October. A time when the changing colours leave us breathless with their fleeting and fragile beauty. A time when summer changes into autumn and we brace for the change to winter that is just around the corner.
Change: not always welcome, often painful, but inevitable.
Shoaib Ebadi, Executive Director at Square One, remembers attending an international conference where a group of church leaders talked about persecution and change. One pastor from India said: “As Christians, we need to learn to ride the waves.” What did he mean? Ride the waves so we can barely survive with our head above water? No! He meant we shouldn’t be afraid of the changes. We should learn to use them to advance God’s Kingdom.
You may know that Shoaib was born in Afghanistan. And you will have heard on the news that the Taliban are taking over the country. These are dark days in Afghanistan, especially for Christian believers, and for women and girls. Where does Shoaib put his trust during this frightening wave of change for the people that he loves and the country of his birth? He puts his trust in Jesus, the Living Word, who said, “And though all heaven and earth shall pass away, yet my words remain forever true” (Luke 21:33).
The pandemic has brought changes for us all. Changes in the way we socialize, shop, and even nurture our faith. Changes in what we believe, where we turn for information, and even in who we gather with. To a world struggling through confusing seasons of change, Jesus says, “… my words remain forever true.”
Our mandate as Christians is not to just survive the change and uncertainty, but to use the challenges to keep advancing God’s Kingdom. At Square One, we keep telling as many people as possible about the message that stays the same: The message of grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, the eternally changeless one.
This October, let the changing colours of the leaves remind you of that all-important task of sharing the Gospel. We invite you to visit our donation page and choose the projects you’d like to support. Maybe it’s just one. Maybe it’s all of them. Your generous donation means we can keep speaking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people desperate for security in the midst of frightening change.
What are the waves of change that frighten you and those around you? We all need the same thing: to put our trust in Jesus, the Living Word, who remains forever true!
Responding to change...
TREND: IN LATIN AMERICA, WHATSAPP IS THE MOST POPULAR WAY TO SHARE VIDEO & AUDIO
Response: Ekj Ran (Run the Race), the Low German youth program produced in Bolivia, is widely distributed on WhatsApp. Each episode generates so much audience response that Monika Wall joined the Ekj Ran team to counsel and pray with viewers. Monika recently led a young woman to the Lord by messaging with her on WhatsApp.
TREND: INSTAGRAM IS THE NEWS OUTLET OF CHOICE FOR YOUNG ADULTS AND TEENAGERS
Response: At The Bible Today- Ukraine, Natalia Chernomor’s long-time radio program about relationships, For the Sake of Love, became the Pro Stosoonki (Pro Relationship) podcast and blog on Instagram. “Young people aren’t listening to the radio,” she says. “To get their attention, we have to be where they are.”
TREND: MANY PEOPLE ACCESS VIDEOS ON DEMAND ON THEIR PHONES, NOT TVs.
Response: 79% of Ella’s Backyard Vlog viewers watch on their phones. Posting the videos on YouTube means kids can watch them on demand. Episodes are deliberately 2-3 minutes short so kids don’t switch to the next video. Says Garri, “Every kid carries a phone in their pocket and we are just one click away to tell them about Jesus and His love.”
TREND: ONLINE LEARNING MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO TAKE CLASSES WITHOUT MEETING IN A PHYSICAL LOCATION
Response: School of Leadership, our new Arabic video series produced in partnership with World Outreach (WO), is designed for formal classes, group studies, or individuals – openly or in secret. Anyone with internet access can receive Christian-based leadership training.