Bolivia actually banned evangelical churches from cities until 1945, and decades later, the church remains weak, characterized by captivating faith and prosperity teachings that replace reliance on God’s word with a confidence in leaders referred to as apostles and prophets.
"We decided to equip them with resources, like your ESV Study Bibles, and to teach them how to use these resources to study God's Word for themselves. The results were astonishing."
Suppose you wanted to ship some theological books to Mumbai, India to strengthen indigenous pastors and leaders there. If you hadn’t shipped anything overseas before, you’d probably think, "No big deal. A few bucks should get it there."
For a people ravaged by the communist genocide that cost the nation a fifth of her population under the murderous Pol Pot regime, the scars are only now just beginning to heal. But the cost to Cambodia’s Christians was far greater. Help us equip Khmer-speaking pastors to strengthen the church.
It’s been more than two decades since Ukraine gained independence with the fall of the Soviet Union. But freedom can only deliver joy; it can’t sustain it. The country has struggled, plagued by political, economic and social issues. Its pervasive spiritual problem is less obvious.
There are about 13 million people in Zambia. Although most go to church, evangelicalism is at a low point in that most of those churchgoers are not born again. As in every other country, many people believe that because they are Catholic or Anglican or members of some church, they are going to Heaven.
Each afternoon Jesús sells ice cream from a tricycle-cart he rides along the bumpy roads. The tinkling bells also inform the community that the Gospel is on its way. Each sale of ice cream comes with a free side-order of biblical truth—fresh preached.
God is working through connections with partners who serve as links in the chain of theological famine relief. “These resources are not for the masses, but for church leaders—those who feed the masses.”
In the fall of 2011, John Piper’s book “The Legacy of Sovereign Joy” was approved for legal publication in the People’s Republic of China. The previous decade had seen the loosening of publishing restrictions, and this had allowed for the development of Christian publishing. In 2012, we were able to distribute 4,000 copies to church leaders across China.
One Ugandan pastor explained that when they find a new convert who is mature, they “try to help him, and assign him to be the pastor.” The constant literal cry of pastors to me over and over is: 'We want biblical instruction!'
SEMBEQ, based out of Montreal, Quebec is working hard to reach people in the province with the Gospel. With the help of TGC International Outreach, Editions Cruciforme recently had the opportunity to also help relieve the theological famine of pastors in Africa by providing biblical resources in French.
We frequently receive requests like this from some of the most remote places in the world, and we are only able to provide resources if there is a connection with a North American based mission or ministry working in their region. I was skeptical that we would ever find anyone...
While those of us in the west enjoy a wealth of information at our fingertips, International travel can take us back in time. Africa and Asia especially have low levels of Internet penetration. Things are improving, but hindrances limit technology to the masses in developing countries.
The Congo churches are ahead of U.S. churches in their unity—“a positive by-product of war and natural disaster,” Struck said. “It didn’t matter about our denomination. They just wanted solid preaching. Circumstances have forced understanding. They have different expressions but the same Christ.”
"Now we have a model for our missions in Africa. We combine a gathering of pastors hosted by friends in a given nation where I preach. And we hand out copies of good books with sound doctrine."
For more than 20 years, Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) has provided food and other aid to the homes of children in need across America and around the world. This gospel-centered organization sees hunger relief as a means to offer much more. Their partnership with The Gospel Coalition International Outreach helps them to do that.
For several years, International Outreach sought openings to provide Spanish-language theological resources to leaders in Cuba, to no avail. The door finally opened when we came into contact with Equipo Impacto and learned that they had the capability of printing books on the island, since it was impossible to bring in large quantities from the outside.
I doubt you could find an evangelical church that denied the importance of missions. We all know missions matters, a lot more than our lives often reflect. Many of us live with low-level guilt over our lack of excitement about and involvement in God's work among the nations. Every evangelical pastor worth his salt desires a missions-minded church, but where to begin?
Most church leaders in Uganda today have received no formal training, a condition that can lead to abuses in power, false teaching and even a false gospel. In Africa, including Uganda, the great majority of those who travel to the West for ministry training don’t return home.
We met with community leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities they faced. Many of these leaders were also pastors of local evangelical churches. They had the tremendous responsibility of governing and shepherding families, schools and churches, while often struggling for essential resources.
“Most of the students have a desire and calling to evangelize their country. Many men will go on to plant churches and reach out to tribal groups scattered around the thousands of islands.” The books they’ve received will eventually be carried back with them to these remote places.
In the past few decades the numbers of evangelical Christians in Ethiopia have increased nearly tenfold. But churches there bear little resemblance to their American counterparts. Even traditional sounding churches have been infiltrated by prosperity doctrine. “Ethiopian Bible schools have 100-200 graduates each year to minister to 50 million Christians. But we don’t have resources. Not a single book.”
In recent years, new developments are bringing hope to the Italian church including the birth of varying para-church missions and activities. Structures such as publishing houses, theological institutes, campus ministries, Christian bookshops, and missionary associations have seen great growth.
The obstacles in proclaiming the gospel in Myanmar are many: persecution from the Buddhist military government, lack of transportation, over 40 dialects in the Chin State alone, as well as scarce financial resources.
In the past decade, China has become more open to publishing Christian content, with over 200 Christian bookstores opening up throughout the country. As of earlier this year, the total number of Christian books in legal circulation was about 600, with 50 to 60 new books added each year.
When I see what the LORD is doing in Malawi—especially among the young people—I feel great joy and have tremendous hope that the gospel will continue to spread widely not only in Malawi, but from Malawi literally to the ends of the earth.
From the first Christian church formed in 1952, Nepal’s believers grew to 200,000 by 1990, during times of persecution, and to some 850,000 Christ-followers by last year.
A vision to reach the Portuguese-speaking world with sound biblical truth eventually took the Denhams south, to Sao Paulo, the hub of Brazil’s growing economy.
“Cambodians have a hard time trusting,” says Lopez. “They survived the past by being quiet. They watch foreigners. We have to establish relationships.” His team is doing that through pastoral training. “With amazing effect,” he says.