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Global Stories

"The month of May is special in our ministry!" says the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' India center. Every year, the Chennai-based outreach center shares the Gospel with thousands of children through its Summer Bible School (SBS) program.

Calling it the highlight of the India center's children's ministries, the director reports that the 2017 SBS reached more than 15,000 youth with the Good News about Jesus.

"The program was organized in eight regions at 200 locations," he says. "A number of churches planned a 'Day of SBS' celebration around the event; our staff participated where we could and distributed graduation certificates.

"We have received contact information from more than 10,000 children. Nearly 900 came to profess Jesus as their Lord, and local pastors have reported that 378 have attended prayers at their churches."

One youth who participated in the SBS program-unexpectedly-was a 16-year-old named Anthony. "Anthony did not have a very good reputation," the director states. "He was disobedient at home and in school-and he was disliked by his teachers and classmates. He even ran away from home and spent a month wandering in unknown places."

When he returned home, some friends in his village invited him to come along with them to LHM-India's Summer Bible School, which was just about to start-and he agreed.

"Anthony attended all ten days," says the director, "-and came to know Jesus as his Savior. It was not long before his parents came in search of the reason for the dramatic change they had discovered in their son!" What they learned was that the change had been brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the Word of God and the Christian fellowship Anthony enjoyed at SBS.

We echo our director as he says "We thank God for this wonderful ministry!" and we thank our faithful supporters for the gifts that make this powerful outreach possible.

"Reaching young men with the message of Jesus is a real challenge for most of the churches in Vietnam," says the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' Vietnam ministry center. "But God has been opening doors for us to do it."

How?

Futsal. From time to time we have reported how this miniature form of soccer, which originally developed in Uruguay, is now taking Asian nations by storm-and has also become a vehicle for our ministry to share the Gospel with Vietnamese youth. The sensation continues, and along with it, a vibrant witness of the Good News.

"At the beginning of June, we launched the Futsal Academy for youth in the cities of Quang Ngai, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City," says the director. "Our Futsal training classes have caught the attention of young people all over the country because we are offering a healthy form of entertainment. How we work is simple: as we provide skills training to young guys who are passionate about futsal, we also share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Along with these, we teach good sportsmanship. Our participants, our opponents, and many hundreds of fans have come to recognize that we are a Christian organization which embraces values that other sports centers and clubs don't have."

Following the launch of the program, the Vietnam center received responses from 58 of the participants, as well as seven requests to be connected to local congregations.

"Across the country, our sports ministry is growing-and together with it, our reputation for offering something different, something worthwhile, something lasting. Praise God!"

The Divine Sewing School is a program created by Lutheran Hour Ministries to help at risk mothers in Cameroon. Many of these women are victims of domestic and sexual violence and have turned to the streets to care for their family. The Divine Sewing school provides the women with practical training in design and sewing, but also take part in Bible classes and counseling sessions.

This program was started in 2011 and over 300 women have participated in the program. Watch the video below to learn more about this program and how it is making drastic changes in the lives of women.



Cameroon - The Divine Sewing School from Lutheran Hour Ministries on Vimeo.

One of the advantages to Lutheran Hour Ministries' work around the world is that each of its ministry centers is staffed by local people who have grown up as cultural insiders, who know the local language(s), and who know how to communicate the Gospel in ways that are understandable in their own culture. This ensures maximum impact of the message of the Gospel because the ministry touches people's hearts by addressing issues and problems that affect people within each region.

Lutheran Hour Ministries-Liberia tackled an issue that has become a major concern to government officials in recent years. The use of commercial motorcycles is now the choice of many commuters throughout Liberia, especially in and around the capital city of Monrovia. Their popularity is largely due to much lower costs than taking taxi cabs to get around and their general acceptance as a source of employment among poor youth in urban areas. While offering additional transportation advantages like easy maneuverability, ability to travel on poor roads, and less likelihood of causing traffic jams, commercial motorcycle service growth has also led to an increase in road accidents, traffic management problems, pervasive noise, and an increase in crime.

LHM-Liberia held a "Ride Safely" campaign on Feb. 23 at the Parker Paint Junction in the city of Paynesville outside of Monrovia. The ministry educated riders about road safety, raised awareness against sharing motorcycles, working too many hours, and alcohol consumption, and distributed reflective vests to attendees. The event also offered an opportunity to share the Good News.

Staff informed riders about ministry efforts such as the Words of Hope radio broadcast that discusses topical issues from a Christian perspective, its rallies, Christian films, and discussion groups aimed at introducing participants to the church, and its Kick for Christ youth sporting program. Attendees were also encouraged to sign up for LHM-Liberia's Bible Correspondence Courses that are available in English as well as translated into Bassa and Krahn dialects.

"Events like this are successful in helping more and more people come to know about our programs and how they can become a part of what we do," says the director of LHM-Liberia. "Apart from the people who were direct beneficiaries, many more onlookers and community inhabitants became aware of the Gospel-sharing activities of Lutheran Hour Ministries in the country."

Widespread access to radio allows this medium to continue as an important outreach strategy for Lutheran Hour Ministries globally. That's why recent increased funding designated for additional proclamation programs around the world led Lutheran Hour Ministries to invest in a new radio program in Kenya following a 15-year hiatus.

The new program, called That's It!, launched about a year ago to dramatize common struggles and offer a biblical perspective in resolving conflict. This program is unique in the region by using actors to modernize parables in vernacular languages. The plot follows a familiar path with characters discussing a societal issue such as witchcraft or polygamy. Each week one of the characters follows traditional practices until the damage of his or her behaviors are pointed out by another character. The plot then deepens until the person finally exclaims, "That's it! I get it now!"

The scripts are easily adaptable to other languages, which has led to airing broadcasts in the vernacular language of Dholuo, the primary language of the Luo tribe and one of the largest vernacular languages in Kenya. About 3.5 million people currently listen to the Luo station, Ramogi.

Royal Media, the company used to produce and air LHM's programming, owns 13 radio stations and two television stations throughout the country, each in a unique vernacular language of Kenya. Royal Media shared insights about what makes LHM's program attractive and unique in Kenya:

• It is the only Christian program utilizing drama and not relying on sermons or hymns;
• It is the only Christian program that airs during prime listening time, not on a Sunday morning;
• The cast members are all Luo and engage the audience directly;
• It is the only program utilizing comedy to truly capture the attention of the audience.

Read more stories from our ministry centers around the world:

2017 Stories

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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