Dear AWR Friend,
I can’t tell you her real name. I can’t even show you a picture of her face . . . but I just baptized her in a very special secret baptism. She had been hired to translate my sermons into a Middle Eastern language. But to do so, she first had to listen to the presentations.
When she began the translations, she had no intention of having them affect her. But then she started having dreams. She would see me preaching the sermons, and then see a bright light and hear a beautiful voice say, “Come to the Light.” Hearing that kind voice gave her a wonderful warm feeling, and in her dream she knew it was Jesus.
You know the story because I shared it last month. She asked her friend, “When Pastor McKey comes, can he baptize me?”
Her friend said, “What about your family? They have threatened to kill any family member who becomes a Christian.”
And she responded, “No, I have decided this is the most important thing in my life. Whether I live or die, I want Pastor McKey to baptize me!”
I knew I would baptize her when I visited her country in November, but meeting her and having her personally tell me her story was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
Then there’s Rose, the former general of the former assassins from Mindoro. As I write, Rose is preaching a full evangelistic series in the mountains of former rebel territory! She told me how not long ago, she was at the same village passionately asking people to take up arms against the military and join the rebel communist freedom fighters. Now she’s back in that village, but not to recruit assassins—to recruit soldiers for Jesus. This is unbelievable!
From Nepal to North Korea, to England, to the South Pacific, to Bhutan, to Peru and to Ukraine . . . the list goes on and on because God is calling His people, and AWR is fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus to go to all the world so His work will be finished and we can get off this old ball of mud and go home!
Let me share just a few of the amazing things taking place right now, with a recap of the miracles we witnessed during 2022.
NEW RADIO STATIONS
We just dedicated a radio station in St. Thomas, one of the main islands in the group that comprises the Virgin Islands. The call letters of the station are WGOD, and it will reach all the Caribbean Islands! The church members are so excited to partner with AWR and reach these islands whose inhabitants need to hear about Jesus.
It seems like every time we turn around, we’re opening a new radio station—in Central and South America, in the Middle East and Asia, and in Africa, nine stations this past year, with many more in the Philippines. Just on the island of Mindanao alone, 27 new stations were added to the list in 2022.
All of the AWR stations are committed to broadcasting the Three Angels’ Messages and sharing with the world the good news of the gospel. God’s Word is being heard around the world with increasing clarity. It reminds me of the song “Loud Let It Ring: Jesus Is Coming Again!”
THE HUMBLE GODPOD REVISITED
Sometimes we forget that millions around the world have never heard the name of Jesus. It seems inconceivable to imagine such a thing when living in a Christian country. We at AWR are working to change that. Through the airwaves and through all media platforms, we’re using every available means to share the gospel message.
But there is one medium that is sometimes undervalued in its simplicity—the Godpod. It’s a solar-powered audio player that contains the whole Bible in spoken form, along with Bible studies and stories.
The beauty of the Godpod is that it will never need a battery nor electricity, and the most primitive people groups can enjoy it without ever needing to recharge it except by placing it in the sun. It’s genius, and we’re using it all around the world in different language groups with amazing results. People get to listen to the Three Angels’ Messages in their own language! Let me share the following stories:
SABITA FROM NEPAL
Sabita was born into a Hindu family in Eastern Nepal. She married a fine man and they had two beautiful daughters. They wanted to give their daughters the best education, something they had been unable to have, so Sabita and her husband left them with her mother and traveled to Malaysia to find work to support them.
The couple worked in different places in Malaysia, and Sabita looked forward to the day they could reunite and return to Nepal. But it was not to be. One day, she learned that her husband had secretly married another woman and had no desire to see her again.
Feeling rejected and abandoned, Sabita sank into a deep despair. The future looked dark and she felt it held no hope for her. Her despair was so crushing that she became mentally ill and could no longer work, so she was sent back to Nepal.
![After her husband left her, Sabita felt hopeless. So a friend gave her a Godpod. What happened next was truly amazing.](05-sabita.jpg)
She stayed with her brother’s family, but became so ill she felt paralyzed, unable to concentrate or do the most basic tasks. Then an Adventist friend visited her and invited her to church. She went, and the kind pastor prayed for her. But her friend also did something else: She gave Sabita a Godpod, explaining how to use it.
A few weeks went by and the friend returned. To her surprise, she found Sabita completely changed! Not only did she look fresh and rested, but she was in a happy mood. She confessed she had been listening to the Godpod every day, and now she knew God loved her. “I felt so lonely, and my life was so meaningless after my husband abandoned me, but now I know God loves me and has a plan for my life. I have hope for myself and my daughters.”
SINGKHAM FROM LAOS
Singkham lived in a small village in Luang Prabang, Laos. His people practiced animism, a mystic, primitive form of religion where ancestors and all things are worshipped. His village had a school with only five grades, so his parents sent him to his older brother’s house in another town to continue his schooling.
He had been there three years when a friend gave him some old cassette tapes he had found, along with a Bible tract. As Singkham looked at the tract, he read the words of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
He wondered at the meaning of such words. There was something strangely powerful about them. Then he turned the tract over, and the words written there jolted him. “Will you invite Him into your life? He is waiting for you.”
This caused great turmoil in his mind. He wondered, “Who is this God? Is He bigger than my God?” In that moment, he felt compelled to say, “If you are the real God, please let me know so I can accept you.”
Some time passed, and Singkham moved back to his village after he had finished the schooling in his brother’s town. He thought he was through with school, but his parents insisted that he continue, so they sent him to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. They had wanted him to stay with an uncle, but they couldn’t locate him, so he stayed with his mom’s sister until they could find him.
Singkham now knows this was providential, because when he arrived at his aunt’s house, he saw a book that had the same picture he’d seen in that old tract years before. He remembered it vividly. This amazed him, and again that old question raged in his heart: “Who is this God? Is he bigger than my God?” Then he repeated the words, “If you are the real God, please let me know so I can accept you.”
Singkham said, “But this time, God had sent my aunt to show me the Bible and study it with me. Suddenly, I felt a presence in my life I hadn’t felt before. I learned it was the Holy Spirit. As we studied, my love for God grew more each day. Once I met Jesus, I found hope and purpose for my life. My fears abandoned me. Soon after, I was baptized, and I understood God had brought me here for a greater purpose.”
He went on to study theology and is now a pastor in Laos. Recently, he received for the first time some AWR Godpods. When he realized how they work, he was thrilled—a far cry from the old cassette tapes that required equipment and batteries!
“This is wonderful! I wish I’d had something like this years ago. I hope and pray that through them more and more Lao people will meet Jesus and accept Him as their personal Savior,” he said.
As we begin another year, I can’t wait to see what God will do. There are more radio stations planned, more Godpods to distribute, and some amazing opportunities for the preaching of the gospel!
Just this past Sabbath I told my wife Kathy, “What a time to be alive!” We received news that 40 people were baptized in Bangladesh in a Hindu village, and all across Mindoro there are 21 evangelistic meetings being held by former rebels. And we also learned several more military officers were baptized. That’s the reason why we do what we do! There is no greater joy than leading others to Jesus!
This year we’re looking to Mindanao, where we’ve begun working as we did in Mindoro, and where doors are opening that we never imagined. We’ll be using the “Question of the Day” radio programs as we did in Mindoro, but this time the prize will be a free copy of The Great Controversy!
We’re looking to Europe, where an awakening is taking place, and we’re moving forward by faith with Christ for Europe this coming May. And we’re looking to the “unreached places” of the world like North Korea, China and parts of the Middle East, where missionaries cannot go, but by God’s grace, our faithful “steel preachers” can—because they know no borders, no walls and no limits!
And we’re looking to you, our faithful supporters, who share our love for Jesus and look forward to His soon return. Thank you for your prayers and generosity, and for joining with us in this incredible adventure of faith as together we continue to proclaim to the Sabitas and Singkhams of the world that Jesus is coming soon! And that’s the best news of all.