World Bible School Reaches Many in Zimbabwe
by: Stafford North | November 7, 2017
John Reese, president of World Bible School sent a newsletter on October 11, 2017, in which he had a picture of himself and his “twin,” Chris Magadu. While they were both born in Zimbabwe, he said they were different in that he was several years older. His report says that the two of them have just completed a promotional trip of 1,754 miles to tell people the story of World Bible School and that they had 3,000 more miles they were planning to travel to conduct WBS Dinners and other events.
Reese writes, “As you can imagine in an oppressed nation with 95% unemployment, Zimbabwe’s prisons are packed. Few outsiders have access to these prisons. But WBS courses enter freely and work prolifically throughout that nation’s penal system. Chris has official permission to follow up with prisoners. From 2016 to the present, his WBS follow up has resulted in the baptisms of 1,822 inmates. Some prisoners wear red shirts. They are condemned, but they tell Chris, ‘I’m ready for execution, because now I belong to Jesus.’ Others complete their sentences and re-enter society.
“One former inmate named Martin returned to his home area and located the Lord’s church. Finding no preacher there, he himself began teaching, using a set of books. Christians in neighboring areas were concerned and asked Chris to investigate. When Chris saw Martin, they recognized each other and embraced. Chris asked, “What books are you using?” Martin brought them from his house: a full set of WBS courses! Chris said, “Amen! Carry on, brother. You are doing a good work!” From an inmate to a minister—such is the transforming power of God’s Word!
Besides prison work, Chris and the follow-up team have baptized over 3,000 from 2016 until now, with more added daily. That brings the number converted to more than 5,000 won to Christ through WBS over the last year and a half. Where no church exists, the new Christians and other responsive students are gathered. Chris, for example, met for many weekends with such a group in the northern town of Kariba. Then he had to be away for two weekends. Upon his return to Kariba, he saw a sign reading “The church of Christ meets here.” Chris asked, “Who told you that you are the church of Christ?” They said, “We read it in the Bible. Jesus bought the church with His own blood, and that is the church to which we belong.”
WBS not only has correspondence courses but now has developed a Bible which they use in teaching. “It combines the accuracy of the ESV with 110 pages of WBS study helps.” They distributed 250 of the new Bibles to inmates in Holyoke, Colorado. Bill Lewis, who works there, write “This morning we baptized 26 men. Many of them taught themselves with the WBS study Bibles we’ve been handing out. Many ere taught by others that we taught and baptized last year by WBS.”
Previously in a typical year they sold about 3,000 regular Bibles which WBS study helpers sent to their students. This year, since the development of the new study Bible, over 40,000 have requested them. They are seeking donations to help them to be able to send these Bibles to various places around the world where Bibles are not readily available. As students complete an initial set of lessons that will lead them to respond to the gospel, they are given one of the new Bibles. Thus Bible first becomes the incentive to cause the student to continue in the program and then becomes the means by which he or she continues to learn and grow in knowledge of the Bible.
To learn more about WBS, go to www.worldbibleschool.net.