Looking back and forward at BSF

Looking back and forward at BSF

Looking back and forward at BSF

BY MICHELLE CLOUD

COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST

2019 marks both BSF’s 40th year headquartered in San Antonio and 60th year since incorporation. God is so faithful and good! January is a time to reflect on the past and look to the future and BSF Headquarters wants to celebrate a few highlights of the year past and preview the year to come.
Three highlights of 2018

 

New study launch: People of the Promised Land, Part One 

A new BSF study takes years to create.

  1. Theologians and Bible teachers collaborate by poring over the biblical text, commentaries and BSF founder A. Wetherell Johnson’s own notes.
  2. BSF Headquarters staff members pilot the study, followed by more careful editing with an eye for the use of global English that members around the world will understand.
  3. Next comes developing the children’s lessons, Daily Dives and other supplemental materials.
  4. Finally, everything must be translated into Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish before lessons can be printed on the BSF press. At the same time, digital versions of the material (audio, e-reader, PDF) are built.

Headquarters staff is currently studying PPL1 alongside you, and we pray this Old Testament history has been as enriching and transformative for you as it has been for us!

Mybsf.org holds all your BSF materials in one convenient location

Only those BSF members who attempted to navigate the old website will fully appreciate the simple beauty and intuitive user experience of the new mybsf.org. It took nine months to design the site, which houses more than 2,000 pieces of BSF material. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Two thousand documents! That includes notes and questions in multiple languages and formats (hello, audio!), lectures, children’s songs, Home Training Lessons, Daily Dives and much more. Take a minute today to explore all that mybsf.org has to offer. It’s a phenomenal (and easy) resource! 

BSF Online Groups 

Do you have a cousin in Supilinn, Estonia, who is thousands of miles from the nearest BSF class but still hungry for God’s Word? Distance is no longer a barrier to fully engage with a group of BSFers in verse-by-verse study, thanks to BSF Online groups. At the close of 2018, 7,600 BSF members studied in online groups throughout more than 110 countries! We have heard amazing stories of life transformation from people who could never attend BSF before. They include those homebound because of severe illness, physically isolated by working on an offshore oil rig, serving as missionaries in remote locations or even those needing a group that speaks their native language. It’s amazing how God uses new technology for His glory! As we continue to develop this resource and must limit capacity in this phase, please pray the Lord provides the proper infrastructure so we can open the door wide to handle the global demand so we can plug in every person who desires to take part in on online group.

Three plans for 2019

 

BSF Leaders Summit 

Previously, BSF leaders attended a regional Retreat every three to four years. This August, all BSF leaders from around the world will attend the BSF Summit, designed to unite, inspire and mobilize our global leadership team. More than 50,000 leaders will attend local gatherings (let’s all have a collective cheer for easy travel arrangements!) to remain connected (via video) to BSF’s mission, receiving the most current communication, encouragement and support. 

Development of People of the Promised Land, Part Two 

Headquarters is once again in the process of creating a new study, which will cover 18 books (1 & 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles and the Minor Prophets). Each theologian and Bible teacher involved desires to help BSF members better understand God’s Word and God’s heart in today’s world, so pray for them as they continue studying for and writing the drafts of what we’ll all be studying in 2021. 

Word Go 

You probably haven’t heard of this because it’s still in the early stages of development. All we can say is we’re working on developing a platform where small groups (and even churches) around the world can study God’s word verse-by-verse in a format that seamlessly integrates into modern schedules and lives. We realize that’s vague, but you’ll be hearing more this year about this exciting new project!   

As we forge ahead in 2019 – please join Headquarters in taking a moment to praise God for His faithfulness – all He has done in 2018, will do in 2019 and how He chooses to work in and through everyone in the BSF global community of believers.   

Exploring God’s promises in the Promised Land

Exploring God’s promises in the Promised Land

Exploring God’s promises in the Promised Land

Upcoming Israel Trips with BSF

May 17 – 30, 2019

Dr. Carl Laney

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May 31 – June 12, 2019

Dr. John Hannah

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October 1 – 13, 2019

Dr. Mark Strauss

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BY BENNETT ROLAN | BSF BLOG EDITOR

 

S  usie Rowan slipped her prayer request between the giant stones of Israel’s Western Wall. Taking a step back, God’s presence was almost overwhelming as she reflected on the history of that holy place. It represented the fullness of God’s plan: His faithfulness to Israel, His sacrifice on the cross and the final restoration still to come.

And there, Susie’s request rested safely, tucked in the wall.  

“To know that Jesus would have also been right there,” Susie said, “I experienced His peace and presence, knowing that He heard, and He would answer those prayers. Not just for my good, but for the good of the whole, the good of many, which would also be for my good as well.”

As the executive director of Bible Study Fellowship, Susie has witnessed God’s amazing work in and through His people worldwide. But in 2011, Susie experienced the truth of God’s Word in a new way during her first visit to Israel on a BSF Trip.

“It’s something I wish every Christian could experience,” she said. “Maybe the most memorable site was Gethsemane. One of the olive trees was even thought to have been there at the time of Jesus. You live through His prayer and begin to feel the agony of anticipating the cross. It’s a very quiet time of reflection. Then you walk into the church, called the Church of Nations, on the Mount of Olives. People are just worshipping together, in so many different tongues and languages. It was an extraordinary experience.”  

Leaving the church, the group stood and surveyed the Kidron Valley where Jesus walked and where David wrote in Psalm 125:2, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.” 

“Your heart really does just soar,” Susie said. “You remember the promise that God has given us, that on the day that’s coming, the feet of Jesus are going to stand on the Mount of Olives and you’re standing there. It’s pretty powerful, pretty emotional.” 

Throughout the trip, while worshipping on the Sea of Galilee, walking on ramparts surrounding the old city or praying at the possible site of Jesus’ crucifixion, familiar Scripture took on a deeper sense of reality.

“I really love cities,” Susie said. “I love their energy and their tension. I’m a city person, so walking through Jerusalem, feeling the Jewish, Muslim tension at the Dome of the Rock was pretty powerful. Thinking through what the future would look like, where a temple could be built to prepare the way for the return of Christ, was extraordinary.” 

Entering the trip, Susie expected to learn from the experts leading the group. But she left with more than just knowledge. For Susie, God’s Living Word came to life in a new way. Since that time, Susie and Roger have already made a second trip to Israel with the BSF Travel Connection tour and are eager for the next opportunity God provides to return to His land.  

If you’re interested in a trip to Israel, several BSF trips are available throughout the year. To learn more about a trip of a lifetime, check it out here.

Susie Rowan at The Western Wall

Roger Rowan on The Sea of Galilee

BSF Israel Tour Group

Upcoming Israel Trips with BSF

May 17 – 30, 2019

Dr. Carl Laney

View Brochure

Sign Up

May 31 – June 12, 2019

Dr. John Hannah

View Brochure

Sign Up

October 1 – 13, 2019

Dr. Mark Strauss

View Brochure

Sign Up

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