The joy of a surrendered life

BY NATE THORESON | Regional Director, BSF Field Development 

J ust over a year ago, I was riding a mower across five acres in Idaho, comfortably involved in my BSF class and enjoying a fairly “normal” life.  

What a difference a year makes. 

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus called the disciples to, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” He asked them to cast down their fishing nets and surrender their jobs, their security and, essentially, their very identities to follow Christ.  

When a full-time position with BSF opened, I honestly wasn’t interested. Taking the job would mean moving my family, leaving behind friends and surrendering those things we clung to for security.  

But God confirmed through His Word saying, “follow me.”  

Since our move to Texas, God has shown me just how full a surrendered life to Him can be, in my own life and in the lives of amazing believers I’ve met along the way.  

This past August, I had the opportunity to visit Bangalore, India, where leaders gathered for a simulcast of the first-ever BSF Summit. There, I met living examples of Matthew 4:19 in a community of men and women who consistently cast security aside to follow Christ. 

A world apart

Dodging cows and cars, a BSFer named Joseph drove from the airport to the hotel as I took in the contrasts around me: brightly dressed people in front of buildings in need of repair; sprawling skyscrapers next to tiny shacks; beautiful trees and lots of religious temples.   

Joseph and I had never met before, yet it was like a family reunion. Joseph and his wife welcomed me into their home and even their son, Abhishek, who is a food blogger, guided me through a true Indian culinary experience. 

God’s people in India were a picture of what it looks like to follow Christ …

Ultimately, God’s people in India were a picture of what it looks like to follow Christ, to be changed by Christ and to be on mission with Christ. Once again, God was showing me the joy of a surrendered life.

Against all odds

This year marks 25 years of BSF in India, and despite opposition and persecution, God has opened doors for classes throughout the country. So many of these believers count the cost of following Christ daily and continue to “cast down their nets” to follow Jesus.  

Take, for example, the woman who secretly shares the gospel with her children in quiet moments during the day. Despite fear of retribution from her husband, who forbids her from attending church,  she faithfully clings to her hope in Christ. Tearful eyes revealed her struggle, but they couldn’t hide her joy through the curve of her smile. 

Another couple, Elango and Joan, along with their daughter, Anukripa, and son, Amrit, faced a difficult decision. While walking through the pain of losing Elango’s father, they had to decide if they would participate in the ceremonial burial rites of his extended family’s religion

At the risk of  insults and scorn from an unbelieving village, this family held firmly to their faith. Their love for Jesus was evident as they shared stories of God at work in their own lives and the lives around them.  Even in hardship. 

Their love for Jesus was evident as they shared stories of God at work in their own lives and the lives around them. Even in hardship.

Embracing the call

For Stephen and Malini in Chennai, India, a painful miscarriage brought about a challenging season of trusting God’s goodness. But, when Malini heard God’s invitation to “make room” for what He wanted to give her and scale back from the busy-ness of that season, she left her work as a school principal and stepped out of her BSF leadership role.  

Little did she know that God was making room for a child. Judah, now 8 years old, is a joy-filled reminder of God’s goodness today, even during the most trying seasons of life. Stephen and Malini are still being stretched to surrender to God’s good purposes as Stephen has endured 10 long months of unemployment. But this family’s deep faith shows how God works in every circumstance to bring Himself glory and to change us to reflect His character. 

Jesus’ transforming work in our lives is often marked with pain and struggle, but it is, in fact, a deep, loving work of God in the hearts of His people. In other words, real growth comes with growing pains.

Jesus’ transforming work in our lives is often marked with pain and struggle, but it is, in fact, a deep loving work of God in the hearts of His people. In other words, real growth comes with growing pains.

His Witnesses

Acts 1:8 declares that we will be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. As Christians, we are witnesses of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Today, despite great opposition, men and women of faith are witnessing in India. I’ve seen it. God is using His people in Europe, the United Kingdom, the Gulf and Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, across Asia, and throughout Africa and North America to spread His Word. 

Jesus’ mission to “fish for people” is as relevant today as it was for the early church in Acts. But before we can “fish,” we have to follow. What is He calling us to cast aside?  How is He asking us to trust Him?  

Matthew 28 declares that “All authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to Him.  Wherever He sends us, He is in sovereign control.  Jesus also promises He will be with us.  What great encouragement! Whether we’re in Idaho or India, there is true joy in surrendering to a Savior who loves us deeply. 

392 Comments

  1. Ruedi

    God is using ordinary people, who are willing, to do the extraordinary! Praise God for giving us purpose – to glorify his holy name.
    Thank you Nate for your willingness!

    Reply
  2. Dr Camille Wissmann Pharm D

    There is a lot of mission work that needs to be done in the US in the areas where bsf people live. We must all bloom where we live and work to show Christs love here. Look for the widows here whose families are too busy . One of the biggest epidemics in US is loneliness. Important to not just talk the talk but walk the talk here in US and amongst the people in bsf groups. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only

    Reply
  3. Jodi

    In 2001 I was blessed to attend BSF classes in Bangalore. It is such a joy to find family wherever you go in the world.

    Reply
  4. Cynthia Murphy

    Great story of hope, faith and genuine trust in Christ. I want that. I pray He guides my heart into His everlasting will for my life. I want to live completely surrendered. Thank you BSF.

    Reply
  5. Nellie Young

    wow! I feel smoked by these stories!!

    Reply
  6. Donna Jeanne Schneider

    several of us had a prayer group for 3 years in downtown Vienna, Austria, to pray that BSF would one day make it to the tiny country of Austria! How amazing that BSF has already been in India for 25 years! How precious because I lived in India as a child, and it has always been on my heart, and then, now that there are satellite classes, maybe it CAN make it to Vienna, after all this time!!
    The Lord is so good to send out His Word…He IS the Lord of the Harvest, after all!

    Reply
  7. Page Breece, BSF CL Edmond

    What a beautiful experience and reminder to stay focused and always trust God! He gives us beauty for ashes and is so faithful! Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Mardi Newman

    Real growth truly comes with growing pains. So often we have our plan and when we submit totally to God and his perfect plan, we are blessed and realize just how much Jesus loves us and knows what is best. This strengthens our faith and brings peace.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Thank you Mardi for the reminder! Blessings

      Reply
  9. Karen Woods

    Thank you for this great encouragement! My husband’s work — where we are currently called — is a huge challenge right now. Jesus controls every detail, every person involved. I am struggling to wait on God, depend on guidance from the Word for my words, thoughts, even how I talk about the situation. And we all have promise after promise that as He has called us wherever we are to be witnesses, HE alone can and will provide adequate equipping.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praying for you Karen and your husband as you lean on Him!

      Reply
  10. Debra Gonzales

    Thank you for sharing this story. It’s a great reminder for us to pray for people all over the world who are still being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. We must continue to be the Lord’s hands and feet and serve where He leads us.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      The Lord deserves all the credit and glory, He is faithful!

      Reply
  11. Real Madrid Drakt

    Mildred søk etter juventus sportsbutikk, juventus
    hjemmedrakt og juventus bortedrakt med rask levering Real Madrid Drakt.
    Vonni

    Reply
  12. Anne

    The JOY OF THE LORD is obviously their strength! Look at those radiant faces of joy!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Anne for this simple but profound reminder. Finding joy in Him is truly our strength in the midst of our weakness or challenges. Awesome!

      Reply
  13. Cheryl

    Go. Make disciples. Teach all my commands. I will be with you always! What could be more wonderful?
    He is with you every day, all the days until there are no more days! Amazing

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen!

      Reply
  14. Michael Allen Phillips

    Thank you for sharing that story from India. God’s Holy Word is desperately needed in our world today. After serving in the United States Navy and the Merchant Marine for 41 years I was asked to drive a school bus for the YMCA. The Effingham Street YMCA in Portsmouth, Virginia is my mission field. Due to my membership in the Gideon’s International, I have access to New Testament’s. I have many opportunities to share my faith with others who are looking for answers. Acts 1:8 says it all. The Power Of God!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praise the Lord Michael. Thank you for serving Him for His glory right where you are!

      Reply
  15. Mary McDonald

    Thank you Nate for this beautiful and uplifting story. It has reminded me that God wants ‘TOTAL’ surrender. That means in every aspect of my life, and not just some areas. I thank the Holy Spirit for leading me to read this article as I was just about to hit ‘delete’.
    To God be the glory!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      To God be the glory!

      Reply
  16. Sandy Lindsey

    In our time of uncertainty, my husband and I clong to the fact Jesus is with us every storp of our journey in a medical issue. Our struggles ar His also.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      We follow a suffering servant who overcame it all at the cross so we can one day live without sin, disease, and death! Hope!

      Reply
  17. richard hill

    Touching story. Revealing the true Christian Mission being practiced with hope, joy and peace.

    Loved it,

    RC Hill BSF Denton, TX

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Richard. To God be the glory!

      Reply
  18. Edwin Mwangi

    Truly inspiring and encouraging

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Blessings to you Edwin. This week God reminds me that we can only be truly encouraged and inspired by seeing Jesus and His work!

      Hebrews 9:14 NIV
      [14] How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

      Reply
  19. TERRESA TERRY

    I am so glad to know that the money goes to great use. To grow God’s kingdom. All over the world.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Terresa, we are thankful for the resources God provides to spread His Word and the good news!

      Reply
  20. Dorothy Kacsmaryk

    Great lesson !!!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen!

      Reply
  21. Florence Ijagbone

    This is an inspiring story. God is faithful. He says in Isaiah 45:19 that He has not told us to seek Him in vain. I pray we are all able to take Him at His word in Jesus’ mighty name

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for this reminder from His Word!

      Reply
  22. Esther M Phiri

    Amen, life changing stories of our brethren from India. We pray for the Lord of the harvest to continue using you our leader and our brethren in India to continue winning souls for Jesus in India.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Esther! God is raising up His children for such a time as this!

      Reply
  23. Joann tillmon

    Awesome sharing I thank God every day for just one more day to share HIS WORD thanks for sharing young man be bless

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Joann for the encouragement and for calling me young 🙂

      Reply
  24. Suzanne

    Thank you for the testimony of Gods love direction and faithfulness. It encourages me to press into my surrender to Him.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks for sharing Suzanne, praying for His joy as we learn to surrender to His good purposes.

      Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Suzanne, praying for the joy of the Lord as you press into Him!

      Reply
  25. heather

    thank you for this report. it is incredibly challenging and encouraging to me, as i have been struggling with surrender for quite some time. i love Jesus. i know God has a plan for my life. BUT, i struggle to truly let go of my plans, my dreams, my desires to allow Him to fully work through me. it sounds so selfish (as it is) when i reread this, but it’s the believer’s challenge, especially a believer living in extreme comfort in the US. over the past 3 years, He has been slowly and lovingly stretching, pruning, and molding me into what HE plans, dreams, and desires for me. it’s a hard process (darn our fleshly hearts), but one i desperately want to see Him complete in me.
    again, many thanks for your words.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Heather for being authentic! I am thankful that He is faithful to complete the work that He has started in us! Praise His Name!

      Reply
  26. glori walker

    Nate – thank you for sharing the reminder that the Lord uses pain and struggle as a canvas for change – your trust in Him with the challenges, transition and travel inspire surrender and vibrant living! To God be the glory as He unites hearts in every culture!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Glori! To God be the glory! Love your imagery of a canvas, He is a loving and masterful Creator!

      Reply
  27. Terri Mccoy

    Thank You for sharing ;
    This shows me that if I position myself in obediance the Battle is Won in Jesus name 🙏

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Terri! Amen

      Reply
  28. barbara kimbrough

    thank you,it just goes to sow you God is everywhere and He has a plan for my life also..

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Yes He does Barbara! And His plans are so much better than we can hope or imagine, even when it seems impossible.

      Reply
  29. Heidi Richter

    I had the privilege to go on a 2 week mission trip to India last September. I never intended to ever go to India, but I fell in love for these beautiful people. The area we ministered in is mainly Hindi and they just soaked up our offers to pray and listen to the good news about Jesus. I definitely saw lives changed!
    I hope to go back this year to see what God has done!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      This is encouraging Heidi! Thank you for sharing. I pray God opens the door to return to India if it be His will! Blessings to you.

      Reply
  30. Mary Mooney

    Thank you for this inspirational message and encouragement to continue to surrender to the plan of the Lord for my life.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      You are welcome Mary. The Lord is good and great!

      Reply
  31. Margaret Thagichu

    It is awesome to be at the feet of Jesus and ready to used of Him, may God bless our brothers and sisters in India, am challenged to continue praying for the word of God to spread through out he world.
    Margaret

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for the reminder to continue to pray for the people we think will never come to Christ! God can do the impossible!

      Reply
  32. Dana Moss

    I am so excited to hear what God is doing in India!!! Our family sponsored a young girl there for years through Compassion International. A few years ago this ministry was asked to leave India and we lost contact with our girl. We have been praying for her, that God would bring believers around her. Praying now that she would be drawn into a BSF group and learn and grow in Jesus❤️

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Great prayer Dana! I can only imagine and hope that you will one day get to meet her face to face! I will pray for her too!

      Reply
  33. LeeAnn Cheeley

    Good to hear about what’s been happening with you, Nate! It’s just another Monday BSF night here in Cd’A, so we carry on where God has planted us. Glenn & I decided to hold class in spite of school being cancelled today because of snow yesterday. It’s January in North Idaho! And God is good.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Hi LeeAnn! I have mixed feelings when I hear of snow days 🙂 I miss them and I don’t miss them. I am thankful for you and Glenn and your faithful service to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel in Post Falls and CDA! I miss seeing you and Chris and pray often for you. Give my love to everyone!

      Reply
  34. Marty Michaud

    This story is so timely in my life right now. Surrender is the word God gave me for 2019. I had a secret sin I was carrying that was over 40 years old. I thought I had already surrendered this when I became a believer 30 years ago. I realized that I had only superficially accepted God’s forgiveness while actually carrying that secret around with a very guilty conscience and suffering many difficult consequences for that unforgiveness I held against myself. God finally called me to a healing bible study to lay down my burden and He fully healed me through a process of facing the full impact of my sin, grieving the loss and forgiving others and myself. God restored and redeemed me. He has so much freedom and joy for us if only we will fully surrender ALL to Him. He is so good and we can trust Him with all the dark places in our life. His light will expose it all and cleanse it all. He paid the perfect sacrifice, once and for all! Praise Him!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      What a humbling reminder of the persistent grace that continues doing a deep work in our hearts. Thank you Marty for sharing how God is allowing you to experience freedom and joy. His Spirit allows us to trust Him and believe the transforming truth of His love. His forgiveness is real and when we believe in His forgiveness we experience healing that impacts our relationships. Thank you for the reminder.

      Reply
  35. Nomvula

    Thank you Mate for the encouragement

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      You’re welcome Nomvula!

      Reply
  36. Lyle Humpton

    Thank you for the encouragement Nate!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you brother Lyle! I appreciate your willingness to serve God in whatever way He leads! You are an example of Christ to me.

      Reply
  37. Peg Kunneman

    Amazing joy for those who surrender…. bless these mission people and the people they minister to..

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Thank you Peg!

      Reply
  38. Peledina

    Waw, what a wonderful way to start this year with great testimonies. It is my desire that I be the light as I testify of the good things God has done for me. He has provided for me just as he has told us in the book of mathew not to worry about tomorrow and live like the birds of the air. Glory to God.

    Reply
    • Peledina

      Waw, what a wonderful way to start this year with great testimonies. It is my desire that I be the light as I testify of the good things God has done for me. He has provided for me just as he has told us in the book of mathew not to worry about tomorrow and live like the birds of the air. Glory to God.

      Reply
  39. Marc Kuyper

    Great blog entry and stories of God and the level of surrender by believers in India. I am going to be traveling for business in Bangalore the first couple weeks in February and I will now look to participate in local BSF meetings with my brothers while I am there. Thank you for reminding me that I/we can do that worldwide through BSF!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Marc! Let me know if you need help connecting with someone in Bangalore! Blessings!

      Reply
  40. Fran Goetz

    Thank you for sharing for what God is doing over in India and around the world. Praise God for what he is doing through BSF.

    Reply
  41. Keith Thompson

    Having been to India I too have experienced the true joy of those who, despite hardships and true suffering, have a living relationship with Jesus Christ. The sparkle in their eyes and smile on their faces in the midst of those who do not know Christ is often obvious from a distance. Thank you for sharing! Praise God for how He is moving throughout the world through BSF and other ministries who desire to fulfill Jesus’ command in Matthew 28: 18-20.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Keith! Well said! Thanks for the encouragement! Praying the Lord blesses you as you continue to follow Jesus wherever He leads!

      Reply
  42. Nancy Markle

    Praise God for your willingness to obey the call!
    We are all called, some in a foreign land, some in the USA and some right where we are! I have been on 7 mission trips to third world countries to share the gospel! What an honor, what a privilege! I felt sure God was calling me to full time missions. When I didn’t get His call to go to a third world country or any country, I realized He was calling me to continue spreading the gospel right where I was! Right here, right now…wherever I am. He opens the opportunity everyday!!!
    That call is for every Christian in Mathew 28:19-20. Thank you for your inspiring story! God Bless you!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Nancy!! So true! The power of the gospel to redeem every experience and place. Well said and thank you for the encouragement!

      Reply
    • JoAnn

      What an inspiring article! It lets us see how true unconditional love for God and God’s word is alive and well around the world. The article encourages us to be that light everyday! Planting that seed! Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us all, Nate!

      Reply
  43. Anita

    Your experience strengthens my faith. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praise the Lord! Encouragement is a two way street!

      Reply
  44. Penny J Shaffer Warfel

    Wow . I have been witnessing to my therapist from India for two years now.
    I finally ask him what he would do with the fact that Jesus said he was the way truth and life.
    I became friends with his family and still often pray for them.
    His wife came for a while to BSF but quit when she said it was only for those who believed.
    This gives me hope

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks for sharing Penny! I hope BSF is a place where believers and seekers can find answers! Stay connected! Praying for your friend to experience the love of Christ through you.

      Reply
  45. Doris Rollins

    To God be the glory for the miracles He is still working today! No boundaries can stop Him! Praise God! Enjoyed this beautiful story of God’s faithfulness!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Thank you Doris for the encouragement!

      Reply
      • Nanci

        I’m thank you Nate for this wonderful story. It brings tears to my eyes as I close them thinking of what can do to surrendering my self fully to our King. Everyday I let Him know that I truly believe!

        Reply
        • Nate Thoreson

          Thanks for the reminder and encouragement Nanci! Praying for you!

          Reply
  46. Debra J. Perry

    Thank you for sharing! When Compassion International was forced to leave India I was very sad but trusted that God would provide for His people there in others ways. So glad to hear that BSF is there meeting the needs of His people! God bless you and the entire BSF Staff as you lead this ministry in this new decade and beyond!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Debra, and I pray God’s richest blessings in Christ for you as well. Matthew 16:18 reminds us that God builds His church on the rock, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it!

      Reply
  47. Binu George

    It’s very Inspiring to hear about fellow believers in Christ. I started with BSF recently but it’s an amazing experience of sharing our God’s love with each other.
    May God continue to use each one of us to build His kingdom.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Binu, welcome to BSF and I pray you will continue to grow closer to Christ through studying His Word in community. Amen

      Reply
  48. Shirley Goodwin

    We serve an UNSTOPPABLE GOD!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen!

      Reply
  49. Susan

    Thank you very much for the amazing story of Indian Christians. It is four years now since I joined BSF and my life will never be the same again am praying and trusting God to guide me this year as I continue to study His Word . I salute the BSF for their commitment to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Susan! Praying you are blessed this year in BSF as you grow closer to Christ through His Word!

      Reply
  50. Juliet makokha

    Ihave surrendered all my pain sicknes .bussines ,myfamily especial my alcoholic son tBrian to jesus tochange him accept jesusJ

    Reply
    • Melinda Liang

      I am so encouraged and inspired by your beautiful sharing of your experience of how God is moving with the people of India.
      I have heard stories and seen horror video of a girl who was literally buried alive after she came back from a Bible study in front of a throng of people and other Christians been persecuted in various ways in India.
      They are the ones who pick up their cross daily and follow Christ. These incredible followers of Jesus Christ has witnessed their strong faith in Jesus and taught me a great deal of how to surrender my all to Him, focusing on Jesus and stay true to my Faith.
      I myself was born in India (from Chinese origin). Gave my life to Jesus at the age of six, studied in Christian schools from kindergarten to high school. In the sixties, things were peaceful in India, never heard or experienced persecution. I realized now that the devil is working hard because his time is coming up soon when Jesus will destroy him and his Kingdom once and for all.
      I have learned so much from BSF. This is my fifth year in it. I’m thankful and ever so grateful to those who put together and prepare the notes for us who are so hungry and eager to learn more about our sovereign Lord. These past five years have changed me and made me a better person.
      Thank you, Nate, and your amazing team for keeping this BSF lessons going.
      I so enjoyed my study and will continue to do so.
      May our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ bless you and All, richly as your continue to serve Him diligently.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Thank you for the prayers and support Melinda, we love to see others grow in their trust of our Lord!

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Joining you in prayer for you son Juliet. Praying for Christ to set him free.

      Reply
  51. Kamau kimani peter

    This serves to firmly confirm that nobody, nothing can ever stop the spread of God’s word in Christ Jesus crucified and resarected.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen to that Kamau! Our God is Unstoppable!

      Reply
  52. Toye Williams

    To God Be The Glory for the marvelous things that He has done both in and through you to bless, encourage, and equip souls for the Kingdom.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Toye, to God be the glory!

      Reply
  53. Ron Hill

    Nate,

    I was blessed by your report and am privileged to serve with you!

    Ron

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Brother Ron! The privilege is mine to serve our great God with you. Thank you for the love and faithfulness, excellence, humility, and integrity with which you serve the men in your area! Thankful for you!

      Reply
  54. Carolyn S Whiting

    Praising God for the awesome work He is doing. Thanking God for the wonderful testimony. God bless and protect you and His people.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Carolyn! Praying with thanksgiving for you as well!

      Reply
  55. Pam Ames

    I remember praying for Chennai, India about 25 years ago in Leader’s Meetings!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      God answers prayers Pam!! People are coming to Christ and growing in the knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ.

      Reply
  56. Laurie Keller

    I am thrilled to learn BSF has been in India 25 years. I was under the impression BSF was not in India yet.
    I can’t wait to tell an Indian pastor and brother this news. He has not heard of BSF but is interested.
    Thank you for your blog. There truly is Joy in Surrender. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Please have your pastor friend get in touch with us at BSF HQ, we would love to introduce him to other brothers and sisters in BSF in India. Thank you Laurie!

      Reply
  57. Jane Vanworth

    Yeah Father God! Oh the places Father God takes in this journey of faith! Thanks for trusting HIM, Nate

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Thank you Jane for being a part of this journey with us!

      Reply
  58. Tony Boulton

    How good to hear about Elango. I’ve followed him on social media, just because of his BSF connection.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Elango is a dear brother in Christ! He is also has a wonderful way with words and a great sense of humor!

      Reply
  59. Vernona "Mona" Hearne

    THANK YOU NATE. A thread, including yours, of encouraging testimonies about India have been a joy for me for a number of years.
    I THANK GOD for your vision and ministry to the people of that land.

    I was on a short fruitful mission trip to India in a number of years ago working with Southern Baptists.

    Fast forward: In 2017 I joined BSF as a student, my previous spiritual growth was rooted in the excellent Precept Ministries who guided me in learning to study Scripture. After coming to the pioneer online Romans BSF study I knew I was in the place God wanted me. As of now I’m in my second year as a BSF online group leader. I AM HUMBLED AND GRATEFUL.

    One of my group members is Indian, her mother and father were born in Indian and were Christian ministers there. After these parents moved to the USA my dear GM was born and now has a family of her own. She and her daughter visited in my home January 1-4, 2020. A DIVINE APPOINTMENT! Ephesians 3:20,21

    God’s thread is eternal.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Wow! Thank you for sharing this story Mona! What an encouragement to all of us 🙂 Thank you for serving as an Online group leader, what a great privilege to connect with others around the world. Isn’t it amazing how fast and authentic the relationships can form through an online group? ! Praise God!

      Reply
  60. Mary Kay Esswein

    Loved hearing your story and seeing familiar pictures of Bangalore, India! I’ve taken part in 3 mission trips to India in the past 10 years including Bangalore where we worked with Happy Home Orphanage and in Velore where we worked with the Lutheran School for Deaf and Blind. We also held a mission seminar with church planters in Mumbai who shared their testimonies of powerful conversion from Hindu and Muslim beliefs to Jesus Christ! The spiritual darkness of India is heavy and oppressive but the believers are radiant and joyful as they live out the love of Jesus and share His truth with unbelievers, even when at risk of persecution. What a blessing to hear about BSF groups for 25 years in India. Praying for abundant fruit among the billion people of India, most of whom are lost in darkness.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks for sharing Mary Kay!

      Reply
  61. Julie Bisher

    Nate, your story of India and its people reminds me of the critical need for rebirth and reawakening in our country. I pray that I surrender the things that make me comfortable in this land of plenty. I rejoice that there are people in all nations wanting the same.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Julie, that is my prayer as well. Amen!

      Reply
  62. ANTONIETA COZZI

    I am very happy to see how Jesus uses his beloved peaple in his purposes.
    He is soveregn an knows everythings.
    Glory to the Lamb

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Antonieta!

      Reply
  63. Margie Thomas

    Praise God for you open ear and eyes. You are making a difference.
    It’s Amazing how our Awesome God uses us when we listen.
    May God continue to use you for His purposes as well as me!!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Margie! It’s amazing how He uses us when we don’t listen as well!

      Reply
  64. Ligia T. Smith

    The study, the Lessons and the teaching that the Lord provided through BSF is a continuous process of maturing my personal relationship with the Lord. I shared my study with my husband and read and study it every night. I invited friends to BSF. So thankful for the privilege of being a part of BSF faithfully for nine years. Thank you Jesus.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for sharing Ligia! I bet your discussions with your husband are rich and inspiring!

      Reply
  65. Lorraine Padrick Boyd

    I have been a “friendship partner” with a Computer Science Grad student from Bangalore, who is attending Wichita State, and who is a Christian. We have been friends since September, 2018. Since my friendship with Silvia, I have learned a lot about the Christian life in India (at least, in Karnataka). I have also been praying thru the Indian states, using a prayer guide provided by India Gospel Mission. There are only 29, of widely different sizes (as are our states).

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Wonderful Lorraine! Karnataka was one of the places I visited! Crazy traffic and wonderful food 🙂 Praying your friendship is a real blessing!

      Reply
  66. Nepal

    Churches had been planted at each one of the Nepal’s 77 districts now. A couple years ago, pastor Reuben in Nepal learned about BSF and thought it would be excellent BSF is available to benefit their people at all of their Nepal’s 77 districts. He expressed interests to visit New Delhi BSF. Praying God for you to establish connections.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for your prayers and one of BSF’s goals is that we are serving the churches in India and raising up leaders in their communities!

      Reply
      • Nepal’s 77 districts needs BSF

        are you only serving India? what about Nepal, the country north of India.
        All 77 districts in Nepal are now with christian and churches planted.

        Reply
  67. Cheri Deters

    Nate,
    The realization of our conversations and your passion for the Gospel.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Cheri! You are a wonderful sister in Christ and a living testament to His powerful Gospel! I miss our conversations! Give Dave my love and enjoy the grandbaby!

      Reply
  68. Missy

    Nate,
    Just read about your Dad. I am so sorry, but he IS in Glory now. God love ya. Hi to Barb, the kids and Kona!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Missy! We are doing well, including Kona 🙂

      Reply
  69. Kris Crane

    Thanks for sharing this amazing opportunity to see Christ followers in another culture. My granddaughter, husband & 4 boys live as missionaries in India (for the last 7 years). They are with a group called YWAM. They love the Indian people and are committed to stay indefinitely there. I pray for them everyday because I know persecution is becoming more common against Christians & Muslims. We all must keep these beautiful people in our prayers because many of them have difficult lives because of persecution. I hope to go to India myself to visit them. God bless

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Kris! I encourage you to visit them :-). God is at work in every culture!

      Reply
  70. Missy

    It was so good to see Nate where his heart has always been; just took a bit if time for Jesus to work it all out for him. 🙂
    Keep the messages coming as we always love to know what is going on in places we can’t be.
    Love to all,
    Frank & Missy Coeur d’ Alene, ID

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Missy! Give my love to Frank as well, Barb and I miss you. Let Frank know that the cross he made is in my office! A great reminder of love!

      Reply
  71. Betty Macip

    It reminds me of Paul and his struggles to bring Christianity to the people of his land. So many believed in false god’s and it appears so in India.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Our hearts our idol factories and we can all manufacture idols. Thanks Betty for the reminder that we need the power of the Holy Spirit to change and transform and sanctify our hearts to keep Him first in our lives!

      Reply
  72. Judy Lemons

    Thank you for reminding me that God is at work everywhere around the world!! Praise the Lord!!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Judy. I am encouraged by this too! He is faithful

      Reply
  73. Cindy

    Amen! I hope your family has been as “on board”
    as you are. It was a lot of changes for them as well.
    God bless and keep each of you!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Cindy! They are and have been! Part of God’s leading and confirmation was through my wife and children! He provided the certainty and peace that passes understanding. Not that it hasn’t been challenging! But God is faithful and has grown my family through this transition as well. Thanks for caring. Blessings to you.

      Reply
  74. Susan

    Thank you for sharing this post and pictures. It is encouraging to see the family of believers throughout the world

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! We serve an encouraging God!

      Reply
  75. Patti Hesse

    The beauty of God’s love radiates through the pictures and the stories shared! Thank you for reminding me to trust in Gods sovereign plan.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      You are welcome Patti! I needed the reminder in writing this as well. God is good

      Reply
  76. Michael

    Thanks for sharing. i am encouraged to hear that God is moving in India. It is good to know that God is moving in India in spite of opposition. Our daughter, Lisa, & I sponsored a young lady in India thru Compassion International. Her name is Andrea Caupi. She was born December 9 1998. Compassion no longer works in India. I don’t know if they were thrown out or if they felt it was unsafe to continue working there. We do still pray for her & her family.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Michael, I do know it was a very complicated and difficult decision for Compassion Int. I cannot speak for them. There are challenges, but I know that God is at work and raising people up to serve His purposes in India. That is encouraging. Praying for you and your family (including Andrea!)

      Reply
  77. Ralph E Neal

    Good message.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank God! Hope it was encouraging for you Ralph!

      Reply
  78. William Long

    Evangalizing India most surely requires fortitude and love for family of human intelligence.
    What deep of Spirit we as sons of God can be wrought within their indigenous world.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks William. God’s grace is sufficient!

      Reply
  79. Hema Hopper

    Hi Nate!
    I am from Chennai, India but now I live in Charlotte, NC.
    It is wonderful to hear the testimonies of folks that you have shared. I see the Joy of the Lord is their strength in many situations. They cling to their Lord Jesus with such faith.
    It is wonderful to hear that it is 25yrs since BSF started in India. Praise God!
    Thanks again for sharing! Always a joy to hear about our homeland especially of Christian believers.
    Blessings!
    Hema

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Hi Hema! What a privilege to “meet” you, I look forward to meeting you face to face someday! India is a beautiful place with beautiful people and diaspora throughout so many places in the world! To have gotten a taste of the culture, food, geography, and history was great. I am thankful also to get a glimpse of God’s work in and through the lives of His people there. Believers there have a passion for Christ and compassion for people to know Jesus as they do. Inspirational for sure!

      Reply
  80. Maryann VandeKieft

    What total JOY to hear how God is using the faithfulness of people who love a God and Hid Word; who are willing to endure hardship for the sake of the gospel. I love how God is using BSF to spread the good news of Jesus. To Him Be The Glory Alone!!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Well said Maryann! We were created to bring Him glory!

      Reply
  81. Manuela Karkiewicz

    Good morning I’m blessed to be a part BSF. This is my first time for many years I work long hours it’s a single mom. But this time I don’t half a job I’m in another state and Texas I used to be in Albuquerque New Mexico and I am with my daughter my son-in-law and my son to and I’ve been able to have the time to participate in this Bible study and it’s been a joy for me in my daughter to she’s part of the BSF she’s in an English group and I’m in the Spanish group. The year 2019 we had 4 members of the family they went to be with God. My sister in love her father and my 26 old Nice and my father everything happened in four months. Through this time this sisters and the leader of my group from the Bible study. They are continue praying for me and my family. And God is been here with us. We can’t see his hand moving in our lives. But different things happening especially after my father passed away in November. He pass away in Mexico the country and Mexico and because of the culture in their believes several people and several members of my father brothers and sister niece and nephew then I want to speak to me. It is a long story but they’re upset because we’re not did there way they wanted to do his barrier and debuting his body and hurts because I wanna God to use me to bring the gospel to them my father did chair with his family the gospel and I wanted to be continue that relation open for me to continue praying fasting in reading my Bible and tell them about God. I have a few members on my dad‘s family there is speaking to me in one of my father brother maybe I saucily is stupid to feel hurt but I’m not did nothing too offended and I make any decisions For the funeral
    They assume I did everything and I make all the decisions and also Because there is a disagreement between my mom and my dad‘s family for years and we cut out in the middle of the fight. But in the miss of everything I am blessed by God when their father left us my daughter and my son they were very young children and everyday we were able to see God. hand moving in the life of my daughter and my son there adults now my daughter is 32 and her husband 38. my son is 30. and I’m very proud of them and also they’re following God what I can ask more. please. Please keep my son in prayer he’s a state police officer for the state of Texas. I want to thank you all for you to make this possible all the bible studies every day all over the world thank you. I will continue praying for the men and women their part of the Bible study and then once they’re in charge in the leaders I each group. Romans 8:28. Love Manuela Karkiewicz

    Reply
    • Manuela Karkiewicz

      Good morning this is Manuela Karkiewicz again I send a note to you guys But I realize some of the sentences I use were Incorrect. My English is not good. And maybe it’s silly but I wanted to clarify in the note the I wrote to you guys previously the I had nothing to do with my dad‘s decision and his funeral that’s why my dad‘s family thinks that I did and they’re angry at me. thank you

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Thank you Manuela for sharing. You are an encouragement to me and hearing how you are following Jesus. I too lost my father recently, but I know he is in the presence of the Lord because of His faith in Jesus Christ. Praying for His peace and comfort through the hard things of this life!

        Reply
  82. Rich Brown

    Thank you, Nate. It is a privilege to serve the Lord and to experience His process of molding in the crucible of life’s challenges. Just as Paul was an example, thank you for leading the way as an example to men who follow Jesus.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Rich, I am just a follower of Jesus like you! And thank you for all you are doing in the cause of Christ. Thankful for you brother.

      Reply
  83. Eleanor Pascua

    Thanks for sharing the joy of people who follow Jesus

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Eleanor,
      I am reminded of a song my mom used to sing, “How can I keep from singing!” I have an old recording of her singing this song. Seeing what God is doing in and through His people reminds me of this song. He deserves all praise and glory for who He is and what He has done!

      Reply
  84. Marty Bonham

    Thank you for your obedience to God’s call for your family. I love the happy faces of those you lead in BSF.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Appreciate the encouragement Marty! Part of the step of obedience for me included God reminding me that He is the God of creation. There is no better cause than to bring Him honor and praise and glory with my very life. What I didn’t expect was how deeply satisfying this is to experience. Hindsight is such a gift and much needed when we face the next test of faith that lies ahead.

      Reply
  85. And then calls them to be fisher of men. I believe God has called me to open a new good news club in a public elementary school I will listen to the Holy Spirit and follow God’s lead and doing this

    Praise the Lord for this very encouraging message. It reminds me of the video series called chosen. There is one show where Jesus helps the men fish And then calls them to be fisher of men. I believe God has called me to open a new good news club in a public elementary school I will listen to the Holy Spirit and follow God’s lead and doing this

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praying for God’s Spirit to guide you as you follow Him!

      Reply
  86. Gina Brown

    Very encouraging story! Thanks for sharing how our mighty God is working in so many lives to save the lost and help those in need. I thank God for people like you. It helps us to stay motivated where God has planted us and to be open to living life His way! May God continue you to bless you, your family and all those touched by God’s grace and calling and willing to honor the Call!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Gina! You said it well! My hope and prayer is that we all will appreciate that God has us right where He wants us for now and to trust him in our homes, workplaces, and communities to love those people God has put in our lives there. Praying with thankfulness for you Gina.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth Ip

        Nate, this reply of yours, for some reason, speaks so loudly to me. The words jump out, I repeat them again and again, I’ve written them down, to memorize and hold dear in my heart. Thank you, bless you.

        Reply
        • Nate Thoreson

          May the Lord bless you and keep you Elizabeth! May His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May He look upon you with favor and give you His peace. Amen

          Reply
  87. Neera

    Thank you for sharing the testimony of brokenness of people who have accepted and followed our Almighty

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Neera! The longer I follow Jesus, the more I realize just how deeply broken and in need of a Savior I am. His grace is sufficient!

      Reply
      • Karen Schicora

        As you might know, we are studying Hebrews and are in Chapter 9/10. Your statement about realizing how broken we are and in need of Jesus was made very clear in this passage to me. Thank you for your love of serving our Lord.

        Reply
        • Nate Thoreson

          Thank you for the reminder Karen! Hebrews is such a great reminder of the superiority of Jesus Christ!

          Reply
  88. Felicia Washington

    What a blessing to be able to read a story of how God is working in India. Praying for God’s protection over all those working for His good.

    Reply
    • Eunice Falola

      I am encouraged. Thank you for sharing these testimonies. I pray for a spirit filled year for all us.

      Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Thank you Felicia for your prayers!

      Reply
  89. Martha L Saunders

    Great testimony of how great our God’ is. He is faithful and keeps His promises
    We just have to lean on His Word and trust Him

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Martha. It sure helps to see examples of what it looks like and God continues to show those examples through His word and His people.

      Reply
  90. Tim Stewart

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring testimony about our Christian brothers and sisters and their faithfulness to God. Praise God for His mercy and love!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Tim. I am joining you in praising God for His mercy and love! Thank you Tim for doing your part as well!

      Reply
  91. Chris Scarborough

    Thanks brother, a wonderful and encouraging read. I was filled with joy realizing that one day I will enjoy fellowship with these brothers and sisters whom I’ve never met, either in this life or the life to come. Praise God!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Chris, this thought also encourages me greatly as one of the great gifts God gives to us! I look forward to that day when we will all see face to face and sing His praises together as we celebrate what He has done. BSF has given me a glimpse of seeing people from all tribes and tongues unified by Christ as a foretaste of what it might look like one day, only better.

      Reply
  92. Selpha Eve Wakuze

    True indeed, i have been encouraged by the above wonderful testimonies, that we should leave our comfort zones and serve God. God bless you for the good work you are doing in India

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Selpha. Leaving our comfort zones isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!

      Reply
  93. Esther Micere

    Amen!really encouraging!May i be surrendered to Gods call to be a fisher of men🙏

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Esther. Praying God will provide opportunities for you to be Christ and share Christ with a lost and dying world.

      Reply
  94. Linda Alvarado

    “Trust & obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust &obey. “ An old old hymn, by John Sammis, one that gets into heart & mind. It’s Jesus’ call to our hearts set to music.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Great reminder Linda, thank you!

      Reply
  95. Kumbwaeli Salewi

    A very inspiring homily and testimony which has touched my heart and a line of vision for my journey in 2020. May God bless all who are working so hard as BSFers for His course

    Reply
    • Linda

      Add my gratitude, too, to BSF workers, volunteers, & novices on the journey

      Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praying we all keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as our hope and motivation for 2020. Thank you Kumbwaeli!

      Reply
  96. Peggotty Hyatte

    Amen, thank You Jesus!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen!

      Reply
  97. Lynn Ferrell

    Thank you for reminding us all that we serve a good God. Recently read a message from Chris Adams. She said true surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I wholeheartedly agree Lynn! Reminds me of Jesus describing the sheep and goats and even the sheep saying, “when did we?” The real work is what God is doing in and through us that we aren’t even aware, and He gets ALL of the glory! This is a deeply encouraging thought and comfort. Thank you.

      Reply
  98. Ruthlyn Webster

    Thank you for sharing your story and the importance of surrendered to God.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Surrender doesn’t mean defeat but freedom!

      Reply
  99. Gladys Malesi Onamu

    This is really an encouraging and reassuring read, He remains the same, as I surrender all to do His work, he will go with me be with me and do it with me. His grace is enough.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Well said Gladys!

      Reply
  100. Yerima Jatau

    This is reassuring and faith-strengthening. We pray for more grace to hear His call and respond aright.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praying with you Yerima!

      Reply
  101. RESTITUTA.

    Glad to read this article. Our mission as believers is to share and spread the word of God to those people who don’t have a relationship with Him and His only son Lord Jesus Christ. It is such a previlage and a great blessings for all those who have accepted God and Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit encourages us who are believers to live our lives as an example to others. Many people do not get the opportunity to worship God as they fear to be persecuted. As for us who have been blessed ,let us thank God for this greatest gift of salvation through His most beloved son Jesus Christ. Through Him,many barriers and obstacles are removed.
    Since i accepted Christ as the Lord of my life, i have found rest in Him. It is now 8 years and i have never regretted. My heart has found, joy and peace.In this joy i do share with most people. I thank my BSF study group and each time as we fellowship, i learn new things.
    May the Holy Spirit guide all of us to keep on thirsting for His word, and let His word be our guiding light. May He enable us to leave our lives as an example ,so Christ will be seen in our lives.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for sharing what God has done in your life Restituta!

      Reply
  102. Linda Morris

    Because of health issues, I have had to relocate to Texas,close to my daughter. I had to leave my BSF group and my home. I don’t know what life will be like here but BSF is so important and rewarding to me, I can cling to continuing to learn and share Gods word. I’m sure there will be a BSF class nearby.

    Reply
  103. Elyane

    Dear friends,
    Thank for this sharing, may God protect you all . It is not easy to live as christian and left behind the traditional custom in India. I spent one year training in India and was so happy to find one Catholic church in Narela. To encourage them to go ahead, i did my confirmation there by New Delhi Bishop in St John church… with a godmother from Mexico at the last moment…. This was a loving experience of how God lead his people.
    Wishing you good luck for the holy mission..

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks for sharing Elyane! Praying for God to encourage you on your journey as you walk with Jesus and follow Him wherever He leads!

      Reply
  104. Cecilia

    My take… Real growth comes with growing pain.. Is a hard truth thank you brother for bringing it up.. Practicallh by you sacrificial goft to God’s people in obedience and love..ay God’s presence overshadow you now and always.

    Reply
    • Chandra Immanuel

      It’s nice to read about BSF in Bangalore and Chennai. I’m part of Tambaram women day class which started after praying for 6 years. We are growing steadily. Thanks be to God for His faithfulness.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Thankful for you Chandra! I also pray that one day we will have translations for India so that the people of India can discuss God’s Word in their mother tongue! Keep praying!

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Cecilia! It is a hard truth, but it is truth :-). I can say now that I am thankful for the harder things in my life, even though I would not have chosen them, because I grew the most. It was those times where I felt closest to the Lord and experienced His goodness and faithfulness.

      Reply
  105. Thomas Lam

    Thank you Nate for your sharing and your obedience to the Lord is a blessing to us men in Australia! Praise God!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Thomas! You are a blessing to me and an example of a life of obedience. It is such a privilege to see how God is growing you and using you to serve the men in Australia and New Zealand! Praying God’s purposes there and for an end to the brushfires and devastation they are causing.

      Reply
  106. Coleen CourterSheets

    God has been impressing on me in the recent years and especially the last few weeks of struggles, challenges and trials to rejoice in my suffering. I’ve been challenged to grasp a better understanding of what it means to have joy. I’ve been praying and pleading with God to sense it. I know I have it; I just can’t seem to find it! I know it’s not an emotion or feeling like being happy. I know it’s an eternal gift. And in the last week as God has continued to peel back the layers of what true joy is for me through sermons, BSF lecture prep: “You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”
    ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:34, encouragement from my sisters in Christ and now this blog, I’m starting to get a clearer picture. It’s not in my circumstances where my faith in God or my perseverance in love is strengthened but in the person of Jesus Christ himself where I finally find my joy. He alone is my joy and my peace even when the world around me seems to be tumbling down. My circumstances have helped me to grow and mature in my relationship with Christ as I depend on Him. But my joy is found in Jesus! And I think that is where the bright smiles are coming from on all these wonderful faces in these pictures we see from the people of India. Thank you Nate for answering God’s call and blessing so many through what God is showing you!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Coleen! Jesus is our joy! I need to remind my own face of that every now and then!

      Reply
  107. MP Lynch

    Nate- I have been blessed by your faithfulness to the call! It is so good to hear what Jesus is doing around the globe and in our own back yards!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Mark! You have been an incredible blessing to me brother. I love your heart for the Lord and how much you cherish His word. And you have shined the light of Christ in the midst of challenges with courage. Thank you for being a living example of what it looks like to me. Love you brother!

      Reply
  108. Jane Kamuche Masha

    I believe that Jesus is calling me to do exploits for him.Iam surrendering myself to be used of him,may he use me to do his will.May he remove any fear, may he also make me to be more prayerful and to be fully dependent of him.Amen.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for sharing Jane. Praying for you to enjoy the journey He has for you!

      Reply
  109. Sherilyn Long

    What a wonderful blessing to see your smiling face Nate!! Tim and I have missed you and Barb. We have been challenged by your willingness to live the surrendered life when you stepped out in faith to follow Jesus on this adventure. We are delighted and encouraged to see how good God is through this process and the opportunity to see and experience His joy that comes through “risk” of trusting the one who’s got you securely. Thank you for the encouragement! You guys always have a “home” away from home out here in Idaho! 🙂

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Sherilyn! You were one of the few who dropped everything to come and help us get our house ready to sell in making the move to Texas. I will never ever forget how you grabbed a vacuum and started cleaning and then starting singing praises to the Lord while you vacuumed! What a gift to Barb and I to see and hear the joy of the Lord as the four of us scrambled to “drop our nets” and follow Jesus. You and Tim are dear to us and Tim always makes me laugh! Words cannot express my gratitude! Love to you both!

      Reply
  110. Irynne

    Like the song says, it ‘makes me wanna dance’ to know that ‘ all over the world people just like us are calling on His Name, living in His love …’

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Irynne! I got to see so many with the joy of the Lord. Only God can do that!

      Reply
  111. Douglas Wilson

    A great reminder and encouragement to recommit our hearts to “application” of the Great Commission”. Our Church. Celebrate 50 years of world missions January 31- Feb 5th… we thank God for our involvement in the lives of so many that would otherwise not hear the Word of God!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Awesome Douglas! His kingdom is growing as God equips His people to serve His purposes in the world. Thanks for the encouragement brother!

      Reply
  112. Adele Fugate

    What a awe inspiring story of being led by God! Followers now are like followers in the time of Jesus. We just need to open our hearts and hear the call. I am ready and waiting. I have been recently guided to teach Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I hope the same will be true for you all

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Adele. Jesus invites each and every person to follow Him. Praying for you!

      Reply
  113. Lilian McGuigan

    Seeing such joy on the faces of these believers who made the hard and very real voice to obey God’s call in their lives is so encouraging. May God’s Spirit move through North America setting our hearts towards our Lord and His purpose in our lives.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Lilian I appreciate your prayers. We all need growing awareness of the deep influences our cultures have on us that only God can change and transform!

      Reply
  114. Brenda

    I love hearing about our BSF brothers and sisters around the World. It enhances my sense of “belonging” to a wonderful part of God’s work that is BSF. It challenges me, as well. Although we face relatively minor opposition in the United States, it is increasing. So much the more do we cling to God’s Word and lean into Him as we listen and respond as He would have us do.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Good points Brenda! The challenge is to stay engaged with those in our lives who do not know Him yet and love them well. This is a great privilege to be a part of His redeeming work and to think of ourselves wherever we are as His priests for His purposes.

      Reply
  115. Janet Wong

    Praise the Lord ! thankful for the wonderful work done by BSF volunteers

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Well said Janet. I am thankful to have others to walk alongside and who encourage me when there are challenges.

      Reply
  116. Claudia Stapel

    Amazing story. Thanks for taking the time to write it. It is important for American believers to step out and experience how the rest of the world follows Christ. I grew up in Communist România and became a secret christian in the Baptist Church ( or the sect of repentants as the communists called it). I managed with God’s help to escape România by crossing the Danube River without knowing how to swim. God took care of me in the UN refuge camp in Belgrade and brought me to USA. Maybe one day I will share my story on one of the BSF blogs

    Reply
    • Olena

      Claudia, this is incredible! Please do share your story. Love in Christ to all.

      Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Claudia! This is amazing, how humbling to hear your story. I am blown away by this and I think you already are sharing your story on the BSF blog! Thank you and I think we all would like to hear more of what God has done and is doing in your life. Praise HIm!

      Reply
  117. Robert Cook

    This is such a blessing to hear of the surrendered life we are living here and abroad. May God continue to bless his people and work.My prayer this year and the beginning of a new decade is that more of us become fishermen for the Lord.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thanks Robert! I am praying we all are reminded of the great privilege to share the Gospel with our very lives with others. Happy fishing!

      Reply
  118. Priyanka

    It really encouraging me to move on with surrender to my Savior.I need His Grace to endure .

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I need His sustaining and enduring and transforming Grace too Priyanka! Praying with thanksgiving for you!

      Reply
  119. Irene Mendoza

    Thank you for sharing this, this blog came just when I needed it most. My husband was called to serve and I have struggles in me. It seems that God is speaking to me through this blog.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praying for God’s peace and wisdom and clarity through His Word for you Irene!

      Reply
  120. Sammie Taylor

    So Grateful in spite of all we see going on in this world we see The Mighty Hand of GOD at work bringing people to FAITH, Praise GOD. And BSF is a Tool He is using, Thank You GOD, you used BSF as a tool to change my life.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Sammie. Thankful for you as well.

      Reply
  121. Vivian Langston

    Praise be to Jesus for allowing us to experience the “joy of a surrendered life”! I pray that the Lord will Bless all who labor in this vineyard. To God be the glory. Pastor Vivian Langston

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Great prayer Vivian, thank you and amen!

      Reply
  122. Jan Kelty

    Am thrilled to see the longevity of BSF ministry in India. I remember when we began praying for the Indian nation in the 80’s in a class in Oregon. God had so much in store for the world when Miss Johnston followed His small voice. I love to see how nations are coming to our Savior by prayer and faithfilled servants answering His individual call. Praise be to God!!!!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Jan. Please continue to join us in praying for continued growth in India and as we see God at work in the Gulf and Middle East and Asia!

      Reply
  123. E. V. Booker

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story,and your testimony of God’s goodness. Remain strong in you faith and the work of the Lord.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you E.V. I pray the same for you! Praise God

      Reply
  124. Stanley Wilkins

    Thank you for your update today

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Welcome!

      You have been prayed for today Stanley! Be encouraged!

      Reply
  125. Kathleen A. Donovan

    Dear Stephen & Malini,
    May God continue to bless your work with BSF in India and thank you for sharing your story. My Aunt Mable was a domestic missionary in the US working with the Indians in Arizona and New Mexico. Her entire life was devoted to God and I saw the difference she made.
    God bless you and your work!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for lifting up Stephen and Malini! They are faithful and humble servants! Praying for you as well Kathleen!

      Reply
  126. Sarah

    Praise God for being our Protector. Thank you for sharing your story and testifiying to God’s great protection over His people in India. What a encouragement for all believers to remain steadfast and cling to the promises of God, always. To God be the glory!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      To God be the glory indeed! Thank you Sarah!

      Reply
  127. Emily Masheleni

    Praise be to God for the wonderful testimonies indeed following Christ comes with growing pains I really needed to hear this.Praying for all believers in India the Joy of the Lord surpasses all challenges.

    Reply
    • Desiree

      Praise the Lord , His work is unstoppable and what a great privilege to be part of what He is doing.

      Few years back, I joined by husband in his new work assignment in another country. I left a good paying job, friends, families and ministry. The adjustments and transitions were not easy and I questioned God for it. I was not living a surrendered life. God’s word, support from my husband and BSF helped me to get through it. God is faithful. When i fully surrendered everything to the Lord, accept that all things work together for my good , i realized that this is the best season of my life and i can still expect for the better best to come.
      The Lord loves to transform me into His likeness. The Lord has been faithful to me and my husband. Truly, He is a god good father.

      It’s in a God surrendered life where we can fully experience the best of our lives. Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy to love and obey His will.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Thank you for sharing this Desiree! What an amazing example and encouragement you are for God’s glory. I suspect this is every believers journey as we follow Him we begin to move out of the driver’s seat and let Jesus start driving the car to where ever He wants to go. We get to actually stress less and enjoy the view while He drives. Thanks again for sharing.

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      What a great prayer Emily! That the joy of the Lord surpasses all challenges. Awesome.

      Reply
  128. ALICIA

    When I read of these dear souls in India who stand for Jesus in spite of hardship or persecution, I weep as I look at my own culture (U.S.) and realize how little hardship we experience as Christians. Christianity is being pushed to the fringes or even considered irrelevant. May we renew our commitment and obedience to our Savior as we face an unknown future. Our only hope is to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Great thoughts Alicia. North America may indeed begin to experience what opposition and persecution looks and feels like as we become more marginalized and polarized. May our love remain strong for His glory.

      Reply
  129. Susan Renee

    Thank you for sharing. Your words were encouraging. I am struggling with the new season God has given my family. Praying for restoration of what the devil stole and praying that the Holy Spirit will give me words and actions and grace during this time.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Praying for you and your family in this season Susan. I do not know what you’re going through, but we do know the One who hears us and sees us! The One who created us, who loves us, and who sent His son to rescue us! We know Him. And He is all powerful and all knowing, merciful and slow to anger, and abiding in His steadfast love. Knowing He is on the throne today brings comfort to me and I hope to you.

      Reply
  130. Carmen

    I had heard recently that India has become very high on the scale for persecuting Christians .
    To hear how BSF has been going on there for so long is nothing short of a miracle.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      There is truth to this comment Carmen, especially in the north of India. Join us in lifting up our brothers and sisters there!

      Reply
  131. Enid Earle

    Thank you for sharing. God is good.

    Reply
    • Dominique Gillyard

      Praise God! What an amazing journey. What encouragement this shows that when we surrender ourselves completely to God and walk in his calling it brings true Joy!
      Thank you

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        You are welcome, to God be the glory! Thanks Dominique

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      All the time! He is good and great! Thank you Enid

      Reply
  132. Lonette Welch

    Thank you so much for sharing. I did not know BSF was there. Wow! 25 years!!!! This is encouraging. Prayers going up.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Let us celebrate what God has done and is doing! 25 years is amazing! Praise God!

      Reply
  133. Ruth Luke

    God is indeed faithful! I pray God will help me this year 2020 study and apply the Bible daily by the power of the Holy Spirit and to also reach the next generation of younger adults and children with the gospel of Jesus Christ through Bible engagement. 🙏

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Joining you in that prayer Ruth!

      Reply
  134. Raj

    Beautiful Nate . Thank you . Its 5 30 am on Saturday and I am all set to go the Leaders weekly meeting at 630 at CSI Church in Santhome

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Wish I was there with you Raj!! Thankful for you and your fellow servants! Hope you had a great Leader’s meeting!

      Reply
  135. Krysten Bernal Dubeau

    Thank you for sharing and expanding my vision of the work God is doing all over the World. I have been to India and I was unaware that BSF has been in that country for 25 years. Holy Spirit keep teaching and encouraging us of the Glory of Christ, shared through the study of the Word!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Krysten! Thank you for your prayers and your desire to see God’s Word go forth into all the nations!

      Reply
  136. Lou Emma Wilson

    Amen!

    Reply
    • Brenda Bullock

      Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful testestimonies of faith, and of lives fully surrendered to the will of God. It is my hearts desire to lead such a life. Please pray that I would allow the holy spirit to have total control. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Praying for you right now Brenda! That you may courageously trust Him more fully through the Spirit!

        Reply
  137. Belinda Feist

    Thanking the Lord for allowing me to have a surrendered life. To God be the glory for all He has done, is doing, and will continue to do!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Praise Him!

      Reply
  138. wamuchege kirubi gatu

    I am encouraged by story of India, i was a student in india.in 1982 we visited Bangalore and madras to called chemai, what ever your are you experienced it vividly in mind.
    lam currently in China in business at the same time praying God to open up way for the word God to prevail despite the opposition

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for sharing Wamuchege, I am praying for you now and that God will open up your eyes to see opportunities as God opens up doors and hearts to receive the invitation for others to study God’s word and come to know Him through Jesus Christ.

      Reply
    • Brenda Bullock

      Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful testestimonies of faith, and lives fully surrendered to the the will of God. It is my hearts desire to lead such a life. Please pray that I would allow the holy spirit to have total control. Thank you.

      Reply
  139. Virgie Coleman

    Thanks for sharing. My spouse passed away January 8, 2016, naturally I was broken, I believe God spoke to me in 2015 telling me that he would not be healed and that he was takink Earl home to live with him. Somewhere in 2016 I surrendered my entire life to God, I was invited to join leadership, I am very content to serve in leadership in Fort worth, Tx.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Wow, this is powerful Virgie! Thank you for sharing your heart and your pain, this must be still very challenging every day. I pray for God’s comfort and encouragement as you serve Him and grow closer to Him every day. Blessings to you and our BSF sisters in Ft Worth!

      Reply
  140. Linda Boivin

    Love the stories of Gods people surrender to him, I am going to start my revolution this year to surrender my self to Gods word and love for people

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Looking forward to hearing how God shows up for you Linda as you surrender to His word and His love in your life!

      Reply
      • Songcha Kazen

        What great story to share ” “Thank you”
        As I am not born in America,
        It is awesome to see ,
        Diversity; cultures and other things in many ways..
        Makes me wake up and open my mind and heart to my LORD..
        God made so many a in different ways , different people, still fundamentally We worshipped same GOD.
        We should be always praise and pray to Him..or asking Him for help.
        Eventhough, I came into a this country sometime ago , still learning as many a different cultures and languages, customs,
        well, most of times.
        I try to give learned from them.
        Because ,I love to meet to new people..
        I am a Christian now , I make room for my manner is make sure LORD’s approve it..
        I am so thankful that I am in bsf.

        Amen 🙏

        Reply
        • Nate Thoreson

          Thank you Songcha for sharing a part of your journey with us! Praying you are blessed as you open up God’s word and your heart to what He wants to show you and do in your life. I am thankful for you sister!

          Reply
    • Larry Gring

      As I indicated I in a bistro in Fredericksburg Texas listening to the rain and thunder, Our God is offering us.

      I had a friend say that any day
      With rain is considered a blessing in the Hill Country.

      I agree. However the real blessing is Nate’s experience.

      What an awesome circumstance it has all been. Thank you Jesus.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Yes indeed, thank you Jesus! And thank God for the rain, a good reminder Larry!

        Reply
  141. Johnson

    I was very moved and encouraged by the stories written. This alone showed me that I need to do more in my life of Christ for Christ.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I pray that you rest in peace and joy of knowing your identify in Christ! That this article doesn’t lead you to feel guilty about anything so much as appreciating how God wants the best for us when we surrender to His purposes Johnson! Praying that you are encouraged to enjoy this surrendered life!

      Reply
  142. Danielle M Jandris

    God is so faithful

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Danielle! Even when I am not! Thanks for the reminder.

      Reply
  143. Stephanie P Stetson

    John 13:34 ~ “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    Had I not said yes to BSF in 2004 when the Lord directed me, I doubt that I would ever have had the opportunity to witness what He is doing in India. Before I studied the Bible I didn’t understand mission work and therefore did no support it. I wasn’t going to church or reading the Bible. I was a Christian who didn’t have a relationship with the Lord Jesus until I said yes to BSF.

    My husband and I visited Mercy Mission in Vizianagaram, India in 2015 and 2017. The children, both those living on the campus and those coming from the local area, receive a Christian education. Mercy Mission would not have existed had Pastor Charly Tom not said yes when the Lord called him to rescue the starving and sometimes homeless children in the streets of India. He and his family returned to India from Birmingham, England and began looking after the street children in 1998 with almost nothing of their own resources to offer. Charly and his wife had to rely on God to provide for every need.

    Today, in addition to the children’s school, the Mercy Mission Campus has both boys’ and girls’ dorms, a church, a dining hall, classes to give women sewing skills and a Bible College raising up pastors for rural churches being planted. Every evening the children who live on campus attend a worship service. Visitors are encouraged to teach the children Bible stories and share testimonies of God’s love and mercy. God’s provision keeps growing there. Another campus is beginning to be built in a rural area as more people support the Lord’s work entrusted to this faithful pastor.

    Thankfully, by saying yes to the Lord’s call for me to join BSF, not only have I become knowledgeable about the Bible, but I now also have a relationship with the Lord Jesus. He sent me to India to witness His love for the children there and to bless them. Having the opportunity to see what He is doing in India opened my heart to love like Jesus loves.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I am grateful and thankful to hear of your powerful story Stephanie and what God has done in your life personally through having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of what you have seen God doing in your own life and in India through mission work. Praise God for His Kingdom work and the lives touched because of Him. Amen.

      Reply
      • Stephanie P Stetson

        Yes, indeed! Praise God! This is just a glimpse. There is so much more. I am grateful to God that BSF was there to draw me closer to the Lord.

        Reply
  144. Amos Y

    Hi Nate,

    Happy New Year!

    Thank you for your newsletter. Many things are happening in India, and I am glad you got to visit the country. God is at work there.

    Hope I will be able to visit headquarters again soon.

    Please send my greetings to all concerned.

    Meantime, have a blessed 2020.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      HI Amos! Such a joy to serve the Lord with you and I pray for you to continue to grow closer to our Lord Jesus as we both change and transform by His grace and for His glory. Blessings to you as well my brother

      Reply
  145. Sue Tracy

    I’m feeling I can do all things because I do want to bring others to Him, let’s go Papa you’ve equipped me now I need boldness and to let go of fear. Thank you for your encouragement; I will be fearless!! Thank you Jesus, to God be the glory

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Sue! To God be the glory!

      Reply
  146. Florence Arthur

    We praise God for his faithfulness. May the Lord rn cou

    Reply
    • Florence Arthur

      May the Lord continue to encourage our brothers and sisters as they serve him. May his name be blessed.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Amen Florence. To God be the glory!

        Reply
  147. Sharla Davidson

    In 2017, my husband and I went with Road Scholars Service Program to teach conversational English in Kalwar Village, JAIPUR, India. I tried to learn about BSF in India, before we departed. It is rewarding to read your blog. We still keep in touch with our program leader and the government school Principal, through donations of sweaters. Thank you for your important work!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      That is encouraging to hear Sharla! I pray for God will continue to use you and your husband as you serve the Lord!

      Reply
  148. Cheryl Ratliff

    How encouraging to read about these Believers who are persevering through adversity to witness for their Christ. I ask myself, what is my adversity? I sit here in comfort, safety and plenty. To whom much is given, much is expected…..

    Today I praise His HOLY Name, Jesus.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Cheryl! Be encouraged that God is growing and using you for His glory as we both figure out what it looks like to serve the Lord together. I appreciate your candor and pray that God will continue to lead you and guide you! I am grateful we can rest on the finished work of Christ and we get to share that good news with others. Blessings

      Reply
  149. Michelle Strickland

    As I saw these smiling faces, I was overcome with the FACT, that one day I will meet these brothers and sisters in Christ, and worship with them around His throne. What a joyful thought! Thank you for your faithfulness to His calling, and sharing these pictures that produce a steadfast hope in that reunion!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      There are no words Michelle! Beautiful thought!

      Reply
  150. Carol Washburn

    Thank you, Nate! Loved your blog. What joy to realize that you can travel anywhere in the world, in your case India, and find a community there to embrace you…becuse you are united in your love for Jesus, which had the power to overcome cultural, ethnic, and language differences. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Praise Him! There is no hope of unity in our diversity outside of Christ!

      Reply
  151. Margy Bedard

    🙌 Praise Jesus ✨🙏

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen! Praise Him forever!

      Reply
  152. Denise Blanche

    Nate, you are a witness to what the Bible says in JAMES “Faith without works is dead” in other words….now that we have the Spirit of God within us, we must go out and share the good news of Christ with others. You are truly living your faith as God has called us all to do.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Denise, we are all witnesses!! Acts 1:8 🙂 God gets ALL the glory!

      Reply
  153. Ralph Alexander Jr.

    Always good to hear about fellow Christians and what an impact BSF is making. It is hard to imagine the trials many Christians face around the world. It is great to be a part of this ministry and make a difference.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Well said Ralph! It is also true that BSF is one of the few places where men can gather with other men and grow in community. Encouraging and challenging each other to trust Him more in our families, churches, workplaces, and communities. Thanks for your encouraging words brother.

      Reply
  154. Douglas Meduna

    Proud of you Nate, for stepping out in faith! God blesses the faithful. We need to catch up!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Doug!! My dear brother from another mother! I hope you are enjoying life and I miss our time together and your uncanny ability to make me laugh! Great memories and I am thankful for you. Love you brother!

      Reply
  155. Tez Vincent

    Thank you so much for sharing this article! BSF has been a part of my life for several years now, and I am grateful for the organization of BSF and all of the resources and the discipline that it gives me. I am encouraged to do What God calls me to do every time I read stories like this. May we all be open to His calling, and be bold enough to obey. Thank you again!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Humbled by your feedback Tez. Thank you and I will be praying for you to grow in your confidence and obedience in following Christ, being changed by Christ, to be on mission with Christ!

      Reply
  156. Kathleen Whitlow

    Your story is beautiful and inspiring. I have been in BSF 16 years and still feel an infant. I wonder many times if God can love me. I do not feel worthy of his compassionate, unconditional love and care. My involvement with BSF is so important and reading your story gave me such hope. My downfall is thinking my good deeds will guarantee God’s unconditional love. As I sit to work on my lesson I am so easily distracted and I pray for focus and conviction. Thank you again.

    Reply
    • Kelly P.

      Kathleen. Yes Jesus loves you. Keep studying His word. We are all sinners saved by Jesus.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Amen Kelly! Thanks for encouraging me as well!

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Hi Kathleen! Thanks for sharing. I often feel like you do as well and am grateful that we have a heavenly Father who loves us in spite of our performance! His love for us is unchanging, even when we are failing, distant, rebellious, and ungrateful. Thank God for His Word, His Spirit, and the body of believers to remind us every day of His unfailing love and mercy. You are a precious child of God who is dearly loved. We can be thankful together!

      Reply
  157. Patricia Smith

    It is awesome to be reinforced in our belief that God is everywhere. God has been apart of my life since the age of eight. I am now 76. Bsf has been in my life for many years. I pray that God will allow me to venture out to spread the word bringing more to Bsf. Keep me in prayer.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Patricia, I a confident that God has a plan and purpose for you! You have been prayed for today!

      Reply
  158. Lin Carnahan

    Thanks for sharing your story. Living a surrendered life is fruitful and satisfying. I surrender all!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Lin for the reminder that what lies ahead is far better than we leave behind! Freedom comes from surrender! God bless you.

      Reply
      • Elsie Krauter

        OPi have been in BSF over 30 years now and cannot thank the Lord enough for the difference it has made in my walk with the Lord. I am 78 years and my life is presenting some fearful challenges recently. My husband has been diagnosed with dementia. I have two brothers in Virginia that had cancer surgery since first of 2020. One is terminal. When fear rears it ugly head, I say, “At what time I’m afraid I will trust in the Lord” I think of the old song “Where would I be with out the Lord. My heart is bent toward being an intercessor and I teach adult Sunday School. These days I am feeling weak so I covet your prayers. I hear the Lord saying, Be strong and courageous my daughter. My BSF lessons keep my eyes on Jesus. Thank you for sharing this newsletter. God bless you

        Reply
        • Nate Thoreson

          Elsie, thank you for sharing. You have been prayed for with thanksgiving!

          Reply
  159. Kathlene Simpson

    God is alive and active in our lives so we can lead them to the loving-kindness and forgiveness that sets us free. I am grateful!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Great reminder Kathlene that we have been equipped with everything we need for what God asks us to do. I am grateful for you!

      Reply
  160. Eleanor Baird

    What a great way to inspire us at the beginning of a new year and decade. In a world filled with Brocken people when we start with God it is going to end with good. His will can make us a little uncomfortable at times, but the growth that comes with it surpasses any discomfort. Let go let God may be a few words, but bring on amazing results.
    Blessings!

    Eleanor Baird

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Couldn’t have said it any better Eleanor! Genesis 15:1 comes to mind, He is our shield and our very great reward! The gospel means we get God! And God loves us enough to do the sanctifying work in us to make us reflect His character back to Him to bring Him glory.

      Reply
  161. Patricia Williams

    Thank you for your obedience to Our Father’s direction. God loves all of His children who love and obey His word everywhere!
    God’s continued Blessings on you and those you love!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you Patricia, and I am thankful God loves us even when we are disobedient! He is so faithful in His love and mercy! Blessings!

      Reply
  162. Darlene West

    Yes, Lord, yes, to your will and to your way. Help me follow and obey.
    Thank you for being willing to do what He has called you to do, Nate.
    May His grace and mercy follow you as you follow hard after Him.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Darlene! I pray His grace and mercy follow you and we continue to stumble towards Jesus together!

      Reply
      • Darlene

        We do stumble, but not on the Rock who is our cornerstone – the Rock who is higher – He is our strength.
        I am so encouraged by the response that you have received from the posting!
        We are part of a superior family, just has Christ is superior to angels, to Moses; His covenant is superior, He is a superior mediator, and His loving sacrifice is superior – we have a superior faith!!!!
        Thank you for your sacrifice.

        Reply
  163. Elaine Malone

    Thank you for sharing!! I look forward to the monthly emails.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I pray you are encouraged Elaine!

      Reply
  164. Nicole Callan

    Great article, Nate! So glad you’re at HQ now!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank God for His goodness and I am so thankful for His leading. Just be encouraged that God has placed us all right where He wants us! I am a firm believer in His redeeming work through the gospel in whatever work He is calling us to! Blessings!

      Reply
  165. Dr. Shibu Cherian

    Please let me know more about the BSF activities in India. Being in BSF for a few years & being an Asian Indian, I am curious to learn about the impact of Bible literacy in India. Thank you for your life of service for God’s kingdom.

    Reply
    • Lydiah

      Am encouraged yesterday I learnt God never forgets every work done in love & in obedience, He will surely reward from lesson 14.

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Thanks for that reminder Lydiah!

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      We have men’s, women’s, and young adult classes and SDG’s throughout north and south India! If you are looking for classes, our website is a great resource to find a class. Spending time with our brothers and sisters in India gave me a first hand glimpse of how our BSF leaders and class members are serving in their churches and communities as they stand on the authority of God’s Word! Blessings Dr. Shibu!

      Reply
  166. Cristina Smallwood

    Obey and follow God’s call. It’s an opportunity He gives us to honor and glorify Him. As fearful and uncomfortable as it might be, it’s the right thing to do. A step of faith! God never fails to bless those who obey Him, guiding the lost to His kingdom!.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Cristina! If it was easy, everyone would do it! But it is only possible through His Spirit! Our faith is based on a book (Bible), a person (Jesus Christ), and an experience (personal relationship based on the gift of faith)! Thank God for giving us the opportunity to serve Him and others. I pray God uses you for His glory to lead others to Christ!

      Reply
  167. Joseph Murray

    Great article. My daughter, Kim, went on a mission trip to a”Raunchy” India orphanage, probably misspelled, it really changed her life. I said to my wife, “Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin) meets real world” as we drove home from the airport. When Kim came back, she gave my wife a plate that she said the cost could make an orphan survive for 3 months. I was eating an apple and through it out in the garbage when I was finished. Kim said, “the orphan would even eat the stem”.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      It sounds like Kim had an amazing and life-changing experience! After spending time in India, I will never be the same. I love our dear brothers and sisters in Christ there and pray for those who do not yet know Him and the good news of Jesus Christ. Sometimes when we “serve” it is really us who God is “serving” to grow us and change our hearts! Thanks for sharing your story Joseph.

      Reply
  168. Ashley

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      You are welcome, Ashley! Thanks for your feedback 🙂 Praying God blesses you with the joy of His presence.

      Reply
  169. Glada Acree

    What a joy to hear testimonies of God’s faithfulness. God is always there for us.
    He has given me assurances of peace and comfort in many trials of my life. I
    shall praise Him forever. He is close to all of His children wherever they are.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you for sharing Glada of the deep truths of God’s peace in the midst of trials. I join you in praising Him forever and celebrate His presence with us! Blessings to you.

      Reply
  170. Joan Eversole

    Thank you for this powerful account of God’s work in all who surrender to Him and His call on their lives. My prayer this year is to replace my stubbornness with surrender to Him. Thank you confirming this in my life. God is faithful!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Joan, you must be related to me because I too am needing God to replace my stubbornness with surrender! I think that is why He brought me to HQ, because God knows I need a lot of work, and He is truly faithful to accomplish His purposes! Thanks for your encouragement to me! Blessings

      Reply
  171. LaDonna

    Thankyou for sharing this amazing story of struggles and a gods amazing grace and His generosity too. He truly sustains us in times of hardship.
    God bless you as you continue to rely on our amazing God.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Thank you LaDonna! What a great reminder of how amazing our God really is! His love and faithfulness and patience is overwhelming. Blessings!

      Reply
    • Mariam

      I was encouraged reading your story of obedience to God’s calling. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you!

      Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Thanks Mariam! Thankful for you!

        Reply
  172. Kayla

    Thank you for sharing! This was the encouragement I needed as I have been facing some painful trials for several years now. I need theses reminders of truth!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I don’t know what you are going through, but I am praying for you now and thankful for you Kayla! Thank you for being real and honest with the fact that this life is painful and hard sometimes and yet God is present and faithful to remind us He is the God who sees us! See Genesis 16:13
      May God bless and keep you!

      Reply
  173. Linda Remsberg

    Grateful for this blog today as it breaks into my day and reminds me to Rejoice with brothers and sisters across the world who like me are learning to walk with God closer through the calling of His Word.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Rejoice! Love this Linda! We are not alone! He is with us and His promise is to never leave us. He has made us for relationship with Him and with each other because He knew we would need them 🙂 Have a great day!

      Reply
  174. M. Stocker

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Welcome! Blessings to you M.

      Reply
  175. Karen Welts

    As much as we miss you and Barb here in Idaho, we feel blessed knowing the work you are both doing for the Lord brings blessing to others and glorifies God! Thank you for stepping out in faith! To God be the glory!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      We miss you too Karen! I pray God encourages you and your smiling face that is such a blessing to so many! Your Christ like heart and character is inspirational to us!

      Reply
  176. Ginger

    Bless you for listening to the call and for your obedience. God is so good to stretch us beyond our comfort zone, only to be blessed by the growth and experience! India, talk about jumping into the deep end! Wow!!!

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      And sometimes God throws us into the deep end without “floaties” 🙂 So we have to cling to Him! Thanks for the encouragement and for serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Ginger! Blessings!

      Reply
  177. Rosie Thigpen

    The testimonies above proves that the Gospel of Jesus is ‘Unstoppable’.

    Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      Amen Rosie! I am always encouraged when I hear of how the Gospel of Jesus changes and transforms His people!

      Reply
  178. Becky

    Encouraged and inspired to follow more closely an surrender more deeply.

    Reply
    • Judy

      Thanks Nate for your faithfulness to God in answering His call. We have been called to leave our home of 40 years and have seen God’s powerful hand in every need that comes up.
      God’s will- God’s way-God’s time.

      Reply
      • Gai Gaitonde

        Your blog on how our Heavenly Father is harvesting people in India through BSF is so encouraging to me. I pray millions in India to come to Christ through BSF!🙏✝️❤️

        Reply
        • Betty Paul

          It give me great joy to hear these wonderful comments It give me the incentive to step out on faith love you guys we serve a great God how blessed we are to God be the glory

          Reply
          • Nate Thoreson

            Amen Betty! To God be the glory!

        • Nate Thoreson

          I will join you in that prayer Gai! May the Gospel of Jesus Christ go forth and accomplish His purposes to bring many more sons and daughters to salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!

          Reply
      • Nate Thoreson

        Wow, Judy! That is inspirational to hear! Sounds like God is doing some exciting things in your life and yet we can only experience them by personally trusting Him! Thanks for sharing what God is doing!

        Reply
    • Nate Thoreson

      I look forward to hearing how God works in and through you as you draw closer to Jesus Christ and continue to learn as I am how to surrender more deeply to Him. Amen amen.

      Reply
      • Joe Joseph

        Hi Nate. Wonderful testimony of a surrendered life. I’m encouraged to do the same and have similar challenges of leaving the security of the familiar stuff & of being wary of the uncertainties. I’m praying that this year will be a turning point in my learning to live a surrendered life, and find “true joy in surrendering to a Savior who loves us deeply.” One pastor recently said “Only the evangelist without any personal agenda can work effectively for the Lord.” The test of a surrendered life is that it has no personal agenda, other than to do God’s will.

        Reply
        • Nate Thoreson

          Hi Joe! This is so true. God is always checking my heart and exposing my motives for everything I do. Thankfully He is so merciful and faithful even when I try to do “good” for selfish motives. This is why being in a body of believers that anchors themselves in God’s word is so vital. We all need the encouragement and spurring!

          Reply

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