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. I’ve been meeting on line with my Bsf group this summer doing WordGo studying Joshua! Just having the connection with other women and studying the Bible during COVID has been such an encouragement to me!

    • I signed up for Wordgo and no response

      • Hi Nita, to do WordGo you have to create a group or be invited to a group by someone you know. BSF Online operates just like a BSF class. You can sign up and be placed in a group!

      • I’m really missing my group as each week comes with new experiences and challenges.The group has been meeting online and sharing.I look forward to the september group

      • Hi Joni,
        I’m so sorry for the confusion. WordGo is designed for group leaders to sign up on the app and invite friends to join. BSF Online works like a local BSF class with a leadership structure that’s already in place. If you go to bsfonline.org and sign up for the mailing list, you’ll receive an email when registration opens in August!

  2. I wish to join BSF online.

    • I miss my Bible Study in person.☹

      • Raquel, we do too! We are praying for God’s wisdom as we navigate current and future health restrictions. Thank you for joining us in prayer as God’s Word continues to inspire His people around the world.

    • Simon, we’re excited for you to join! Visit bsfonline.org to sign up for the latest updates about how to register in August.

  3. A note of encouragement from Australia. During the COVID-19 , my family came to Cairns,Clifton beach and we have stayed for four months. To be accurate we came before the borders closed and we spent my Birthday and Easter in Queensland. My group leader Colleen from Melbourne Waverley Group contacted me and I was able to zoom into the meeting. It was wonderful to be part of the study of Acts. The prayers and discussions were great. Wonderful experience.

  4. It is wonderful how richly God blesses us through BSF thanks to the work you have been doing to ensure the classes can continue to operate.

    My plea is for the needs of people who are deaf who find it difficult to participate fully in the group discussion sessions and follow sermons especially when the lecturer speaks very quickly. (Zoom is not always effective – Instructions how to set up for zoom so everyone is easily seen would be helpful.)

    Just as you do not give a blind person a book to read, surely the premise should/could be that you don’t presume that the deaf are able to listen to recordings of the lectures, write notes and retain the information (especially as one gets older). I accept group participation is always going to be challenging.

    My particular request is that written copies of the sermons be made available to members of BSF who have significant hearing loss as a matter of compassion and grace.

  5. I am just not comfortable with the thought of attending my BSF class this year since my husband is immunocompromised. Is there anyway to link up with others in my area for an online meeting?

    • Sally, don’t worry – you will love your BSF group so much and draw so near to them that your heart will overflow with love! God will provide the perfect group for you to meet with online and they will draw near to one another like you’ve never seen. Many must be online due to the distance to reach the nearest meeting, transportation or many other reasons. But whatever they are, God will provide and meet your needs with whichever group He places you into and it will mesh into a beautiful tapestry of lives who love, laugh, celebrate, and weep together! Just go through the registration process as usual and mention your particular needs and they will help you get into the right group. My husband just began dialysis, so I may soon be in a similar situation where I want to meet from home so as not to endanger him – time will tell! May the Lord bless and keep you both in His loving arms!

    • Hi Sally
      BSF Klang Evening Woman class is doing zoom online very Tuesday at 8pm.
      You can email me your details. If not there is a inline group going on.

      Just go to BSFonline.org to join a group.

    • Hi Sally, if you sign up for updates on bsfonline.org, you’ll receive the latest information about registration opening in August. Excited about your interest!

  6. Hi, My wife is from China, has been in Mandarine Zoom BSF for two years now and loves it. They have 3 ladies from mainland China in her group and they all sound great during class sessions. Her GL touches base with her regularly and she likes that.
    I met the Lord 43 years ago in BSF, have been a mens GL for a number of years and am looking forward to being a Zoom leader this year. Have one man from California, another travels constantly and another new believer in Washington State all ready to go. Now in a weekly online Bible Study and will keep advertising BSF here as well as church for the fall. Nothing beats BSF.

    • Ron, this is so encouraging! Thank you for sharing.

  7. My PPL1 Group Leader relayed that we will meet on Aug 26 for the study of Genesis via Zoom. This is a welcome development for me and am excited to see my Sisters again via Zoom.

    Actually, anourgrowth of our John Viber group meets every Thursday via Zoom to study Psalms

  8. Recently moved and now looking forward to using on line classes as a way

    to stay in the word. Thanks for this perfect way to keep in touch!

  9. What will this mean for local online BSF groups already meeting in Asia? Will this be a new system, will it cancel the local groups that already have multinational membership? What about those online groups that discuss materials in mother tongue languages? Will they integrate to the global online or can they continue to report to their local classes where they can explore the studies using their heart language? In a country of missionaries who travel to restricted locations, the online local group allows the traveling missionaries continued support and fellowship while they are on location but allows them to join the local meetings when they are back in town. How will this work with the new online system? Will you be briefing the local leadership about this new service. We need to know how is it different than the online groups that we have running during periods of self-quarantine and stay-AT-HOME and our local online activities? How does this integrate with the BSF app program that we use with college outreach?

    • Hi there! BSF Online will not affect existing classes in any way. In fact, in-person classes are growing in number worldwide! BSF Online uses the same leadership structure as an in-person class, but exists to allow those who aren’t able to attend an in-person class to join an Online group. Your AP or TL can help provide more information about your online local group!

  10. It is wonderful to read that there is a BSF online,I would wish to join , praying and hoping that by September we will be able to meet physically. God bless you for always keeping us informed on what is going on.

  11. Is it for certain, that there will be no classes for the study of Genesis?
    FYI: I share an email with my husband.

    • MB, your group leader can help you navigate meetings for the fall. She should have the latest information regarding your specific class.

  12. I would like to join BSF on line.

    • Lotti, we’re excited to have you join! Visit bsfonline.org to sign up for updates about upcoming registration.

  13. I would like to be part of BSF on line.

    • Hi Geraldine, We would love for you to be part of BSF Online as well. Go over to our website http://www.bsfonline.org and sign up for the updates. Registration will be open in September.

  14. Hello. Will there be an online class for the school program as well? Thanks

    • Hi Winnie,
      We are not able to offer a school program at this time. Starting with the adult groups:)

    • My sister Anne lives in London. During this covid-19 pandemic season she has been working from home. She started reading the Bible from Genesis, and told me how she has seen Gods blessings, faithfulness and how sin and disobedience can destroy a relationship with God. I encouraged her to join bsf online discussion group, she said she would love that very much. Am excited that she will be able to join in September.

  15. I will miss the actual classes; hope this virus does last much longer. Ms. Lillie

    • Hi Lillie, If you belong to a local class then I am sure they will go back to meeting in person as soon as they can. In the meantime, stay connected with your GL for updates.

  16. Thank you for the update. We are grateful that we were able to finish the year on Zoom. Looking forward to meeting together when restrictions are lifted. The opportunity to share with sisters in Christ from diverse backgrounds is unique. I am the director of a small women’s substance abuse recovery center in Salisbury, NC and have been taking the ladies with me since 2013. Participants at BSF has shown what true acceptance is. The ladies at BSF love like Jesus does.

    • Hi Miriam, That is so encouraging to hear. I’m thankful you have a home with your local BSF class and your ladies do too!

  17. As a Discussion Leader in an evening group that physically meets in a church, I was pleased when on-line BSF began especially for those in communities that don’t have in person BSF classes. Now the Word can be studied in BSF nearly everywhere in the world, which is where we should be. But in the beginning I was dismayed by those who joined on-line but were in communities where BSF classes met in person. However, looking at the over all numbers of people now actively involved in BSF, I can see that we are indeed adhering to Christ’s Great Commission.

    • Hi Red,
      We are excited as well to see all of the opportunities people have to study God’s Word anywhere, anytime!

  18. I am an 83 year old person and don’t see well when I go out at night. As a result I need something online to work through my lessons. It sounds like this may be just what the doctor ordered for me and as a result I look forward to more details so I can get set up for the fall.

    • Hi Thomas,
      BSF Online comes to you! We are happy to have you join us!

  19. Hi! Blessings to you. I have been in BSF since 2015 and I am currently enrolled in BSF in North Canton, Ohio – Chapel starting in September 9, 2020. I was wondering if we are going to have in person BSF or is it going to be on line. I truly miss seeing my Christian friends. Please let me know.

    Is there anything that I need to do before September? Please respond.

    My email is julenglehar@sssnet..com Phone – (330) 685-5945. Leave a message.

    • Hi Julia
      This has been a hard season of missing each other. Stay connected to your group leader. She will be able to tell you what’s happening with your BSF group in Ohio.

  20. I am so glad to have the new services that BAD will offer. I was unable to get BAD in zoom so receiving it thru internet will be special. Thank you so much…

    • BSF’s studies are so precious that I’m delighted to see a chance to “ enlarge our tents “
      May the Lord bless this improvement and bless much more people

    • Carole
      We hope you are able to join us for Genesis.

  21. I am interested in being part of an online group. I have been a group leader of a traditional group for over 10 years, and have enjoyed the interactions.

    I am an older lady and prefer the online groups that we have used since covid-19 began. I am a little concerned about getting back together since I am not sure how we can really do social distancing at our sites.

    I have asked my teaching leaders for the past 3 years how I could become part of an online group, but received no information. I would love interacting with college age students, as I was a college professor for over 30 years before my retirement. Can I be a group leader or group member of an online group this fall (2020-2021)?

  22. I really enjoy BSF beacuse I have always wanted to understand and read the Bible but unfortunately I am a very poor reader however, since I joined BSF I find myself reading the Bible. I really enjoy the group work and interaction in trying to understand the Bible.

  23. Can anyway join this online group? Or just people in remote area. The reason I ask is because even though I am in Toronto, I drive 45 minutes to my local group. In the winter it can be challenging for seniors like myself.

  24. I thank God for the BSF HQ team and all those who are working tirelessly to share the good news to all people. I personally have grown through BSF four-fold method of studying the Word and indeed the sharing in group discussions and fellowships have been my best times in my four years as a BSFer. I am sure the online facility will widen the reach and no doubt that is God’s plan.
    The unstoppable Spirit at work. Glory and honor to God.

  25. Are there online classes available during the summer?

  26. Is there a children’s program online?

  27. I would like to be available to be a discussion leader in Spanish or ingles if there is an opportunity I been to BSF classes for almost 20 years please let me know

  28. I am interested in an online zoom class. I have in a small surrounding area, due to the CDC19 I have underlining health issue. I would like to join an online class from home. Any group that is available would be find. Just being able to get back in to studying God’s words.
    I have just retired a year this month and miss BSF class. Unfortunately not offer in Athens, Tn.
    God has blessed me, to be able to be with my grandchildren/family during this unexpected turmoil.
    I would love a support contact and love to get back into BSF to remain in God’s studies.
    I truly missed BSF and looking forward to hearing from you.
    Blessings,
    my email contact is jchuyou@yahoo.com
    Jeanie Chuyou

  29. This can be an excellent option for me due to the COVID 19 virus.
    I am 80 years old, had a mild heart attack and taking medication
    which reduces my immune system.

  30. To God be the glory.
    He will never leave us or forsake. We standings on the promises of Jesus powerful healing name. HALLELUJAH !

  31. This is so exciting! Another way God’s Word is being taught throughout the world, and people will come to know Jesus and grow deeper in their faith. God answers prayer.

  32. What software do you need to do this? When the virus hit, our group went to meeting on Zoom. I couldn’t participate any longer because I didn’t have a webcam, and I was also told repeatedly that Zoom isn’t secure. I continued the study on my own as best as I could, listening to the weekly lecture, reading the lessons and doing the questions, but of course missed out on the fellowship part. I’d like to join an online group as there is no immediate foreseeable end to this virus mess, but not if it involves software like Zoom that is not secure or additional devices that I don’t have. Please let me know.

  33. very interested. Will this tie me to an individual group or just an online portal?

  34. I was a member of a community bible study group for years when I was in Birmingham, AL. I had to drop out because of my daughter and husband illnesses. My husband died last year and I relocated to Atlanta, Ga to be closer to one of my children. Because I am still learning the city, I am so glad to hear about BSF online which makes in so convenient from my own home. Can’t wait to be in a group.

  35. Awesome! I’ve a been a BSF member for decades and now I use the BSF Wordgo app during the summer to lead a small group on Zoom each week. How can I transition to become a Leader for BSF Online studies during the school year?

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