Providence Foundation Touches the Nations
Our mission is to spread Christian liberty to all nations by educating individuals in a Biblical worldview. Over the years we have not only worked throughout the United States, but have trained tens of thousands of people from about 100 different nations. Those we have trained have in turn taught many others. Thousands more have used our books and materials. Books and articles have been translated into 17 languages including Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, German, French, Czech, Bulgarian, Polish, Burmese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Swahili, Urdu, Pashtun, Persian, and Arabic.
Our books have been published in 18 countries including the United States, India, Ghana, the Philippines, South Africa, Venezuela, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Pakistan, Bolivia, Nigeria, and Colombia.
People from well over 100 countries have used our books to assist them in their work. They have had an impact in many spheres of life — religion, civil government, education, business.
The publisher of the book in Belarus said that Liberating the Nations is more than a textbook, it is a weapon to help us “step against the ungodly totalitarian authority in my nation, using biblical methods.”
The Founder and President of the African Christian Democratic Party in South Africa, Kenneth Meshoe wrote: “Your book, Liberating the Nations, is an excellent resource for us. I believe the Lord has prepared you over the years to be of assistance to our new democratic South Africa.”
After receiving copies of Liberating the Nations and Building Godly Nations as a gift, an educator in Nigeria said, “He would not have done better if he had given me bars of gold! Using these I designed a curriculum for two Bible Colleges. Every semester we reach about 100 students, out of which ¾ are pastors, some having as much as 1000 members.”
We continually hear of fruit that has come from those we have impacted – so please check back periodically for updates we will be adding. Following are some examples of our ministry to the nations.
Transformation of Colombia
God is doing something special in the nation of Colombia. Great revival has been occurring over the past few decades and God is now awakening His people to bring biblical
transformation to all spheres of life.
Between July 2017 and October 2018, Stephen McDowell visited Colombia six different times, spending about eleven weeks traveling throughout the country and teaching on biblical worldview and transformation. He traveled to 15 cities teaching thousands of leaders in the church, government, education, media, law, and business. Much of the time was spent training hundreds of pastors who desired to be equipped in biblical principles of government and economics for the purpose of training their congregations, believing this is vital for the future of the nation. In addition, Stephen consulted and taught the leaders of the newly formed political party Colombia Justa Libres.
These were not his first trips to Colombia. He had visited there four previous times prior to 2017, speaking at conferences, churches, and YWAM schools.
What has produced this great hunger in Colombian Christians for biblical transformation? In the past 40 years, the number of Christians in Colombia has risen from around 15,000 to over 8 million (20% of the population). This is a huge growth, but typical of other nations in the world. What is not typical of all the nations experiencing a great outpouring of God’s Spirit is the stunning increase, mostly in the past two years, in the number of pastors awakening to their civil duties and getting training so they can teach others. Exposure to ideas like we teach at the Providence Foundation (undergirded by much prayer) was instrumental in this awakening. Also contributing
to this awakening was the action of their previous president.
In the fall of 2016 Colombia voted to reject a peace plan that their former socialist President Santos negotiated with the rebels in hopes of ending 50 years of fighting. It was a bad deal, giving away land and permanent seats in the legislature, yet everyone thought it would be easily approved as the government and most of the media supported it. However, the people rejected it. The vote was as surprising as Brexit (where the English people chose to leave the European Union) and the election of Trump in America.
Unfortunately, after the vote Santos decided he would go through with the peace plan regardless of the will of the people. That action, coupled with a flood of people coming into the nation from Venezuela who are escaping the failure of that nation’s socialist leaders, has caused many pastors and Christians to awaken. Not wanting to become like Venezuela, and fearing that many people may fall for the false promises of socialist leaders (as happened in Venezuela), thousands of pastors begin attending biblical worldview training events in many cities.
At the first nationwide pastors gathering, the Spanish edition of our book, Watchmen on the Walls, Pastors Equipping Christians for Their Civil Duties, was published and given to each of the 1500 pastors in attendance. In the months following, Stephen taught at many of these pastors’ events including a three-day 2017 conference in Cali attended by two hundred pastors from 30 cities (see picture at right).
One action of many of these church leaders was to support the formation of a new political party that would run candidates for the 2018 elections. During many of Stephen’s trips to Colombia he consulted with the founders of Colombia Justa Libres and taught at various rallies of their supporters and candidates (see picture at right).
To be officially recognized as a party and to obtain representation in the national senate, Colombia Justa Libres (CJL) needed to get 500,000 votes (out of about 15 million total) in the election that occurred on March 11, 2018. Initially it was announced they fell just short of that number. But when folks in CJL noticed some irregularities, they protested and upon review tens of thousands of uncounted votes were “found.” Therefore, they now are recognized as an official party with three members in the senate and one representative. One of the newly elected senators from CJL is Jhon Milton Rodriguez, who is a pastor of a large church in Cali. Jhon Milton had previously hosted a couple of training events where Stephen taught 2000 leaders of his church and 1500 Colombia Justa Libres constituents.
An important reason that CJL has had such success in such a short time is that many of the leading pastors in the nation were involved in the formation of CJL. Many of their churches sponsored biblical worldview training events to teach their members how to reason governmentally. (The American church could learn from their example.) The awakening of Christians and the rise of CJL is very significant for Colombia and for Christians obtaining a national voice in government.
Colombia Justa Libres is not the only avenue for Christian involvement in politics. There are numerous Christians in other political parties and many who serve in local, state, and national government. Stephen has taught seminars to many of them.
To help Christians in Colombia bring transformation, we have had many of our books and materials translated and published in Spanish. With new and prior efforts we now have in Spanish six books (Watchmen on the Walls, Liberating the Nations, The Ten Commandments and Modern Society, Crime and Punishment, Rendering to Caesar the Things that Are God’s, and In Search of Democracy), three articles, one course manual (Biblical Economics and Business), and 16 PowerPoint Presentations. (All of these resources are now available in electronic format on one memory disk. Some are available in print form in Colombia.) In addition, video recordings of Stephen’s in-depth teachings on government, economics, and education are being offered to folks throughout Latin American.
The work of Christians in Colombia has just begun. Most Christians are very new to understanding the biblical role of government and need much more training. Understanding the need for continuing education has led many YWAM bases to offer schools of government. Medellin YWAM director Paulo Fillion conducted a number of these schools inviting Stephen and other Christian educators to teach in-depth lessons on government, economics, education, and biblical worldview. This school is now offered online.
Another group providing continuing education is the Transformation Institute. Rodrigo Tapia started the Institute in Brazil in 2010, inviting Stephen McDowell to conduct the inaugural classes. The Institute has now spread throughout Latin America, having an especially large influence in Colombia under the leadership of Augusto Bernal.
In August 2018 the Transformation Institute organized a series of conferences and seminars in six cities (Bogota, Medellin, San Andres, Buenaventura, Barbosa, Soacha). Stephen McDowell, Vishal Mangalwadi of India, and Rodrigo Tapia taught on biblical transformation at 17 different venues including: churches, conferences, pastors groups, the state legislature of Antioquia, Transformation Institute classes, and individual meetings with national and local government leaders.
A month later Stephen returned to Colombia to teach three different Transformation Institute schools, as well as in various churches and at other gatherings. In addition, he taught a group of local, state, and national leaders including Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal.
God is awakening His watchmen in Colombia. Christian leaders in the church, law, education, government, and business are seeking to bring God’s kingdom to the nation. They have just begun and much work remains. Continuing education is vital for them to succeed. Thankfully, many folks are carrying on the task. We are thankful we have been able to play a small part in this historic work and have plans for many future visits.
South Africa (1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999)
In 1988, Mark Beliles traveled to Johannesburg and neighboring black townships such as Soweto and Sharpsville to see the situation there under apartheid. He preached in a church in Johannesburg and met with various pastors such as Ray MacCauley and a group of both black and white pastors in the city. Mark also went alone with a couple black pastors to black townships and was the first white person to be in their homes. They wept as they prayed together for God to end apartheid and bring transformation. Mark also met with some black city government leaders and a black leader of a political party.
Stephen McDowell then went in 1992 and 1993 to speak to about 800 people and then 1200 at conferences called SYMSA which stands for “SYMposium for the biblical rebuilding of South Africa.” A group of international speakers taught on how the Bible can transform the nation. Stephen also consulted with Kenneth Meshoe and others who went on to start a new political party called the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). The ACDP received enough votes in the historic elections of 1994 to place two members in the national parliament and three in regional parliaments. Luis Green had been the leader of the ANC (African National Congress, presently the ruling party) in the Cape Province when he attended SYMSA ’93 and read Liberating the Nations. He said he had been a Christian in his heart, but after being exposed to the truth he learned in the conference and our book, he realized his thinking and action did not coincide with his Christian faith. From that time his life was turned around. He left the ANC and joined with the fledgling ACDP. Three months later he found he had been elected to the Parliament. Luis’ testimony is a great example of what is needed to bring godly reform to the nations — the thinking and action of Christians must become consistent with their heart faith.
Luis and pastor Paul Daniel of His People Church in Capetown came to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1996 and presented an award to Stephen and Mark from the Parliament in South Africa for their work in the transformation of South Africa. Kenneth Meshoe, also a member of Parliament, visited us later that year. Then in February, 1999, Stephen McDowell spent two weeks in South Africa speaking at two SYMSA conferences and at numerous churches, as well as meeting with many different government, education, and church leaders. Over 600 people attended a two-day conference in Capetown and 300-400 attended in Pretoria. Both were very successful. Kenneth Meshoe, who is a Member of Parliament and head of the ACDP, invited Stephen and other speakers to a luncheon meeting in Parliament. Stephen was very excited to see the fruit that has come forth from previous trips — teachers using our materials, people inspired to start new businesses, people serving in civil government, and many who have greatly benefited from our book Liberating the Nations.
Later a pastor from South Africa whom McDowell visited in 1999 and spoke at his church wrote: “It is just amazing how much your visit on those short two days really started a great change in our lives. We are studying your material very carefully and have also started a course for leaders called Biblical Christian World View. Your book Liberating the Nations is the core handbook.”
(Picture: Stephen McDowell teaching in South Africa)
Dr. Dominic Obott of Nigeria attended our Institute for World Reformation in 1991 and since then he has been doing much to teach others in his nation. Dr. Obott, who is founder and President of Redeemed International Seminary, wrote in 2000: “As a Providence Foundation Scholar, I have been playing a leading role here in training Christians to participate in politics and governance and ordering civil government. Before I attended your Institute for World Reformation, I used to think it was abominable for a Christian to be involved in politics or participate in ordering earth’s government. In your school I was taught the political mission and mandate of the Church, etc, that opened my eyes to the truth and changed my perspective. Thank you once again for the vision of the Providence Foundation.” Dr. Obott wrote that “in our seminary, we teach Principles for the Reformation of the Nations as a course. Our students like this course more than every other course that we offer in the seminary. The course is so educative, informative, exciting and liberating. I teach the course personally. All our students now have a new idea of Christianity and governance.”
Meanwhile others were using our materials in bring change such as Michael Gowan in the city of Jos. In 2005 Mark and Stephen went to Nigeria and not only met with Gowan, but with new friends Tony Rapo and Kemela Okara in Lagos. They taught in various churches and met with pastors, members of parliament and the attorney general.
In 1988 Mark Beliles went to Kinshasa and met with various ministry leaders and preached in some churches.
Others Working in Africa:
John Jere is a pastor and the Executive Director of Zambia United Christian Action. His desire is to disciple his nation, beginning by educating pastors and Christians in their civil duties. Rev. Jere recently obtained some of our books and has been diligently studying them. He wrote in 2000: “Your books have transformed me and I will not be free till I put everything I have learned into practice. We want to begin by educating those in the 1500 churches throughout the country that are members of Zambia United Christian Action. . . . For your information I am in direct contact with the key political leaders. Some come to my house to consult on national controversial issues. President Frederick Chiluba’s term is coming to an end. At the moment, we have two key brothers that are willing to stand as Presidential aspirants for 2001 general elections. One of these men is the Hon. General Godfrey Miyanda, the Minister of education. He is the only one in the ruling party who is capable of leading the nation. Most of the others are crooked. They may have the money, but they do not fear God or know Jesus Christ.”
Rev. Jere then writes of his great hunger and thirst for truth and training to help evangelize and disciple his nation. Under President Chiluba “Zambia covenanted herself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” Jere is working to see that Zambia will continue on with the same heart, plus have the internal principles and ideas necessary to see the nation grow in the blessings of God. “We pray that the Providence Foundation may come some time next year to Zambia and teach a seminar on Liberating the Nations.”
Chanda from Zambia writes: “I am compelled to write you after reading your book, Liberating the Nations. It is an amazing treasure of revelations and answered a lot of questions I have had about our nation. Most of our different political parties do not acknowledge the power of the gospel in governance. Even our current government, despite being led by a Christian president does not consist of men and women who accept and uphold the gospel’s truths. . . . The remedy to this nation is the promotion of the internal government of self, reason, will and Godliness rather than the forcing of external government powers. The church has also been misled by believing that Christianity and government (politics) can never work together. . . .I read your heart in your book, Liberating the Nations, and this is why I have the courage to bother you this far, I feel the concepts in that book must be taught and taught and taught till they become the fundamental base of our politics, Christianity and life style of our youths in Zambia. . . I believe there is a call for the Providence Foundation in the republic of Zambia. We need to see the transformation power of the gospel in our cities, markets, streets, gardens, and schools and the political parties themselves. Please pray and do what you can do for this cause. America has been friendly and has given us donations after donations but this has never been the solution. We need the knowledge, the understanding and the revelation of the biblical principles of Godly and good governance. Please help the young in Zambia to understand this. They are the presidents, pastors, fathers, mothers and covenant keepers of tomorrow.”
Burundi, Rwanda, Congo
In 2005 Stephen traveled to Belgium to teach a seminar to French-speaking African pastors who traveled from throughout Europe to attend. Over 100 pastors from Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, and other nations attended the multi-day event.
Albert Mensah and others started Providence Foundation – Ghana around 2010 to educate Christians in Biblical worldview. PF – Ghana have conducted numerous training events and published Liberating the Nations for use in their country.
(Picture: Providence Foundation representatives from Ghana and Holland)
In 1991 Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell were visited in Charlottesville by an African prince named Francois Ayi who sought help in writing a Declaration of Rights for his nation. After contributing to this document, the prince submitted it to his nation’s political leaders and it also was distributed for study in several other African nations. Ayi eventually became king of his people and met with the President of Togo for ways to improve the country. His Highness later visited us again in Charlottesville and spoke at the University of Virginia in 1997.
(Picture: Beliles and McDowell consulting with leader from Togo)
Work in Asia
The Philippines (1988, 2002, 2006, 2008)
Manny Carlos spent a year with us and went back to Manila in 1987 and shortly thereafter went into full time ministry with Victory Churches. In the summer of 1988, McDowell traveled to Manila for a series of seminars and meetings. Over 300 people attended the multi-night seminar covering topics on Christian education, Biblical economics, foreign policy, providential history, and others relating to Godly reformation. Those in attendance included officials from the Mexican and British embassies and Makati City Hall, a former presidential candidate, two judges, one legislator and pastors and staff workers from twenty different churches.
On campus in the Philippines, Stephen also spoke at the two most influential campuses in the country: De La Salle University and University of the Philippines. At DLSU, about 300 political science and economics students and professors gathered to hear Stephen speak on “Christian Economics.” Most of those in attendance were socialists or liberation theology teachers. At UP, a campus known for its left-leaning political radicals, Stephen’s topic was “True Revolution: Where Does It Begin?” For this meeting only the presidents, vice presidents and faculty sponsors of about 150 recognized student organizations were invited. These were the leaders of UP. The capacity crowd of fraternity leaders, student government leaders, and communist front group leaders heard an unforgettable message about Christian character and the fallacies of liberation theology, communism and socialism.
In 2000 Pastor Manny Carlos, now one of the most influential pastors in the Philippines, visited us again in Charlottesville and then we accompanied him on his visit to Gordon Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach. (Robertson had been a member of Manny’s church for a few years in Manila.) We helped provide Carlos with materials and training for opening Christian schools in his country which he went on to do. Then in 2002, Stephen McDowell traveled again to Manila, Philippines, where over the course of one week he taught thousands of people in the Victory Leadership Institute on the topic of Biblical Education and God and Government, plus to speak at a number of Victory Christian Churches. Victory Fellowship had started a Christian school to produce students who will literally disciple their nation, and provide Biblical leadership in every sphere of life. Stephen conducted a three day seminar for their teachers, parents, and other interested people. Around 250 people attended this event, which not only included educators from their school, but public and private educators from throughout Metro Manila. The principal of the largest public high school in the world, with over 23,000 students, was one of those in attendance.
Stephen also taught a three-day God and Government seminar attended by many present and future leaders in government and business, including 2 congressmen, a judge who is probably next in line for the Supreme Court, and a member of President Arroyo’s staff/cabinet. Stephen had consultation meetings with various leaders and educators and also spoke to three churches on how to fulfill the cultural mandate.
In 2006 Mark taught in Manila churches and a seminar for leaders. Met with Mrs. Marcos and many other present leaders in the government. In 2008 Mark visited leaders there for a day in the spring and then returned to teach in various churches and leader’s seminars again. Books were published there.
(Picture: Stephen McDowell with teachers in Manila, Philippines)
South Korea (2006, 2007, 2008)
In 2006 Mark taught in Seoul to lawyers and in Pohang to Handong International University and its law school. Then in 2007 both Mark and Stephen went together to Seoul for a Transform World conference. In 2008 Mark taught a seminar on government in the National Assembly building for many government leaders and pastors and also preached in Hallelujah Church. It was broadcast on television nationwide.
In 2008 Mark taught a major conference in Jakarta and met with many government leaders including the recent Muslim Vice-President. He also preached in churches there.
In 2008 Mark taught a major conference and preached in a church there.
In 2008 Mark spoke to a group of pastors, and met with the Governor, and preached in a church.
In the summer of 1988, McDowell spent over a week in Australia teaching seminars, and speaking at churches and various organizations. Seminars conducted in Mebourne and Sydney were attended by various pastors and Christian leaders in the country. Stephen also addressed a newly formed homeschool organization, probably the first in the country.
In 1989, following the Tiananmen Square protests in China, Mark met with Linchao Han – the vice-President of the Chinese democracy movement in Washington, DC and then Mark and Stephen taught a seminar for Chinese intellectuals at the University of Virginia on Democracy. We also shared educational materials with that movement that were published in some of their newsletters later on. Articles by Mark and Stephen in Chinese language also were published in a 1995 newspaper called The Mandate.
In 2010 and 2011 we teamed with Jerry Yu of Excelsis Ministries to train Chinese business leaders in Charlottesville.
(Picture: Beliles with leader of Chinese student movement)
in 2008 the Centre for Contemporary Christianity published our book Liberating the Nations in Bangalore, India, for use in their training programs.
We have been providing materials for a number of years to pastors in Pakistan. One pastor, Pastor I. (unnamed for security reasons), oversees 1000 home churches. Over the years he has printed and distributed over 500,000 copies of our book The Ten Commandments and Modern Society which he translated into the Urdu, Pashtun, and Persian languages. In recent violence against Christians some of his leaders have been killed and some thrown in jail. This pastor uses many of our books and courses (distributing thousands of copies of teaching CDs) to train Pakistanis in the Biblical principles of liberty.
(Picture: Pastor I. teaching)
Latin American & Caribbean Nations
Guatemala (1997, 1998)
Stephen McDowell went to Guatemala in 1997 to speak at a conference on bringing Christian liberty to the Latin American nations. About 700 people from ten countries attended the two-day conference. Participants included pastors, government officials, educators, political leaders, businessmen, and others interested in impacting society with the gospel. Everyone at the conference received a copy of the Spanish edition of our book, Watchmen on the Walls. One pastor immediately began using this book to disciple the members of his church. He wrote that it “has been very useful in our church . . . and I have recommended it to a group of pastors of our denomination.”
In 1998 McDowell again traveled to Guatemala to speak to a gathering of 200 of the most influential Christian leaders in that country on how to transform their nation through Biblical principles. Participants included a former President and Vice President, thirteen (out of 80) members of congress, scores of ministers, including pastors of four of the five largest churches in Guatemala City, plus business and university leaders. We were able to impact many current and future leaders of this nation which has the fastest growing evangelical populace in the world (currently 30-35% and expected to reach 50% by the first part of the next century). A team of us also met with the leadership of the fastest growing university in Guatemala, advising them, at their request, on how to make all of their classes Biblical. People eagerly received our books, Atalayas en los Muros (Watchmen on the Walls) and Liberando las Naciones (Liberating the Nations), as there is little material like this available in Spanish.
(Picture: Stephen McDowell with Guatemalan church and political leaders)
In 1992 Stephen McDowell was invited to speak at two conferences sponsored by a number of national Christian organizations on igniting the flame of Godly reformation, one in Caracas and one in Maracaibo. Organizers translated into Spanish and printed 1000 copies of Principles for the Reformation of Nations (an earlier version of Liberating the Nations) for use as a tool for those attending the conferences to train others. Hundreds of people attended these multi-day conferences, and they in turn greatly impacted many others.
In 1993 a Frenchman working on his doctoral dissertation on the influence of evangelicalism on government and society in Latin American visited us in Charlottesville. He told us that while in Venezuela doing research he had come across numerous people and groups who were using the Spanish edition of our book. This significant impact on so many people is one reason he came to interview us and learn more about our work.
In 1996 Mark met with Cesar Espanol in Charlottesville who returned to his country and oversaw the publication and wrote a chapter on the history of liberty in Latin America which was included in a Spanish edition of our book Liberando las Naciones. It was printed in Venezuela in 1998. Our representative, Cesar Espanol, saw this as an invaluable tool for equipping Christians in Venezuela with the principles necessary to bring Godly reform to their nation.
Stephen returned to Venezuela in the early 2000’s to teach a seminar and at various churches.
(Picture: McDowell teaching in Caracas, Venezuela)
Costa Rica (2000)
In June of 2000 Stephen McDowell taught at a two and one-half day conference in Costa Rica dealing with the impact of Christianity in society. About 150 pastors, teachers, businessmen, and parents from throughout Central America learned how Christianity affects every sphere of life – family, church, civil government, the arts, education, business. While there, Stephen also spoke to the teachers of a newly formed Principle Approach school. He said, “I was encouraged to hear that the mission of the school was to disciple the nation through training their children. I wish all the Christian schools in America had such a vision. The people I met had a great hunger for Biblical worldview books, but there are not enough such books available in Spanish. Even when available, most people cannot afford to purchase books.” While the Providence Foundation has some materials in Spanish, we hope to someday print large quantities to make the unit price cheap enough for wide distribution.
(Picture: McDowell with teachers at a Christian school in Costa Rica)
Brazil (1991, 1994, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018)
Stephen spoke in Brazilia in 1991 and then returned in July 1994 to both Brazilia and Sao Paulo. Fabio Batista in Brazilia organized a series of seminars and talks at which Stephen McDowell spoke. About 100 people, many in training for the ministry, attended an in-depth two day seminar on “Liberating the Nations” that was held in the national capital. McDowell also conducted a seminar in Sao Paulo and spoke at various churches in both cities.
Fabio Batista of Brazilia had attended a Providence Foundation training course while in school in the United States. Upon returning to his home as our representative in Brazil, he established an organization in 1994 to facilitate Godly reform. He and his team put out a newsletter, organized classes, and presented many talks and seminars. Fabio appeared on national television and spoke to a state meeting of the Four Square Church attended by 600 pastors.
In 2007 our book Liberating the Nations was translated into Portuguese and 5000 copies were printed and distributed at a large transformation conference.
In March 2011, Stephen spent about 10 days in Brazil teaching in seven cities in the three southernmost states. His main purpose was to teach at the newly formed Transformation Institute. Rodrigo Tapia started “Instituto Transforma” with the long-term vision of raising up a new generation of leaders for the nation. His intensive year-long training program, followed by a year of practical application, will equip leaders in a biblical worldview so as to transform every spheres of life in Brazil. He has a similar vision to what we do at the Providence Foundation, with a desire to partner with us. Stephen’s sessions were filmed and are being used in the Institute.
(Picture: Stephen McDowell teaching in Brazil)
In May 2012 Stephen was in Brazil for 10 days teaching at meetings in four cities spanning the length of the country, from the southern city of Cachoerinhas to the northern city of Macapa, which is located on the Amazon River. While in the capital city of Brasilia he went with a small team of Christian leaders to the Supreme Court of Brazil where they were able to pray for 30 minutes. This was the first time something like this has taken place.
Brazil is experiencing great revival. Not only are many people being converted, but a growing number of Christians are recognizing their duty to disciple the nation at large. The founder of Transformation Institute, Rodrigo Tapia, invited the Providence Foundation to train pastors and leaders how to do this very thing. He is putting together a training program to distribute throughout the nation. This includes various teachings that Stephen and many other reformers have done at his institute, plus he has translated numerous Providence Foundation booklets that he will be printing and using to educate others.
Stephen returned to Brazil in 2013 and 2014, spending about two weeks teaching in a variety of venues, but most importantly working with the Transformation Institute to solidify their ongoing training program.
During the end of August and beginning of September, 2018, Stephen traveled to Brazil at the invitation of Rodrigo Tapia and the Transformation Institute. The
trip began in the southern city of Gravatai where Stephen and Vishal Mangalwadi taught a two-day conference, at a pastors’ gathering, and at a YWAM base. They, along with Mark Beliles, conducted a half-day training event for the mayor, members of the police force, and over 100 members of the city government.
Vishal, Rodrigo, and Stephen then traveled to the northeastern coastal city of Sao Luis, where they conducted a multi-day conference on transforming Brazil to hundreds of people, spoke at a pastors’ breakfast, and taught a two-day seminar to many students at Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA), the leading university in the area. These were attended by
many pastors, lawyers, government officials, future leaders, and others desiring to see Brazil discipled. They also spoke at the largest churches in the area and while visiting a local Huguenot Museum learned that French Protestants played a part in the beginning of the city, erecting a cross for prayer when arriving in 1612 and writing laws based upon the Ten Commandments.
Two of our books (Liberating the Nations and Watchmen on the Walls) and six PowerPoint presentations are available in Portuguese.
In the spring of 1996 McDowell traveled to Managua, Nicaragua, to teach many pastors and church leaders their duties in the civil realm. As a nation emerging from communism, these Biblical ideas were eagerly received by those who had only recently begun to have a voice in government. Many involved in civil government also attended the seminars and meetings, including presidential candidate Dr. Francisco Mayorga.
In the summer of 2000 a missions team from Morning Star International ministries visited Peru and used some of our materials and a slide presentation to train the city leaders of Taraporto. A member of the team, Daniel Strand, wrote: “We are so thankful for the material you sent to us! We were able to translate the “Liberating the Nations” presentation into Spanish. We made a presentation for the Mayor and her government department heads for the city of Taraporto, Peru. We had about 25 at that meeting, and after the presentation they asked so many questions on how to change their government, they stayed for another hour of question and answer!.” Another team member met with the Dean of the only university in that region and gave him a copy of the Spanish version of Liberating the Nations.
In 2008 Stephen traveled to Peru, where he taught church and government leaders in Lima and at a pastor’s school in Iquitos. A couple of our books were published in the country for use in the school for biblical economics.
In 1990 Bertril Baird, who is a pastor and President of Faith Revival Ministries, attended our Biblical Worldview Seminar in Charlottesville. He was motivated to do so after reading our booklet In Search of Democracy, in which, he said he learned more about a Biblical view of government than in all his previous studies on the subject. In 1991 he invited McDowell to speak at a conference in Trinidad attended by Christian leaders from throughout the Caribbean Islands. He wanted these people to learn a Biblical view of God and government and show them that the church must prepare people to govern their nations. Pastor Baird served a number of years as a member of the PF Advisory Board, participated in numerous events with us, and advanced the message of Godly reformation all over the world.
(Picture: Representatives from Germany, Trinidad, and Brazil)
The primary reason for Stephen’s trip to Trinidad in November 2008 was for consultation with Ancil Peters on setting up a satellite school of the Biblical Worldview University, called Center for Creative Leadership School (CCL). CCL has the facilities in place and has recognition from the government. They have identified and begun to train a number of the future instructors. While there Stephen conducted a day-long training event for these instructors and many other pastors, businessmen, and government leaders. In addition, Stephen spoke at two churches and met with various Christian leaders to discuss and promote the school. Stephen returned in 2010 to launch the first classes at the renamed Center for Diplomatic Studies.
(Picture: Stephen teaching in Trinidad)
In November, 2003, Stephen McDowell, accompanied by his wife Beth, taught at a conference in Antigua, the West Indies. Paul Andrew, Pastor of Christian Assembly Ministries, had been introduced to our ministry by Providence Foundation advisor Bertril Baird, who is a pastor and international speaker from Trinidad. After reading some of our books, Paul ordered scores of copies and began distributing them to key leaders in Antigua and throughout the Caribbean. Paul, along with other pastors in the area, had been very eager to promote the message of Godly reformation of society. To help educate his nation he organized a conference on “God’s Plan for the Nations” and invited Bertril and Stephen to speak. Hundreds of pastors, businessmen, and political leaders attended the week-long summit, included a bishop who oversees churches in many of the Caribbean nations. The last two nights Stephen taught were broadcast live on a national radio program. He also spoke to a pastor’s prayer breakfast where numerous evangelical churches were represented. In addition, he met with the Governor-General of Antigua, Sir James Carlisle, and Hazel Bird, sister to the present Prime Minister, Lester Bird.
(Picture: McDowell with Governor-General of Antigua and Caribbean pastors)
A multi-day School of Transformation was conducted for leaders in church and state in Hector Pardo’s church in Bogota. Hector is a leading Pastor in the nation. Since he became a Christian around 1960, the Christian population in Columbia has risen from 15,000 to 8 million (about 20% of the population). Hector’s desire is to continue to train the rapidly growing Christian populace in Biblical transformational principles.
(Picture: Stephen & Hector Pardo)
Stephen returned to Colombia in 2015 to help launch the Transformation Institute of Colombia, which will provide ongoing training in Biblical worldview. While there he also spoke at churches and was interviewed for a number of radio and television programs. [See first section above for more on our work in Colombia.]
Stephen traveled to Jamaica in 2006 to speak at a conference at one of the largest churches in the country.
Puerto Rico (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
During a six year period, Stephen spent about one week each year teaching at a YWAM base in Puerto Rico on biblical government, economics, education, providential history, and Godly transformation. The seminars were translated in Spanish, recorded, and are still in use in the school for regular training.
In 1990, Pedro Moreno, having studied under Mark and Stephen in Charlottesville for a few years and then returned to La Paz, began working for the government there and organized the first national Protestant Prayer Breakfast at which he and the President of Bolivia spoke. Moreno opened an office for PF and started an ongoing study group. Hundreds of pastors and government officials, including the President and numerous national leaders, attended the prayer breakfast. Zarco’s desire to train Christian government leaders, as well as all Bolivians, in a Biblical worldview led him to travel to the United States to meet with us and discuss working together. When Zarco heard Stephen McDowell speak at a training course in the fall of 1999 and read some of our books, he discovered the materials he needed to help him in training others. He started a class for about 15 politicians teaching them the material in Liberating the Nations and Watchmen on the Walls. Soon after that pastor and former Congressman Orlando Zarco was named the Providence Foundation representative for Bolivia. Zarco has been working for many years to bring Godly reformation to his nation.
(Picture: McDowell with Foundation representative from Bolivia)
In the summer of 2017 Stephen spent three days in Cochabamba, Bolivia, teaching biblical principles of societal transformation to pastors, government officials, educators, and business leaders. Those in attendance included a man and wife who founded and run a Christian school in La Paz. The wife, Cecilia, recently wrote us:
I would like you to know, that I shared your teachings with my teachers and students. The study of the law of God, of the Ten Commandments, opened my eyes to integral salvation and the essential subjects in a Christian education, we are also deepening this study with other authors. We are implanting these teachings very slowly but consistently in our Christian School, with my husband Oscar teaching the students in class and I teaching the teachers.
Now, we are starting a school of Christian leaders, where we will plan to teach biblical worldview, reasoning and fallacies, basic theology, history, and biblical designs. It is aimed at pastors and young Christian professionals. If you could help us it would be wonderful.
We are watching from Bolivia to your country, very happy of the changes that are happening, and with the hope that in Bolivia we can also see the hand of God one day and we can return to the biblical designs, which we know start with changed hearts.
I am sending you this letter to thank you and to tell you that the seeds that you planted here in Bolivia gave good results. Thank you, many congratulations and blessings from Bolivia.
A lady who trains missionary teachers wrote to obtain Liberating the Nations for use in her Teachers for the Nations program. She was recently training teachers in Haiti the principles we highlight in our book.
A Member of Parliament in Bermuda saw our video, The Story of America’s Liberty, on TV, contacted us and arranged a visit to Charlottesville in 2003 to get materials and ideas to help him bring Godly reform to his island.
In 1987, James Lowen from Charlottesville, traveled there and met with the President and presented him with materials from our ministry. He was moved to tears upon hearing of the faith and prayers of George Washington in the early years of our nation.
Stephen traveled to Guyana in 2009, where he spoke at the Kingdom Transformation Conference in Georgetown; plus he traveled to other towns to speak at various churches.
Lithuania (2003, 2004)
In 2002 our colleague, Pastor Bruce Anderson with Richard Abbott of England, went to Lithuania and there taught various leaders and met with the President of that nation. Then in the spring of 2003 Stephen McDowell, Bruce Anderson, and Alex van Vuuren traveled to Lithuania to conduct seminars, meet with church and government leaders, and teach at various churches. They distributed new Russian editions of our books. Mark Beliles also visited there with Bruce Anderson in 2004.
(Picture: McDowell with leaders at a prayer breakfast at the Lithuanian Parliament)
Belarus (1992, 2003)
Mark Beliles went to Minsk in 1992 and met with many church leaders including the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church there. He also went to the headquarters of the newly formed Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that replaced the former Soviet Union and spoke with its leaders and invited them to visit America. A month later these CIS leaders came to Charlottesville and also to DC and the UN in New York. They spoke at meetings we organized at the University of Virginia.
About 10 years later in 2003 Stephen went there again and taught over 325 people from 42 different churches and numerous political organizations in a two-day seminar on Godly reformation. (Since the president of the country is essentially a communist dictator, there were probably secret police in attendance as well.) Stephen was told there had never been any conference like it in the history of the nation. Many participants in the conference had been reading the Russian version of our book, Liberating the Nations, which had been printed there in January. After hearing our teaching, many others bought the book to study.
Latvia (2003, 2004)
A copy of Liberating the Nations in Russian was given to the leader of New Generation churches, Alexey Ledyaev, who had written his own booklet in 2002 on Christian reformation of nations. Alexey invited us to teach at New Generation’s annual conference in Latvia in 2003. Mark Beliles and Bruce Anderson traveled to Riga, the capital, the end of November to teach the multi-national conference attendees. During the three day conference Mark and Bruce not only spoke to the 4000 leaders from throughout the Russian-speaking world, but also had a three-hour question and answer time with 200 pastors and political activists. In addition they met with leaders of the First Party of Latvia, a new Christian-dominated party which has emerged in the last few years and now is the governing party, including the Secretary of Family Affairs, who is a Baptist pastor, the Secretary of Economics, a Pentecostal, and another government department leader who is a Catholic priest. Latvia is certainly one of the best examples of Christians in government in Europe today. The message of the Providence Foundation was eagerly received by everyone.
In early 2004 Ledyaev came to Charlottesville and spoke in our seminar. Then Mark went to teach in Latvia again that year and met with the Vice-Prime-Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament and many other Ministers in the Government for a few hours of consultation. Many of these leaders told Mark that the reason they united and got involved in the government is because of the inspiration derived from our books.
Russia (1992, 1995, 2008)
Mark Beliles visited St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1992 just shortly after the end of the Soviet Union. He traveled with a group of U.S. leaders that included Ben Armstrong of the National Religious Broadcasters and Dr. Jack Wilke of National Right to Life. Mark had opportunity to meet many religious and political leaders in St. Petersburg and spoke at the Open Christianity conference there. Father Benjamin Novick of St. Petersburg’s Russian Orthodox Theological Academy began to serve as one of our representatives there from this time and visited America later a few times.
Then Mark traveled on to Moscow and there gave an address at the Russian National Academy of Science and had an official meeting with a committee of the Russian Parliament. The Academy of Science also published our materials on Biblical roots of democracy in their national paper that went out to 250,000 scholars. Mark also met with and prayed for an official advisor to President Boris Yeltsin. A few months later, Father Benjamin Novick and two other Russian Orthodox philosophers came to Charlottesville and studied for two weeks in our summer Institute and also spoke and contributed papers.
In 1993, our materials were given directly to President Yeltsin by one of our advisors named Bob Weiner. These materials were studied by some of those working on drafting a new Russian Constitution but unfortunately not incorporated fully into that document.)
In 1994 Protestant pastors Pavel and Marina Saveliev of Moscow came to visit Charlottesville. They agreed to get our book on Liberating the Nations translated into Russian. Then in April of 1995 over 1000 Christian leaders from across Russia and the Ukraine gathered in Yaroslavl where Mark Beliles spoke seven times at a conference entitled “Russia 95″ on principles for building a Christian nation, during which he presented the biblical view of government. The pastors, businessmen, and leaders at “Russia 95″ were taught the importance of Christians being involved in every area of a nation’s cultural life, as well as basic biblical principles for discipling their nation. As a means of further training, each delegate at the conference received a copy of the Providence Foundation’s new Russian translation of Liberating the Nations. Immediately after, and in conjunction with, “Russia 95,” the Providence Foundation conducted an additional conference on Christian Leadership in Government. About 300 people remained to be instructed by Beliles and Marianne Schwarz of Germany. Schwarz, the Providence Foundation’s German Director, provided valuable training on practical steps for involvement in politics from a European perspective. This complimented well Beliles’ teaching on principles for building Christian nations. Also joining them was Alex VanVurren of Netherlands, who would eventually take over much of the European leadership of the Providence Foundation.
A few years later an email from a pastor in Russia spoke of the impact of our book: “My name is Viatcheslav S. and I represent the Russian Far Eastern Union of the Evangelical Churches. We have churches all over the Far Eastern region of the country. A few years ago – I think it was in 1994 – somebody gave me the book called Liberating the Nations. I read it in a day, I was so impressed by the book. It changed my mind and my relation to the things around my common Christian understanding. So first of all I want to thank you for the book and the Lord for the opportunity to get and be changed by this. There are so many Christians (especially in our country and in our region) that do not realize all the things you mentioned in the book. They still think that Christianity is a kind of sub-society, that the government is their enemy, etc. The thousands of people in our churches need much education. Though it will take years to plant the Christian philosophy in the mind of the society, we need to start moving forward. I pray that you continue to develop your work and touch as many people and nations as the Lord planned for you. May our God bless you in everything you do for His Kingdom.”
In 1999 our representative in St. Petersburg, Father Benjamin Novick, published a book entitled Orthodoxy, Christianity, Democracy. He opposed the new anti-protestant laws in Russia and was fired from this teaching position in the Orthodox seminary, but continues to serve as a priest.
In 2008 Mark taught in three cities of far-east Russia to thousands of leaders.
(Picture: Beliles with Russian representative in St. Petersburg)
Poland (2006, 2007, 2008)
In 2006 Mark taught on two different trips to Warsaw and in 2007 Mark taught in Gdansk on two different trips. Liberating the Nations was published in hardback Polish version there. In 2008 he went back to both Warsaw and Gdansk.
In 2007 Mark taught on two different trips. First in Sofia and then in 7 other cities.
Ukraine (2004, 2005, 2007)
Mark Beliles met Pastor Sunday Adelaja of the Embassy of God Church in early 2004 while he was in America. Adelaja had already been reading our books that were given him by Alex VanVurren of the Netherlands and recommended to him by Ledayev of Latvia. Pastor Sunday invited Mark to come teach in his church in Kiev which is now the largest in all of Europe (about 25,000). Mark traveled there in June to do so and also spoke in six other cities to various New Generation churches. Sunday also printed our books and distributed them. Mark met with many political leaders in Parliament and taught over 25,000 people the principles of Godly transformation of government including the importance of protesting injustice. This was important because when the presidential election later that year took place, international observers declared that it was fraudulent due to widespread cheating for the pro-Moscow candidate. Pastors then led the way to organize protests in Kiev that were attended by hundreds of thousands of people. After a month, the Supreme Court finally called for new elections and a truly democratic and Christian man easily won. Yuschenko then appointed Timoshenko as the new Prime Minister. Both had read copies of our book and in fact the Prime Minister displayed it prominently in her office. We were asked to contribute and give input via email to the new government as well. The Russian government, which was shocked to lose its influence over Ukraine, has since clearly identified the Christians in Ukraine as the reason that this “Orange Revolution” took place.
In 2005 Mark and Bruce Anderson went there together and taught in some churches in Kiev and also had meetings with Sunday and Ledayev and others to discuss strategy for the future. Steve Weber who is based there as director of the Christian Broadcasting Network for the Russian-speaking world, told us at that time that the our books were the most significant thing being reported and discussed everywhere in that part of the world because it was meeting a critical need that they had.
In 2007 both Mark and Stephen went to Kiev together to teach a seminar and in churches.
Czech Republic (1991, 1992)
Mark Beliles visited some church leaders in Prague in 1991 and then returned for a seminar there in 1992. Providence Foundation leaders from Germany and Netherlands (Alex VanVurren) joined Mark and helped in teaching in the Prague seminar.
Mark also preached in both Charismatic and Brethren churches there. A few years later some of our books were translated and printed there.
Mark Beliles taught a few hundred church leaders in Budapest in 1991 and consulted with members of Parliament and other political leaders.
Netherlands (1990, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008)
Mark Beliles first visited a church in Delft in 1988 and returned to speak in 1990, 1991 and 1995. He has since returned many times there to teach. Its pastors and leaders are among the strongest of partners in western Europe today. Pastor David Koertz of Delft and Alex Van Vurren of Amsterdam are the main leaders. Alex began issuing a newsletter called Banner of Truth.
In 1999 Stephen taught in Delft and then the Providence Foundation held its first conference to gather leaders from various western European nations where Mark had been visiting for a decade. Twenty-five Christian leaders from five European countries met to learn from one another and discuss how they could work together in bringing godly reform. Alex van Vuuren, the Providence Foundation director for Europe, organized the meeting with the goal of building up a network of Christian reformers in Europe. Stephen McDowell and Mark Beliles, taught at the meeting and helped to facilitate discussion. Joining them from the States was Bruce Anderson, a pastor and co-author of Watchmen on the Walls. Various European leaders taught at the meeting. Dr. Bert Dorenbos of Holland spoke on the prophetic voice of the church and ethical issues. An attorney from England, Richard Abbott, presented the history of Britain as a case study, and Professor Thomas Schirrmacher of Germany spoke on Trinity and Work. Participants included numerous pastors, businessmen, and Christian leaders from The Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Austria, and Italy.
Mark taught again in Delft in 2001 and 2002. He also visited leaders in Amsterdam in 2001 and at the Parliament in Den Hague in 2002. There he heard the new Christian president give a speech. Stephen in 2007 taught a seminar in Amsterdam mainly for Africans and met with leaders in Delft in 2008.
England (2001, 2007)
Richard Abott from England had been a partner for years before joining us as a teacher in the Netherlands conference in 1999. He continued to write and lecture in Britain for the Jubilee Centre and other organizations, but also joined us in places such as Lithuania.
McDowell and Beliles traveled to England in 2001, where they met with numerous Christian leaders to discuss Godly reformation in the nation. McDowell spoke at churches in London, consulted with leaders of a Christian school in Oxford, and conducted a Christian history tour of Runnymede, the site where the Magna Charta was signed in 1215.
In 2007 Mark and Stephen both spent time with leaders in Britain and Stephen also spoke in some churches near London.
(Picture: Stephen McDowell giving a tour at the Magna Charta memorial in England)
France (1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005)
Mark Beliles first traveled to Paris in December 1988 and taught a three-day seminar on Principles for the Reformation of France. Over forty participants from France, Norway, Holland, South Africa, Ireland, Ghana, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, and Sweden attended. An earlier edition of Liberating the Nations (Principles for the Reformation of the Nations) was translated into French for use at the seminar. A team of people was also organized to help bring Godly reformation to France.
Mark returned for meetings and teaching in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001 and around 2005. In 1999 Stephen McDowell taught in Paris also.
Germany (1988, 1991, 1992, 2001)
Mark Beliles conducted meetings in Germany in 1988. Mark met with a representative in Frankfurt, but mainly taught in Munich. About 100 people attended a three-day seminar in Munich on Principles for the Reformation of Germany. In addition to those from Germany, people from Spain, Greece, and Italy participated. Marianne Schwartz became Providence Foundation director in Germany. She and a team of people translated In Search of Democracy into the German language, as well as organized classes to provide ongoing training.
Marianne visited Charlottesville in 1989 and was a speaker in our conference there. She has participated in a number of Foundation events in the U.S. and Europe since that time. Marianne met with Germany’s President Helmut Kohl and gave him some of our materials.
Mark returned to Munich in 1991 and 1992 for further meetings, and then lectured at Martin Bucer Seminary in Bonn in 2001.
Belgium (2007, 2008)
In 2007 Mark taught a seminar in Brussels mainly for Africans. Stephen taught over 100 African French-speaking pastors in a two-day seminar in 2008 in Brussels.
In April Stephen spoke at a pastor’s conference in Switzerland, with over 300 pastors, educators, and Christian leaders in attendance from about a dozen countries. The theme was “In Times like These” and Stephen presented the need for Christians to transform the nations through fulfilling the cultural mandate. As a result of this event educators in Germany, France, and Romania will be translating some of our materials into their languages and possibly publishing books in their countries. A German translation of “Fulfilling the Cultural Mandate” PowerPoint presentation has been completed.
In 2007 Stephen taught in churches of mainly Africans in Oslo, Norway.
Mark went to Dublin in 2001 and met with various leaders.
In 1997 Mark taught in Madrid to pastors representing about 200 Reformed and Baptist churches from throughout the nation.
Others Working in Europe:
After attending a Leadership Institute International school in Washington, DC, and hearing Stephen speak, folks in Italy translated our book Liberating the Nations into Italian for use in training folks in that country.