Category: Updates

8 Lessons From the Coronavirus

There’s much we can learn from the coronavirus crisis. Let’s look at a few coronavirus lessons, in no order of importance.

1. People can make you sick. I heard a sermon more than 25 years ago, preached by a man who sadly is now no longer a believer. He said that if you grow a garden, you wouldn’t be wise to locate it right at your property line if your neighbor’s property was filled with weeds. Because even if you do everything right, seeds from your neighbor’s property are going to blow into your garden and fill it with weeds. Proximity is a serious consideration. The same is true with the coronavirus, which affects people via other people. We need to be careful about what we catch from other people.

That’s especially true in a spiritual sense. It’s vital that we’re careful about what we catch from other people. Associations matter because attitudes rub off. If you’re in school and the popular kids aren’t serious about God, having them in your inner circle could be hazardous to your spiritual health. If your work associates or friends are corrosive to your faith, be exceedingly careful about how you let that association influence you. People have influence. We’re all influencers. Be careful of the influence of others.

2. Be careful how you spray. We’ve been reminded again and again to cough or sneeze into our elbows, so as not to affect or endanger others. Too many people “spray” their anger, bad language, and hateful attitudes on other people, who in turn are adversely affected by that. Your racist, sexist, or demeaning “joke” might be funny to you, but it’s going to harm others. Venting your anger might be acceptable to you, but it “sprays” on others. When you see a skunk, your first reaction might be, “I hope that thing doesn’t spray near me!” Some people evoke the same reaction as skunks. “I hope he doesn’t blow up.” “I hope she doesn’t start criticizing other people.” We have no right to “spray” others with our dysfunction. If you can’t muster up self control, if you can’t surrender your anger and frustration to God, it doesn’t make it okay for you to spray it upon others. It’s unfair, and it brings others down.

Lesson 3 from the coronavirus. It’s important to separate fact from fiction. “10 percent of the world’s population is going to die.” “This will last 18 months!” The truth is, we don’t yet have all the answers. I’ve seen numerous emails being forwarded containing miracle cures, the “truth” about the coronavirus, and remedies that are guaranteed to keep you safe. It’s almost certain that they won’t. The internet is like the Sears-Roebuck catalogues of yesteryear. You can find almost whatever you’re looking for. The same is apparently true of the Bible, because there are people who can appeal to the Bible to support just about anything at all. It’s important–from a Biblical perspective–to separate fact from fiction. Don’t fall for every last thing someone tells you about God, or about the Bible. The devil has no shortage of people wanting to lead you astray, divert your attention, and weaken your faith. The Bible is the truth. What someone says about the Bible is not necessarily the truth.

4. It’s good to think about the common good. We’re in this together. Your actions have a reaction. That’s why EVERYONE is being asked to act responsibly, to consider others. It might be that the coronavirus is going to bounce right off you. In fact, statistically speaking, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to be barely affected, physically. But even if you’re okay, you don’t want to be a carrier, a transmitter, of this illness. Spiritually speaking, you can be a negative force or a positive force in this world. You get to choose what you’re going to be. Consider your influence and use it for the good of others. And notice: at no time have you heard it said that only people who are specially qualified can pass on illness. You just have to be alive, and you can be a carrier. It’s the same with faith. You don’t have to be special, just special to God, and you can act for the good of everyone.

Lesson 5 from the coronavirus. Do the simple things to protect yourself. Wash your hands, avoid the sick, eat well, exercise, get rest. These are simple things. In faith, it’s the same. Read your Bible. Talk to God. Let your light shine. There’s nothing hard about these things. Spiritually, you want to do the simple things to protect yourself. If you’re not reading your Bible, then you’re not spiritually strong, and you shouldn’t fool yourself into thinking you are. Prayer and Bible reading are habit-forming. Do them, and you’ll want to do them more.

6. Things change fast. Two months ago, precious few people were talking about this. Now it’s the topic of almost every conversation, and it is dominating the news. When 2020 began, we had no idea that less than three months later the economy would be shutting down, cities would be under lockdown, people would have lost jobs, schools would be shut… Someone once said that the final movements would be rapid ones. That statement couldn’t be any more correct.

7. A final lesson from the coronavirus (and there are certainly many more.) It’s always right to do the right things. It’s always been right to look after your health, to cough into your sleeve, to stay away from work when you’re sick or contagious, to get exercise, to get adequate rest, and to think about the wellbeing of others. It’s best to incorporate these principles into your daily life anyway. It’s wise to simply make good practices part of everyday life. The same is true in a relationship with God. You don’t want to wait until tragedy strikes to discover prayer. You don’t want to be in the midst of a crisis to turn to the Bible. The wise things are always wise. Right is always right. God’s principles for successful living are simply the best things to do.

8. A final final lesson! Have faith in God. God has not given us the spirit of fear, according to 2 Timothy 1:7. God truly exists (Hebrews 11:6), He is love (1 John 4:8), He loves you (Jeremiah 31:3), Jesus is coming back to this world (John 14:3), and eternity awaits (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This is a great time for faith in a great God. The best is yet to come!

P.S. Don’t miss my conversation with Dr. Roger Seheult, a pulmonology, critical care, and sleep specialist. Dr. Seheult shares some vital insights into the coronavirus crisis. Be sure to watch and share with others. You can click here to watch it.

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

It Is Written Honors Black History Month With Three Special Programs

In February, It Is Written aired three special programs in honor of Black History Month. Two were new programs, and one was a rebroadcast of last year’s “Black Wall Street,” which won five Telly Awards

Black History Month is an important part of the American landscape,” said John Bradshaw, president of It Is Written. “Last year we began filming programs specifically for Black History Month, realizing we had the opportunity to not only tell important stories from the history of this country but also to draw powerful biblical principles from these stories.

In recent years, It Is Written has invested more time and energy into filming inspirational and uplifting programs on location, which has allowed for a greater and more diverse range of storytelling. “These on-location programs give us the opportunity to dig deeper into biblical themes and present Christian principles, taken right from the Bible, with far greater effectiveness,” said Michael Bell, It Is Written media production director. 

The Black History Month programs cover important historical civil rights events. “The story of the Black Wall Street in Greenwood, Oklahoma, is barely known, in spite of it being one of the most shocking events in American history,” said John Bradshaw. “The story of the Scottsboro Boys once gripped the country, but it’s a story that’s now all but forgotten. It shouldn’t be. The story of what happened in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 is frequently retold and even reenacted, but for many people, it’s history and little more. These stories can inform our todays in addition to reminding us of our yesterdays. We’re not only remembering history, but we’re also looking at that history through the lens of the Word of God.”

The programs were well-received by a diverse audience. One viewer wrote, “Thank you so much for your acknowledgment of Black history! Thanks for the courage to share the wrongs of the past!”

“We would like you to know how full of gratitude our hearts are for, not just the It Is Written program, but in particular, the ‘Black Wall Street’ broadcast,” said another viewer. “We were not aware that this event ever took place. That is why we want you to know how thankful we are that you took the time to produce this program. This worldwide ministry is a blessing to us and so many others; it looks into things that most churches don’t pay much attention to! In conclusion, we say to the entire staff and volunteers, keep up the great work. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6).”

“Thank you for producing these programs in recognition of the American history which involves African-Americans and our connection to the mission of Christ,” wrote a third viewer. “When the church speaks openly of issues (past and present), we learn how to speak with compassion and Christian love. Thank you again for your ministry!”

“I just watched it on TBN,” another viewer wrote. “It made me cry. I’m from Mexico, and I owe Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others like him and Pastor Reeb for all they sacrificed so I can now enjoy the freedom I have. God bless all who are still sacrificing so much for others.  And I thank God for His Son that made the biggest sacrifice for us all.”

“It’s not just our viewers that have taken notice,” said Michael Bell. “Our peers are also praising our programs for their quality and excellence. Last year, ‘Black Wall Street’ won multiple Telly Awards, including those for writing, editing, and cinematography.”

Learn more about the programs below. Click each title to watch it. 

“Black Wall Street”

In 1921, more than 300 people were massacred, thousands were left homeless, and an entire town was destroyed when people turned on their fellow citizens—in the United States of America. Which raises an important question: What kind of person would do that? The answer is surprising. Join John Bradshaw on location in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as we look at the challenge faced by every person: the sinful heart.

“Rights & Wrongs”

In the 1960s, the civil rights movement made history as Americans took a stand against racial injustice. Join John Bradshaw on location in Selma, Alabama, as he examines the atrocities committed there and the bravery of those who stepped up to do what was right, even when it cost them their lives.

“The Scottsboro Nine”

It was a colossal miscarriage of justice: nine young men found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit, and the deciding factor was the color of their skin. Join John Bradshaw in Scottsboro, Alabama, for this story of brutal discrimination, and learn why it’s so important to serve a God who is just.

The Coronavirus “And All the World…”

Everyone is talking about it. All over the world.

People are getting sick. People are dying. The stock market has taken a hit. Tourism numbers are now plunging in some parts of the world. It might impact the Olympic games.

As of Tuesday, March 3, there were approximately 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, across the United States. There have been around 90,000 reported cases in the world, with around 3,100 deaths (including six in the U.S.).¹

Where the numbers will eventually go is anyone’s guess. But thankfully, the coronavirus isn’t HIV/AIDS or Ebola. Or even the flu. It’s serious, and it’s highly contagious. But as far as global epidemics go, as bad as it is–and 3,100 deaths is a tragedy, to be sure–the CDC estimates by comparison that as many as 46,000 people have died from the flu since October of last year in the United States alone!²

What we’re seeing is that it takes no time at all for the planet to focus its attention on an issue. The coronavirus as a phenomenon shows us that an issue can become an absolute global phenomenon like that. And that’s something that has prophetic significance.

For more than 25 years, I’ve had people ask me how the Earth’s last great crisis is going to become a global issue. I’ve lost track of how many times people have asked me how authorities will know who is refusing to receive the mark of the beast. “How will they know who’s going along with the mark of the beast and who isn’t?” Of course that’s a fair question, but what we’ve been reminded of yet again is that society is able to focus its attention on an issue, and make that issue the issue for the world, in no time at all. And that’s what’s going to happen in the end of time.

The world has become much smaller in recent years. Electronic communication has increased the speed with which news can travel and the ease with which reports can be beamed from one part of the globe to another. Someone once said that the final movements of this earth would be “rapid ones.” That someone was right.

We need not speculate as to when certain prophetic events are going to take place. We already know the answer. Soon.

The coronavirus phenomenon shows us things can change incredibly quickly. The Bible says that “and all the world wondered after the beast” and that “all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him” (Revelation 13:3, 8). We’ve seen clearly illustrated in the last few weeks how an issue can become a global issue virtually overnight, how the unlikely can become a global reality in no time at all.

Six thousand years ago the Earth was infected with a disease called sin. It won’t be long and the whole world will be talking about the issues that will dominate the closing scenes of this world’s history.

Everyone will be talking about it. All over the world.

And those who are fully surrendered to Jesus will experience final deliverance when Jesus returns.

Click here to watch a video about coronavirus prevention and implications from John Bradshaw and medical expert Dr. David DeRose. A Spanish transcription of the video is available here from Escrito Está.


¹https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/coronavirus-outbreak-death-toll-us-infections-latest-news-updates-2020-03-03/

²https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

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.

It Is Written to Host Grand Opening of New Headquarters

It Is Written Headquarters

It Is Written will host a grand opening of its new ministry headquarters in Collegedale, Tennessee, on Friday, November 22, 2019, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. The event will feature a dedication, a ribbon cutting, an open house, ministry tours, giveaways, and refreshments. Speakers will include John Bradshaw, president of It Is Written, and representatives from the local community, Southern Adventist University, and the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. It Is Written invites ministry supporters as well as anyone who is interested in learning more about It Is Written to attend.

After 63 years, It Is Written finally has its own home. Previously headquartered in California, the ministry moved to Tennessee in 2014 and began leasing separate office and warehouse spaces in Chattanooga. After two years of construction, staff moved into the 41,000-square-foot building in September. The new headquarters employs over 40 local residents and allows for office, studio, and warehouse space to all be under one roof. The space greatly expands and improves the efficiency of studio capabilities and provides room for future growth.

“Another major advantage is the increased ministry effectiveness this move brings us,” said John Bradshaw. “We can not only do more than ever for God, but we can also now be more efficient than ever.”

The grand opening will take place at 9340 Four Corners Place, Collegedale, Tennessee. The building site was originally slated for a hospital, but red tape curtailed the plans. Several property owners later, It Is Written is humbled to offer hope and spiritual healing to people around the world from its new headquarters.

To view past construction updates, purchase a commemorative brick, or donate toward the completion of the project, visit itiswritten.build. For questions, email [email protected] or call 800-479-9056.

About It Is Written
It Is Written is an award-winning media evangelism ministry sharing the everlasting gospel worldwide for 63 years. The first religious television program to broadcast in color, It Is Written is also the ninth-longest running television program in the United States. It Is Written is impacting lives for Christ through satellite and digital television, websites and mobile apps, global evangelistic ministry, and faith-sharing resources.

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.

One Step at a Time

On June 9th, I was on my way to Peru from the Atlanta airport. I had butterflies in my stomach, my thoughts were running rampant, and my heart was skipping beats. Not because I was on a plane, not because I was leaving the comfort of my home, but because I had a big responsibility to It Is Written and to the local people in Peru. 

Let me backtrack a little. I have been doing the logistics, behind the scenes, for several mission trips now. Handling things behind my computer is comfortable, but being in the mission field? Well, that is an entirely different story. You see I have never been on a mission trip before, and now I have been given the task to lead a group of 25 people in a foreign country. I did not know what to expect. But I did know Yves Monnier, It Is Written’s evangelism director and my supervisor, expected a lot from me. Rightly so; this was huge! 

When we landed in Peru, we were all exhausted but that quickly vanished due to the overwhelming love shown by the local pastors, our volunteer translators, and the local church school. Wow! We were not expecting that. From that day on, I knew God was going to be right by my side the entire time. No more butterflies, my thoughts were calmed, and my heart went back to beating regularly. God is good.

The group received a warm welcome at the airport from church pastors and the local church school.

No time to waste. After our warm welcome, we were transported by the pastors to our hotel, El Portal del Marques, and while everyone was getting their room keys and settling into their rooms, I was being pulled right and left, a question here, a problem there. Whoa! Typically, when I am working on a mission trip back home from the comfort of my computer, once the leader of a mission trip leaves for the country, most of my work is done. That was not the case this time around. Decisions needed to be made, and everything was up to me. No more turning to Yves for direction. This was completely new and foreign to me, but I knew I was ready. “One step at a time,” I thought to myself. Decisions were made and plans organized—finally, bed. 

The first clinic in Cajamarca, Peru.

The next morning, Friday, we got ready, bright and early, and were excited about our first day doing the medical clinic. After months of planning this mission trip, I was about to see my work in action for the first time. So many emotions ran through me at that moment. Upon arriving to our first site, one of the small plazas in the city of Cajamarca, more decisions needed to be made. Again, one at a time, I was able to get through them, but not alone. God was right by my side, and so was my team. I can’t express my gratitude enough to all the wonderful team members I had the pleasure of working with. As a team, we decided where triage was going to be placed. We then assigned the doctors, which included a local dental surgeon, to individual stations. Afterwards we set up the last two stations: one for our pharmacy and the other for eyeglasses. We gave close to 700 pairs of glasses away for free. Praise the Lord!

Although it was winter in Peru, during the day it was extremely hot. That didn’t stop the line from growing. We saw nearly 200 people that day. We were able to help people of all ages, from small issues to severe ones. 

Suranny, right, and Ines, left, saw many patients at the clinic.

Suranny Sarria, our nurse practitioner, shares her testimony. “It was the first day of the clinic, and I was with a patient when I heard one of the pastors scream ‘We need help now, someone just fainted!’ I immediately dropped my clipboard and ran to him. When I arrived, the patient was awake and alert, but she was still very pale and weak. I brought her to my station and checked her vital signs and asked her questions about her food and water intake. She said she had a small breakfast. I asked her about her family, and she told me she had been married for two years, since age 18. I don’t know what prompted me to ask her, ‘Does he treat you well?’ ‘No,’ she answered. I followed with more questions, ‘Is he abusive? Does he hit you?’ All to which the answer was ‘Yes.’ She was being abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. I asked her if she could go to her parents; unfortunately they both had passed away. At that time, I stepped away and spoke with Ines Requejo, a local nurse and wife of the campaign coordinator. I told her we needed to report this to the authorities. I went back to the young lady and before calling the authorities, I asked her if she wanted to report this. She agreed; Praise the Lord! Ines took the woman to the authorities where she was able to report the abuse and get counseling and therapy. Before she left, we gave her food, water, and multivitamins. I prayed for her and we cried together. I told her that if I didn’t see her here on Earth again, I would see her in Heaven. I also told her how much God loves her and that she deserves so much better.”

Before we knew it, it was five o’clock. The whole team was exhausted, but our hearts were touched by the many individuals who trusted us enough to let us help them. 

Brian, left, and Maria, right, speak and translate at their assigned church.

On Sabbath morning, we had 12 speakers assigned to 12 different churches. Praise the Lord for the hard-working pastors and translators who were also there day and night helping the team. I was assigned to Sabogal Central B with speaker Brian Kretschmar. This was his first time preaching and my first time translating an evangelistic series. A first for both of us. As I was sitting up on the platform waiting for our time, I began to feel butterflies in my stomach and my legs started to feel shaky. As the congregation sang, I began to pray. I heard Brian’s name announced, and we both stood. Immediately, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Just like that, they were gone! No butterflies, no trembling, nothing but calmness. God is good.

Everyday had its challenges, but with lots of prayer we were able to get through them. Dr. Mark Murray experienced a challenge with getting medicine. “Each morning,” he said, “I was taken by the pastor to the wholesale pharmacy to purchase medications that had been depleted from our inventory. One morning, we showed up, and the pharmacy was closed. We learned that the government had shut them down due to some rules infractions. The pastor got on the phone with the owner of the pharmacy and asked if he would help us. Soon enough someone appeared at this metal door and opened it for us. We walked down a dark alley to the back of the pharmacy. Thankfully, he did business with us, and we were able to continue operating the clinic.”

Day after day, our team, although exhausted, was always ready for another hard day’s work. Medical in the morning and preaching at night. At every site we went, a big line awaited us. Some people would arrive as early as 4:00 a.m. The need is great in Peru, and we were so thankful that the Lord brought each of us there to help his children. 

Tina Arnall, one of our nurses, told her testimony. “We brought many supplies to treat the people who came to our clinic. However, we had so many people that came to be seen, that we were very limited in the amount of medicines we could give each person. I think we saw around 1,800 while we were in Cajamarca. It dawned on me that we couldn’t rely on the medicines and treatments we had brought with us; we must rely totally on Christ for the real healing. It was so beautiful to see the doctors praying with the patients.

Tina, right, cleans a man’s diabetic ulcers.

One man I prayed with came with four diabetic ulcers on his ankles. He had evidently been managing them for 25 years. I was impressed they weren’t deeper than they were and had no odor. With there being such a short time for treatment, I prayed a heartfelt prayer for guidance. I felt a peace over me as I cleaned the wounds and lightly removed damaged tissue. I felt a deep thrill as I thought of Christ washing His disciple’s feet and the opportunity I was given to do this for Christ in ‘one of the least of these my brethren.’ I put charcoal in some ointment, applied a dressing, and did some teaching with him and his family. He came back a few days later, and new tissue growth could be seen. I praised God, and we prayed some more together. In the clinic, I found myself teaching lifestyle medicine because it could really make a difference when our little bit of medicine ran out. One man had a very high blood glucose level. Our medicines had disappeared that day, so Dr. Murray had gone to buy more. I had nothing physical to give the man, so I taught him the principles of reversing diabetes as I had learned from Wes Youngberg’s Diabetes Undone seminar. I had him out walking. It was so sad to send people away in the evening. Made me think of the many that thronged Christ for healing. Certainly I’m learning how true it is that the medical missionary work is the right hand of the gospel!”

Pastor Jeremy gives El Camino a Cristo (Steps to Christ) books to inmates at the prison.

We had one more day of clinic, but this one was going to take place inside of a penitentiary. Being inside a foreign prison was a first for almost all of us. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were all ready to help each individual. The process to enter was long but for good reason: They wanted to make sure the same people that went in, came out. We were all thankful for that. One hundred and fifty prisoners later, both men and women, we were done. Each one of them showed gratefulness for our presence. They each received a El Camino a Cristo (Steps to Christ) book, and they all accepted it with a smile. 

Our last Sabbath in Cajamarca came too soon. It was a bittersweet day–our last Sabbath with our churches, our new families. I will never forget these members who welcomed us with their whole hearts. I’m sure I can speak for the whole group when I say they will all hold a special place in our hearts. We had several baptisms that Sabbath afternoon from all 12 of our locations. Praise the Lord! 

Jeremy Arnall, pastor of the Greeneville Church, explains what happened with the baptisms that morning. “As we approached the end of our evangelistic campaign at the Cajamarca Central church, the pastor and I, along with my translator, went visiting with some of the interests. Several appeals were made throughout the week with a few coming forward each night so that on Sabbath morning before the first service, we were anticipating seven baptisms. As we finished first service, we had two baptisms and then had Sabbath school. As I finished preaching the message at second service, I began an appeal for individuals to come forward for baptism. A few came forward, and then I announced I needed to go get dressed for the baptism. We had planned five to be baptized at second service. I quickly got ready as the pastor stepped in for me and continued the appeal from the front. Finally, due to the length of his appeal, I came around outside and looked into the window to see what was happening in the sanctuary. I was so inspired to see several more who had come forward. We ended up baptizing 12 at second service, and then, as I was getting dried off and ready to go, I was told one more had come forward for baptism. Most of the congregation was now gone, but I quickly put the pastors waders back on. The few remaining members gathered about as we baptized the fifteenth precious soul that morning. I was inspired by the enthusiasm and energy that the Peruvian people bring to evangelism and their work at building the kingdom of God.”

What an experience! What a blessing! I will never forget my first mission trip, the team, the pastors, the translators, the hotel staff, the sweet smiles on the kids, and the members from Sabogal Central B church. With God’s help, our mission trip was successful, one step at a time.