Read these amazing stories of how God has used OneHope through the years to shape nations. Below we've excerpted a few life-changing stories here, and you can read more in Rob Hoskins’ new book, Hope Delivered, available online and in bookstores across the nation.
One hundred million people are set to be reached before the year 2020 in Russia. In India 129,093,199 have already been reached. Approaching one billion all across the globe. The OneHope numbers are almost shocking when it comes to how many children and youth we’re impacting with God’s Word all around the world. And we have a plan to achieve mission fulfillment—providing a relevant presentation of the gospel to every boy and girl on earth—by the year 2030. It’s extraordinary, and we give God praise for what He has done!
And yet if you ask most evangelical Christians in the United States what they know about OneHope’s mission to the next generation, the most common answer is a blank stare. Dr. Charles Osueke, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Nigeria, saw how, by God’s grace, OneHope was transforming young lives in his nation—and across Africa—and declared it a “silent revolution.” It’s a silent revolution of believers who know that the Great
Commission is doable and who want to be part of it. It’s made up of people like you and me who are in pursuit of touching one billion young lives with God’s love and His Word, and then the next
billion, and then every generation until Christ returns!
How did we get here? My dad received the vision, as you know. But he didn’t have millions of dollars to invest in it. And we don’t have any celebrity supporters or endorsements. Here’s what we had (as you’ll remember from chapter 5): God’s direction to obey, trust, and have faith—the same directions you have from God in your everyday life. Jesus gave those directions to me in a personal way at the moment I most needed to hear them, but my dad had already been acting on them all his life. The lesson of obey that Christ spoke into my heart was the lesson of “ just go!” that my dad had been teaching me for years. Remember the story of how he went to British Guyana with $5.68 in his pocket and a one-way ticket? He told that to me many times, always saying, “When God tells you to go, just go. When God speaks, just do what He says.” My dad always trusted God to provide, and he always went where God told him to go. After I began to learn this lesson, extraordinary things happened to me too.
I remember flying home from a long trip in Russia. I was on the seven-hour flight from Siberia to Moscow, perfectly exhausted and so ready to catch my flight home from Moscow to see my wife and daughter. (Natasha wasn’t born yet.) The Russian gentleman next to me on the flight spoke very good English. He was reading a newspaper, so I asked him what was in the news. This was before the fall of the USSR. Gorbachev was still in power, but things were really stirred up; there were riots, strikes, financial crisis, and a great move toward throwing off the chains of communism. These were exciting times!
My seatmate on the plane began to tell me that at that moment in the Siberian town of Kemerovo the coal miners were on strike. Up until very recently the idea of a strike was unheard of in Russia. Because of the importance of the coal industry in Kemerovo this strike was getting a lot of attention. In fact, there was speculation it might touch off what would become known as the “Second Russian Revolution” and play a part in bringing down the USSR. As we talked, I began to hear the Lord’s leading, and He was saying, “Kemerovo. Go to Kemerovo.” Nothing could have been lower on my wish list than to go to Kemerovo. It was back in Siberia, the complete opposite direction from where I wanted to go.
I told the Lord, “I want to see my wife and daughter. I’ve been gone too much as it is.” But the only reply I received was this: Kemerovo. When the plane landed in Moscow, a Russian pastor had come to meet me and help me get from the domestic airport to the international airport for my flight home. He was dumbfounded when I asked, “Can I get to Kemerovo from here tonight?” He said,
“Kemerovo is in Siberia. You just came from Siberia.”
I said, “I know it sounds crazy, but the Lord has told me to go to Kemerovo.”
We found out that there was only one flight to Kemerovo that night, and it was oversold. I was so happy! There was no way I, along with my interpreter, could get on an oversold flight. Just so God could see I was trying to be obedient, I put our names on the standby list, knowing that we would never be able to go—until at the last moment, one seat cleared. If I went, I would go alone, with no interpreter, to a Russian city I’d never been to, hours in the wrong direction from the one place I wanted to be. I went. I wasn’t happy about it, but I went.
About six o’clock the next morning I arrived in Kemerovo, a city of seven hundred thousand people, where I knew not a single soul; a city in chaos because of the labor strikes, where I could only communicate through hand gestures. If you know anything about the Russian language, you know there’s no such thing as knowing “enough Russian to get by.” I managed to get to a hotel, drop to my knees before God, and say, “I’m here with no idea what I’m doing
here. Now what?” After I prayed and interceded for the city of Kemerovo, I thought maybe that was all I had to do—pray. Maybe God had called me here just to pray for Kemerovo. But then God spoke to me again and told me to go to the university and find someone who speaks English. God led me to a student named Julie who wanted to practice her English. She took me to see the mayor of Kemerovo and helped me talk to him about Jesus and the Book of Hope. Three months later I came back to that city with a team of ministry volunteers and the Book of Hope for every student in the city. During that ministry event sixteen thousand boys and girls signed decision cards saying they wanted to follow Jesus. We were able to leave a great missionary couple in Kemerovo to begin a new church, and a wonderful work was born.
A few years later I met a young man from Kemerovo named Ilia. He said he wanted to thank me for bringing the Book of Hope, because the book led him to the Lord eight years previously when he received it in school.
He said, “I don’t know if you know what has been happening with the church in Kemerovo since then. A bunch of us at the university realized nobody had taken the Book of Hope to the city of Novokuznetsk, so we did a distribution there, and we helped a church plant, which has about eight hundred members now.”
Further, he told me, the believers at Novokuznetsk were worried about the Altai people in the mountains beyond them, because they had never heard of Jesus. So these new believers in Novokuznetsk
took the Book of Hope to the Altai people. According to the Joshua Project, they are listed among the most unreached people groups of the world. But that is going to have to change, because there are now thirty-six Christians among those Buddhist Altai! Yes, I have learned from my dad’s simple wisdom and the leading of the Savior that when God says to go, just go. Obey Him. Trust Him. This has been the way OneHope has grown and the way God has stretched my faith again and again. But remember, there was a second direction in the word the Lord gave to me in the midst of my blindness: trust.
We’ve had to confront this one many times when what God asked seemed impossible.
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