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.

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.

Goals for the New Year

Many people make resolutions at the beginning of a new year. They firmly commit or recommit to a course of action or goal.

Science indicates that goal setting increases our Systolic Blood Pressure, pushing more blood to our brains and bodies, ensuring that we have what is needed to think and carry through with our plans.¹

Additionally, the brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) is activated as we write out goals.¹ The RAS helps our brains focus on the things in our environment that are associated with achieving the goal. For instance, if one starts thinking about starting a family, they will take note of couples who have children. What they say, what they do, everything about couples and kids, simply because they set that goal.

And as we behold, we are changed in ways that help us meet the goals that we set before us.

No wonder the prophet Habakkuk was instructed by the Lord to “write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end–it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:2,3 ESV).

Setting of goals in this case was not only to benefit Habakkuk. It would also benefit many others. It would help those who read the goals to know how to “run,” and to persevere in the accomplishing of the goal.

Years ago a specialist in goal setting coined an acronym that has been useful to many as they set goals. For a goal to be effective, it must be S-M-A-R-T. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

Let’s briefly consider each of these suggestions.

S – Specific
Goals are most helpful when they have a particular area of focus. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, once said, “He who is everywhere is nowhere.” We need focus if we are to accomplish things. The Apostle Paul understood the concept when speaking of the fight of life. He said, “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something–not just the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NCV).

M – Measurable
If you run a race, you need to know when you have reached the finish line. Likewise, if you are attempting to improve your health, another common goal, it is important to know your numbers.Your goals should be measurable–try setting an amount of time you will work on them each week or a number of items you will complete by a certain date. Luke 14:28 says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” Before you start your new resolutions, make sure you have a metric in place to check your progress.

A – Attainable
Setting goals that are unattainable can lead to anxiety and frustration. We need goals that push us but goals that are also believable. Both science and Scripture indicate that many times, more is possible than we ever thought. Science documents that our brain cells (neurons) can actually change more than people initially would believe. And Scripture indicates that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13).

R – Relevant
Goals need to line up with what we believe to be true and accurate. Research indicates that when this happens, we are much more likely to find long-term success. Scripture reminds us that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). In other words, make sure your goals match with God’s, and you will avoid frustration and find ultimate fulfillment. Why? Because “the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11 NIV).

T – Time bound
Goals need to have definite end points, or deadlines. These help focus our attention and keep us moving toward the objectives that define success. Without this, people lack a sense of urgency and forward movement. Jesus illustrated this by His dialogue about a tree that was not bearing fruit (Luke 13:6-9). The man in the parable noted the tree’s lack of fruitfulness and gave it one year to become fruitful.

Remember, God has plans and goals for your life! He says:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV, emphasis added).

God’s plans are based on His thoughts. The very thoughts He thinks toward you! Isn’t it wonderful to know that He is specifically interested in you?

But there is more good news. Amos 4:13 says, “For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is.”

And how does he do this? Through His Word! That’s why It Is Written continues to focus on the Word of God. I want to encourage you to read God’s word, meditate on His word and share His word, because in it we find His plans for our lives and His plans for the entire world.

In this new year, join us in resolving to:

-Read and meditate on God’s Word.

-Talk with those who read God’s Word.

-Pray that God will reveal His plans for your life.

As we pursue God, we will discover His plans for our lives, and we can claim the marvelous promise of 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

God will not only reveal His plans, but He also takes responsibility for accomplishing them in your life!


¹https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/

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 pr@iiw.org 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.

Movies and Mayhem: Our Sick Society

Surely this enables us to see the madness of it all.

Hollywood has announced that in the wake of two recent mass shootings, a certain new movie will not be released as planned. Why? Because “now is not the right time to release this film,” according to a statement from the studio that created the film.

But the fact is, there was never a right time to release this film. Nor will there ever be.

The movie is referred to as a “satirical social thriller.” What it actually is is the story of a group of people on one side of the political divide who capture and hunt to kill a group of people on the other side of said divide. But the plot is irrelevant. It’s a movie filled with graphic violence and brutal killing (luxuriously shot and featuring an Academy Award-winning cast).

The politics of it, while disturbing, are not the greatest concern. What is of tremendous concern is that we live in a society where portrayals of brutality and violence are considered, in the words of Universal Studios, “bold and visionary.” Of course this is nothing new. But the hypocrisy of pulling a movie because its putrid content comes a little close to home in the wake of a mass killing demonstrates just how far we’ve wandered as a race. If the movie isn’t good now, it was never any good.

Can’t we just acknowledge that depicting this type of violence, selling tickets to see it, and then making heroes of its creators doesn’t speak well of an enlightened society?¹ We surely are way beyond the time for studies and research papers and debate about whether or not brutality in a movie impacts the way people live their lives. One of the two recent mass murderers was into some truly horrific stuff. One of his friends claimed to see their deranged pursuit as “a joke” and was shocked that the killer acted out the very stuff their group fantasized about. Why would anyone be surprised that a man acted out his fantasies? Of course, not everyone in his clique descended to such depths. But the fact that most people who consume mental poison don’t become mass shooters doesn’t make the poison any less poisonous.

Do laws need to be looked at to address the runaway crime plaguing society? Laws should always be looked at. Is the sickness troubling the country the fault of politicians? To say “yes” would be to choose the lazy answer, but politicians have to do their job. There’s no simple solution. But if a little common sense was employed, things would be radically different. The Bible says that we become changed into what we focus on (see 2 Corinthians 3:18.) I learned to love durian² because I persisted with it. Feed a people group a constant diet of violence and hate and you get, well, 2019.

How can we be surprised when society starts to mirror the utter madness being depicted in pop culture? It might be said that pop culture merely mirrors society. But the movie recently shelved by Universal Pictures mirrors nothing other than the twisted imagination of its creators.

It isn’t free speech or creativity or bold vision that results in movies like this being produced. It’s madness. And while we can’t “stop” violent crime from happening, there are some things we can stop. We can stop leaving common sense out of the equation and start saying, “This just isn’t good. This isn’t appropriate. This isn’t necessary. This shouldn’t be produced.” This would be a good place to start. Society wants to have its cake and eat it too. Violence is bad! Killing people is bad! But violence and killing for entertainment? That’s considered good. Even very good.

The challenge is, of course, hearts don’t change themselves. Only God can change a heart, and He doesn’t change the hearts of those who don’t want to experience change. We’re late in the history of the earth now, evidenced by an advanced society thinking it acceptable to produce truly horrible content and make it available for mass consumption.

The real problem isn’t guns or shooters or laws or politicians. The problem now is society. Sin. We’re sick. Very sick. Our systemic problem runs deeper than we might even realize. In Isaiah 1:5 God spoke of a people and said, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints.” Sin has led us to the place where we decry violence, wring our hands and shed tears and demand that the violence must stop, while at precisely the same time we celebrate those who produce the sickest stuff and spoon-feed it to a sin-hungry world. On one hand we demand society changes, while on the other we race to movie theaters to buy tickets to the latest splatter movie. And that makes sense… how?

If a movie shouldn’t be released because of mass shootings, it should never be released. Or even produced. As long as we’re so blind to our own illness, society can never be well. And as long as people choose violence and brutality as acceptable forms of entertainment, we’ll continue to get what we pay for.


¹ Actually, we know the answer to that question: “No.”

² So good… 

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.

Lives Changed in Ethiopia: Ours

This mission trip to Ethiopia has been a difficult one for those of us dependent on things considered luxuries here: electricity, running water, WiFi, traffic rules, etc. Well, you get the picture. Electricity comes and goes. There’s been mornings that we wake up to no running water. Great! And the WiFi… what can I say? It works smoothly for a while, and then suddenly, with no warning, it’s gone just as I’m about to send an important email. The roads are like the wild, wild west. And guess who wins? The donkeys. I’ve never seen so many donkeys in my life. In spite of all these challenges, albeit small ones when I’m reminded of the hard lives people endure here, this has been a most rewarding trip for everyone. 

Some of the team’s medical professionals gather during a busy day of work.

Two thirds of our team of 30 are health professionals. We have doctors representing diverse specialties (general surgery, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, OB/GYN, anesthesiology, pulmonology, ENT), dentists, a nurse practitioner, a PT, a doctor of public health, nurses, and wonderful support staff. They’ve been working tirelessly and seamlessly to meet the huge health demands of the Negele Arsi region. One thing that’s been so frustrating to our doctors is that so many of the cases that would be very treatable in the United States are not here because of lack of equipment and medication. As an example, one of the patients they saw was a man with a disfiguring growth on his jaw (due to chewing tobacco). After multiple surgeries and the right treatment this man could have a chance at a normal life. Not here. This thing will kill him. And he’s in his 20s. It’s a heartbreak to face these kinds of situations.

A newborn baby girl is admired by her parents and the doctor who saved her life.

On the other hand, our people are having a profound impact on so many people. One of our OB/GYNs stumbled upon a woman in labor. Things were not going well. He quickly assessed her situation and determined that the baby was in distress because something was wrong with the umbilical cord. He ordered the woman to be rushed to the OR for an immediate C-section. A little while later, a healthy and screaming little girl was born. Sure enough, the umbilical cord was in a knot and was tightening with every minute passing. Had they waited any longer the baby would have been stillborn. By God’s grace and mercy, our dear doctor saved the little girl’s life. You can imagine how thankful and joyful the parents were at the turn of events. They came so close to mourning a death instead of celebrating a new life.

Eye surgery patients wait to be seen by Dr. Jacob, who typically works in India.

There are countless stirring stories like this one. Some of the best come from Dr. Jacob Prabhakar’s (Eyes for India) 1,028 cataract surgeries. He returned this week for a quick follow-up visit on all his patients. Imagine hundreds of patients in line to see him. An amazing sight. The best part of the sight is the fact that they have sight. These people were literally jumping with joy because they could see again. Every consult was accompanied by lots of embraces and smiles. The most astounding thing about it is that all 1,028 surgeries were a complete success. Praise be to God.

Meanwhile, the preachers at our six sites are doing a phenomenal job. In our schedule, they were supposed to have Thursday nights off. Do you think that’s what is happening? Absolutely not! People want to hear the Word, and our preachers are like the Energizer bunny. In health and sickness (yes, we’ve had some sickness), they preach their hearts out. I sit in the back and am so blessed to hear their heartfelt messages. I was there when one of our preachers made an altar call. Stumbling from outside the church came forward a man. He heard the sermon outside because at most sites they not only have speakers inside the church but outside as well so that anyone within 300 yards can clearly hear the presentations. This Muslim man heard it all and came forward. Wow.

It’s the rainy season here in Ethiopia and that means it rains every day. Just when you think it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day with no rain, the rain comes. This muddies up the roads and makes movement very difficult. However, people keep coming. I preached one night at a site where people were under a large canopy and the stage was 30 feet away (also under a canopy) separated by open air (don’t ask me why it was done like that). Anyway, when I was preaching, there was a sheet of rain separating the people from me. No problem. They were there, and I preached away. 

One thing I’ve noticed is that when our preachers are done, the meeting is not quite over. The pastor or lead person stands up, and then here we go for another mini-sermon with a passionate appeal for a decision. Even though I don’t understand a word he says, I know exactly what he’s saying, and people are responding. Last night at least 25 people came forward at the little church I was visiting. God is good. 

I’ve been told that this coming weekend about 600 people will be baptized. 600! Amazing. Although I wish we could take credit for these souls, the credit goes all to Jesus and the faithful brothers and sisters who have been working in their community. God blesses where people witness. These baptisms will take place on the shore of picturesque Lake Langano. It’s going to be wonderful. Our cameras are ready.

Saved lives and saved souls. Yes, this has been a great mission trip. And, without a question the lives most changed have been ours, the missionaries.

Click here to read the first report from the Ethiopia mission trip.

Click to read the third and final update from the Ethiopia mission trip.