Last month I had the opportunity to attend the National Religious Broadcasters Convention (NRB) in Nashville. While there I met numerous international broadcasters who desire to air our programs in Spanish, Romanian, Arabic, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and other languages.
How did they know about our program? Four years ago God opened the door for us to begin broadcasting in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and South America. We began in 152 countries and have watched this outreach grow to 206 countries. Many have seen our program or heard about it. This led me to begin thinking, “How can we bring our programs to people in these countries in their own language?”
Later during the NRB Convention I was introduced to Steve Steele, a man who has invented a revolutionary new translation technology and founded a company called Sovee. Steve’s new technology and software has the ability to translate our entire website—including more than 2,700 articles—into more than 50 languages. This would allow us to communicate directly with over 88% of the people in the world. Plus, it could be accomplished within 90 days!
He also has technology that would allow us to translate 50 of our television programs—a full year of programming—into the top 10 languages of the world. This would allow us to speak directly to 77% of the earth’s population on TV, cell phones, tablets, and computers.
This technological breakthrough in language could truly enable us to help fulfill the Great Commission in our generation. However, we need your help to take the Gospel to the unreached people of our world.
PARTNERING TOGETHER TO MAKE DISCIPLES
What would it cost to translate our entire website into 50 languages and make all of this information available to more than three-fourths of the people on the planet? The translation of our website into 50 languages would cost $100,000. To translate our television programs in the world’s top 10 languages, allowing us to reach 77% of the world’s population, would cost $500,000.
In March, I shared with you about our need to raise $600,000 to maintain and remain current on all of our stations and networks. Every year we sign a contract with each station and network. We then pay each month, just like when you buy and sign the mortgage for a house and make a payment each month.
We receive a bill from our stations every 30 days. If we don’t pay it on time, stations will remove our program and replace it with another one—and we will be off that station forever. There is no free airtime on any station.
I am writing this letter to you in the last days of March and do not know the final results of our efforts to raise the $600,000 needed to pay our current bills. I will update you in my next letter. I am truly humbled at your generosity and the gifts so many have given.
Our first priority is to raise $600,000 to keep us current and on all of our stations. Then second, I believe God is opening the door for us to translate our website into 50 languages and our television program into the top 10 languages of the world. My heart goes out to people in these 206 nations, including many who watch our programs and are only able to understand a small amount of English.
Do you believe God is calling you to be part of helping us reach these people? If you made it possible for us to communicate to 77% of the people in the world, do you think God would be pleased? I want to encourage you to prayerfully consider how the Lord would have you join in making the Gospel and biblical truth available to people who lack these important resources.
THIS MONTH ON THE JOHN ANKERBERG SHOW
This month on television we are going to air a new series, “Trapped Behind the Veil of Islam.” There are more than 700 million Muslim women in the world and many live under strict Sharia Law. Where Sharia rules the land, Muhammad taught:
- Women should lower their gaze and dress modestly with veils (Sura 24:31).
- Husbands can beat their wives (Sura 4:34).
- Women are to be lashed for adultery (Sura 24:2); according to the traditions in the Hadith, adulterous women are to be sentenced to death (Bukhari 83:37).
- A woman cannot leave Islam according to Bukhari’s Hadith: “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him,” including women (Bukhari 9:57).
Further, Muhammad taught that women were possessions (Sura 3:14), were considered a husband’s sex object (Sura 2:223), and that a husband could divorce his wife for any reason, including not fulfilling his sexual needs (Sura 66:5).
These views greatly contrast with the information regarding women presented in the Bible. Scripture teaches women are created equal with men in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Jesus modeled great care and compassion toward women in the Gospels. Women were even the first to testify of His resurrection.
The apostle Paul further affirmed the equality of men and women when he wrote, “There is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Christian men are taught to treat “older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2) and to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25).
To share this important information, I’ve invited two men who are uniquely qualified to speak about these topics. Drs. Emir and Ergun Caner are both former Sunni Muslims who grew up in Columbus, Ohio where their father built mosques. When they became Christians as teenagers, their own father disowned them.
Since then, they have obtained doctoral degrees in theology and history and now teach at Christian colleges. Dr. Emir Caner serves as President of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a PhD in history from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Dr. Ergun Caner serves as Vice President and Provost at Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Texas. He holds two Master’s degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Theology from the University of South Africa.
In these programs, my hope is to encourage Christians to stand up for the rights of oppressed women in Muslim cultures. Further, since Muslim women aren’t traditionally permitted to have direct conversations with men, only Christian women can evangelize Muslim women. Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-19), including those in Islam.
OUR OFFER THIS MONTH
This month, we are making this series available along with a second series featuring these two guests entitled “Why Sharia Law Threatens Freedom and Human Rights.” This three-program series explains the rapid growth of Sharia Law across the world and why it should be of concern to all Americans.
Further, we have written corresponding study guides with each series, complete with the information you can use in your personal study, small group, or class. In addition, Dr. Emir Caner and I have written three, easy-to-understand, fully documented books, including The Truth about Islam and Jesus, The Truth about Islam and Women, and The Truth about Islam and Jihad. You may order these unique resources individually or together in a special package.
This entire package, including two DVD series (in both standard and Blu-ray DVD), two companion study guides, and the three Truth about Islam books are available upon request with your gift of $99. Please see the enclosed insert for additional details or to order individual items.
THE ANKERBERG WORLDVIEW COLLECTION
In March we made available the Ankerberg Worldview Collection. If you were unable to obtain this collection during that time, it is still available. You may choose any 1 series with your gift of $35, any 3 series for $100, or the entire collection for $500.
And if you will help us by giving a gift of $1,000 or more this month, you can still receive the sculpture of the “Soaring Eagle” with Isaiah 40:31, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles.” Please see the enclosed card for details.
All of our programs and resources are designed to win people to Jesus and strengthen Christians. One of our operators just talked with a man who received Christ as his Savior after watching our program last weekend on the resurrection and was bubbling over with joy. That’s what it is all about! My prayer is that God will use us to bring more folks to Christ here and overseas, while also encouraging you in your walk with the Lord.
Together, it really is possible to help fulfill the Great Commission in our own generation. How many people do you want to reach for Jesus? Consider joining with us as we take the one message that matters most to reach people for eternity.
For the sake of the Gospel,
Dr. John Ankerberg