Tag: evangelism

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

The media production team and Pastor John Bradshaw

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

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

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

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

Stories are pouring in from people blessed by Hope Awakens:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Escrito Está Holds Virtual Meetings with Nearly 250,000 Views

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

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

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

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

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

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

It Is Written Spared From Tornado Days Before Global Evangelism Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closed to Travel, Open to Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Going Strong in Siberia

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

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

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

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.

Twenty-One

His smile showed he had something special to tell me.

“Pastor,” he began, “I have been in the church since 2013. In that time, the Lord has allowed me to bring 21 souls to Christ! Twenty-one people have been baptized, pastor! I praise the Lord.”

And then he added, “Twelve people in the last year alone.”

I asked him what he did to reach people with the gospel.

“I feed them physically and spiritually,” he said. “I help them, I am a friend to them, and then I introduce them to Jesus.”

Twenty-one souls in five years! There are many churches who haven’t won that many people to Christ in that period of time. And here is one faithful church member who is bringing people to faith in Christ.

I wonder what the church and the world would be like if more people had that kind of dedication to Christ. If Jesus really exists, and if He’s really coming back to this earth soon, then sharing Him with others has to be absolutely the most important thing that we could do.

I expect that if my new friend has brought 21 people into the church—to faith in Jesus—then there are many others he has reached out to but who haven’t made decisions for Jesus yet, who said no. Clearly his focus is not on what he has not been able to do, but on what he has been able to do. And he is encouraged to continue on.

I heard a powerful sermon recently, preached by Jeff Blumenberg, our Associate Director of Planned Giving and Trust Services at It
Is Written. In the message, Jeff shared 10 simple ways that any person can share Jesus with others. I think the sermon could revolutionize the church, and I’m certain it will be a blessing to you. Click the play button below to hear a sermon that could change your life.

Jesus is coming back soon. It’s our privilege to share that good news with others.