Category: Evangelism

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.

74 Volunteers, 57 Campaigns: Over 3,000 Decisions

Filipino children playing

Just a few weeks ago, Pastor John Bradshaw, It Is Written staff, and 74 volunteers converged in the Philippines to conduct 57 two-week Bible presentation series as part of a big Philippines for Christ evangelism project. As a result, 3,147 people have been baptized and more are preparing to make that commitment. 

The It Is Written evangelism team was composed of pastors, retirees, students, teachers, health professionals, business people, and entrepreneurs with one thing in common: a passion to share Jesus with others. The meetings conducted were held in churches of all sizes, basketball courts, rooftops, rented halls, outdoor spaces, warehouses, streets, and alleys. The evangelists went to the streets, where the people live. And many people responded, especially smiling young people. Not only did the people attend, but they also responded positively to the nightly presentations. Countless made decisions to make Jesus the Lord of their lives.

Man preaching in alleyway

Dale preached his nightly meeting in an alley.

Benilda, unsatisfied with the church of her parents, went on a quest to find the right place for her to worship and walk with Jesus. Over the years her search was fruitless. One day, recently, when riding public transportation she overheard a conversation between two people. They were talking about an exciting series of Bible meetings being held nearby. Her curiosity got the best of her, and so she interrupted the two ladies and asked if it would be okay for her to attend the meetings. That night, Benilda was present as Dale, one of the volunteers, preached his heart out. When he made the appeal for people to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, Benilda responded. She attended all the following meetings and declared that she had found what she was looking for all these years. 

Pearl, another of our preachers, noticed that one of the people attending her meetings was a man who always wore a mask. Many people in Manila wear masks outdoors because of the pollution, but he kept his on when he came indoors. Pearl was curious, so after a meeting, she caught up with the man. He told her his name was Danilo and that he was very thankful for the messages she was sharing. Pearl asked him why he wore the mask indoors. With sadness in his eyes, he explained that he hides his face because of ugly boils. Pearl immediately asked if she could pray for him. He said yes. And so she prayed for God to heal Danilo of his boils. A few nights later Pearl noticed that Danilo was missing. Actually, he wasn’t. She hadn’t recognized him because he had removed his mask. His face had no boils, just a big bright smile. Danilo, like many others, is preparing himself for baptism.

Tina, a volunteer preacher from Tennessee, was on her way to her nightly meeting when she was invited to a funeral service being held near her preaching site. When she arrived, she was told that the family wanted her to say a few words. With fear and trepidation, she stood before the crowd—but that’s when the Holy Spirit took over. With much compassion in her heart, Tina talked about the love of Jesus and how He had conquered death at the cross. It was an impromptu message, but it touched the hearts of many unbelievers.

God works in so many amazing ways to reach people. He empowers humble vessels to do it because, as Paul put it, “When I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:11. Our It Is Written team has left the Philippines but the Philippines is still very much in our hearts. We went to be a blessing to others but in reality, we are the ones most blessed. Volunteers made some encouraging comments as they parted ways:

I have hope and renewed energy to work for souls back home and to encourage all, both young and old, to follow Jesus all the way. -Dean

All I can say is, “Praise the Lord!”  I have to say that this was the most overpowering move of the Holy Spirit that I have ever experienced in my life. –Ed

This is one of the most blessed trips I have ever taken. –Rosemary

It Is Written is gearing up for its next evangelism mission trip to South Africa, October 4-21, 2018. We’d love for you to be a part of that very special experience. Please contact us at [email protected] to reserve your spot.

Faith-building in the Philippines: God at Work

Filipino children playing

Like many construction zones that have big, yellow “Men at Work” signs, It Is Written’s evangelism project in the Philippines also has a sign: “God at Work.” For several of our 58 volunteer evangelists, God was at work well before they landed in the Philippines. One of our volunteers indicated that he and his wife simply could not afford the trip. But they prayed and said, “God, if you want us to go, make a way.” And God did just that. Their tax return this year was exactly the amount they needed to travel to the Philippines. Coincidence? No. God at work.

Flooding in the streets of Manila

Even with heavy rains and flooding, evangelism meetings continue at over 40 sites.

Before coming to the Philippines, we were warned that July is the rainy season. When it rains here, it just keeps on raining and raining and raining. Schools and government buildings have closed twice this week because of flooding caused by massive amounts of rain. And so because of all the rain, a decision had to be made about our 41 evangelistic sites. Cancel the meetings or keep going? By faith it was decided to keep going because people are hungry for the word of God. That act of faith was tremendously blessed.

Pearl, one of our volunteer evangelists, reported that in spite of the rain, attendance has shot up. Over 150 are squeezing into her small venue that comfortably holds 90 people. God at work.

People in church

Meeting attendees squeeze into Pearl’s church despite the rain.

Nancy, another volunteer evangelist, noticed some commotion at the back of her venue. She kept on preaching, however, and the people just sat there soaking in every word. When she was done and ready to leave she realized that the commotion had been about water levels on the street rising fast but never coming into the church. God at work.

Kem, a volunteer evangelist from Maryland, is holding his meetings in a venue with a tin roof. Preaching under a tin roof in a downpour is like trying to preach next to a jackhammer. In Kem’s own words, here’s what happened: “By faith, last night God stopped the rain twice for us. Just when I was about to preach, the heaviest downpour you ever heard began. It was so loud, we couldn’t hear each other even though I was using the microphone. At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but I read the word ‘rain’ on the audience’s lips. That’s when I said, ‘Let’s pray.’ Almost immediately after I prayed, the rain stopped. It was a tremendous answer to prayer. Just incredible. I preached for awhile and then the rain came pouring down again. So I prayed again. And just as before, the rain came to a screeching halt. And it didn’t rain any more. That night we had an amazing altar call.”

Kem preaching under a tin roof

Kem preaches at his site, twice praying for God to stop the rain so attendees could hear the sermon.

God at work. It is such a blessing for the It Is Written team and volunteers to be in the front row and watch Him at work over and over again.

It Is Written Speaker/Director John Bradshaw says one thing in particular has made a major impression. “It’s really a blessing to be where people just love to share their faith. Evangelism is part of the fabric of church life here. Congregations know that the reason they exist is to share Jesus with others. That kind of commitment to sharing Christ is rewarded with great results.”

Our city-wide meetings in Manila continue until Saturday, July 28. On Saturday, July 21, we had the first of two big baptismal services. Hundreds of beautiful people were baptized. Please keep It Is Written’s evangelism project in the Philippines in your daily prayers. Pray for the guests, the church members facilitating these meetings, and, of course, all of the volunteer evangelists.

Pastors baptizing many people in a pool

Pastors Yves Monnier and John Bradshaw participate in the baptism of hundreds of individuals.