A Time for Every Season

The wisdom of King Solomon is well-known historically and is evident through his writings. He asked God for an endowment of wisdom, and God graciously and generously entrusted Solomon with that gift. We’re the beneficiaries.

Solomon presents a realistic, profound and biblical perspective of life “under heaven.” Consider his message in Ecclesiastes 3: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” He continues in Chapter 3 with contrasts of some of those issues. Life is cyclical, so rather than dreading change and transition, we can anticipate all the renewal and creativity they incite.

In the business of life, this is the perfect time to encourage you, my faithful JudyBlog readers, to explore and connect to the new and improved TWR.org website. It’s refreshing, creative and inspirational. I’m enthusiastic about all it has to offer those of us who want to stay informed about what the Lord is doing through this far-reaching media ministry. The posted listeners’ stories, news and blogs expand my missions vision.

I asked TWR Web and Social Media Strategist Trip Smith to describe the value of the newly redesigned TWR.org:

The new website was designed very intentionally with visitors in mind. We want people to be able to find the information they’re looking for as conveniently as possible. The blog section of the site is all about letting our friends and supporters know what’s happening with TWR around the world, so they can pray, give and serve accordingly.

We’re proud of the new site design, but we always want to make our online presence better. Over the coming months, we’ll be making exciting improvements that will make a visit to TWR.org an informative and encouraging experience for anyone who stops by. We’ll also be unveiling new websites and content to meet this goal, and you can still connect to TWR on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

With Trip’s expertise and creativity and our editor Jon Hill’s outstanding writing ability, there is much to appreciate. I’m excited! The quality of stories and news you’ve been used to on the JudyBlog are to be found at TWR.org. With this final JudyBlog post, it’s not goodbye; instead, let’s go forward together and feast on the delectable offerings featured on TWR’s web page. That way we’ll stay connected.

Let me know what you think. You can contact me at jhughes@twr.org. I’d love to hear from you.

The Message of Easter

No human mind could have ever conceived of the gospel. Think about it.

It was God’s sovereign plan from its creation to its completion. There is no other reasonable explanation. Suffering, humiliation, rejection, persecution and death by crucifixion are concepts repugnant to humanity.

In the fullness of time, as the prophets foretold, a Redeemer, the Son of God, entered this world to offer us salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life accomplished through his obedient life, sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. The Spirit was upon him, and God anointed him to proclaim good news to the poor; declare liberty to captives; give sight to the blind; and provide liberty to the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Hallelujah! What a Savior!

The reality of the blessed gospel is seen through transformed lives. Consider what the Lord has accomplished through his ongoing refining process in our lives as his children. We’re new creations. Thankfully, he’s not finished with us yet.

Read how this North African Arabic-speaking TWR listener has a new understanding of the gospel:

I am writing you in the hope that I may be accepted within the TTB (Thru the Bible) family. My life is surrounded by darkness. I was originally a follower of the local religion but now I am a Christian! I am praying that I can now be used as a light to illuminate the darkness around me.

I have been facing many kinds of persecution; for instance, all my belongings were stolen and taken from me because of my faith in Jesus Christ. However, my heart has been sustained with the joy of the Lord. I know that my true treasure lies in heaven where it is eternal and cannot be stolen by thieves.

Your radio program has helped me understand the Holy Bible much better. It is truly the Word of God. My wounds and sorrows are being healed because the Lord is working in me through his Word. I believe that Jesus Christ has enlightened our minds and softened our hearts to love him and live according to his plan for us on this earth!

As I am writing you this letter, tears are dropping from my face. It is not because I am sad but because I am sending you my true, deep feelings of how I love the Lord. No one here understands me. They don’t know and are simply blind!

I need your support to help me show the light of Jesus in my life to the many people out there who are walking in the darkness of their own sins and lies. You are now my family, and I hope you consider me one of yours as well.

As followers of Christ, this Easter season gives us the renewed opportunity to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord and to rejoice with God’s people worldwide such as our brother in North Africa. Together, we cry out with the words of the prophet Isaiah: Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth (Isaiah 12:6 ESV). The Lord is gracious to yoke us together in order to further his kingdom purposes in this world. Together, we declare, “He has risen!”

Source of Letter: TWR Europe

Photo Credit: abcdz2000

On Top of the World

Mount Everest North Face

How are you at high elevations? Other than some initial shortness of breath and a headache or two, I manage to transition well from the lower elevation of eastern North Carolina to Colorado’s 12,162-foot Mount Crested Butte. In 2011, my family and I hiked just short of the top.

But Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are no match for the Himalayas of Nepal in terms of elevation. According to Wikipedia, Nepal’s mountainous north has eight of the world’s 10 tallest mountains, including the highest point on earth, Mount Everest, at nearly 30,000 feet above sea level.

Last week, TWR-Nepal leader Simon Subba, two members of his team, and TWR’s Carol and Daryl VanDyken provided a true Nepalese mountaintop experience for five TWR friends from the U.S. They explored parts of the federal democratic republic, visited historic sites and witnessed the results of TWR’s ministry in that region.

Nepal Radio Distribution

During three prison visits with five groups of prisoners, both men and women, the TWR group felt “privileged,” writes Carol, “to witness 14 men receive Jesus through the preaching of the Word by local pastors and evangelists.” She explains that TWR also has a practical outreach to prisoners by providing needed items to make life bearable.

Another high priority for the TWR-Nepal staff is radio distribution. Carol and her group joyfully assisted in the distribution of radios and Bibles to some of the prisoners. The imprisoned believers pleaded: “Pray for us! Don’t forget us!”

The TWR team and a congregation of approximately 50 Nepalese believers watched from the surrounding rocks as 19 believers were baptized in a jungle pond. All of those baptized were TWR listeners and were discipled for a year, and many face rejection from their Hindu families.

Nepal Baptism

A grateful Carol explains, “TWR-Nepal is truly expressing in action TWR’s intent to assist the Church and work out that calling through partnerships with local pastors and NGOs (nongovernmental agencies).”  She adds, “The pastors and evangelists in Nepal feel that the Lord is going to multiply the believers in that country exponentially within the next two decades.”

For several hours each day throughout Nepal, TWR’s programming airs from 55 FM stations in five languages. The government airs at no cost some of TWR’s programs that address social issues like AIDs because officials see the value for their people.

If you’d like to learn more about TWR’s ministry in Nepal, click here. If you’d like to explore a region of the world to learn what the Lord is doing through TWR’s significant media outreach, contact me at jhughes@twr.org. You, too, may have an opportunity to have your own mountaintop experience.

Photo Credits: Mt. Everest, P. Anders Martinussen; Nepal, Carol VanDyken

A Big Voice

“TWR is the biggest evangelistic voice on the planet!” said Colin Buckland, a beloved brother in ministry who’s now with the Lord. And it reaches into more than 160 countries in 235 languages.

TWR speaks to the hearts of men, women and children while equipping and encouraging them to impact their families and communities with the gospel. Our greatest encouragement comes when we meet people who have been reached with the Lord’s truth through this media ministry and hear how that truth is being put into practice in their own lives. TWR’s President Lauren Libby believes that our calling as a mission is “to reach the world for Christ by mass media so that lasting fruit is produced.”

Each year, hundreds of thousands of responses are received at TWR’s offices around the world, and I have the privilege to read some of those replies. These contacts can come from letters, phone calls, SMS, emails, Skype or visits to our many local offices. Men, women and children describe how their blinded eyes were opened to the truth and how they now have peace and joy amid their difficult circumstances. That’s a God thing, wouldn’t you agree?

Take the opportunity to read Carlos’ story of his turn from being a drug lord to being a pastor. Or Samnang’s testimony of becoming a child of God and experiencing the Lord’s guiding hand on her life. Or learn about the Lord’s beautiful redemptive plan unfolding in Fisnike’s life and family. Or read about the letter that made such an impact in Wakshuma’s life featured in the award-winning TWR Magazine, Volume 34, No. 1. Read and rejoice in God’s majestic, loving handiwork.

Tell me what you value about the ministry of TWR. I’d love to hear from you.

Let me know if you’d like to receive a Ministry in Focus report of TWR’s 2013 priority projects and prayer requests or have a copy of TWR’s most recent magazine with Wakshuma’s story. You can reach me at jhughes@twr.org or 1-800-456-7897.

A Change of Destiny

The DeLorean

Have you seen the 1985 science-fiction adventure film starring Michael J. Fox, “Back to the Future”? Fox plays the ‘80s teenager Marty McFly who through the intellectual genius of his friend Dr Emmett “Doc” Brown travels back in time in a plutonium-powered 1981 DeLorean car to 1955 to meet his future parents. With comedic twists and turns, Marty’s mission entails bringing together his parents-to-be after he unwittingly threatens their romantic relationship before it can even get started, thereby jeopardizing his family’s future existence and his own destiny. I’m not providing any more details in case you want to see it.

Though this whimsical tall tale was built around young Marty’s terror that he had irreparably damaged his and his parent’s lives, such guilt and anguish are very real for some in our world today. Many are following a path that leads to an eternal destiny of separation from God and his judgment.  But for those like our brother in India, Santosh, by God’s grace their eternal destiny is secure and forever settled in heaven. Read Santosh’s stirring testimony to the truth:

My name is Santosh. I used to worship various gods, but I was frustrated. I had so many questions, but I could not find any answers. Why did our gods not help us or provide for us?

One day, a man came to our village distributing some pamphlets. I met him, and he shared with me about a radio program that would give me peace and joy. I was inquisitive and asked him lots of questions. Noting my interest, he took me aside and shared that Jesus Christ could change my destiny. He suggested that I listen to the [TWR] program, Neta Vachan (The Word Today).

That evening, I tuned in to the program and was surprised that it was such a good one. The next day I listened to it again. I felt so blessed as it gave me great relief from my sorrows.

I became a regular listener of the program. Soon, I realized that Jesus Christ is the true God. He listens to our prayers and turns our sorrows into joy. I wrote to the man who introduced me to Neta Vachan and shared my feelings about the program.

I’m facing a lot of opposition from my family, but I have made a strong decision to follow Jesus Christ. He has changed my life.

We praise God for redeeming Santosh’s life! Like many who listen to TWR’s programs across India, God’s Word is alive, active and transforming their lives and destiny. To learn more about TWR’s life-changing ministry in India, click here.

Source: TWR Asia

Photo Credits: DeLorean by David Sinofksy; Man by Asif Akbar