God works in the details—the "why" behind the book for new believers.
Imagine visiting a developing nation.
God works in and through you to lead people into a relationship with Jesus.
Sadly, there are few or no discipleship materials available for new believers in their village that they can read. Materials that have been sent over by Westerners are all in other languages.
For the next two days, you have only a precious few hours to equip them to “run the race” of faith.
What do you do?
This is not some hypothetical scenario, but one we’ve lived time and time again at All In Ministries International.
We’ve partnered with local churches and missionaries to reach people groups and places not “well covered.” Unreached people groups span the globe and very few have heard the Good News of Jesus.
Those who have heard the gospel and received Jesus (John 1:12) have no discipleship materials for new believers in their heart language to grow in their faith.
Heart language: an expression used widely by missionaries to explain a person’s dominant language. For cultures with multiple languages, it is the language that flows naturally as a person prays.
Upfront and Personal
On my first international mission to the Mayan jungle of Mexico more than a decade ago, I was a mom of young children. The decision to go was a huge step of faith.
After much prayer, my husband and I felt this mission was what God was calling our family to do. My husband and mother offered to keep things running at home so that I could go and serve. We’re a team. And we prayed for God to use every minute of that mission for His glory.
No matter how families approach missions (one goes, all go, etc.), it is a co-calling. And a sacrifice for all involved.
God Answered Our “Every Minute” Prayer
After a short flight and a long drive, our small mission team arrived in the community where we would begin. We arrived late at night, and the next morning I sat next to a young man at our breakfast table. He was introduced to me as my translator for the week.
After a few short minutes of conversation to get to know him, he shared that he was not a Christian and was unfamiliar with the gospel.
I was shocked.
Not a believer? How was he going to translate faith terms or know where to turn in the Bible? Would he even know the books of the Bible?
In this case, ignorance is bliss. With my inexperience in foreign missions, those thoughts never even crossed my mind.
After a few minutes of explaining God’s love story, he expressed interest in being forgiven and adopted as God’s child.
Right there, within 30 minutes of that first day on my first mission, God did a miracle at that breakfast table! The young man turned from his sins and placed his faith in the one true God.
He was made new!
The young translator followed our small team all week as we hosted community outreach events and went hut-to-hut sharing the good news of Jesus.
By the end of the week, we asked him to share the gospel as we approached the next family’s home. At this point, he had translated the gospel dozens of times and saw how easy it was to share one’s faith.
He did so beautifully.
God Works In Every Last Minute
As the mission ended, we were saying our goodbyes and boarding the van for the airport. But God had more for our young translator.
He needed a ride in the same direction and asked to join our team. I talked with the other team members to see if it would be alright if I could sit with him on the ride back to disciple him.
Everyone agreed, and the van ride back was quiet. No one said a word as I shared everything I could think of to launch him well in his new faith.
You see, there were no discipleship resources for him.
There was not even an extra Bible for him to get to know God and His will, His love letter.
Praise God, another team member thought to bring an extra Bible and gave it to him. We opened it, and he got a tour of it as we examined the table of contents.
On that van ride, he learned how to have a quiet time, how to study the Bible, pray Scripture, resist temptation, and much more. None of the faith essentials that came to mind were pre-planned.
God was in that van and equipped His child for his new faith journey. Yes, He answered our prayers for every minute to count on that mission.
On the plane ride home, I remember thinking about how I wish those faith essentials could be shared with my young sons one day.
My husband and I talked through the idea of writing it all down. And for a time, work began on a book to capture all the things we wished we knew starting out as new believers. But with the demands of life, women’s ministry leadership, and full-time seminary, the work fizzled.
After many missions later to places without discipleship resources for new believers, God used divine appointments to resurrect this writing project. Now it’s been four years of steady work. Helped by sisters and brothers across denominations in different stages of the development process, the Bible study book is near completion.
Why a Book? Why Not Just Leave A Bible for New Believers?
Creating a new believer’s guidebook of faith essentials is a daunting task, and there was much spiritual opposition in each season of development.
Many weary nights, having worked long hours for months, I simply didn’t know if the book would ever be completed.
I’d think to myself, does the world need another disciple-making tool?
But God, in His great mercy and grace, would encourage the team each time. He would remind us of Ezra reading Scripture to the Jews, and “making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read” (Nehemiah 8:8, NIV).
Yes, the Holy Spirit can and does use the Bible to train Christ-followers into paths of righteousness, but it’s good to learn from others, too.
God would point out how one of the principal functions of the Levites was to teach the people (Deut. 33:10). His covenant of life and peace resulted in Levi giving “true instruction” (Malachi 2:6).
Ultimately, it was Our Lord and King’s Great Commission that encouraged us to press on:
We were not only to teach all of Jesus’s commands but also to teach believers to obey all of His commands.
There is a difference, and often that part is neglected.
New Book for New Believers with a New Approach
As we finish the third theological review, complete cover & interior design, and work out the print on demand logistics, we ask for your prayers.
The new believer’s Bible Study is different than any book there is currently available.
In a 50-day faith journey, we’ve combined the approach of a devotional, Bible Study, and new believer’s handbook into one tool covering the essentials of the faith.
No Western anecdotes, idioms, humor, or personal (non-Biblical stories) are included in the short chapters. Mindful of the diverse Christian traditions, we incorporate various spiritual disciplines and direct readers to the Bible for more information.
In fact, there are more than 1,400 Bible references that saturate the book.
All proceeds of book sales in Western contexts will go to the translation and free distribution of the book in developing countries for new believers. In some cases, we have in-country translators waiting to get started. Praise God!
Please pray for God to be greatly glorified in the fruit of this work.
You Can Get Involved
Do you want to be a part of where God is working? Would you like to advance the gospel to the nations? You can do so by joining our launch team. You’ll get updates as we make progress and receive a free ebook when it’s ready.
We need your help to get the message of this book out to others.
And, in the future if you are headed to a developing country, we pray we have a translated version that you can take with you.
Sign up to be a part of the launch team by emailing contact [at] allinmin [dot] org (spelling out to avoid spammers) and place on the subject line: Launch Team or visit our contact page. Place “launch team” in the subject line and give us your name in the email. We’d love to partner with you in the work of raising up the next generation for God’s glory alone.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership.