World English Institute Reports Baptisms in Many Countries
by: Stafford North | March 5, 2018
In their December 2017 Update, the World English Institute with offices in Gresham, Oregon, and Maryville, Tennessee, reports baptisms from studies in Albania, Russia, India, Poland, and Cambodia.
WEI students study Bible lessons in two ways. Most students are taught from their own country. They complete lessons with questions which they send to a teacher in the United States who grades their lessons from their own home and corresponds with them until they want to be baptized. At that point either the teacher goes to see them or makes contact with someone already in their country who makes the visit. If possible, the student is then connected with the nearest congregation of the churches of Christ.
A second way in which students learn through WEI is that teams of teachers go to a country where they work with those who already students and these, in turn, contact others so as to bring even more students. When these students are prepared, then the person teaching or someone else will do the baptizing.
During 2017, a total of 727 WEI teachers conducted 125,278 Bible studies with 20,433 students.
One of the inspiring stories in the newsletter was about a woman from the Soviet Union who was “a brilliant scientist and doctor who travels the world for her work in global health.” She first made contact with WEI in 2011 when she wrote that she was an agnostic although her family was Muslim. In 2012 she wrote to Katheryn Haddad, a WEI worker, that she was having trouble accepting some of the teachings of the Koran and hoped that the WEI material would help her. After a time she wrote that the lessons had given her the answers to many questions that had troubled her all of her life.
In 2013 she did only one lesson and in 2014 the same. In 2015, however, she wrote “I lost my way and now came near you. If it possible, please forgive and forget my sin against your big work.” In 2016 she was continuing to return her lessons to be checked and finally was beginning to understand more fully. She wrote, “Jesus was the son of God. He sent us Jesus who love all people although the people wanted kill him. . . . Please teach me how to pray.” She also wrote, “I am looking for a mission in this world. I want to change my life and go through baptism. I don’t know what should I do (step by step) and what should I say when I go through the cleansing ritual of baptism.”
Her teacher explained how to be baptized but then did not hear back from her because she had become busy with her children and her world-wide health work. A year later, however, the teacher heard from her again. “A long time I was far from you but part of my heart always is with you. I tried to find my way in his life and I hope I find it. . . .I do not know why, but when I write to you about Christianity I enjoy as a child. . . . After immersion my soul is in Christ and I enjoy from this condition about one year. It is our secret . . . . About immerse: I have done one year ago in the summer in the lake. That moment I find out peace.”
What a great story about a conversion that took many years and persistence on the part of those teaching her. But what a blessing that she finally obeyed as she was taught.
In the December newsletter, there are other stories about people studying through the WEI materials. Part of their plan is to establish congregations where there are none such as in Mongolia, Moldova, and Armenia. Fred and Alice Jewell tell of going to Albania to teach and baptize those who are ready. Eleven have been baptized in India and, in addition, a denominational preacher and his wife were baptized and he is seeking to bring others along with him into Christ. Another story tells of a woman in London who was baptized after studying lessons from WEI. She then taught a friend in London and her fiancé and they were ready to be baptized but had to return to Poland. There Bartoz Rabinski of EEM connected them with a congregation in Warclaw where they were baptized. And there is also a story about a baptism in Nigeria.
So much good news through the work of the World English Institute. They have students from every country in the world and need many more volunteer Christian teachers because they have many more students than teachers available. For more information about becoming a volunteer teacher or to contribute to this good work go to www.worldenglishinstitute.net or call Tom Langley at 865 803 2909.