World English Institute & Bible Correspondence School
Quarterly Update: January - March, 2018
An Excellent Model for Missions
An Excellent Model for Missions
When Blane Anderson retired from the University of Oklahoma in 2015, having served as Chief Financial Officer in the School of Law, he looked for an interesting and meaningful way to serve in the Lord’s kingdom. While surfing the web looking for short-term mission opportunities, he found World English Institute.
He had never heard of WEI, and he was cautious. A few weeks later, he saw a WEI ad in the Christian Chronicle and concluded that WEI was, indeed, legitimate. So he registered as an Internet teacher and began teaching students.
Blane says, “By the summer of 2016, I was really enjoying being a part of the WEI ministry and decided that more people needed to know about it. So I approached
the elders of my home congregation, the Westside Church of Christ in Norman, to tell them about WEI and to demonstrate the WEI website. Fortunately, they gave me the green light to start and to grow this ministry in our congregation.
“My wife and I and two of our four daughters are WEI teachers. I also volunteer as an ambassador for WEI in the state of Oklahoma to help recruit teachers. In 2017, my wife and I visited four Oklahoma congregations to tell them about this ministry. During the past two years, we have set up displays at the Oklahoma Christian University Lectureship. We are always looking for opportunities to share our WEI experiences with churches in our home state.” Blane has the energy of an Oklahoma tornado. For two years, he has set up displays at the Florida School of Preaching in Lakeland where his son-in-law is a student. He has also joined Tom Langley and Lee Allen on short-term mission trips to Albania and Romania.
In February of this year, Blane spent four weeks in Guatemala City following up on students who studied with WEI teachers last summer. He also recruited new students by running Google ads, distributing flyers, and inviting people personally. He taught students in one-hour classes Monday through Saturday, some of them at Wendy’s restaurant and others at Pop’s Ice Cream Shop. His first student arrived at 9:00 a.m., and his last student departed at 8:00 p.m. On Sundays, he worshiped more than 100 people at the Linda Vista Church of Christ.
While Blane was the teacher in Guatemala, he also learned some important lessons. He learned to be patient with his online students. Many of them study their WEI lessons on a smartphone, and that creates enormous problems. He also learned the importance of treating everyone with kindness. Blane says, “Having a cheerful disposition and showing genuine joy when meeting people opens many doors. Talking kindly to restaurant workers who are ignored by most people wins friends and allows you to share God’s love unexpectedly. One of my best moments came during the second week of teaching. I taught a lot of lessons at the local Wendy’s hamburger restaurant and made friends with the workers. One day, one of the workers walked toward me with a big smile, waved, and said, ‘Hola, Cristiano!’ (Translation: ‘Hello, Christian!’) It made my day, and I thanked God that I wore that name.”
Blane concludes, “The WEI ministry is an important work that more people in the church need to be made aware of. The website is really first class. We have something many people in the world want: our English language. But more importantly, we have something all people need: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
God’s Dynamite Explodes in Nigeria
God’s Dynamite Explodes in Nigeria
The apostle Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). In the original text, the Greek word that is translated as “power” is dynamite, from which our word “dynamite” is derived.
Those who have kept up with developments in Uruk Otong, Nigeria have seen evidence that the mighty, powerful hand of God is at work through Aniefiok Akpan and his fellow-workers at Rhema Christian Academy, the Campus Church of Christ, and World English Institute & School of Ministry (WEISOM).
On March 4, Aniefiok virtually shouted, “We have amazing news to share with you. Our daughter Nancy aged 13, accepted Christ and was baptized at the Campus Church of Christ, Rhema Christian Academy, Uruk Otong, Nigeria, today, Sunday 4th March 2018. I will never forget the day I baptized my daughter into Christ.”
A week later, March 12, Aniefiok wrote, “Our daughter Nancy has surprised us. Since her baptism last Sunday, she has been sharing her faith and her relationship with Christ with her schoolmates. We believe that her excitement has been a great encouragement to the three students who accepted Christ and were baptized today.
Aniefiok says, “Please join us to celebrate the new births of these three high school students, aged 13-15 years. They include two boys named Prince Israel Akpaneyen (13) and Idiongo Effiong Sunday (11), and a girl named Unwana Sunday Archibong (15). They are among the over 300 individuals who have benefited from the donated relief materials from the Searcy, Arkansas brethren. Please keep these new converts in your prayers. Their parents and siblings belong to different denominational groups. I personally took them to their homes and broke the news of their conversion to their parents. All their parents were so happy with the decision their children have made.”
On March 26, Aniefiok reported that an amazing 516 people had attended the WEISOM seminar the preceding day. Aniefiok wrote, “Twenty congregations of the Lord’s church were represented. Leaders and members of thirty-two different denominational churches were in attendance.”
“We have insufficient space to accommodate such a multitude of truth seekers. The overflow was just too much. A great number had to peep through the windows to see and to hear what was going on in the hall.” “The WEISOM ministry yielded a great harvest of seven souls yesterday. Our WEISOM student, Brother Iboro Dick Akpan baptized two souls in Inen Tsai Village yesterday morning. In the afternoon, five precious souls accepted Christ and were baptized during our WEISOM seminar– including two strong denominational pastors: Pastor David Peter Udior and his wife Lovett, and Pastor Emmanuel Etibeng.”
Daunting Challenges Ahead
The most serious challenge confronting this God-em-powered ministry is financial. Last fall, mission-minded members of the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas sent a container full of supplies to Aniefiok—supplies for Rhema Christian Academy, churches, hospitals, and needy people. But when the container arrived, Aniefiok had to pay a $9,000 fee or forfeit the materials.
With the agony of soul, Aniefiok borrowed $9,000 from a banker friend not knowing how he would repay it. The Lord has used these materials to bless numerous poor people and to build up the kingdom of Christ.
The problem is, the $9,000 debt must be paid in May, and Aniefiok only has $2,500 in hand. Moreover, the Campus congregation has outgrown its meeting place, and unless Rhema Christian Academy can provide additional classrooms quickly, it will lose its high school. A foundation has been laid for a building that will serve as a church building, high school, and WEISOM center, but there is no money to complete it.
Aniefiok is praying that someone will help him raise enough money to repay the bank loan and to complete the multi-purpose building. He yearns to lead young people to Christ and to train workers to reap the harvest that God provides. There have been seventeen baptisms at Uruk Otong during the past three months, and the best is yet to come.
W.E.I. NEEDS YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!!!
More and more national preachers around the world are using WEI courses in their local outreach ministries. National preachers are our most efficient and productive partners in world evangelism. Additional funds for printing and mailing these materials are needed.
Testimony from a WEI Teacher
Jesslyn Bordine, a WEI Internet teacher from Wimberly, Texas, writes, “I have been telling my church about this wonderful program. I don’t know how I didn’t know about WEI before! The teaching English component is so wonderful!”
Jesslyn’s WEI students live in Haiti. One of her students is an interpreter for a Spanish NGO. She says, “This particular young man would complete two lessons before lunch, and if I sent back the grades, he would often do two more lessons in the afternoon. I have several who are very enthusiastic, and some of the responses they give are amazing. I put one on Facebook from time to time hoping my church friends will get hooked.”
Editorial – Update 158
How can we convince a violent world to follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace? Con-
When Bill Mc-Donough and I led the first team of teachers to Tirana, Albania in July1992, the Communist regime had just fallen, and the nation was in shambles. For forty long years, the Albanians had suffered under the brutal dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, a despot so cruel that Joseph Stalin urged him to lighten up on the Albanian people.
That summer, my host family and my students wept as they related heart-wrenching stories about ways they had suffered under communism, and I wept with them. Considering the sorrow and uncertainty the Albanians had endured, it is not surprising that they were drawn to the Prince of Peace. Forty-two of our students were baptized into Christ during the month of August. Then Russ and Rosemary Burcham taught and baptized fifteen more in September. The stark contrast between Enver Hoxha and Jesus Christ was compelling.
Today, our nation and the entire world are being torn by turmoil and strife, and politically we are polarized right and left. Rarely have I seen such anger, violence, turmoil, division, and distrust. Never has there been a greater need for the Prince of Peace.
While we agonize over the strident political debates that rage in our country, and while we grieve over the slaughter of innocent children and civilians in Syria and other war-torn countries, we must not despair. The violence and bloodshed are driving tender-hearted, peace-loving people into the arms of Jesus. According to reports, a million Muslims are converting to Christianity in North Africa every year.
God is using WEI to open doors to every nation on earth. Nearly one-fourth of our Internet students live in countries where it is a capital offense to change their religion. Yet, some WEI students are being baptized into Christ at the risk of their lives.
Christianity almost always flourishes under persecution. Let us pray that the violence and turmoil in today’s world will open people’s hearts to the Prince of Peace.
We love you.
Dick & Maudine Ady
As we have launched into 2018, I just wanted to share with you some encouraging statistics. God has blessed this WEI Bible-teaching ministry with unprecedented growth over the last three years. We are reaching tens of thousands of souls with the saving truth of the comprehensive word of God. This would not be possible without every one of you generously contributing your time, talents, and resources to this ministry.
Our mutual goal is to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. God is accomplishing great things through you. To him, we give all the glory. Let’s give thanks to God as we review this year-after-year increase in every critical category of these impressive statistics:
In 2015, 398 Internet teachers conducted 61,080 Bible studies with 8,355 students from 184 nations.
In 2016, 615 Internet teachers conducted 94,403 Bible studies with 15,077 students from 189 nations.
In 2017, 727 Internet teachers conducted 143,907 Bible studies with 20,433 students from 195 nations.
Teachers, YOU are doing the Lord’s work by fulfilling the greatest of all commissions given by our Lord Jesus Christ! We cannot thank you enough. It’s such a thrill to be part of a big team of effective teachers and servants who are making an eternal difference in the lives and destinies of so many souls all over the world. We give humble praise and thanks to God for all of you.
We also want to take this time to thank our supporting and sponsoring elders of the two offices of WEI from the Maryville Church of Christ in Tennessee, and the Metro Church of Christ in Gresham, Oregon. Your prayers and encouragement and spiritual oversight are important factors in the growth and global outreach of this mission ministry of the Lord’s church. Let’s all work hard and pray fervently that 2018 will continue this trend of phenomenal growth in teachers, Bible studies conducted, and students being reached with the most important news for all mankind.
Thank you, Lord!
Tom & Angie Langley
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
In searching for our marriage certificate, Jan found my baptismal certificate. I had forgotten the date, but it showed that I was baptized just a few days before my 12th birthday.
Many changes have occurred since then, including how we do evangelism. In the 1950s, all we had were books. In the 1960s, Jule Miller developed film strips. Some will remember they required a 35 mm projector and a portable record player. The presenter had to keep the projected image coordinated with the record player. This worked out well until a student asked a question. Then there was the problem of getting the audio back in sync with the picture. That was the face-to-face evangelism in my “good-old-days.”
Postal correspondence evangelism had its own problems—one of the worst being the “lag time” between when the lesson was sent and when the student’s answers were received. This made communication and building relationships difficult.
Jan and I have lived long enough to participate in developing programs to adapt computers to correspondence evangelism. The Internet allows almost instantaneous exchanges between teachers and students anywhere in the world. And websites keep records stored safely and indefinitely.
We feel blessed to be experiencing such an amazing era, especially when we read student responses like this: “I moved to the US from China in 2016. English and religion are two big questions in my head. I try to learn from daily conversations and YouTube classes, yet I need more formal English for my job.
“It’s a big surprise that WEI uses Bible to teach English. I have wanted to read Bible ever since I married a Christian. My husband says I don’t have to believe what he believes because God gave us free will. I did believe the theory of evolution, but I am in doubt about that more and more. I am glad I can learn English and Bible at the same time. And the Easy-to-Read Bible just suits my reading level.” Please join us in this worldwide endeavor. When we meet God, may we hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servants? Enter into the joys of your Lord.”
Bob and Jan Towel
Wouldn’t you like to lead someone to Christ? Chances are you can. You can become a WEI Internet teacher by logging on to our web site and signing up at :
God Is At Work in Sierra Leone
Sister Dale Ogren has an Internet student named Johnny Kamara in Freetown, Sierra Leone who has completed all twenty-four WEI books from the Elementary course up through Living for Jesus.
Dale says, “Johnny was baptized on June 24, 2010, by his uncle, James S. Kamara, who is now a minister for the church of Christ in Gloucester Village. “Brother Johnny has a heart for children and has taken an orphan into his home. More than sixty orphans were identified in the area following August 27, 2017 floods and mudslides in and around Freetown.
“Johnny and his late wife operated a school for poor children, but that work ceased after her death. He has since remarried and has constructed and opened another school called JOHNNILIA NURSERY AND PREPARATORY SCHOOL. This school is located in Regent Village, a suburb of Freetown and the home of some of the world’s poorest people.”
The school was opened on Monday, the 18th of September 2017 following a prayer meeting on Sunday to which the public was invited.
Presently, the school has three teachers and thirty-five male and female students. Johnny is supporting the school out of his own resources derived from teaching at a nearby School of Geology.
We invite you to include WEI in your 2018 church budget. Please join us in a concerted effort to lead the whole world to Christ.