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Update Letter 3rd Quarter 2018

Countries Sent to in 2018

From January through June, we had the privilege of sending material into 99 countries. We have committed distributors in 29 of these (in bold). Praise the Lord for His provision! Albania, Algeria, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Par­aguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of South Africa, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

MZBI has 84 graders and 26 branches worldwide.

Mount Zion Prison Ministry

The prison and jail population in the United States is estimated at almost 2.3 million men, women, and juveniles in 2018, the largest incarcerated population in the world! While a plethora of secular and religious educational programs exists for prisoners, our own observation is that many prisoners still do little more than “kill time.” Our vision with Mount Zion Prison Ministry is to glorify Christ by providing prisoners with Christian resources that will transform their lives in this world and prepare them for eternity. Our classic Christian literature is available free of charge to prisoners through our Prison Order Form, and available in bulk to prison chaplains for distribution to their inmate populations. We also sell study aids (such as commentaries, dictionaries, and language resources) at our cost to individual inmates. As the Lord provides we send a free Bible in English or Spanish to each inmate who asks.

How can you get involved? 

1) Pray for the hundreds of faithful chaplains and inmates serving Christ behind bars, and for Mount Zion Prison Ministry as we seek to serve them.

2) If you are gifted by the Lord and backed by a local church, consider volunteering as a Christian teacher, preacher, or mentor. Jails and prisons are everywhere—there might be several near you! While policies and practices differ, most institutions are keen to have help from the community and will walk you through the process of approval to begin serving in teaching, one-on-one encouragement, or any other allowed Christian activities in the facility. Many volunteers use our free booklets and Bible Institute courses to augment their ministry to the inmates. Follow the chaplain or coordinator’s instructions regarding distributing Christian literature, and we will be happy to send you material.

3) Visit or call the chaplains at your local institutions and introduce them to Chapel Library’s literature resources and Mount Zion Bible Institute correspondence courses. We will gladly send a box of literature free of charge and postage paid to each chaplain who requests it.

4) Apply to Mount Zion Bible Institute to serve as a grader for our correspondence courses. See the next section below.

Former inmate in California – “Your literature was like a lamp shining in a dark place (2Pe 1:19). Not only was the penitentiary a dark place but my heart was also (Eze 36:26)! Our Lord changed this ex-Los Angeles gang member & career criminal's heart from being a stone to a heart of flesh. Only the mighty Holy Spirit could have done that. Eleven trips to prison couldn’t…Now I will take care of my elderly mom instead of being a drug addict! Thank You Jesus, the Hound of Heaven, Who hunted me down and never gave up the chase. Or I'd be doing life like all my childhood friends—or in hell!”

Help! MZBI Graders Needed!

Here is a special opportunity for you to serve the prison community, as well as others, in North America. Praise the Lord, He has added to our team over the last few months, but we still desperately need mature Christian men and women, who agree with our doctrinal statement, and are able to give basic feedback to students’ answers. We need both English and Spanish graders! You do not need higher education (college or seminary) or ministry/teaching experience (we will supply answer keys). If you or someone you know can give 4 hours per week to this vital, encouraging mission, please contact us or visit our grader information page for more info.

From a grader in Missouri: “Every time I grade a lesson, I learn more of God’s glory and grace, and also experience the bonds of love we share with these brothers!”

New! The Glory of a True Church

The Glory of a True Church

The Glory of a True Church is an early Baptist summary of important aspects of church life, with a focus on church order and discipline. It gives abiding instruction for dealing with practical issues that both officers and members still wrestle with today, including the work of pastors and deacons, duties of the members toward their pastors, reception of new members, church discipline, a member’s moving to a new church, and biblical motives for public worship.

Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) was a Particular Baptist pastor and author in London, England. In his early years he worked as a tailor. At 15 he was baptized, and he began preaching at 18 in the congregation at Winslow. In 1668 he took the pastorate of the church at Horse-lie-down, Southwark, where he remained for the rest of his life. This church later became New Park Street Church, where Charles Spurgeon ministered. Keach was a signatory of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith and his name was given to Keach’s Catechism, though it may have been authored by another minister.

Pray for Venezuela!

This very recent note from a friend in Venezuela gives a dire picture of a traumatized country, and calls for prayer for gospel triumph, physical relief, and Christian faithfulness.

“Dear brother, to answer your question about how you could pray for Venezuela, you need to understand the economic, political, and social situation…

“The bolivar, the official currency of Venezuela, is the most devalued currency in the world…It is estimated that more than 4 million Venezuelans have fled the country. Some have drowned trying to reach the Netherlands Antilles...This [exodus] has greatly affected the local churches. Many women have been kidnapped and sold as slaves. This situation has caused an unprecedented national dejection.

“Socialist policies in the economy, the suppression of a free market, the attack on private property and the overwhelming control on our lives by armed forces are such that they have turned us into slaves who are dependent on a ration of low quality food that they use as a way of manipulating the population. Insurrections have been brutally extinguished by prison and death. All of this has changed the general character of Venezuelans. From being cheerful and generous to a depressed, suicidal, and deeply mistrusting people, everyone is just trying to survive the crisis. Crime has exploded—kidnappings, looting, homicides for food, and many other horrendous things.

“Services have collapsed, diseases that have been extinct for decades have reappeared, our doctors are leaving the country, and common things like water are very hard to get. In our community, we have not had much water…Venezuelans spend their lives in endless lines looking for what are considered basic needs—and even unconscious needs—for other nations. People walk miles to get basic things such as toothpaste, soap, cornmeal, or oil...

“These things have clearly affected the church. Several families have left our church, and we strongly feel their absence. When we begin to train servants in the church, and they leave the country, then we have to start over …

How to pray for our brothers and sisters in Venezuela? I think you could start by praying for pastors and elders, so that God will give us wisdom and not allow our hearts to harden. We need God’s gift of faith every day and the courage to continue. It does not matter so much to always have something to eat as to have the faith to continue living in this country.

“Ask the Lord to mature and grow the church, for encouragement and strength to continue the work of the gospel and mercy, especially since it is very hard to find and buy food. Pray for the church so that she can show her love in every opportunity, and discernment as to who needs the most help.

“Pray for godly men who want to be trained in theology. There are many opportunities through the internet for this, but in Venezuela the internet is no longer very reliable, and, perhaps, in a not distant future we will not even have a connection at all. That is why I value printed materials so much. Pray for men who want to be prepared [for ministry], so that they may first be formed in the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, in humility, transparency, and submission to God.

“I beg your prayers that Venezuela would be full of biblical and historical Christian churches. My idea is not to have a big church, but small churches everywhere. The lack of car parts has hindered us from reaching more distant places, but providentially it has also been the reason for our brothers and sisters meeting in their own communities, thus creating local communities of faith and of grace.

“The help we most desperately need is the prayers of humble and godly Christians for us and our families, for our women and our children.

“I hope you find this brief letter helpful when praying for us. I have kept back many of the details, I would really have to write a book if I were to be more specific. I trust this will serve to give somewhat of an idea and that the Holy Spirit will guide you how to pray for us. The Lord is with us at every step. He is here. We love you in Christ Jesus. ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose’ (Rom 8:28).”

Want to Help Venezuela?

First, pray; and if the Lord stirs your heart to help Christ’s people in Venezuela, here are two organizations taking donations for needy Christians and relief efforts in this oppressed nation. Chapel Library is in general agreement with these ministries and has confidence in their administration of gifts for Venezuela.

Seminario Reformado Latinamericano, PO Box 741034, Orange City, FL 32774 (indicate “church in Venezuela”); 267 258-9150; www.srlseminary.org.

Help Venezuela, www.helpvenezuela.net/english (organized by Christian Venezuelans in the USA).

Malawi Books Update

In the Summer Update letter, we mentioned the need for books for Antioch Baptist Church’s fledgling bookstore in Malawi. Chapel Library is collecting used, damaged, or overstocked books from individuals, libraries, or publishers in the US to encourage Antioch Baptist’s efforts in Malawi.

We praise the Lord for an entire pallet load (maybe 600 lbs) of books donated so far, and a large portion already shipped off by ocean freight to Malawi. Additional books are still welcome for Antioch Baptist’s ministry in Malawi.

books sent to Malawi

Boxed books may be sent directly to Chapel Library. Antioch will arrange shipment from Chapel Library to Malawi. Please visit www.BooksForMalawi.net for more information.

Letters from Far and Near

In His kindness the Lord continues to encourage us with notes from around the world. These are tokens of the Lord’s faithfulness. As “unprofitable servants” we count it a real joy to have the privilege of witnessing these blessings. May all the praise and glory be His!

Peru: browsing newly arrived literature in Reformed Baptist Seminary, Arequipa, southern Peru.

book table in Peru

Virginia: “Thank you so much for offering all these publications free of charge. As a homeschooling mom on a very limited budget, and with a daughter interested in missions, you guys are a Godsend.”

Oklahoma: “I lead a Reformed congregation here at this facility…The tracts, books, and now tapes, are such a blessing. We are surrounded by ministries that teach everything but the doctrines of grace, and so we are so blessed to have the resources from your ministry….we place your tracts out at every service and distribute them in the pods here.”

South Africa: “The books arrived today. We are so thrilled with them, particularly as many titles fit with our conference themes…In God's perfect providence and timing they arrived in good time…and when the warehouse is short of stock.”

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