"How then are they to call upon Him in whom they have not believed? But how are they to believe Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear, if no one preaches?"
There are many ways to preach and evangelize. It is not just reserved for the Evangelicals or perhaps, the Billy Grahams.
We will see many brave men and women through the ages evangelize: some quite boldly, some creatively, and others quite quietly.
TESTIMONIES-Positive Effect of Bible Verses on People
Does the Bible have a positive impact on culture and individual lives when people put its teaching into practice?
Here are some real life stories.
• Bible's teaching on loving your enemy stops tribal violence (video)
• Thieves had broken into a church belonging to the Tennet people and taken most of the chairs. In past years, before the Tennet became Christians, they had specific customs for dealing with thieves. They would publicly call down curses from the spirits on those who had stolen from them, and then they would take their revenge. For generations they have lived in fear of spirits and revenge attacks. But this is beginning to change as passages such as Hebrews 12:24 are read and understood. Believers are realizing that God has different plans for them, plans of love and a better way of life. So when news of the stolen chairs reached church members, they did not react in the old way. Instead, they met together and prayed for the thieves—for them to know the Lord. —Janet Persson, on the Tennet church in Juba, South Sudan
• I am married and have four children. There were serious problems between me and my husband, and I had decided to leave him. Divorce proceedings were underway, but then I decided to go and talk to the leader of my church. As it happened, a Faith Comes By Hearing group was there when I arrived, listening to a passage from the New Testament that talks about love and forgiveness. I joined the group and through listening and the discussion that followed, I understood that I needed to abandon my intention to divorce my husband, and obey Jesus. I am still living with my husband, and things are going much better. I give the glory to God. —Madeleine, Léo village, Burkina Faso
• The Sursurunga of Papua New Guinea believe evil spirits will seize the spirit of a child who cries, causing sickness and death. Because of this, parents lie to their children from their earliest years to hinder crying: “Tala, we need to go.” Little Tala refuses and cries, so his mother says, “There’s a truck waiting on the road. Do you want to go for a ride?” There’s no truck, but he stops crying and goes with his mother. In May 2011, a group of Sursurunga people attended a course to learn how to study their recently translated New Testament. They heard that lying is a sin against God and were convicted to change the way they relate to their children. “The talk about truth really pierced my liver, causing me to feel sorrow and begin new behavior. I am committed to speak the truth to my new grandchild,” said one man. A woman who has been a believer and teacher for many years confessed, “I must always speak the truth. I have been manipulating my grandchildren with lies. I need to focus on speaking the truth in every situation.” One grandfather called his family together and confessed his sin of lying to his children when they were small, saying that the moon would eat them if they cried. One of his daughters had started telling her children the same lie. He picked up his nine-month-old grandchild and asked her forgiveness. He urged his whole family to do the same and he prayed, asking God to cut this sin from his family. —Karen Weaver, writer, Papua New Guinea
• Since the Gospel of Luke in Tembo was launched a decade ago, Christians have become interested in reading Scripture portions [as they are produced] during church services, and are freely using their [local] language. Even on the local radio stations at Hombo, as well as at Goma and Bukavu [large cities], we hear biblical messages played in our language, which are much appreciated. We note that polygamy and divorce are becoming less frequent and that education for female children is no longer neglected. —Rev. Batasema Nganga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
• I call the audio New Testament “The Reconciler.” Before it came to us, there were many problems between husbands and wives. Our wives do not understand the Bambara language well, and the only Bible available was in Bambara. Now, listening to the Scriptures in our language, Minyanka, the Word of God is clear, and each of us sees himself in it while listening. Forgiveness is more frequent now in our families. I was ready to take a second wife, but when I heard what Jesus said about marriage and divorce in Matthew 19, I decided against it. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in adultery. —Samuel N., southeast Mali
• Lawlessness ruled when my wife and I started Bible translation work among the Pinai-Hagahai. Within months of our arrival in the remote region of Papua New Guinea, our house was looted and destroyed, people were robbed and beaten, and the whole village was abandoned and burned down. But God had neither forgotten nor abandoned his lost sheep. People kept praying, and over the course of several years, the four Gospels and Acts were translated into Pinai-Hagahai and recorded on MegaVoice audio players for those who couldn’t read. Would this oral Scripture affect people’s lives? I hoped so. In July 2011, many spoke out about the audio Scriptures. To us, the testimonies are nothing short of a miracle: “It says don’t steal, don’t be stubborn, don’t slander. That talk pierced my heart. I stopped doing that. Now I go to church.” (Deni, father of four children)
• “I became a Christian four years ago. Before that, I stole things. Now I read the book as well as listen to MegaVoice. It helps me in my faith.” (Pita, a young elder in the church)
Dwight L. Moody
Dwight Lyman Moody, Vanity Fair, 3 April 1875
Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 – December 22, 1899), also known as D. L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher connected with the Holiness Movement, who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers. One of his most famous quotes was “Faith makes all things possible... Love makes all things easy.“
Dwight Lyman Moody had a limited formal education and was never ordained into the ministry. Still, he became the most successful evangelist of the Nineteenth Century. He left his mark in Christian education and Christian publishing and set standards for both one-on-one and large-scale evangelism.
D. L. Moody "could not conscientiously enlist" in the Union Army during the Civil War, later describing himself as "a Quaker" in this respect. After the Civil War started, he became involved with the United States Christian Commission of the YMCA. He paid nine visits to the battlefront, being present among the Union soldiers after the Battle of Shiloh (a.k.a. Pittsburg Landing) and the Battle of Stones River; he also entered Richmond, Virginia, with the troops of General Grant.
On August 28, 1862, Moody married Emma C. Revell, with whom he had a daughter, Emma Reynolds Moody, and two sons, William Revell Moody and Paul Dwight Moody.
During a trip to the United Kingdom in the spring of 1872, Moody became well known as an evangelist. Literary works published by the Moody Bible Institute claim that he was the greatest evangelist of the 19th century.
He preached almost a hundred times and came into communion with the Plymouth Brethren. On several occasions, he filled stadia of a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000. According to his memoir, in the Botanic Gardens Palace, he attracted an audience estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000.
That turnout continued throughout 1874 and 1875, with crowds of thousands at all of his meetings. During his visit to Scotland, Moody was helped and encouraged by Andrew A. Bonar. The famous London Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, invited him to speak, and he promoted the American as well.
When Moody returned to the US, he was said to frequently attract crowds of 12,000 to 20,000 were as common as they had been in England.
President Grant and some of his cabinet officials attended a Moody meeting on January 19, 1876. He held evangelistic meetings from Boston to New York, throughout New England, and as far west as San Francisco, also visiting other West Coast towns from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to San Diego.
Moody aided the work of cross-cultural evangelism by promoting "The Wordless Book," a teaching tool developed in 1866 by Charles Spurgeon. In 1875, Moody added a fourth color to the design of the three-color evangelistic device: gold — to "represent heaven." This "book" has been and is still used to teach uncounted thousands of illiterate people, young and old, around the globe about the gospelmessage.
Moody visited Britain with Ira D. Sankey, with Moody preaching and Sankey singing at meetings. Together they published books of Christian hymns. In 1883 they visited Edinburgh and raised £10,000 for the building of a new home for the Carrubbers Close Mission. Moody later preached at the laying of the foundation stone for what is now called the Carrubbers Christian Centre, one of the few buildings on the Royal Mile which continues to be used for its original purpose.
Moody greatly influenced the cause of cross-cultural Christian missions after he met Hudson Taylor, a pioneer missionary to China. He actively supported the China Inland Mission and encouraged many of his congregation to volunteer for service overseas.
His influence was felt among Swedes. Being of English heritage, never visiting Sweden or any other Scandinavian country, and never speaking a word of Swedish, nonetheless he became a hero revivalist among Swedish Mission Friends in Sweden and America.
News of Moody's large revival campaigns in Great Britain from 1873 through 1875 traveled quickly to Sweden, making "Mr. Moody" a household name in homes of many Mission Friends. Moody's sermons published in Sweden were distributed in books, newspapers, and colporteur tracts, and they led to the spread of Sweden's "Moody fever" from 1875 through 1880.
He preached his last sermon on November 16, 1899, in Kansas City, Missouri. Becoming ill, he returned home by train to Northfield. During the preceding several months, friends had observed he had added some 30 pounds (14 kg) to his already ample frame. Although his illness was never diagnosed, it has been speculated that he suffered from congestive heart failure. He died on December 22, 1899, surrounded by his family.
Already installed as the leader of his Chicago Bible Institute. R. A. Torrey succeeded Moody as its president.
And for further reading:
Corrie ten Boom
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest!”
Cornelia Arnolda Johanna "Corrie" ten Boom (15 April 1892 – 15 April 1983) was a Dutch watchmaker and later a writer who worked with her father, Casper ten Boom, her sister Betsie ten Boom, and other family members to help many Jews escape the NaziHolocaust during World War II by hiding them in her home. They were caught and she was arrested and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, is a biography that recounts the story of her family's efforts and how ten Boom found hope while imprisoned at the concentration camp.
She trained to be a watchmaker herself and in 1922 became the first woman licensed as a watchmaker in The Netherlands. Over the next decade, in addition to working in her father's shop, she established a youth club for teenage girls, which provided religious instruction and classes in the performing arts, sewing, and handicrafts.
WORLD WAR II
In May 1942, a well-dressed woman came to the ten Booms' with a suitcase in hand and told them that she was a Jew, her husband had been arrested several months before, her son had gone into hiding, and Occupation authorities had recently visited her, so she was afraid to go back. She had heard that the ten Booms had helped their Jewish neighbors, the Weils, and asked if they might help her too.
Casper ten Boom readily agreed that she could stay with them, despite the police headquarters being only half a block away. A devoted reader of the Old Testament, he believed that the Jews were the "chosen people", and he told the woman, "In this household, God's people are always welcome."
Thus the ten Booms began "The Hiding Place", or "De Schuilplaats", as it was known in Dutch (also known as "de Béjé", pronounced in Dutch as 'bayay', an abbreviation of their street address, the Barteljorisstraat). Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie opened their home to refugees — both Jews and others who were members of the resistance movement — being sought by the Gestapo and its Dutch counterpart.
They had plenty of room, although wartime shortages meant that food was scarce. Every non-Jewish Dutch person had received a ration card, the requirement for obtaining weekly food coupons. Through her charitable work, ten Boom knew many people in Haarlem and remembered a couple who had a disabled daughter. The father was a civil servant who by then was in charge of the local ration-card office.
She went to his house one evening, and when he asked how many ration cards she needed, "I opened my mouth to say, 'Five,'" ten Boom wrote in The Hiding Place. "But the number that unexpectedly and astonishingly came out instead was: 'One hundred.'" He gave them to her and she provided cards to every Jew she met.
The refugee work done at the Beje by ten Boom and her sister became known by the Dutch Resistance. The Resistance sent an architect to the ten Boom home to build a secret room adjacent to ten Boom's room for the Jews in hiding, as well as an alert buzzer to warn the refugees to get into the room as quickly as possible.
Arrest, detention and release
On 28 February 1944, a Dutch informant named Jan Vogel told the Nazis about the ten Booms' work; at around 12:30 P.M. the Nazis arrested the entire ten Boom family. They were sent to Scheveningen prison when Resistance materials and extra ration cards were found at the home.
Nollie and Willem were released immediately along with Corrie's nephew Peter; Casper died 10 days later. The six people hidden by the ten Booms, among them both Jews and resistance workers, remained undiscovered: Corrie ten Boom received a letter one day in prison reading "All the watches in your cabinet are safe," meaning the refugees had managed to escape and were safe.
Four days after the raid, resistance workers transferred them to other locations. Altogether, the Gestapo arrested some 30 people in the ten Boom family home that day.
Ten Boom was initially held in solitary confinement. After three months, she was taken to her first hearing. On trial, ten Boom spoke about her work with the mentally disabled; the Nazi lieutenant scoffed, as the Nazis had been killing mentally disabled individuals for years based on their eugenics ideologies. Ten Boom defended her work, saying that in the eyes of God, a mentally disabled person might be more valuable "than a watchmaker. Or a lieutenant."
Corrie and Betsie were sent from Scheveningen to Herzogenbusch, a political concentration camp (also known as Kamp Vught), and finally to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, a women's labor camp in Germany.
There they held worship services, after the hard days at work, using a Bible that they had managed to sneak in. While at Ravensbruck, Betsie ten Boom began to discuss plans with her sister after the war for a place of healing. Betsie's health continued to deteriorate and she died on 16 December 1944 at the age of 59.
Before she died, she told Corrie, "There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still." Fifteen days later, Corrie was released. Afterwards, she was told that her release was due to a clerical error and that a week later, all the women in her age group were sent to the gas chambers.
At Ravensbruck, after Corrie got past the guards with her Bible, she and Betsie were placed in an overcrowded women’s barracks. Corrie hated the miserable conditions but could thank God for His grace in most of them. How-ever, she could not thank God for the fleas in the beds. That is, until later when she learned that it was the fleas that kept the guards out of the room.
Corrie and Betsie took turns at night reading aloud from their Bible. It comforted them and the hundreds of other women in their barracks. Tempers were soothed. A glint of hope in God shone into their lives.
Women prisoners working at Ravensbruck.
They endured standing in the cold on frigid days for early morning roll call. They survived long work days. The conclusion of Romans chapter eight became one of the scriptures that sustained them: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” (Romans 8:35,37, KJV).
Betsie’s health gradually worsened. She died on a winter day full of sleet. Three days later, Corrie was told she’d be released from Ravensbruck. On December 31, 1944, Corrie ten Boom became a free woman.
Life after the war
After the war, ten Boom returned to the Netherlands to set up a rehabilitation centre in Bloemendaal. The refuge housed concentration-camp survivors and sheltered the jobless Dutch who previously collaborated with Germans during the Occupation exclusively until 1950, when it accepted anyone in need of care.
She returned to Germany in 1946, and met with and forgave two Germans who had been employed at Ravensbrück, one of whom was particularly cruel to Betsie.
Ten Boom went on to travel the world as a public speaker, appearing in more than 60 countries. She wrote many books during this time.
Corrie ten Boom told the story of her family members and their World War II work in her best-selling book, The Hiding Place (1971), which was made into a 1975 World Wide Pictures film, The Hiding Place, starring Jeannette Clift as Corrie and Julie Harris as Betsie.
In 1977, 85-year-old Corrie migrated to Placentia, California. In 1978, she suffered two strokes, the first rendering her unable to speak, and the second resulting in paralysis. She died on her 91st birthday, 15 April 1983, after a third stroke.
A sequel film, Return to the Hiding Place (War of Resistance), was released in 2011 in the United Kingdom and in 2013 in the United States, based on Hans Poley's book, which painted a wider picture of the circle of which she was a part.
Videos of Conversions
Some people have claimed that nothing has the power to turn an evil person to good quite like the Gospel of Christ. Can anyone really define or explain conversion. It is life changing, exciting, and a miracle that only God can perform.
The following are a few videos of how conversion made an impact on individual lives; they are testimonies of how Christianity had a dramatic effect at the personal level. These are extreme examples of lives filled with violence and hatred, transformed to good:
Violence, drug dealing, armed robbery, & prison: This was the life of Darrell Tunningley. Watch this fascinating video of how God changed his life and he renounced evil while he was still in prison. Listen to how the revival spread to other prisoners. (video):
Tommy Scott - LA gang member hit man into extreme violence and drugs has his life completely changed (video):
Phil Robertson once lived a life very different from the one he has now. Watch him tell of how Jesus helped him out of a life of violence and alcohol. (video):
Bible's teaching on loving your enemy stops tribal violence (video):
Michael Franzese - mob to God (video):
Meet Christian Claudio - Former Drug Lord & Latin King Gang Member. Now turned from that life and following God (video):
John Lawson - Enforcer, kidnapper, extortionist, bouncer, debt collector for the underworld, from the toughest housing estate in Europe (video):
Rob Joy - Gang leader, drugs dealer, in prison for violent crime. Tells his story (video):
Street fighter, Mario, turns from life of crime and violence to God: (video):
Helped from homelessness and alcoholism by the Christian faith: Steph Macleod, banned from homeless hostels for being an aggressive drunk talks about how the Christian faith has changed his life. (video):
From prostitution to freedom in Christ. Roseline's story. (video)
Nick Vujicic - perhaps one of the most inspiring videos you'll ever see. (7 mins) (video - German subtitles):