About 14 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria, the Internet was an emerging technology. Only few people had access to browse the Internet and I still remember with a smile how people would queue up to pay for having an email account created for them. As at that time, it was Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL.
Two years after, theInternet spread began though most people had access at work or at cyber cafes.
It was about this time that I began to think of ways to use my newfound knowledge and opportunity to share the insight I was getting when I read the scriptures.
I already had a list of friends I was corresponding with and they numbered about 10. It was such a joy to be able to share thoughts and the knowledge of God’s words to these friends of mine and I was equally encouraged by their feedback.
As I began to share with these friends, they in turn shared my thoughts with others and then I would get feedback from these others people as well. My list readers list grew from 10 to 20 and within a couple of months it grew to 50. At this point I could no longer manage sending regular emails to all my recipients in one go. I needed a solution.
At this time, I was already learning the technology of the web and I thought of creating a website. I was however not sure how to go about this. At this time, God brought a pastor my way, an American who till today I have never seen. We began corresponding online and when I shared my burden with him, he offered to pay for the domain registration and hosting of my website.
When he asked me what the domain name would be, I had no idea. As we discussed, the name ‘Biblepraise’ came up. I have no idea how we agreed on that name but as soon it came up, we both agreed. Thus, on February 9, 2002, biblepraise.org was born.
At about this time, I met another friend, LaRose Karr, who was in a group of people I was introduced to by another friend. I wrote her an email the contents of which I cannot remember. What I do remember however was that she remarked about how well I could write and asked if I have ever considered writing. I told her I have considered it but have never really acted on the thought. With her encouragement, I began the Biblepraise Newsletter.
The email list began to grow steadily and a couple of months within the same year, the 100th reader signed up on our yahoo groups account. For me, that was amazing! What was more awesome was the spread of the readers, from the US to South Africa, UK, some parts of Europe, Kenya and of course Nigeria.
What I did not know was that this was just the beginning. About a year after, I received an email from Sherry’s Inspirational, asking for my permission to use some of my stories. I accepted. Within 24 hours, I received an avalanche of emails. For days, I continued replying the emails one after the other because as a rule, I do my best to respond to any email I receive.
That same year, the list grew from 100 to over 800 active members. It was such a blessing knowing that God was using me in a way to reach out to people. There were times I received questions from people that I had no answers for, yet the Lord would enlighten me and even though I didn’t fully understand what I replied those people, imagine my surprise when they reply and tell me how God had used me to minister to them!
It has been 10 years. I look back and I see how far God has brought me. It seems to me that as the ministry continues to grow, so also has the Lord blessed me.
When I started this list 10 years ago, I was struggling to get a formal education long after my mates had finished University. I was earning less than what was needed to maintain a family and my economic situation was far from desirable.
One thing was however constant in my life; Biblepraise. Every Monday, I would find a way to ensure that I send out the newsletter even though I did not even have a computer of my own and could not afford to have access to the Internet. Then came the time when I could pay for an hour’s usage at an Internet café.
Years after this, I could afford to buy a used computer, making it easy to type and take the document in a diskette to where I could send. I was doing this just for one goal in mind, being a blessing to God’s people.
I remember all this while sitting down in my home office here in Kent, United Kingdom, typing on a Macbook which I bought as new and using a broadband access, over a thousand times faster than the dialup internet I was using to send Biblepraise emails 10 years ago.
The Lord has through this ministry blessed me beyond my imagination. It would have been very difficult for me to believe then if I was shown a picture of where I am today.
He has given me friends from different parts of the world through this ministry. I have served in different roles, in different churches but nothing gave me great joy and fulfilment than the time I spend every Monday, preparing a newsletter for someone, somewhere that I neither know nor have seen. As soon as I finish the newsletter, before I click the send button, I say a little prayer asking that the Lord would encourage and bless someone through it.
What was the point of writing all this? Simple. To let you know that our God is faithful. Nothing escapes Him.
I don’t know what you are doing in your little corner for Him. It could be ushering people in to the service, cleaning the church auditorium, maintaining the PA system or some role behind the scenes. The Lord sees….and He rewards.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org