Sharing the Gospel in Spite of Personal Difficulties (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on March 26, 2016  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Sharing the Gospel in Spite of Personal Difficulties

SharingTheGospelDifficulties

Awhile back, I read an article titled “Telephone Difficulties with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”1 As a person who lives with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, this article helped me understand why I often have trouble with telephone and even one-on-one personal communication.

When you’re on the phone, you don’t get any of the non-verbal cues that come with face-to-face conversation. Communication experts agree that most of communication is non-verbal, and when you remove all those verbal cues, your brain has to work harder to comprehend what’s being said. Our foggy brains may not be able to muster the level of focus.¹

This also holds for me many times during personal conversations with people. I will either completely blank out when trying to pull a specific word out of my brain or I start talking about something completely different than I intended, hoping it will help me remember what I was going to say.

I have learned to lean heavily on my computer, tablet and phone to keep in touch with people. I do much better if I can type out what I want to communicate because it gives me the time to correctly compose what I want to say—oh, do I ever love my delete and backspace keys!

I can quietly sit and wait for the intended word or phrase to come to me, without feeling the stress of frantically trying to drag it out of my memory. Typing also allows me to look up synonyms of the word I’m trying to come up with, which leads me to the word in question or to another, better word.

I love to share the Gospel message with people, but I am often homebound with several chronic illnesses. Another big plus of interacting socially online means I can take better care of myself by doing it only when I’m feeling up to it.

Social interaction takes energy. I didn’t understand that when I was healthy, but now I know it all too well. On low-energy days, I really try to avoid the phone.¹

These difficulties when trying to communicate personally can also be a part of several other chronic illnesses. Dealing with chronic pain severely depletes energy, and that means we need to make the most of the bits of time when we’re not sleeping or resting.

Most of my days are now “low-energy days,” so I heavily rely on my personal electronics to make contact with people all over the world. Using various forms of social media, I am able to reach out to those who so badly need to hear about the saving mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

Even if you do not have the limitations of illness, you can still opt to reach out to the world through your electronic devices. If that works better for you, your lifestyle and preferences, go for it! What matters most is spreading the Gospel message, not how you do it. God uses everything; He wastes nothing.

¹ Telephone Difficulties with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

Hindu Jat people of India #InternetSaathi (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on February 20, 2016  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Hindu Jat people of India #InternetSaathi

InternetSaathi-CellPhone

The Jat people of India live primarily as farmers and mobile pastoralists¹ (nomadic herdsman), raising livestock. Their primary language is Hindi. There are an estimated 33 Million Jats, most of them living in northwestern India.

Overall, the Jats have a very good self image.”Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever,” is a well known Jat proverb. They are brave, hardworking people who possess both the desire and ability to rule. It has been said that no Jat wants to be ruled. Rather, he desires to have power over a group, if not over an area.²

The Jat people living in India are Hindus who follow the traditional practices of worshiping all Hindu gods and goddesses, and as farmers, most of them touch “mother earth” when they get up in the morning. They also pray to the sun god Surya when they are plowing their fields. The Hindu Jats are only 0.03% Christian and 99.92% Hindu. The remaining are listed under, “Other.”

In 2015, the Hindu Jat women were introduced to the Internet through the use of Internet cycle carts which are ridden from town to town in rural India. An article in the July 4, 2015 issue of The Hindu daily newspaper described it this way:

In a significant initiative aimed at bridging the technology gender divide, Tata Trusts have tied up with Google to launch ‘Internet Saathi’. The joint initiative announced today aims at empowering women in rural India with the power of the Internet so they may benefit from it in their daily lives. The initiative will provide basic training on the usage and benefits of Internet for women through specially designed Internet cycle carts that will visit villages to provide easy access to women.³

The photo at this link shows some of the Hindu women clustered around one of the Internet cycle carts.

SEE PHOTO BY CLICKING HERE

Hindu women are the keepers of their homes. They are very busy and do not have the extra time to take formal classes on how to use the Internet, plus cultural and social issues exist that may prohibit it. These Internet cycle carts come right into their villages where the women can take advantage of this mobile learning center without a negative impact on their daily chores and responsibilities.

The internet Cart would be available in the village for a minimum of two days every week for over a period of four to six months. Once the cart has completed the training in a cluster of three villages, it will be moved to the adjoining cluster for completion of a similar cycle.³

Teaching the Hindu Jat women how to use the Internet could be a major step in reaching out to them with the Gospel. Different portions of the Bible have been brought there through the years by missionaries, but if they are Internet enabled, they will soon be capable of reading or listening to the Bible online.

Right now there is an audio version of the New Testament available for them, plus audio versions of Bible teachings, Hindi Bible stories, talking Bibles, and the Jesus Film Project.

There is also a video version of the Jesus Film Project, as well as at least a dozen other videos, including Creation to Christ, God’s Story, and The Story of Jesus for Children.

All of the resources I’ve listed above can be accessed in the Resources section of the Jat (Hindu traditions) in India page at the Joshua Project site.


¹ http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Jat.aspx

² http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/12329/IN

³ http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/taking-internet-to-rural-women/article7383842.ece

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Personal Evangelism with Family and Friends (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on August 26, 2015  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Personal Evangelism
with Family and Friends

Evangelism means to spread the message of Jesus Christ—the Gospel, which means, Good News of Jesus Christ. Personal evangelism is sharing the Good News with friends and family.

The thought of evangelizing can make us nervous, but sharing the Gospel message with our friends and family? That causes more uneasiness.

Most of us can recall the circumstances of the day we were born again. Some of us learned about the saving grace of Jesus Christ in church. Others read about it in books, magazines or the Bible. I saw someone live out her faith so well that I wanted—no, I needed—to know where her hope and joy came from.

Many years ago I lived next door to a woman whose circumstances were not the best, but nevertheless, she radiated the joy of the Lord. We became close friends.

She often spoke to me about her faith. One day, as we sat in her living room, she shared the Gospel message with me and asked if I wanted to invite Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. Although I don’t remember her exact words or how I prayed to Jesus that day, I immediately felt an indescribable peace and joy that only comes from the Lord.

Over the years, I’ve shared the Gospel message with many people, but I have never experienced the chance to directly lead someone to Jesus Christ. This stumped me for a long time before I fully understood Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 3 (emphasis mine):

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.1

What is my point? Do not fret over when and how you can share the Gospel. Even though you may desire to walk someone through the process of asking Jesus to be their Savior and Lord, God’s plans for you might instead be to plant the seed in someone’s heart. That could be through the example of how you conduct your life or it might be through your words of encouragement to someone.

It could even be that He will use you via the internet and/or social media (Facebook friends or family, tweets, or through your blog) as a means to spread His Good News. This is how He has chosen to use me, although I didn’t see it that way for quite awhile.

God can and does use these and many other ways to fill people with a yearning to know more about Him—in other words, He provides the increase. Here is how the end of verse 7 is written in several other Bible versions:

  • but only God, who makes things grow (NIV)2
  • but God gave the growth (ESV)3
  • but God that giveth the increase (KJV)4

It may not be easy to share the message of Jesus Christ with your family and friends, but never give up.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)1

Resources for Personal Evangelism

Sharing the Gospel online:

Sharing the Gospel in person:


1 New King James Version (NKJV). Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 New International Version (NIV). Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

3 American Standard Version (ASV). Public Domain

4 King James Version (KJV). Public Domain

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