It Is Written and Local Church Leaders Reopen Churches, Provide Community Services in India

After years in disrepair and closure, 53 churches in east central India have been reopened and spiritual, health, and social services have been initiated to keep them active with the help of It Is Written. In November 2018, It Is Written began an initiative with local church leaders to reopen 50 churches that had been closed due to lack of funding. The initial assessment was not encouraging. In addition to being without a pastor, the church yards were covered in garbage, windows were broken, and doors had rusted shut with no keys. Some churches were used to store tobacco or cotton while others were serving as shelters for beggars, sheep, and buffalo. Despite these discouraging odds, It Is Written representative Josephine Biegler, chose 53 churches to reopen. 

Local leadership team at one of the churches

To ensure the churches stayed open, new church leaders had to be trained and paid. Twenty-five Bible workers were selected and began training. They studied the life and teachings of Jesus; Bible doctrines; Daniel and Revelation; history of the church; world religions; health principle; the gift of prophecy; major and minor prophets; and the writings of Paul. Jack Phillips, It Is Written Bible Work Coordinator, traveled to India and conducted a special course on practical methods for giving Bible studies and reaching the local communities.

After thorough training, these Bible workers were placed in the villages to care for their two assigned churches. They cleaned each church, and professional repairmen made repairs and painted walls. Each church was given a new PA system, a culturally essential component to corporate worship. The Bible workers faced prejudice from community members because community members’ trust was damaged or broken when the church closed. 

Community health workers were hired to help the Bible workers overcome this prejudice. These ladies created a way for the Bible worker to enter the community with the gospel. Each worker was given training, a scale, stethoscope, blood pressure machine, and the book Where There is No Doctor in Telugu, the local language. The health workers check glucose and blood pressure levels, care for fevers, and bandage wounds. They taught about cleanliness and educated the villagers about the harmfulness of tobacco and alcohol. These women visited every home–Hindu, Muslims, and any other religion–praying for the suffering at the end of the visit. Some of the villagers accepted Christ because of the health workers’ invitations.

Newly opened churches began conducting night literacy classes in 26 of the churches. Eight adult literacy volunteers taught basic reading and writing along with Christian songs. They also prayed with the students and encouraged each to come back to the church on Sabbath. Through their efforts, people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior through baptism. 

A United States sewing ministry partnered with the churches to offer sewing classes for local women. The ladies learned how to make garments, were given a brand-new sewing machine, and were invited to accept Christ as Savior. They left the class spiritually fed and with training to become financially independent. 

The health and social services were augmented with spiritual resources. Students from an Indian theology school conducted a three-day evangelism program in each of the 53 churches. Their program helped support the Bible workers in reaching the unreached and gathering the scattered members. These students visited the entire village, prayed with everyone they could, and invited the community to the meetings at the church. Later, another seven-day revival meeting occurred in 10 of the newly opened churches. These meetings were targeted to the local youth. They learned songs, Bible stories, and skits and left encouraged to be the strength of the new churches. Many young people gave their lives to Jesus Christ through these meetings. The younger children were not left out. Last summer, over 60 days, two college students conducted Vacation Bible School in 20 of the reopened churches. They worked with the village children, taught them new songs and Bible stories, and made crafts. Nearly 800 children participated. 

Earlier this year, the It Is Written Eyes for India program conducted a medical camp for 100 villages including the 53 villages with newly reopened churches. Medical physicians from the United States provided free medical expertise and partnered with local nursing students. Over 2,300 patients were treated, over 4,500 people were screened for cataracts, and 927 were selected for cataract surgery which began on February 24. 

During the month of February, two It Is Written mission teams traveled to India to hold revival meetings at 20 locations covering the 100 villages that also received medical care. Over the course of the month, approximately 4,500 people attended these meetings throughout the sites. God poured out His blessings, and 1,197 people accepted Jesus into their hearts.

And the work hasn’t stopped. Ongoing plans include quarterly meetings conducted by a local Indian evangelist to cover spiritual growth topics like the Sabbath, stewardship, continuous soul winning, children’s Sabbath school, and health. The churches continue to hold youth ministry events and widow prayer ministry activities. Every quarter, the church will also conduct an eight-day training for elders to equip them to serve the church and community. And 48 more churches have been selected for reopening and have already been cleaned. In May, the It Is Written Hope Awakens sermons were translated into seven Indian languages and livestreamed in Facebook to the entire local area. Thousands have seen the broadcasts.  

The infrastructure is established to ensure these churches stay open for many years to come and continue growing and serving their communities with the love of Jesus. The treasurer for the local church in India writes, “Thank you It Is Written for entrusting us with the resources we desperately needed to reopen churches….Thank you Ms. Josephine and the It Is Written team for everything, and we request that you continue to support the work we are determined to undertake here in India. God bless you all.”

This project was made possible through the support of It Is Written donors. To donate to future It Is Written mission and humanitarian projects, click here and select “It Is Written Missions.”

Bible workers and community health workers

Eyes for India camp

Explore Mental Health Programs and Resources From It Is Written

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? With everything going on in the world today, there’s never been a better time to check in on your mental health. It Is Written has a variety of resources for learning how to care for and improve one’s mental health, from free TV programs and resources to books for purchase. Check them out below.

Television programs:

Maximum Health Series

As humans we are fearfully and wonderfully made, created by God to thrive. Incredibly, we make decisions and do things to our brains, our minds, that sometimes hold us back from thriving. But by the grace of God there are those things that can reverse the damage and lift us up. Join Pastor John Bradshaw and special guest Dr. Neil Nedley, president of Nedley Health Solutions, as they answer important questions about intelligence, brain health, and emotions. Discover how you can get the best out of the mind God gave you! Click here to purchase to DVD set or view the programs online below. 

“Emotional Intelligence: What Is It?”

Instead of being controlled by our emotions, how can we keep our emotions under control? Join John Bradshaw as he interviews Dr. Neil Nedley and discover how your emotions form a vital part of your relationship with God, and how you can get the best out of the mind God gave you!

“Controlling Your Emotions” 

Instead of being controlled by our emotions, how can we keep our emotions under control? Join John Bradshaw as he interviews Dr. Neil Nedley and discover how your emotions form a vital part of your relationship with God, and how you can get the best out of the mind God gave you!

“Becoming a Smarter You”

As humans, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, created by God to thrive. Incredibly, we make decisions and do things to our brains, our minds, that sometimes hold us back from thriving. But by the grace of God, there are those things that can reverse the damage and lift us up. Join Pastor John Bradshaw and special guest Dr. Neil Nedley.

“Peak Performance” 

You want to do your very best, and with God’s help, you can! “Peak Performance” will help you function at optimum levels and utilize your God-given gifts to a great capacity!

“Pathway to Hope”

The saying goes, “Healthy body, healthy mind.” With God’s help, you can get much more out of life than you’ve ever imagined. Be blessed by this presentation with John Bradshaw and Dr. Neil Nedley, and get on the pathway to health!

“Food for Thought” 

Our daily choices influence our health—physically and mentally. On God’s plan you can eat your way to better health. Now that’s food for thought!

“Boosting Your Brain” 

It’s one of our most precious possessions, but likely isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Learn how to boost your brain function and open your mind to richer blessings from God.

“Beating Diabetes” 

It’s a killer and it causes illness, injury and distress. But in many cases, diabetes can be simply beaten. Find out how you—or those you care about—can beat diabetes.

Depression Programs

“Depression and Its Causes” 

It’s probably safe to say that every American is affected by depression somehow—whether a person suffers from depression or has a friend or family member who does. But what, exactly, causes depression? Join Pastor John Bradshaw and Dr. Neil Nedley for the first program in a two-part series about this important topic.

*This program is presented for the purpose of educating people about health issues only and should not be used in place of the advice of your qualified health care provider. Please call your physician for any health care-related questions.

“Depression and Its Cure” 

People of faith are not immune to suffering from depression. A committed Christian might battle depression as much as someone who doesn’t believe in God. So is there a way out of depression? Join Pastor John Bradshaw and Dr. Neil Nedley for the conclusion of this two-part series about depression.

Grief Programs

“From Grief to Grace” 

In this program, you’ll meet a woman whose life was struck by terrible, random tragedy, who then found strength in God through the power of His grace. Don’t miss this powerful discussion on grief and forgiveness.

“Coping with Grief” 

In the beginning, God created a perfect world with no sin or sadness. But an enemy attack on planet Earth caused grief to enter the world. Human beings were created to be happy forever, so how do we deal with grief? Join Pastor John Bradshaw and special guest Pastor Mike Tucker, speaker/director of Faith for Today, to learn how to successfully cope with grief.

“From Grief to Hope” 

Grief is painful. It can be debilitating. And it’s something everyone experiences. Join Pastor John Bradshaw and his guest, Pastor Mike Tucker from Faith for Today, and find out not only what grief is, but how you can deal with it—healthily and successfully. Learn God’s plan to move from grief to hope.

Additional Mental Health Programs

“Coping with Stress” 

How did Jesus combat stress and are there healthy ways of coping with stress today? In this program, discover that the Great Physician has a divine prescription for stress that will help you successfully negotiate this stress-filled world!

“The Physiology of Worship” 

Research demonstrates that worship is good for you. How does worship benefit a person spiritually and emotionally? Join Pastor John Bradshaw and special guest Dr. James Marcum for “The Physiology of Worship.”

“Happily Ever After?” 

Juliet Van Heerden dreamed hers would be the perfect future. But her marriage to a cocaine addict soon unraveled, plunging her into one desperate situation after another. “Happily Ever After?” speaks of a God who is with you in the most difficult times. Join Pastor John Bradshaw for this powerful story and learn how God is able to turn a broken life into a life of hope, confidence, and joy.

Free Resources

Order one of the below free offers to be sent by mail by clicking here and completing the form. 

Depression Recovery DVD

Promises of Peace

In Promises of Peace, Pastor John Bradshaw brings alive some of the precious promises of the Bible and shows how through the Word of God you can experience peace in your heart and life. Promises of Peace will connect you with the Prince of Peace, and through His Word will bring you into the peace that passes understanding.

Coping With Grief

Grief hurts, it’s painful, and you’re going to experience it sooner or later. But what is grief, and how do we deal with it? What should you do when grief strikes close to home? Join Pastor John Bradshaw in this practical guide and discover how to move from grief to hope.

Dealing with Stress

Discover that the Great Physician has a divine prescription for stress that will help you successfully negotiate this stress-filled world!

Confidence in Chaos

People everywhere are trying to make sense of a rapidly changing world, but even in the face of personal trial and uncertainty, a person can find confidence in chaos.

Books for Purchase

Tears to Joy by Mike Tucker $14.99

If you have ever lost someone you love, you know how deep the wound cuts. In Tears to Joy, author Mike Tucker shares from his heart his struggles through the heartache of grief after the death of his wife of more than 40 years, Gayle Anne Whitacre Tucker. Her death affected every corner of his life, both personal and professional. He didn’t only lose a wife but a ministry partner as well. In sharing his story, Mike also shares research and material that he found helpful and reliable in the process of recovery. It is the author’s hope that in the midst of sorrow, Tears to Joy will bring you courage as you navigate through life’s most difficult journey.

Comfort for the Day: Living Through the Seasons of Grief by Steve and Karen Nicola $16.95

Comfort for the Day, Living Through the Seasons of Grief is a scripture-guided grief recovery memoir. The authors, Steve and Karen Nicola bring the grieving reader into conversations with God through Scripture that makes a healing difference for one’s pain and sorrow. It was their own experience following the death of their 3-year-old son that urged them to share with others the reality that we can live through the seasons of grief.

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.

It Is Written Continues to Air Church Programming in Response to Church Closures

Updated 5:11 p.m., June 9, 2020.

It Is Written will continue to air relevant, uplifting, and inspiring content for those who are unable to attend church. Join us this weekend on It Is Written TV (www.itiswritten.tv) for Bible study with special guests Dr. Michael Hasel and Dr. Frank Hasel, followed by a special sermon from the In the Word sermon series.

During the Bible study, aired multiple times during the weekend, the presenters take an in-depth look at how to correctly interpret Scripture. The study guide used in the program and written by the Drs. Hasel (cousins) can be accessed here for free. Past Bible study programs can be viewed here. A companion book to the Bible study guide is available for purchase from the It Is Written shop.

Following the Bible study, John Bradshaw preaches a sermon from the In the Word sermon series. Those episodes can be viewed here.

See the schedule below for airtimes.

Schedule:

(all times are North American Eastern Daylight Time)

Friday

8:30 p.m. Bible study; 9 p.m. Sermon

Saturday

10:30 a.m. Bible study; 11 a.m. Sermon

1:30 p.m. Bible study; 2 p.m. Sermon

8 p.m. Sermon

Sunday

10:30 a.m. Bible study; 11 a.m. Sermon

8 p.m. Sermon

It Is Written TV is available online at itiswritten.tv and on YouTube, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Play, Roku, and through the It Is Written mobile app.

It Is Written TV features not only a 24/7 livestream but also all It Is Written programming on demand: the award-winning It Is Written series; the new shows Conversations, Line Upon Line, and In the Word; several Spanish series, including Escrito Está; It Is Written Classics with founder George Vandeman; and other high-quality programs.

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.

 

8 Lessons From the Coronavirus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Strong in Siberia

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

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

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

It Is Written Missions: Belize Update

In late February, 27 students and teachers from Jefferson Christian Academy in Jefferson, Texas left for the country of Belize on their first It Is Written mission trip. They didn’t know what to expect, but they were excited. From freshman to seniors, the group was ready to work. And they worked hard. 

Belize is a small, lush Central American country squeezed between Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. In February, the weather is beautiful: warm in the day and cool at night. The students were welcomed with open arms and quickly learned to love the local fare–beans and rice. 

The students made their two-week home at the La Loma Luz Hospital and set out to make friends for Jesus. Several of the students were assigned to build housing at the hospital–a project that has seen very gradual progress over the past three years. In just a few days, they made record progress. A mechanic and fellow student leader repaired several local vehicles, shared some of his trade tricks, and left some of his tools so that more repairs could be made. 

Pila, the academy’s boys dean and trip leader, knew this trip would be different. For the first time, the students were going to be preaching some of the three evangelistic meetings taking place in the evenings. Joined by the mission team choir and equipped with It Is Written media slides and notes, the students prepared to share what they believed in English and Spanish. 

One meeting took place in a tent across the street from a city park filled with young people, loud music, and alcohol. One night, as the students preached, a man approached Pila and asked him about Daniel 11. Pila could smell the alcohol on his breath as the man shared that he had been baptized 45 years before. Pila saw him the next night, listening from under a tree across the street. He prayed that hope was being planted in the man’s heart again. 

During the day, the student choir provided a Vacation Bible School program at a nearby grade school. The teachers took a needed break while the It Is Written mission team sang songs, played games, shared stories, and made friends. Nathan caught the eye of Erian, one of the grade school students. Just seven years old, Erian came from a broken home. When things were not going well at home, his mother would pack him a bag and send him out to the street until the police would pick him up.

Nathan and Erian soon became inseparable. At the end of the two weeks in Belize, the team planned an outing to tube some caves and do zip lining. Nathan couldn’t leave Erian behind. He decided to let his friends go on without him, and he spent the day with Erian. As Nathan left for the airport the next day, Erian hung on for dear life. He didn’t want his new friend to leave. 

As the team left, students gave up purchasing memorabilia from their trip. Instead, they saved the money to buy their new friends in Belize gifts like crayons and colored paper. Nathan said he wanted to save the $45 a year it will cost to keep Erian in Christian school. 

Back home, the academy students asked Pila if they could go across the street and spend time with the grade school children here. They realized how a little attention and a smile could make a huge difference in a child’s life. 

“We will definitely do an It Is Written mission trip again,” Pila promised. “Everything went so well. It was such a blessing to be on this trip. I asked the students to raise their hand if they enjoyed the trip. Everyone’s hands went up and they told me, ‘We went to teach but they taught us. We didn’t just enjoy it, we were blessed!’”

It Is Written hosts mission trips around the world every year. Learn more at itiswritten.com/missiontrips

It Is Written Honors Black History Month With Three Special Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Black Wall Street”

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

“Rights & Wrongs”

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

“The Scottsboro Nine”

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