From the Desk of Don Lough: February Global Update

Dear Friends:

1 Peter 3:15 challenges us to be primed and ready to explain the hope that only comes through Jesus Christ. 

 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 

Darla and I are praying as you patiently and clearly share the gospel with family, friends, and the people you meet on the streets.

 When you have a quiet moment, take some time to pray and praise the Lord over the updates below. Know that your prayers are deeply appreciated as we move forward as a Word of Life team for God’s glory!


 2019 HIGHLIGHTS 

– Expansion of the Word of Life ministry into Southeast Asia and the Middle East

– Completion of the new Adirondack Dorm on the New York Bible Institute Campus

– Record attendance at Florida Summer and Winter youth camps

Argentina’s Children’s Show team reached 46,213 people through 108 presentations with 3,477 accepting Christ.

– Word of Life Uganda witnessed over 10,502 receiving Christ as Savior this past year.

Reverb evangelistic events in the U.S. grew by 7% and reached 15,535 young people with 345 new church groups attending and 893 responding to the Gospel.

– Seaside Bible Camp in Mindanao, Philippines, celebrated 50 years of ministry.

– The Taal Volcano recently erupted just 38 miles away from the Word of Life Philippines property in the Luzon area. Our team is safe and recently hosted 500 evacuees for a meal.

– Our Honduras team hosted 598 campers during January. 215 students came without knowing the Lord as their personal Savior, and 198 accepted Christ.

 
2020 PRAYER NEEDS  

– Over the past 20 years, 1,000 students have completed South Korea’s SYME/Discipleship Training Program. Our team is asking for prayer as they look to move to a new facility in 2020.

– Word of Life Florida celebrates 30 years of ministry this year with a special event planned for March 20, 2020.

– October 3, 2020, marks fifty years of ministry for Word of Life Kenya.  The ministry team continues to host thousands of campers through satellite camps and properties in Kabete and Mombasa. A combined 42 students recently enrolled in our Discipleship Training Center programs in both locations.

Togo, West Africa – Our missionaries request prayer for safe presidential elections beginning in March, the start of three (3) new local church Bible Clubs, and the Summer Camp project.

Local Church Ministries – The U.S. team plans to launch an online multilingual platform for the delivery of leadership training and curriculum for local church youth ministries globally.

Summer/Winter Camps – Camps continue in many locations around the world.  Pray as the gospel is preached to thousands of campers every week.


FIRE IN CANADA – One of the main buildings on our property in Owen Sound caught fire on January 7. Families and students evacuated safely, and the restoration effort is already underway. Our Canadian team asks for your prayers for the following requests: 

– Prayer for wisdom for the Word of Life Canada leadership team during the reconstruction effort.

– Pray for everyone who was displaced by the fire: multiple staff and the female Bible Institute students.

– Pray for remaining Snow Camp/Recharge weekends.


A CLOSER LOOK: OPEN AIR EVANGELISM

To provide greater insight into the ministry God has entrusted to us, I plan to highlight specific areas of Word of Life in 2020. Let’s start by taking a brief look at Open Air Evangelism (OAE).

As most of you know, the Word of Life ministry began in the 1940s with Jack Wyrtzen holding street meetings in New York City. Today, our OAE team continues to preach the gospel in towns and cities in the U.S. and around the world. Director Sam Frey shares:

 “We in OAE seek to become more efficient and helpful in reaching the lost and encouraging other believers to do the same. On the streets, we’re continuing to use the trademark sketchboard and rope trick.  Along with the traditional techniques, we are experimenting with other strategies including a riddle written on the sketch board to start conversations about the Gospel. We are also excited about progress toward a greater presence on the internet, including online follow-up lessons for new believers, evangelism information and aids, staff news, and church referral listings for those without a church home.

In 2019, the Lord allowed us in our routine schedules to conduct 637 sketch board meetings. The Gospel was presented personally in one-to-one dialogue to 5,503 people, 325 of whom made a profession of faith in Christ as Savior and Lord! Also, we had the honor of leading the entire first-year New York Word of Life Bible Institute class and many staff and other workers into New York City in April. During this event, 237 sketch board messages were presented, 2,990 heard the gospel in personal dialogue with team members, and 119 souls made professions of faith in Christ as we spoke with them. Throughout the year, the Benners prayed for the needs of 1,210 at their prayer station. Our ministry interacted with over 70 local churches. These are a lot of numbers, but we praise the Lord that each figure represents God-glorifying, Spirit-endowed efforts that affected many souls, one at a time, each with its own amazing story of God’s grace and mercy. The Word of Life OAE team praises the Lord for all He has done, and we are humbled and grateful to be a small part of it.  Praise the Lord!”


It is an incredible blessing to join with you in reaching this generation with the Gospel. Your ongoing prayers make such a difference!

In His Service,

Don Lough, Jr.

Executive Director

Word of Life Fellowship, Inc.

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