“THAT NIGHT PAUL HAD A VISION. IN HIS DREAM HE SAW A MAN OVER IN MACEDONIA, GREECE, PLEADING WITH HIM, ‘COME OVER HERE AND HELP US.’” Acts 16:9 TLB
A few years ago I, too, received a call from a Macedonian brother to come over and help them. So we went — we planted a TV station and small network in Greece, and for several years, preached the Gospel there. But just like the great apostle Paul, we, too, were driven out of Macedonia and Greece! Paul’s story is thrilling as well as tragic — read the whole account in Acts chapter 16. The similarities between TBN’s story and the apostle Paul’s are quite amazing!
So guess who ran us both OUT OF TOWN? No, it was not the civil or political leaders — IT WAS THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS! As I said, read the whole story; it is thrilling!
But, in a nutshell, as we say, Paul and Silas were preaching in Greece and as they moved through the area, a demon possessed girl followed them around crying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). Finally, after several days, Paul commanded the demon to leave her, and she was delivered! So her RELIGIOUS MASTERS were angry—they made large money with her—and they dragged Paul and Silas before the magistrates saying:
“THESE MEN, BEING JEWS, DO EXCEEDINGLY TROUBLE OUR CITY, AND TEACH CUSTOMS, WHICH ARE NOT LAWFUL FOR US TO RECEIVE, NEITHER TO OBSERVE, BEING ROMANS.” Acts 16:20, 21
The story gets serious and ugly about here as the people are aroused to riot:
“AND THE MULTITUDE ROSE UP TOGETHER AGAINST THEM: AND THE MAGISTRATES RENT OFF THEIR CLOTHES, AND COMMANDED TO BEAT THEM.”
Thank God, we were not beaten as Paul and Silas were, but our TV station licenses were revoked at the request of the “RELIGIOUS LEADERS,” and we, too, were driven out of the country for preaching the pure Gospel, just like Paul and Silas.
We also thank God that we were not thrown into prison as were Paul and Silas, but both their and our stories have a blessed ending. You know the story: As they sang and praised the Lord, at midnight a mighty earthquake shook the prison to its foundation, and all the doors were burst open and the chains fell off of all the prisoners! The jailer was about to fall on his sword and kill himself thinking all the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out —
“DO THYSELF NO HARM: FOR WE ARE ALL HERE”! Acts 16:28
Ah, what Satan meant for harm, God turned for good as the jailer came “trembling” to Paul and asked: “SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?” Acts 16:30
So, how did God turn the tables on the “RELIGIOUS LEADERS” for TBN? Praise God Most High — SATELLITE, direct-to-the-homes on HOT BIRD 6, now covers Greece and all of Europe with TBN 24/7! Today we get many letters and emails from Greece and we now must begin some Greek subtitles and even some Greek language translated programs to reach even more souls in Greece!
All of this now brings me to the purpose of my letter to you.
Just since our Spring Praise-a-Thon® last April, we have received many “Macedonian Calls” from many parts of the world. Tanzania in Africa can expand to more cities in this Moslem controlled nation — IF WE WILL MOVE NOW! The capital city, Dar Es Salaam, has been on the air for some time, but now our partners there say that we can add several more major cities with TV transmitters for about $200,000 each.
Yes — another great Macedonian Call.
Last June, we met with our Iranian brother, Reza Safa. We dedicated another whole TV network for Iran and the Farsi language areas of the Middle East. Much more equipment was needed to translate programs into Farsi. Praise God — Benny Hinn and all of us are beginning to speak FARSI! But, as of this writing, we are only on the air a few hours a week — we must move quickly to produce programs for the TBN Nejat network 24/7! Thank you, Jesus!
Ghana, West Africa is calling. For five years our partners there have been broadcasting TBN; but now they, too, must convert to the new digital format. They need a new transmitter — only $38,000 for the equipment — by faith I said, “Buy it”!
Tony Flores, our Asia manager, told us we have lost our satellite uplink transmitter, so we have to build our own — $850,000! We have no choice, unless we are prepared to lose India, Philippines, Indonesia, China, etc! NO, IN JESUS’ NAME!
Australia wants to add “Smile of a Child” by satellite. The cost: $12,000 a month. The satellite gave us one year free — now they want to be paid — Jan, HELP!
Uganda lost the big transmitter tube — $39,000 to fix it!
The Solomon Islands is on the air, but many other islands of the sea are calling — “Come over and help us, too.”
Dear, dear Partners, how shall we answer this and many other MACEDONIAN CALLS? The burden grows heavy and our flesh would grow weary — UNTIL I receive letters and emails like these:
“I am Egyptian Muslim, just graduated from college with BA in arts and history — I started to watch your ‘HEALING CHANNEL’ in Arabic.
Due to my education, I learned that ones’ belief is not based on what we inherit from family, but rather on researched historical facts. After a long and thorough research, I was shocked and stunned to learn that the Christian faith is based on solid historical facts, and evidence. Finding out this evidence I felt like a man hit by lightening!”
This young man’s letter is quite long, but it left me rejoicing because by his own research he found that Jesus Christ is the way! He concludes with this:
“I discovered that Christians are not infidels and through accepting Jesus Christ we can become children of the Almighty — yes, children and not mere slaves.
I can now boldly say I am embarrassed by the Prophet Mohammed who performed no miracles and said of himself — ‘I am but a sinful man. If God is pleased with me, He will forgive my sins.’ So how can I believe in him? He might be a false prophet for all I know! The words of the Bible touched the strings of my heart, and I know the truth — I am free! Thank God for His grace that changed my life — His Spirit that dwells in me — I am so grateful to God — how He saved me, and freely gave me eternal life — He is my Lord and Savior!”
WOW! I can hardly contain myself as I read letters like this! Does it touch your heart and thrill you like me? Oh, I know it does — so please let Jan and me hear from you. Macedonian Calls produce awesome testimonies like this! Please help us answer the many calls that are coming in from around the world.
The calls and cries remind me of a precious old hymn —
Over and over, yes, deeper and deeper
My heart is pierced through
with earth’s sorrowing cry.
But the tears of the sower
and the song of the reaper
Shall mingle together in joy, by and by
Jan and I love you — need you — 33 years strong!
P.S. Please look for our TBN mini-Praise-a-Thon® later this month. You may write, phone, or log onto www.tbn.org to make your pledge or love gift for Macedonian Calls, even this whole month of August.