Stories of Impact

"You Have Wonderful Teaching"

wonderful-teachingThe economic situation in Pakistan is worsening. Fuel and electricity are in short supply, and so are jobs. Extremism and political instability are on the rise. That's what the headlines say.

But headlines never tell the whole story. The Bible and its truths are being taught in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country. Several thousand people attended a recent crusade, and many prayed to receive Christ. Churches and Bible schools are bearing fruit. The country is encountering both significant crises and significant opportunities.

Curnilius is a passionate leader of Bible teaching and evangelism in his country. "You need to know," he writes, "that we don't have any other quality teaching resources like Walk Thru the Bible to teach, train, and equip our people. Ever since you have started to teach these biblical courses to us, the spiritual growth of our local churches is increasing and quality of pastors teaching is improving."

Indian leaders give similar testimonies. "The people tell us, 'You have wonderful teaching,'" said one pastor. "And we tell them, 'It is not ours. It is Walk Thru the Bible's."

A pastor from the Indian state of Orissa, where persecution against Christians has resulted in the burning of many churches and the martyrdom of some church leaders, finds character series like Crucible to be very helpful in difficult trials. "We are going through a crucible right now," he says. The violence and discrimination that is directed at Christians is illegal under Indian law, but laws are often unenforced by the nationalist-dominated local government. Christians cope by appealing to God and persevering in their faith. And perseverance is strengthened by stories and teachings on biblical characters who endured years of opposition as they followed God.

Not that there is any shortage of Christian materials in India; the subcontinent has seen its share of preachers, teachers, and churches for centuries. But many of those materials are slanted toward one denomination or doctrinal branch of the kingdom of God, and some incorporate unbiblical or extra-biblical perspectives. Many Indian pastors and teachers are suspicious of the resources available to them. But they trust Walk Thru the Bible's nondenominational approach and its focus on the biblical story. They consider the ministry's resources to be solidly grounded in scripture. And they appreciate the freedom they have received to adapt those resources to the various languages, cultures, and specific needs of their communities. In WTB materials, they've found the rare combination of faithfulness to the Bible and flexibility toward the culture.

In the Philippines, as elsewhere, this is considered a key to impacting society. "The material is so transferable that the next person can teach it to the next person," says one church leader. Another Christian leader in this country believes this dynamic begins with pastors and teachers. "The churches will be the key in transforming the communities. But for churches to be able to transform the communities, they need to be led by leaders who are transformed themselves." Walk Thru the Bible is critical to that process, playing "a major role in nurturing the body of Christ," according to one pastor, and serving as a catalyst for leadership development as well as for the transformation of family and work relationships.

Couples at a recent parenting course believe that change in the community begins with families. "Very few Filipinos are proud about their family—proud in the sense of being able to invite you over to their house without being afraid of what you'll see. There is a great need for families to be restored."

Many parents are finding the instruction to be life-changing. "What we hear from the seminar is different from how we are raising our child," said one mother. "We are so blessed because now we know how to do it the right way."

In Indonesia, Walk Thru the Bible's partners are seeking to impact families by directly influencing children. Children in Indonesia average more than 30 hours of television per week, and a planned Children's Adventure program will teach them the characters and storyline of the Bible, as well as ways to apply God's truth in their lives. Many viewers are under 5 and in the early development of their sense of values. In a religiously diverse culture, this is a vital exposure to God's Word.

Herbin is a teacher of students who are much older and are learning the foundations of Christian beliefs. He attended Teaching with Style last year and believes the experience will transform his approach. "It has given me the encouragement and insights I need to maximize my teaching potential," he says. New partnerships between the ministry and 16 educational institutions in the country will help many other teachers reach students more effectively.

In the coming years, these efforts and more will continue to shape lives and connect people more deeply with God's purposes for their lives. Families are being restored, impoverished communities are being reached, believers are persevering in their faith, and churches and leaders are being equipped to have greater influence. Thousands of spiritual leaders will be trained to help the people around them step into God's story and impact their communities.

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