Like a pebble tossed into a pond, it is inspiring to reflect on the impact that one book, one well delivered sermon, or one theologically trained leader can have, not just in an immediate sense, but rippling out in multiple and frequently surprising ways.
Equipped for Ministry
As a crime scene investigator for the government in Brazil, Rafael has seen hard things in his neighbourhood. But as a pastor of a church, and founder of an outreach to kids, he is in a position to bring the life-changing good news of Jesus to broken people and places.
Rafael’s calling was shaped into a vision for ministry when he was equipped by South American Theological Seminary, founded by Langham Scholar Antonio Barro.
“Theological education was fundamental to direct our ministry, our vision, and our messages,” he explains. “Antonio inspires us to keep preaching the gospel and practicing holistic mission in the world.”
Today, Rafael heads up several ministries that provide care for the homeless, counselling for the addicted, and activities for at-risk kids. There are opportunities to share Christ with more than 150 kids and their families involved.
Rafael says, “Our goal is to take people to the kingdom of God. . . It motivates us to see the power of the gospel changing people, families, changing realities.”
A book to bring hope and healing
In 1975, Pol Pot and the brutal Khmer Rouge regime marched into Phnom Penh and in a matter of years gutted the church and a quarter of the nation. Savy Dith lost many members of her family.
Cambodia is rebuilding and now—by God’s grace—a generation of Christians are rising up who are ready to lead, believers like Savy.
Savy works as an Editor at Fount of Wisdom Publishing (an indigenous Publishing house partnered by Langham) and has been able to write a book to bring hope and healing in Christ to the women of Cambodia – many who have shared similar tragedies and struggles.
Savy says the book teaches women that “beauty is inside, not outside, and that God protects His people for the glory of His work.”
Now, thousands of women across Cambodia are experiencing the beauty and newness of new life – their hearts pointed towards Jesus.
Meeting both physical and spiritual needs
In 2011, civil war broke out in Syria. Millions who have lost their homes, their land, and their families have sought refuge in neighboring countries like Lebanon.
Langham Scholar Hikmat Kashouh is a professor at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, and lead pastor of one of Lebanon’s largest churches. As a professor Hikmat is creating partnerships to train and mobilise leaders to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those who have sought refuge in Lebanon. As a pastor he is helping the Lebanese church rise up to welcome these people.
Hikmat shares that many refugees (like the young girl he is pictured with) have come to Christ. He says: “We want to make disciples. Those who have come to Christ need to be equipped, and grow, and become mature…God is calling us to play a part in that.”
Experiencing new life in Christ
Pictured here sharing from God’s Word is Darius. He’s part of a group of young adults in Romania who meet regularly to study and practice teaching the Scriptures, pray and worship together.
It’s an unusual, yet joyous, sight in a country where the church has struggled to show how God’s Word speaks to younger generations.
Darius and his friends are eager to take what they are learning and minister in the surrounding gypsy village churches, where there are few trained pastors to draw hearts to Christ.
Darius says: “The vision of our group is to preach the right gospel and to make more disciples for Jesus.”
It was a Langham Pastor who brought God’s Word to these formerly uninvolved young believers. Now the group has exploded in size as more than 300 teens and young adults like Darius experience new life in Christ–and share it with others.
Counting the ripples
These stories are just some examples of the impact that God’s word is having around the globe. Our prayer and vision is that this ministry will continue to multiply and grow. Every gift and prayer is like dropping that pebble in the pond and seeing the ripples spread.