When I was introduced to Precept in 1999, I had no idea the reach that this ministry has around the world! All I knew at the time was that my life was being RADICALLY changed as I learned to study the Bible for myself, and listen to God as He led me in the application of the Truth I was learning.
Now, 9 years later, Shane and I have had the priviledge of meeting some of the amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who are working so hard to teach others, in the Middle East and other areas, how to study the Bible for themselves, too.
Below is a note that one of the directors recently sent to Precept, and I share it here with you, by permission. Names and locations have been removed on purpose, and you will notice that some of the English is a bit rough, but it's not their first language, so that's why.
The things that really stand out to me in this letter are:
1. Sometimes God allows illness in the life of the believer in order to accomplish His greater plan.
Will we trust Him?
2. The Word changes people....children, fathers, inmates, teens, moms, the elderly...we must be faithful to teach people how to study for themselves...for it's when we are face-into God's Word that He will speak through His Word and pierce our hearts.
Where would God have you go to teach others how to study the Bible for themselves? An elderly home? A prison? Across the street? A coffee get-together? One mom in town is about to start "Being A Disciple, Counting The Real Cost" and her class is meeting at the park...already there are over 10 moms who are going to be learning to "Discover Truth" for themselves!
3. People in these areas are so HUNGRY for God's Word. Many of them have lived in areas where it was against the law to be anything but a communist until only a few decades ago. Makes me think of Josiah, and how he responded when he finally had a copy of the Word for himself. He was diligent and hungry and QUICK about obeying God's Word, once it was in his hands.
Do we take for granted our freedom to study the Bible without concern, anywhere we like, at any time?
4. Even public school children are studying God's Word! In school! How amazing is that?!
How many public school children in your town might show up if you offered to lead "The Truth About Sex" as an after-school class? It's not like they aren't hungry to know the truth about it! Who will tell them? Can God send you?
5. Sometimes we need to think outside the box in how we reach people. They are teaching children computers at the same time they are teaching them to study the Word.
In another area, kids who want to take martial arts classes must first take a Precept class. For each Precept class they complete, they get to go for their belts. Imagine how much of the Word these kids have in their hearts by the time they get a black belt!
How might God be tugging at your heart to share the gift of inductive study in your home town?
6. We need to be in prayer for these faithful leaders. They are humble, and love the Lord. They have given their lives so that others may know Him, and know His Word. Won't you please join me in praying for them?
7. Remember, every time you buy a book or a workbook from Precept Ministries, you are helping to send books and Bibles to people in other lands where they can't afford them. If you have a choice of buying your class materials from Precept, or from a discounter. Please buy from Precept.
Thank you again!
Here's the letter...I pray it blesses you like it did me. :)
A camp was held for elderly people, and they studied 1 Peter. A lady said, "Do you really believe God is still doing miracles today?". After the camp one woman working with Precept had a stroke and entered the hospital. All the sisters and brothers from the camp came to visit her.
Since she was in a ward with many people, these visitors came to share the Gospel one on one with the sick people. Some rejected, but many received the message and some received the Lord. Now our Precept friend considered that her sickness brought people to the Lord, and she rejoiced over this miracle saying, "Now I understand the sufferings 1 Peter talks about!"
Every day it gets better.
At a camp, the director of a school participated so she could see how the Precept teachers relate to students. A "trouble boy," whom the director had tried to discipline many times to get him to say, "I am sorry," and obey her instructions, after the first day of camp said, "I am sorry" when he was confronted. The director was amazed and wanted to know how it is possible for a child to change in one day!
It was an opportunity for leaders to share God's Word with her.
At the session using the Book of James and Homiletics in another town in the Middle East, where another Precept Trainer taught, the trainer's brother came.
He has nine children, and as he studied about "wisdom" for the first time, he understood that God gives it without reproach. The Holy Spirit rebuked him for not having patience with his nine children who constantly ask for help with their homework. "If God is so patient with me not to rebuke me, I decided to be a different father to my children."
His children saw in their father a huge change!
There is another Precept student in another town in the Middle East. His ministry is to teach Precept in penitentiaries. As he went to the market, his name was called, "My name is Art. Thank you for coming to the prison and teaching God's Word. You may not know, but I received the Lord, I was released from prison, and now I attend a local Baptist church."
A group of six troubled youth with lots of problems of their own came to church in yet another town. Their behavior was unpleasant. The church youth leader, was advised to start a Precept class with this group.
After prayer, this man began to train the church youth leader and others how to lead a class.
The church youth leader started teaching "The Truth About Sex" to this group. To his
surprise, these young men became much disciplined during the lesson and very interested about the knowledge they found in the Bible about this hot topic. When the church youth leader said, "We will see you in two weeks," they said, "No. We want to come next week to the class because we are eager to hear what God says about sex."
The Precept leader who introduced the church youth leader to Precept is happy that the youth leader understands the value of teaching God's Word to these youth.
After our trainer had a seminar in a large church in another town, the pastor said, "We want on Sunday afternoon to study "The Sermon on the Mount" with the whole church. Five hundred people come every Sunday, and they are on Lesson 7 now. The pastor is amazed how young and old come with Bibles and notebooks and write down everything that is on the board.
One by one people come to our trainer and say, "We want to study more. When can we come to the institute?"
In a church in another area, the pastor asked the trainer to study I Samuel with others pastors, teachers, deacons, and youth leaders in this church (30 people). After a few lessons the pastor said, "I want God to raise godly servants after my departure," just as like Samuel.
A Precept trainer held a workshop for leaders from all churches in another city using the Book of Leviticus. The leaders rejoiced over the discovery of the message of this book. "Now we see God's desire for His people to be holy and in fellowship with Him. Now we understand this book to be more than "blood and sacrifices." "
They are encouraged to take this study to their churches.
At Christmas 2007, Precept students organized many events to reach out to the community. Christmas for orphans and for widows were events held in local churches where the Gospel was presented, and people were motivated to come to local Precept classes.
Also Christmas events were organized in public schools where we teach Precept during the year. The students are encouraged to continue to study Precept during the school year.
Work in public schools continues to be a success. In a village middle school, all 350 students study "Computers, Gospel of John and Numbers."
"The Truth About Sex" was presented at another school to 450 students and 15 teachers. Five public schools in another town study "God, Are You There?" (The book of John), "Lord, I Want to Know You" (The Names of God), and "The Truth About Sex" according to the children's ages. There are 1,185 students and 30 teachers involved.
In a penitentiary in the Middle East, Precept students of the institute go four times per week to teach Precept classes. The same students go to four public schools and teach 340 people.