“God Speaks Our Language”
August 23, 2022
update on Home Groups—with a special request
Last month on the Bible Bus program we were studying the book of Acts. We learned how in the first century, the life of the church began in the home and continued through small communities of people, dedicated to caring for each other, committed to studying God’s Word together, and living out God’s truth where they live. Dr. McGee liked to say that what begins in the home will someday come full circle and come back to the home.
As you know, in some amazing locations in the world today, we’re seeing this happen.
THRU the BIBLE’s Home Groups, more than 20,000 documented small group gatherings and likely many more thousand undocumented groups, are meeting this month in homes throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. If you’ve been around THRU the BIBLE for a while, you may have noticed that list of locations is growing, and you’d be right. Soon we’ll be telling you about how Home Groups have started in Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Tanzania (all of Africa, even), and also in Suriname (South America—see June 2022’s newsletter for that amazing story of how God works). Europe and the Arab world are not far behind.
There’s no question in our minds that this movement is a “God-thing.” We never would have imagined this simple concept of studying God’s Word in neighborhood and small group settings would be so successful—especially in places where you’d be hard-pressed to find the formal teaching of God’s Word anywhere. And yet, there it is coming out of the neighborhood loud and clear.
That’s what makes this idea so viral. Neighborhoods in India and through south Asia are not like ours in North America. They live much closer, and often without air conditioning. Windows are open, and multiple generations fill the home. When they want to share something with their neighbors, they put the player in their windows and turn up the volume so the neighbors can listen whether they want to or not.
And what’s surprising is that many, many want to listen. The message of God’s Word is different from their indigenous faith, which isn’t in their language. In the THRU the BIBLE Home Groups the people say, “God speaks our language.”
This one truth changes everything.
While the religion of most in south Asia has many deities, none of their thousands of gods speak a language they understand. On the other hand, the Bible teaches about a relatable God—one who wants to know them and who invites them to know Him.
We’ve heard people say, “When we study God’s Word, He is in our homes with us.” No wonder the number of small groups is growing.
What are the groups studying? The same things we study on the Bible Bus, though at a slower pace and a select number of Bible books based on the region. When they gather each week, they listen to one study and then a leader directs them in some understanding and application questions. Almost all groups begin by studying the Gospel of John, because most people don’t yet know Jesus Christ as their Savior and John 20:31 says this book was “written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
We call on you to pray for these specific requests:
- Praise God that His Word clearly is having impact in areas where the name of Jesus is being heard for the first time. Pray the Bible Bus travels to new places without hindrance. Pray with joy and faith!
- Pray for the safety of groups meeting in countries where the Bible is prohibited. Because the gatherings are in homes and not in public places, the risk is lower—but still present.
- Intercede for new THRU the BIBLE Home Groups beginning in Bosnia, Turkey, and Macedonia as they face the unique challenges of ministry in eastern Europe.
We’ll continue to keep you informed how you can partner with these THRU the BIBLE groups in prayer. Perhaps enlist the prayer support of your own small group—your group praying for these other small groups in Asia and Africa, and soon in South America and Europe. It seems like a natural thing to do that we can talk about in heaven one day when people from all our small groups gather around God’s throne. Revelation 7:9 tells us “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes ….”
Thank you for partnering together with us in prayer as we look forward to this scene from Revelation becoming a reality someday soon.