Dear AWR Friend,
A HOSTILE BORDER CROSSING
“You need to come with us!” The heavily armed commander pointed to Pastor Borjan*, one of our Adventist World Radio leaders, and to a church elder who was with him. Just three weeks ago, they had been sitting in a bus at a border crossing waiting to be cleared for entry into an undisclosed part of the world that is hostile to outsiders.
The commander had boarded the bus, and as he walked down the aisle, he had singled out Pastor Borjan and his companion. This was bad. The pastor had a small suitcase filled with 20 solar-powered radios—as many as they had dared carry—that held the Bible in audio form, plus a set of Bible studies in the local language. There were believers inside the country eagerly waiting for these radios with the precious message.
* Not his real name
Looking at the luggage, the commander ordered that it be taken off the bus and placed on the ground for inspection. Then he noticed the small suitcase and asked, “Who does this belong to?”
Pastor Borjan’s heart sank. Would their efforts be for naught? He began to pray.
“The suitcase is mine,” he said as the commander ordered that all their luggage be picked up and that they follow him into the guardhouse.
One by one their belongings were inspected, and when the commander opened the small suitcase, inside for all to see were rows of identical boxes containing the AWR radios.
“You will have to pay a good tax on these since you will be selling them!” the commander said triumphantly.
“No, I won’t be selling them,” said Pastor Borjan. “I’m a Seventh-day Adventist pastor and work for Adventist World Radio. These radios are free as I share with others the good news of salvation. They contain messages of hope.”
“Ha!” the commander scoffed. “Prove it to me!”
Pastor Borjan’s fingers were shaking as he opened a box and took out a unit. He pushed a button, and the room filled with words from Scripture, followed by beautiful music and more Bible promises.
There was silence as everyone listened, and Pastor Borjan noticed tears rolling down the commander’s face. Laying his gun against the wall, the commander said, “Pastor, I have no hope anymore. My country is in such a mess—what kind of a future can I give my children? You say these messages can bring me hope? What can I do to get one of these radios? I want to share it with my family and with my men.”
By now, several more soldiers had joined them in the guardhouse, and when they realized what the tiny radios contained, some of them also began to cry, “Oh Pastor, please leave us another radio. We promise to listen. Our lives are not easy and we need hope. People hate us, and we often have to do things we don’t want to do. We need something good in our lives!”
Pastor Borjan couldn’t believe it! These hardened men had been touched by the Holy Spirit. There was no other explanation! Taking out another small box, the pastor handed it to the commander and said, “These are precious radios. Please make good use of them. I pray they will bring you exactly what you need in your lives.”
“Oh thank you, thank you! Would you please pray for us?” The men quickly placed their guns next to the commander’s and stood in a circle. Silent tears fell as Pastor Borjan and the elder prayed for these soldiers.
As they were leaving, the commander asked, “When will you be coming back? Here is my number. Call me. I want to make sure I’m on duty so I can talk to you again.”
As Pastor Borjan and his companion boarded the bus, they couldn’t help but marvel at what God had done. God’s Spirit is at work everywhere. Sometimes we may feel we’re working alone, but angels are the companions of all who go about God’s business!
We are told that, “Angels that excel in strength are waiting to unite with human agencies. When His people shall be in greatest danger . . . God will work in their behalf. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” ( Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 373)
What a wonderful promise! But this was not the end of the story. Pastor Borjan continued his journey inside the country and met with groups of believers who eagerly received the AWR radios. He also trained these believers to share the AWR messages through their cell phones via WhatsApp.
Now buckle your seatbelts for the most amazing part of the story. The Adventist Church in this country organized church members into community service groups that went house to house helping people with their basic needs—from simple home repairs to yard work. They then prayed with them and asked if they would like to receive messages of hope from AWR through their cell phones. Amazingly, more than 37,000 people responded saying, “Yes! Please send me these messages of hope!”
But there is even more to this story, because as I write this letter, Pastor Borjan just visited another country—also unnamed for security reasons—to meet with 250 drug cartel members hiding in the mountains. We recently learned that they have been receiving our AWR evangelistic sermons through WhatsApp on their cell phones and have many questions.
These hardened drug lords now want to escape the prison of the drug cartel life and be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church! This is unprecedented! They have found freedom in Jesus, so please join me in praying for two things: That they be able to leave the drug cartel, and that the government will grant them amnesty.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA FOR CHRIST 2020
Now let me share more unprecedented news. This coming year we’ll be facing what could be the largest evangelistic event in the history of the Adventist Church—even larger than Rwanda 2016 when 100,000 people were baptized.
I’m talking about Papua New Guinea. We’re planning more than 2,000 simultaneous evangelistic meetings next year, and the church in PNG is working with an interest list of 300,000 people!
Recently, our AWR team flew to PNG to meet with the leaders and plan the event. I questioned them on the big numbers they’re projecting. They said, “But Elder McKey, we already have 10,000 in just one baptismal class. They’re all planning to be baptized next year—and they will each bring five more! This is just one of many baptismal classes all across PNG!”
Their enthusiasm is contagious. God is doing something wonderful in PNG—a country once plagued by cannibalism and almost impossible to penetrate! But then, God is doing amazing things everywhere we’re willing to share the message! Wherever we look, it is no longer business as usual.
Let me share just a few details of how this massive event will be accomplished.
“PAINT THE CHIEF’S HOUSE WHITE”
Years ago, I had the privilege of working in 23 African countries, organizing evangelistic events following the NET meetings of the ‘90s. We trained hundreds of global mission pioneers who went into unentered villages with bulky equipment—back then, VHS tapes and video players. We developed a strategy at that time that I know will work now even more so.
Whenever we entered a mountain village, we sought out the chief and explained we wanted to show pictures to the villagers about Jesus and His soon coming. Then we would say, “We have brought some white paint and would like to paint your house white. Since your house is the most important house in the village, we can show the pictures on the side of your house.”
Never did a chief reject that proposal. And at the end of each nightly presentation, the response was always the same: “Show them again! Show the pictures again!”
We are planning to do the same throughout the jungle mountains of PNG next year. This time, instead of bulky VHS tapes and heavy video players, we will be using bright lightweight video projectors that will operate with only a flash drive. Some will be battery-operated for areas without electricity.
We are committed to purchasing 1,000 projectors at a cost of $160 each. I want to ask you to partner with us in this project. Your support is what makes every project we face possible—from Pastor Borjan’s work in unnamed countries, to the thousands of Godpods distributed, and of course to AWR’s radio stations around the world. All of it is made possible through your support.
I can’t wait to see what God will do next year in PNG, and what He is doing in the hearts of hardened men in unnamed countries and drug cartels. God’s Word knows no limits. It can penetrate walls and borders—and even hardened hearts.
In more than 40 years of international evangelism, I have never seen anything like this. We’re reaching assassins, rebel soldiers and rebel generals! We’re seeing whole churches accepting the Sabbath truth, and people secretly listening and being baptized in countries where your head could be cut off for becoming a Christian. Surely Jesus is coming soon!
Thank you for being a part of Adventist World Radio, and for joining us in the greatest calling ever—the saving of souls for the kingdom of heaven.