God wrought a great advancement of the gospel with the Online Bible Seminar reaching over 1 billion people this past May. As according to the words of Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come", at the time the whole world is going through great difficulty because of the Corona pandemic, the gospel of righteousness without cost was preached throughout the entire world through communication networks.
Villages deep within the mountains without connection to the internet in Orissa, India
The brothers and sisters of a small village in Orissa could not go to church because of the Corona virus and also had no internet. They were in lamentation because they thought they would not be able to attend the online Summer Camp. One day, one brother traveled 15 kilometers (around 10 miles) away and went up a high mountain to find wood to build a shed. He realized that he could make phone calls and even video chat his son there. He was so surprised and amazed. He was so overwhelmed with joy that the brothers and sisters would be able to tune in to the Summer Camp sermons all together.
Walking to the place in the high mountains where there is a phone signal
In the early morning, all the brother and sisters packed food, took their children by the hand, and started the 15 kilometer (10 mile) walk. They arrived at the place where there was a signal and shaped the ground in a stair-like fashion. They cut away a large tree, put the cellphone on top of a wooden stick, and transformed the site into a summer retreat venue. As soon as Pastor Park’s greetings was heard from the phone, a “wow” escaped their lips and they started to applaud. They turned their knees into tables for their Bibles and many were jotting everything they heard in their notebooks.
One small smartphone starts the summer camp
People listening to the word with such sincerity
The Summer Camp was attended in multiple places through the use of smartphones. Although what they heard came from a small set of speakers, the word of God about how sinners become righteous and despair changing into happiness still had amazing power.
Meals are always better together
Although the meals, which they packed early in the morning, of the brothers and sisters who live an impoverished and monotonous rural life was rice without any side dishes, they had the greatest meal when they shared their testimonies of how the word of God changed their hearts. They would run for shelter when it rained. After the rain stopped, they would gather again and continue the attending the Summer Camp. They went down the mountain before it got dark and then would head back up the mountain the next early morning.
Multiple summer camps started with cell phones throughout the mountains
Their hearts were filled with thankfulness and praise toward God during the four days of the Summer Camp. The sentence from God was proclaimed through Romans chapter 3 verses 23-24, and sinners were judged "righteous”. When the New Covenant from Leviticus chapter 33 was reflected upon their hearts, all of their own works, the law, sin, and suffering were nowhere to be found.
People listening to the word under the shade
“We couldn’t go to church because of COVID-19 so we could not hear the Word of God. I was caught in my thoughts thinking I have no choice because there is no internet in our village. But God gave us the wisdom to go up to the mountaintop, and we were able to find a good signal there. In order to listen to the Online Summer Camp, we went to the mountaintop and listened to the Word of God with around 50 people. Pastor Ock Soo Park preached about the New Covenant through Jeremiah chapter 31 verses 31-34, John chapter 11, and Hebrews chapter 10. According to the old covenant, the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8 was supposed to be killed, but she was able to receive salvation through the new covenant given by Jesus. We all received salvation through the new covenant! We were truly happy as we listened to the sermons from the Online Summer Camp and we received hope in our hearts.” - Kunja Bana Digar
Where there were no signal, there were nearly 300 people listening to the word through their free phone call service,
“The internet doesn’t work in my village. I came up to the top of the mountain 15 kilometers away to listen to the Word of God. We listened to Pastor Park’s sermon for four days on the mountain. The Words on the new covenant in Jeremiah chapter 31 from verse 31-34 finally came to my heart this time. No matter how difficult it was to climb the mountain, I could hear God’s words with joy. Even though we are in desperate conditions and have difficulties, it cannot be compared to the happiness we received from the word of God.” - Anaburunda Pradan
At a time when it seems that the border, the sky, and even the earth has been closed down, God has opened a door through the internet. The Summer Camp started through smartphones in villages where buses don’t even reach because snakes, leopards, and bears often appear. Some villages are in danger because of rebel forces. However, just as electricity flows through wires, God’s word changes sinners into righteous people and despair into hope as it is preached through the internet. Even Coronavirus cannot stop the gospel! We can’t wait to hear what other good news is going to come through the internet broadcasting of the gospel.