'That's Richard Bewes! We've seen you on the screen - we feel we really know you!" Such was the warm greeting over a breakfast of eggs, bacon and grits in Alabama where host of Open Home: Open Bible and Book by Book, Richard Bewes was giving Bible studies to around 500 pastors at a conference. And it happens to Paul Blackham too! Paul has found complete strangers coming up to say, "Hello Paul!" before they explain that they feel he is like a 'friend' having watched him so many times taking part in the Bible discussions.
"This personal feel to the videos says a lot too about the camera work and professional high quality production by CTA. Hardly a day goes by without at least one enquiry coming in about one of these two video-based Bible study resources, from the UK and all round the world. People are so keen to use these resources - and it seems that word of mouth is the best recommendation with the majority of enquiries coming from 'friends of friends' already using the videos" - commented Pam Glover from the All Souls Resource Centre. "Just this morning, a delightful retired missionary couple from Australia came to All Souls specially to buy all of the Book by Book video series to use in their church back home - all thanks to a mutual friend in Australia."
Recent news of Open Home: Open Bible is that it is being used in a number of churches in South Africa - in large and small church groups - in addition to the large gathering at St James, Cape Town. News of some Christians based in South-East England filtered through the other day. The group is interdenominational - and they meet to study the Bible, using the Bible Truth Treasury on its own, with up to 20 people meeting at a time to go through the studies.
Having seen the video, many said they were using it with others, including teaching children: "I have used the video with Year 7 pupils in the unit of RE work 'Good News for Christians'. It is very clear and pupil friendly, promoting a good level of discussion." And with adults: "Very good introductory video. I am teaching adult converts and I will find this a good teaching aid to the many enquiries we receive. Thank you." Others wrote to say they have shown the video to friends and neighbours.
Then, as of this autumn, All Souls Langham Place is going to be using Open Home: Open Bible videos as part of their brand new 30 week theology course, called Theology Explored. Richard Bewes and Paul Blackham will both be part of the leadership team for this new venture.
Book by Book now has five programme series on general release (Genesis with Anne Graham Lotz, Exodus with Joseph Steinberg, Galatians with Jonathan Edwards, Psalms (20-29) with Stephen Lungu and Jonah with George Verwer). Paul Blackham had the privilege of addressing thousands of Christians at the Keswick Christian Convention over the middle weekend to tell them about Book by Book. The product proved to be very popular with reports of Galatians selling out.
There is so much to thank God for with these opportunities to share His Word with others and to encourage small groups of individuals to study the Bible and grow in their Christian walk - hand-in-hand with these gifted Christians on screen