Tag Archives: baptism

No Preconceived Ideas

No Preconceived Ideas

The people were all smiling as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their cactus lined village. The national partner arriving with the missionaries made introductions as they all sat down on the woven mats laid over the dirt. The nationals and missionaries exchanged proper greetings. The missionaries asked, “Do you want to hear about Jesus Christ and sing a song to God?”
“Yes!” the villagers responded.
“What song do you know?”
“We don’t know any songs to sing to God. Teach us.”
The missionaries proceeded to teach them a song along with the gospel. A few people showed interest in following Jesus.
Within a few months, as the national partner continued visiting and sharing with the people, many came to Christ. They were hungry for more stories from the Scriptures and insights into how to follow Jesus.
The missionaries were able to visit every once in a while, but the national partner was key in meeting with the villagers regularly. The time came for the new converts to follow in baptism. In the deserts of South Madagascar water is scarce. Finding a water hole deep enough to baptize is a huge challenge. On this day, the villagers and missionaries walked 10 miles to get to the ocean and back. The lead missionary, along with a few volunteers from Louisiana, stood on the shore surrounded by the new converts and modeled how to baptize. After a little more teaching and verification that the people understood what this step in their faith meant, the leaders of the village took each new convert one by one and baptized them! The people from the village sang praises to God and celebrated with a meal on the beach; rejoicing in this step of obedience in their new found faith.

Teachings continued and the new converts gained more and more understanding of the Scriptures. After some time the missionaries were asked to come back and teach about taking the Lord’s Supper. The people were all smiling again as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their village. The missionaries had permission to set up a tent and stay for the night. They got the tent up and began fellowshipping with the people. Some women missionaries were cooking with the women in the cooking house. The missionary kids were teaching the village children how to play hop scotch and the men were sitting and beginning to discuss the steps to take the Lord’s Supper, described by the Scriptures. It was an incredible experience to be a part of these milestones in the lives of new Christians who had no preconceived ideas of what these actions should look like. From the time they confessed Christ as their Lord and Savior and learned songs to sing to praise him, to following him in baptism and then learning what it means to remember the Lord through taking the Lord’s Supper, the missionaries were determined to teach them to do everything based upon what the Scriptures say.

Pray the people in the village of Amby will grow in their faith according to the Scriptures. Pray they will weigh every action in light of the Scriptures and that they will be able to stand firm in the midst of persecution and temptation. Pray for the people in the church to grow stronger in their faith and be diligent in sharing the gospel with their neighbors.

Making Soap and Disciples…A Great Combination!

Making Soap and Disciples…A Great Combination!

*Burt and *Belinda have been working full-time in Kingdom work for the past twelve months.  They are leaders in the work Discipleshipon the island.  They have baptized numerous people, and they are currently leading two house churches.  They disciple 10 people regularly and have participated in most of our SWARMS.  We have loved seeing God change their hearts to be busy in broken and lost communities.  They are faithful to share the Gospel to their family, neighbors and in communities where many people will not go because of the crime and drugs.

Nature's CreationThey have found creative ways to maintain their livelihood, while at the same time dedicating much time in the Kingdom work on the island.  One of the creative businesses they run from their home is “Nature’s Creation”.  They make natural, orgainc soap in their living room.  *Belinda grows and uses plants, flowers and herbs from her garden (and sometimes ours) and she and her husband use all natural ingredients to make this incredible soap.

*Belinda is also an amazing cook and we regularly order food from her when we have fellowships, CORE meetings and leadership trainings.

They have been a blessing to us in ministry!  Will you pray for them?

Baptism

  • Pray for setbacks as they work in many broken communities and have experienced personal hurts while helping people whom they are ministering.
  • Pray for their livelihood.  Pray that God would continue to sustain them and provide for them so that they can continue in the Four Fields work on the island. 
  • Pray that they would continue to trust in Him and walk through each door He opens, trusting that God will be honored and glorified in all that they do. 
  • Pray that they would remain faithful, fruitful & obedient!

*names changed

A New Group Births a New Group…Disciples Making Disciples

A New Group Births a New Group…Disciples Making Disciples

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19

A Testimony from a National Believer

“The Lord is revealing himself in a big way. Three weeks ago (I) sensed the Lord was telling (me) to call one of (my) former employees, *Ashley, who I lost contact with for three years. I felt the Lord was telling me to tell her “My Story” and “The Gospel”.  I had met Jesus during the same period that we lost contact.

So I called her and met with her down in the South. I shared with her and she was so excited about Jesus because she met Him about the same time as me but she was sad because she didn’t feel that she could fit into the local church because of bad teaching, mainly prosperity gospel. Of course, I had to ask her the “three questions” as she was so thirsty for the Word: when and where can we meet, and who will you invite?

She gathered about 12 people in her mother’s modest hindu home a week later and two people gave their lives to Jesus and there were also many “yellow lights” (people who are hesitant to accept the teaching of the Bible and/or Jesus).  The week after, we started to teach them about obedience to Jesus Christ and they accepted Jesus and were baptised that same week.

From the public baptism at a local beach, a cleaning lady (hindu) from the public toilet saw the baptism and was compelled to know more. So she asked *Ashley about what was happening.  Even as an immature believer, *Ashley began to share her faith for the first time and asked the “three questions”. Now the cleaning lady is open for more. (I) was so humbled by the power of the Holy Spirit, at that moment, in the life of *Ashley.

Please join (us) in prayer for many more laborers like *Ashley.”

Pray for trainers who instill immediately in the DNA of a new believer the command of Christ:  “Therefore GO and Make Disciples”!  We are so excited as we see the simple commands of Christ obeyed and the fruit that emanates as a result.

 (*Name Changed)

Church Member Gets Saved

Church Member Gets Saved

A young local girl in her twenties had been in church her whole life.  Her father is a pastor of a local church.  She did a lot of service work for Christ and the church.  She assumed that because she was brought up in the church and was always surrounded by christianity, that she too had a personal relationship with Jesus.

A national partner was training a group of people a set of lessons in T4T/Four Fields.  These lessons teach Christians how to become disciples of Jesus Christ and not merely church-goers.  This young girl was a part of this training.  During this training, she realized that she was not a disciple and had actually never surrendered her life to Christ.  She had experienced no personal encounter with Christ and was lost.  She gave her life to Christ during this church training and was soon baptized.

We are learning everyday not to make assumptions about where people are spiritually even if they are in the church.  We should always consider that the harvest could be within the church.  Praise God that this young girl had an opportunity to learn what it means to be a disciple of Christ and have a personal relationship with Him and that going to church does not save us.

Pray that God’s power would equip and empower leaders/trainers on the island to boldly profess His Word to the church and to the lost world around them.  Pray that we would have discernment and risk offending people for the sake of their salvation and the Kingdom.  Pray that the church would build HIS kingdom and not  their own kingdom.  Pray that, as believers, we would put His commands above traditions and what is considered the “norm”.

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Using Scripture Memorization to Reaching the Lost

Using Scripture Memorization to Reaching the Lost

Snipes and FD Kids in Dec2015

It’s hard to know what strategy will work best to reach those who have not heard, or maybe even those who have heard but never understood. Journeyman couple, Andrew and Leah, started a Scripture Memorization Club among the children in our town. Children would come by the masses to recite their verses and receive prizes. We would pass by the children in town and they would be studying so hard. Those who could read were teaching their younger siblings by repeating the verses over and over. The children pictured above memorized 30 or more verses in order to receive lunch at a local restaurant on the beach.

It was the desire of the journeyman couple to reach the parents of these children. They knew the children were being impacted, but weren’t sure what to expect from the parents. Below you can see the results in at least two families. As the children practiced their verses, these parents heard the truth of the Gospel and accepted Christ into their hearts. They took it to the next step and followed in baptism.

Dad gets baptized Nov2015
Mom baptized Nov 2015

Comment below with your prayer for these families to grow in the faith and share with those around them the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

We’re Not Asking You to Climb a Mountain….Only to Pray for One!

We’re Not Asking You to Climb a Mountain….Only to Pray for One!

Our team and national believers often partner with churches by, not only training their churches in the “Four Fields/T4T Process”, but also by “SWARMING” (mass seed-sowing) the community where the local church is located. The strategy behind this is to get open doors into “Houses of Peace”  (HOPS) where there are lost people in order to present them with the Gospel and also to create “Discipleship Groups”  (DGs) in order to train & disciple believers in homes where there are believers. We did just this in May in Daisy Mountain Town * and there was amazing response! The responsibility for follow-up is the local church’s; however, the local church has not done a good job of following up and our hearts are breaking for the town. One worker was able to start a House of Peace in this area, thanks to God, and two people are now believers, Praise Him! Each week she and a local believer are discipling them in their home.  Two other workers have committed to going back into this area each Saturday to find HOPS and DGs.  Each week we seem to feel hopeful, yet we are finding this area without a hunger for spiritual food.  We are also getting ready to “plant” a national  leader and his wife in this area in October.  Please pray for Amos* and his wife Hannah* as they prepare to proclaim HIM in this area!  Please also pray for the following requests:

• Please pray that the church would be willing to leave the comforts of their walls and go into poor, broken, homes where there is alcohol and drug abuse and hopelessness. There are so many open doors, yet, the church is not willing to go through them.

• Pray that God would put the burden of lostness on the church in that area.

• Pray that the God would raise up believers in this area who are zealous to reach their community.

• Pray for the leadership of the pastor…that he would lead the flock to reach their community.

*Name Changed

We are seeing weekly baptisms in other areas in our country! PTL!  Please pray that God’s Spirit would move in

Daisy Mountain Town*!

We are seeing weekly baptisms in our area! PTL!

Obeying the Great Commission

Obeying the Great Commission

 

Lay-leaders and church members In some areas of Zimbabwe are taking the Great Commission seriously.  Christians living in one village are sharing the gospel with neighbors in nearby villages.  At least 108 new believers that we know of have been baptized in the last few weeks in four different places, primarily be lay-leaders!  New churches are being started as well.   We praise God for the obedience of these believers.   Pray that more Christians in Zimbabwe will be faithful to share the gospel with the lost around them.  Pray that God will raise up more laborers in the harvest to become shepherds because many in Zimbabwe “. . . wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.”  (Zechariah 10:2b ESV)

baptism 2 baptism 3

 

If you build it, they will come

If you build it, they will come

“If you build it…he will come.” That was the premise of a movie called “field of dreams” that I watched as a child. If you haven’t seen it, an Iowa man builds a baseball field in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere and when he finished all of these baseball legends came and played from the “beyond” and his dad shows up as the catcher at the very end (spoiler alert, sorry!). There is healing that takes place in the heart of this grown man with his father.

Recently, my husband and 5 year old son together built a baptismal trough for a scheduled baptism for 6 of our kids from children’s ministry who recently accepted Jesus as their Savior. We prepared by building the baptism, sending letters to parents, getting permission slips signed, and filling the baptismal with water but come that Sunday morning I was so afraid all the kids who wanted to get baptized wouldn’t show up.

I am happy to tell you that we built and they came…9 kids got baptized! Just like the man who built the baseball field in the middle of nowhere, there was so much healing that took place in the heart of these 9 children when they came to know Jesus as their Savior. Many of them came with their whole families who don’t normally attend our church. What a blessing it was to see so many of the children following the Lord in obedience and being baptized! God is doing some amazing things here in Botswana!

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CHURCHES IN HOMES

CHURCHES IN HOMES

“Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” Acts 2:46

There are many churches in our country worshiping in buildings, but it is growing more common for churches here to meet in homes. There are many reasons for this, but we are seeing amazing things happening through these churches. Each week there are baptisms and the Holy Spirit is moving in a mighty way! People are opening the Word of God for themselves and learning how to obey what they learn. They are connected to small groups where they have support and accountability. When people decide to follow Christ and are baptized, the first thing they learn to do is share their story and God’s Story. Everyone in the group is busy, not just the leaders. Laborers are being multiplied daily!

Pray that God would protect the work from wolves who wish to destroy it. Pray that God would protect these small churches meeting in houses from the traditional and existing churches. Pray that God would empower these believers to make sure that all people here get to hear and choose to accept God’s gift of salvation. Pray that we would be good about casting vision with existing believers and communicating His plan to include everyone in the Kingdom. Pray that we would always be about Kingdom Work and not get side-tracked by extra-Biblical things.

Denise 2

Denise 1