On Wednesday, Nov. 15, there was a 5-alarm fire in St Louis, MO. This fire destroyed the warehouse that held all back issues in all languages of GOOD NEWS
We are planning to continue.
In fact, we are now printing Issue 45, "Abraham's Call, Your Call." If you would like us to be able to reprint back issues in English and other languages so that others can receive this vital resource, you can make that happen.
You are reading this in English, but GOOD NEWS is shipped to mission fields around the world, placing solid Biblical doctrine and studies into the hands of those who need it. We intend to resume doing just that, with God's help working through you.
If you haven't heard what happened to cause us interrupt all operations and why we are so eager to reprint what was lost in the fire, read this letter from our editor, Rev. Wallace Schulz:
November 15, 2017, will always be remembered by the staff, supporters, and worldwide users of GOOD NEWS magazine. On that day, a massive fire broke out in the warehouse where the entire inventory of GOOD NEWS has been stored for years. The entire inventory was destroyed. This inventory represented nearly a quarter century of work by writers, editors, translators, and illustrators. The total loss was between 1.5 and 2 million dollars.
What does this mean, in a practical sense? For many years, GOOD NEWS was shipped every day to subscribers in the United States, as well as—free of charge—to missionaries and mission fields all over the world. This loss means that, at this time, all distribution has been halted. Pastors and missionaries around the globe will no longer receive this tool for their mission work.
WE DARE NOT BE DETERRED FROM CARRYING OUT CHRIST’S COMMISSION
The Bible Book of Acts documents the life of the early Christians. They constantly faced incredible bloody persecution and even martyrdom. Were they deterred? Not for one moment. In the face of losing their own lives, with great boldness they said: “We cannot stop speaking about that we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Our response to this fire can be no less than that of the early Christians who faced persecution. We cannot and we will not stop publishing and making available GOOD NEWS magazine—to be used as a Scripture-based missionary and evangelism teaching tool!
WE MUST RE-START PRINTING AND SHIPPING, INTERNATIONALLY, GOOD NEWS MAGAZINE
To have your Scripture-based teaching tools completely destroyed is like living in a large city and having the central food distribution source destroyed. Life-saving food is no longer available. GOOD NEWS was never intended to replace God’s nourishing, living Word. The goal of GOOD NEWS has always been this: To assist people, worldwide, in finding and using God’s living and life-giving Word. At the same time, in many situations around the world, poverty still rules the lives of many. In those situations, few if any people have a Bible. Yet, in those thousands of situations, spiritually starving people find the living Word of God, which is the key component of every issue of GOOD NEWS—published in 20 languages and distributed in some 100 different countries.
TOGETHER WE CAN GET THE SPIRITUAL FOOD REDISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BACK INTO OPERATION
At one time, GOOD NEWS had a staff of 12 people. When the foundation that provided the primary and initial funding for GOOD NEWS was no longer able to assist financially, there was no choice. The staff was immediately cut back to my wife, Kathy, myself, and one part-time assistant. While operating in this way is not convenient, the task itself is still a joy! In spite of financial setbacks, and now a fire through which we have lost our entire inventory, we intend to soldier on for the cause of Christ! The single purpose of this letter is simple and straightforward. First, more than anything else, we need your daily prayers that God will not only re-establish this ministry to support missionaries worldwide, but also, in His grace in Christ, that our blessed heavenly Father would greatly increase the influence of this ministry, for His sake! Why do evil things happen? Oftentimes we do not know. But we do know this: By permitting difficult and painful events to come into our lives, our heavenly Father “prunes” us. Why? “He prunes [the vine] so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). Second, we are asking you to join us in getting the worldwide ministry up and going again by providing financial support to the extent that you are able. Kathy and I do not ask of others what we do not do ourselves.
Several years ago we found that we could no longer constantly haul large loads of inventory with our own automobile nor pay for a courier to bring large numbers of boxes to the office. We used our own money to purchase a used pickup. We put our money where our mouth is! We don’t expect GOOD NEWS contributors and supporters to push while we ride! We are all in this together. This is not our cause; it is the cause of Christ! When you send even a small contribution, you are not simply a financial supporter. You are then, immediately, a partner in the worldwide ministry of GOOD NEWS magazine—in 20 languages and in 100 countries! Although I’ve said this before, I will restate it, unashamedly: If you can find another ministry with such a low overhead—where every dollar you send in gets applied directly to the ministry—we would like to hear about it. We use your contribution for the purpose for which you sent you send it. This is our goal. GOOD NEWS operates under the oversight of the legally constituted and legally registered Board of the Concordia Mission Society. GOOD NEWS, as part of Concordia Mission Society, is legally registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Your contributions (via check, money order, or credit card) are fully tax deductible. When you send your gift, you will receive a receipt. The financial books of GOOD NEWS are audited every year by approved auditors. Any responsible person can see the finances of GOOD NEWS upon proper request. We are totally transparent.
THE REALITY OF THE IMMEDIATE NEED
To demonstrate the reality of our GOOD NEWS need at the moment, consider the following: The Rev. Dr. Walter Winterle served for a number of years as President of the Lutheran Church of Brazil. Dr. Winterle later served as a missionary to Kenya, South Africa, and more recently, Mozambique. Rev. Winterle recently visited GOOD NEWS. When I picked him up at the St. Louis airport to take him to his hotel, we came upon a dead animal, killed and driven over by a car. “That is amazing,” said Dr Winterle, “You would never see this in Mozambique. Every animal—rodent, snake, etc.—that is killed on the road in Mozambique is immediately eaten. The people are so poor they have very little food.”
Then, Dr. Winterle further explained: The Brazilian Lutheran Church is now making a special effort to train Mozambique men to serve as pastors to the people of Mozambique—to help them spiritually and physically. He then added: “I now work in Mozambique. I will tell you this: In addition to the Bible, the GOOD NEWS magazine is the most effective and most desired missionary teaching tool these poor pastors and people have. Please, get us these Scripture-based GOOD NEWS magazines for use in Mozambique as soon as you can.” We responded: “We will do this.” With the fire and loss of all GOOD NEWS inventory, our initial effort to supply pastors and people in Mozambique has been interrupted. We are, however, making immediate arrangements to reprint and ship ASAP. You can be a partner with GOOD NEWS in responding to the pleas of this veteran missionary, Rev. Dr. Walter Winterle. We at GOOD NEWS are already responding the best we can with the assets we have left. In Christ’s name, we can use your help. Please do what you can. We are not asking for ourselves, but on behalf of those now suffering. We are all “Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Dear Lord, by Your Spirit, prompt us to take what You have given us and share it with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Mozambique and other critical areas around the world. In Christ’s Name, with confidence, we pray: “If you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23). Amen! And amen!