Articles & News

Hope in Dark Times

May 29, 2020 0620_Global_Article

Communicating the hope found in Jesus Christ to areas hardest hit by COVID-19

As of this writing, the world is still “sheltering in place,” protecting each other and healing from the pandemic. This unprecedented season calls for ministry efforts to be creative and relevant to the need.

At Thru the Bible, we’re grateful for our ministry partnership with YouVersion, whom God is using to very effectively take His Word to new demographics of people using the Bible app. Do you have it on your phone or tablet?

To date, YouVersion has been downloaded on over 420 million phones globally in over 60 languages. Rarely, however, do they offer full-length audio like Thru the Bible’s program. But because of our like-mission of taking God’s Word to the world, we’ve worked together on several test projects—offering Thru the Bible in languages within their Bible app’s reach, but for which they do not have Bible content. We’re both excited by the results.

In March and April as the pandemic ravaged Europe, our team at Thru the Bible connected with YouVersion, brainstorming on how we can together minister to those hardest hit by COVID-19. Gregg Harris, president of Thru the Bible, wrote TTB staff this update:

“TTB is working with YouVersion to ‘fast track’ audio plans for six books of the Bible in Italian: Psalms, John, Ephesians, Philippians, Romans, 1 Peter. We hope their content will be an encouragement to many suffering in Italy. The Global Director of YouVersion told me their usage is up 30% in Italy … no surprise that people are looking for comfort from God’s Word, and we want to be there to help.

“Not many days later, we also added the same books of Thru the Bible teaching in Castilian Spanish to YouVersion plans, considering the great spiritual need in Spain.

“We thank God for YouVersion and the important role they are filling and for the extra work of “fast-tracking” these plans to get God’s Word to where it is needed most, as soon as possible.”

At the conclusion of the YouVersion plans, we point our new Italian and Spanish listeners in Italy and Spain to our regional TWR radio partners who are ready and eager to serve these new listeners’ questions and prayer requests.  Only in heaven will we know the impact of our collaborating together. Please pray God will use our efforts to offer more of His Word to a hurting world.

Extra Encouragement

China: Talk about divine timing. On March 30, we launched our completely revamped ministry to China. The head of FEBC’s Chinese ministries tells us they’ve seen a huge upsurge in activity on their social media (which was already very large) since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Emails from South Korea:

"I pray God’s plan and glory will reach out to those who are suffering from COVID-19, as He helped David and his tired soldiers win victory in wars.”

"I get comfort from listening to ‘McGee’s Bible Study’ as we haven’t been able to gather to worship for Friday night service or choir practice due to the current COVID-19 circumstances. Thank you for allowing us to have this precious time.”

"FEBC is a true gospel-spreading, life-saving station providing God’s message. I pray COVID-19 will end soon. Many people are struggling. Praying is the only thing we can do. Take care."

India: Meanwhile, our well-established Home Group ministry in India is proving critical in these days of isolation. Look for an update from our good friend and Director of TWR-India, George Philip, in the July issue of our newsletter.

As we fight our own personal battles with this situation, let’s remember …

  • People all over the world are under similar lockdowns, isolation, and stress. Pray for them.
  • God is allowing us to bring the comforting balm of His Word to millions in a time of crisis. What a privilege.