New and exciting opportunities
opening up in BURMA!
Operation Chariot! ‘How can I understand...unless I am helped?’ (Acts 8:31) The Ethiopian was a senior civil servant. Most likely on a diplomatic mission for his Empress, but also to worship in Jerusalem. Like today’s VIPs he was driven everywhere. His chariot was large – he could read and relax in it – he could afford an expensive scroll and was eager and able to read it! Such was the delight of the Spirit of God in this enthusiastic Ethiopian that He sent Philip far out of town to meet him. A treasury manager who soon came to understand where his real treasure lay.
Today, increasingly, many Ethiopians are seeking the same – to find the greatest treasure of all.
We in MediaServe hear the Spirit’s call, just as Philip did. There’s an extraordinary thirst for the Gospel. Something not seen before. Ethiopians are keen, even desperate, to read…and to understand. It is our job to help.
A missionary friend from Ethiopia says, ‘The Lord has opened a unique door of opportunity into two groups within the Orthodox Church. It’s almost unheard of! Monasteries in rural areas are asking for Bibles and there are Orthodox renewal groups who are urgently searching the Scriptures!’
A recent Government census shows that Evangelical and Pentecostal movements in Ethiopia are growing at a staggering rate. A local newspaper reported, ‘One of the fastest growing religions in Africa, the Ethiopian Evangelical Christian population has nearly tripled, growing from 5.4 million in 1995 to around 14 million today (18% of the population). And this does not include underground Muslim believers in many regions. The real figures are certainly much higher.’
MediaServe’s response: Operation Chariot!
We have initiated a major thrust to get another two 40-foot containers of Bibles into the hands of Ethiopians, written in the Amharic language. At the forefront of need are pastors and Christian workers who are short of Bibles. A pastor without a Bible is unthinkable to us. But it is a fact of life in many new Ethiopian churches. With the Amharic Scriptures they have a chance to draw living water direct from the Word. They can study in depth, lead and teach with confidence. Another reason to push down the accelerator on this project.
Philip followed the Spirit to bring understanding to a needy Ethiopian. We believe we must now do the same, many times over. Of course we are committed to utilising the three editions of our Amharic Bible. These have been a great success. We must print many more.
MediaServe sent over 130,000 Bibles to Ethiopia during 2009 and 2010, in partnership with others. We cry, ‘Please do it again, Lord!’
ISRAEL Drug addicts – a remarkable transformation
MediaServe staff, Frank and Piers, visited Israel in June to follow up on literature distribution there, and meet believers spreading the good news. Israel is not an easy country, as there is harsh opposition from some Orthodox Jewish groups. So it was a great blessing to meet dynamic and bold believers who, in spite of these challenges, go out on the streets each week to share the Gospel. One of these, ‘Brother D’, ministers to drug addicts in Tel Aviv. His teams give out tracts and our Russian ‘Jewish’ New Testament, and invite them to a nearby Bible study. And those who wish are enrolled in rehab programs. As so often with those who have reached rock bottom, they are very open to the Gospel. On the team are former addicts who have been saved, gone through rehab, and are now sharing the Gospel on the streets themselves. It was remarkable to see the transformation that the Lord has brought about. Please pray for ‘Brother D’ and his team.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.