Category: Evangelism

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, LifeTalk Radio, 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.

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.

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.

Revelation Today: Stories from Melbourne

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

Exciting stories are coming to light during our evangelistic meetings in Melbourne, Australia. John Bradshaw, speaker/director, and Eric Flickinger, associate speaker, are holding four evangelistic meetings simultaneously in this city at the southern tip of Australia. As the Word is preached, lives are being changed.

A man attending John’s meetings had been deaf in his left ear for 30 years. When he and his family members attended the meeting a couple of nights ago, he remarked to his family that the message seemed really loud to him. His family replied that it seemed to be normal volume to them. It was then that he realized his hearing had miraculously returned after being gone for 30 years.

In Eric’s meetings, a man named Mark attended the first night of the messages and loved it. He returned the following night with 12 members of the small group that he leads in his own church. They loved the messages as well. Each night, Mark takes copious amounts of notes during the message and then goes back to his small group of 40+ people and teaches them what he has been learning in the meetings.

Teuila has been known to some of the church members here for 10 years, and during that time they have invited her to many events, dropped off literature at her home, and tried to encourage her to join them in studying the Bible. For 10 years, she said she was not interested. About a month before the evangelistic meetings began, she responded to an It Is Written Bible school mailing and requested Bible studies. A local Bible worker followed up the request and began studying with her. Now she is attending the meetings and is thoroughly enjoying what she is learning.

The stories that are coming to light are numerous, and God is currently orchestrating even more. There is no doubt that God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. He is doing great things here in Melbourne, and we appreciate your prayers for the people who are coming out to hear them night by night.

Escrito Está Speaker/Director Meets Guatemalan President, Prays with Him

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, Pastor Robert Costa, speaker/director of It Is Written’s Spanish-speaking ministry Escrito Está, visited the president of Guatemala, Mr. Jimmy Morales, to express Escrito Está’s commitment to sharing Jesus and to pray for him in his role as the country’s leader. Pastor Costa gave the president a brief report of what Escrito Está and local churches have been doing in the areas of education, health, spirituality, communications, and social work to relieve the needs of Guatemala’s citizens. Pastor Costa was warmly received by the president and gifted him and other members of the government a favorite book about the life of Jesus, The Desire of Ages, another devotional book, and an Ambassador of Peace medal. Toward the end of the meeting, Pastor Costa prayed for God to lead and bless President Jimmy Morales and his country.

The meeting was made possible thanks to the president’s butler, who is familiar with Escrito Está and connected to local churches in the area. It is the second time Pastor Costa has met with local government officials in Guatemala, as the local church seeks to reach people in all levels of society with a message of hope in the second coming of Jesus. Pastor Costa was in the country to celebrate Escrito Está’s 25th Anniversary and held a series of meetings entitled, Un Futuro con Esperanza (A Future with Hope). The meetings concluded with 210 baptisms.

butler, Guatemalan president, Robert Costa

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, center, poses for a photo with Pastor Robert Costa, right, and his butler, left. During his March 13 visit, Pastor Costa gave President Morales an Ambassador of Peace medal.

From Then to Now: Life-changing Discoveries in Germany

Discoveries have a habit of changing the course of history. Take, for example, a discovery made by Karl Benz. In 1885, he did something no one had ever done before: married an internal combustion engine with a three-wheeled carriage, and the automobile was born. I think we’d all agree that cars have come a long way since that first “horseless carriage” that had a top speed of 10 mph. Little did he know where that discovery would lead! 

The first automobile, invented by Karl Benz in 1885.

Fast forward 133 years. In the same city where the multi-billion dollar Mercedes-Benz car company has its headquarters today, some other exciting discoveries are being made.

I recently spent three weeks in Stuttgart, Germany conducting an evangelistic series. Scores of people in that very secular city came out each evening to discover what life was all about. Entitled “Power. Faith. Hope.,” the series was designed to help people find answers to the big questions in life. And people responded.

Here are just a few of their stories.

Zehra and her family are from Turkey. She was raised in the Muslim faith, but it didn’t seem to be working for her. One day, she was walking through downtown Stuttgart and came across a literature table that had been set up by a local Sabbath-keeping church. What she read intrigued her, and she began attending church…and loved it! When the “Power. Faith. Hope.” seminar began, she was all smiles as she started to see everything fall into place.

Sam was an atheist who had been living in Iran. He felt something was missing in his life and started searching for meaning. His search led him down several wrong paths, and he ended up more discouraged than ever. When he came to the “Power. Faith. Hope.” seminar, he knew he’d finally found what he had been looking for and the smile on his face was proof of that.

Sofie was attending a Christian church, but she wasn’t finding answers to the deep, heartfelt questions that she had inside. Then a young man who had just finished training as a Bible and health missionary moved into the apartment above her. They started exchanging pleasantries as they would pass in the hall. He offered to give her Bible studies, and she loved them! Then he invited her to the “Power. Faith. Hope.” seminar, and all of the pieces finally came together.

The stories of Sam, Zehra, and Sofia are just a few of the many who have made decisions to step forward in their walks with Jesus and get baptized. There’s no question that the Lord is at work in Stuttgart.

Today, the automobile industry that Karl Benz began with his three-wheeled car is worth a whopping $1.7 trillion. But if you asked Sam, Zehra, and Sofia what their discovery of Jesus is worth, I imagine they’d tell you it’s worth a whole lot more.

Pastor Eric Flickinger and his translator preach a sermon to the people of Stuttgart, Germany.

Pastor Eric Flickinger and his translator preach a sermon to the people of Stuttgart, Germany.

Prayers for South Africa

I’m at the Atlanta airport awaiting my 15.5 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m headed there along with Pastor John Bradshaw and 30+ volunteers to take part in a big outreach endeavor in the province of Gauteng. Gauteng is home to two very large cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria, and over 12 million people.

We are going to be conducting 25 series of Bible presentations in and around Pretoria. Pastor John will be at the largest venue, an outdoor venue, at a place called Fountain Valley, where thousands are expected to attend. Our meetings start on Sunday night, October 7, and conclude on Saturday, October 20.

In addition to our nightly meetings, we have a small team of health professionals who will be working alongside local health professionals to provide basic screenings. The needs are great and the health message is a great way to introduce people to Jesus.

Please keep Pastor John and the team in your prayers. Where God is at work, we fully expect the devil to show up and try to disrupt. However, we know Who wins.

Miraculous Meeting

This past weekend at our It Is Written Partnership event in Orlando, Florida, I was told an incredible story I want to share with you. You’ll be amazed and blessed as you read.

My friend Adriana Pasos told me that some months ago she attended a seminar in Georgia. She met a woman–whom I’ll call Maria–who had come from California to attend. “Couldn’t you have attended a seminar like this in California?” Adriana asked. Maria replied that although she could have, she felt the change of scenery would be good for her, and that Atlanta would provide her with an opportunity to get away from home and learn the material without distraction.

She shared with Adriana that she came to the United States from Mexico when she was a teenager. Adriana replied by telling her that she too had come to the United States from another country when she was younger.  

“I came from Romania,” Adriana told Maria.

Maria then shared more of her experience.

“For some time, I was battling depression, and I began to feel like I had no reason to live. I thought about ending my life. But then I found a television program called It Is Written. I started watching regularly and found new reasons to live. God truly changed my life through the It Is Written program. I found a hope I had never had before.”

As you can imagine, I was encouraged when Adriana told me this. We’re always encouraged when we hear about God touching lives–and saving lives–through the ministry of It Is Written.

But then the story became even more amazing. Maria continued.

“I visited It Is Written’s website, and saw a book that interested me. It was called Hope in Present Danger. I bought the book, and through that book God gave me strength to face each new day. The book was a lifeline to me. It was the story of someone who, like me, came to this country…”

Maria paused.

“Wait,” she said. “The woman in that book came to the United States from… Romania.”

Maria stared at Adriana in disbelief.

“Was that you I’ve been reading about?” she asked. “Did you write that book?! Is it your story that helped me so much?!”

After watching It Is Written and deciding not to give up on life, Maria read a book she found on It Is Written’s website that gave her strength and encouragement. And at a seminar three time zones away from her home, she sat down next to the very person who had written that book, her lifeline.

There were tears, smiles, hugs, and a realization that the God of heaven really is an amazing God.