Category: Updates

Building Progress: Earthwork to Steel

When It Is Written moved from Southern California to the Chattanooga area in 2014, we did not fully understand the blessings in store for us. After much prayer, research, advice, and more prayer, we moved to an area with wonderful people, a lower cost of living, close proximity to both students and volunteers, and a large number of churches to live and work among.

Anyone who has visited our temporary location on Bonny Oaks Drive in Chattanooga has seen that we are incredibly tight on space. We have converted closets, corners, and hallways to offices and are still bursting at the seams. We are unable to film many of our productions in our current studio, and we cannot add the staff we need to produce these new programs in our current space. So, with your support and God’s blessings, we are building the new It Is Written headquarters.

The groundbreaking was in July 2017 and was followed by earthworks. Building construction began in May and has progressed as fast as the weather and various construction needs have allowed. As I write this, trucks are preparing to roll in and pour concrete on the second floor. With the steel framing up, it is really starting to look like a proper building.

We do not know exactly when we will be able to move in, but when we do, we will be able to create more, record more, develop more, and evangelize more. We will be able to reach more children with the My Place With Jesus resources. The new It Is Written TV channel will continue to grow and share the gospel around the world. New programs will be developed, recorded, edited, and broadcast from this new home.

So far, about 70 percent of the funds needed to complete the building have been raised. Investing in the new It Is Written Ministry headquarters is an investment in evangelism and soul-winning. In fact, it is an investment in everything that It Is Written will do as we embrace the opportunities God presents to us. Thank you for your prayers and support of this vital work!

Click here to donate toward the building project or keep up with construction updates.

God’s Marvelous Acts

God's Marvelous Acts title picture

Here are six short stories from our mission trip to Pretoria, South Africa.

Eavesdropping Custodian

Pastor Justin Lyons’ nightly presentations were heard by a person he was not even aware was present: the custodian of the church where the series of meetings were held. Outside in the shadows, the custodian sat, listened, and learned. His heart was so moved that on the night when Pastor Lyons invited people who wanted to be baptized to come forward, he stepped into the church and came forward. I guess some eavesdropping is actually very good.

Found Purse

One of our volunteers took a taxi to run some errands. Unbeknownst to her, her wallet fell out of her purse while riding the taxi back to the hotel. This is a story that had the potential to have a very costly and stressful ending. However, God preserved the wallet from being found by the wrong person. The next person to ride that very same taxi was none other than another member of our evangelism team. God is good.

John preaching to a crowd at night

Balcony Audience

Pastor John Bradshaw’s meetings were held outdoors in a park surrounded by apartment buildings. Hundreds of people from the community attended every night. The best thing, though, was seeing people with their windows open or standing on their balconies listening to Pastor Bradshaw preach. Can’t beat a location like that. 

 

Christ’s Method

A wonderful Christian writer wrote: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’” Two of our volunteers did just that. First, they went to grocery store and bought bags full of groceries, and then began to deliver food to poorest of the poor in a squatter community. The response of the people was: “No one has ever done that for us,” followed by some joyful spontaneous singing and dancing.

Powerful Prayer

Our video projectors have American plugs. In order to use them in South Africa, we had to purchase an adapter. When Donna, one of our volunteer preachers, plugged in her video projector, the adapter started to spew sparks. She immediately pulled it out from the outlet and wiggled it to make sure that it was properly connected. Then she plugged it again but it did the same. Without the adapter, no sermon slides. Disaster. So, Donna invited everyone present to pray with her. According to a witness, it was one of the most powerful prayers he ever heard. As soon as she said “Amen,” she plugged the adapter in the outlet again and NO problem. The presentation went forward without any more glitches. However, once the presentation was done, the adapter quit working again. Don’t tell me God doesn’t take care of little things too.

Get Help! 

Our medical team has seen hundreds of patients. Though limited in what they are allowed to do, they are still doing an amazing job. Case and point is the young man who came to our makeshift clinic in a poor section of Pretoria. After listening to the young man, the doctor did a quick exam and discovered that his cervical, axillary, and inguinal lymph nodes were swollen, firm, and non-movable. A strong sign that this dear man had cancer. The doctor passionately recommended that he get help at the hospital immediately. Before letting him leave, the doctor prayed with the man, connecting him to the Great Physician.

Doctor prays with patient

Dr. Martin Kelly prays with a patient after an examination. Health clinics were held in addition to multiple preaching campaigns as part of It Is Written’s mission trip to Pretoria, South Africa.

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 missions@iiw.org to reserve your spot.

Every 11.5 Minutes – Suicide: Dealing with the Darkness

Every 11.5 Minutes Suicide: Dealing with the Darkness

Several recent, high-profile tragedies have thrust an extremely painful subject into the forefront of the national consciousness.

In the United States, someone commits suicide every 11.5 minutes. And for every successful suicide attempt, there are 25 unsuccessful attempts. About 6,000 people commit suicide every year in the United Kingdom, but as bad as that is, there are more than 50 countries that have a higher suicide rate than Great Britain.

There are a lot of people hurting, a lot of people living without hope — and more than likely some of them are living within your sphere of influence. Most everyone has been affected by suicide, and it happens to people both in and out of the church.

Suicide is no respecter of age, race, gender, or social standing.

If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, or if you feel like your life is hopeless or that you don’t mean anything to anyone, you can know there are people who do care, and there are people who will help. And if you feel you need help, please ask for help. Speak to a physician. A teacher. A parent. A counselor. A pastor or other person with spiritual wisdom and experience.

I’d love to tell you faith in God takes away the kind of anguish that leads to suicide, but even people of faith can struggle. Mental illness and emotional struggles are real. So how do we approach this from a Biblical perspective?  

Remember this: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. That’s God saying He’s there for you.  

In life, it isn’t that we want the struggles taken away entirely. We want strength to get through our challenges, our dark times. God promises you that. Don’t cave in to that impulse to think you’re not worth anything or that you don’t matter. There’s a very real spiritual battle going on that everyone is caught in the midst of, a battle in which the devil wants people to lose hope in God.  

A friend of mine, a man I’ll call Phil, felt like he simply couldn’t go on. He had made plans to end his life and was driving to the place where he intended to do so. For some reason, Phil stopped to fill his vehicle with gas. While he was pumping gas into his truck, a man he barely knew saw him and called his name. When Phil responded, the man asked him what he was doing the coming Tuesday night. “Well, I don’t have anything planned,” Phil replied.  

“I’d like to invite you to a Bible study at my house,” the man continued. “I’d just love it if you could make it.”

Phil thought a moment. “Sure,” he said. “I’ll be there. Why not?”

Phil attended the study and went back again and again. He surrendered His life to Jesus and went on to dedicate many years of his life to being a youth leader in his church. Phil often preaches in his local church.

Depression, loneliness, despair, deep pain, and feelings of worthlessness can push a person into some dark places. But regardless of the circumstances in your life, there is hope, because God offers hope and a future. An eternal future.

Don’t lose hope. If dark thoughts crowd your mind, or if you know someone battling with depression, seek help. And lean on God.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline (United States): 1-800-273-8255

It Is Written Wins Six Telly Awards

It Is Written Wins Six Telly Awards: 39th Annual Silver Winner, 39th Annual Bronze Winner

It Is Written is pleased to announce that its production team has won six Telly Awards. The Telly Awards honors excellence in video on all screens and received over 12,000 entries this year from all over the country and the world. It Is Written’s “A Lamp Unto My Feet” won a silver award in the General Biography category, competing against others like NBC Sports Group, CBS Sports, Telemundo, and In Touch Ministries. “Effective Prayer” won two bronze awards for General Religious/Spiritual and General Education. Another General Religious/Spiritual bronze award was given to “The Holy City.” “Rome and the Reformation” received a bronze award for General History. Escrito Está, It Is Written’s Spanish-speaking ministry, won a bronze award for “Desmond Doss: El héroe de Okinawa” (“Desmond Doss: The Hero of Okinawa”) in the General Religious/Spiritual category.

“I continue to be so proud of our entire team,” said Speaker/Director John Bradshaw. “This recognition shows not only that our It Is Written team is working at an extremely high standard, but that there’s a genuine commitment to excellence in ministry. Good work means successful ministry. Our staff, and those who make this ministry possible — our Partners and supporters — can know that we’re working as effectively as possible to reach souls for God.”

Watch the award-winning programs:

Revelation Today Series to be held in Kansas City, Kansas

Stories from REACH KC

A new day of hope is dawning for thousands in and around Kansas City, Kansas. It Is Written is working with area churches in two states and three conferences to host a Revelation Today series presented by John Bradshaw starting next month. This is It Is Written’s first citywide evangelistic series for this growing town. The meetings will be held in the Jack Reardon Convention Center and streamed online.

Beginning March 30, 2018, Reach KC will bring together the many church members and new friends who have been working behind the scenes to build new relationships for eternity. As the meetings continue through April 28, new friends will become part of the network, strengthening existing churches, helping new churches to form, and nurturing the new flocks following the series.

“The best follow-up to any evangelistic series is the pre-work,” said Evangelism Director Yves Monnier. “We know friendship is key to closing the back door, and we’re encouraging all area members to get involved with a Reach KC project in your home church.”

Inspiring stories are pouring into It Is Written from the early contacts. Answering the call to be a part of Reach KC, Kathy* followed up on a lead card and met Sara at her home. Sara said she did not remember filling out the card, but upon further inspection the ladies were able to figure out that Peter, Sara’s husband, had filled out the card.

As God would design it, Peter arrived home at that exact time and encouraged his wife to join him in the Bible studies; Kathy happily helped them both get signed up. When they began studying, it became clear that Peter did not have a Bible. Kathy gave him one and soon realized from his excitement that this was the first Bible he had owned in his entire life. Peter was 94 years old and he lives in urban United States! Peter eagerly anticipated what he would learn from his new book. As he continued studying his own Bible, Peter fell in love with Jesus. He loved what he is learning so much that he has asked to be buried with his Bible but quickly added, “I’m in no hurry to die!”

Now is the time to pray for the entire series. For well over a year now, It Is Written representatives and local church members have been reaching their local communities through targeted events, small group gatherings, and one-on-one Bible studies. The meetings starting March 30 will solidify the decisions many people have already made for Jesus Christ and challenge others who are still waiting to make a decision. We are excited to be a part of making new friends for Jesus in Kansas City!

Over the next several weeks leading up to this series, check this blog site often for updates and stories about how God is working. We have a lot of stories to share already!

*All names are changed.

Philippines & South Africa Mission Trips

Join John Bradshaw & It Is Written on a Mission Trip in 2018

23,000,000. That’s the combined population of two places where It Is Written is doing mission trips in 2018. Those places are the Central Luzon region in the Philippines and the Guateng province in South Africa.

The Gauteng province is home to the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria, and also the largest city in the country, Johannesburg. It is the place where four languages overlap: Zulu, Afrikaans, Sotho, and English. About 50% of the population lives at or below poverty level because unemployment is rampant. The economic forecast for these people is bleaker than a category 5 hurricane about to make landfall.  

The Central Luzon region is where the two largest cities in the Philippines are located: Quezon City (almost 3 million inhabitants) and Manila (1.8 million inhabitants). According to the World Economic Forum, Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is the fourth most crowded city in the world (behind Dhaka, Bangladesh; Mumbai, India; and Medellin, Colombia) with 38,480 people per square mile. If that number were applied to Chattanooga, Tennessee (a city of 177,000 people where It Is Written is headquartered) the population would be a whopping 25 million people. In other words, the citizens of Manila literally live on top of each other and in often deplorable conditions.

Millions in the Central Luzon region and the Gauteng province are living with no hope of a better life—nothing to look forward to. The long-term solution is not a windfall of money, or a better head of state, but a new head of heart: Jesus Christ. And that’s the message we as Christians have been mandated to proclaim far and wide.

This year you are invited to join It Is Written to share that message in the Philippines and South Africa, through two different mission trips.

Both trips are two weeks long, during which volunteers will be conducting nightly evangelistic, Christ-centered presentations. The manuscripts and slides for the presentations are provided by It Is Written and are easy to use whether a person is a veteran preacher or a novice. In addition to the nightly meetings, It Is Written is also including a health component to these mission trips. We’re not referring to simply a short health talk prior to each nightly presentation, but the operation of basic health clinics where people can visit kind and caring health professionals. Doctors (all specialties), dentists, nurses, physical therapists, etc., are all needed to build vital bridges with people who find themselves in dire situations.

The needs are great and the door of opportunity to share the Good News in word and action is wide open. Join It Is Written this year for an exciting, life-changing mission adventure.

Sign up here!

Just in Time

For decades, It Is Written has been sharing the everlasting gospel with the world. Lives continue to be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In early 2017, It Is Written Associate Speaker Eric Flickinger presented a series of meetings in Dickinson, North Dakota. This account he shared reminds me why It Is Written shares Jesus in the United States and around the world.

As a young man, Ron was ‘rough around the edges.’ His friends referred to him as “Party Boy,” and although he had no time for God in his life, he went on to own a number of successful businesses. When Ron lost much of his wealth during an economic downturn he found faith in Jesus. He decided he would run what remained of his businesses in a way that represented his Christian principles.

Ron began to support a number of worthy causes in his community and sponsored the monthly “friendship dinners” held at the very church where Eric held his evangelistic series. He and his wife Bette began to attend the church, and when Eric’s “Which Way, America?” series began they didn’t miss a night.

At the conclusion of the meetings, they wrestled with the question of baptism and church membership. After much prayer and discussion, Pastor Flickinger said to them both, “This decision is up to you. But if you’d like to be baptized, be here tomorrow with a towel and a change of clothes.” That night, Eric prayed for Ron and Bette, and the next morning he was thrilled to see them arrive at the church, prepared for baptism.

After their baptism, Ron and Bette invested their time and resources in helping others study the Bible and grow in their faith in God. The disciple had become the disciple maker. They continued to sponsor the monthly friendship dinners and did all they could to help others know the Savior. They loved God, and they loved His people and His church.

Just a few weeks ago, I received a phone call. Ron was dead.

As sad as I was, and although my heart ached for Bette, I couldn’t help but praise God for the way He had worked in Ron’s life. Once a wild young man who lived apart from God, he was led to make a decision for Christ in an It Is Written evangelistic series—just months before he passed away.

The It Is Written series had taken place at precisely the right time for Ron and Bette. Which is why we do what we do. Our television and other media productions, our resources, our evangelistic outreach, evangelism training, and so much more… It’s all to reach the Rons of this world.

And there are more Rons waiting to be reached. They’re everywhere. Ron could have been your father, or spouse, or grandfather, or neighbor, or friend. You see a Ron or a Bette at work, or when you do your grocery shopping. And they need to be reached with the best news of all.

Imagine if that series had not been held. Imagine if Pastor Flickinger had not appealed to their hearts!

Our 2018 evangelism calendar is full. We have more requests to hold meetings than we can meet. This next year will be the busiest year for media production in It Is Written’s history. We’ll produce more effective soul-winning resources. And why? Because of Ron. And because of Bette.

There are more Rons to be reached. To help It Is Written reach more people, just in time, click here.

The Reformation Revived

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, It Is Written returned to Europe. Two parallel series took place—one in Luther’s Germany where the Reformation began and the other in Rome, Italy, a place where much of the Reformation controversy centered.

ROME SERIES

In Rome, from October 25 to 31, Speaker/Director John Bradshaw preached an evangelistic series titled Solo Cinque. Solo Cinque focused on the five premises of the Reformation, known as the Five Solas. These are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Reformation to summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone); Sola Fide (faith alone); Sola Gratia (grace alone); Solus Christus (Christ alone); and Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone). “It’s really a special privilege to be able to share the message of the Bible in Rome. The city is so historic. So much has happened here that impacted Christianity and the world. God has worked through these meetings,” John said. Mariarosa Cavalieri, It Is Written’s evangelism coordinator in Rome, trained and organized over 100 members from five churches across Rome for the series. They spent more than one year preparing for the bridge-building series, Solo Cinque, which was held barely one mile from the Vatican. The series climaxed on October 31, the day when 500 years ago Martin Luther nailed his history-changing theses.

The short October series has paved the way for a longer series which will follow in May 2019. There have been powerful evidences of God at work in Rome. In the meantime, the devil was also at work trying to slow down the positive momentum. Only one month before the series, the largest participating church had a fire, possibly caused by arson, that caused considerable smoke damage. The members, however, were undeterred in their service to the Lord.

“The church was full on opening night and got more full every night. People were so thankful to hear that eternal salvation is graciously given by God to all who desire it: No penance or works required. Now we are getting ready for the full-message series in May 2019. It’s exciting to watch God at work,” It Is Written Evangelism Director Yves Monnier said.

GERMANY SERIES

In Stuttgart, Germany, Associate Speaker Eric Flickinger presented an evangelistic series titled Macht. Glaube. Hoffnung. Was würde Luther uns heute sagen? (Power. Faith. Hope. What would Luther say to us today?). The series ran for three weekends from October 13 to 29. Pastor Flickinger explored the origins of the Reformation and the similarities between Luther’s time and our world today.

The series was the culmination of months of much work, prayer, and diligent preparation. Under the faithful leadership of Hartmut Winschaft, It Is Written’s evangelism coordinator in Stuttgart, hundreds of people attended the series each night. A broad advertising campaign invited the entire city to Liederhalle, a convention center in the heart of the city, to hear God’s word resonate like it did 500 years ago.

“Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther kindled the fires of a reformation that has impacted nearly every area of life in the Western world,” Eric Flickinger said. “Now, we have had the privilege of carrying his torch forward in Germany, the very birthplace of the Reformation.”


Please pray for the people of Germany and Italy. To donate to this evangelistic outreach, visit itiswritten.com/give.