BSF Online reaches new people, places

From missionaries in isolation to members in far corners of the world, God is delivering in-depth Bible study to those previously beyond our reach. BSF Online was created to meet the needs of people without access to a local BSF class. Whether transportation, location or scheduling prevented participation, BSF Online allows members to connect with a diverse group in an online setting. A group member from Nigeria can connect with a fellow member in Florida while their leader lives in Scotland. Through their shared study, BSF Online members develop close-knit relationships regardless of their time zones. We’ve been amazed by God’s work through BSF Online and we ask you to join us in praying for BSF Online as registration opens again in the fall.

BSF Online members share their stories

S tranded in France, Helene Wong is patiently waiting to reunite with her husband and two daughters. In May, Helene traveled from her home in Las Vegas, Nev. to Paris, when COVID-19 restrictions prevented her return.

Settling in a small village in Normandie, Helene struggled to find a Christian community. Without a church nearby, loneliness could have been overwhelming, but through BSF Online, Helene never felt alone.

During the BSF study year, BSF Online groups meet online every week so members can gather from anywhere in the world, unlike local BSF classes, who will resume meeting in person when restrictions lift. 

“To be honest, being away from my family is difficult, but I have an unexplainable peace. I miss my husband and my daughters, but with God, I’m not that sad or desperate, I feel pretty peaceful. I trust that God has a purpose for this time, there’s always a reason,” she shared.

Like Paul from the Acts and Letters of the Apostles study, Helene sees God working through difficult circumstances.

HELENE

France

HELENE

France

S tranded in France, Helene Wong is patiently waiting to reunite with her husband and two daughters. In May, Helene traveled from her home in Las Vegas, NV to Paris, when COVID-19 restrictions prevented her return.

Settling in a small village in Normandie, Helene struggled to find a Christian community. Without a church nearby, loneliness could have been overwhelming, but through BSF Online, Helene never felt alone.

BSF Online groups meet online every week so members can gather from anywhere in the world, unlike local BSF classes, who will resume meeting in person when restrictions lift. 

“To be honest, being away from my family is difficult, but I have an unexplainable peace. I miss my husband and my daughters, but with God, I’m not that sad or desperate, I feel pretty peaceful. I trust that God has a purpose for this time, there’s always a reason,” she shared.

Like Paul from the Acts and Letters of the Apostles study, Helene sees God working through difficult circumstances.

“Despite trouble and danger, Paul never worried for himself. He continued God’s work without fear, the only thing he was fearing was God,” Helene said. “When I keep my focus on God, I truly believe He has a plan.”

Read the Rest of Helene's Story

A Spiritual Training Ground

 

When a friend first told Helene about BSF in 2017, she wasn’t really interested. Raised in Paris, Helene knew about Christian holidays, but beyond attending a few Anglican services, “studying the Bible was not on the agenda.”

Helene was content with her life in Macau, China as she focused on her two daughters and her husband’s growing culinary career. But God knew that Helene needed more. She needed Him.

“When I went back home from lunch with my friend, I discovered there was a Bible in the house. Wherever I went, that Bible was right in front of me. I was asking my husband, ‘Are you reading the Bible, is this your Bible?’ he said, ‘No.’ I asked our younger daughter and she didn’t know. We later discovered that our oldest daughter brought it home from school, but at the time, I saw it as an invitation,” Helene shared.

Helene agreed to try BSF, if only to learn more about her French heritage. But through God’s Word, Helene discovered a deep love for Christ.

“I had been asking Jesus for quite a long time, ‘Who are You?’ ‘Do You really exist?’,” Helene said. “BSF is amazing because the lessons answered a lot of my questions. Each week as I’m learning a new concept in BSF, and then something happens to help me understand it better. It’s like the Bible is the light that keeps guiding me to Jesus. It’s just amazing.” 

For almost three years, Helene attended a Day Women’s Class in Macau where she developed a deeply personal relationship with the Lord. As she grew in faith, God prepared Helene for circumstances that would test her resolve and perseverance.

Prepared for Adversity

In 2019, Helene’s husband moved to Las Vegas, NV to pursue a new business opportunity. In July, Helene and her two daughters followed. Immersed in a completely foreign culture, Helene hungered for Christian community. Once again, God worked through BSF. Helene joined a local class and made deep connections with other members. But transportation issues and scheduling problems continually disrupted the group. To meet those needs, the group transitioned to BSF Online, where women from around the city were able to join Zoom meetings.

As COVID restrictions pushed all BSF groups onto internet platforms, Helene experienced the difference between BSF Online and BSF groups who met on Zoom. Before the Pandemic, BSF Online was designed to allow men and women from around the world to join BSF groups during times that fit their schedules.

Group members from Zambia, Hungary, Texas and Brazil could meet together to study God’s Word with a Group Leader who had been trained online.

When Helene traveled to France in May, BSF Online helped her stay anchored in God’s Word.

“I know it’s God’s gracious provision that sustains me through this season of waiting,” she shared. “I feel so blessed to be ‘surrounded’ online by a group of ladies who are eager to study God’s Word. And now my extended stay in a foreign country has become a spiritual retreat, rather than a season of waiting.”

Today, Helene is training to become an Online Group Leader. Still stranded in France, Helene meets weekly with other Online Group Leaders and Trainers to prepare for the Genesis study in the Fall.

Praying through her new leadership role, Helene feels called to invite several non-Christian friends from around the world to join BSF. And BSF Online makes that possible. Those friends who aren’t close to a physical BSF class or can’t attend because of scheduling, travel or transportation issues can study the Bible consistently with trained group leaders, like Helene.

“I just think God is so amazing. Each step He is guiding me. I’m weak in trust, always doubting myself, thinking I’m making the wrong decision. He’s so patient, guiding me step by step,” Helene shared. “The online class solves the problem of isolation and it’s so convenient. Driving in Hong Kong or Paris or Bangkok is so hectic. Having an online class means you don’t have to run after a bus or get stuck in traffic for hours. You’re surrounded by people like you who are thirsty for God’s Word and have questions like you too. It’s a place with answers and direction as you share different experiences from all over the world. It’s enriching, like the Bible in 3D.”

CAROL

Papua New Guinea

BSF in Nairobi was my lifeline to study God’s Word. In 2018, God called me to become a missionary in Papua New Guinea, where I joined BSF Online for the first time.

I encountered overwhelming culture shock, was missing my normal life, felt lonely, struggled with the language and encountered hostility. My discussion leader was constantly checking up on me. We prayed on whatsapp and it brought so much consolation and comfort.

There were other missionaries in my group and we reminded each other that we were where God wanted us to be. Just knowing that our ASKs were spread all over the world made it so special. With diversity, there were enriching conversations, a physical class would not afford me this.”

BRUCE

United States

 The past few years were exceptionally challenging at work, yet God’s truth, graciously revealed by the Spirit has given me a proper perspective as well as the peace of knowing God’s will.  The Lord used BSF Online to keep me in the Word and be surrounded by men who spoke truth and encouragement. It’s been an incredible blessing and privilege to be involved in BSF online.

With the online group, attendance is more consistent because the members are able to connect from anywhere in the world. Online also provides a more diverse group.  Group members participate from around the world, expanding and enriching everyone’s experience.  Though it seems counterintuitive, in my experience, the men share more deeply and personally in the online group compared to the physical class.”

MARLENE

Philippines

 God used BSF Online to teach me how to give up the comforts of being in a physical group. As I embraced the challenges of leading an online group, I learned lessons to be more God-dependent and less self-sufficient 

Being an Online Group Leader is touching lives even when WiFi is weak, audio choppy, or faces frozen. The Holy Spirit connects our hearts and minds when words stop and tears flow. We pat each other’s shoulders with our nods and smiles. We hugged one another with prayers.

As I bared my personal struggles and asked for prayers, the Spirit touched my group members to bravely share their stories. Just as we are true to one another, we accept one another. God redirected my focus towards his higher purpose that His name be glorified as man is edified. It’s not about me but all about Him. God did not give up on me when I wanted to give up.”

IRENE

Hong Kong

 I did not know how to set expectations when I started leading my first online discussion group last year for the Acts study. The ladies in my group lived in different continents, and we had never met each other before the first meeting.

There were just too many “what ifs” in my mind each week before I opened the Zoom meeting. Now with hindsight, I am so grateful God prepared me for a teaching season where I learned we are only a prayer away, despite physical distance.

With my little faith in the beginning, I had been asking God, ‘What if the ladies do not share their prayer requests?’ And God told me it’s not my job, but His. Thankfully, I did not have to wait long before the ladies started sharing their needs for prayer during discussion time.”

How can I get updates about the BSF Online launch?

Go to  bsfonline.org to sign up for regular updates and countdown to registration!

Does BSF Online offer the same studies as a local BSF class?

Yes! You will access BSF’s four-fold approach to walk through the current BSF study.

Each week:

  • Download and answer QUESTIONS to guide you in your personal study
  • Join your global online community to DISCUSS what you are learning
  • LISTEN to a lecture podcast
  • LEARN the historical, cultural and life lessons in our notes.
How is BSF Online different from a local BSF class?

BSF Online is an online group Bible study experience that offers flexible group times.  The online meeting platform allows you to study the Bible from wherever you are with a community of group members from all over the world .

What does an Online Group Leader do?
  • Trains in a weekly Online Leaders meeting
  • Leads a weekly online discussion group on Zoom at a regular time that fits their schedule
  • Connects with group members during the week over WhatsApp

251 Comments

  1. Is online the only way this yeat?

    • Dear Sandie, groups are meeting according to local regulations. To find out more about your group’s plan contact your class leadership. You can find that information here: https://www.bsfinternational.org/map

  2. I have been receiving monthly updates for BSF on-line registration. Is there anything else I need to do in order to receive the on line registration? I am looking forward to participating in the study on line.

    • Hi Barbara, you will receive a monthly email to let you know that BSF online registration is open. When that email arrives, be sure to sign up!

  3. Shalom, when is the mandarin class starting?

  4. I would like to sign up for on-line classes

    • Dear Linda, contact your local class leadership to join a group. https://www.bsfinternational.org/map Many local groups will be meeting online due to current regulations. To join BSF Online, visit bsfonline.org and sign up for the email list to receive updates about upcoming registration.

  5. My husband is going to try to set me up on zoom from my tablet. I am looking forward to doing this next session. I have 16 years of BSF and loved it. I loved being a children’s leader. I dropped out last year due to commitments with CEF. But now that has come to an end, I am looking forward to connecting with BSF again.

    • Vivian, so thankful for your husband’s willingness to help you with new technology! Thank you for sharing your encouraging perspective on current challenges.

  6. How do I sign up for online class? I am not available to attend classes in person but would be very interested in online.

    • Hi Leslie, to sign up for BSF Online, visit bsfonline.org. Most local classes will be starting online this year also so contact your class leadership for more information:
      https://www.bsfinternational.org/map

  7. Thankyou for these wonderful stories of other BSF members who have shared their stories. I got married late in life to a Hispanic man from Mexico and have lived with him down here for almost 9 years. B4 Covid, I traveled back to the U.S.to visit family and take care of personal business. Now, I can’t do that. I have tried to learn Spanish, but not very successfully and do not understand much of what is being said. We go to a Spanish speaking church when we can, but of course, not right now, during the pandemic. I I have turned to many youtube preachers to get my teachings in the word–they are very good, but I really have no friends or any fellowship with other Christians here other than my husband–he is bilingual, the rest of his family not. When my dear friend who I was in BSF with up in Wisc. wrote me and invited me to join this group over the summer, I was so excited. I now have 6 new sisters in Christ and they are located all over the world. How cool is that ! I can’t wait for the group to start up again in the fall. Thankyou and Praise God for BSF.

    • Jill, so thankful you have found a BSF community! Praying for you!

    • So thankful you have new sisters in Christ who are praying for you and may the Lord help you learn the language and keep you safe and healthy as you study God’s Word!

  8. How do i join an online class and how will I be placed in a group?

    • Dear Rob, you can sign up to receive updates about upcoming registration at bsfonline.org

  9. Hi.
    Will we be having regular BSF classes in church as before? I’m not interested in on-line studies. We need personal relationships now more than ever. I’m hoping BSF doesn’t succumb to the irrational demands of our government, suppressing religion and worship of Christ.
    Thank you, Sharon Hubanks

    • Hi Sharon, contact your class leadership for more information about your class’ plan:
      https://www.bsfinternational.org/map

      We appreciate your prayers as leaders navigate this unprecedented season.

  10. Bsf calss questions paper

  11. Hi, I would like to join the Online group and have signed up on bsfonline.org. However, I didn’t hear about the process of registration. Does anything I have missed. And I would like to know any language to choose for the Online group. Thank you

    • Hi Anna, BSF online registration will open in August. If you joined the email list, you’ll receive a notification that way!

  12. Will regular BSF in person still be available starting in September?

    • Hi Ximena, please contact your BSF leadership to learn more about when and how your class will be meeting. Each class is transitioning back to in-person groups according to local regulations.

  13. When lockdown was announced in March in Zimbabwe I was apprehensive that we would not be able to finish the Acts Study. God worked amazingly thru encouragement by our TL. We finished the Study on whatsapp& the ladies shared more deeply than face to face. Glory to God. Even now, the groupis still connected, sharing prayer requests & encouraging each other thru the unchanging comforting Word of God.

  14. Do we have a tentative start date?

    • Hi Christine, your class leadership can help you with any questions. We can’t wait to see how God will use Genesis to grow His people around the world!

  15. I have been involved in community groups in BSF for last 5 years and a leader for 2 of those. Would like to have more info about moving to an online class if I can.

    • Hi Kim, if you visit bsfonline.org you can sign up to receive updates about upcoming registration in August.

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