I’ve been thinking about the word investment.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Luke, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Luke 6:38
If we give to get, we are not giving as Jesus has taught us. But when we give to give, we can be assured of a reward. We may give as an expression of freedom and see our freedom deepen as we let go of something that we have worked hard to possess. Or we may give as an expression of love and affection that brings us to greater love and deeper relationship. Or we give because we see the opportunity for God’s kingdom to advance. It is quite satisfying to make a wise investment, planting seeds in good soil and seeing a thirty, sixty, or hundredfold return for the sake of others. May we all grow in investing wisely, recognizing opportunities to see God’s kingdom advance.
We’ve invested in several exciting things recently.
We are thrilled about how our podcast is being received and how the message of Unbound is spreading through it. Each week I am amazed at the quality and significance of each episode we air. We have countless ideas for future episodes and how these thirty-minute podcast messages will continue to bear fruit as they remain available online. As you can imagine, production takes a good bit of time to set up, record, and edit. But we know it is an investment that will keep producing a return. We have already reached over 15,000 downloads touching more than 60 countries and over 2000 cities. I have to admit that I was reluctant to take the plunge, but I trusted in the vision of Jacqueline Harper and other team members. Now I find myself not only listening to our podcast but several other worthwhile podcasts, especially when driving. (Find our podcast here.)
We want to reach the world with the message of Unbound: Freedom in Christ. We often do that by working with publishers and Unbound teams to translate and publish Unbound and other resources. Recently an Unbound team in the Netherlands produced its first edition of Unbound in Dutch. This process was relatively easy for us because of their commitment and sacrifice. Other translations have been a bit more challenging.
A year ago, a Chinese edition of Unbound and Resisting the Devil was published in Taiwan. Trying to get the translation correct and finding the right publisher became a major undertaking that took several years. We ended up with a different publisher for each book, and many friends gave sacrificially of their time to help get it right. The publisher of Unbound wrote this week to say they were so surprised that they had sold 2000 copies in the first year. Please pray with me that the grace of deliverance will accompany each book and set hearts free.
Then the Italian translation of Unbound encountered some considerable delays, and after much effort, we needed to find a new publisher. Thanks to a priest in England who believed in the importance of an Italian translation, we connected with a new and more prominent publisher. We then found a translator, but we needed someone who knew Unbound to ensure the message did not get twisted. Fr. Antonio Ritaccio has generously given of himself, carefully reviewing every word. We discovered how easy it is even for a good translator to fail to understand key aspects of Unbound. I am so grateful to Fr. Antonio and all of those who work with us to help clearly communicate the message entrusted to us. San Paolo should publish it in the next six months.
Over the years, we have been to Poland and Ukraine on many short-term missions and have made friends and spiritual sons and daughters in these countries. These missions have made the world smaller for us, and the recent loss of life and destruction in Ukraine breaks our hearts and calls us to our knees. We have one Father, and we weep with Him over his lost and suffering children. Still, we stand in the victory of the Cross of Jesus, praying that the evil that has fallen on the world will be crushed. The heroic action of so many and the hospitality of our Polish friends inspire and comfort beyond words, bringing so much hope.
We continue to invest in missions. In May, Matt and two team members from Tanzania and Croatia will be presenting Unbound in Nigeria. I believe this investment in Nigeria will produce thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold. The Nigerian believers I have met are some of the most zealous, bold, and aggressive in the world. Nigeria is a vast country, and many Nigerians have moved throughout the world. I believe this is good soil and will produce great fruit. Please pray for Matt and the team!
We give thanks for all the good works He is doing!