Our Founder

VIETNAM – The War Years

David set off for Vietnam in 1957 before the age of one in the arms of his missionary parents, Garth and Betty Hunt along with his sister Donna.  Three more sisters (Laurel, Sandra, and Brenda) later joined the Hunt family with all three being born in Saigon.  He and his four sisters were completely acclimated to local culture and were fluent in Vietnamese.  

Although early on in the war in 1961, churches were already being attacked.  Here is 5-year-old David, playing with his friends alongside the graves of 7 Vietcong who had been killed in the attack.

The Hunt kids attended the boarding school for missionary children in Vietnam until increasing communist activity forced the school to be air lifted out of the country in 1965.  By this time the family had relocated to Saigon and would return to Vietnam for two months every Christmas and summer.

As young children, they accompanied their parents who ministered in evangelism and church planting.  They were raised seeing firsthand the deep importance of spreading the Gospel.

David’s father Garth, preached to thousands of Vietnamese troops prior to them going to the front lines.  He was always given the opportunity to also give them God’s Word.

At the age of 10, David began accompanying his dad as he would fly by helicopter to preach to Vietnamese troops.  It was at this early age that he began to participate in Scripture distribution handing out Gospels of John to the Vietnamese troops and their families.

As the war intensified and casualties mounted, the Lord opened the door for Garth and Betty Hunt to lead in the ministry to wounded Vietnamese troops at the Cong Hoa military hospital.  It was the largest Vietnamese military hospital in the country with 3,000 men.  Every week services were conducted and anywhere from 40-60 men committed their lives to Christ.  David and his sisters attended and assisted in giving each soldier his personal copy of the Word of God.  These early years shaped David’s heart and passion to share the Gospel and provide God’s Word. 

David’s mom Betty was a faithful and compassionate weekly visitor to the wounded soldiers.

As so many of the soldiers were badly injured, with countless amputees, each week Garth would go pick up soldiers within the massive hospital complex and transport them to the auditorium where the service was held every Sunday evening.  The Hunt kids always attended and helped.

EDUCATION AND MINISTRY

The Hunt family departed from Vietnam in 1972 for their scheduled year of furlough and by the time they were to return, the war had entered its final years.  David completed high school and then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Theology Degree at Canadian Bible College along with his Christian Education Diploma from the Evangelical Teacher Training Association.  He followed that up with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Business from the University of Waterloo.  David was later honored with a Doctor of Laws degree from Belhaven University for his service to the underground church.

In 1980 David began to assist his father who was the Founder of WorldServe Ministries.  He then joined full-time in 1983 and then in 1987 became Executive Director.  That year he also married Linda, a California girl and they went on to have three children.

In 1992, at his father’s request, David let his name stand for President of WorldServe Ministries and the Board of Directors unanimously appointed him to that position.  David served in that capacity for the next 15 years and during that time led the ministry into major ministry initiatives into Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, China and some 30 other countries. 

“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.”  Deuteronomy 2:7

“How true this scripture has been as I look back at the last 40 years.  I am most undeserving of being a vessel that the Lord chose to work through in such remarkable ways!  The Lord has blessed beyond my wildest dreams and truly He has been with me, and I have lacked nothing.  As you read, please know everything noted has been accomplished by the Lord and I simply was a vessel He chose to work through.”

David

“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf.”  

Psalm 66:5

RUSSIA

In 1990, David and his father Garth were led of the Lord to go to Russia, although they did not know what they were to do or who they were to work with.  Miraculously, the Lord had them meet key individuals in the military and the educational system.

Very remarkably, they met General Victor Andreev and General Nikolai Stolyarov.  At the first meeting at the Ministry of Defense, they sat across from the generals.  General Stolyarov was the Commander of all the Armed Forces of the CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States – after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  He was responsible for four million active and demobilized officers and soldiers.

He opened with a remarkable statement.  “The situation in Russia is desperate and the only hope for us is a spiritual and economic rebirth, based on the Word of God.”

David and Garth just about fell off their chairs.  They went on for two hours to discuss the situation and how they could help.  Before they left, they saw a Bible on General Stolyarov’s desk.  The first tangible project they undertook was to produce a very special New Testament for Russian Army Officers.

As General Stolyarov had a very specific camouflage in mind for the cover, he presented David with his personal Afghanistan uniform that became the cover of the military New Testament.

David with General Stolyarov, holding the special New Testament that he asked David and Garth to produce for Russian army officers.  100,000 of the NTs were produced and distributed to Russian officers as well as to all the members of Parliament.  General Stolyarov wrote a forward for the New Testament, recommending it as the guidebook for Russian officers.

At the release of the camouflage New Testament at the Central House of the Soviet Army, the Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble sang powerful hymns before an audience including 50 retired Generals along with General Victor Andreev, President and Chairman of the Union of Russian Officers in Reserve. The next day, it made the cover of The Moscow Times.

David and Garth met Dr. Alexander Abramov, one of Russia’s top educators and the head of The Moscow Institute for The Development of Educational Systems (MIDES). He shared his vision to re-write the textbooks of Russia, removing all Marxist/Leninist ideology. They were already working on many textbooks and the first one they wanted to produce was The Gospel of Mark and Ancient Russian Literature. However, they had no means to produce it and the Lord put it on the hearts of the Hunts to help. Miraculously but not surprisingly, the Lord provided the funds to produce to 500,000 copies of this historic book. They were approved by the Russian Ministry of Education to be utilized in the Russian school system.

CUBA

In 1993, David led the ministry into Cuba. It was a very difficult time with the average monthly income for a family of four being only $2 per month. This astoundingly low amount made it very difficult for nearly all Cuban families to survive. But it also made it possible to have an immediate and positive impact in the lives of the servants of God and substantially assist the churches.

The first church visited was Infanta Church in Havana. The church secretary was sitting in a rocking chair outside the main door. Upon asking what God was doing in Cuba, she said a remarkable thing. “Every day people come to this door and simply ask, ‘What must we do to be saved.’”

They knew they were in the right place at the right time.

The great economic difficulty led to a great hunger for God and resulted in the greatest growth of the church in Cuba’s history. Christian leaders in Cuba said, “We don’t ask why, we ask who. Who will bring us help and relief and save us?” David, and team went on to assist every single one of the 76 denominations with God’s Word and much more over the next 15 years.

David with Rev. Jose Lopez, the Director of The Bible Commission of Cuba and the man God used to distribute God’s Word across the island nation.

Rev. Darryl Wright, a man with a huge heart for the people of Cuba and a servant of God who so faithfully served His Lord and made such a great impact for Christ across this Island nation. He later went on to establish Emblaze Ministries. The Lord called him home Nov. 1, 2021.

David and Darryl with Rev. Aliepio, the Superintendent for the Eastern District of the Assemblies of God. He was imprisoned in the 60’s and then went on to be greatly used of God as he headed up the Cuban missionaries for the Assemblies of God.

David and Darryl with Rev. Roy Acosta, the General Secretary of the Eastern Baptist Convention. They worked closely with Rev. Acosta for 15 years. They assisted church planters with God’s Word and needed resources that fueled great church growth all across Eastern Cuba.

In 1999, Fidel Castro permitted the unprecedented Evangelical Celebrations that took place throughout Cuba in 22 massive gatherings. Pictured here is David behind Fidel’s bodyguards and outside the protected perimeter were 130,000 people in Revolution Plaza in Havana. Fidel himself not only gave permission for the importation of an unprecedented number of Scriptures for the celebrations: 500,000 copies of The Most Important Story, 500,000 New Testaments and 500,000 Gospels of John, but he had four of the celebrations carried live on Cuban TV.

CHINA

David first went to China in 1980 and from that time on, he and his father Garth, did everything they could to get Bibles into China. Here he is with Pastor Samuel Lamb in Guangzhou, China in his house church. Pastor Lamb spent more than 20 years in prison for his faith and became a conduit for Bible distribution.

David’s father Garth met up with Pastor Allen Yuan, introducing him to The Most Important Story Ever Told. Pastor Yuan spent 21 years in prison and labor camps for his stand for the Gospel.

Although David and Garth worked with Pastors Lamb and Yuan and various Hong Kong based ministries, David always thought there must be a way to work closely with the networks of underground church movements. The Lord in His grace led David to connect with ten of the largest underground church networks in China with thousands of pastors and evangelists.

David with Sister Xu, Brother Yun (known as the Heavenly Man) and Brother Wong who spent 15 years in prison for his faith. All three are very significant leaders of the underground church and spent much time in prison and suffered greatly for the Gospel.

David with Peter and Deborah Xu, the Founders of The Born Again Movement in China. Peter is widely considered the Father of the Underground Church of China. Both Peter and Deborah were arrested countless times and were each given death sentences, but God protected their lives. They were eventually released and escaped the country. David worked closely with them in assisting the families of pastors imprisoned and together distributed countless thousands of Bibles through the house church movement.

Larry Burkett with David and Brother Yun.

Larry Burkett, speaking of The Most Important Story.

David not only met with hundreds of pastors in the various groups but also visited many of their underground training centers. This one pictured is typical of the hand dug very basic and truly underground centers. This took 18 months to carve out the main meeting room along with two small sleeping rooms for the men and women. Incredibly, 60 pastors and Bible students would study for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for 30 days at a time.

Ultimately, not only were hundreds of thousands of Bibles provided but David had a special heart and burden to assist servants of God who were in prison for the Gospel. In consultation with the leadership of the various groups, they decided that they would endeavor to provide every family of an imprisoned pastor with $50 per month as long as the pastor was in prison. It was an enormous undertaking as in early 2000, there were hundreds of pastors in prison.

David would return from China greatly burdened for the large numbers of suffering servants of God. Again, in God’s grace, the Lord opened the door to connect David with Larry Burkett. When Larry learned of the plight of the suffering servants of God in China, he marched David down the hall at his office in Gainesville, Georgia and recorded a series of radio broadcasts. Larry told his listening audience that he wanted them to send in $50 each to support one family for one month. When the first five-minute broadcast aired, within 3 days, 6,600 individuals stepped up to give a total of $330,000.

God had used Larry and his faithful audience to answer the prayers of the suffering saints in China. This aid brought incredible encouragement to the church in China and further fueled their advance of the Gospel.

VIETNAM

David never planned to return to Vietnam. In fact, after 1975 with the fall of Vietnam, he thought the church was finished. However, he began to hear that the church was alive and well despite communism. In 1993, the Lord led David and Garth to return to Vietnam.

David with General Co after his release from the re-education camp.

They met with former friends and colleagues among whom was General Nguyen Huu Co, the Minister of Defense before the fall of Vietnam.  He often invited Garth and David to travel with him and share the Word of God with troops.

When the country fell, he was sent to a re-education camp in the far North. Although Garth often shared the Gospel with him, it was not until he was in the re-education camp for 12 years that he met the Lord and gave his life to Christ. Upon his return to Saigon (Now Ho Chi Minh City), he lived the quiet life of a private citizen and joined a small Baptist church where he and his wife sang in the choir.

The 1990’s were difficult years for the church in Vietnam with many pastors being put in prison and churches destroyed. There was also great intimidation that took many forms. This pastor was denied malaria medication because he would not forsake Christ, resulting in his wife and two children dying. However, like countless other pastors, despite great suffering, he carried on in ministry, faithfully serving the Lord.

In 1993 upon meeting with the leadership of The Christian Fellowship Church of Vietnam, David and his father knew the Lord was leading them to assist this group. At that that time, it numbered 30 or so cell groups, but they had a great vision for the country and specially to reach the children of Vietnam and plant churches. Despite the great restrictions and outright persecution, the church began to grow both in strength and numerically.

They focused greatly on training and over the next number of years, mobilized hundreds of church planters. Assistance was given in every area, providing Bibles, bicycles and help for the church planters. From 1995 to this day, they utilized The Most Important Story in children’s evangelistic parties, the program that they soon declared was “the flagship of their entire ministry”. Remarkably, today, there are over 1,000 churches and countless hundreds of cell groups spread from the South all the way to the border of China with tens of thousands of new believers.

David with two of his favorite young pastors who at ages 18 and 20 led hundreds to Christ and established multiple house churches.

THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY IS BORN

In 1990-1992, David began to travel much more widely to different countries, meeting with denominational leaders.  He began to hear a resounding cry for help.  Church leaders told him, “We must have materials to reach children for Christ.  We have nothing attractive for our kids, clearly leading them through the Gospel to make a decision for Christ.”

Armed with those requests, David searched the world for just such materials, and he found nothing that met their requirements.  That stirred a strong desire in David’s heart to meet that need.  In God’s sovereign plan, he met Ric Osborne.  As they shared their hearts, they determined that together they would work to meet that great need.

David established a Gospel outline and took it to the same church leaders who had expressed their desire to reach the children of the world with something new, fresh, dynamic, and scripturally sound. David was determined that The Most Important Story (MIS) contain actual Scripture, not just stories. He also was adamant that it concludes with an invitation to accept Christ. Therefore, it is known for its straight-forward presentation of the Gospel, with 50% scripture in the text. It is a simple and tangible form of the Gospel concluding with an invitation and prayer of salvation. As the goal was to make the material very attractive to kids, it was determined to utilize colorful, dramatic, animation style artwork. He finalized the draft and then working together with Ric and his very gifted, creative, team, The Most Important Story was completed in late 1995. The result was one of the most innovative Gospel presentations ever created.

The first printing took place in 1995 and very fittingly, David initiated it in Vietnam, the country of his childhood. Although it was very complicated and difficult as it took place under communism when it was illegal to share evangelistic materials with children, the underground Church first printed 6,500 copies in Vietnamese. The result was an astounding 1,534 children, along with many adults who had individually put their faith in Christ. David has often said if that was all that was ever accomplished, it would have been worth it.

However, God had great plans for The Most Important Story (MIS). The next printing of the English and Spanish versions took place in 1996. Although it was created for their own distribution, soon other major ministries learned of the materials and incorporated the MIS into their outreach.

David with Franklin Graham in Kosovo with Operation Christmas Child.

Foremost among these were Operation Mobilization with George Verwer and then Samaritan’s Purse Operation and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. OM continues to carry the MIS on their ship Logos to this day, 25 years later. Incredibly, Samaritan’s Purse utilized the MIS (retitled The Greatest Gift of All) for 15 consecutive years reaching 40 million children in 80 countries through Operation Christmas Child.

Syrian kids in a refugee camp in Lebanon enthusiastically receive The Most Important Story.

As David saw the incredible effectiveness of this Gospel book, he wanted to make it available to everyone around the world, David made it his goal to have the MIS translated in over 100 languages, and that has been surpassed. It has now surpassed 93 million copies distributed and reached some 160 countries and been used of God to bring countless children and adults into the kingdom of God.

In 1982 David and Garth met with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and presented her with a Living Bible. Many years later, a Calcutta pastor by the name of Peter Bose went to visit her and share of the development of The Most Important Story with her. She was so pleased to see it and she encouraged the team to share it broadly with the children of the world.

Subsequent to that, the Catholic school system of Costa Rica approved The Most Important Story in Spanish to be taught in their elementary schools nationwide.

The comments from the kids were so encouraging.

“I liked the booklet because it told us about the life of Jesus. The part where Jesus was the healer made me laugh because of the pictures. The plan of God seems excellent. I could understand everything and like the picture a lot, not like reading the Bible which I don’t understand.”

“I liked the booklet a lot because I found it funny and interesting. It talks a lot about God and showed me that we must obey him and have more faith. I think that all children should be able to have one of these booklets to learn more about God and believe in him. If we believed in him, we would have a better world.”

“The booklet is very pretty and important.  One learns more about the life of Jesus, about the creation of the world and about the Bible.  I liked how the father told the children the story and how both parents explained to the children what they didn’t understand.  I found it very interesting to learn more about the Bible in other words.”

“I think the booklet explains very well about the Bible and the pictures are very pretty.  I liked the simple way that the story was told so that we can learn and understand better about the life of Jesus.  It shows that we should do and what God indicates we do and not like Adam and Eve when they paid attention to the serpent and not to God.  The booklet also shows that the family should be united and talk and understand about the Bible.”

When he first set out, David had no plan to create a publishing company. He simply followed his inspiration and followed the Lord’s leading. He is in awe of the impact it has had over the past 26 years, bringing countless numbers of people to Christ, all over the world.

David is convinced that the MIS should be the outreach tool of choice for churches, missions’ groups, and organizations around the world.

English and Spanish in the App Store and Google Play. Arabic is now available in the App Store.

FREE RESOURCES DEVELOPED

In 2020 and 2021 David launched several new initiatives, with the objective to make all of them available world-wide for free. The first initiative transforms the print version of The Most Important Story into apps, and it is now available freely in both English and Spanish in the App Store and Google Play. Arabic is now available in the App Store.

Then, David launched yet another new initiative based on the success of 25 years of outreach ministry in Vietnam. Even under communism, the church utilized The Most Important Story in Vietnamese and developed Gospel Parties whereby Christian kids invite non-believing kids to a special event. There with songs, games, some treats and a dynamic Gospel presentation, the kids are each given a copy of The Most Important Story and invited to accept Christ. After the initial Gospel Party, a series of four discipleship lessons is shared with the kids who gave their lives to Christ. Incredibly, in Vietnam over the last 25 years, as a result of this approach, 400 churches and 1,200 cell groups have been established. This methodology has been documented in a step-by-step system called The Guidebook.

Although it had long been David’s desire to document the Vietnamese methodology and share it with the rest of the world, it was not until 2020 that he began work in earnest to make this possible. Then, In June of 2021, The Guidebook in English was completed. After completing it in English, it was immediately translated into Spanish, and implemented in Mexico in July 2021.

David led a team from West Virginia to Jalisco, Mexico to first train and then equip a group of local churches. Eighty-five adults and teenagers received training and immediately conducted Gospel Parties over the next six days. A total of 347 kids and 85 adults were reached with the Gospel. Discipleship is now taking place both with kids and adults with another series of Gospel Parties being implemented. It was immediately apparent that utilizing the The Guidebook enabled this strategy with the Gospel Parties to be extremely transferable.

Then, the next step was to translate the Guidebook into Amharic for Ethiopia. The goal was to have it ready for the Ethiopian New Year. We praise God that in partnership with the Hiwot Berhan denomination, 21 Gospel Parties were conducted in September 2021, with an astounding 11,000 children. Each child not only heard the Gospel, but they were also given some treats and/or food items and sent home with their own personal copy of The Most Important Story.

THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY GIVEN TO THE WORLD

During the time of Covid, David has been asking the Lord what He would have him do in relation to The Most Important Story. In his devotional time, the Lord impressed on him several verses.
Matthew 24:14 especially kept coming to his heart and mind. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Then, Isaiah 8:11:  “The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does.”

Finally, Isaiah 8:19: “…But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance…”

David knew in his heart that the Lord was speaking clearly to him although it took some weeks before he realized the Lord was moving him to make a major decision on how The Most Important Story is shared with the world.

Then, in October 2021 he understood what the Lord was leading he and his wife Linda to do. Very simply, it was to give away the MIS to the ministry world.

In November 2021 all the 109 print files of The Most Important Story were uploaded to the website and freely made available to the Church worldwide to utilize them and print freely for themselves.   As well, all the 109 language files were converted into digital books that can be viewed and shared online as powerful witnessing tools.

David invites everyone everywhere to freely use all the files and resources and asks the Christian public to especially notify ministries and churches that these resources are available.

To God be the Glory.

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