A Different Kind of Baptistry
Being baptized is an act of faith. It is never convenient. It can be very
I knew a man who was baptized in an Idaho river after cutting a hole in the
ice. My Uncle Jack was baptized in a pond in Oklahoma. Over the years, I
have baptized people in lakes, rivers, ponds, fountains, seas, swimming
pools, and baptisteries of every description. But I have never seen a
baptistry like the one pictured below.
A Step Is Missing
Brother Prabhu Kumar explains this event as follows:
“On my first day at Satravada, one WEI student was prepared for baptism. God
has helped him a lot to have sufficient discussion with his teacher, Bro.
Payani, to clarify all of his doubts.
“His name is P. John Mohan. He is 30 years of age, is married, and has two
daughters. He has B.A., B. Ed., and M.A. degrees. He is from a Hindu
background. Through him, we are now trying to reach all his family members.
“The next day, two other students were ready to go for baptism. But there
was no water anywhere. We searched for two hours for water, but did not get
success. So I advised the local WEI teacher, Bro. Jayapaul, to take them to
any place and baptize them into Christ without delay. We searched a lot and
finally found a well and baptized them in the well.”
P. John Mohan Is Baptized in a Well
Thus far, Bro. Kumar and his fellow-teachers have
baptized 178 WEI students in India.
WEI in Prison Ministry
Larry Ware uses WEI lessons in his prison ministry at Oklahoma State
Reformatory in Granite, Oklahoma. The Lord is blessing him with a fruitful
harvest. His reports are thrilling.
In the past two months, Larry has baptized seven inmates into Christ:
Patrick Phillips, Johnny Robinson, Kurt Reichman, Donald Galbreath, Cory
Hirdler, Robert Long, and Gary James.
Let us rejoice with the angels in heaven and pray for our new brothers in
Two New Sisters in Durrës
Shkelqim Kafexhiu, Minister of the church in Durrës, Albania, writes,
“Luljeta Çoku was immersed into Christ on May 9, 2010. Luljeta testified in
front of us how God has worked in her life and delivered her from the chains
of untrue religion. Luljeta witnessed how she was at the edge of becoming a
Muslim and ready to wear the Muslim covering. She was in constant conflict
between believing the Koran or the Bible. The true God of Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, and the God of our Lord Jesus Christ has done mighty works in
Luljeta’s life to persuade her to follow him as the true and living God.
Now, she is a Christian, and she is grateful for her decision to follow
Christ. Many Christians were amazed with her testimony before she was
baptized in the Adriatic Sea.”
Luljeta ÇCoku Is Baptized in the Adriatic Sea
Finally, Shkelqim writes, “Egnisa Ferhati was baptized
on June 11, 2010. We rejoiced with Egnisa and her decision to put on Christ
and become a newborn Christian. Egnisa is an art professor, and she teaches
both in high school and the University of Durrës.”
Good Example at Rancho Cordova
Pete and Pam Bogdanovic are doing their best to recruit WEI Internet
teachers at their home congregation in Rancho Cordova, California. They
invited members of the church to the church’s computer lab and showed them
how easy it is to teach on the Internet.
Pam writes, “Our presentation went very well this evening. Six interested
people came to find out about teaching on the website, and I think most will
sign up. I gave the presentation (Pete assisted, too), and then we all
logged on. I encouraged them to start small and just do what they are able
“I logged on using my own ID and password and showed them many features on
the website. Pete was the photographer.
“They were impressed with the wide variety of nations represented among my
students as well as those in the e-mail Jan sent out today. They see the
urgency, and I hope they will sign up.”
Pam Bogdanovic Demonstrates How Easy it Is to Teach on the Internet
Center in Addis
Behailu Abebe, long-time church leader in Ethiopia, reports that a new
computer training center has just been opened at the Makanissa School for
the Deaf in Addis Ababa.
Behailu writes, “The ceremony was attended by local officials, our staff
members and teachers, and leaders of non-government organizations. Funds and
computers for the new addition were supplied by the Cordova Church of Christ
and Healing Hands International. The building was funded through the efforts
of Dean Harthorn from Bakersfield, CA.
“Seventy to ninety students will be trained at this school each year. These
will include 8th grade deaf students, mission staff, deaf teachers, church
members, and WBS and WEI students along with our leading preachers that
speak English. Each training session will last 90 days. Each student will be
required to complete the World English Institute computerized Bible
New Brother in Romania
Albert and Lavinia Cook, missionaries in Bucharest, Romania, have some
exciting news to share. Albert writes, “Many of you will be happy to hear
that Teodora was baptized yesterday. Teodora had been triple-baptized (in
the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) as a baby in the Orthodox
Church. After the Revolution in 1989, she began to visit various evangelical
churches and has had a strong faith in Christ for almost 20 years.
“Teodora is in her 70s and is a retired teacher of Russian and English
languages. We first met Teodora in 2006 after she had studied with us
through our Romanian correspondence course. She then enrolled in our summer
WEI English courses. Her teachers were Kelly McPherson (Tuscaloosa, AL),
Carol Brown (Tuscaloosa), and Geoffrey Wyatt (Juneau, AK).”
Albert Cook Baptizes Teodora
Teodora is a lifetime “spinster” who took care of her
parents all of their lives, and she never found a worthy man who, in her
words, didn’t just want someone to mother them! She LOVES God’s Word and is
always studying. She also loves a good joke, is very witty, sensitive, and
“As you can see, Teodora was baptized in rusty water. (In Bucharest, we have
rusty water come through our pipes about once a month.)”
The Church Grows in Peru
Julio Valverde, a gospel preacher and WEI teacher in Lima, Peru, reports
that “Miryam Rodriguez was baptized in the baptistery at Puente Piedra
meeting place on April 17th.
“Emilia Rippa Valencia was also baptized in the same place April 16th.” The
church in Peru is growing.
Julio Baptizes Emilia Rippa Valencia into Christ
Muslims via the Internet
Katheryn Haddad teaches 500 WEI students via the Internet. Most of them are
Muslims who live in the Middle and Far East.
One of her Muslim students, a university professor, came to faith even
before he became a WEI student. In response to Katheryn’s teaching, he and
his wife found a hotel with a hot tub. At great risk to himself and his
family, he confessed his faith in Christ as the Son of God and was baptized
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
He wrote to Katheryn saying, “Hi Mum. I went to private hotel, and I
followed the instructions you sent to me. I wanted the baptism to be from my
belief and heart.
“I don’t deny that I was not feeling relaxed while I was doing that—because
of the conditions and dark atmosphere under-------- control, but I have done
that successfully, and my wife was with me; she helped me [even though] she
was extremely worried, but everything was OK.”
Katheryn writes, “He had never seen the Bible before and is frightened to
have one. With WEI, he is getting his first survey of the Bible. He is
putting up posters to encourage others to enroll.”
Katheryn has WEI students in several Muslim countries that are very close to
becoming Christians—even though converting from Islam to Christianity is
Katheryn says, “I never argue with Muslims. They know more about what they
disagree with in their religion than I. Plus, they will never admit they
disagree with their religion until they are ready to embrace Christianity.
They are as afraid of us as we are of them. I just show them God’s love with
special love scriptures that I send them whenever I grade a lesson. Love is
This was the best quarter yet for WEI’s teaching website. An average of
1,132 new Bible classes started each month. Jonathan and Bruno rebuilt the
website’s message system so it can handle the enormous number of messages
generated by both students and teachers.
The problem we now have is not enough teachers. We suspended Google
advertising in June for 4 days because some students had been waiting for a
teacher more than 3 days. Two teachers in Maryville, TN, and one in Alabama
have over 1,000 students each. Others have several hundred. Several people
have undertaken to recruit more teachers. Pam and Pete Bogdanovic conducted
a training session at Rancho Cordova, CA. Tom Gillson, Justin Speer, and
Sean Blair of the Katy, TX congregation conducted a recruiting session with
the Senior Saints at the Bammell Road congregation in Houston. Dick Ady and
Tom Langley recruit teachers wherever they travel. What will you add to this
drive to recruit more teachers?
In the last quarterly report, we wrote about targeting Muslim nations. 28.3
% of people who return the Introductory Lesson list their religion as Islam.
During the 2nd quarter, Joey, our friend from Iraq, translated WEI’s Google
ad into Arabic, and it has been shown in the Persian Gulf region since May
21. So far, 660 have registered. Sadly, 51% of Muslim students drop out
after the Introductory Lesson. While these numbers can be disheartening,
there are bright spots in teaching Muslims. One of Katheryn Haddad’s
students in the Middle East placed his trust in Jesus and rented a hotel
room with a hot tub, where his wife helped him in baptism although she
herself had not yet made that decision.
Registrations from Mongolia are more than 200 times higher than the
worldwide rate: 1,625 registrations per million Mongolians compared to 7.1
registrations per million people worldwide. Mongolia seems to be a place
where the field is ripe, and we are hoping someone will take up the call to
go follow-up and to reap the harvest.
The Great Commission has not expired. Will you “go” on the Internet with us.
---Bob & Jan Towell
Tom, Angela, Bianca, and Brianna
We are entering the most exciting time of the year for
WEI short-tern missions. The summer months are the most appealing time for
mission sites all over the world to host teams of WEI teachers. Scores of
WEI teachers are currently engaged in one-to-one Bible studies in many
countries where mission churches exist. Other teachers are just beginning
their travels and studies. There is nothing more rewarding or thrilling than
watching God’s word change and convict the hearts and minds of the students
who attend our WEI courses.
One of the goals of our short-term mission efforts is to recruit teachers
from our churches which sponsor and support the mission church. In this way,
Christians from the supporting churches, and Christians from the mission
church, are able to develop personal, meaningful, and deeper relationships
with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Our teachers return home and
become even greater and more compassionate champions of the Lord’s work
which they support in the mission field. Christians in the mission field are
encouraged and build up in their faith. The highlight of the year for many
small mission churches is the four to six week period when they host a WEI
If you sponsor or support a mission work, please consider a WEI short-term
mission as a way to become personally involved in that work. We will help
train your teachers, and we will work closely with your missionaries as they
prepare and get organized for your arrival.
At the writing of this column, I’m 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean
enroute to Eastern Europe to participate as a WEI teacher in Romania and
Albania. I’m witnessing the most brilliant orange, red, and pink sunset I
believe I’ve ever seen. I’m grateful to God, and to you. Thank you
supporters of this ministry. Our Maryville office has so far managed to pay
the bills even during these most difficult times. We love you all, and we
appreciate so much your prayers and partnership.
---Tom, Angie, Brianna, and Bianca
No Greater Joy
Dick and Maudine Ady
Watching God work through WEI is the most rewarding
thing I have ever experienced. Knowing that thousands of truth-seekers all
over the world are learning about Christ every day fills my heart with joy.
If you have led someone to Christ, you know how I feel. It is especially
rewarding when your students become leaders in the church.
On August 2, 1992, I had the privilege of baptizing three young people in a
lake in Tirana, Albania. They were the first-fruits of our labors in the
land of the Illyrians where Paul preached the gospel nearly 2,000 years ago
One of the three was a young boy by the name of Eno Damo. With the passing
of time, I watched Eno grow and mature. In 1995, he interpreted for Prentice
Meador, Jr. when Prentice preached at the Culture Palace in downtown Tirana.
When, Eno immigrated to Canada, I lost track of him. You can imagine my
excitement when I learned, recently, that he has become an attorney, and is
now preaching for the church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
I learned about Eno in an e-mail from Rob Burnstad. Rob taught WEI students
in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last summer, and he decided to use our materials in
the local outreach ministry in Edmonton. In his e-mail, Rob said, “Eno is
doing great. I do our worship schedule, and he is teaching a Bible class and
preaching from the pulpit to our church of around 200 members.”
Now I know how the apostle John felt when he wrote, “I have no greater joy
than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).
Maudine and I would like to thank you for supporting us and making it
possible for us to give our lives to this world-wide ministry. We are deeply
If you have not yet partnered with us in world evangelism, we invite you to
lock arms with us. We have lost a lot of contributions during the past year
due to the economic downturn, including $3,000 a month from our anonymous
friend. Our deficit is growing at the Gresham office.
May God bless you. We love you.
---Dick and Maudine Ady
God Blesses His Work in Nigeria
Aniefiok Akpan, Director of WEI in Nigeria and Principal of Rhema Academy,
reports that three WEI students were baptized into Christ during Rhema
Aniefiok writes, “One of the converts, Glory Victor Okon, is a WEI student
of the Northside (Hanceville, Alabama) congregation.
“The other two converts, Etido Unyime Peter and Etim David Amos, are WEI
students we have taught personally for over a year now.”
Aniefiok Baptizes Glory Victor Okon
“The WEI Ministry in Nigeria is growing. With our city
office at Abak as a contact point, we have been able to register more than
300 new WEI students from different areas of Nigeria since January. Over 120
of these new students have been assigned to the WEI team of teachers from
the Northside Church of Christ in Hanceville, Alabama. The rest of the
students are handled by the WEI teachers from the Peninsula Church of Christ
in Portland, Oregon. This number is in addition to the
| students we were
teaching before the coming in of the American postal teachers. Dozens of
students have already given their lives to Jesus, and more are expected to
be baptized into Christ as the ministry progresses.”
During the past year, Aniefiok and Etang Akpan have sacrificed much of their
personal support in order to keep the WEI Teaching Center in Abak open. Last
month, they ran out of funds and were ready to shut down the WEI office when
Chuck and Cathy Gusek and the Northside Church of Christ in Hanceville,
Alabama came to the rescue. The Northside congregation is now providing $200
a month to cover operating expenses at the teaching center. Praise God.