The Talk Place - Richard & Heather Roper

Blogs with inside information and personal opinions from GRN members around the world

Speaking in Tongues: Who Cares?

Richard & Heather Roper - Monday 11 February 2013

Should you ever feel the need for proof, that from the very beginning of Christianity, communicating the message in a person’s heart language has always been on top of God’s list of priorities, all you need to do is site Acts 2, Corinthians 10 and all the other speaking in tongues references.

More than that, these references are proof of the importance God places on communicating His message orally.

This can never diminish the importance of written communication because without it as a reference, the good news would never have remained as constant as it has. But historically the written has always lagged the oral. After all, our earliest version of the gospel was compiled up to 50 years after the resurrection of Jesus.

The Lord Jesus at his ascension not only gives the great commission but he promises an advocate: the Holy Spirit. And whilst the great commission tells us to “go into the whole world”, the very first act of the Holy Spirit in the incarnation that Jesus promised was to cause the disciples to speak in world languages; the heart language of those that were present.

If then the first act of the Holy Spirit was to cause an out break of heart languages then it must be at least as important as the great commission.

A great deal is and has been made of speaking in tongues through out the centuries and I in no way wish to diminish that and the miraculous consequences of it, then and now. But to fail to recognize the status that this event gives to the preaching of the gospels message to people in there heart language is to miss one of, if not the most significant point of this whole event.

It may not always be possible to give the good news to someone in their heart language and there is no doubt that, however it is delivered, God's word will not return to Him void, but do not the tongues of fire teach us, that if it is at all possible we should not miss an opportunity to do so if we can. In fact would I be wrong in saying, that what we learn here is, that giving the good new from someone’s mouth, in someone’s heart language should be our highest priority?

What's The Best Way To Spread The Good News?

Richard & Heather Roper - Tuesday 29 January 2013

The primary source of all Christian authoritative communication is and always has been and always will be oral.

Not only did Jesus teach to an audience orally but he used the oldest known form of communication - Story telling

And despite having the ability to at the very least arranged, to have things written down, he chose not to.

Even as the Bible began to mature and be written down oral communication still remained the primary source of passing on His story. Because even when it was written down it was read to a congregation.

The passing on of the good news has always been and always will be primarily oral. By far and away the vast majority of Christians became such because someone told them the story of salvation.

I did a little survey in my church once a small congregation of about 60 people at the time. An overwhelming majority became Christian as a direct result of someone telling them about Jesus. I found this to be very enlightening.

I spent most of my evangelistic christian youth standing on corners handing out christian tracts only to now realize that I should have been spending my time talking.

Next time you want to give someone the good new try something other than a tract. Try telling the good news. Better still tell them your story.

Is Not Rejoicing in Fact a Sin?

Richard & Heather Roper - Tuesday 15 November 2011

Joy Ridderhoff, the founder of GRN, has a few of daily devotions on rejoicing, one called Count It All Joy! one called With Joy and Rejoicing! and another Are You Rejoicing? that are published on the GRN Website.

I found them by mistake one time as I was wandering through the site researching some information for one of my presentations for GRN.

She argued that Not to rejoice is in fact a Sin.

I struggled with this concept.

I finally concluded that there is no sin in not rejoicing but there is no doubt about the importance of Rejoicing.

Joy tells the story of her co-worker who rejoiced in the face of dire cercumstances.

It didn't make anything better but the co-worker went on rejoicing anyway. I guess that story impressed me because it takes away from any idea that rejoicing is some sort of magic formula that causes God to do what you want him to do.

Praising the Lord no longer becomes the equivalent of winning tattslotto. But more than that it meant that there was more to rejoicing than just being happy in every situation.

It is possible to be confronting the worst set of circumstances and without being indifferent to the pain, still rejoice.

In one of the books about Joy, called "Mountain Singing" by Sanna Morrison Barlow, which I think is now out of print and it's not the best of reads anyway, Joy calls rejoicing a weapon. This is a concept that appeals to me greatly.

Still a little confused by the concept of rejoicing in the face of what in human terms is the insurmountable however, I've been doing some study on examples of rejoicing.

Of course the obvious place to do that study is the Psalms.
The most interesting thing about David's rejoicing, is that it is not the sort of thing that you would normally associate with a "good" charismatic service.

It's not unusual for David to literally dump on God.

David will often spend verse on verse about how desperate he was and how untenable his situation. His verse is full of how unjust his situation was and that he didn't know how much longer he could go on. And then right at the very end of these passages, David changes the whole tone of what he has been saying and says

"Praise the Lord!"

Read Ps 31 to read the impassioned plea of David as the torrents of his pain flood out to God.

How does he do that I wondered.

What do the verses actually say you are rejoicing in.

I reread the NT verses that calls on us to rejoice and I discovered something. Mt 5:12 Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven! The prophets who lived before you were persecuted in these ways.

Ga 4:27* Scripture says: “Rejoice, women who cannot get pregnant, who cannot give birth to any children! Break into shouting, those who feel no pains of childbirth! Because the deserted woman will have more children than the woman who has a husband.”

1Th 3:9 We can never thank God enough for all the joy you give us as we rejoice in God’s presence.

Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
(Read NIV version)

It does not say Praise the Lord, For everything, it says praise the Lord, IN, everything.

A GRN friend of mine who's wife has alzheimer's, made up a book mark with all the attributes of God

In the depths of our dispair these are the things that we praise God for. These are the things that remain constant no matter how desperate things get. And you know what,

I'm still and not a happy, bouncy, Praise the Lord sort of person. I don't expect to ever be. But I've learn that Praise is a weapon. I learned that in the face of the worst adversity it is possible to praise the Lord.

This is praising the Lord in all things. Praising him for all the things he is to us, not all the things confronting us.

Yes it is true that all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. But we don't have to praise him for those things.We can praise him for the good that comes out of it.We can even praise him for the expected good that will come out of it.

But we are not expected to praise him for that problem or thing that is afflicting us.

These things may not go away in fact they may get worse. They did for me. But we praise him for all that He is, for all that he has done for us and for all that he will do for us.

In discovering this I discovered something else.I discovered that with this divine weapon, my heart was lifted, my coping mechanisms was reset and I was able to face another Day.

Praise the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.


What Your Story?

Richard & Heather Roper - Monday 10 October 2011

Story is the most powerful means of communication there is.

Before there were movies. 

Before there were books.

Before there even was writing, there was story.

If you are talking to someone about the Lord and they want to tell you just how smart they are by proving that what you are saying is not "Scientific" instead of trying to outwit them which will only alienate them, especially if you win, tell them your story. It's your story it can't be beat. 

I love to tell stories. Whenever I do a presentation for GRN I always start with a story. Stories are what make information interesting. Whenever you pastor tells a story at church what do you remember most his, main points or the story? I'm willing to bet that it is the story. 

In our huge collection of stories in other languages we have many recordings that don't tell bible stories but other stories the stories of  people and their faith in the Lord Jesus. Called "words of life" the stories come in many languages and they carry the same power as your own story.  When you share a story you share something of yourself.

I tell really bad jokes it's kind of a trademark. The ones I love to tell the most are in the form of a story. I never expect a laugh from my jokes only groans but when I do get a laugh, it is as much a suprise to me as it is to those who heard the story. But when people hear my story jokes they learn something about me and I about them by the way they respond.

Is it any wonder that people arond the world will always find the telling of a story of more interest and more powerful than any other form of communication.

You Can’t Pray That Way!

Richard & Heather Roper - Sunday 27 September 2009

Prayer is special and it has to be done the right way doesn’t it. Or does it! You can’t talk to God in any old fashion can you?

In my reading the other day, I was struck by the prayer of Hannah (1Sam. 1:9-20). The scriptures say that she did something that I believed you were not supposed to do when you prayed. She pleaded with God. I had always been taught that you couldn’t plead with God because that would indicate a lack of faith. Since Hannah’s prayer was answered it seems to me that this bit of advice is quite wrong.

I suddenly realised that there had been a lot of advice over the years that seemed to me to be quite wrong. For example, I have always been taught that you can’t get angry with God when you pray because if you do He will punish you. I read about Samson (Judges, 15:18-20) the other night, he got angry with God. In fact Samson down right through a tantrum and God, happily it appears, answers him and gives him what he wants.

I not real keen on the prospect of throwing a tantrum with God as it seems to me logical that if God is the father as a father I would be inclined to ignore a child throwing a tantrum but it would seem that God has no problem with someone getting angry when it is important.

Another one is you can’t bargain with God. Now this may not be a very wise thing to do as we can see in the case of Jephthah’s daughter (Judges, 11:28-40), however there are a number of examples where people have made vows to God and he has honoured them. Hannah again is a prime example of this and it worked for her (1Sam. 1:9-20). And what is a vow after all if it’s not just a form of bargain. You are offering God something and in return getting something. Clearly bargaining with God is not taboo.

Of course the best example of good prayer is the Lords prayer (Matt. 6:9-14) but I just wonder how many of us limit our prayer life because we are told, “You can’t pray that way”.

The long and the short of it is you can pray any way you want.

I remember studying the stages of death and dying for grief counselling and I found it interesting that two of the stages of grieving are, anger and bargaining. Elizbeth Kubla Ross talks about how people try to defend God to the grieving when in fact if we truly have a right view of God we realise that he is big enough to defend himself. In other words if someone needs to get angry with God who are we to stand in the way. Everybody needs to understand that Staying Angry with God only, is not healthy and inhibits growth through the grieving process but we also need to know that standing between God and the prays of those that need to pray is not only arrogant but at least just as dangerous.

So what am I saying? If you need to pray then do it! Set aside all those that would stand in your way. Nothing can stand between you and your relationship with God. He is big enough to look after Himself. What was it the old hymn says “Oh what needs we often forfeit: “Oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry ever thing to God in prayer”. God WILL Always answer. He may say no but he will give an answer.

Language is Funny

Richard & Heather Roper - Sunday 23 August 2009

Some people are very proud of their language.

The first time I was in France, my friend and I rocked up to the train station only to discover that the trains were all on strike. This resulted in me having to make a phone call to make sure that the people who were expecting us knew what was going on.

I only ever learn primary school French and had already discover its inadequacy on the bus when we arrived in Calais. I later realized that I did understand the words the bus driver was saying but his accent was so strong I was at a loss to understand them. I was forced to pullout some change and let the driver choose whatever he wanted from my hand.

My friend was no help, his best French was "Mercy Buckets Silver Plate". (Yes the Spelling is correct).

Anyway back at the train station I did not have enough change to make the phone call so I decided to approch the Kiosk at the station for some.

After my experience on the bus I decided that I was going to steer clear of French for a while and asked the man at the kiosk "Excuse me do you speak English"?

To which he replied, in clear English, "No I don't speak English but she does" pointing to his partner behind the counter.

Deciding that I was happy to play this game I approached the lady behind the counter and said "Excuse me do you speak English"?

To which she replied, in clear English, "No I don't speak English but he does" pointing to her partner behind the counter.

It was at this point that I realized that if I was going to get anywhere in France I was going to have to, at least try and speak the language. Much to the amusement of all the French people who were very happy to help me.

I enjoy my sport so much that I teach it.

One of my students is French and he was telling me about how his grandparents spoke a version of French that most French people today don’t understand.

He then went on to talk about how he knew of some people in Europe that were trying to promote a universal language.

“It’s pretty stupid really” he said “because it’s never going to replace the English language” - a pretty bold statement I thought coming from a Frenchman.

I explained how I thought that one day English could be replaced but only if some other language were to become the dominant trade language as English is today.

Greek of course was once that dominant trade language.

My teacher the Rev. Stevens taught me some Greek when I was in Bible college.

This man was incredibly tolerant of me and I will always love him for it. I was never very good but I really wanted to do it.

I remember being in Athens a year or so after I left Bible college and saying to my friend Eric that all the time I spent in Mr. Stevens class is paying off.

“I can actually read the street signs” I said.

He said “Do you understand them”.

I said “Not at all !

But I don’t have to know what they mean to find our way around, I only have to know what they say.”

I remember doing a presentation for GRN in a Greek Church. It was fun because it was the first time that I was being translated.

It was also the first time that I discovered that some jokes don't translate well and that ancient Greek is only sometimes the same as modern Greek.

However at the end of my presentation I wanted to make a good impression so I asked my translator what the Greek word was for Amen. Mr Stevens would have been most disappointed in me as Amen is a Greek word. Doh!

As a complete aside, in recent years I discover the perfect English translation for Amen is... Wait for it... "fairdinkum". Honestly.

Getting back to my explanation to my French student I said that as long as English is the language of trade it will remain the dominant language but like the language of his grandparents the dominant language would never change peoples heart language.

Of course there is always a trade language. Even in the remotest part of the world.

It will not always be as dominant as English. In fact in most of our cases it rarely is.

But there always is one and that provides opportunity to get to the heart language and it is the heart language that we in the Global Recordings Network want everyone to be able to hear the gospel message in.

There are of course some very good reasons for this.

When you hear something in your own accent for example you are immediately more attune to it.

For example, I like North Americans. I have some very good friends that are North Americans.

However, I don’t know about you but I can’t stand to hear a sermon preached by an Australian using a North American accent.

We all prefer to hear something in a voice that is close to our heart.

And in this we are no different to all the oral societies throughout the world.

But there is much more to it than that.

You have to make it attractive to the hearer.

Whether it is groups sitting around campfires or children sitting at the feet of their elders telling stories, it has been a powerful way to stir hearts and imaginations and pass on key information from one generation to another.

Our Lord Jesus Himself was the best communicator who ever lived.

He created a hunger for truth in the hearts of the people through many parables.

Today, story telling is still one of the most effective ways to reach seeking hearts.

The thing we often remember most about what someone said is not the “three main points”, but the illustrations!

Since its beginnings, as Gospel Recordings then as Language Recordings and now the Global Recordings Network, it has been our goal to follow Christ’s method and used Bible stories to communicate spiritual truths with many wonderful results.

In this particular instance the difference is not between written and oral communication but between two different styles of oral communication.

But the point is obvious.

The method or style of communication can have an enormous impact on the effectiveness of that communication.

To preserve God’s word, there is no substitute for translating and printing it, but when it comes to the communication of God’s word we need to broaden our thinking.

So why does GRN concentrate on voice rather than written language.

Because as important as the task of Bible translation is, if we think that the task of communicating God’s truth is only achieved by translating and distributing the Bible, and by teaching people to read it, then we are sadly mistaken.

This has some distinct advantages to you in your mission.

Have you a contact or a friend who you think might like to listen to a basic Gospel message in the comfort of their own homes at there own pace as many times as they like.

For that matter have you a contact or a friend for whom English is not their first language.

In such a case you wouldn’t have to use our materials the way we do.

If you considered any of our materials appropriate you could for example leave a tape or CD with them of a basic gospel message not only in their own heart language but even possibly in their own dialect.

“I have been found by those who did not seek me I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” says Rom. 10:20 and Is. 65:1.

Today the words of the prophet Isaiah as quoted in our motto from Romans continues to be fulfilled.

People who did not seek, are finding the Lord Jesus by hearing the gospel preached to them.

The disciples were called to be a witness first in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then the ends of the earth.

In this case you are being called to be a witness.

First at your place then on out to the end of the world.

You and I are the means by which others will hear and understand.

Lets adhere to the call.


Faith and Mission

Richard & Heather Roper - Sunday 28 December 2008

"A faith mission like GRN must by definition have a strong grasp of Faith.

Faith is central to anyone wanting to do missions or be a missionary. Not to mention it is pivotal to any Christian.

Yet I have and still do, as do many Christians, struggle with aspects of faith like "If Faith is a gift of God (Eph 2:8) then why was Jesus always going on about how the disciples lacked faith? (Mt 21:21, Mt 17:20, Mt 8:26) After all there was nothing they could do about it was there?

This is a question that has often intrigued me. The common answer is that faith is both a gift of God and something that is required of us.

But in my most desperate times I have to admit that this is not a very satisfactory answer. After all I am who I am, I cannot manufacture faith. I know this for a fact because when I was a much younger Christian I tried.

I believed God for various miracles or what I perceived as God's provision. I would spend a lot of time using all sorts of what can only be described as, positive thinking models in order to have enough faith for those things I was believing for.

Much of God's provision was provided but not on a consistent enough basis for me to be able to declare on any empirical level, that  "My faith" has played a significant roll.

I have long since realized that if you think that you can put faith, and worse still, God into a formula you are seriously mistaken. God is not that finite.

I always love the comment of the beaver in C.S. Lewis The tails of Narnia: "Aslan is not a tame Lion". We are just kidding ourselves every time we try to put God into our little box.

But even realizing this it doesn't help to answer the original question: "how do I have the faith to please the Father of all"?

One of the things that I have come to understand as a swimming instructor is that some faith is gained by experience.

No one really understands how significant trust is, until you've had something happen to you like a child hanging on to you for dear life as you try to teach them to float. And then after weeks of work, the expression of sheer exhilaration when they realize that you can be trusted and that they will float and not sink if they practice what you say. A bit like Peter walking to Jesus on the water really.

But experience as the teacher of faith is not the complete answer for me because it doesn't explain why the Lord was so critical of the disciples for their lack of faith. After all you can't be critical of someone for their lack of experience. No there has to be another answer.

As I was teaching my swimming students today two stories about Jesus came to mind. It must have had something to do with the faith that my students were putting in me.

The two instances were the story of the gentile widow (Mt 15:22ff) who pestered Jesus till He exclaims "Such faith" and gives her what she wants. And the story of the man who comes to Jesus and says "I believe help my unbelief" (Mk 9:20ff).

These people are presented to us as examples of note, to do with faith.

A Doubter and a Nag. How strange. Yet how profound.

So "why was Jesus always going on about how the disciples lacked faith?". Could it be that the answer comes down to something as simple as persistence against all odds and a request to God when we are found wanting?

Isn't that just as important to missions as well as to you and me as Christians?

Evangelism, Missionary Resource

Richard & Heather Roper - Sunday 14 December 2008

I went to a conference called Melbourne Conferences for Ethnic Evangelism. It was a one day event that was as the name implied, all about resourcing the Ethnic Christian Community of Melbourne (Australia).

I was there as a representative of Global Recordings Network of course.  However that was not why I got an invitation. I didn't know at the time but apparently the were few if any other organizations invited. Even the Christian book stores whom the the organizers want to promote the event didn't get a look in.

I mention this not because I want to say how good we are at GRN but to praise the organizers for recognizing something that I think few others of the mission sending churches seem yet to be convinced of.  We have over 6000 different languages ready and available for use as an Evangelism and Missionary Resource. Most are available FREE to download in Mp3 format.

This to me and clearly to the people at the conference is an almost unbelievable Evangelism and Missionary Resource . We have for the past 50 years been aiming to be Telling the story of Jesus in every Language and practically every missionary that I talk to has heard of our material. Yet to the sending first world churches we remain relatively unknown.

Nothing seemed to be stopping the Christian Ethnic Community of Melbourne however. MCEE was proof of that. These people were on fire and immediately saw the potential of the good news in Audio format in practically any language.

Every Christian is called to mission and evangelism, but being called and being able to comply are two different things. Without the Evangelism and Missionary Resource the job can seem impossible. Yet here they are. So what's stopping you. Why not tap into this resource today.

Friendship Evengelism

Richard & Heather Roper - Thursday 20 November 2008

No matter how good the program is (Alpha, Master Life, Coffee shops, Drop-in centres, Clubs, tracts, CD's, MP3's Cassettes), it is most effective with the personal invitation or contact.

One of the most effective methods that I have ever come across for growing the church is Operation Andrew,
from the Billy Graham crusades. This is a program where you are asked to write down 10 people that you will undertake to pray for and over time, if the appropriate opportunity arises, you use the time to invite them to some sort of Christian event (Church, A special speaker, Special event). Or you may even be able to share you Christian journey with them.

Some studies have said that up to 95% of people who come to Christ, come because someone took the time to invite them. In other words most people came to church because someone made friends with them.

I remember reading a book on evangelism once that took great trouble to try to convince the reader that the original church must have grown through door knocks, and letter box drops and advertising campaigns.

To be fair to the book the author did mention that friendship evangelism is an important part of any evangelistic campaigns. But the concept of the early church being involved in such things as door knocks, and letter box drops and advertising campaigns is patently absurd.

Apart from the low level of literacy in those time can you imagine how long it would have taken to prepare a letter box drop using scribes? And evangelistic door knocking would have had so many inherent risks in those days in view of the death penalty being so liberally applied for many kinds of what was considered heresy, no body would be that stupid.

Besides there is no need to try and force the scripture. Acts 2:43 ff makes it reasonably plain that most of the work was done through relationship building. In fact the gospel is largely relational. Even Jesus himself started with disciples that He had personally invited. (Luke 5:27)

Of course there is plenty of street corner preaching, but that was largely used to establish a church and after that it was all about building through relationships. Even the preaching was often relationship building. Consider that in Paul's preaching there was quite some time spent convincing his audience before there was any breakthrough (Acts 13:42-44).

Even our own recordings are most effective when there is some sort of personal contact and follow up and invitation. With out some sort of relationship, evangelism is much less effective. There are many stories of people being able to give people copies of Good News CD's and booklets just because they have established a relationship.

Friendship evangelism is, has and always will be the most important means of getting the word of God to those who are willing to hear. So why is it then, that so many Christians have so few non-Christian contacts?

I did a presentation the other day

Richard & Heather Roper - Friday 17 October 2008

I did a presentation the other day and I was very pleased yet perplexed with one of the responses I got from one of the listeners.

I was explaining to everyone, the importance of stories in communicating the gospel in story.

Stories for those of you that have not thought about it, are the preferred method of communicating information, for many if not all societies.

Not just that but many groups in our world do not consider information to be important or worthwhile knowing, unless it is in a story. Some even require the stories to be in musical form in order for them to give them any value at all.

Stories communicate to those who can't or choose not to read. Which by the way is, depending on the statistics that you read, any were between 47% and 2/3rds of the world.

A story will be remembered more readily than any other form of communication. I always mention to those I am presenting that I am willing to bet that the only thing that they will remember from my presentation is my stories. They always promise faithfully to remember more but I am skeptical.

Stories are the easiest way to get a point across.

Jesus was the great story teller.

When the the Rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" was around and was copping so much controversy from most of the Christian world I was confused, because I thought the character of Judas raised a very important question.

Why Did Jesus come in 4BC an not to day when we have all our mass communication?

I think part of the answer is because it was a time when stories and literature could co-exist and there respective importance's maintained. That's why we call it the Story if Jesus. Not be cause it's fiction but because its truth. The truth communicated in the most important format... a story. It's the ultimate True Story.

Stories are some of the quickest to translate and often because of the familiarity of the form it is often the easiest to get a recording of. After all that's what Global recording is all about. Recording the stories of the Bible and most importantly of Jesus. Thus we can get a recoding out in a much quicker time than any written form, allowing the gospel to be told whilst the important written form is still coming.

Anyway having related all this, one incredibly astute lady said "why aren't all missions using this".

I was of course most please because I had won an advocate but also perplexed because I was not able to answer her question to my satisfaction. Whilst many Christian missions are using our material, Why aren't they all?

What I did to reach the Muslims at our Church

Richard & Heather Roper - Thursday 08 May 2008

Our church in Newport, Victoria -near Williamstown in the western suburbs of Melbourne - is quite literally next door to a mosque. For some time they used to use our hall for various functions, parties, celebrations etc.

This I thought was a tremendous opportunity so I decided to place a “please take one” display station in the hall full of our good news pocket books(link) and some of our Look Listen & Live books, together with the appropriate tape in Arabic and alternately in English. I did have to replenish this supply from time to time so I do know that some of them were taken.

In order to make sure that I used the most appropriate Arabic. I first took a copy of several different Arabic dialects to one of the Arabic shop owners that I was friendly with. I asked which they thought that most of the people who would be using our hall would speak. They were very happy to help even though they where Muslim themselves. I learned A long time ago that if you don't ask you can never know how people are going to respond.

Of course I have no idea how well they were received and for that matter I don’t even know for sure that they were taken by the mosque community that used the hall. It could have been any number of other users of the halls. Still I set the station up with prayer and as long as it remained up I continued to pray for its effectiveness.

>I thought that I would pass this idea on to you and ask you if about any ideas you have had to use outreach materials.

A lady I spoke to the other day

Richard & Heather Roper - Sunday 20 April 2008

These days I always try to have my Global Recording card with me just in case I meet someone who may be interested in the mission. The nature of this mission is in my mind one of the most significant things in getting the message of deliverance to all those who need deliverance and I want to put these tools in the hands of every Christian who could possibly need them.

What blows my mind is that so few Christians know about us. We have all these languages available (over 5700) and the tools for people to hear them and so few people know of us. What opportunities are being missed because of this gap in knowledge?

Take a case in point. The other day I was meeting my wife at the Hillsong conference, a major Christian conference here in Australia. I started a conversation with a lady in the same waiting mode as myself.

In the course of the naturally developing conversation I was asked for my card as she thought GRN was one of the best ideas since the advent of mission and wanted to know more.

I think that there would many more Christians who would respond exactly the same way if they only knew about GRN.

If you are one of those who know or if you are just learning of us for the first time, I would like to make an impassioned plead that you contact us and get on our mailing list if you are not already.

I would then ask you to contact anybody you know that you believe could use our tools and then let us know of those you have contacted so that we can follow them up.

Hasn't The Whole World Been Churched?

Richard & Heather Roper - Friday 22 February 2008

This is actually a question that have I been asked at one of my deputation meetings for Global Recordings Network.

Those who have had contact with missions would naturally answer "of course not".

But since that question has been asked it would seem that there are at lest some in the Christian community that think missions is a wast of time. The work has been done and now there is nothing to do but wait for the return of Christ.

There is a sense to which this would almost be funny if it weren't such a dangerous thought? Can you imagine the consequences of such an idea, that there is no longer any need to do missions? Disregarding the financial loss to missions, the spiritual loss would be apocalyptic.

A church that has nothing to do except look to itself is dead!

And what's more the need for mission is still alive.

Mission trip after mission trip unearths story after story of people never having heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What a strange concept to think that even if the gospel were known of in every country and every climate that our work would be complete.

Who says Technology and Evangelism don't mix?

Richard & Heather Roper - Friday 26 October 2007

Some say that personal evangelism and technology are incompatible and that the only real way to reach a person for Christ is meeting them face to face. Well not so long ago I visited a place that put all that into a different perspective for me.

I've never agreed with the incompatibility idea. After all I probably wouldn't be working for GRN if I did. However I recall a visit to Hadrian's wall that caused me to ponder this issue once more.

What possible connection could evangelism have with Hadrian's wall? Bear with me a moment and I'll try to answer it.

For those who don't know, Hadrian's wall is the wall that was commissioned in the British isles by the emperor Hadrian to mark the limits of the Roman Empire. It lasted 200 years till the end of the empire itself when it was gradually dismantled or left to deteriorate. Significant portions of the structure remain today and some of the civilization that surrounded it has been reconstructed.

I must say that I am very taken with Hadrian's wall. It is a mammoth engineering feat. Pictures don't do it justice. When you see the location with the naked eyes it is just a little impressive to say the least.

There is a city called Wallsend (I'm sure you have figured out where the name came from), where the wall used to meet the sea and they have uncovered the fort that used to occupy the original location. By that fort they have reconstructed a Roman bath house. The technology that was used to construct the wall and the bathhouse is what gave me pause to ponder.

The roman empire was a civilization that just bristled with technology. They had flushing toilets, double glassed windows, underfloor heating systems not based on hot springs and that is just the bath house. The floor was made with a roman version of modern concrete and the walls were constructed with brick that is little different from he bricks we make today.

Thinking outside the wall and the bathhouse, the boats they used to sail to ancient Britain had sails that far surpassed the sails even of the tall ship of the 18th century. The war technology that allowed the conquering of so many places world wide was nothing short of brilliant and some say, had it not been for the advent of Hadrian's wall it would have allowed this empire to rule for much longer than it did.

The Romans built roads that allowed movement on a scale that had not been achieved before. They built amphitheaters that were acoustically marvelous. Aqueducts that not only allowed for the transport of clean water over long distances but were also used to power industry. All these things and more allowed for the Romans to create and empire that had not been seen before.

It was this empire and this very technology that was responsible for the spread of the Gospel way beyond a small country call Israel.

So technology and the spread of the Gospel have been integrally linked from the very start of Jesus message.

You may say, as did the character of Judas in the stage musical Jesus Christ superstar, "why didn't Jesus come in this day of mass communication"?

My answer is that the Roman empire was the highest technology society that ever existed that still allowed for the public execution whereby someone could be sacrifice for the truth.

Long after the Roman empire had disappeared, the telling of the story of Jesus had been so well established that even without all that technology it was unstoppable. And that is what GRN is all about isn't it? Telling the story of Jesus.

So evangelism and technology are far from incompatible. In fact history would suggest that God actually encourages it.

How multicultural our churches are becoming

Richard & Heather Roper - Friday 27 July 2007

One of our staff and one of our supporters were talking to the other day commenting on how multicultural our churches are becoming these days and how important it is to have facilities to be able to communicate and educate those that come to the services.

Unless we speak every language of those that come to our churches we are probably missing opportunities to minister. Sure most of those that come to our churches speak at least some of the main language of the church but when you consider just how much we all prefer to hear our own heart language wouldn’t it be better to have material available in that heart language.

More than this wouldn’t it be great if we could provide our constituents with tools to reach their friend and relatives with the same message of hope that they have.

There are so many opportunities to reach out for the Lord. Take for instance this example:

Ghana Gospel Ministry - by brother Robert

About three years ago I learned of a boy in Ghana that needed a Bible. I sent one to him. Weeks later his friends wrote to me. They did not ask for anything. They just wanted to be friends. I sent gospel recordings to them. Soon other students in their school wrote to me. Then it spread from school to school like wildfire. Over five thousand recordings have been sent out. I still get a hundred letters a month from Ghana.

(Find out what the children have to say when they received the Gospel CD’s Ed.)

It is simple to have a gospel ministry - right from your own home. It does take some work and prayer. For less than a dollar, a gospel CD can be sent anywhere on earth. CDs are easy to copy. Start getting addresses today. Punch the names of foreign villages (or language Ed.) on your internet search. Soon you will have lots of souls to reach. God blesses your gospel ministry when he knows that you really care.

Millions can’t read in Australia!

Richard & Heather Roper - Friday 20 July 2007

There are apparently about 1,000,000 people in Australia that can’t or have difficulty in reading according to the TV. In fact it is such a concern that the government is setting about a campaign to encourage people to learn to read by getting then to call 1300 655 506 with a catchy jingle to help people remember he number.

If we were turning this number into a percentage I imagine that there is an equivalent percentage in other first world countries. It behooves us as Christians to consider these people too when we set about preaching the Gospel in our own country.

At GRN we concentrate our work overseas. Because there are so many people groups that either don't read or choose not to or don't think something is important if it is not communicated by story or musically.

Our vision and mission statement however is:

Our Vision: That people might hear and understand God's word in their heart language - especially those who are oral communicators and those who do not have Scriptures in a form they can access.

Our Mission: In partnership with the church, to effectively communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ by means of culturally appropriate audio and audio-visual materials in every language.

So doesn't that include those who can't read in this country? Not just those who can't read English?

In my own church one of our members can’t read very well and has decided that it is too much to try to learn now. Whilst it is true that there is a significant amount of Christian material available to non readers in this country, GRN material is the material that I know. So I’ve decided that I am going to give him some of our Look Listen and Live discipleship information.

I’ll let you know what he thinks.

Confronting Peru - Aventura Misionera Peru

Richard & Heather Roper - Monday 09 July 2007

What would you do if you saw first hand, the exploitation of local communities by the logging and oil companies?

Exploitation will of course contribute to a sense of loss of personal identity, a loss of pride as well as a suspicion of strangers.

With these pictures in their minds the hearts of the Aventura Misionera Peru team were even more galvanized into making sure that the message that was freely given in order that it should be freely received, the message of salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ, can be heard by all.

With the help of local churches and the permission of the village chef's, off our team went to try get God's word of Hope into those who most yearn for it. But as Alex says on this video "what good is a Bible to people who cannot or choose not to read".

This video is a very short summary of some the adventures and challenges that one of our short term mission teams experienced. A perfect opportunity for anybody wanting to know what what mission is all about. In a few week you will learn more about real mission work than any text can tell you.

The good news of Jesus Christ was meant to be heard.

Don't watch this video unless you plan on being challenged!

Aventura Misionera Peru