Category: Events

And That’s a Wrap: It Is Written Online Evangelistic Series Hope Awakens Concludes with Thousands of Responses for Christ

The media production team and Pastor John Bradshaw

The production team behind Hope Awakens poses together in the It Is Written studio after the completion of the series.

Hope Awakens, a global, online evangelistic series recently conducted by It Is Written, concluded May 16. The series of twenty, sixty-minute, livestreamed meetings began April 17. That was to be the date when Revelation Today started in a number of cities in Indiana, including Indianapolis. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those in-person meetings were canceled, but within a matter of days It Is Written was planning a virtual series that would reach all of North America and the world.

The meetings aired on hopeawakens.org, itiswritten.tv, Facebook, Roku, YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon Fire, and through the It Is Written mobile app. More than one million people reacted to the social media advertising campaign. Almost three quarters of a million people responded to It Is Written directly. Tens of thousands of people registered to attend Hope Awakens. Over 3,500 people made decisions for Christ during the meetings and are being mentored by volunteers from the 600 churches who signed up to be a part of the initiative. 

Many attendees of Hope Awakens are attending local virtual communities to continue their studies with Bible workers who received special training by the It Is Written SALT (Soul-winning And Leadership Training) team. Attendees have also been invited to attend Take Charge of Your Health, the new It Is Written virtual, one-week series starting June 22.  

Stories are pouring in from people blessed by Hope Awakens:

Denise worked on a cruise ship and was quarantined on board the ship off the Florida coast after a crew member was diagnosed with COVID-19. Denise found It Is Written online and discovered Hope Awakens. She began watching and looking into the Bible to study the texts that were being shared.

Denise’s sister wrote, “She loved the presentations and learned so much and was fascinated to learn about how the Sabbath was changed. In fact, she was angry when she discovered this truth, knowing what God says had been kept from her for so long. Internet troubles prevented her from filling out an online decision card, so she emailed her decision to an online Bible worker who sent her decision to It Is Written! On May 2, 2020, right on the ship, she kept her first Sabbath, and she did the same the following week. What a God!”

Another viewer wrote, “During the past four years, I’ve been praying for my son Chris, who struggles with addiction. He’s been watching the Hope Awakens meetings every night and requested that I call him after each meeting to pray with him. One night, his girlfriend, (who also struggles with addiction) asked to join us and tearfully surrendered her heart to Jesus while praying. Last night I heard my son pray for the first time. I am so thankful for these meetings. Jesus is changing my son’s life, and I’ve been given the privilege to witness it!”

 “Last year my church started a community garden,” said a third viewer. “We invited community gardeners to join our weekly Bible study, and two attended. One man went through the whole series of lessons and attended church once. We invited him to watch Hope Awakens. He did, and he made decisions. We just voted him into church fellowship on the profession of faith during our online church service.”

One of our Bible workers dropped off a Mother’s Day gift and the book Steps to Christ to someone watching the meetings. The recipient shared, “I think I clicked on Hope Awakens because I was depressed, and now God is answering my prayers.”  

That was the point of Hope Awakens: to awaken hope in our Savior. To give people in an uncertain world a certain hope. 

In addition to being streamed in American Sign Language, Hope Awakens has been translated and shared in seven Indian languages. Meetings are also being held in French, Italian, and several languages for refugee groups in the United States. Pastor Robert Costa just completed a companion series in Spanish, and the meetings in English are being aired in New Zealand and Australia. 

If you watched Hope Awakens, please take the short follow-up survey: iiw.us/has. Archives of the meetings are available on demand at hopeawakens.org. The new It Is Written virtual series, Take Charge of Your Health, will begin June 22. Registration may be completed at takecharge.life.

It Is Written and Local Church Leaders Reopen Churches, Provide Community Services in India

After years in disrepair and closure, 53 churches in east central India have been reopened and spiritual, health, and social services have been initiated to keep them active with the help of It Is Written. In November 2018, It Is Written began an initiative with local church leaders to reopen 50 churches that had been closed due to lack of funding. The initial assessment was not encouraging. In addition to being without a pastor, the church yards were covered in garbage, windows were broken, and doors had rusted shut with no keys. Some churches were used to store tobacco or cotton while others were serving as shelters for beggars, sheep, and buffalo. Despite these discouraging odds, It Is Written representative Josephine Biegler, chose 53 churches to reopen. 

Local leadership team at one of the churches

To ensure the churches stayed open, new church leaders had to be trained and paid. Twenty-five Bible workers were selected and began training. They studied the life and teachings of Jesus; Bible doctrines; Daniel and Revelation; history of the church; world religions; health principle; the gift of prophecy; major and minor prophets; and the writings of Paul. Jack Phillips, It Is Written Bible Work Coordinator, traveled to India and conducted a special course on practical methods for giving Bible studies and reaching the local communities.

After thorough training, these Bible workers were placed in the villages to care for their two assigned churches. They cleaned each church, and professional repairmen made repairs and painted walls. Each church was given a new PA system, a culturally essential component to corporate worship. The Bible workers faced prejudice from community members because community members’ trust was damaged or broken when the church closed. 

Community health workers were hired to help the Bible workers overcome this prejudice. These ladies created a way for the Bible worker to enter the community with the gospel. Each worker was given training, a scale, stethoscope, blood pressure machine, and the book Where There is No Doctor in Telugu, the local language. The health workers check glucose and blood pressure levels, care for fevers, and bandage wounds. They taught about cleanliness and educated the villagers about the harmfulness of tobacco and alcohol. These women visited every home–Hindu, Muslims, and any other religion–praying for the suffering at the end of the visit. Some of the villagers accepted Christ because of the health workers’ invitations.

Newly opened churches began conducting night literacy classes in 26 of the churches. Eight adult literacy volunteers taught basic reading and writing along with Christian songs. They also prayed with the students and encouraged each to come back to the church on Sabbath. Through their efforts, people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior through baptism. 

A United States sewing ministry partnered with the churches to offer sewing classes for local women. The ladies learned how to make garments, were given a brand-new sewing machine, and were invited to accept Christ as Savior. They left the class spiritually fed and with training to become financially independent. 

The health and social services were augmented with spiritual resources. Students from an Indian theology school conducted a three-day evangelism program in each of the 53 churches. Their program helped support the Bible workers in reaching the unreached and gathering the scattered members. These students visited the entire village, prayed with everyone they could, and invited the community to the meetings at the church. Later, another seven-day revival meeting occurred in 10 of the newly opened churches. These meetings were targeted to the local youth. They learned songs, Bible stories, and skits and left encouraged to be the strength of the new churches. Many young people gave their lives to Jesus Christ through these meetings. The younger children were not left out. Last summer, over 60 days, two college students conducted Vacation Bible School in 20 of the reopened churches. They worked with the village children, taught them new songs and Bible stories, and made crafts. Nearly 800 children participated. 

Earlier this year, the It Is Written Eyes for India program conducted a medical camp for 100 villages including the 53 villages with newly reopened churches. Medical physicians from the United States provided free medical expertise and partnered with local nursing students. Over 2,300 patients were treated, over 4,500 people were screened for cataracts, and 927 were selected for cataract surgery which began on February 24. 

During the month of February, two It Is Written mission teams traveled to India to hold revival meetings at 20 locations covering the 100 villages that also received medical care. Over the course of the month, approximately 4,500 people attended these meetings throughout the sites. God poured out His blessings, and 1,197 people accepted Jesus into their hearts.

And the work hasn’t stopped. Ongoing plans include quarterly meetings conducted by a local Indian evangelist to cover spiritual growth topics like the Sabbath, stewardship, continuous soul winning, children’s Sabbath school, and health. The churches continue to hold youth ministry events and widow prayer ministry activities. Every quarter, the church will also conduct an eight-day training for elders to equip them to serve the church and community. And 48 more churches have been selected for reopening and have already been cleaned. In May, the It Is Written Hope Awakens sermons were translated into seven Indian languages and livestreamed in Facebook to the entire local area. Thousands have seen the broadcasts.  

The infrastructure is established to ensure these churches stay open for many years to come and continue growing and serving their communities with the love of Jesus. The treasurer for the local church in India writes, “Thank you It Is Written for entrusting us with the resources we desperately needed to reopen churches….Thank you Ms. Josephine and the It Is Written team for everything, and we request that you continue to support the work we are determined to undertake here in India. God bless you all.”

This project was made possible through the support of It Is Written donors. To donate to future It Is Written mission and humanitarian projects, click here and select “It Is Written Missions.”

Bible workers and community health workers

Eyes for India camp

Escrito Está Holds Virtual Meetings with Nearly 250,000 Views

Between April 18-25, Pastor Robert Costa, speaker for the It Is Written Spanish ministry Escrito Está, shared hope with people in Mexico. Under quarantine orders himself, Robert Costa conducted an online evangelistic series for the North Mexican Union entitled El poder de la Esperanza (The Power of Hope) from his home.

The event was live streamed through Facebook and YouTube. Due to the online platform, other conferences and churches throughout the three Americas and Western Europe joined the event. The attendance peaked with 247,000 views opening weekend and remained strong with 170,000 consistent views night over night. 

“I am so excited to see people making decisions for Jesus Christ,” said Robert Costa. “We are living in unprecedented times and it’s an honor and a privilege to share hope with people looking for answers.”

The event was preceded by social media invitations and special training sessions for church members to invite their friends and relatives to join the online meetings. On the closing Sabbath, 204 baptisms were held in the Union, despite government restrictions limiting churches to groups of 10. Over 1,200 baptisms have been requested once restrictions are lifted, and Bible studies continue for many more.

Additional information about the series, including links to watch the presentations, may be found in Spanish on the Escrito Está website by clicking here.

Pastor Costa will be conducting other online series for Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua in May. Starting May 9, Pastor Costa will begin a series for North America entitled Esperanza en Jesus (Hope in Jesus) as a part of the It Is Written Hope Awakens series which began April 17. The series can be watched at hopeawakens.org

It Is Written Spared From Tornado Days Before Global Evangelism Initiative

A tornado touched down just feet away from the It Is Written ministry headquarters in Collegedale, Tennessee, early Monday, April 13. Reports of power outages, missing persons, and deaths filled local news reports Monday morning. 

The It Is Written offices were running on generator power Monday. When staff went to check on the building, they were met with debris all over the parking lot and hundreds of trees snapped in half all around the building. Power was restored to the building Tuesday.

“Miraculously, the building was spared,” shared Pastor John Bradshaw, It Is Written president. “It became clear when we looked at drone footage that tornadoes had come through on either side of our ministry home. They flattened trees along two distinct paths before lifting just yards short of a nursing home and a dental practice. We’re extremely grateful to God, and we are praying for those families and businesses that have experienced devastating loss. We were spared from what would have been a disaster. Literally a few feet in either direction and things would be very different today.”

The storm came just days before It Is Written is set to begin Hope Awakens, a virtual online evangelistic series. As of Thursday, April 16, over 40,000 people had registered for the live event, which begins Friday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Registrations continue to pour in. 

“We are trusting God to get us up and running in time for the meetings,” Pastor Bradshaw said. “God knows how urgent it is that people hear hope and certainty, when there is so little in the world right now.”

Pastor John Bradshaw will be the featured speaker during Hope Awakens, which will livestream online and on mobile apps. Registration for the series can be completed at www.hopeawakens.com.

Closed to Travel, Open to Christ

Europe was closing to international travel just as our team of volunteers arrived in Siberia. Some had to return home immediately, but those who could, stayed, and God multiplied their efforts. The small group divided themselves between three cities: Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Ulan Ude. They held three evangelistic meetings and three medical clinics. 

Pastor Armen, a local pastor, shared this report about our team’s time in Novosibirsk: 

From March 14 to 20, in Novosibirsk, on the right bank, the It Is Written volunteers held a comprehensive wellness program. In the morning, for four hours before lunch, they took blood pressures, measured blood sugar, and took vitals. About 30 community members received consultations along with 15 church members. 

Doctor Ken Mindoro gave daily health lectures from a Biblical perspective. He covered eight principles of health and answered group and individual questions. He also spoke with each guest, answering questions about health and lifestyle changes. Each guest received a health book and diary, and every day before the lectures, instructors and organizers of the program prayed with the guests.

The time invested resulted in a huge blessing. As Dr. Ken said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This isn’t his or his family’s first mission trip, but it was their first trip to Siberia. “My wife and I wanted to help people living in Siberia,” Dr. Ken shared. “We wanted to share principles for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and worship with Jesus together. Next year, if God pleases, we plan to come back to Siberia to serve people in new areas.”

One guest I’ll call Natalia left her address and said that she would like to be visited for prayer and further study. The local pastor and his wife arrived at her home and presented her with a book called Steps to Christ. They also prayed for her health, for the well-being of her family and grandchildren, and listened with interest to the story of her life and learned about her relationship with the Lord.

“Something attracted me to visit this program,” Natalia explained, “I was invited by my friend who politely and lovingly told me about the love of God. I felt a special atmosphere of kindness and light here.”

As a result, a trusting relationship was established, and Natalia and others like her came to find peace in Jesus’ love. The week ended with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper with the community and the baptism of five souls who joyfully joined the local church family. 

As of March 27, all the volunteers had safely returned home, thankful for the opportunity to fellowship and serve in Siberia. Due to the current travel restrictions and health concerns, several of the upcoming It Is Written mission trips have been postponed. To learn more visit our missions page.

 

Going Strong in Siberia

In spite of all the coronavirus frenzy back home, our Siberia mission trip volunteers are doing very well in Siberia. They are working in three large cities (Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Ulan Ude) where they are conducting health clinics during the day and Bible presentations at night.

The doctor in Novosibirsk, who also happens to be the preacher, summarizes his day as follows: “We are fully utilizing the clinic space to register our guests, perform a number of health screening tests (including a step test, blood pressure, and blood sugar screenings). After a prayer with the whole team, we sit down with our guests to discuss the health topic of the day. So far, we have discussed diabetes and epigenetics. Today, we will be discussing cancer screening and prevention. Following the group discussion, we set aside time for one-on-one consultations with the guests, during which we personally invite each and every one to our nightly meetings. Attendance at the nightly meetings is usually between 20-25 people. I am presenting both a health topic and the main sermon every evening. We continue to have new guests coming each night, and some have responded to appeals for baptism.”

Keep praying for our team in Siberia.  They are doing an impressive work for the Lord.

It Is Written Missions: Belize Update

In late February, 27 students and teachers from Jefferson Christian Academy in Jefferson, Texas left for the country of Belize on their first It Is Written mission trip. They didn’t know what to expect, but they were excited. From freshman to seniors, the group was ready to work. And they worked hard. 

Belize is a small, lush Central American country squeezed between Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. In February, the weather is beautiful: warm in the day and cool at night. The students were welcomed with open arms and quickly learned to love the local fare–beans and rice. 

The students made their two-week home at the La Loma Luz Hospital and set out to make friends for Jesus. Several of the students were assigned to build housing at the hospital–a project that has seen very gradual progress over the past three years. In just a few days, they made record progress. A mechanic and fellow student leader repaired several local vehicles, shared some of his trade tricks, and left some of his tools so that more repairs could be made. 

Pila, the academy’s boys dean and trip leader, knew this trip would be different. For the first time, the students were going to be preaching some of the three evangelistic meetings taking place in the evenings. Joined by the mission team choir and equipped with It Is Written media slides and notes, the students prepared to share what they believed in English and Spanish. 

One meeting took place in a tent across the street from a city park filled with young people, loud music, and alcohol. One night, as the students preached, a man approached Pila and asked him about Daniel 11. Pila could smell the alcohol on his breath as the man shared that he had been baptized 45 years before. Pila saw him the next night, listening from under a tree across the street. He prayed that hope was being planted in the man’s heart again. 

During the day, the student choir provided a Vacation Bible School program at a nearby grade school. The teachers took a needed break while the It Is Written mission team sang songs, played games, shared stories, and made friends. Nathan caught the eye of Erian, one of the grade school students. Just seven years old, Erian came from a broken home. When things were not going well at home, his mother would pack him a bag and send him out to the street until the police would pick him up.

Nathan and Erian soon became inseparable. At the end of the two weeks in Belize, the team planned an outing to tube some caves and do zip lining. Nathan couldn’t leave Erian behind. He decided to let his friends go on without him, and he spent the day with Erian. As Nathan left for the airport the next day, Erian hung on for dear life. He didn’t want his new friend to leave. 

As the team left, students gave up purchasing memorabilia from their trip. Instead, they saved the money to buy their new friends in Belize gifts like crayons and colored paper. Nathan said he wanted to save the $45 a year it will cost to keep Erian in Christian school. 

Back home, the academy students asked Pila if they could go across the street and spend time with the grade school children here. They realized how a little attention and a smile could make a huge difference in a child’s life. 

“We will definitely do an It Is Written mission trip again,” Pila promised. “Everything went so well. It was such a blessing to be on this trip. I asked the students to raise their hand if they enjoyed the trip. Everyone’s hands went up and they told me, ‘We went to teach but they taught us. We didn’t just enjoy it, we were blessed!’”

It Is Written hosts mission trips around the world every year. Learn more at itiswritten.com/missiontrips

At the Right Time

God’s time is the right time. It may not always make sense, but it is always the right time. I was recently vividly reminded of that in two very different places in the world: Indianapolis, Indiana and Beirut, Lebanon. These are two of the places in the world where It Is Written is actively involved in sharing Jesus with people. Our approach is simple: Go where God leads and build relationships with those we encounter. This method has proven to be extremely successful.

A couple weeks ago, a group of us went into diverse Indianapolis neighborhoods to distribute the first lesson of the It Is Written Bible Study Guides. By the time we were done, 57 individuals had gladly accepted the lesson and were open to receiving another one the following week. David and Sandy, who were part of our team, stopped by the house of a lady who was watching a preacher on television. She explained to them that she was confused about what he was teaching. That’s when Sandy opened her Bible and clarified the confusion straight from the Word of God. The lady was so thankful that she invited them to come back. They did, and together around a table, they are now opening the Bible and allowing it to speak for itself.

A few days ago, just like in Indianapolis, a group of us went into the suburbs of the city of Beirut in Lebanon. There was some fear and trepidation because this city is made up of people who are committed to their family’s religion. But where God leads, He opens doors. And He amazingly did that for us. Two of our volunteers found a woman who told them that she’s been recently reading the Bible but having a hard time understanding it. My two friends eagerly gave her the first study of a series that they explained would help her understand the Bible. She was so happy. They were at her house at the right time.

Even though I don’t speak any Arabic, I joined two other volunteers to go where God would lead us. As we approached a busy apartment building, we ran into a lady who was buzzing someone at the door. My Lebanese friend started conversing with her. She gladly interacted with him. Even when her family joined her downstairs she was in no rush to end the conversation. When we offered her the Bible study lesson, she took it with a smile and was open to another lesson in a week. As we parted, we remarked that if we had arrived at the apartment a minute or two later we would have missed this family altogether. God’s timing. After just two days of going into the community like this, 50 homes are open for a return visit. Isn’t that awesome?!

Keep praying for It Is Written and our faithful volunteers who go into the highways and byways to find people for Jesus. Millions and billions are searching for something better in life, and we have what they are looking for: Jesus.

The city skyline of Beirut, Lebanon.

Best-kept Secret: ReCharge!

Evangelism is the very front line of Christian warfare. That’s where amazing victories are secured but also where bitter defeats are endured because the devil does push back. And all can be at a significant emotional toll for all those involved in soul-winning. That’s why in 2018, It Is Written inaugurated ReCharge, an annual evangelism retreat, designed specifically for those in the thick of the battle for lost souls. It is a time to recharge and then to go back out, invigorated to charge on for the Lord.

Our most recent ReCharge took place December 15-17, 2019 and included church leaders, pastors, and members from 16 conferences. At the serene Cohutta Springs Conference Center near Dalton, Georgia, the group was inspired by the timely presentations of Bill McClendon, Alan Parker, and Eric Flickinger, all veteran evangelists, as they focused on church revitalization through evangelism. However, the best part about the time together was the fellowship, a time of sharing and encouragement. 

One of the pastors in attendance shared a little bit about his journey in evangelism. He opened up about the struggles he faced leading his church from complacency to church growth. Everybody felt and related to the raw emotion. What he was going through was exactly what so many others present were going through as well. When he was done, the group paused and prayed for divine intervention. It was a powerful moment. 

The three days went by way too quickly. Everybody departed energized to start a new year, 2020, with God’s wind in their sails. The departing comments were encouraging. One attendee said in reference to the experience, “It recharged me with renewed energy to keep going and not give up.” Another person shared that “the combination of specific leadership and personal experiences helped me greatly to incorporate the learning into my own situations. I loved sharing some of my story and praying with others.” Another person put it like this: “I’m so happy I took the time to come. This must be one of the best-kept training event secrets.”

It Is Written is already planning for the next ReCharge retreat at the end of the year, December 13-15. We pray for an even larger group to be present and that ReCharge will no longer be a best-kept secret. Jesus is coming soon and more than ever we need to fulfill the Great Commission entrusted to us. View photos of the event below.

To God Be the Glory–Always

It Is Written’s mission trip to Ethiopia is now in the rearview mirror. Our faithful volunteers are making their way home with lots of photos, memories, a greater appreciation for the simple things of life we take for granted at home, and a renewed passion for the Lord and His mission to save humanity. It was indeed a wonderful and life-changing journey.

Yves Monnier, left, and his translator, Oromo, right, introduce the sermon.

The grand finale of our two-week mission trip took place this past Saturday. That’s when we had an amazing worship service with well over 2,000 people in attendance. Wow! One of my fellow pastors, who had learned quite a bit of the language (Oromo), decided to be my translator for the introduction (we had scripted what I was going to say ahead of time). You should have seen the people smiling and laughing in appreciation. At the end of my sermon I made an altar call. At first very few moved and then the congregation spontaneously started singing. A God-moment, because that’s when people started streaming down. Just amazing. 

Hundreds gathered on the shores of Lake Langano for the baptisms.

As soon as the worship service was completed, the It Is Written team was whisked away to the shores of Lake Langano where hundreds of people had gathered to be baptized. On this day, this picturesque lake surrounded by rolling hills became a giant baptistery. Our pastors joined the local pastors to baptize 440 precious souls. The age of those baptized ranged from children to a one-hundred-year-old lady–a reminder that it’s never too late to make Jesus first in your life. The smiles of all the people coming out of the water said it all. 

When good things are happening, the devil always seems to show up. And he did at one of our nightly preaching sites, the largest preaching site. There was significant political unrest in that city (not caused by our meetings). The military were called in, the internet was shut down in the entire country, and our nightly meetings had to be canceled for safety reasons. Thanks be to God that no one was harmed and our dear pastor was able to get out without problems. However, the very large baptismal service planned for that area had to be postponed. 

The pastors line up with their new It Is Written jackets.

On Saturday evening the It Is Written volunteers and the local leaders and pastors had one last meeting together. This was a time to thank our hosts and, above all, praise our Almighty God. During the meeting we gave all the Ethiopian pastors a jacket with the It Is Written logo. This is not something we usually do, but we did in this case for a very particular reason. When I came to Ethiopia in January to plan and organize the mission trip, I quickly realized how poor the people here are. What drove this point home with me was when I saw one of our dear pastors whose only jacket was a hand-me-down with the logo of a cigarette maker. What?! That’s when I determined that he and the other pastors needed It Is Written jackets. The ear-to-ear grins of these guys wearing their new jackets was priceless.

To God be the glory for another successful mission trip. By the way, we’ve got a great line-up of mission trips in 2020. Join us on one of them and experience God in a most powerful way. 

Click to read the first report of the Ethiopia mission trip.

Click to read the second update from the Ethiopia mission trip.