Today we received a testimony from Pastor Anna, a Tanzanian “missionary” to the Maasai in Northern Tanzania. She is using our community development materials in a number of different churches, including a Baptist church and Lutheran church.
Over the Easter weekend the Baptist church held a seminar using our courses on: A Healthy Marriage; Family Health; Pregnancy and Childbirth; and Female Reproduction.
Fifty woman gathered for the seminar, with a live interpreter who translated our courses from Swahili in to Kimaasai. The women’s lives were changed and impacted by the new information and six Muslim women received Christ and were baptized. More and more people are becoming interested in using the materials.
This testimony is just the beginning of seeing our vision for the community development materials carried out. These materials are designed to lift Christians out of disease and poverty, and to give them an outreach tool to impact their communities for Christ.
Our BOKS community development series has spent the last two years being translated and is now being distributed all over the world. We are continually excited to see how the whole world can be impacted through our work from this small office, and through the efforts of our dedicated supporters.
As of last week, BOKS is being actively used by missionaries and community development workers in over 28 different countries, in 25 different languages with DVD translation or a live translator. Many of the countries it is being distributed to are considered “closed countries” where missionaries are normally not permitted and Christians are persecuted and oppressed. BOKS being distributed both on DVD and on SD Flash cards with portable projectors which can be used even in places with no electricity.
As many of you already know, BOKS is the result of a joint effort between WIN Ministries, and Good Shepherd Ministries (producers of ISOM), to meet the basic, physical needs of the poor around the world. BOKS contains over 30 unique sessions filmed with an English speaker and a translator, and is designed to meet the needs of the desperately poor by providing quality education through experienced field experts covering the topics of: Basic Health and Hygiene, AIDS Prevention and Education, Woman’s Health, Child Development, Family Health and Nutrition, Agriculture, Conservation, and Clean Drinking Water and Waste Disposal.
By providing essential education, BOKS aims to do what charity is unable to accomplish: to create sustainable, self-reliant, thriving communities throughout the third world.
We received a particularly interesting testimony last week of how our Nation -2- Nation Community Development material is being used in the remote mountainous areas of Peru.
Walt and Mary Lynne Wood are missionaries to the Quechua Indians, and they oversee Bible schools in Peru. Last winter they held a small conference for the Quechua Bible school administrators- about 16 men and one woman in total.
The first item on the agenda was the roll out of our Community Development series. To the surprise of the Woods, the men decided to review the series on childbirth first. Within minutes, the whole group was thoroughly engrossed in the teaching as if it were the most important thing they had ever seen. As the course ended, the men began to discuss it. Most of the men were married and had children. These men had all served as the roll of “doctor” or “midwife” during their wive’s deliveries since there were no doctors available.
They told stories about deliveries that would terrify any expectant mother. One man told how one expectant woman’s husband, gathered three of his friends together and got very drunk in preparation of the imminent delivery. Only after the mother and child miraculously survived their intoxicated “help” did the village medical worker show up. The four drunks became very angry with him for not showing up on time and ran him off saying that they would care for the mother.
The pastor who will first use the Community Development series had himself delivered his first child while he and his wife were traveling down the violent Apurimac River in an open boat in the middle of the night.
The Bible School administrators all expressed how they wished that they had the teaching when they had to deliver their children, how they had known nothing about pregnancy and childbirth previously, and how important this teaching would be in the future.