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Light for the Lost

Reaching souls with the printed page

Nearly 50 years ago a California businessman, Sam Cochran, had a vision to provide literature for overseas evangelism. Cochran, of First Assembly of God, Santa Ana, Calif., organized a male quartet to raise funds by singing in churches throughout Southern California.

Planted seed

While I was in elementary school, some Christians talked about Christ and distributed literature. I read the tract "What can I do to be saved?" It was written in Swahili, the national language of Kenya. The Holy Spirit started dealing with me: "You’ve been going to church. You are religious. But do you know Jesus? Have you been saved?"

I didn’t get saved immediately. Other Christians gave me tracts about salvation. The Holy Spirit convicted me: "You need your sins forgiven so you can have peace."

My younger brother, who got saved in elementary school, told me, "I’ve given my life to Christ. You need Jesus Christ in your life."

I saw the change in his life. One day I told my brother, "I need to give my life to Christ. My day has come. I want to make a decision for Him." By that time I was 20.

I was about 10 years old when the seed started with a tract.

John Karanja, principal
East Africa School of Theology
Nairobi, Kenya

Every cent received by the quartet went for literature. When 1953 ended, the newly incorporated Missionary Gospel Society had raised $392. Six years later the project became the literature-funding outreach of the Assemblies of God Men’s Ministries Department and was renamed Light for the Lost.

During 2000, almost $12.2 million was given to a spectrum of LFTL projects, from sponsoring Full Life Study Bibles for pastors in Mainland China to funding materials for hearing-impaired inmates at an Illinois prison. LFTL also supplies literature to Assemblies of God missionaries in more than 180 nations.

Among its domestic activities, LFTL partners with Youth Alive to furnish materials for distribution on America’s high school campuses. Its Key Bearers program provides approximately 11,000 copies of the Pentecostal Evangel weekly to the incarcerated.

The work is an amazing tribute to one man’s vision that has been blessed by God, according to LFTL Coordinator Benny Ferguson.

Ferguson says, "Scripturally, we’re on firm footing to declare that God wants to use all means possible through His instruments, which are human beings, to reach those who have never heard the gospel."

Cochran’s dream is now shared by nearly 10,300 LFTL councilmen in churches throughout the United States. A councilman contributes $15 per month to cover administrative costs, allowing the ministry to maintain its goal of using 100 percent of donations to purchase literature. To raise LFTL funds, councilmen arrange services in their local churches and help sponsor banquets.

Light for the Lost is completely funded by councilmen across the country, both laymen and ministers. These councilmen are committed to winning the lost. They dedicate their time, energies, finances and abilities without expecting anything in return.

The monthly Spotlight newsletter is an informational tool for the ministry. The video Carry the Torch helps prepare Royal Rangers to become junior councilmen. LFTL also produces videos, bulletin inserts and brochures to familiarize others with its purpose.


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