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How beautiful the feet…

Bihar 2012: Sandals left at the door where children are inside singing praises,

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, “Your God reigns!” — Isaiah 52:7

Traveling in Bihar, India, last October, my friends and I heard the children long before we saw their shoes.

Inside they were crammed shoulder to shoulder singing. There was barely room for them to move when they added hand motions to their songs. I wondered when an eye might be poked.

I’m a grandpa so easily moved to emotion when children are celebrating Jesus. And further humbled that day to be in that place receiving their songs of hope.

Moved to tears this morning as I ponder this photo memory on the other side of the world a few days before Christmas.

Reflecting on the verse from Isaiah. One single verse in the midst of several chapters I would encourage you to read this Christmas. (Better yet, when you are together with family and friends have someone read what Isaiah spoke loudly to the group. You’ll have a better understanding of what the people heard that day spoken by God’s prophet. You can start here: Isaiah 52)

The words of the Prophet Isaiah spoken years before Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem add meaning to our understanding of that day. The day when two most beautiful feet arrived in this world. The day God when became a man to dwell among us.

Babies can’t speak words when they arrive into the world. Jesus was no exception.

But when he could speak… and speak he did… we know the message he brought never changed from the night he arrived.

I’m thinking now of a story told in the Gospel of Matthew HERE.

That day Jesus looked down from a mountain and saw his disciples out on a lake in a boat in the midst of a storm. He went to them walking on the water and said:

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Today I can’t help but wonder if the very night Mary delivered Jesus into the world our Father God, who was watching over all His world, said out loud to all who could hear:

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Blessings this Christmas,


Posted in Friends, India, Orality, Stories, Tim Brown, Travel | Leave a comment

On the right path?

Which path would you take?

Traveling recently to visit a village in eastern Bihar state, India, our hosts had to make a decision.

Try to push through this mud spot on the road in the mission’s 4-wheel-drive vehicle? Or have us walk to the village about  2 km away using the narrow dry path that the local people use?

As good guests we waited for our hosts to decide.

I watched from the back seat as our driver surveyed the situation. He slowly started to inch forward after someone got out to help guide the tires onto a narrow ridge of high ground. They were thinking there might be a way to drive on. But it soon became clear the path our driver was trying to follow would probably just take us deeper into the mud pit.

In the end his decision was wise. The vehicle was parked. We walked the narrow path.

As muddy as the road at this spot was, it was still tempting to drive on the road and not walk the narrow path.

I posted this photo in my office this morning to remind me of Matthew 7:13-14:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”


Posted in India, Orality, Tim Brown, Travel | Leave a comment

Lessons in prayer


On a recent visit to a village in Bihar state, India, I was in a crowded room of women praying passionately.

I don’t speak their language so I really wasn’t sure what they were saying, but from the testimonies I had heard  I know:

They were grateful and praising the one God of the universe and His son Jesus they were following.

They were praising God for physical healing and freedom from spiritual oppression.

And they were crying out for divine intervention in difficult situations.

As we were leaving this house one women came to ask for whatever help local leaders could provide her in supporting a case she had filed with the court. She was not asking for money, simply their testimony in the court case. She presented the legal documents for review and told her story.

This woman had given birth to a boy recently at the local hospital. A wealthy man bribed hospital officials to switched her son with a girl baby who had been born to the wealthy man’s wife about the same time. The hospital officials switched the babies and then forged the birth documents for both babies. That week the wealthy man, knowing the truth would come out, had came with some of his friends to her house threatening to beat her and her family if she didn’t drop her case.

What are you praying for today?


Posted in India, Susie Brown, Tim Brown | Leave a comment

Boko Haram–Problem or Solution?


Recent News: Nigeria braces for escalation in terrorist attacks (HT: JRW)

There is a problem in Nigeria. For some, Boko Haram is the problem.  For others, Boko Haram is the solution.

I was recently in Nigeria, both in the highly “Christian” south, and also in the highly “Muslim” north.  Let me share a few thoughts on the recent global news of Boko Haram activities.

Boko Haram, which literally means “western education is sinful,” launched by an Islamist sect claiming responsibility for numerous kidnappings and bombings in Northern Nigeria, has become increasingly sophisticated since its first attacks in Nigeria in early 2010.

Since the West decided to designate several leaders of the movement as international terrorists, the Nigerian government has renewed interest in suppressing Boko Haram and its violent activities.

The media claim to have the solution. Source responses range from “sectarian religious violence,” lack of government control,”Christian Presidential leadership vacuum,” “lack of leadership,” “level of poverty in the north,” “security forces working as double agents,” and the list goes on.

But I would contend the media have it wrong.

Like many countries in Africa, who have enjoyed significant funding and influence from Islam and Christianity, Nigeria lives in the throws of a national identity torn by some who argue Christianity should be the national religion, while others argue for Islam.

But religious allegiance at the national level will not a nation deliver.  Rather, personal and societal transformation in these cultures comes through internal course correction expressed in a transformation of attitude and behavior. In order for this change to take place, the change will come through new information that is spoken (e.g., song, story, epic, poem), which is heard, understood, and transmitted by those who are trusted with the truth–and usually in small groups that allow ample dialog.

No amount of media coverage, propaganda, threats, or government intervention will suppress this movement or streams like it.

Change happens through the communication of new truth into a community that is clearly broken.  In order for violent communities to change their actions, some more valuable result must be seen as real and permanent good.

For oral cultures, that information will come through a medium they understand–one that is auditory, not printed or forced upon a people who prefer to share through spoken word.

Once that’s solved, one must then direct attention to the content of the message being delivered.  From where does peace come? Never from the sword or IED, but rather peace comes from another man.  Only One of us can bring Peace.

Posted in Initiatives, Listening Groups, Mark Overstreet, Oral Learning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When worldview doesn’t change

T4 Global’s work around the world is rooted in the reality that until worldview changes, transformation is difficult, if not impossible.

An example of what happens when a culture’s worldview doesn’t value men and women the same way God values us — female genocide.

The last fews years a friend here in Tucson, Evan Davis, and the team at Shadowline Films have been working on a documentary movie — It’s a Girl.

I’ve been fortunate to see some of the early trailers and longer interviews. I’ve also heard Evan talk about directing the film which took the team to various parts of the world. It includes many interviews recorded in India where Susie and I are focused with T4 Global.  Some scenes of the documentary were filmed in India’s Bihar state. This brings the movie even closer to Susie’s and my heart which has increased the passion we have for our work.

It’s exciting that It’s a Girl is finished and public screenings are starting this month!

You can learn more about the film, view a trailer and find out where the film might be showing near you at the website —

Tim Brown– Director, Programs India


Posted in India, Ministry to Women, Susie Brown, Tim Brown, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Church Planting in Bihar, India

Bihar Listening Group

Our partner in Bihar is New India Evangelistic Association – NIEA.  Dr. Alex Philip is the leader of that ministry and has become a good friend over the past few years.  This past week, he sent a report for our review that detailed some of the outcomes of our joint work with them in the six primary languages of the state of Bihar.

Dr. Philip indicates in his report that 500 church plants can be linked to the joint work of NIEA, their local partners, Davar Partners and T4 Global.  We are honored to have been a part of this joint program and look forward, Lord willing, to many years of partnership for the glory of God.  An excerpt from the report gives us a perspective of the magnitude of what is going on there:

“The general sense about the impact of this project is perhaps best captured in the words of Dilip Mondal.  This young leader from Bihar and currently Secretary designate for the newly formed Bihar State Network for Linguistic and Church Planting Initiatives (BSN-LCI) reports from the field – “Last month, I visited one of the far western districts of Bihar, to speak to Bhojpuri speaking pastors to assess the impact of the over 180 AudiBIbles we had distributed.  In the morning hours, as I got off the bus after an overnight journey, a young lad whizzed past me singing a song on the AudiBible.  I could not believe my ears!  Here I was in the town bus stand in the middle of the town and a most improbable young lad passes me singing about Jesus the Savior – in Bhojpuri, one of the songs we composed and recorded!  Praise the Lord!”

We pray that the viral nature of the stories, songs and dramas sharing the good news of the Gospel will ensure the spread of these seeds of Truth.


Posted in Ed Weaver, India, Oral Learning, Orality | 3 Comments

Into the Fire

Above you can see the burned remains of a Bible school in North Africa.  During my recent trip to the area, pastors walked me through buildings burned, bulldozed churches, and the tortured conditions of life as an evangelical Christian in North Africa.

Through the tears and pain, the pastors shared with me the good news of our program among leaders who have planted 12 churches and seen scores come to faith in Christ as a result of their work to get the Word of God into the heart language of their culture.

Please continue to pray for these brothers and sisters “of whom the world is not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38).

Posted in Listening Groups, Mark Overstreet, Oral Learning, Orality, Partnerships | 1 Comment

Reports from Bihar

Reports from church planters received this week from Bihar state India where they are using Angika language audio recordings distributed this year.

“The Audio Bible was distributed and Angika speaking people listened to the songs, drama and God’s word and were very happy to receive the information regarding God and his Word. Through the Audio Bible, 5 families have accepted the Lord and they are attending the church too.”

The Audio Bible captured the hearts of the people through God’s word and 10 families have accepted the Lord. The Audio Bible served as a tool in promoting the work of the church planters. And many mighty works have been taking place. Bindesari Mandal who had been struck with paralysis has been healed upto 80%. He confessed that Jesus has transformed my life and I would say victory to Jesus. And many people belonging to different religions have been listening to Audio Bible and are informed about God’s Word.”

“Nainpatti people came to know the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the church the number of members has increased. 6-7 families have accepted the Lord Jesus as their savior. Dasarath Paswan was infected by fever for the past 3 months. Even after taking lot of medicines he could not recover from the fever. But after listening to the Audio Bible in his mother tongue[Angika], believed in the God’s word, got healed and at his house he has started a house church.”

A lady named Rambha Kumari who had demon possession got well after listening to God’s word through the Audi Bible.””

“The people living in these colonies became very happy for the opportunity to listen to God’s word in their heart language which includes the songs, stories and the dramas. They said, the information on health was very beneficial to them and to their families.”

In this place people were very eager and curious to listen to God’s word in their language the songs, stories, dramas and skits. Many wanted to own an Audio Bible as their personal machine. In which in the midst of all this there was severe opposition from some of the fundamentalists. After some time it subsided and now people are able to listen to God’s word with all the freedom and peace of mind in their own mother tongues.”

People were very happy to listen to God’s word in their language which includes songs, stories,d ramas and the skits. Particularly the information on health was very useful to them. Now around 50 people have committed their lives and are ready to take baptism.”

Through the AudiBible people were able to hear stories, songs, dramas and skits. The health information was very useful to many families and individuals. A person named Gopal Mandal whose land was seized by another person was able to receive it back after he had listened to the AudioBible and accepting Jesus as his personal Lord and saviour. Many who had debts had their debts cleared off and due to the AudiBible there has been a great revival in the lives of people those who have accepted the Lord Jesus as their saviour.”

Join us in praising God and pray with us for the new believers in Bihar!

Posted in India, Listening Groups, Oral Learning, Orality, Stories, Susie Brown, Technology, Tim Brown | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Daringly

Live daringly. Those words ring in my ear every day.  I was in a conversation recently that spurred me to live more daringly.  It seems I’m in those kinds of conversations often these days. Because of what I do around the world, it is humbling to work with men and women who risk life and limb to carry Truth into difficult, dangerous contexts.

Over the years, I have read countless books and listened to numerous sermons from pastors who plead with every listener to give everything for the gospel. Today, I stumbled across a message that boldly challenged me to consider what life in ministry should look like.  I hope these words do for you what they did for me. May they challenge us all to live and give everything for the sake of those who need it most.

“Corresponding to these two kinds of life, religious history shows two phases, the dynamic and the static. The dynamic periods were those heroic times when God’s people stirred themselves to do the Lord’s bidding and went out fearlessly to carry His witness to the world. They exchanged the safety of inaction for the hazards of God-inspired progress. Invariably the power of God followed such action. The miracle of God went when and where His people went. It stayed when His people stopped.

“The static periods were those times when the people of God tired of the struggle and sought a life of peace and security. They busied themselves trying to conserve the gains made in those more daring times when the power of God moved among them….

“This is a brief but fair outline of the history of Israel and of the Church as well. As long as they “went forth and preached every where,” the Lord worked “with them… confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). But when they retreated to monasteries or played at building pretty cathedrals, the help of God was withdrawn till a Luther or a Wesley arose to challenge hell again. Then invariably God poured out His power as before.

“In every denomination, missionary society, local church or individual Christian, this law operates. God works as long as His people live daringly: He ceases when they no longer need His aid. As soon as we seek protection out of God, we find it to our own undoing. Let us build a safety-wall of endowments, by-laws, prestige, multiplied agencies for the delegation of our duties, and creeping paralysis sets in at once, a paralysis which can only end in death.”

–from a sermon delivered from Hosea 10:12, by A. W. Tozer


Posted in Mark Overstreet, Oral Learning, Travel | Leave a comment

A 4 Billion Person Need

Recently, T4 Global president Ed Weaver was asked by the Issachar Initiative to address the great global need to reach illiterate and oral learners of the world.

What’s the The Issachar Initiative?  From their website: “The movement exists to serve the body of Christ by bringing vision and focus so its resources are strategically directed toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission. To become a trusted source of information influencing ministry activities and financial investments toward the least-reached people of the world helping to fulfill the missional aspect of the Great Commission.”

Ed introduces the subject of orality, “I keep hearing about oral learners, orality, oral cultures in missions.  What is this about and why is it so important?”

“Orality is a term that we use to define methods of communicating to people that learn through spoken voice.  It is a broad term – sometimes simplified as “storying” – but much broader in true context.  People that live in cultures which do not read usually communicate with one another in stories, songs, dramas, village proverbs, dance, and other art forms.  Since this is normal for most unreached people groups, we believe that our model should be that of Jesus – adapt to the clearest way to communicate the Gospel and then do it.”

“As a concerned follower of Christ, marketplace leader, and/or ministry/church leader, it is important to understand that this is the epicenter of need in missions.  This is 4 Billion+ people in the world starving for information about the Good News of God’s love for them – and very few providing them nourishment.”

Read more…


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