Changed Lives | God’s Word Today

Changed Lives

“When they came to see Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed in his right mind…” – Mark 5:15a NIV

Terry Wedel: Guidelines International Ministries is celebrating its 55thanniversary. All this week, we have been hearing about the many celebrations that are found throughout the gospel. We’ve looked back at the spiritual pillars that have defined Guidelines since it was founded in 1963 and we’ve heard how we will be building upon them in the future. Guidelines founder, Dr. Harold Sala, has been telling us about his latest collection of Guidelines devotionals and Guidelines president Bonnie Sala has shared how the Community Radio Initiative is coming alongside first-generation churches to bring the voice of Jesus, to what we call “deaf areas” of the world. And today, we’ll be hearing about how, since its beginning, Guidelines has been dedicated to transforming lives with the message of hope and love of Jesus. Dr. Sala, I know it’s hard, but can you give us one example – that is special to you?

Harold Sala: There are so many examples that I could share with you, but there is one story that is outstanding, that I shall never forget. It came from a missionary whose name was Ray Rising. In 1994, he was taken captive by the FARC guerillas and for a period of time, he was literally cut off from the civilized world. But Ray put together a small radio and began listening to Guidelines. He said programs on fear and frustration were so helpful to him. And, when he was finally released he sent me a letter and he said, “God was making something in me on the inside that my captives needed to see on the outside.”  And, that was the impact of radio. Never did I realize we were speaking to the heart of a missionary who was held captive in a jungle. But, God used that to bring hope and commitment to him in a new measure.

TW: And, of course, we receive a lot of emails, including one from a young man in Jamaica, who has HIV/AIDS. He writes, “I was searching the net trying to find a way to have devotion – and not have to read – when I stumbled upon Guidelines for Living”. Now that he’s listening, he writes “I noticed I always try to do the right thing in my day to day life… “Even little things, like “not lying and not signing the time log for a day that I did not work.” Bonnie, is there a story that especially stands out to you?

Bonnie Sala: Well, you know at Guidelines, we talk about God’s word transforming lives, and I love a story that we received just this last year from the country of Albania. It was from a 42-year old man named Maksi.  He told us that he used to fight and use violence to control his family. He said, “I never knew any peace in my own life.” But, he said, by listening to the Guidelines program about God’s love, he actually learned to solve problems in a different way. Rather than trying to control his family with violence, he actually said, “I pray with my family and we all ask for forgiveness of sins and God’s peace.” That’s an amazing story of transformation and we’re so excited to hear these stories coming out of Muslim-majority countries where God has opened up the door for us to go in and bring the gospel over the radio. You know, the beauty of radio is that people can hear the story of Jesus in secret, and we know that they do. They listen in secret, their lives are transformed, their families are transformed, and even communities are transformed.

TW: And, we know while radio continues to have tremendous impact, mobile devices are also becoming more accessible so, Guidelines also makes its messages available for download. In fact, we recently heard from a truck driver in Turkey whose job often takes him out of range of Guideline’s radio partner in Ankara. He says he loads up a USB stick with Guidelines podcasts and has now come to faith in Christ. So, whether it’s by radio, books, or the internet – the message of Jesus is bringing hope and love throughout the world.

Resource reading:  Acts 26:1-23

This devotional © by Harold J. Sala.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission from Guidelines International Ministries. Not for sale or profit.

Dr. Harold J. Sala
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