Good News - January 2023

COVER STORY 29 JANUARY 2023 Good News • South Florida Edition Bob had been followed. Finding refugewith theirmaid and housekeeper in a fifth-floor apartment vacated by a fellowmissionary, they heard a commotion and discovered two armored carloads of commandos storming the building in search of him. “I told the ladies to get in the bathroom and lock the door and planned to surrendermyself in hopes theywould not be found. I’mwaiting at the door, and I hear yelling and pounding and screaming as they come up the stairs to about the third floor then they suddenly stop and run back down. I look out and see them talking and a second group comes and then a third came in and went out. Then they sped away.” The guard confirmed the next morning that the commandos had been looking for Bob, and said, “I don’t knowwhat happened.” However, Bob said, “We knewwhat happened.”When telling this story to Dr. Robert Ashcroft, the attorney general’s father, a few weeks later, Ashcroft said, “I think there was an angel about 10-feet tall, standing at the top of that third-floor landing and when those guys sawhim, they high tailed it out of there and said, ‘you go get him!’And their buddies ran into the same thing.”And Bob agreed, “I really believe that’s probably what happened.” Literature ministry Being led by the Holy Spirit, Bob was also a good businessman and marketer. So when he couldn’t travel tomiddle eastern countries anymore, he againministered in a differentway, placing ads in Beirut newspapers offering literature. One of his ads read: JohnF. Kennedywas themost powerfulman in theworld, but he couldn’t stopone assassin’s bullet. Will John Kennedy live again? For answers to questions about life, write P.O. Box 5724, Beirut, Lebanon. He also ran an adwith a rather provocative picture ofMarilynMonroe, which in theMiddle East would catch attention, and said: She’s considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, rich, famous, and yet she took her own life.Whywould she kill herself?For answers toquestions about life, writeBox 5724, Beirut, Lebanon. “That’s how I enrolled 400,000 students in about five years in the Way to Life Correspondence School,” said Bob. “And I remember as a boy packing those letters for him,” Rob added. “And the thing that most impacted me is dad began to realize the power is not in the sower; the power is in the seed. It wasn’t in the messenger; it was in the message. God’s word is what transforms hearts.” The literature ministry was moved to Cyprus and the Middle East Evangelical Theological Seminary Bob started in Beirut was moved to Egypt where there are now eight campuses. Then in 1980, Bob was asked to take charge of Editorial Vida (Life Publishers) and moved the family to South Florida. “When I started, there was very little material available in Spanish, and I had a dream of expanding it into other languages to reach the world through literature. God helped us do that.” Anew vision Then in 1987, Bob received a vision of the children of the world being attacked by Satan. “For days I was weeping for what I saw - millions of children being slaughtered - and prayed, Lord what am I seeing and what should I do?And the Lord said the only thing that will save them is truth and the truth is in my word. Take my word to the children of the world and do it through leaders.” That’s when the vision of OneHope was birthed under Vida Life Publishers with the mission of God’s Word, Every Child. Bob sent letters to major leaders in South America and was invited by the Minister of Education in El Salvador to give scripture to every student in the nation. El Libro de Vida or Book of Hope was created to share with the children in El Salvador and that was the beginning of OneHope. Soon after, the Minister of Education in Honduras invited them, and Bob asked his son Rob to help. Now a youth pastor in California, Rob and his wife Kim took about 30 youth on a mission trip to Honduras to distribute the Book of Hope in schools. “I get down to Honduras and he had mobilized the church to take God’s word in because we believe we’re evangelists, but the local church is the disciplers. OneHope serves the local church. “Sowe showup and the principal of this schools says this is the largest high school in central America.We have 14,000 students here, and I thought, wow! They lined up for us to do assemblies all day long frommorning to afternoon for three days.We’d get to share the story of Jesus. We did music. We gave testimonies. I preached a little bit, and we gave every child a copy of God’s word. I thought, this is incredible. This is like a crusade…The next morning kids were just swarming the bus because they wanted to meet these Americans. These kids thought they were like rock stars and wanted their autographs on the books. “I wasmakingmyway through the crowd and this one kid grabsme. His namewas Carlos, and he was 17 years old. He said, ‘yesterday you came into my classroom and gave me this book,’and he pulled out the El Libro de Vida – The Book of Life. He said, ‘I read it three times last night.’Carlos shared that his father had died and left his mother in poverty to raise him and his three brothers and sisters. He hated his government and had been training with a Marxist group to overthrow it. He said, ‘I’m just so angry. I’ve seen Jesus, but he’s always been hanging there dead on a cross, so I thought Christianity was about death. Then I read your book and it said Jesus is alive. I came here this morning to ask you, is Jesus alive?’And I said, Carlos, Jesus is alive, and he can be alive inside of you. By this time the 17-year-old terrorist had tears flowing down his cheeks. That day I understood, not the effectiveness of a strategy, but the power of the holy Spirit in this visionGod had given dad through theword.And that was the day I committed myself to say, this isworth giving your life to for theCarloses of theworld. Since 1988, Kimand I have followed this vision and my dad has been my biggest cheerleader.” Bob continued to run Vida Life Publishers with Rob overseeing OneHope full time until 1996 when the publishing company was sold to Zondervan and OneHope became a separate ministry.At some point, Bob said “We were doing about amillion and a half children a year and the Lord spoke tome and said, you need to put in place everything necessary to double your output next year.’ I shared it with Rob and we started to write out a strategy.” Doubling in a year That summer Bob received a call froma friend inOklahoma Citywhowanted him tomeet DavidGreen, founder of Hobby Lobby. ByGod’s providence, David and Barbara Green, along with their sonMart and Diane Green had heard about OneHope while visiting a new church for the first time. They picked up posters that said for $50 you can reach 150 kids. Bob soon found himself in a board room with the Green Family, who had 68 stores. They told him David felt God told them to go into business to givemoney away tomissions. David askedBob howmany children he could reach if money was no object. Meanwhile, unaware of his father’s encounter, Rob was in the Philippines meeting with their Ministry of Education to bring the Book of Hope to their schools. Initially the minister denied his request, saying they followed theAmerican education systemand in 1963whenAmerica took the Bible out of the schools, they did too. “I felt this spiritual indignation come over me,” saidRob and “started going through the statistics about the rise in suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse and the drop in educational scores since this happened. The minister said, ‘the same thing has happened’ here then he dictated a letter to his principals giving us permission to take the Book of Hope into all the schools in the Philippines (That’s 6million kids in high school alone). Before he signed, he asked, ‘Can you do this?’And everything inside ofme said, there is noway. I knowwhat this is going to cost. But that spirit of faith of a 7-year-old boy rose up insideme and I said, yes, we can do it, knowing that we couldn’t do anything, but the Holy Spirit can.” Bob Hoskins preaching at 11 years old Photo courtesy: OneHope