U.S. High School Students Touch Lives in Moldova

Written by Angela Emde, It Is Written Partner and trip sponsor

“Where should we go?” asked Angela, a high school teacher and It Is Written Partner. Her Tennessee Christian high school had made the decision last spring to take its students on an overseas mission trip. But to where? So Angela called Yves Monnier, Evangelism Director for It Is Written, and made some inquiries. Because It Is Written had already done mission trips in Moldova, it was a logical choice.

After doing a bit of quick research, the high school discovered that Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe nestled between Romania and the Ukraine. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Moldova overthrew communism in 1991. This small country has a struggling economy, making it the poorest country in Europe today. But where there is a great need, there is potential for a great harvest!

Fast forward almost one year. After months of fundraising and planning, twenty-six students and chaperones left East Tennessee on a warm February day, bound for chilly Moldova. While the weather there was snowy, blustery, and cold, the people of Moldova showered the students with the warmest love imaginable over the next eleven days, welcoming them into their churches, homes, and lives.

The mission work the students provided was multifaceted. During the day, the students and chaperones were divided into three teams. Two teams did community service in Cahul and in the surrounding villages of southern Moldova while a third team provided free vision clinics. In the evenings, the teams conducted two Vacation Bible School programs and an evangelistic series. The days were long but extremely rewarding!

Dr. Brad, optometrist, led his team in providing five vision clinics in five different churches throughout the week. These clinics provided free eye exams and glasses. Chaperones Kevin and Kezia (also It Is Written Partners) and Karyn led the pretesting and optical services. Students helped with pretesting, visual acuities, and eyeglass selection and fittings. At the end of the week, Dr. Brad and his team had seen 787 patients and dispensed approximately 765 pairs of glasses! These clinics helped the local churches build bridges with their community members. At one clinic site, the church members begged for the doctor to see just two more patients at the end of a long day. These two men had previously been afraid to set foot in the church because of their religious beliefs but were willing to come inside to get their eyes checked.

While Dr. Brad and his team were providing eye care, high school Principal Randy and wife Kathy and Pastor Alejandro and wife Suranny led two teams of students in community service in the various villages surrounding Cahul. Activities included cleaning houses, cutting wood, shoveling snow, passing out food to the poor, and visiting shut-ins and the homeless shelter. After the students distributed food at a homeless shelter, they sang, prayed, and gave a short talk. “When we were hugging them goodbye,” student Katie-Jane shared, “One of the ladies exclaimed with tears in her eyes, ‘We appreciate your visit more than the food. Nobody ever comes.’ This alone made me glad we went to Moldova–the only way for them to have visitors was for our school to go all the way across the world!”

In the evenings, the teams went to two different churches. At one church, Pastor Alejandro preached a week-long evangelistic series and his wife gave health talks. While Pastor Alejandro preached, a team of students led a Vacation Bible School program for the children. Another group of students led a similar VBS program at a neighboring church. The students quickly bonded with the Moldovan children. On the final Sabbath when the pastor made an altar call, many children from the Vacation Bible School programs as well as adults from the meetings came forward to dedicate their lives to Jesus and request baptism.

The group was grateful to be used by God to further His work among the people of Moldova.

Stories from Reach KC: One Week to Go

Stories from REACH KC

One week from now, It Is Written’s evangelism series will begin in Kansas City. From March 30 to April 28, It Is Written Speaker/Director John Bradshaw will be sharing the good news of Jesus with thousands at the Jack Reardon Convention Center. It Is Written representatives and Bible workers have been preparing the community for months in anticipation of this event. God is leading in each interaction, and there are no coincidences with Him. This week’s stories prove this point:

“What are the chances of this happening?” writes Bible Worker Jack. “Today while I was delivering Bible studies and inviting people to the meetings, I saw a man in the parking lot that I thought should get an invitation. I pulled the vehicle up near him and told him I was inviting some of his neighbors to a meeting at the Jack Reardon Convention Center and wanted to invite him too. He said his brother, Kevin, was the project manager there. Kevin–the one person who is always there trying to clean the building! What are the chances that out of all the people in the Kansas City area that I happen to run into and invite, that it would be the brother of the person who is working at the convention center?” The chances are high when you’re working for God.

Bible Worker Jennifer shares another “coincidence” story. In November, Jennifer made some tear-away flyers offering free It Is Written Bible studies and placed them in all of the public libraries in her territories. The first week of December, Jennifer received a phone call from a lady who had seen one of the fliers and was interested in the studies. Her name was Linda. The two set up a date and time to meet at the library where Linda had found the flyer because Linda was very hesitant to share any personal information. Jennifer met her and gave her lessons 1 and 3, which she enjoyed. They set up a time to meet again after the holidays, but the flu hit them both and the appointments were postponed several weeks. Still, Linda faithfully called Jennifer almost every week wanting more information, and the two had several good conversations and prayers together on the phone.

A few weeks ago, Jennifer and her friend Jack were making visits to people who had responded to It Is Written television programs. As they approached one house, Jennifer commented on the interest cards, “Oh this lady’s name is Linda. I wonder if it is the same lady I’ve been meeting at the library?” No one answered so they left some cards. Later that day, Linda called Jennifer and uncharacteristically gave her home address so Jennifer could pick her up and the two could study together in person.

Jennifer writes, “When I got to the address, I realized it was the same home. Linda got in my car all excited and said, ‘Jennifer! Someone from It Is Written was at my house today and left me some cards! I couldn’t wait to tell you.’  We had a good laugh as I explained that it was me!” The two had a wonderful study together, and Linda has expressed an interest in meeting up to study further.

Isn’t it amazing how God works? God put the right person, in the right place, at the right time, to reach a specific person. These stories are just a sampling of all the appointments God has ordained in Kansas City, and we know there are more miraculous appointments to come. Join us in praying that God will bless as we begin our Reach KC meetings Friday, March 30, 2018.

Some names have been changed.

Mission Mongolia: Two Cities, One Mission

Mission: Mongolia - Two Cities, One Mission

We are promised in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  And when God sets those plans in motion, the enemy strikes, attempting to thwart the good intended.

Mongolia has a population of about three million people, most of which live in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Only about two to three percent of Mongolians are Christian, and most have never heard the name of Jesus.

That’s where our current mission trip to Mongolia comes in. Through March 25, 17 It Is Written volunteers and I are conducting medical clinics and evening seminars in two cities in Mongolia. In past trips, we have always worked in the capital city, but we wanted to share Jesus with some of the other cities as well. The original plan was to work primarily in Bulgan, hosting a medical clinic at a local church there, along with an evening “Jesus Talk” plus a children’s story and health feature. We were informed the Monday before we left that the plan had changed: a virulent livestock disease had broken out, and Bulgan was under quarantine!  

“No problem,” according to our fearless local leader, Enkhe! Plans were quickly made to work in two different cities, Erdenet and Darkhan, to conduct our clinics and evening Jesus Talks.

Please pray that people come to these evening meetings. It is illegal here to advertise this sort of a meeting so personal invitation and word of mouth are our only sources of advertising.

Below are updates and pictures from the first few days of our mission trip. 

Wednesday, March 14

We were 20 minutes from an uneventful landing in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar when the captain informed us that due to high winds (common in March-April), we would have to circle the city for 20-30 minutes longer and hope that the winds would subside long enough for a safe landing. The winds didn’t let up, however, so instead we had to fly to the Russian city of Irkutsk. After a three-hour layover in Irkutsk, we finally reboarded the plane and got into Ulaanbaatar about 7 pm local time. Thursday will be an orientation and sightseeing day as we acclimate to a new culture, temperatures, and time zone.

God is good! And He is on His throne, directing this mission trip.  We thank you for your prayers.

Thursday-Friday, March 15–16

Our group of 18 volunteers all safely arrived into Ulaanbaatar, and we’re slowly acclimating to the local time zone. Initially, it had been quite cold with a daytime high of 20°F and lows in the night of -1°F.  However, it is warming up (spring is almost here, too!), and yesterday it reached 40°F!

Following are pictures that show and tell more about the mission work here.

Saturday, March 17

On Saturday, we split into our two teams and headed to Darkhan and Erdenet to preach and interact some more with our local leaders and community members. I am leading the Darkhan team, and the Erdenet team is led by Dr. Gordon. Our local leader, Enkhe, helped plan and organize the mission trip with It Is Written Evangelism Director Yves Monnier. She has been a tremendous asset in providing translation and organization for this trip. We would not be here without her work and support!

Our meetings will be held Sunday-Friday, at 6 pm local time. Please pray that God will impress the hearts of those who need to hear His word. We cannot advertise the meetings, so it is only through personal invitation that people hear about them. Our meetings will include song service by the church (in Mongolian), then a translated health talk, and finally a translated Jesus talk.

Sunday, March 18

Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”

On Sunday, March, 18, we went to a local orphanage here in Darkhan to provide medical services. It is one of two orphanages in this city. This one is privately owned and operated and has been in existence since 2001. It currently has 40 children ranging in ages from 3-17. The orphanage runs solely on funds given by donors, primarily Japanese donors. They run a bakery, car wash, and tailor shop, and the kids all work in these industries as well.

We also learned that it is not possible to adopt children from this orphanage, and the director told us that she considers all of the children her own, even after they grow up and leave. They stay in touch when they go on to college and have families of their own. Many children go on to college in Japan, China, Germany, and elsewhere. We sense a lot of love on this campus from all the children and the staff. It was actually a very happy place; not sad or depressing at all. It was very evident that these children were very well loved and cared for. In addition to the medical work we provided, our team presented a financial gift to the director at the end of our day to help continue the great work that is being done in this orphanage.

At the end of our visit, we were treated to a 40-minute acrobatic performance from the children. These kids are so talented!

Monday, March 19

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

There has been a lot of praying going on in our team here in Mongolia, both in Darkhan and Erdenet. And we feel the results of your prayers for us as well. Please don’t stop!

The day here in Darkhan started out with eager anticipation because it was our first day doing medical work at a local healthcare clinic. It is illegal to do healthcare outreach at the churches here in Mongolia so we are grateful for this invitation and opportunity to serve the Mongolian people.

As the morning progressed, one of our team members saw two policeman enter the clinic. They didn’t say much but observed what we were doing. About an hour later, a gentleman from the local health authority showed up. He requested to see all of our professional medical volunteers’ licenses, and then he entered our pharmacy area to examine our medication bottles for expiration dates. We had to shut down for about an hour. After he left our pharmacy room, we sent up a prayer to God, asking that He would move on this man’s heart and allow us to continue our work.

Enkhe, our local leader, worked and negotiated with him and he gave us permission to continue through that afternoon. He told Enkhe that she needed to go to his office on Tuesday with copies of all of our licenses and to do additional paperwork. She did, and we are now cleared here in Darkhan to continue our medical work through the end of the week. Praise the Lord!

The situation is not as positive with our sister team in Erdenet. They were doing medical work in the morning and got word from the authorities to shut down. Sadly, for the rest of Monday, they could not administer care to the people of that city. They were able to hold the evening Jesus Talks at the church in Erdenet. On Tuesday morning, Dr. Gordon (our medical director for this trip) visited the health authority with a local church member. They were told that they could do medical work in a nearby town, just not Erdenet.

The enemy hates our good God and will always try to disrupt or stop anything good that He wants for us. Our mission trip here is no exception, as evidenced by the last 24-48 hours. But, God is still on His throne, and He is in control!

It was a long, busy, eventful day. But it ended well. We are all safe and patients have been ministered to, by the grace of God.

Stories from Reach KC: Countdown Week Three

Stories from REACH KC

There are three weeks to go until It Is Written’s citywide evangelism meetings begin in Kansas City on March 30, 2018. The teams on the ground and It Is Written are working on the last minute details. There is a lot of prayer,  graphic design, stage preparation, sermon writing, music selection, electronic equipment set up, and other details all coming together to make this event a logistical success. The real success comes in the hearts and minds that make decisions for Jesus Christ, and that’s happening now as people continue to make personal connections with others and invite them to a closer walk with Jesus.

Each Friday evening, Bible Work Coordinator Jack has a group Bible study at his house. One of Jack’s friends, Kyle, brought his 17-year-old nephew, Chuck, along for the study. Chuck wasn’t a Christian and didn’t consider himself to be one. But during the study he contributed some very good thoughts. He only came to the study once.

A couple weeks later Jack preached at Kyle’s church. Chuck was there too. He was very attentive and it appeared that he was really interested in what Jack was sharing from the Bible. After the sermon, Chuck and Kyle left quickly, and Jack didn’t get the opportunity to greet them. But the next day, Kyle brought Chuck with him to play disc golf with Jack at the local city park. Chuck kept asking Jack questions about the sermon.

“This is one of those moments when I would like to say I did everything right, but I did not,” Jack said. “I answered the questions, but I did not take the opportunity to see if he wanted more. The next day during my prayers, Chuck kept coming to my mind. So I contacted Kyle and asked if he would ask Chuck about studying the Bible. Chuck was super excited to study and we have been studying faithfully since.” Sometimes, people are just waiting to be asked.

Jack’s weekly Bible study group is full of stories. Another friend, Julie, shared with him that a friend of hers wanted to study the Bible with her children but she had been warned by her pastor to stay away from studying certain things. After a lot of encouragement from Julie, she and her family were ready. Would Jack be willing to study with them?

Jack willingly accepted the call even though the family speaks Spanish and Jack doesn’t. When Jack arrived at the house, he found a group of energetic 11-17 year olds all fluent in English. Weeks later, the group has quickly grown as the teenagers have invited their friends to join them.

“These young people are always ready with questions and a good laugh,” Jack said.  “The parents love the lessons too. Even though we are speaking in English, they join in and soak up as much as possible. I leave an It Is Written Bible Study Guide with them in Spanish so they can go over what the youth are learning. This is a study that fills my heart with joy each week.”

The young and old of Kansas City are excited and interested to learn more about Christ. Jesus is calling them to live a life for Him. Please continue praying for the people in Kansas City as we prepare for these meetings.

Some names have been changed.

Eyes for India team brings sight to the blind in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh

Eyes for India: Over 1500 People Receive Sight

The Eyes For India team was invited to a Hindu temple this January to do the work of Jesus in opening the eyes of blind people. From January 3 to 17, the medical team conducted cataract eye surgeries in the remote forest village of Hardiakol, district Barabanki, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Led by Dr. Jacob Prabhakar, It Is Written’s humanitarian Eyes for India project seeks to restore sight to the 15 million blind living in India through a simple cataract surgery and intraocular lens implantation. “This initiative will help as many as possible and restore their hope and sight,” said Dr. Prabhakar.

More than 2,500 blind people initially registered for treatment, and 60 percent of those were blind in both eyes. Most patients are very poor with hardly any warm clothing and must travel long distances by road and train. Thick fog created zero visibility and caused trains and buses to be canceled. Many patients who had initially registered were unable to return for treatment. Most of the patients that did make it back to the temple slept outside on sand and hay that served as beds as they awaited their turn for surgery.

Once treatment began, 250 patients were called for surgery each day. It Is Written Partner Dr. Jason Leng, an ophthalmologist from Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute, Chehalis, Washington, participated in the mobile camp for the second time. Dr. Leng, Dr. Prabhakar, and the rest of the medical team completed diagnostic tests for each patient and then the cataract surgery with an intraocular lens implantation. Postoperative patients stayed in a makeshift hall for care, postoperative dressings, and instillation of eye drops. Patients were discharged on the second postoperative day with specific medications and dark protective glasses. The patients are called for postoperative follow up each week for the next six weeks and then advised on the use of bifocal glasses.

By God’s grace, the eye camp was a huge success, despite many unforeseen challenges. A total of 1,672 cataract surgeries were performed, many for children and young women who are the breadwinners of their homes. The patients who missed their operation due to weather are scheduled for surgery during the month of March.

But providing eyesight is only the first step in the the work of our medical team. About 80 percent of the state’s population are Hindus, and 18 percent are Muslim. Many of these patients have never heard about Jesus. Patients were given the book Steps to Christ in their own language and a health booklet. The team prayed with patients and conducted worship services daily in the temple complex.

“Thanks are due to the Eyes For India sponsors for their generosity in making this possible,” said Dr. Prabhakar. “The smiles and the joy the patients demonstrate following surgery is noteworthy! They go back home being able to carry on with work and their daily livelihood. Leading an independent life makes all the difference. We are so grateful! Eyes For India has been such a blessing and we thank God for this amazing ministry.”

Thousands of lives have been changed in just days by a simple eye surgery. People who were once blind are now able to see because of the kindness of many donors who make this happen on a regular basis. Join the Eyes for India team in bringing sight to the blind by donating today.

Video Field Reports:

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Stories from Reach KC: Countdown Week Four

Stories from REACH KC
We’re four weeks away from the start of our Revelation Today meetings in Kansas City, Kansas, beginning March 30, 2018. It Is Written Bible workers and pastors continue to share their stories, and it’s clear that God is leading in each interaction. Here are two of many exciting experiences we are receiving from the community.

Diane followed up on a request for Bible studies that came from Lynette. She had received a Bible study offer card mailed by It Is Written to the Kansas City area and was very excited about studying the Bible together with Diane. After several studies, Diane and Lynette were ready to study about what happens at death and for some reason, Diane was apprehensive. She knew that Lynette has lost her son only three years ago, and this study would be painful. But she trusted God to lead her and Lynette’s heart in truth and love.

Diane explained how the study began, “When we opened our Bibles to begin the study, I shared a short anecdote about what many preachers say during a funeral service compared to what is written on the tombstone. I asked her, ‘So, which is it, are our loved ones in heaven watching over us, or are they in the grave resting in peace?’ To my surprise, she quickly replied: ‘They’re in the grave resting. That’s what Ecclesiastes says.’”

Lynette was already familiar with the Bible teaching about death and the rest of the study was a refreshing study in God’s amazing and merciful love! At the end, Lynette commented, “That was a really good lesson today.” Diane was overjoyed as she left Lynette’s home, amazed at how God went ahead to prepare their both of their hearts for their study.

Harold

Another Bible worker and local church member, Harold and Casey, visited with Judy just as she was preparing for her daughter’s funeral. Maybe because of her personal pain, Judy was especially open to study the Bible with these soon-to-become friends. The lessons have even included Judy’s grandchildren, who often do gymnastics while they’re studying together!

Harold feels as blessed as Judy does to spend this time in God’s word together. Harold had grown up in the church but had never studied the Bible with someone else. “I’m really not the most qualified person,” he said. “I’m not a good speaker or a good teacher, but I am glad that God can use me in a small way.”

And God can use each of us, in our own way, to reach the hearts of His people. Some people are called to be evangelists. Some are called to be pastors. Some can support the ministry of others financially. Still others of us are called to just pray for those who are lost. Whatever your situation may be, join us in reaching Kansas City for Christ.

Support Evangelism in Kansas City

All names are changed.

Stories from Reach KC: Countdown Week Five

Stories from REACH KC

Our Bible workers and church members continue to connect with the community of Kansas City in anticipation for the Revelation Today series starting March 30, 2018.

Lucius

Some Bible workers are making one-on-one connections with people while others are hosting large events. Each one is designed to touch hearts and reach different needs. The most recent large event has been a city-wide prayer meeting, and God is doing something amazing. One day, Lucius* was at home with his wife on a Friday night. He works in a “secular, chaotic” environment and at the end of the week he says he is “exhausted physically, spiritually, and mentally.” That’s when he received a text message, inviting him to a city-wide prayer meeting.

“We were tired, but the Holy Spirit guided us to go,” he said. Lucius felt connected to the others as soon as he walked in the room. He heard others praying and realized that he, too, shared their concerns. “Yes, Lord, me too,” he prayed to himself. He began to pray out loud and uplifted others and himself to God. After an exhausting week of work, Lucius was surprised by how he felt after the prayer meeting. “I felt refreshed. Refreshed! I felt like I was coming out of the locker room after half-time.” Lucius has been invited to attend the meetings starting in five weeks. The team is praying that he goes from the locker room to the end zone!

Ultimately, each large event is designed to help people make personal, one-on-one connections for Jesus. Jennifer received a Bible interest card from a minister, and she was a little uneasy about answering it. “Pamela had filled out a card with the title, ‘Minister Pamela’ and I was not sure what to expect. I prepared well, planning what I was going to say, and I prayed a lot before I went to visit her. I knocked on the door and a person called, ‘Come into my house.’ I went in and immediately, Pamela began to ask me lots of questions about It Is Written like, ‘Who started it?’ ‘How did it start?’ ‘Why does it exist?’ and ‘What does it do?’ After I answered her questions, she was ready to study.

“Our study went really well, and I was excited to continue the next week. But, to my surprise, when I knocked on her door, she was not at home. Fortunately, a neighbor shared with me that Pamela was in the hospital so on my way home, I stopped at the hospital and visited her. She wanted to study in the hospital! We had a good study together, and I was able to give her a ride home from the hospital.

“Each week Minister Pamela and I have studied together. Her ex-husband has joined us in the lessons too. She has been sharing what we have been studying together with her church members. She has even asked me to come preach at her church. ‘It’s in the Bible,’ she tells her congregation, ‘and we must follow what’s in the Bible.’”

The relationships our It Is Written and local team members have made with the community is making the truths of the Bible come alive and real.

Please continue to pray for the entire series. For more than a year, It Is Written representatives and local church members have been reaching Kansas City through targeted events, small group gatherings, and one-on-one Bible studies. As we get closer to the start of the meetings, make sure to check this blog every week for updates and more stories.

*All names are changed.

Living with Hope – Guatemala 2018

Living with Hope - Guatemala 2018

From February 21 through February 23, Pastor Robert Costa, speaker/director of Escrito Está, held evangelistic meetings in the capital city of Guatemala. On the first night, almost 3,000 people attended the meetings. One thousand of the attendees were visitors who were either brought by a friend or who received one of 10,000 invitations delivered by Publinews newspaper or through social media. The event concluded with 90 baptisms, including eight on the first night, and 195 additional decisions for baptism.

A local church pastor, Leonardo, told us: “I’m a blind person, but tonight I’ve lived with hope. As I hear the splashing of the water from people getting baptized and listen to the footsteps of those coming to the Lord, I think it’s worth being blind because having hope is more important than having sight.”

The event was streamed through three local radio stations and Facebook Live where thousands more had the opportunity to listen to the message.

During his visit to Guatemala, Pastor Costa was also scheduled to speak and pray for the thirteen magistrates of the Supreme Court of the nation. He and the local leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were welcomed with kindness and given full attention. One of the employees of the Supreme Court who coordinated this meeting said, “We will receive them like ambassadors because they are ambassadors from Heaven.” Pastor Costa gave the president of the Supreme Court, Jose Antonio Pineda, an Ambassador of Peace Medallion and invited the magistrates to attend the evangelistic meetings. They were also given the book, Una Luz de Esperanza (“A Light of Hope”), written by Pastor Costa. The pastors were delighted to learn that one of the Supreme Court judges watches the half-hour program, Escrito Está, and enjoys listening to the daily devotional, Una Mejor Manera de Vivir (“A Better Way to Live”).

Another important activity took place last Thursday, February 22, when Pastor Costa was invited by a lay member, Manuel, to visit the military prison to preach and pray for two former presidents of the country and former government officials who are accused of political corruption. Manuel visits this prison weekly to study the Bible with the inmates and bring them hope. He was grateful that elder Costa could come to share with them.

The weekend’s agenda also included providing evangelism training to lay members and pastors and a professional seminar entitled “Failing Successfully”  for a relatively small group of 300.

Pastor Costa said, “I’m very excited to see what we are doing in Guatemala to reach people in all levels of society. They have a great team here and I ask that you please continue to pray for the people who have and will be reached with this message of hope through their ministry.”

Video overview

This video provides a short summary of one of the evening meetings in Guatemala City.

Photo gallery

Updates from Moldova

Updates from Moldova

On Friday, February 23, a group of over 25 people led by It Is Written ministry Partners Dr. Brad and Angela Emde landed in Moldova, the poorest country of Europe, to continue the evangelism that It Is Written began there a year ago. The majority of these volunteers are high school students from a small and comparatively warm town in Tennessee. They decided that they wanted their class trip to be about service and our Partners wanted to make that a reality. The team is focused on reaching the young people of the country for Jesus Christ. During the day, the students are assisting with a free vision clinic, giving out free eye glasses and doing other community projects. In the evening, the young people are holding Vacation Bible School-style evangelism programs.

Below are the first impressions from our team in Moldova. Check back regularly this week, February 25–March 3, 2018, for more updates:

Saturday, February 24

Angela Emde, group leader:

Today we went to church and were fed lunch in different people’s homes. Wonderful hospitality and great food! After being fed supper, some kids stayed to help with a vision clinic after sundown, and others went to recreation to play ball with some Moldovan kids. We saw 50 patients in the first vision clinic.

Camille, student:

After sundown tonight, we spent four hours in clinic with only one doctor, and we saw 50 patients!

Sunday, February 25

Hannah, student:

I worked in the vision clinic today, and we saw 126 patients. It was a great experience because I got to bond with people from the community. The people are so enthusiastic and nice.

Angela Emde, group leader:

Another busy day! Some students did community service…helping old, disabled people. Others worked in the vision clinic. Then in the evening we ran two VBS programs while our Pastor Alex preached.

It’s cold here. Most of these kids are used to getting out of their warm house into their warm car and darting quickly through the cold into their warm school. So that’s an interesting adjustment for these kids. We are all learning that layers are important! Everybody is happy.

Monday, February 26

Angela Emde, group leader:

Vision clinic is all held in one room, the church’s sanctuary! We have five stations and we saw over 150 patients today! One blind man can now see and many others can see better. Students who aren’t helping in the vision clinic are working in the community offering house and yard cleaning to people who aren’t physically able to do these tasks for themselves.

We have been treated with some wonderful local foods. Tonight, we enjoyed a dessert supper: little crepes filled with jam and layered with something that is a cross between whipping cream and cream cheese. I am hoping that being cold helps burn the extra calories!

In the evening, crafts are a favorite time of VBS program and Pastor Alex and our translator are presenting meetings for the adults. One person told me today, “These kids are lights in the darkness.” I praise God for the difference our students are making here – changing hearts and lives.

Katie-Jane, student:

Although there are many significant stories, one of my experiences in the vision clinic stands out: An American living in Moldova for the past two years came to volunteer as a translator for our clinic as her “father” came to get his eyes checked. She told me that she wished that more people had the same spirit of selflessness and generosity that our group showed. She said the doctors here are greedy and prescribe unnecessary medication just for money and to keep the patients coming back again and again. She thanked us for our spirit of giving and commented that she could only hope that others would share their resources unavailable to the people here. If anything, we have opened doors, and hearts are now clearly more receptive to the love and name of Christ.

Tuesday, February 27

Angela Emde, group leader:

Good morning from cold and blustery Romania! Today we took a day trip so that the students could visit the oldest building in Galati, Romania. Built in 1647, the building was first used as a fort and then purchased by the Orthodox church. I hoped that it would snow on this trip and it did! God answers little prayers.

Thursday, March 1

Angela Emde, group leader:

There is a lot of snow on the ground for this group of Tennessee students, but it’s not slowing us down. The vision clinic is full, and several students are making visits to homes in the community offering to do yard and house work. It’s awesome to watch the smiles on people’s faces as the young people pray with them and give them a hug.

Friday, March 2

Angela Emde, group leader:

This was our last day holding the vision clinic. We saw 787 patients and dispensed over 760 glasses! It has been a full and rewarding week! Every day has started around 7:45 am and ends about 8:00 pm. The kids are exhausted but happy.

Saturday, March 3

Angela Emde, group leader:

Our work is done. We had a beautiful send-off from these wonderful people at church today. One lady in church today shared that before we came, she and her husband had to share a pair of glasses. Now they both have their own pair.

The city mayor made a special appearance in church today to thank us for the work we have done. What amazing bridges we helped the local church to build in this community! The local pastor, Alex, had tears in his eyes as the mayor spoke. It was an emotional service.

Pastor Alex made an altar call, and many people came forward to give their hearts to Jesus — many of them were the children from our VBS programs. I sat there and watched these young people making decisions for Jesus, and I cried — I don’t mean tearing up. I mean tears were pooling under my chin as I looked at these people who we helped win for the kingdom. I kept thinking over and over, “We made a difference, we really made a difference!”

Revelation Today Series to be held in Kansas City, Kansas

Stories from REACH KC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*All names are changed.