Friday, April 7, 2017

New York Times publishes Christian testimony about former jihadist

New York Times publishes Christian testimony about former jihadist – with qualifiers

By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
cross around neckNEW YORK, NY (ANS - April 5, 2017) -- In the New York Times Saturday Profile on March 24th, journalist Patrick Kingsley introduced a subject that rarely appears in the gray pages of the liberal eminence – a profile of a jihadist who had his life transformed by Jesus Christ.
Even as the Times broke ground with such a daring subject, Kingsley could not help but qualify the remarkable conversion with this:
“But these are subjective claims, and many would reject the characterization of Islam as a less benign religion (than Christianity), much as they would reject Nusra’s extremist interpretation of it (Islam).”
It seems Kingsley was shocked when he stumbled upon an Istanbul basement filled with 22 Christian refugees – many of whom were former Muslims.
“It was quickly clear that this was no ordinary prayer meeting. Several of them had Islamic names. There was an Abdelrahman and even a couple of Mohammads. Strangest of all, they jokingly referred to their host — one of the two Mohammads — as an irhabi. A terrorist,” he observed.
Kingsley began to speak with Bashir Mohammad, 25, who had once fought on the front lines of the Syrian civil war for the Nusra Front, an offshoot of Al Qaeda.
While Kingsley noted that some refugees fake their conversion to Christianity for immigration purposes, “Mr. Mohammad’s particular experience, however, does not fit easily into this narrative. He lives in a majority-Muslim country, has little interest in seeking asylum in the West and treads an unlikely path followed by few former jihadis.”
Mohammad grew up a Muslim family in northern Syria. At 15, he went to hear jihadist preachers and was persuaded by their extreme interpretations of Islam.
When the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Mohammad initially joined the Kurdish forces fighting for autonomy. He was “traumatized by the deaths he witnessed on the front line, which in turn re-energized his interest in the extremist versions of Islam that he had learned about as a teenager.”
Joining the Nusra Front
BashirIn 2012, Mohammad joined the Nusra Front, a group that seeks to establish an extremist state. As a Nusra fighter, he witnessed extreme brutality.
“His colleagues executed several captives by crushing them with a bulldozer. Another prisoner was forced to drink several liters of water after his genitals were tied shut with string,” according to the account in The Times.
Mohammad was willing to accept such horrors because “these people were the enemies of God, so I looked on these executions positively.”
When Mohammad went home for New Years in March 2013, apparently his temper frightened his relatives. He became enraged when he witnessed what he believed were blasphemous celebrations — outside the Islamic tradition.
During his leave he isolated himself with his new fiancée, Hevin Rashid. Both she and his parents tried to persuade him not to return to the front line, but he ignored them.
After he went back to the front, something happened that altered his perspective. Through binoculars, he viewed Syrian government soldiers executing prisoners with a bulldozer and concluded there was little difference between their behavior and that of his fellow soldiers.
“I went to Nusra in search of my God,” he told The Times. “But after I saw Muslims killing Muslims, I realized there was something wrong.”
Leaving the war
He left the fighting and returned home. After he and Hevin were married, they fled to Istanbul, along with 2.5 million other Syrians exiled in Turkey.
Still a fervent Muslim, Mohammad prayed so loudly his neighbors complained. “When are you going to turn into a prophet?” they asked him.
He insisted Hevin cover her hair and neck with a veil, and planned for her to wear a full-face covering.
In early 2015, Hevin developed a serious illness. As her health declined, Mohammad spoke by phone to his cousin Ahmad — the same cousin who had taken him to jihadist lectures as a teenager. Ahmad now lived in Canada and had become a follower of Jesus – a stunning turn of events!
Mohammad was even more shocked when Ahmad asked if he could put the phone close to Hevin, so a small group of believers could pray for her.
Photo captions: 1) The cross around Bashir’s neck. (Photo: Patrick Kingsley, NYT) 2) Bashir Mohammad. (Photo: Patrick Kingsley, NYT). 3) Mark Ellis.
Mark EllisAbout the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (, and is also the founder of, a website that shares testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions. Previously, Mark co-hosted a TV show called “Windows on the World” with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, aired on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (, which is now co-hosted by Dr. Garry Ansdell, Senior Pastor of Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, California.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service ( Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can have a complimentary subscription to our news service by signing up there.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Terrorist Survivor of Midair Explosion of TWA Flight 840 Marks 31st Anniversary during upcoming visit to Southern California

Terrorist Survivor of Midair Explosion of TWA Flight 840 Marks 31st Anniversary during upcoming visit to Southern California

Jeanette Chaffee will bring with her a powerful message of hope
By Dan Wooding, Special to ASSIST News Service
Jeanett Chaffee relaxingLOS ANGELES, CA (ANS – March 18, 2017) – Jeanette Chaffee survived the TWA Flight 840 midair explosion of a terrorist bomb less than fourteen feet from her. It is the only time in history passengers have survived after a bomb exploded aboard a commercial plane in the air.
She has appeared on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 20/20, The 700 Club, and multiple other television and radio shows. Jeanette was quoted in Newsweek, The New York Times, and USA Today. She also hosted and produced Reflections, a fifteen-minute weekly radio show that aired in cities from South Carolina to the Arctic Circle.
Bomb blast damage in TWA plane smallerRecognized as a gifted communicator, Jeanette changes lives by offering God’s hope to audiences going through their most difficult personal challenges. As an international speaker and author, she regularly speaks at church and community events, retreats, schools, and women’s groups. She has written diverse national magazine articles and has been a published author for over fifty years.
Jeanette will mark the 31st anniversary of the terrorist attack with appearances at a wide range of events in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas of California. She will share her harrowing experience on TWA Flight 840 and sign copies of her book, Extravagant Graces: 23 Inspiring stories of Facing Impossible Odds, which highlights through exclusive interviews the most difficult challenges faced by such high-profile Christians as Shirley Dobson, Anne Graham Lotz, Don Richardson, Elisabeth Elliot, the Happy Days singers, and Stephen Arterburn. Jeanette inspires readers to trust in God during tough times by sharing these true stories of world-renowned musicians, missionaries, athletes, and speakers who survived the most distressing personal trials – and sometimes tragedies – in their lives with help from the Lord.
Chafee book coverPublic events include author talks and book signings in five Barnes & Noble Bookstores. They are as follows: Sunday, April 2, Glendora noon-3:00 pm. Author talk at 1:00 p.m.; Monday, Rancho Cucamonga 12:30-3:15 pm, Tuesday, April 4, San Diego (Kearney Mesa) 2:00-5:00 pm. Author talk 3:00 pm; Thursday, April 6, Irvine 11:45- 2:15 pm., Friday, April 7, Aliso Viejo 10:00-12:30 pm.
During her visit, I will be recording an interview with Jeanette for my Front Page Radio show which will be run shortly afterwards on KWVE (107.9 FM) (, and on their network of stations in California, and Nevada, including Las Vegas, and is also on many other stations in the US. She will also be interviewed for the Orange County Register newspaper. Chaffee will privately meet with San Diego Police Field Lieutenant Charles Lara who runs the critical incident department. They will discuss terrorism and Jeanette will offer her availability to Lt. Lara for consulting or any other assistance as needed. She also plans to visit several regional libraries, meet staff members, and donate autographed copies of Extravagant Graces to their libraries.
Jeanette with MayorIn April of 2015, Jeanette flew to Tampa, Fla, to be interviewed by host Arthelene Rippy on the internationally televised Homekeepers show, viewed by 60 million people on the Christian Television Network. She was also a guest in August on Club 36, a global program on Watchmen Broadcasting. Additionally, in September, a film crew from the Christian Broadcasting Network came to Oregon to not only interview Jeanette but also to stage a re-enactment of the airplane bombing of Chaffee’s own story, “Terror in the Sky” which aired on the international TV program Turning Point in May 2016. It can be seen on demand at Jeanette also met with Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden to discuss terrorism and volunteered her services in the community should the need arise.
Christians killed at Roseburg collegeIn October, she spent time with people in Roseburg, Oregon after the shooting massacre at Umpqua Community College. Her article, “God is Present in the Aftermath of Roseburg Shooting,” can be read on the ASSIST News Service. Then in September 2016, Jeanette traveled to Toronto, Ont., Canada, where she appeared on the popular telecast 100 Huntley Street television show. Crossroads Christian Communications produces the daily program.
Jeanette on 100 Huntley Street useA highlight for her was meeting with Crossroads CEO, Lorna Dueck. Jeanette remarked, “I couldn’t believe she took the time to pray with me.” Find it on demand at
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns, Pat Boone, Cliff Barrows and NFL coach Les Steckel have all endorsed Jeanette and her book.
Lorna with JeanetteLearn more at To have Jeanette speak at your service or event, please contact her at 503.612.9407.
Photo captions: 1) Jeanette Chaffee. 2) The terrorist bomb damage to TWA 840. Jeanette was in the far right row, shown. 3) Jeanette’s book, Extravagant Graces: 23 Inspiring Stories of Facing Impossible Odds. 4) Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden with Jeanette. 5.) Christians were executed by a terrorist at Umpqua Community College. 6.) Host Moira Brown interviewed Jeanette on 100 Huntley Street. 7) Jeanette with Crossroads CEO, Lorna Dueck. 8) Dan Wooding with Jeanette Chaffee at the studios of KWVE after a previous interview.
Dan with Jeanette Chaffee at KWVEAbout the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 54 years. Dan is the founder and president of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts a weekly radio show and two TV programs, all based in Southern California. They have two sons, Andrew and Pater, and six grandchildren, who all live in the UK. Dan is the author of 45 books.
**You may reproduce this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (, Please tell your friends that they can receive a complimentary for our news service by going to the above link and signing up there.

She hid Jews in WWII, became a Nazi’s sex slave after she was discovered

She hid Jews in WWII, became a Nazi’s sex slave after she was discovered

By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
Irene who helped JewsPOLAND (ANS - March 18, 2017) -- She was only a teenager when Hitler’s Panzer divisions overran her beloved Poland, separating the young nursing student from her family, and launching her on a mission a Catholic girl with Aryan features might never have imagined -- rescuing Jews from certain death.
“God blessed my hands to save many lives,” said Irene Gut Opdyke, shortly before her passing in 2003. Opdyke was honored by the Israeli Holocaust Commission in 1982 as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations,” a title given to non-Jews who risked their lives by aiding and saving Jews during the Holocaust.
Opdyke wrote a book about her ordeal, “In My Hands” (Random House), a riveting tale of heroism and survival under perilous conditions.
When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, the 17-year old was several hundred miles from her home at nursing school in Radom, and could not return because her family lived close to the German border. “My little country was really bombarded,” Opdyke said. “Hitler knocked everything down,” she said. “The sky was black with them: row after row of German bombers, flying in formation over Radom.”
The bombardment threw the hospital where she studied into chaos. “We were out of food, we were out of sulfa drugs, we had no clean sheets, the electricity was out, and the wounded kept arriving,” she noted in her book. As the Polish army retreated from Radom, Opdyke volunteered to travel with them and assist with their medical needs. “I joined the Polish army to fight Hitler and send him back to Berlin,” she said.
“Unfortunately, Russia and Germany made a pact and they took my country from both sides,” Opdyke said.
Facing overwhelming opposition, she found herself hiding in the Ukrainian forest with 10 Polish soldiers and several nurses. “We needed clothing and food because it was bitter cold,” she said. One night Opdyke went into the town of Lvov on a bartering mission.
Beaten and left to die
German troops roll into PolandAs Opdyke walked down the road on a clear, moonless night, she heard a low, rumbling sound she didn’t want to hear. It was the sound of a Russian patrol approaching, and she bolted for the woods. “I ran for my life to the forest, but I was captured by three Russian soldiers and brutally violated, beaten, and left in the snow to die,” she said. “But I did not die.”
Found by another Russian patrol the next morning, her lifeless body was thrown in the back of a military transport vehicle and hauled to a prison hospital controlled by the Russians. As she slowly recovered her strength over the ensuing weeks, her prayers intensified. “I wondered if the Heavenly Father saw me, alone and defeated.”
Opdyke gradually regained her strength in the hospital, only to face another harrowing incident. A Russian doctor in the hospital crept into her bed in the middle of the night and attempted to rape her as she slept. After this ordeal, she determined she would escape from the hospital.
“A Polish doctor from the Ukraine helped me to escape,” she said. Opdyke slipped through a loose board in the fence surrounding the hospital grounds, and slowly made her way back toward her home in Radom. As a train she was riding crossed from Russian-controlled areas of Poland into the German sector, everyone was pulled off the train and placed under quarantine, ostensibly to prevent the spread of “Russian diseases.”
Men examined for circumcision
Polish villagers killed by German troops“The men, who had been separated from the women upon arrival, were being examined for circumcision; the circumcised men, the Jews, were taken away,” she recounted. “To where? Why? Would they be back? No one knew.
Two years after the start of the war, Opdyke finally reached her family in Radom for a joyous homecoming. But everything about life in Radom had changed. All the streets had German names. All Polish intellectuals and professionals had been taken away to prison camps, and many other men in the town had simply disappeared, never to be heard from again.
The restaurant where Opdyke once worked served only Germans now. Posters covered the city mocking the Jews, falsely accusing them of every sort of crime. Jews from Radom, as well as the surrounding countryside, had been forced into two ghetto areas, surrounded by barbed wire. “Some said that Hitler was planning to exterminate the Jews, but we thought that was simply too preposterous to believe.”
“Now we are like slaves, or worse,” her father told her. “We must step off the sidewalk and remove our hats if a German approaches,” he said. “And the death penalty is automatic for anyone helping the Jews.” Opdyke was baffled by this hostility toward the Jews, wondering why the Germans didn’t simply let them leave.
One night after Opdyke’s sisters went off to bed, she tearfully recounted the full story of her two-year ordeal to her parents, her voice dropping to a whisper as she told them of her rape. Then Opdyke’s father gently put his hand on her shoulder. “War makes men animals,” he said. “You must not let this ruin your life. God has plans for you. He did not let you die. He has plans for you.”
German Nazi leaderOnly a few weeks later, the Germans came for Opdyke’s father. A ceramics factory her father designed was considered important for the war effort, and they wanted his expertise to make it function, so they took him away.
Then on a Sunday morning, while Opdyke worshipped in church, she heard the sound of heavy vehicles pull up in the square outside the church, doors slamming, and boots pounding up to the front doors. “Raus! Zum Strasse! soldiers shouted as the people were herded outside into the square. The parishioners were surrounded by Wehrmacht soldiers with their guns drawn.
“You will be transported to Germany to work for the Reich,” an officer shouted. “You Poles have been idle long enough.”
Photo captions: 1) Irene Gut Opdyke. 2) German tanks roll into Poland. 3) Polish villagers killed by Germans near Radom. 4) Sturmbannfuhrer Rokita. 5) Mark Ellis.
Mark EllisAbout the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (, and is also the founder of, a website that shares testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions. Previously, Mark co-hosted a TV show called “Windows on the World” with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, aired on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (, which is now co-hosted by Dr. Garry Ansdell, Senior Pastor of Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, California.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service ( Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can have a complimentary subscription to our news service by signing up there.

I Am Finished!

"I Am Finished!"
“If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
LUKE 9:23

When we first come to the Lord we truly think we are giving Him our all, but we cannot fully appreciate just how powerful Self is. It cannot be dealt with in a once-and-for-all manner. It requires many seasons of God’s dealings for us to see the truth about the Lord, and the truth about ourselves.

That is why I say there is more hope for someone who is ready to give up and quit than there is for someone who keeps promising to do better tomorrow. Only after we have tried and failed one hundred, one thousand, or one million times will we at last be able to say, “Lord, I finally understand now that I can originate nothing of my own self, because whenever I do, I meet with nothing but defeat. So I am finished! Henceforth, not my will, but Your Will be done!”

Source: "Embrace the Cross" by Chip Brogden

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I am your brother,
Chip Brogden 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Kesaksian Pelayanan Penginjilan

Kesaksian Pelayanan Penginjilan
Oleh: Yohanes
Saya mulai dengan bagaimana Tuhan membawa saya untuk berada di dalam suatu desa. Itu terjadi kira-kira tahun 1989. Tuhan taruh sesuatu ke dalam hati saya untuk mengadakan pelayanan penginjilan bagi jiwa-jiwa. Adapun bentuk pelayanan yang Tuhan taruh adalah doa syafaat, bersyafaat. Supaya pelayanan ini bisa maksimal, Tuhan membawa saya kepada pengalaman pribadi dengan Tuhan sampai saya bisa menangisi jiwa-jiwa. Ini bentuk doa yang harus dilakukan sungguh-sungguh di hadapan Tuhan. Doa syafaat artinya kita harus mewakili manusia di hadapan Allah dan membawa manusia ke dalam tangan Tuhan. Jadi, masalah yang mereka alami, dosa yang mereka alami, seakan-akan itu dosa-dosa saya. Saya menangisi mereka, saya mencintai mereka, saya menggerutu di hadapan Tuhan supaya Ia mengampuni saya. Saya orang berdosa. Saya ingin berhenti dari doa ini, tetapi tidak bisa. Saya terus bersyafaat bagi desa ini selama hampir dua setengah tahun, dan apa yang terjadi, hasil dari doa ini adalah kegerakan Allah terjadi luar biasa. Anak-anak muda mulai dijamah oleh Tuhan. Orangtua mereka yang tadinya tidak menyukai saya, ternyata Tuhan jamah melalui anak-anak-Nya. Akhirnya, selama dua setengah tahun, ketika saya merasa sudah waktunya saya tinggalkan daerah itu, saya melangkah keluar. Nah, sewaktu saya melangkah keluar dari desa itu, saya mendapat informasi bahwa penuaian terjadi luar biasa. Anak-anak muda diutus Tuhan untuk mengikuti sekolah-sekolah Alkitab di mana-mana.
Saya melihat melalui pengalaman ini bahwa di mana pun kita berada sebagai hamba Tuhan, untuk dapat memenangkan suatu daerah bagi Tuhan, doa syafaat sangat penting. Jadi, kita harus mewakili mereka, apa pun dosa dan kesalahan mereka, seakan-akan itu adalah dosa saya sendiri. Jadi, tangisanlah yang Tuhan taruh kepada saya, makanya Tuhan berbicara kepada saya melalui kitab Mazmur 126 bahwa orang yang menabur dengan mencucurkan air mata, ia akan pulang dengan sorak sorai sambil membawa berkas-berkasnya. Selama dua setengah tahun, saya kembali. Ketika saya tidak lagi berada di situ, penuaian terjadi.
Akhirnya, apa yang terjadi? Di tempat saya menangisi mereka itulah, itu ada sebuah gereja GBI. Sebelumnya, tidak ada gereja sama sekali. Saya pikir inilah cara Tuhan supaya ada benih yang ditaburkan. Awalnya, saya tidak mau masuk ke desa tersebut karena desa ini sudah Kristen. Namun, kehidupan rohani mereka tidak bertumbuh. Wilayahnya sendiri masih berupa hutan dan terpencil, dan kami sekeluarga tinggal di tengah-tengahnya, di bawah pohon saya tinggal bersama istri dan kedua anak saya. Banyak hal yang kami alami sampai Tuhan proses saya selama tiga setengah tahun. Tuhan tidak pernah meninggalkan kami walaupun dalam masalah makanan dan minuman, kami pernah tidak punya makanan. Saya ingat pada suatu sore, di tempat yang sama, anak laki-laki saya minta makan ikan sementara kami tidak punya uang. Laut bergelora dan waktu sudah menunjukkan pukul lima sore. Bagaimana saya mendapatkan ikan? Akan tetapi, Tuhan membuktikan bahwa Ia sanggup memelihara. Pukul lima sore, saya dituntun oleh Roh Kudus pergi ke laut. Sampai di laut, apa yang terjadi, pada ombak yang terakhir Tuhan hempaskan ikan yang sangat besar.
Roma 12
Itu mukjizat pertama yang saya dapat dari Tuhan sebagai suatu bukti bahwa pemeliharaan Tuhan sungguh sangat sempurna. Di mana pun kita berada, Tuhan memelihara kita. Asalkan kita hadapi semua persoalan dan tantangan dalam pelayanan itu dengan iman, jangan dengan perasaan. Karena jika dengan perasaan, kita akan cenderung mengasihani diri sendiri. Akan tetapi, hadapilah segala sesuatu dengan iman. Percaya bahwa apa pun yang terjadi, semua ada dalam rencana Tuhan. Itu adalah pengalaman pertama saya dalam penginjilan, memenangkan satu desa untuk Tuhan. Sampai-sampai, anak-anak muda di desa itu sekolah Alkitab di mana-mana. Sekarang, mereka dipakai Tuhan di mana-mana. Dulu, mereka pernah sampai adili saya hanya karena nama Yesus. Mereka mengatakan bahwa saya seorang nabi palsu. Akan tetapi, saya tetap menyadari bahwa saya ada di sini karena rencana Tuhan. Bagaimanapun, semua pemuda-pemudi bahkan semua jiwa-jiwa di sana akhirnya masuk dalam pembaruan karena mereka sudah Kristen, tetapi tidak hidup dalam pertobatan. Itulah cara Tuhan supaya pemulihan dan pembaruan terjadi dalam setiap orang percaya di situ. Jadi, bukan hanya sekadar Kristen, tetapi betul-betul mengalami perubahan hidup secara rohani. Jadi, peran doa di situ sangat penting.
  1. Mari kita doakan untuk pelayanan Pak Yohanes beserta keluarga supaya mereka dapat menjadi saluran berkat di mana saja Tuhan tempatkan mereka untuk melayani.
  2. Mari kita berdoa untuk setiap orang yang bersedia untuk dipakai Tuhan seperti halnya Pak Yohanes yang mau bertekun dalam pergumulan doanya.
  3. Mari kita juga berdoa untuk setiap kesaksian yang kami terbitkan. Kiranya kesaksian tersebut menjadi alat Tuhan untuk menjangkau jiwa, dan melaluinya kita semakin melihat penyertaan serta pemeliharaan Tuhan yang nyata. Berdoa juga untuk banyak orang agar mau bersaksi akan kasih Tuhan dalam hidup mereka yang dapat memberkati.
"Bersukacitalah dalam pengharapan, tabahlah dalam kesesakan, dan bertekunlah dalam doa!"
(Roma 12:12, AYT)

Beja, Bedawi in Sudan

Beja, Bedawi in Sudan
The Beja are a pastoral tribe who have made their home in the desert between the Nile River and the Red Sea for over 4,000 years. Due to their crown of fuzzy hair, Rudyard Kipling referred to them as "the Fuzzy Wuzzies." The Beja do not refer to themselves as Beja, but call themselves by the land in which they are living. The Beja consider life good if they have numerous livestock and green, well-watered pastures. Nearly all Beja live in rural areas.
Ministry Obstacles
The Beja tribe lives in rural areas in a region that is difficult for outsiders to enter, and they are somewhat nomadic.
Outreach Ideas
Christians need to find ways to help the Beja with material and physical needs, caring out of genuine concern for their well-being.
Pray for the followers of Christ
There are few if any followers of Jesus among this large tribe, but pray for those the Lord will soon call to himself. Pray the Lord is even now preparing pastors and teachers to help them become established in the faith. Pray for Scripture availability, and for other needed resources.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray the Beja tribe will be able to provide adequately for their families as they live in a harsh area of the world. Pray for good water, sufficient food, and peace with their neighbors.
Scripture Focus
"All nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name." Psalm 86:9

People Name: Beja, Bedawi
Country: Sudan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,303,000
World Population: 2,633,000
Language: Bedawiyet
Primary Religion: Islam
Bible: Portions
Audio NT (FCBH): No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Don’t waste your life; help complete the Great Commission

Francis Chan: Don’t waste your life; help complete the Great Commission

By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
Francis Chan preaching useLAKE FOREST, CALIFORNIA (ANS -- January 7, 2016) -- Noted author and preacher Francis Chan urged believers not to waste their lives on fruitless pursuits, but to join with him and others focused on planting churches among the remaining unreached people groups of the world.
“We have to mobilize to get the Gospel to these people,” Chan declared at the Finishing the Task conference December 8th at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
“But the other thing we’re accomplishing is helping people not to waste their lives. They are doing something you know God wants. You know it has eternal significance,” he told a group of mission-minded leaders at the conference.
Chan said following the command of Jesus given in Matthew 28 is the ultimate antidote to a purposeless existence. “How many people wander through life wondering if they wasted it?” he asked.
“But this is not a waste; it’s straight out of Scripture.”
Chan also spoke at the same conference in 2015. “Last year this conference impacted me in a big way. I went home and told my staff I’m not taking another speaking engagement this year unless it has to do with reaching unreached people groups,” he noted.
Chan and wife minister in AfricaTwo months ago Chan visited an unreached group in Africa for the first time. “We took two flights and a helicopter and we were in the middle of nowhere,” he recounted.
“A young missionary was there speaking their language perfectly. I heard him explaining to people who had never in history heard about Jesus. I’ve been in ministry 30 years and I’ve never witnessed something like that. It was so beautiful.”
Chan wished he had engaged in missions work earlier. “I was jealous that I didn’t have the courage at his age to do something like this,” he noted.
“There are days I wonder if what I’m doing is worth it. But standing with a tribe who never heard of Jesus and there is no guessing. It’s the coolest thing. There is no doubt in my mind he is not wasting his life.”
Photo captions: 1) Francis Chan preaching. 2) Chan and his wife minister in East Africa on their 20th anniversary. 3) Mark Ellis.
Mark EllisAbout the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (, and also founder of, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from around the world.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service ( Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the above website and signing up there.