All posts by Arduino Samona

Only God Could Do This

Only God Could Do this

This story is about a little Inner City Church in Grand Rapids Michigan that is so incredible that it can only be explained as a direct, continual act of God. As you read this story, keep asking yourself which of all known gods on the planet, could actually do this?

In order to appreciate the enormity of what will be discussed, we will first introduce the idea of ‘incredibly small’. In the design of commercial aircraft, certain flight-critical systems require a failure rate which is described as ‘incredibly small’, specifically, ten to the minus 12th failures per hour, or conversely, one failure every 1,000,000,000,000 hours. . Such systems are designed as triply-redundant so that in case one system fails the second one assumes control and if the second one fails, the third one assumes control. In the history of commercial aviation, no such system has yet had all three sub-systems fail in a single flight.

When we are finished with this story, we will show that the chance of its happening by mere chance is far, far lower than the ‘incredibly small’ chance of failure of a triply redundant commercial aircraft system; hopefully leaving you with the same conclusion we have made, i.e. that the story could only unfold through a continual act of God.

The Story

This story unfolds continually over a 35 year period, and is still in progress.

Today is June 15, 2016. Thirty five years ago, Daniel Schutte decided to begin an inner city ministry fashioned after the principles followed by George Mueller and Hudson Taylor many decades ago, i.e. to do nothing without God’s day-by-day direct provision and to rely on Him as the only resource.

Following these principles, The Inner City Church Planting Mission (ICPM), has continuously kept two church locations active in Grand Rapids, MI, and in addition has, as of 01/01/16;

  1. assisted in planting 39 churches in nations from India to Malawi,

  2. provided over 2.2 million tracts to these churches in 33 different languages,

  3. supported God’s people in168 countries to bring the Gospel to the indigenous people.

When considering the funds necessary for an endeavor of this scope, one would normally think in terms of millions-or-so dollars per year. With the Lord’s help, it has been accomplished with a fraction of that. With the ICPM’s permission, typical examples of God’s provision are listed on the next page.

Daniel’s House Example

Perhaps the first example of God’s provision is in the first ministry year, when Daniel was married and looking for a house. The Lord told him ‘Daniel, stop looking for a house; I have one for you’. A short time later, a millionaire came to Daniel and said ‘the Lord told me to give you a house’ and it happened to be located right in the heart of the territory Daniel had marked for his ministry. Furthermore, the millionaire said: ‘and bring me your property tax bill each year too’. 35 years later, Daniel lives in the same house.

Van Prayer Example

Several years ago, at the Division Street fellowship on October 7th, Daniel announced ‘our present van is dying. We either spend over $1,000 to fix it up for the winter, or we get a replacement’. ‘I have decided to ask the Lord for a replacement’. So he led the congregation in this prayer: ‘Lord, we need a replacement van, so we are asking for a 15 seat van, with no rust, and with less than 75.000 miles, and we need it by November 1st. Someone in the congregation suggested that it needed air conditioning too. That was added to the prayer. At the end of the services on Oct. 14th, and 21st, the same prayer was issued. On October 28, Daniel arose before the congregation and announced: ‘a church in Dorr (about 30 miles south of Grand Rapids) called me this week. They are closing their doors and wanted to know if we could use a van’. Then the questions started:

Q: How many passengers does it seat? Ans. 15

Q. Does it have any rust? Ans. No

Q: How many miles are on it? Ans. 74,000

Q. Does it have air conditioning? Ans. Yes

One Month Income to-the-penny Example

Each month, Daniel lets the elders know how much money the ministry needs that month. The elders are tasked to pray for that amount. Month after month I watched (as an elder) in awe as the amount arrived within a few dollars of target. One month, as the tally was taken at month’s end, we were 25 cents short. The church never passes a collection plate, but it does have a box on the wall in back of the vestibule where anyone with a few coins can donate. Daniel said ‘I think I’ll look in the donation box’. It so happened that there was exactly one quarter therein. I mention this example because it is among the more dramatic of events that happen month after month after month.

The history of the ministry is replete with examples of God’s miraculous provision.

The ministry’s average budget is approximately $3,000.00. As of May 1, 2016, almost $3 million (US dollars) have been received by the ICPM throughout its history.

Only once has Daniel ever borrowed money, and that was shortly before he started the ICPM ministry. When he began the ministry, he made the decision that if the Lord didn’t provide the means, then any planned action using those means would be eliminated.

In the 35 years of the ICPM ministry, a bill has been paid late only 20 times. However, none were ever paid more than two weeks late.

Throughout the years, when the Schutte family needed medical attention, some previously unknown source came forward and paid for it. The complete list of these miraculous events would fill several pages. A short list is given next, just to show how God cares for the needs of his people.

  1. various individuals and churches called Daniel and offered differing monthly amounts to support the Schutte family,

  2. when the (two) children were born, additional previously unknown sources miraculously arrived with additional monthly support,

  3. $7,666.29 for the first child’s conception, pre-birth care and birth,

  4. $8,156.94 for the second child’s birth,

  5. free doctor visits for each child,

  6. dental care discounts for the entire family,

  7. many hundreds of dollars of food, clothing and furniture over the years,

  8. many different automobiles gifted to the family over the years (Daniel hasn’t had to purchase an automobile since 1981.

  9. Daniel’s wife’s cancer surgery (> $31,000.00) paid for by a previously unknown Christian couple.

Each of these gifts came from previously unknown sources, through prayer alone.

                                  A sample tract is shown next, in both English and Bangla (Bangladesh)

God

The LORD JESUS CHRIST And

HIS Word For The Cities Of The World

Printed in USA

Your Sins

Are

Forgiven”

The Inner-city Church

Planting Mission

PO Box 7 * GRANDVILLE, MICHIGAN 49468

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

E-mail: danielschutte@sbcglobal.net

www.citiesforchrist.org

616) 970-4432

What beautiful words! Once spoken by the only ONE WHO has the power to forgive sin, GOD HIMSELF in the PERSON of JESUS CHRIST.

But who were these words spoken to? They were spoken to a sinner, just like you and me. A person who was looked down upon by the others in the city. But yet an individual who was loved by JESUS CHRIST very much.

That’s the beauty of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST! GOD loves sinners! GOD’s Word, the Bible says that, “. . . all have sinned, and come short of the glory of GOD.” Romans 3:23

That’s the bad news. But there’s good news as well! For it also says that, “GOD demonstrated HIS love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, CHRIST died for us.” Romans 5:8

Do you see? Even though you and I are sinners, deserving of hell, GOD loves us! HE loves us so much that HE sent JESUS CHRIST to die on a cruel cross, to shed HIS innocent blood, so that you and I could be forgiven of all our sins, and have eternal life with HIM someday.

But there’s something you and I must do to

Your sins are forgiven.”

What beautiful words! Once spoken by the only ONE WHO has the power to forgive sin, GOD HIMSELF in the PERSON of JESUS CHRIST.

But who were these words spoken to? They were spoken to a sinner, just like you and me. A person who was looked down upon by the others in the city. But yet an individual who was loved by JESUS CHRIST very much.

That’s the beauty of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST! GOD loves sinners! GOD’s Word, the Bible says that, “. . . all have sinned, and come short of the glory of GOD.” Romans 3:23

That’s the bad news. But there’s good news as well! For it also says that, “GOD demonstrated HIS love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, CHRIST died for us.” Romans 5:8

Do you see? Even though you and I are sinners, deserving of hell, GOD loves us! HE loves us so much that HE sent JESUS CHRIST to die on a cruel cross, to shed HIS innocent blood, so that you and I could be forgiven of all our sins, and have eternal life with HIM someday.

But there’s something you and I must do to receive this forgiveness and eternal life. It’s not going to church, or living a good life, or trying to “clean up your life.” The Bible simply says, “Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and you will be saved . . .” Acts 16:31. Saved from the hell that you and I so greatly deserve.

You see, CHRIST did all the work. All we have to do is believe that.

That person to whom JESUS CHRIST spoke those words, “Your sins are forgiven”, simply came to JESUS, just the way she was, and believed that HE was the SAVIOR. HE will accept you and I too, just the way we are . . . . sinful, broken, lonely, and sad . . . if we simply

. . . believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST. . .”

JESUS had some closing words for this person. HE said, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

Peace with GOD. What a wonderful thing to have! No matter how sinful we might be, if we simply, “. . . believe on the LORD JESUS

CHRIST . . .” we too can, “go in peace.”

Have you believed on HIM?

Receive this forgiveness and eternal life. It’s not going to church, or living a good life, or trying to “clean up your life.” The Bible simply says, “Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and you will be saved . . .” Acts 16:31. Saved from the hell that you and I so greatly deserve.

You see, CHRIST did all the work. All we have to do is believe that.

That person to whom JESUS CHRIST spoke those words, “Your sins are forgiven”, simply came to JESUS, just the way she was, and believed that HE was the SAVIOR. HE will accept you and I too, just the way we are . . . sinful, broken, lonely, and sad . . . if we simply

. . . believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST . . .”

JESUS had some closing words for this person. HE said , “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

Peace with GOD. What a wonderful thing to have! No matter how sinful we might be, if we simply, “ . . . believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST . . .”, we too can, “go in peace.”

Have you believed on HIM?

The first page of this tract, when translated into the Bangla language, looks like this:

bangladesh

Here is a list of local churches that the ICPM helped plant.

1. Division Street Fellowship (Grand Rapids-1985)

2. Butterworth Street Fellowship (Grand Rapids-1990)

3. Englesia Bautista Esperanza (Grand Rapids-2010)

4. Goshen Baptist Church (Chipata, Zambia-2010)

5. Grace Ministry Church (Petauke, Zambia-2010)

6. Srang Church (Srang, Cambodia-2011)

7. Truth In CHRIST Church (Lilongwe, Malawi-2012)

8. New Zion Church (Bujumbura, Burundi-2012)

9. Chingombe Church (Chingombe, Zambia-2012)

10. Ambassodor Baptist (Dagon, Myanmar-2012)

11. Sinda Church (Sinda, Zambia-2012)

12. Petauke Church (Petauke, Zambia-2012)

13. Katete Church #1 (Katete, Zambia-2012)

14. Katete Church #2 (Katete, Zambia-2012)

15. Nambuma Church (Nambuma, Malawi-2013)

16. Church In Asish’s House (Raipur, India-2014)

17. Church In Arun’s House (Raipur, India-2014)

18.-32.15 Churches W/ Pastor Samuel (Chittoor, India-2014)

33. Cerro de Tamarindo Church(Cerro de Tamarindo,Mexico-2014)

34. Kaulembe Baptist Church (Kaulembe, Zambia-2015)

35. Kagman Community Church (Kagman, Saipan-2015)

36. Area 49 Church (Lilongwe, Malawi-2016)

37. Malingunde Truth In CHRIST (Lilongwe, Malawi-2016)

38. Chimbalu Church (Dowa District, Malawi-2016)

39. Chinthembwe Church (Nthisi District, Malawi-2016)

Here is the list of nations into which the above churches were planted (Shown with an asterisk).

Please pray that the LORD would assist the I.C.P.M. to distribute HIS Word into every known nation of the world, by raising up contacts within each country that would help us! We suggest that you pray for one nation per day. Also, will you inform us if you know of any CHRISTians within these nations that could assist us in this great endeavor?

Note: Nations with a star *, denotes that I.C.P.M. has already distributed GOD’S Word there (As of 6-1-16)

Afghanistan Denmark *Lebanon *Saint Lucia

*Albania Djibouti *Lesotho *Saint Martin

*Algeria *Dominica *Liberia Saint Pierre and Miquelon

American Samoa *Dominican Republic *Libya *Saint Vincent

Andorra *Ecuador Liechtenstein Samoa

*Angola *Egypt *Lithuania *San Marino

*Anguilla *El Salvador Luxembourg Sao Tome and Principe

*Antigua and Barbuda *England *Macedonia *Saudi Arabia

*Argentina Equatorial Guinea *Madagascar *Scotland

*Armenia Eritrea *Malawi *Senegal

*Aruba Estonia *Malaysia *Serbia

*Australia *Ethiopia Maldives *Seychelles

*Austria Faeroe Islands *Mali *Sierra Leone

*Azerbaijan Falkland Islands *Malta *Singapore

*Bahamas *Fiji Martinique *Slovakia

*Bahrain *Finland Mauritania *Slovenia

*Bangladesh *France *Mauritius Solomon Islands

*Barbados French Guiana Mayotte Somalia

*Belarus French Polynesia *Mexico *South Africa

*Belgium *Gabon *Micronesia *Spain

*Belize *Gambia *Moldova *Sri Lanka

Benin *Georgia Monaco *Sudan

*Bermuda *Germany *Mongolia *Suriname

Bhutan *Ghana Montenegro Swaziland

*Bolivia Gibraltar Montserrat *Sweden

Bosnia *Greece *Morocco *Switzerland

*Botswana Greenland *Mozambique Syria

Bougainville *Grenada *Myanmar Tajikistan

*Brazil Guadeloupe *Namibia *Tanzania

British Indian Ocean *Guam *Nauru *Thailand

British Virgin Islands *Guatemala *Nepal *Timor Leste

*Brunei *Guinea *Netherlands *Togo

*Bulgaria *Guinea-Bissau *Netherlands Antilles Tokelau Islands

Burkina Faso *Guyana New Caledonia Tonga

*Burundi *Haiti *New Zealand *Trinidad and Tobago

*Cambodia *Honduras *Nicaragua *Tunisia

*Cameroon *Hungary *Niger *Turkey

*Canada Iceland *Nigeria Turkmenistan

Cape Verde Islands *India Norway Turks and Caicos Islands

Cayman Islands *Indonesia *Northern Ireland Tuvalu

*Central African Republic *Iran *Pakistan *Uganda

Chad *Iraq *Palestine *Ukraine

*Chile *Ireland Panama *United Arab Emirates

*China (Hong Kong) *Israel *Papua New Guinea *United States of America

*China (Macau) *Italy *Paraguay *Uraguay

*China (People’s Republic)*Jamaica *Peru *U.S. Virgin Islands

*China (Taiwan) *Japan *Philippines *Uzbekistan

*Colombia *Jordan *Poland Vanuatu

*Comoros *Kazakhstan *Portugal Vatican City

*Congo (Democratic Rep) *Kenya *Puerto Rico *Venezuela

*Congo (Republic Of) Kiribati Qatar *Vietnam

*Cook Islands *Korea (North) Reunion *Wales

*Costa Rica *Korea (South) *Romania Wallis and Futuna Islands

*Cote d’Ivoire *Kosovo *Russia Yemen

*Croatia Kuwait *Rwanda Oman

*Cuba *Kyrgyzstan Saint Barthelemy *Zambia

*Cyprus Laos Saint Helena *Zimbabwe

*Czech Republic *Latvia *Saint Kitts and Nevis*South Sudan

Here is a list of the languages into which the ICPM tracts have been translated

1. English

2. Spanish

3. Urdu-Pakistan (2011)

4. Chichewa-Zambia and Malawi (2011)

5. Indonesian (2011)

6. Khmer-Cambodia (2011)

7. Creole (2011)

8. French (2011)

9. Chin-Burma (2013)

10. Korean

11. Arabic (2011)

12. Zulu-South Africa

13. Swahili-Kenya (2011)

14. German (2012)

15. Russian (2012)

16. Ukrainian (2012)

17. Albanian (2012)

18. Greek (2012)

19. Braille (2012)

20. Portuguese (2012)

21. Malayalam-India (2012)

22. Hindi-India (2013)

23. Marathi-India (2013)

24. Burmese (2013)

25. Chinese Simplified (2013)

26. Chinese Traditional (2013)

26. Chinese Traditional (2013)

27. Bangla-Bangladesh (2013)

28. Vietnamese (2013)

29. Tagalog-Philippines (2013)

30. Telugu-India (2014)

31. Tamil-India (2015)

32. Mayan-Mexico (2015)

33. Malay-Malaysia (2015)

Conclusion

Select any church that is known to you. Ask yourself this question ”if this church ceased taking up a Sunday collection and in addition, ceased all fund raising tasks, what are the odds that the needed funds would just miraculously arrive in any given month?” We think the answer is less that 1 in one thousand. However, so that we can eliminate any criticism, we will use odds of 1 in 10.

The assumed odds that in one month, the needed funds would arrive by chance alone is 1 in 10, or 1/10.The odds that these funds would arrive by mere chance in two successive months is 1/100 (one chance in 100). The chance of being successful in three successive months is 1/1000. The chance of being successful in twelve successive months is 1/1,000,000,000,000 (10 to the -12th power). But this is what we defined previously as an incredibly small number. In other words, it is incredible to think that any church could receive its monthly finances for one full year by mere chance. The chance of this happening monthly for 35 successive years is so small that it approaches the impossible.

Therefore, we conclude that “only God could do this”.

By the way, for the sake of the skeptics, if we had assumed that the chances of a church receiving its monthly needs with no collections or fund raising events and no prayer for necessary finances was 1 in 2 rather than 1 in 10, the chance that this church could have its financial needs met for 35 straight years by chance alone is 3.69*10**-127 (that is, 1 tp the minus 127th power). Yes, that’s right, 3.69 preceded by 127 zeroes. This is close enough to zero to be almost impossible.

Summary

We have shown how God provides time-after-time for those who place their trust in Him.

We invite you to ask yourself “which, of all the known gods on earth, could do this?”

This represents a faithfulness not found among men.

Appendix:1 the God/god Formula

We therefore propose the ‘God Formula’ below as a test that anyone can use to calculate the probability that his/her God (god) exists.

godformula

Where:

p = the calculated probability

q = the estimated probability that God/god will provide at least $3,000/month funds with prayer alone

n = the number of consecutive months that the financial needs are met