Tag Archives: discipleship

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.

Iron on Iron in Pretoria

Iron on Iron in Pretoria

In just 5 days a very exciting event is beginning in the city of Pretoria, South Africa. Proverbs 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” – and for the next 5 days 70 leaders from all over Africa will gather for a “sharpening” time. During this week we will all participate in what we call a “SWARM”, which is when we all enter an area, walking down the streets of downtown, two by two, sharing “My Story” (our testimonies) and “His Story” the Gospel with those we encounter. Is it any coincidence that there are 70 missionaries due to attend, and in Luke 10:2 it talks about “70”?! This SWARM event is an opportunity for the participants to find God Prepared People (GPP), and Houses of Peace (HOP). Please pray now for this very important meeting, also pray throughout the next month that much fruit would result from this teaching time.

Satan Trembles When We Pray!

Satan Trembles When We Pray!


“Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” (Samuel Chadwick)

This is the month that a brand new discipleship group begins in a Pretoria home! This group will be training men and women on how to be a disciple who makes disciples! Already much spiritual warfare has been experienced by those preparing for this training. Ephesians 6 tells us clearly that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Therefore, we are commanded to put on our spiritual armor each and every day, and to “pray always” (Ephesians 6:18) for each other.

Will you do this now? Satan is working overtime to stop this teaching from beginning. Pray now for this group, that God would strengthen them and establish them for His glory. Pray for their protection from the schemes of Satan. Ask God to use this group to bring much fruit for God’s kingdom.

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

How will they know, unless they are told?

How will they know, unless they are told?

It is almost impossible to imagine a people who have never heard the story of Jesus. In the Maluti Mountains, of Lesotho, Africa there are literally thousands of villages living in darkness. In June of 2017, IMB missionaries will make a huge effort to dispel the darkness by providing evangelism and discipleship training to approximately 200 young adults from Lesotho and Swaziland. Teams from America will come and help train these potential “church planters” to take the gospel, to disciple, to worship in Spirit and in Truth. Will you PRAY that the God of all Gods makes Himself known among these people? June 23-28 Church Planting Boot Camp 2017

Curio Sellers Become Disciplers

Curio Sellers Become Disciplers

A new discipleship group has started among the street markets of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This group is made up of curio and flower sellers who work in the city center. This group was started as the result of street evangelism by members of Bulawayo Baptist Church, and as an outgrowth of a discipleship group already established at another area of the city center. Each week, as missionary Ramona shares the lesson, they seem more and more hungry to learn the things of the Kingdom of God. Others come to listen who are not believers, but are curious about this group of people sitting in the middle of the market. Please pray that these onlookers will hear the truth of the gospel and come to believe. Pray also that group members will have boldness to share what they are learning, and will feel empowered by the Holy Spirit to share their faith with family, neighbors, and friends, and that God will raise up one or more of them who are willing to start other groups to then teach others what they are learning. Pray that like the apostles that these sellers will “turn their world upside down” (Acts 17:6b) with the Gospel.

Reaching Street Vegetable Sellers

Reaching Street Vegetable Sellers

The pastor of Bulawayo Baptist Church felt a great burden for the neighborhood surrounding the church. As he began walking the streets around the church, praying and speaking with those whom he came in contact, he  developed a heart for a group of ladies who work at the street vegetable market located just a couple of blocks away from the church. As he visited with these ladies, many of whom are widows, he asked them, “How can the church help? What is the thing you need most?”

street-market

Almost as one, the ladies responded, “We are hungry. We are working, but it is not enough to provide food for our families. We need food.”

Knowing that church did not have resources available to help these ladies, the pastor prayed for them, asking the Father to please provide for their needs. He then asked others in leadership at the church to pray with him for these widows.

Within just a few days, he received an unexpected phone call from the U.S. The lady on the other end of the phone said, “You don’t know me, but my church has committed to provide food for someone who is hungry, and we want to help someone there in Bulawayo.”

Of course, the pastor said, “Well, let me tell you what God has just done. We needed funds to provide food for some widows here, and your phone call is the answer to our prayer.” The church took up their offering, and instead of the $1000 that was pledged, they raised $4000!

Because of the prayers of the church in Bulawayo, and the generous giving of the church in the states, fifteen widows will now receive food assistance every month for the next six months! During this time of drought in Zimbabwe, God is providing for the needs of these precious ladies and their families. Each lady will receive a packet containing 40 lbs of mealie meal (corn meal, the staple food for most Zimbabweans), a half a gallon of cooking oil, 10 lbs of dried beans, 5 lbs of salt, and a tray of fresh eggs (2 ½ dozen).

receiving-food

Missionary Ramona will be heading up the ministry to these widows, helping to organize the monthly food distribution, which will be at the church after Sunday morning service once a month, and meeting with the ladies to share the gospel and disciple believers among them. Praise God that several of the ladies have already started coming to church. Please pray that as they receive needed food to assuage the effects of the physical drought in this country that they will also receive showers of blessings to assuage the spiritual drought in which many of them live.

Ramona asks for you to pray for her as she continues to meet with the ladies downtown who sell vegetables.   At their last meeting there were 18 ladies. Pray that each of these ladies will commit their lives to the Lord.  Pray that each of these ladies will become witnesses for the Lord and disciplers as they share with others what Ramona teaches them.

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)

Training Laborers for the Harvest in Zimbabwe

Training Laborers for the Harvest in Zimbabwe

ARecently,Gregg and Donna trained 19 men in Obedience Based Discipleship.  This is a process whereby from evangelism to discipleship to church formation to leadership training one moves seamlessly through with a plan of action for disciples every time they are willing to say yes to the next step.   It is a process commonly known as Training for Trainers (T4T) that is revolutionizing and multiplying the efforts of those involved in church planting both in the U.S. and around the world.  We are thankful to have received the training and now have the ability to train others.   Please pray that these men who have been trained and are excited about what they have learned will put it into practice where they live and that they will find obedient, God-prepared people who will help multiply the work of the Kingdom of God on earth.   Pray also that from these men we will be able to develop a training team that can train other faithful men and women throughout Zimbabwe in this proven process.

Entrusted to Faithful Men

Entrusted to Faithful Men

 

What you have heard me say in front of many people, you must teach to faithful men. Then they will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

What you have heard me say in front of many people, you must teach to faithful men. Then they will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

The small room is built out of zinc siding and is used as a daily afterschool feeding location for over 200 children. On Monday afternoons, however, the pots are pushed to the side and the room is converted into a teaching hall. For over five years, two ladies have been teaching Bible stories there to mostly Damara speaking children. Each week, the children crowd inside the room, often times sitting way too close to one another in miserably hot temperatures. On many occasions the ladies questioned the validity of their efforts because so often it seemed that no one ever truly listened. But God….He said to remain faithful to what they have been called by Him to do, and so they did. Recently, God made it clear that all the lessons should be ones that would teach these children how to share Jesus in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods, although most of the children did not know Jesus as their own personal Saviour yet. The first lesson was complete chaos and extremely discouraging! One of the ladies suggested, however, that they continue teaching the exact same lesson every week until the kids begin to understand it. They also asked people to be praying at that same time every Monday afternoon that God’s heart for his children would not only be understood but also taken out into their community. As part of the training, the children report back each week about who they told last week’s lesson to and the results. Many are beginning to grasp God’s heart for His people. Last week, five children gave their lives to Jesus during the lesson! It is extremely exciting to hear these children practice the stories of Jesus and prepare to “go and make disciples”. Please join us in begging God to use these children to reach the nation of Namibia for Jesus.