Category Archives: Christian Faith

Corey and Angelika Booher: Making Disciples of Jesus in Poland

“Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  Habakkuk 1:5

Today, in over 650 places worldwide, and on almost every continent, God is using what has become known as the Disciple Making Movements (DMM) or Church Planting Movements (CPM).  It brings salvation to people who have never heard the Gospel before, and brings it to places where it has long been forgotten. A disciple-making movement is characterized by a rapidly multiplying increase of indigenous churches and disciples within a group or population segment. In short, we are seeing the book of Acts lived out today, all around the world – it is exciting!

How has DMM turned out to be an amazing strategy to bring in the harvest in nations all throughout the world and specifically in Poland? By simple obedience to the Word of God – the Bible!  We read the words of Jesus, believe them, draw crucial principles and practice them. Our focus is on:

  •  Making disciples, not just converts (Matthew 28)
  • Baptizing and teaching all the disciples to baptize
  • Teaching to obey and not just listen to the Word
  • Healing the sick, casting out demons and sending others to do the same
  • Sharing the Gospel with boldness as a lifestyle everywhere
  • Finding “the people and families of peace”.
  • Intentionally working on going out and bringing the Kingdom to families, villages and towns; not pulling individuals out of their cultural contexts.

Angelika and I live and work in Warsaw, Poland, as a “movement catalyzer”. That weird terminology simply means we train believers to make disciples who make disciples, in obedience to the Word.

Corey Training Disciplers in Poland

At the same time we go and share the Gospel and search for those called “people of peace” in the New Testament. People of peace are open to hearing the Word, accept our message, and invite us into their homes. When such a “person of peace” is found, we start a simple, reproducible Bible study which develops over time into a simple house church and quickly reproduces itself as new disciples are made.

But, before we talk more about the amazing things God is doing in Poland, we should talk about the elephant in the room Why Poland?” Poland is 99.5% Roman Catholic. So, how does Poland fit the “unreached” picture?

The evangelical population of Poland is only 0.25%, which makes Poland as unreached as the Hmu people of Northern China, the Hindi of Myanmar or the Brao of Cambodia. In my 19 years in this country, I’ve come to call it “a cultural Catholicism”. The reality is, an average Pole has no understanding of the Scriptures and does not read it.  Our experience is this: if someone is searching for true faith in a living God they don’t know where to find it. Angelika is a great example: she heard the Gospel for the first time when she was 18 and got saved right away. With only 0.25% of the population being Evangelical, and of those, a very small percentage actually shares their faith.  The need for the Gospel here, and across all of Europe, is dire — but God is doing a new thing in Poland and we are very excited!

A Disciple of Jesus Teaching New Believers to Evangelize

Let me give you an example of how a disciple-making movement starts:  The other day, a wealthy business owner named George (not his real name) showed up at our door.  He had been given our contact information through a mutual friend. He came to faith six months ago and was baptized. His wife, Rachel, got saved four months ago and was baptized last week. Standing in our living room, George said, “I am a Bible-believing Christian now. I don’t want to be in a system.  I want to live out my faith. What can you do with me?”  We told him about the importance of sharing the Gospel with his friends and family and that we could teach him and his wife to be a disciple of Christ who makes disciples. He immediately caught the vision of what God could and would do through him and his wife.

We offered to meet again to teach them how to do the Bible study with their friends who are searching for God. Even though we had already been talking for hours, Rachel said, “Teach us now so we can start this week!” This is the kind of passion we love to see and are seeing more often. So, we taught them.

The following Tuesday, they invited us to their apartment where they had gathered several families from their neighborhood to study the Bible.  We led the first study to show them how, and that was the last one we led! Since then, George and Rachel have been leading the study by themselves and we have kept in contact with them to give them advice, encouragement or any other help needed.

Their excitement about their friends’ reaction to the Gospel has been exhilarating. And the best part? We have not been at the meetings!  We help, but the Holy Spirt and the Scriptures are   their most important teachers. God will multiply that group, as they teach their friends how to lead Bible study and as they, as disciples, make further disciples!

Bible study with friends at home may sound ordinary for an American, but for us seeing it happening in Poland, is so exiting! Poles never read the Bible by themselves, never pray out loud in their own words and never consider faith as something which should be lived out in everyday life outside of the Sunday mass.

We hear reports often of new groups having started. All Across Poland today, God is raising up an army of ordinary people who are obedient to the words of Jesus and dare to believe that what is written in the Bible is still true today.  As someone comes to faith, often after a miracle is done in their lives, or after study of the Word, they are immediately led back out to lead others.  They pray for healing, they baptize and do everything else which a believer is called and empowered to do! We do not make them wait to be “qualified” to be obedient to the Scriptures. We model obedience; assist them to do it themselves, watch them as they do it alone and then we move on to start the fire in new places and people groups.

Pawel Sharing his Testimony

Those new believers boldly and radically share the Gospel with their family, friends, at work, in the streets, and through social media.

Pawel is one of many examples of what we see happening in Poland. He was pursuing a career as a New Age life coach. He would travel the world to get involved in spiritual rituals. One day he watched a YouTube movie about the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. Pawel contacted a Christian friend and coworker of ours who traveled with his wife to Pawel’s town and shared the Gospel with him. That day he received Christ, confessed his sins, got baptized in water, delivered from demons and baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The next day he got up and felt led by the Holy Spirit to burn all of his New Age books and material. Then, he went to the train station and began sharing the Gospel,  but returned home, discouraged at “how hard it was.”  He fell to his knees, asked God for boldness, and went back to continue sharing. He recorded his testimony and put it on social media where he gave his phone number and encouraged people to contact him.  He stated he was no longer a New Age coach,  but a follower of Jesus and could help others to become Jesus-followers, too. During the first three months of his walk with Jesus, he baptized 11 people.  Today, Pawel no longer counts how many people he baptizes, but rather counts the number of disciple-making disciples he is training all over Poland.

This is God’s story in Poland today.  We believe we are close to seeing multiple generations of house churches planted in streams all across the country.  This means that one day, we will be able to say like the Apostle Paul, that the Gospel has covered all of Poland, no part has been missed!

R.K.’s CORNER

I met Paul and Gloria Booher and their two sons in the local church I began attend in the Fall of 1981 after I had moved from New York to Florida. Corey was then five years old. Paul had a heart for missions, and after the launch of The Bridge in 1983, he became very much part of its initial intercessory prayer group.  A few years later, the Booher family moved out of town, and we more or less lost touch with them for several decades.

Four years ago, Paul and I intersected, again, with the result that he has, once again, become an integral part of The Bridge as head of the intercessory online prayer group for our field partners abroad.  He told me that his son, Corey, now lives with his Polish wife, Angelika and their two sons in Warsaw, Poland, leading an exciting mission outreach. Their emphasis is not only on preaching the Gospel, but also on training people to be disciples of Jesus!

It is thrilling to learn that a new generation in Poland is coming to faith and demonstrating the Lordship of Christ, especially since, during the Communist era in the early eighties I crisscrossed Poland while distributing Bibles to the persecuted, underground, evangelical believers!  They were few and far between!  One sows, another waters,  but it is God who gives the growth!

I have asked Corey to share with you a report on his life and ministry in Poland.  Please mark gifts to the Boohers and their ministry 8350 Polish Workers”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2107-01-19

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Dear Friends and Partners,

Steve and I wish you and your family a Happy New Year, and greet you with the Apostle Paul’s words in 3. John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

The generosity of our many faithful partners have enabled us for 34 years to keep serving those who labor for the Gospel in some of the most dangerous and challenging parts of the world.  We always seek to remain good stewards of the funds entrusted into our hands for proper distribution.  Our  accountability is not only to the Lord, but also to you who give, and to the recipients.  It is an honor to stand in the gap where needs and provisions are bridged, that those yet unreached may hear and receive the Good News of Jesus Christ, be saved and discipled according to Mt 28:18-20!

For those who contributed to The Bridge in 2016, an  itemized 2016 Donor Statement with this report was sent to their postal address.  The statement serves as the official contribution receipt for the IRS.  Since The Bridge International, Inc. is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) religious organization with EIN no. 65-0100609, contributions are exempt from Federal Taxes. 

2016 IN REVIEW – REFLECTIONS

At the moment of this writing we are on the eve of a significant event which history may deem a watershed in the life and history of America:  The inauguration of the 45th President elect Donald Trump which will take place on January 20.  With his new Presidency, there will a momentous shifting in policies and practices from the prior President which certainly will make ripple effects around the globe and affect the political and economic climates in this and many other nations.  This election process was bruising and volatile, resulting in a passionate polarization of the population right down to the grassroots between the political left and right, so much so that in many cases it is causing division between family members and friends.

With all the noise from news agencies and social media, with an avalanche of talking points and opinions inundating and numbing our senses, it is good to step back, allowing the quiet presence of the Lord to flood our hearts and minds with His peace. Political and social engagement is good as long as we remember… that we are in this world, but not of it.  (John 17:15-16); that “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1); that We are called to be salt and light in the world so that God is glorified (Matthew 5:13-16); and that the Apostle Paul appropriately states You are our letter written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” (2nd Corinthians 3:2)!

Our Christian mandate is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to demonstrate His standards through our daily living. He came to make new creatures (His people) holy through the saving power of the Gospel and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. What we need is not better government, but better men and women in government! 

2016 IN REVIEW – THE MISSION FIELD

logoThe Bridge International continues from its inception 34 years ago to be a “loaf-and-fish”, low cost mainstream evangelical pioneer ministry. We keep serving primarily national believers who effectively are reaching others with the Good News, by coming alongside them and helping sponsor their pioneer evangelism outreaches, church planting, and Bible-based leadership training schools. We help financially assist various mercy ministries launched by new church fellowships into their local communities as an expression of the compassion and love of Jesus toward the needy and hurting.  We also work in partnership with other low-cost, like-minded ministries, by helping them with finances in their effective work among the nationals in challenging regions of the world where the resources are less and the needs are greater.

In November, we published on this website a list of the sponsored missionaries we currently serve overseas.  If you scroll all the way down, you will find a picture of each of them and a short description of who they are, where they serve , and the focus of their ministries.  It is not a complete list, as it only includes those who are comfortable being publicly open about themselves and their Christian activities.  We have omitted a number of others whom we help sponsor, due to security reasons. They live in closed nations to the Gospel where they work clandestinely underground. Exposing them and their Christian activities publicly would pose serious risks of severe persecution, not only toward them and their families, but  toward the believers they serve.

Please note the names of these missionaries and pray for these laborers that they will remain safe and healthy and that the ripe fields they have planted and cared for will harvest hundredfold!  (John 4:35).  This website contains information and updates on each of them, so below, I have chosen to share just a few highlights of needs and blessings for prayers and edification.

HIGHLIGHTS

The Far East

We were able to provide another 17 goats for Varughese Mathew serving the Andaman Islands.  They are added to the prior flock, slowly inching the numbers upwards toward the ultimately goal of 160, which will make his family, church planters and orphans financially self sufficient.  On December 8, they were hit by the cyclone Vardah, which caused damage to some of their property.  I am waiting to receive an assessment of the cost of the damages.

Dawa Buthia is a new addition to our field partners.  An ethnic Tibetan and former Buddhist from Bhutan, he is  founder and leader of Himalayan Good News Networking Ministry with hundreds of pioneer evangelists and church planters. They serve the Lord in the Himalayan mountains among Bhutanese, Indians, Nepalese, and Tibetans. I met Dawa at last summer’s Festival at Troens Bevis in Norway.  In the Fall, he visited Steve and me in our home, which made us come to know him better.  The Bridge helped finance one semester of their church planting ministry school.

Central Asia

Sargon Daniali keeps ministering to his Iranian people in Turkey and beyond.  In spite of the recent unrest in Turkey and increasing hostility toward Christians, the new fellowships of believers in Iran and Turkey are steadily growing in numbers and maturity in faith.  His online Bible teaching ministry also keeps expanding.  Last summer I also spent a few days with him at Troens Bevis in Norway, as he had been invited to visit Iranian believers in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Yermek Balykbekov sees a slow, but steady growth of new believers among his Kazakh people.  He reports that the government in Kazakhstan is growing more hostile toward Evangelical Christians, having imprisoned a pastor in the region without due process.  Please pray that the doors for the Gospel will remain open!

Our Afghan friends in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan proper are doing well and growing in faith and fruitfulness!  We helped finance our Kalmykian friend, Sarang Badyev who traveled on an extended visit to completely unreached communities of Kalmykian Buddhists in China and Mongolia to share the Gospel.  He is beginning to see some fruit of faith among his people.

The Middle East

We are deeply grateful for our partners in faith who labor for the Gospel in the Middle East.  The horrific persecution and hardship the Christian believers experience, especially those still living in Syria and Iraq where ISIS has established their Islamic State, are beyond comprehension! Our courageous Arab partner and his team continue to bring Relief Aid to the destitute.  They see tremendous fruit among the people they are serving: 500 Yazidis have come to faith in Jesus Christ, and are now being discipled by local pastors under the oversight of our friend!  One of our Stateside partners donated $10,000 through The Bridge which is helping the mobile medical clinic continue its operation for another year.  The clinic is an evangelistic tool staffed by local Arab Christian doctors and nurses!

Africa

We continue to invest our resources in one of the most volatile and unstable places on earth—Juba, South SudanMatthew Deng Dut keeps on preaching, teaching and mentoring new believes at two locations in spite of the presence of armed conflict which sadly has driven hundreds of thousands of people out of the country into refugee camps in Uganda.  We have opened a small microbank that establishes small cottage industries, and we kept sustaining Matthew and his leaders by meeting their basic needs.

Haiti

The Bridge gave funds to two of our partners who visited Haiti and are actively working on helping the Haitian people recover from the destructive hurricane, Matthew.

Thanks, again, for participating with us in raising the banner – Jesus is the Light in  a very dark world!