THE INTERNET AND BIBLE SOFTWARE - BOON FOR FOREIGN WORKERS
by feature editor
One thing that most foreign workers have had to do without is a goodly portion of their library. Those who have either worked in mission fields or visited brethren in such places know of the relatively small number of books most brethren can bring with them. Postage rates and other logistical considerations generally limit brethren to two or three shelves of books at most. Indeed, a good Bible student may find that his personal studies, class and sermon preparation suffer to a certain extent while in the mission field. Also, such a one finds himself without resources to which he has become accustomed when difficult questions arise in Bible studies with other people. The steady progress made in electronic media and data storage in recent decades has brought a marked change in this area.
Computers have long since become common place in preachers' studies and we have varying levels of expertise in using them. Many brethren are "book men" like this writer, i.e., accustomed to using reference books and commentaries in the form they have existed for centuries. For most of us, the computer was initially a welcome and amazing replacement to the typewriter. With time we have come to appreciate and, to varying degrees, understand the increasingly diverse and expanding capabilities of these machines. This article seeks to focus on some of those capabilities as they relate to helping foreign workers, especially those accustomed to using books.
Web Sites, E-mail and Internet Cafes
Internet cafes now exist in many parts of countries as remote to us as India, Kenya and the Philippines. With such access one not only can receive study material from brethren in the U.S. via e-mail, he can also visit web sites run by brethren as well as other sources. We list some here.
A link to many sites maintained by brethren: http://www.retainthestandard.com/links.html
Truth Magazine (includes many back volumes of this paper) http://www.truthmagazine.com
The Gospel Anchor http://www.gospelanchor.com
The Gospel Observer http://www.zoomnet.net/~tedwards/go/
Expository Files http://ef.faithweb.com
Most of the articles from Plain Talk http://www.cedarparkchurchofchrist.org/ptalk/v14/index.html
Bible Answers http://www.bibleanswer.com
Voice of the Valley http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/5532/
Think On These Things http://members.aol.com/thinkpaper
Milpitas Messenger http://www.biblepage.org/mmenu.html
The Christian Courier http://www.christiancourier.com/
Reason and Revelation http://www.apologeticspress.org/
Executable Outlines-Mark Copeland http://www.exeout.com
Web Page of Warren E. Berkley http://www.flash.net/~wberkley/
Web Page of David Riggs http://mywebpages.comcast.net/davidriggs01
Jeff S. Smith's site http://www.electronicgospel.org
Resource Center for Bible Students-Warren Berkley http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/6580
Home Bible Study, Ira Mikell http://www.svic.net/mikellc
The Gospel Banner, Phil Martin http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6374
The Gospel Way, David Pratte http://www.gospelway.com
Bennie Johns' Home Page http://www.getaway.net/bjohns/
Mike Hughes' Home Page http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/6712
A large repository of sermons http://www.mindspring.com/~kkbooks/abc/minis040.htm
In as much as Watchman Magazine maintains this site with this article in the archive section, almost anywhere you might happen to go in the world you can access this article via Watchman and the sites it lists.
As time continues to pass, more and more material formerly available only in book form is being recorded onto compact disks. Programs like The Power Bible CD, Quickverse, Logos and others allow the foreign worker to do without such common reference books as other versions of the Bible, concordances and lexicons. As those well acquainted with such software know, this only scratches the surface in terms of the volumes that one can now possess on a few CDs. Such long time standard works as The Pulpit Commentary, Keil and Delitzsch, Barnes Notes, Adam Clarke, the Fourfold Gospel, Vincent's Word Studies, A.T. Robertson's Word Pictures of the N.T.,Schaff's History of the Christian Church, as well as many other books are now available. Further, brethren have also been busy in the area of which we speak. The first ten volumes of The Preceptor, all of The Gospel Anchor and Vanguard have been put onto CD. The complete material from Garyslist, a site maintained for much of the `90's whereon many brethren posted the results of their studies, was likewise recorded.
The Pentium II is fast becoming a dinosaur to those long used to the fast pace of progress in the computer world. In light of this, it is noteworthy that all of the information mentioned herein can be accessed via such an inexpensive computer.
Gone are the days when going to the mission field meant leaving most of the information found in your library behind. While computer accessed data may never replace the book in the hearts of many of us, it does allow for a far more normal "office life" for one far from his library than has ever been possible. Hopefully, what we write herein will make mission work seem more feasible to some who have not previously considered it.
In a short post, Steven Baxley reported that two were baptized in early July in Litomysl.
Terrell Bunting email@example.com
Greetings from Bergen, Norway. As you know from my last newsletter I was in the USA for around 2 weeks in the beginning of July. We left the USA on July 9th. I was with my parents for about one week. It was very good and encouraging to see them especially since my family had not see my father since his spinal stroke last July 2001. We spent our 2nd week relaxing in Manchester, Tennessee. Borgar was responsible for the services the 2 Sundays I was away.
Our website continues to be a good means to let others know of our presence. We have had 64 visitors to our Norwegian site since my last report (from 269 to 333) and we have had 23 new visitors to our English site (from 316 to 339).
Visitors to our services:
During the summer we have an influx of tourists to Bergen as well as some local visitors. As a result of this we have been blessed with brethren from other places visiting our services. While I was away there were several that visited the services. Arne Jordlig, a Norwegian man in his late 50´s from Os, Norway dropped in one Wednesday for Biblestudy. He told Borgar he was looking for the "Church of God which was mentioned in the New Testament". He mentioned seeing a newspaper ad several years ago which the Church in Bergen had and wanted to find out more about us. When I came back I sent Arne a letter expressing our appreciation that he visited. I also told him I hoped to meet him soon and would study with him if he was interested. He then came the Wednesday after getting my letter. Arne has attended 5 Sundays and 7 Wednesday services since then. Arne is a serious Bible student and I hope we can help lead him to a fuller understanding of Truth. Arne has studied with Jehovas Witness people, The Adventist Church, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals and Lutherans. He says none of these are the Church one reads about in the New Testament. However, from some of his comments, I see where all of these groups have influenced his thinking in various ways. I hope and pray Arne will continue to assemble and study with us. He has mentioned on several occasions he truly enjoys the way we study directly from the Bible and that our teaching is clear and Biblical. Another Norwegian man named Arthur who visited our services several months ago, has recently come a few times. He seems a little distant and does not say much and quickly leaves when the services are over. Other visitors during my absences were Dick and Sara Larsen from Eugene Oregon. On Sunday the 14th of July Michael and Sabrine Ludwig from Munice Germany visited with us. They are members of the Church there and they are Germans. On Sunday 21st of July Sergey Ovsejevitsch from Kherson, Ukraine visited our services. He was in Bergen on an International Chess Tournament. He is a member of a group that call themselves the Christians Church (not the Christian Church). He mentioned seeing us listed in the Bergen Tourist Guide and decided to visit since the name of the Church was similar to where he attended. On Sunday 4th of August 3 young people from Tuningen, Germany visited our services. They were Martin, Beate and Annedore Birhold (brother and sisters. They are Christians and worship with their family and one other family in their small city. We had a young German girl who was living with us for 1 week as student exchange arrangement in our daughter Renee´ s class. Her name is Tanja Sindermann from Delligsen, Germany. She is not a member of the Lords Church but attended services with us both on a Wednesday and Sunday.
Visit to Skedsmokorset (outside of Oslo):
On August 27-29th I was in the Oslo area for some studies. The main purpose for my trip was to study with Synnøve and Hans Larsen. Synnøve is a Christian but her husband is not. This time my studies were with him in mind. We studied 3 very basic lessons on faith, repentance and baptism. For each trip I make there and for each time we study I notice that Hans seems more interested, receptive and I see his knowledge grow. Hans is very cautious and slow in his learning. I hope and pray that he will soon decide to become a follower of Christ. Synnøves health is not well and I know she strongly desires her husbands salvation. Please pray for both of them. While in Skedsmokorset I also met with another contact in the Oslo area. It is a young man named Morten. Morten is 35 years old, a very nice, open and warm guy. I enjoy talking with him. He has corresponded with me on occasions over the past 2 years. I visited with him this spring when in Oslo studying with Håvard and Kari Haagensen. He wanted to meet me again when he heard I was coming. We met for dinner and then I went to his apartment to talk and have some informal studies, another friend was there. Morten is very cautious but seems interested in hearing and learning so I took the opportunity to meet with him. He said if I return to Oslo in the autumn then he would like for me to come visit him and study with him more.
Great news! Great news! On August 20th Brother Oisin Scally arrived in Bergen. Oisin is a young brother in Christ from Ireland. Let me tell you how Oisin ended up in Bergen. It all started on Sunday evening July 7th when we stopped to worship with the Embry Hills congregation in Atlanta, George. After services Niall Scally came up to me and said he had recently gotten my name from Paddy Kendell-Ball in South Africa. You see Niall felt that Oisin needed to get with someone who could help him grow spiritually and with a congregation that could use him and help him develop in serving God. Bro Paddy suggested me. You see I meet Bro. Paddy in February 2002 during my missionary trip to Namibia and told him about my work in Norway and the need for more workers. Interesting enough Niall does not worship regularly in Atlanta as he lives in Destin, Florida but was visiting the same Sunday evening as we. Niall and I talked about the possibility of Oisin coming to Bergen. I said I would love to help Oisin and I knew that he could be of help and encouragement to the brethren here. Oisin plans to stay in Bergen and see how things go for him here. He is currently living with us but will soon move into an apartment of his own. The first few months he is here he will study the Bible with me, help me in the Church work here and fill the pulpit when I am away in preaching elsewhere. He will also start taking Norwegian classes. I have suggested he concentrate on Bible study and language study until christmas. After then he will see about finding some work. Oisin is a nice, warm and friendly guy and a joy to work with. I hope and pray things will work out so he will be happy here and can stay a long time to help with the Lords Church in Bergen.
A special thanks:
In closing I send a special thanks to all the congregations and individuals who continue to support us in our work here in Bergen. Due to you and your help we are able to serve the Lord here in Norway. We are grateful for your prayers as we greatly need them. God bless you and keep you! We hope to all gather in heavens great courtyard one day!
Brotherly…Terrell Bunting and family
We held a one-day gospel meeting here in Rosario, Santiago City last Saturday, May 18, resulting 4 souls were converted into Christ, my son Samuel Jr helped me baptizing the brethren. I have extended my invitation in Mabini, Alicia, Isabela and some them attended our gospel meeting here in Santiago City. With the 4 converts, on is from Alicia, Isabela. She just baptized here in Santiago City but her membership is in Mabim, Alicia. (pictures were enclosed)
Samuel Graneta, Sr.
P.O. Box 2454
Santiago City, 3311
I am happy to report that the church here at Lapagan is continue to grow and progressing. Although it is not as much as we want but we than the Lord that we see the increase and spiritual growth. Brother Ricky Ramirez, Cesar Salvador and I are closely working together, helping each other in our preaching activities.
I am glad also to report that I attended the preachers seminar and workshop held at Baggao Cagayan last 25 of July it was a very good fellowship with other gospel preachers. I learned a lot and I think I am growing and getting more mature.
Lapogan Church of Christ
Lapogan, Tumaruni, Isabela 3325
Last August 24, we had a fruitful gospel here at Roxas church of Christ.
There were twenty one (21) precious souls obeyed the Gospel and were
immersed into Christ. To God be the glory. Eight (8) people that were
baptized are from Roxas church of Christ, seven (7) were from our new work
at Maligaya church, four (4) from our new work at Malalinta and two (2) from
Danny, Joy & Faith Danggalan
Roxas church of Christ
P. O. Box 1000
Roxas, Isabela 3320
Julie Divine A. Notarte firstname.lastname@example.org
Report for JULY 2002
July 1, 2002. BRETHREN PLEADING FOR BENEVOLENCE. Many co-preachers/elders from the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato & Davao del Sur came at home requested me to write to U.S. brethren to plead for any financial help. They do not know how to write in English & wants me to translate their letters asking for financial help. They are very much affected of the encounters between the Communists Party of the Philippines & Government troops & between Muslim rebels & Government troops. It is unending encounters since 1973. Please help us pray for them. Since the past two years less than ten per cent of the very needy brethren received benevolence from U.S. brethren. There are more than 3000 brethren who are very much affected of the said encounters. Again, please pray for them.
July 2-5, 2002. CB WAS SICK. 4243 Roxas Extension, Digos City. My son, CB
was sick on these dates. We just bought medicines for him because we have no money for his hospitalization. He was five months old on the 3rd of July. All of my schedules on the first week of July were canceled because of lack of travel expenses for preaching.
July 6, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING/BAPTISM. Maligaya, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat. With the cooperation of Rene Boy Bogoy, Franklin Isla & Benjie James A.
Notarte, twelve persons submitted to baptism. Glory to God.
July 7, 2002. WORSHIP SERVICES. Mahayahay, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur. I
preach at this congregation in the morning. On the afternoon, I preach at Roxas Extension, Digos City.
July 7, 2002. BAPTISM. Lepara, Malungon, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. With
the cooperation of Franklin Isla & Matias Enoc, Bebe Edianon submitted to baptism.
July 8, 2002. BIBLE STUDY/BAPTISM. Santolan, Asbang, Matanao, Davao del
Sur. With the cooperation of Dominguez Manife for several days, five persons submitted to baptism on this day. We give all the glory to God.
July 9, 2002. BIBLE STUDY/BAPTISM. Roxas Extension, Digos City. After our
Bible Study, three persons submitted to baptism with the cooperation of Rogelio Cansing. To God be the glory.
July 10, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING/BAPTISM. Caboling, San Fernando, Bukidnon. The Gospel was preached at this place with brother Muca Marapan's cooperation. Thirty two persons submitted to baptism after the Gospel Meeting. Several Bible Studies done before the Gospel Meeting. They have no Hymnals and Bibles in our diaclect. Brethren in this place are indigent. There are also several members of the Communists Party of the Philippines in this area. Please pray for their safety. Very few brethren got education higher that Grade IV. Most of our brethren reached only Grade II, III or IV because they always evacuated since their childhood due to turmoil in their
July 11, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING. Upper Datu Intan, Sta. Maria, Davao del
Sur. With the cooperation of five preachers the Gospel was preach at this place.
July 12, 2002. BIBLE STUDY/BAPTISM. Kauswagan, Arakan, Cotabato. With the cooperation of Henry Embac, after several Bible Studies to alien sinners, six persons submitted to baptism.
July 14, 2002. RADIO PREACHING. DXUM, Davao City. I again preach thru the radio by requesting bro. Gerry Ca-a to preach on his radio broadcast. I do this due to request of thousands of brethren who wants me to hear me preaching the word of God.
July 17, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING/BAPTISM. Agad, Muan, Kidapawan City. After the Gospel Meeting on this place, three persons submitted to baptism with the cooperation of Ernesto Hong, Hafly Ca-a & Franklin Isla.
July 17, 2002. DEAD. Datal Petak, Colonsabak, Matanao, Davao del Sur.
Sister Rosalie Sagande died on this day due to loose bowel movement. Was
not brought to the hospital because they have no money for their medicines.
July 20, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING. Alsok, Tacob, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. The
Gospel was preached at this place with the cooperation of Antonio Maguana, Hafly Ca-a & Franklin Isla. People in this place are very interested in hearing the truth.
July 21, 2002. BAPTISM INSIDE THE JAIL. BJMP, Lanton, General Santos,
City. There were 31 baptized in this jail within more than one year. I was invited by bro. Luth Capicenio, the preacher of the congregation inside the jail, to preach on this day on their worship services. After our preaching, four alien sinners submitted to baptism. Glory to God.
July 21, 2002. DEAD. Balasiao, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. Bro. Mandoon
Labuayan died due to sickness. He was not brought to the hospital because they have no money.
July 22, 2002. BAPTISM. Alsok, Tacob, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. Two Gospel
Meetings held at this place on June & July. After a short Bible Study this day, four persons submitted to baptism.
July 23, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING/BAPTISM. Puas Inda I, Amas, Kidapawan City. With the cooperation of Jerry Noa, Hafly Ca-a, & Franklin Isla, fourteen persons submitted to baptism. The Gospel was preached on this place several times before this date.
July 23, 2002. EVACUEES. Old Bantangan, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat. The
preacher of Old Bantangan Church of Christ came at home requesting me to ask help to our U.S. brethren because they do not know how to write in English. There are already six brethren who died at their place. Five died due to sickness & the one (bro. Dondoyano Arindia) died due to killed by a riffle by the rebels. As of this date, there are 61 brethren and their children who are very sick. There was a very small help received from the
government. Please pray & help financially if possible. The evacuation in their place started on November 2001 and returned to their residence for just a few days & requested again by the government troops to evacate. More days evacuated than in returning in their homes. There are 20 neigboring congregations who are in the same situation of the above congregation. Please pray for them. The youngest of the above congregations are 5 years
old & the oldest of these congregations started on 1971. They are very poor since they were added to the Church but are so very faithful to the Lord. No any supported preacher from U.S. brethren on these congregations.
July 24, 2002. DEAD. Santolan, Asbang, Matanao, Davao del Sur. Sister Susana Fernandez died on this day due to Leukimia. She died because they have no money for her medicines. They are so very poor.
July 26, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING/RESTORATION. Napunongan, Tumanding, Arakan, Cotabato. There are nineteen brethren who are residing at this place who had not worship God for about three years. We preach the word of God to them & encourage them to continue in the faith. Glory to God they were restored. Two of the brethren in this area wants to be trained so that they could help in preaching the Gospel in their places & continue in the faith. They need also study materials written in their dialect, Cebuano to help them in their preaching. They have no Bibles also. Bibles that is written in their dialect, Cebuano.
July 28, 2002. BAPTISM. Compound, Manga, Matanao, Davao del Sur. With the
cooperation of Dominguez Manife, four persons submitted to baptism. Baptized are: 1)Felipe Catalan, 2)Saria Catalan, 3)Marcelo Catalan & 4)Andilin Catalan.
July 29, 2002. BIBLE STUDY/BAPTISM. Balasiao, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.
After successive Bible studies done in this area, five alien sinners submitted to baptism. Glory to God. One of those who submitted to baptism is Chavez Salutan who was formerly a rebel commander. He had surrendered to our President here in the Philippines and above all now he surrendered to God. Please help us pray for him.
July 30, 2002. GOSPEL MEETING. Malawanit, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. A
Gospel Meeting was held at this place in which I am one of the speakers. Malawanit Church of Christ started on 1971 by my father, late Ruben C. Notarte. Glory to God, most of those converted from 1971 to 1979 continue in the faith.
July 31, 2002. MY 42ND BIRTHDAY. I was born on July 31, 1960. My full name is Julie Divine A. Notarte. Julie because I was born on July & Divine because I was born during the time my father was delivering a "Divine Service". My father, Ruben C. Notarte was yet preaching at that time under a denomination called Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. He was fired out on the said denomination because he was preaching the truth. He went to several denominations but the same happens to him. Fired out because he is telling the truth. Until his friend, a former co-preacher who was also
fired out to a denomination invited him to a Gospel Meeting held by the preachers of the Church of Christ. He immediately submitted to baptism after the Gospel Meeting because he was looking for this CHURCH OF CHRIST for a long time. He was added to the CHURCH thru baptism on 1971 & had help established about 17 congregations before he died on July 2, 1979. He gave all the glory to God. We really miss him.
Your brother in Christ,
P. O. Box 232
8002 Digos City
Jerry Falk JerryFalk@eresmas.net
*** 2 baptized, 1 restored ***
After having met with the church in Seville for several weeks, JAIME and MARGOT obeyed the gospel on June 2. It had been more than a year since we had the privilege to witness such a pleasant event in this city. Their decision gives Enrique Gallardo and I renewed confidence that our meager efforts (pasting flyers in bus stops, telephone booths, etc.) are helping people like Jaime and Margot to get in touch with us. We were finally able to use our new baptistry that brother Paco Del Valle built for
the church last year. (An additional note: I originally jotted down the above comments several weeks ago. As I write you on this Lord's day, August 18, I am sorry to report that both of these new Christians have stopped meeting with the church. Despite our efforts to encourage Jaime and Margot to remain faithful, problems that Jaime encountered at work and other trials have led them to "take it out on God". Please pray for them.)
On June 30, PEPE PEREZ surprised us by showing up for Sunday services during which he publicly expressed his repentance and desire to meet regularly with the saints. I have to admit, after my lengthy conversation with him several months ago, I didn't expect to see Pepe again. I told him, "If you get in touch with us, we will know that you want to make things right with God and have decided, once and for all, to worship faithfully with the church." (This has been Pepe's problem since he was converted in 1993.) "If we don't hear anything from you", I added, "it will mean that you are unwilling to make such a commitment." Since returning to the Shepherd of his soul, Pepe has been meeting faithfully and even arrives early for worship and Bible study.
*** Visitors in Seville ***
FRANCISCO PAULANO, a friend of member Paco Del Valle, has been meeting with the church on occasion after breaking ties with a group that
emphasizes the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit and continuous, direct revelation. Paco del Valle was also a member of this group. He realized that something was seriously wrong when the "pastor" began claiming that the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that Paco was committing fornication with his girlfriend. The complete falseness of this "revelation" led Paco to believe his "pastor" and flock were in error. (About a year and a half after Paco became a member of the Lord's body, it was discovered that his ex-pastor had been committing fornication with several women of his congregation. As a result, this false teacher was relieved of his position and forced to return to his native Puerto Rico, where the headquarters of the denomination is located. The satellite church in Seville lost most of its membership, including Paco, his girlfriend Elisabeth, and Francisco Paulano.)
My wife and I had the pleasure of receiving SILVIA AROSIO in our home from June 17 to July 15. Silvia and her mother, Orietta (from Brescia, Italy) worship in their home and occasionally with the saints in Rome. We also enjoyed having CARY RASBERRY (from Tomball, Texas) with us for several days. Cary preached in Seville and Dos Hermanas the Sunday before he left. My kids were absolutely CRAZY about him, hugging him constantly and saying, "Te quiero, Cary." (I love you, Cary.) Maria
and I have never seen Ellie and Jonathan grow so attached to someone in such a short time. Joking with Cary, I asked him if he was an angel. He responded wittily, "I don't think so." Brethren here, including myself, were impressed by Silvia and Cary's maturity and discipline. Such visits are a blessing from above.
*** More specific info. ***
The church in Seville
Average attendance in June 2002:
Sunday A.M. classes -- 15
Sunday A.M. worship -- 15
Thursday P.M. Bible study -- 12
Number baptized -- 2; restored -- 1; moved in-- 0; moved out -- 0
The church in Dos Hermanas
Average attendance in June 2002:
Sunday P.M. classes -- 33
Sunday P.M. worship -- 33
Tuesday P.M. Bible study -- 20
Number baptized -- 0; restored -- 0; moved in-- 0; moved out -- 0
My financial situation
I will be losing $600 per month in January. Additionally, I am behind on my quarterly Social Security payments for this year and am slowly paying off debt on two credit cards.
Thanks for your support and prayers.
Jerry T. Falk
41080 - Seville, SPAIN