Winter Baptism in Ukraine
The winter of 2012 was exceptionally frigid in Ukraine and in other parts
of Eastern Europe. In Nikolaev, the banana belt of Ukraine, temperatures
plunged to eleven degrees below zero F. Snow piled up, and rivers froze
solid. Hundreds of people in Ukraine died from hypothermia.
Yet, Natasha Budynka, a WEI student taught by David and Galina Binkley,
braved the elements on February 13 to be immersed into Christ.
David Binkley Baptizes Natasha into Christ
The Binkleys met Natasha in 2009 while they were visiting in Odessa, a
beautiful city just west of Nikolaev. They went into a McDonald’s restaurant
to eat lunch and sat down next to Natasha. She smiled when she heard them
speaking in English, and they introduced themselves. They learned that
Natasha worked in Odessa as an accountant but spent her vacations in
Nikolaev with her parents.
Since then, Natasha has been worshiping with the Church of Christ in
Nikolaev and studying with David and Galina at every opportunity. This year,
during her winter vacation, she studied the WEI Bible and English courses.
On a cold day in February, Natasha came to the church office to study.
Before she opened her WEI book, she asked, “When can I be baptized?”
The following Tuesday, David wrote, “Fresh snowfall greeted us yesterday
morning as we began to make preparations for our day with Natasha Budynka.
In the morning, we met with her for a long period of Bible study and almost
completed the study of The New Birth. We have been amazed at how much she
has grown spiritually since we first met her in 2009—when she was mostly
interested in being our friend and improving her English.
“After the study, we left the office and went to our apartment. The fresh
snowfall was a reminder of how the saving power of Jesus’ blood makes us
white as snow. We didn’t have much water pressure, so we had another good
Bible study while we waited for our tub to fill up. Galina was boiling water
in our hot water pot and on the stove. This was the fifth baptism here in
Growing a Church
David and Galina are using WEI to attract students and build the church
in Nikolaev. Almost every day, they have a full slate of students.
David Teaches WEI Student
David writes, “We are very thankful that so many people in the world have
a desire to know English. This opens many doors for us to teach English
using the Bible and the WEI courses.”
On Sunday, March 18, sixteen people came to worship in Nikolaev, including
Dan and Alisha McClintock. Dan is a seven-foot-tall professional basketball
player in the European League.
Nikolaev Church Assembly on March 18, 2012
Omo (the Nigerian sitting in the front row in the above picture) is a
student at the Shipbuilding University in Nikolaev. Soon after the picture
was taken, Omo decided to be baptized.
David wrote, “Omo confessed his faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God
and later in the afternoon, he came home with us to our apartment, and I
baptized him. We have been studying with him every Sunday afternoon for
Omo Rejoices Over His New Birth
The Binkleys are planning another short-term mission campaign in
September. David says, “We intend to utilize the magnetic drawing power of
the WEI lessons for this effort.”
Message to Missionaries
“We continue to have amazing results in meeting people, due primarily to
the World English Institute courses. When we first arrived in this city, we
knew one man. But God has expanded this a hundredfold as we sow the seeds of
“If we suddenly had to shift our mission work to another country, the first
thing we would do would be to begin advertising Free English classes using
the WEI courses. This is the most effective way of meeting people in a
foreign country that I have experienced over the past 20 years. There are
many good and effective ways to meet people, but currently there is a great
interest in the English language.
“I strongly suggest that missionaries around the world take advantage of
this hunger for English if you are seriously interested in teaching more
people about Jesus Christ and God’s wonderful plan of salvation.
“For more information, contact our good friend Dick Ady at
Harvest in India
Good news keeps pouring in from India as Prabhu Kumar and his associates
reap a harvest.
On January 11, Prabhu wrote, “I would like to send you a report about the
first two baptisms in this year 2012.” One of the two people baptized was a
twenty-five-year-old WEI student.
In February, Prabhu reported that six Hindu people had been baptized. Five
of them were WEI students.
Prabhu wrote, “Yesterday, Bro. Jaypaul sent me two baptism photos. He said,
‘The students who were baptized were from the Hindu religion. Though their
parents did not agree to it, they came forward to be baptized. Now, they are
wondering if their parents will cooperate with them in their future life.
They both asked me to pray for them.’”
On February 23, Prabhu took his wife and daughter to Vakathippa for a WEI
graduation ceremony. Sixteen students received their diplomas. Following the
ceremony, Bro. T. Ratnapaul took three of his students to Uppada beach and
baptized them into Christ. Bro. Ratnapaul reported that all three students
were from “pure Hindu families.”
Ratnapaul Baptizes WEI Students at Uppada Beach
Following their baptism, the students said, “We have been vexed with this
idolatry for 20 years. Now, God has released us from bondage to Satan.”
Prabhu writes, “When we heard their words, we too thanked God.”
These young Christians have a difficult life ahead of them. Let us pray that
they will remain strong under Bro. Ratnapaul’s guidance.
Holi Festival of Colors
The Hindu “Holi Festival of Colors” is one of the most popular holidays
in India. It is based on Hindu mythology. It commemorates the fiery death of
Holika and celebrates the love of Krishna and his consort Radha. This
festival marks the beginning of spring and is like our Valentine’s Day and
Mardi Gras combined—except more colorful.
On the first day of spring, people worship Krishna by smearing colored
powder and liquids on his idol. Then, they throw colored powder and water on
each other. Men throw red, pink, yellow, blue, green, orange, and purple
powder on the women, and the women tear the clothes off of the men.
In March this year, this festival became an obstacle to our work in Odissa
and Chattisgargh, states where radical Hindus are hostile toward
Christianity. WEI students were afraid to attend their graduation ceremonies
and to be baptized that day. Hindu men, women, and children roamed the
streets covered with bright colors, and anyone without colors stood out. If
caught, WEI students could have been beaten, arrested, and put in jail
during the festival.
The next day, WEI graduation ceremonies were conducted in several places.
Thirteen people were baptized—three in Palsambadi, Chattisgargh and ten in
WEI Students Baptized in Palsambadi, Chattisgargh
New branches of WEI have recently been established in Tora, Bargargh and
Bhuktha, Odissa. Prabhu is on schedule to establish WEI branches in every
state in India by 2014.
The BEST Center in Cambodia
Julie Broyles is doing a tremendous job as Director of the BEST (Bible
English Study and Training) Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where WEI
students are being taught year around.
Most of the students are Buddhists when they come, and many are Christians
when they leave.
Julie’s blogs are full of excitement. On February 12, she reported three
baptisms: one at a village Sunday morning, one at the BEST Center Sunday
evening, and a WEI student named Vandy on Monday.
In March, Julie wrote, “Exciting news!!! A week ago today, Chea Minea was
baptized! She is the best friend and roommate of Vandy who was baptized a
few weeks ago. These two girls are precious.”
Chea Minea Is Baptized in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
A WEI Internet teacher in Georgetown, Texas reports that one of his
students in China was recently immersed, and now, he is sharing the Good
News with his friends.
In a recent e-mail, this new Christian said, “I have a student who has also
believed in Jesus and baptized by immerse himself in a pool with my help. It
is good to have someone company with me to study the Bible and learn the
truth about life.”
Read this statement again, and let the truth sink in. It is thrilling to see
WEI students in China become Christians, and then move on to become teachers
and preachers of the Gospel.
Although many have encouraged people to use WEI's teaching website as an
evangelism tool, the number of active teachers actually decreased from 200
the last quarter of 2011 to 194 in the first quarter of 2012. This seems
surprising because 23 new teachers began taking students and have taken an
average of 10 students each at this point. We are not sure of all the
reasons, but it does sometimes feel like we are trying to run up the 'down'
side of an escalator.
Internet ads buy high placement on the Google search engine. Currently,
these are shown only to the first 5% of those doing a search for English
lessons, so you can see that the number of teachers we have now would be
overwhelmed if the ads were run all day.
You can also see enormous opportunities that are going untouched. In the 3rd
quarter 2011 report, we calculated it would take 15,000 teachers to handle
all the students WEI would attract if the ads were shown all day. Obviously,
we are a long way from that goal.
However, we are not downhearted! At least three former students in three
different countries are now teaching others. One recently baptized his
friend and is thrilled that now he has someone else with whom to worship.
Others are excited about learning about Jesus for the first time, and some
are very close to making a commitment.
We were recently able to talk to two additional groups, explaining the
opportunities available to us, and we know others are doing the same.
Several have asked for information on being teachers. God hears our prayers
for more reapers. He provided 23 new teachers in the first quarter of 2012,
and He will continue to add to our numbers as we bring repenting sinners to
Please continue to tell fellow Christians of this opportunity for them to
'shine like stars of the universe in the eyes of God' by teaching others the
good news of Jesus. (Philippians 2:15, 16)
Bob & Jan Towell
These are exciting times. Plane tickets are being purchased and many
prayers are being lifted to God as WEI short-term teachers prepare to go
into the fields white unto harvest. Guatemala, Romania, Albania, Croatia,
Ukraine, and Myanmar are just a few of the countries hosting WEI teachers
beginning this spring and continuing into the fall.
This is an especially exciting time for me and my family as my daughter
Brianna will be joining me for the first time as a WEI short-term mission
teacher. She is 18 years old and plans to attend David Lipscomb in the fall.
Brianna has literally spent her entire life preparing for this teaching
opportunity. She began taking the WEI courses in the 5th grade as a part of
her English grammar and Bible home school curriculum. Brianna made the all
important decision to put on Christ in baptism after completing the WEI
intermediate course and further Bible study with her mother and me.
Tom Baptizes Brianna
After completing the WEI advanced course Brianna became the youngest
Internet WEI correspondence teacher at the age of 14. Each spring for the
past 3 years she has asked me if she could go with me to teach WEI on a
short-term mission. The time has come for this dream to become a reality,
and we are both looking forward to sharing this special experience together.
We realize not everyone can go on a WEI mission, but there are other ways
you can contribute to the ongoing work of WEI. We could not survive without
the sacrificial offerings so many of you generously give in financial
contributions. We thank you for your fellowship in world evangelism, and we
love you. ---Tom and Angie
In June 1989, by the grace of God, Maudine and I founded World English
Institute and Bible Correspondence School. I was just beginning to write the
WEI Bible course at that time, and there was not a single WEI student
Now, almost twenty-three years later, God is using WEI to teach people about
Christ in every nation on earth. Hundreds of thousands of students have been
introduced to him, thousands have been baptized, and churches have been
planted in dozens of countries. To God be the glory.
On June 22, I will be eighty-one years old, and I have decided it is time
for me to step down as President of WEI. On June 30, I will turn the title
over to my younger colleague, Tom Langley. Tom has been preparing for this
transition for eight years, and he is ready for his new responsibilities.
This does not mean that I am retiring. I plan to continue serving WEI
full-time as long as I am able. The Gresham, OR office will continue to be
the corporate headquarters. I will continue writing and editing this
quarterly newsletter. I will also keep writing books designed to draw people
to God through Jesus Christ. The Gresham office will, with the help of our
secretarial staff, still be responsible for assigning teachers to all postal
students, printing materials, and sending them to teachers, national
preachers, and missionaries all over the world. I plan to continue teaching
in short-term mission campaigns in Europe, Asia, Africa, and perhaps Latin
Our need for funding at the Gresham office will not be diminished by this
transition. In fact, the need will grow as God grows WEI using it to spread
the gospel to more and more places.
It takes money to keep WEI going, but every dollar you contribute to WEI is
a dollar invested in eternity. God will use that dollar to preach the gospel
to one more soul. By helping fund WEI, you are laying up treasures in heaven
where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break in and
To all our friends and loved ones who are supporting us in this world-wide
ministry, we want to say, “THANK YOU.” We love you. God bless you. ---Dick &
God Is at Work
In Croatia, Ivan Tesic is using WEI as an evangelistic tool in Zapresic:
“This February, Ivan and David continued teaching English through the Bible,
using the World English Institute program. Currently, we have four different
groups with three to five people per group.”
In Egypt, a WEI student taught by Samuel Matthews, studied all 143
lessons of the WEI Bible and English courses and graduated with a 98.28 %
GPA. We pray that she will find a way to obey the gospel in spite of growing
hostility in Egypt.
In Nigeria, Aniefiok Akpan has established WEI centers at Obong University,
Rhema Academy, and Ekparakwa high school. The Principal at Ekparakwa high
school is pleading with him to enroll all 3,000 students in WEI.
Aniefiok writes, “WEI deserves special appreciation for giving us access to
one of the most effective tools for personal and mobile evangelism. Without
WEI and the supporters, we would not be teaching people in Cameroun, Sierra
Leone, Gambia, and in Nigeria. We anticipate a great harvest during and
after our 2012 WEI Conference in May.”
In Tanzania, Samuel Matthews’ student, William Emmanuel Yudah, studied
all the WEI courses and graduated with a 92.26 % GPA.
William works closely with World Bible School. Now, he is also using WEI to
attract students. Again, WEI and WBS are partnering in world evangelism.
Recently, William taught Geophley G. Shitindi and baptized him in a river
William baptizes Geophley G. Shitindi