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"Preach the Gospel to all creation" Mark 16:15

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Unto the Uttermost-- The 1996 Bangladesh Crusade
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The full moon cast its light upon the bamboo, rain trees, and fan palms. Their dark shadows covered the thatched mud-house on whose porch had gathered a small ensemble of foreigners and locals. They spoke in hushed tones, as though they were honoring the stillness of the night. A runner was dispatched from the porch of the house, and shortly a slow but steady stream of shadowy figures began to gather. The foreigners, their fair skin reflecting
the light of the solitary lantern, sat silently while watching the throng gather. A word spoken, a little louder than the hushed murmurs, a nod to a local, and then the word "Begin" came from the lips of the national sitting next to the foreigner man. The foreigner in the broad-brimmed hat turned to the crowd....


No, the paragraph above is not from the script of a soon-to-be-released adventure movie. Its a part of the great adventure of serving Jesus Christ! After I preached to the crowd of about seventy-five persons, I led them in the sinners prayer. I then asked how many had invited Jesus into their lives, and the village leader stood up and confessed Christ! The people then pressed forward, and we counted fifty-eight people who had indicated they had received Jesus that night! Sharing the gospel in Bangladesh was unique for me in many ways, and I want to share with you what the Lord showed me on this mission.

"...You and Your Household." Acts 16:31

This verse was demonstrated vividly time and time again. In the West it is hard for us to understand this verse which says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your household." Westerners are very individualistic, while the people of the East tend toward conformity. Furthermore, the people of the East are patriarchal in their family units, even extending this to not changing farming methods out of respect for their ancestors. God used this characteristic to bring whole families and villages to Christ in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi Christian worship music is very energetic and rhythmic, and very different from anything western Christians have experienced
We were permitted to share the gospel with families so long as the patriarch or eldest son was present. If the patriarch or eldest son received Christ, the others were free to do so, however, if they did not, no one was permitted to respond to Christ. In almost every encounter, the patriarch or eldest son received Christ! The same held true for the village leaders and their villagers. My four-person team was assigned to a frontier (church-less or pastor-less) district and saw 418 Hindus, tribals, and Muslims pray to receive Jesus as their only Lord and Savior. The entire crusade, led by ten Americans and seven Filipinos, saw 1,636 men, women, boys, and girls receive eternal life through Jesus Christ.

What's the Trick?

That is one question people have asked me since my return, "What's the trick to reaching Muslims and Hindus?" What I learned are these things (listen carefully): God must have touched their hearts in advanced, they must hear the gospel, they must receive Jesus. In other words, they are no different than any other lost person, they just have a different set of objections. Unless the three things I described happen, none of them will be saved, but because all three can happen, any of them can be saved. I have accepted the invitation by International Crusades to coordinate and lead the next Bangladesh crusade, which will be in fall of 1997. It will be a privilege and honor to work with our Southern Baptist missionaries and the Bangladesh Baptist Fellowship.

"The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overpower it." John 1:5