well, Johnny ended up driving his family to church and was in the same Sunday School class with Sarah. He thanked her for everything.  During the following worship service, Johnny and his family were sitting together on the front row.

10/21/2016 Update: Soon after the festival, we learned one of our partner companies had a job opening. We introduced them to Johnny and they hired him for the position. Johnny has been working for several weeks and they are very happy to have him.

Light & Power Headed to Ethiopia

Global Cross and our partners in Ethiopia tested 6-7 different specification sets before arriving at the final tablet.

Global Cross is excited to announce the Leaders Book Set project is fully funded and underway. We raised approximately $31,000 USD in order to provide Parchment tablets and Firefly solar chargers to 75 leaders studying for their Doctor of Ministry in Ethiopia. These students are part of the BILD system and need access to Christian resources for their own growth and discipleship opportunities throughout Ethiopia.

We finalized our tablet testing in June and settled on the fourth and final version of the Parchment tablet for this phase of the project.  The tablets arrived in July and have been delivered to be prepped for shipping to Addis Ababa.

Global Cross partnered with the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church, AEG International, and SIM to make this project a reality.  The Parchment tablets will be with loaded with Christian materials and enable access to much more while the Firefly will provide power for regions of Ethiopia where electricity is not readily available.

Each of the 75 Doctor of Ministry students contributed $100 USD to participate in this project. Their contributions combined with several generous donors made it possible to proceed.  Global Cross will travel to Ethiopia with key members from AEG and SIM in late August to distribute the tablets and solar chargers. This will include a ceremony where the students and their tools will be blessed for God's work. Each student will receive instructions on how to get started but Global Cross will follow up with the students in a second meeting to help troubleshoot any issues and answer student questions.

80 tablets prepped and ready for shipment to Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) has been operating the Great Commission for the last 85 years since its conception in 1927. The EKHC spearheaded the vision for the Leaders Book Set which contains the Christian materials that will ultimately allow for hundreds and thousands of leaders and pastors to have modern and scalable access to the Christian resources. This project is Phase I of a larger initiative to take the Gospel to Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.  The following phases are highly dependent on the success of Phase I. We began this project in November 2015.

Joe Harding of SIM met with the Doctor of Ministry students in December 2015.

Director's Letter: Are Proverbs Promises?

In this post I will discuss whether the instruction in Proverbs is guaranteed to work every time. Are they promises? Dr. Tom Howe puts the issue this way,

One of the problems that Christians have faced in dealing with the book of Proverbs is in understanding how these bits of wisdom ought to be applied to the Christian life today. The major problem today is a tendency among Christians to make the individual proverbs absolute, universal principles of life. . . . Proverbs are not universal affirmative propositions that can be taken as absolute promises from God.

In short, the answer is no. According to Gleason Archer the instruction in Proverbs consists of “principals of wisdom.” A principal is not a guarantee. Even the word “proverb” has an imprecise root meaning: “parallel” or “similar” (Archer). The words “parallel” and “similar” are not ones we normally use when describing a guarantee. How do we understand the Proverbs then?

William LaSor says, “Hebrew wisdom is the art of success, and Proverbs is a guidebook for successful living. By citing both negative and positive rules of life, Proverbs clarifies right and wrong conduct in a host of situations.” The intention is to break down “wise living” verses “folly” (or foolish living) so that if we apply ourselves to wisdom, we will tend to experience success.

The student of Proverbs is left with the task of knowing when to apply the wisdom. Let us look at an example from Proverbs 26:4-­5:

Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.

Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Which is it; “answer not a fool,” or “answer a fool”? If we pluck one or the other and stand on it as an unequivocal dictate with guaranteed results we not only must ignore the other verse, we risk the repercussions of it. The Holy Spirit determined that these two verses (as an example) should be in juxtaposition, and there is a message in the structure (in addition to the text): the individual must determine their application. We must decide when to ignore the fool and when to answer him. This begins to illustrate how taking the Proverbs as promises just does not exactly fit.

Parents of Director Jeff Risk.

But this fact does beg the question, “How does this all work then?” Let me illustrate my thoughts. During my college years, I unfortunately chose an ugly drift from a fruitful walk with the Lord. During this time, my parents stood on Proverbs 22:6 as a promise: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” They did their part in training me up to love the Lord, and watched me develop a relationship with God as a child; so when I strayed, they asked God to bring me back to His ways. Were they wrong to hold to this verse as salve for their present pain, to assume the verse to be a promise, to ask God to now do His part? Was this approach somehow not truly following the faith?

Interestingly, Howe breaks this verse down, demonstrating from his expertise in the Hebrew language, that it could be translated multiple different ways, changing the meaning from what our English translations may indicate. An example is, “If you train up a child according to his way of living, when he is old he won’t turn from it.” Both the current English translations, and Howe’s are possible. Does this mean that we have to be a scholar for the Proverbs to be any good to us? Absolutely not!

That is not to say that we should not strive to a higher understanding. Believers of all levels of understanding must “dive in” and learn, and apply it to our lives. But sometimes the Scriptures are hard to understand. Peter, speaking of Paul’s writings, said, “There are some things in [his letters] that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:16). Notice that Peter calls Paul’s writings Scripture, and that some people “twist” them.

Our primary help with understanding Scripture should not be people. God certainly speaks and assists us through godly people, but we first should rely on the Holy Spirit for discernment and understanding. We have the Author living inside us as believers! God has given us His Word, and the Holy Spirit as our teacher. By seeking Him we are given what we need to understand His instructions through the Scriptures. The Word is “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

The power is in the Word, not in someone’s opinion of the Word. On a regular basis we should pray for understanding and dive into His Word (including the Proverbs). After, and only after, we can and should access the centuries of input and opinions of godly Christian scholars being careful to avoid the “ignorant and unstable” ones, so as to round out our study and to strive for higher and higher levels of understanding. Has God poured out knowledge and gifted these people for no purpose?

The Proverbs are not unequivocal. The Hebrew people believed wisdom is to teach successful living; and successful living was defined as, “Living in a way that pleases God” (Howe). If we follow the wisdom in Proverbs relying on the Holy Spirit for discernment, we can generally expect positive results. Living as if God guarantees our expected outcomes of any given situation is wrong headed (cf. Job 3:25). This holds true for the Proverbs.

My precious Mom and Dad did not believe that verse in error. Their approach was not somehow in a vacuum devoid of the other tender instructions of our faith. They prayed for me, they loved me despite my rebellion and disrespect, they cried out to God. He answered their prayers, and so for them in accordance with their faith, Proverbs 22:6 pointed to a concrete blessing they sought from the Lord.

Director's Letter: Ambivalence to Prophecy?

Jeff Risk, Global Cross Director

Even as a fellow believer you might remark, “God will take care of the future. I don’t need to know anything about it; I just need to live my life for His glory now.” To that I would ask, “What glorifies God? Does ignoring His Word glorify Him?” I think not!

In speaking of the end times, Peter encourages us to be learning about the end times and looking for the things about which we have learned. He describes a loud and violent end in which the earth and all things in it will be burned up in intense heat (2 Pet. 3:10).

The doctrine of inerrancy is useful. Christ is the fulfillment (already) of so many verifiable, acutely detailed prophecies, such that it can only be supernatural (so statistically improbable that to think otherwise is both humorous and tragic). Given this fact (as well as the other proofs of inerrancy), it follows that Scripture is what it says it is: the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12) – which cannot have error because it is rooted in the nature of God Himself – and it does what it says it does (teaches, reproves, corrects, trains in righteousness, equips for good works, pierces the soul and spirit judging our thoughts and intentions).

Therefore, we should read the prophecies and maintain a posture of anticipation as we gain the knowledge within them for our own benefit (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9-18).

  • Learning and being aware of what is to come promotes holy conduct as we anticipate the wrath that sits on those without the righteousness of Christ.
  • By inference of Peter’s passage, knowing that these things are coming should motivate us to tell others (loved ones first, and others throughout the earth), with a specific sense of urgency because God is being patient wishing that all would come to repentance (cf. verse 9). It is a pressing motivation to carry out the Great Commission.
  • By knowing the doctrines and coming events expounded by God, we equip ourselves and are delivered from the mouths of wolves (false teachers; cf. verse 17).

As if the foregoing is not enough, God even promises us happiness if we study these things. Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Will it be today?

Your Donations At Work In Nicaragua

Global Cross and missionary Sarah Broome treat your donations as a great responsibility.  Not only do we consult with our local partners but considerable prayer is given to how each donor contribution is applied. One of the ways donors love on the Nicaraguan people is to send supplies with missionary teams.  Each missionary on those teams carry two 50-pound bags and they are packed full with clothing, shoes, medicine, kitchen supplies, and other needed items.

One of the most common items carried to Nicaragua are shoes.  So many children need shoes and, with Pastor Luis, we bring in families so the mothers can select clothing and footwear for their children.  We distribute so many items and thought we would share a follow-up on 7-year-old Byron and the shoes he received.

Byron received these shoes in November 2015. When Sarah returned to Nicaragua she discovered he had worn completely through his shoes in two months. A lot of these children love to play soccer and this contributed to their wear and tear.  So Sarah decided to take care of his shoes and some other needs.

Sarah took Byron into town and got him a new pair of shoes, socks, underwear, school uniforms, and a haircut. This was his very first haircut at a barber.  Byron was scared of the trimmers at first but he began smiling after he realized what they were doing. When Sarah put his old shoes in the trash, Byron tried to take them because he said he could still use them.

What a blessing for Byron and his mother. He received some needed items but he is also being fed physically and spiritually at the feeding kitchen each weekday. Sarah said every time she saw Byron after getting his new shoes he hugged and thanked her.  She also said Byron's mother came to her crying and said how much she and her son were blessed.

Awana for Nicaraguan Children

Global Cross missionary Sarah Broome returned from her January trip to Nicaragua with lots to share. She was able to start a simple Awana program in conjunction with the feeding kitchen in Tepano.  As of today, the kitchen is feeding 36-40 children.  Most children finish school at noon and then go to the kitchen where they receive 5 meals each week.  Their ages range from birth to 15 years old so the kitchen also feeds a few children who are too young for school.  After lunch, they receive a Bible lesson.

Part of Sarah's mission was to deliver 50 Spanish Awana books that were donated by South Point Baptist Church.  Spanish Bibles and similar materials are hard to come by in this part of Nicaragua but now these kids have age-appropriate learning materials written in their native language. Not only are they learning about Jesus and from God's Word, but they get additional reading study.

 

In addition to Tepano, Awana materials also went to Diriamba.  This group is a bit older (ages 10 to 16) which has led to deeper discussions and study. These kids have been meeting after school, 5 days a week since early December.

 

One final note of interest: Global Cross is also operating a Business As Mission application in Diriamba called Ascensor.  One of Ascensor's employees is leading the Bible study in Diriamba while the wife of another employee leads the children's study in Tepano.

Truth Conference in Honduras

Global Cross began working in Honduras in 2014.  We started by polling local pastors and discovered a growing need for solid Biblical training and Christian resources. This led Global Cross to partner with Reed Skinner and For His Kingdom Missions to host a three-day apologetics conference for over 200 Honduran pastors last month in Tegucigalpa.

So many people contributed resources which were distributed to the pastors.

  • Global Cross donated Parchment tablets and cards loaded with Christian resources in Spanish.
  • Individual donors and organizations provided Spanish Apologetics Bibles.
  • Reasons for Hope donated Spanish versions of Who Made God? And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith by Zacharias & Geisler.

These resources were welcomed and an answer to their prayer.  The pastors were seeking solid theological and apologetics training and showed it in their enthusiasm during the event.

[The Honduran pastors] would absolutely cheer and yell if they won a Spanish Apologetics Study Bible!”
— Missionary

Joel Grout from the Institute for Christian Research also participated and provided training during the conference.

We would like to thank all those who contributed in various ways. This was a huge team effort filled with prayer and worship. We look forward to what God has in store next in Honduras.

The conference went extremely well. Anointed by Jesus. It had a great impact and was sent straight from God.
— Reed Skinner, President of For His Kingdom Missions

Save the Date: Truth Festival 2016

It's official. The Truth Festival will return to downtown Belmont on Saturday, September 24, 2016. We are excited to return to the spot of the inaugural Truth Festival and look forward to worshiping the Lord with fellow believers through music, food, fun, and truth. We will update TruthFestival.org with new details soon.

One of our wonderful food vendors expressing her love for God and the value of Christians getting together to worship and sing in public!