God at Work Around the World

Christ came to rescue and redeem people from every tribe and every tongue. This week, as we focus on some of the world’s most influential languages, we visit with missionaries in China, Russia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Israel. These stories are poignant reminders to be praying for believers and the spread of the gospel all over the world.

New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg talks about what he sees taking place among the Jewish people in Israel. Joel talks about his family's life-altering decision to move to Israel. View Show Notes →
Dr. Terence Ascott talks about the amazing ways God has opened doors to present the gospel in the Middle East. Terence reports that more and more people are leaving Islam, and are turning to Christianity. View Show Notes →
Family is an international language. Pastor Fernando Lay talks about the problems facing believers in Latin America. Fernando tells how believers in Quito celebrate Christmas. View Show Notes →
Jed Renfroe, a missionary in China, talks about the rapid spread of Christianity there. Jed explains how Christmas is celebrated by unbelievers and believers alike. View Show Notes →
Andy Leininger, a career missionary currently working in Moscow alongside his wife, talks to Dennis and Barbara Rainey about what he sees God doing among the Russian people. View Show Notes →

Meet Series Guests

Barbara Rainey

After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, Barbara joined the staff of Cru® in 1971. With her husband Dennis, whom she married in 1972, the Rainey’s cofounded FamilyLife®, a ministry committed to helping marriages and families survive and thrive in our generation. Barbara is a frequent speaker and guest on FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s award-winning nationally-syndicated daily radio broadcast. She is the author or coauthor of more than 35 books, including Moments Together for Couples and Moments With You marriage devotionals; Growing Together, a series of books for families; A Symphony in the Dark; and her most recent, Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife. After faithfully served alongside Dennis, both in ministry and at home, Barbara launched a new endeavor called Ever Thine Home®. This line of home décor with interactive content helps families express faith at home in a way that is both biblical and beautiful. Her heart for Ever Thine Home is based on the familiar Old Testament instruction: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, ESV) Dennis and Barbara live near Little Rock, Arkansas and continue to serve with Cru, FamilyLife’s parent organization. They have six children and an impressive number of grandchildren.

Joel Rosenberg

Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels—The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll, Dead Heat, The Twelfth Imam, The Tehran Initiative, Damascus Countdown, The Auschwitz Escape, and The Third Target—and five nonfiction books: Epicenter, Inside the Revolution, Implosion, Israel at War, and The Invested Life, with more than 3 million copies sold. The Ezekiel Option received the Christian Book Award as the "Best Novel of 2006" from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Joel is the producer of two documentary films based on his nonfiction books. He is also the founder of The Joshua Fund, a nonprofit educational and charitable organization to mobilize Christians to "bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus" with food, clothing, medical supplies, and other humanitarian relief.
As a communications advisor, Joel has worked with a number of U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, Natan Sharansky, and Benjamin Netanyahu. As an author, he has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV programs, including ABC's Nightline, CNN Headline News, FOX News Channel, The History Channel, MSNBC, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, and The Glenn Beck Show. He has been profiled by the New York Times, the Washington Times, the Jerusalem Post, and World magazine. He has addressed audiences all over the world, including those in Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, and the Philippines. He has also spoken at the White House, the Pentagon, and to members of Congress.
In 2008, Joel designed and hosted the first Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem. The event drew two thousand Christians who wanted to "learn, pray, give, and go" to the Lord's work in Israel and the Middle East. Subsequent Epicenter Conferences have been held in San Diego (2009); Manila, Philippines (2010); Philadelphia (2010); Jerusalem (2011); Albuquerque, New Mexico; (2012) and Jerusalem again in 2013. The Epicenter Conferences have allowed thousands of people from more than ninety countries to listen to speakers such as Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon; pastors from the U.S., Israel, and Iran; Lt. General (ret.) Jerry Boykin; Kay Arthur; Janet Parshall; Tony Perkins; Anne Graham Lotz; and many others.
The son of a Jewish father and a Gentile mother, Joel is an evangelical Christian with a passion to make disciples of all nations and teach Bible prophecy. A graduate of Syracuse University with a BFA in filmmaking, he is married and lives with his family in Israel.

Terence Ascott

Terence “Terry” Ascott has lived in the Middle East and served as the leader for indigenous media ministries for more than 40 years. In 1973 Terry moved to Beirut, Lebanon and worked to launch an Arabic Christian publishing ministry. After the start of the Lebanese Civil War, Terry and his family evacuated to Egypt. In Egypt Terry launched an Arabic youth magazine called “Magalla”. This was the first Christian magazine to be successfully distributed on newsstands, in more than a dozen Arab counties. “Magalla” was published for over two decades and was, for many, their first exposure to the Christian faith.

While working on the magazine, Terry’s ministry became involved in other media projects including video production. In 1995 he, along with Middle Eastern Christian leaders and around twenty partner organizations working in the region, launched SAT-7: The first Arabic language Christian satellite television channel. The channel was a pioneer in many areas, breaking ground for other ministries to follow. In the years since its launch, SAT-7 has grown from a two-hour a week broadcast, to a network of five 24-hour channels: SAT-7 ARABIC (Arabic Christian programming for every age group), SAT-7 KIDS (the first and currently the only Arabic Christian channel for children), SAT-7 PLUS (The best Arabic programming from the other channels, broadcast to a different audience, over a different satellite), SAT-7 PARS (a 24 hour channel in Farsi/Persian, with some programming in Dari for Afghanistan) and SAT-7 TÜRK (Christian programming for 100 million Turkish-speakers in the region).

SAT-7 has more than 170 employees, mostly Middle Eastern nationals, who work in its offices and studios in Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus and the UK.

Terry holds a first class B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, with Honours, from Middlesex University, England. In December 2011, he was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Christian Ministries degree from Belhaven University “for extraordinary work and achievements in promoting Christianity throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

He and his wife Jacqueline live in Nicosia, Cyprus and have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Fernando Lay

Fernando is senior pastor of Iglesia Evangelica de Iñaquito in (Evangelical Church of Inaquito) Quito, Ecuador. His church has a weekly attendance of around 5,000 people in three locations, and their Vision's first line is: "To disciple families....".

Fernando has been serving the Lord full time for almost 50 years: 9 years in youth ministry with 'Youth For Christ'/Campus Life (in Peru, Colombia and Rochester, NY/USA); 13 years as youth Pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Lima, Peru; 13 years as youth Pastor at the Iñaquito church, and as Senior Pastor since 2000 at the same church in Quito, Ecuador.

Quito, Ecuador, the world’s highest capital city. It sits on the slopes of an active volcano at a dizzying elevation of 9,350 feet about sea level.

His family includes:
His wife, Teresa, coordinator for the women in our church.
His son, Samuel, a senior at Crown College (Christian college, Minneapolis)
His daughter, Sara, second year in college in Ecuador.

Andy Leininger

My wife, Liz and I have been with the IMB for the past 19 years working in Minsk, Belarus; Novosibirsk Russia and since December in Moscow Russia. I am third generation pastor married to a mk from Venezuela, so we have been gifted with an incredible heritage. I was born in El Paso, TX, grew up in Illinois, was a pastor in Missouri. We have three wonderful daughters who are in either college or graduate school and are spread out from Virginia to Missouri to Los Angeles. I focus my work on mentoring and discipling young believers in their walk with the Lord, personal evangelism and leading in ministry. We have planted churches in Minsk and Novosibirsk and are gearing up to work with church planters in Moscow. Our desire is to see Russians reaching Russians by finding God prepared people, sowing the gospel, discipling believers and bringing them into groups that will grow into reproducing churches. My wife and I love to bicycle, make things with our hands and see God transform lives.