Stories of Courageous Christians

Inspiring People With Mission Stories

Stories of Courageous Christians highlights stories of believers who journey beyond their comfort zone and compassionately serve reach people who have little or no access to the Gospel.

817-980-4831 (USA)

NextGen Christian Leaders: Leading Historic "Participatory Missions" to the Unreached

     My colleague Jon Fugler with the Alliance for the Unreached believes the Next Generation of Christian leaders are not content to use methods that Boomer Christians used in bringing the gospel to the world’s one “Third of Us” who are unreached. Jon feels “the younger generation is challenging us to think a little bit more hands-on, creatively and contextually and that’s good.” Some believe we may well see a tidal wave of participatory missions unlike anything seen by the Christian church since the first century.

     One example is Alliance member DOOR International, who bring God’s Word and Christian fellowships to the deaf worldwide. Did you know there are 350 unique deaf languages in the world and we’ve only begun to translate the Bible into these languages. In fact, the first complete Deaf Bible in American Sign Language was just dedicated this year, finally in 2020! DOOR knows they need to equip other ministries in this huge task. One such ministry that has launched a new ministry to the deaf in Albania is Christar. And our courageous Christians this week are Lacy and Kevin.

     As young millennials, they are ready to cross political borders and see no limitations on the Great Commission. God gave Lacy a desire to learn sign language and a burden for the Deaf seven years ago, while she was a sophomore in college. At the same time, God was working in the heart of Kevin, who became increasingly burdened for the 3-Billion without access to the gospel. God gripped Kevin’s heart with the truth that millions didn’t follow Jesus because they never even had one opportunity to hear the gospel in their lifetime.

     Kevin and Lacy got married three years ago, and Kevin credits Lacy with making him aware of the needs of the Deaf. So now, the couple’s goal has been to prepare themselves for service among the Deaf. Both attended classes in American Sign Language (ASL), and Lacy started a two-year sign language interpreter program. They initially thought God was leading them to serve the deaf in Canada but God closed those doors.

     However, the more they narrowed their search, the more the Lord made it clear that they needed to look for opportunities among the Unreached. Lacy remembers how God guided them to widen their search because He had an open door in mind—one that He revealed through Christar.

     You see, Lacy’s Dad was taking the “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” class, and a Christar staff member mentioned that their organization had recently begun ministering among the Deaf. Kevin and Lacy then connected with Trent and Angie, serving with Christar among the Deaf in Albania. They felt an immediate bond through their discussions over Zoom. So that’s how God drew Kevin and Lacy towards this unreached people group and connected them with Christar to join the Albanian team.

     Lacy admits that the idea of moving to Eastern Europe and having to learn a new a sign language was rather scary for her. But, she says, “Just knowing all the possibilities and what God can do through our faithfulness diminishes the fear.”

And, she is eager to see what God will do through both of them as they seek to establish a Deaf church with a Deaf pastor in Albania. Kevin can’t wait to see Deaf people gain greater confidence through knowledge of the Bible in their language.

     Kevin and Lacy have been Incubated in an experience-driven culture, so these young Christians are not interested in missions by proxy. No way. Hands-on ministry for Jesus is their life’s passion. Let’s see, ministry to thousands of deaf in Albania. Using sign language.

Hey, what a perfect fit! I’m Mark Kordic

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A Courageous Deaf Missionary Brings God's Love to South Sudan Despite Pandemic

 07/14/20: (South Sudan)    On today’s “Stories of Courageous Christians” webcast you’ll meet a man named Edward from Kenya who felt called by God to serve a portion of the deaf population in neighboring South Sudan. Now there are very few areas of South Sudan that would be considered unreached with the gospel; except the deaf. Our story is unique because Edward Obaga is deaf himself and he serves with DOOR International VIEW VIDEO

    

      Remember, most of the world’s population knows very little about the Deaf community. Most find it staggering that the deaf actually are the world’s largest unreached people group with a total population of 70 million. Unfortunately, only 15% of their communities have access to any portion of the Bible; talk about social injustice! You see why DOOR leadership applauds the courage of Edward, who moved his family from Kenya to South Sudan just recently during the COVID-19 crisis. 

     DOOR President Rob Myers says they had recently trained South Sudanese Deaf leaders in their 2-by-2 program. The program involves sending an evangelist and a teacher into a city to build relationships and share God’s truth with local Deaf. As new believers come to faith, new fellowships are birthed and believers are discipled. Now, in God’s perfect time, He has provided a regional leader like Edward to assist the growing leaders with their questions about how to lead the young church to maturity. Edward thanks God for new Bible portions recently approved in the South Sudanese Sign Language, one of 350 deaf translations worldwide. 

     Would you pray for continued growth in the Deaf Church in East Africa in the midst of this wicked COVID-19 crisis? As you could imagine, there are still many Deaf in East Africa who need to hear the good news of the Gospel. Join me in thanking God for the discipleship that is happening between the Obagas and their South Sudanese brothers and sisters. But Edward and other leaders want to do more. In this time of extreme food insecurity, DOOR will deliver enough food to last 30 days for an international deaf family in need. Would you consider a single gift of $30 so that a hungry family could be fed?

Join us by giving your $30 gift securely online at DOORInternational.org/30for30. Your timely gift will help a deaf family experience God’s love in a practical way. That’s DOORInternational.org/30for30. God’s best to you! I’m Mark Kordic.

6/15/20 OneWay Ministries Set to Expand in Persecution-laden Nigeria

(5/5/20)God is Making Himself Known to Jordanian Arabs: New Prayercast Series

(April 28, 2020) Globally, a staggering 80% of the world’s population are considered “oral communicators,” either by necessity or preference. What's the best way to share God's Good News with this new generation, especially in India, where 40 percent are considered oral learners only? Audio Scripture Ministries distributes solar-powered Scripture players with recorded Bible portions in languages like this man heard in his village. Khatri responded, "WE WORSHIP MANY GODS, BUT THIS GOD SPEAKS MY LANGUAGE. SO THIS GOD MUST BE THE TRUE GOD!” Yes sir!

     By recording the available translated Scripture in audio format, ASM is able to make the Bible accessible to many of the 650-million people in India who cannot read. ASM is a leader in the International Orality Network which is growing exponentially in this “Year of the Bible.” Find out more at AudioScripture.org. 


     Moving on, join millions on May 31st for the International Day for the Unreached. Watch the live interactive webcast called, “Gateway to the Unreached,” featuring guests and stories of courageous Christians from around the world. Register to attend this free online event at DayfortheUnreached.org.

     Finally, a shout-out to fellow Texan Sarah Keeling for her new book, Psalm Prayers for the Nations. We were privileged to author a prayer on Psalm 63, encouraging families to come before God's throne of grace. More information at sarah-keeling.com. 



Psalm Prayers for the Nations

Sarah-Keeling.com

     (April 4, 2020) In the midst of this worldwide COVID-19 Wuhan Coronavirus, God is moving in the hearts of countless unreached people, who are actively seeking Him for comfort, hope, and answers!

     You may know that Asia has been hit especially hard and is home to 95% of people with no access to the gospel. So, our courageous Christians this week are the broadcasting team with FEBC Radio in Hong Kong. The staff is working around the clock as unprecedented numbers of people are tuning into FEBC and downloading Gospel programs, quite literally millions!

     FEBC reports they've never seen numbers like this before. Truly, when people are anxious, sick, or confused, they have a deep need that only God can meet. In fact, Jesus said in the Gospel of Mark chapter 2, "Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

     Next, we join Uche Aaaron, a Bible translator with Seed Company focused on the the Ekajuk language in Nigeria. Despite the lethal virus, Uche does most of his work online and he thanks God that even a Nigerian translator gave his life to Christ recently.

     The translator is now leading his whole family to the Lord, while training to become a translation consultant one day. So whether the ministry is in Asia or Africa, it's delightful to meet courageous Christians, delivering the only news of truly eternal, lasting value: the Good News of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm Mark Kordic.

Churches and ministries across the world are ramping up ministry connections, though most church buildings are temporarily closed due to the Wuhan COVID-19 coronavirus. I'm thankful for the many pastors and members who are busier than ever serving specific needs in their communities, during this fearful time of lockdowns. Pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church is one of my favorite authors. NCC has opened both their DC Dream Center and Ebenezer's Coffeehouse as a resource center for those in need in our nation's capitol.

I highly recommend his book "Double Blessing," where he encourages the practice of "next-level gratitude." We know that Gratitude is thanking God after He blesses us but Faith is next-level gratitude, thanking God BEFORE He does it! It’s really, Prophesying your Paise!" Spot on Mark!

Here's how I'm applying "next-level gratitude," it's for the 1-Billion people who clearly will hear the gospel during this crisis time through many of you and our partners at GO2020.world and 1Billion.org! 1Billion-dot-org uses social media to compassionately share God's love in ways people can undersand. Their impact is far-reaching; in 230 countries, enabling each to take their next step in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Did you know there is a Global Day of Prayer this Sunday, March 29, 2020, serving as a launch day for GO2020? You're invited to join millions of believers, praying for God's pprotection, for opportunities to serve those in need and for salvation for those you know and for people on every continent. Download our Prayer Guide, leading to many initiatives in the month of May, culminating with the International Day for the Unreached on May 31st. Proclaim the truth that prayer will unite us in service, reminding us that we are greater than the hardships we face, because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! (Psalm 133, 1 John 4:4). I'm Mark Kordic in Fort Worth, Texas.

Host: David Joannes

Advancing Native Missions Partners with
Leaders in 92 Countries (Photo: Advancing Native Missions)

Syrian Mother Gives Birth Amid Bombing in Syria; Leads to Her New Birth                March 18, 2020

     Partners i​n Syria affiliated with Christian Aid continue to see miracles as the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad try to dislodge the remaining rebel armies in the country’s northwestern corner. You may be aware of the Russian-backed government offensive that has displaced almost 1-million people from the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria. 

     Now listen to this amazing story about a woman named *Haya, who was nine months pregnant when ISIS soldiers began going door-to-door in search of those non-compliant with Islam. As you could imagine, Haya was terrified and immediately fled with her family to another part of the country. The family made it to a hospital in a city hours away just as Haya went into labor. 

     Not only was the hospital being bombed, but hospital staff were too busy caring for the wounded to tend to her. She was in intense pain and a few hours later. Just as she was about to give birth, a doctor showed up and thankfully helped her deliver the baby! But then, nurses were telling her that the bombing was so heavy that everyone had to leave the hospital immediately. Haya told the nurses that she was dying and asked them to give her baby to her husband and leave her behind. Haya was also very exhausted and her temperature was dropping fast; she was very still and could not move at all.
     But here's where the miracle occured. Suddenly she felt a very warm hand touching her. She sensed her temperature going back to normal, and she could feel the warm hand carrying her and moving her down the stairs of the hospital. She also heard a voice telling her, ‘Do not be afraid – I am the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am by your side.’
     She then remembers arriving at the hospital exit doors, feeling a surge of energy and was able to flee the bombing with her newborn child and family. As Haya shared this testimony later with a ministry worker she said "On that day there were two new births – her baby and herself, as she became a strong believer in Christ. Stop and think about that experience!


*Not her actual name

Podcasts Review: Kingdom Innovation & A Surprise at The Western Wall
March 10, 2020

Today on Stories of Courageous Christians, we commend two excellent podcasts focused on international missions, encouraging us to gain a global perspective on our faith, and be inspired to live missionally wherever we call home. First, we head to Thailand where our friend David Joannes hosts the Missions Pulse with such guests as author Nik Riken, prayer strategist and advocate for the Bibleless Solomon Lujan of Seed Company as well as innovation specialist Jon Hirst, Co-founder of Generous Mind and Director of Program Innovation not far from us at SIL International. That’s right, think of international missions leaders as innovation practitioners as they bring the timeless wisdom found in the Scriptures to meet the myriad of cultural, religious and linguistic barriers found in their sphere of influence. Jon gives one example of innovation tension saying that financial partners are drawn to the risk-taking spirit epitomized by Great Commission-type missionaries. However, Jon also feels there is a tension between what donors expect as immediate outcomes versus the challenge of real life issues.

You can find Missions Pulse on YouTube and other platforms. I also encourage you to bookmark the Advancing Native Missions podcast with host Joel Ross. Joel originally captured my attention when he remotely brought us to North Korea, describing the courage of a young believer being faithful to witness for our Lord in the Hermit Kingdom while counting the cost, which may be his own life. How challenging! Advancing Native Missions (an Alliance for the Unreached partner), partners with missions leaders in 92 countries including Israel. Imagine being a Messianic Jew named Sasha or Micah, going to the Western Wall, sensing God directing you to witness to a group of orthodox Jews. Then they invite you to their home to discuss the topic further. To their surprise, 25 Orthodox men stood inside as it was announced, “I’ve brought missionaries home to preach about Jesus!” Uh-oh, do they want to fight or what? But then a tall man dressed as an Ultra-Orthodox stood up and said, ‘Yeshua? Tell me about him. I’m curious.’”

Sasha and Micah learned that this place was a shelter for Orthodox Jews who were disillusioned with Judaism. Some even stopped believing in God. They live with two identities: this secret, disillusioned one and the public one their families and congregations see. They ended up asking the two very tough theological questions. Sasha realized that they were far more knowledgeable than he was and in desperation prayed, “God, Please give me your wisdom.” Then Sasha became quiet for an hour and simply listened. Then he began to ask his own questions and he was surprised to see how each question focused like a lazer on their spiritual issues. They were shocked and began to melt inside as the two shared the gospel of Yeshua with them. Sasha and Micah continued to share with them until four in the morning! They had become so open to the gospel that some of them came close to accepting Yeshua as Messiah that very night. As 2 Corinthians 3 :14-17 says, “...the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Checkout AdvancingNativeMissions.com for the rest of the story. 


Dr Hormoz of Iran Alive Ministries (right) and Steve Cleary
of Revelation Media

Record Numbers Coming to Christ in Iran;
Up to 1,000 Per Day

March 4, 2020

Dr. Hormoz Shariat of Iran Alive Ministries’ partnership with the iBible continues to bear fruit in Iran, home to the fastest-growing church in the world. Hormoz says they have been consistently airing The animated Pilgrim’s Progress to an estimated six million viewers inside the Islamic country. He says large numbers of people continue to protest their authoritarian government, and they are turning from Islam, and coming to Christ in record numbers, up to 1,000 per day! Hormoz says their greatest need is an increase in Bible literacy. The visual and interactive presentation of the entire biblical narrative in the iBible meets that need because it can evade secret police by being replicated without the need for printing presses. Pray for growth for each of the estimated 2-million believers in Iran and checkout www.tinyurl.com/iBible2020


30-Day Global Prayer Campaign
for Muslims During Ramadan

3/4/20

One-million people worldwide are expected to join a 30-Day Global Prayer Campaign to communicate God's love to followers of Islam. 30 Days of Prayer during the Muslim month of Ramadan (April 24 - May 23, 2020) aims to help Christians “see Muslims the way God does,” using an illustrated daily prayer guide. Paul Filidis of Youth With a Mission says devout Muslims take the month of Ramadan seriously, and the pressure is on for them to fast from sunrise to sunset. Paul is asking people to pray that Jesus Christ will meet with them during this time.” Also, Dr. David Garrison, author of the excellent book, “A Wind in the House of Islam” says thousands of Muslims today are having dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Garrison remarked, “God is real, and Jesus is real… they’re not being converted just to a historical doctrine or cultural religion, but they’re encountering the living Christ.” More information at 30DaysPrayer.com

Life Issues Devotionals Cause Radicalized Islamic Man to See the Light

February 17, 2020

Wisdom is the application of experience, knowledge, and common sense to life's issues. Thousands of Radio 7 listerners in the unreached Balkans hear such practical life advice and are drawn to listen. A young man named Egzon listened for the first time recently to a life story describing a Savior who forgives and brings peace. This message from Guidelines International is actually absurd and unheard of in his culture, coming from a fanatical Muslim family. But even before he fully understood the Gospel, Egzon said he was desparate to see light at the end of the tunnel and he found in Jesus, "a sense of peace filling his heart." He then opened his heart and asked Jesus to forgive his sins. He's now growing daily from Guidelines devotionals. Good news from a far country,

Courageous Christians share this attitude, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." (John 3:30 NLT)

My reflection on John the Baptist as he explained the pre-eminence of Jesus, God's Son.

Stories of Courageous Christians

Be encouraged by Stories of Courageous Christians as we share with you the stories of believers bringing the Gospel to the unreached, those without gospel access in 100 nations.. Contact us in Fort Worth, Texas, USA for more information.



Coming Soon

Francis Chan, Finishing the Task conference

Missions Leaders Using New Visual/Interactive iBible Among Unreached

January 14, 2020

Missions leaders love the new iBible, the first online visual and interactive Bible which can be translated into any language, offered free to the world.


Steve Cleary of RevelationMedia said the iBible uses animation plus a smartphone. While he believes nothing can ever replace the printed Word, he said Jesus spoke to his generation in detailed parables they could visualize, remember, and easily repeat.


You'll be amazed as you view a sample online at "i.Bible."


You'll also be amazed to hear how a church in India prayed three years for a method to bring the Gospel to least reached communities in their area. Then a Global Disciples facilitator visited their church, explaining their unique disciple-making methods. Prayer was answered. Good news indeed!

Jungle Helicopter Set 2 Reach the Unreachable with the World’s Greatest Story

January 21, 2020

Do you enjoy the startling sound of helicopters? Music to the ears of Ethnos 360 missionaries.


Think about years of bumpy roads, treacherous rivers, and arduous trails being traded for mere minutes as pilot Jeremiah Diedrich serves tribal families in Brazil’s Amazon jungle. You see, the Robinson R66 helicopter represents the first time missionary teams have ever had flight service. The savings in time and energy brings the world’s greatest story there quicker.


Pray for three new helicopters to serve people waiting in Papua New Guinea.


Next, join thousands praying daily for unreached people with Global Prayer Digest. Today, the Gangakula of India are the focus, that they might realize Hinduism cannot bring forgiveness of sin. 

A Journey to One of the Most-Unreached
People Groups in the World

January 31, 2020

Journey with me as I partner with the Center for Mission Mobilization into a city near massive mountains of some of the most unreached peoples in the world in East Asia. In this Province, there are less than 10 Christians seeking to bring Jesus’ Good News to 7-million people.


Travel with a group of humble, teachable pastors on an exploratory trip. For the most part, they don’t know the language and face barriers of culture, geography, and racial tension in their history. Their eyes are set upon sending cross-cultural workers long-term to this region’s UPG (unreached people group) areas. But before they do so, they themselves want to understand what challenges these future workers will be up against.


Some in the group had served five years in prison for being accused of leading a cult. Another was a woman of fervent prayer and compassion who had fire and humility, her heart was broken for the lost in a way that I will never forget. All were a clear image of how vital it is to raise up local mobilizers to call their local church into greater eternal purpose, into the Father’s heart for redeeming every nation, tribe, and tongue.


Then police brought one of the pastors to their local station for questioning. They questioned him about what he was doing, why his card had shown red, and then out of curiosity asked him what Christianity was. He shared the gospel with the police officers, who then took a liking to him and invited him to eat lunch with them. He spent the afternoon in the break room talking and laughing with the officers on break and jumped back in the car with the pastors on their way back out. It’s hard to imagine that friendships could develop from such an encounter, but it’s real.

There are numerous close encounters with security forces and blessed opportunities to touch people’s lives who have never heard the message of Jesus or had ever met a Christian. Ever! Think about the potential of new disciples being groomed to bring the best news ever provided to man as the church in East Asia matures. I believe that If the sleeping giant awakens… it has the potential to be the largest missions-sending movement the world has ever seen. To the leaders of the Center for Mission Mobilization…We appreciate your disciple-making work. Mark Kordic in Fort Worth Texas, USA.


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Phone: 817-980-4831 (USA)

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