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.
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.
Like much of Africa, the entire region of southern Madagascar has been experiencing an inconceivable drought and subsequent famine. As a result, many have died, are severely malnourished and have no hope of future harvests. Some villages have sold the last of their livestock and are surviving off of bitter, often poisonous, manioc.
In October, we partnered with BGR and coordinated the “Seeds of Life” seed distribution project. Through the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists and others all over the world, we were approved to help aid in this time of crisis by providing seed to the Mahafaly people, in hopes of a reproducible harvest next year. Despite being limited on preparation time, God heard our prayers and provided 165 tons of seed. If you are like me, and struggle to understand how much 165 tons really is, imagine about fifty-five elephants! You can imagine what it took logistically to get that much seed way out to the remote Mahafaly villages!
Our first generation church leaders played a major role in the planning and implementation of the seed distribution. They received training from BGR on distribution protocols and worked hard to develop an evangelism strategy. Each first generation church/village was given the seed for their village, along with the bags of seeds for the villages of their second, third and fourth generation churches. Each first generation church took seed to the second generation church and helped them distribute within their village. This continued on with the third and fourth generations.
In all, we were able to distribute over 3,000 (50 kilogram) bags of corn, cowpeas and peanuts to 55 villages with a combined population of nearly 41,000 people! The Gospel was spread to thousands who have never heard God’s saving message and over 700 people have received Christ. Over thirty new villages have new groups of believers meeting!
Now that the people have seed to plant, please pray God would send rain to the dry, parched land. Pray for a bountiful harvest, not only in their fields, but also among their hearts. Pray for many more to come to Christ and for the believers to continue to grow in their faith and commitment.
Jesus said to his followers, “There are many people to harvest but only a few workers to help harvest them. Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to gather his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
The young cashier quietly and efficiently rang up the cookie sheets that I was purchasing as I chatted to my friend about how I was going to throw away my old rusted ones when I got home. As I handed him the money, I spotted his name tag and commented that my firstborn’s name is also Jeremiah. I asked if he knew what his name means and told him that it means “God hurled”. I went on to explain that Jeremiah in the Bible was a prophet who God hurled or sent into the world to point the people back to God. I then added, “Jeremiah, you have been placed on this earth by God for a purpose. Do you love Jesus?” His eyes began to fill with tears.
As more and more groups are being trained in Windhoek, Namibia to share Jesus “as they go and make disciples”, people are reporting that stories like Jeremiah’s are common. Speaking about Jesus pours into the empty places of Namibians’ hearts. It may seem to be a strange thing to say, but Namibians appear to be waiting for us believers to tell them about Jesus! We are feeling an urgency to train “workers” for the fields in Namibia that are “ripe for harvest”. Every day many die in Namibia without ever knowing that their hearts were longing to discover Jesus’ great love for them and His salvation. Please beg God, The Lord of the Harvest, to raise up workers quickly! The Namibian fields are ripe for harvest today!
The Father’s Heart
Christ loves the church so much and gave Himself up for her. As we obey His command to go and make disciples, we want churches to be planted all across the countries of the Ocean2Ocean Cluster, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Several of our personnel from different countries will be attending a church planting training to learn effective ways to multiple disciples and churches. In addition, several of our personnel will be going to teach at this same training. “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4 Pray that as we come together for training God will speak through the trainers, that all those learning will hear from the Father and know His Heart, that each of us will be challenged daily be obedient disciples.
January 2016…New school uniforms, new school supplies, new teachers…the new school year has begun in Namibia! As Namibian children across the country head back to school, we ask that you join us in praying that Jesus would open their hearts and minds to His great love for them. Also, would you please pray that Jesus would show Himself in new ways to them so that they might come to know Him as their Lord and Saviour? Finally, please ask Jesus to protect these children from Satan’s plans to destroy them in any and in every way that he can.
A missionary couple had a dream to bring physical and spiritual sight to the lost. Over 20 years ago this dream was laid on their hearts and now the Lord is bringing it to fruition. For years now, John and Laurie have continued to wait on the Lord to show them where to go, what to do, and how to make His name known among the nations, particularly among the Antanosy people group in Madagascar.
The dream came true as Laurie followed the leading of the Lord to visit the eye clinic. She had been there before but the Lord told her to go back. The doctor wasn’t there this time but she visited with the director. The director showed her around and Laurie was amazed at the equipment and prescription glasses available, but none of these resources were being used! After a few visits to the eye clinic and conversations with the doctor an arrangement was made. Laurie would work for free. The clinic would offer their equipment for her to use for free. The patients would pay as they could to help support the costs of running the eye clinic. And the exciting part is John would come, tell stories from the Bible, share the love of Jesus and help the patients to know how to have spiritual sight along with their new found physical sight!
This new found sight is bringing smiles to the patients. Not only can they see and read, but they are being filled with love, peace and hope as this missionary couple fulfills the call God placed on their lives.
Pray this missionary couple and new believers from the eye clinic would be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
What would a church with no children look like? Please pray for a baptist church in Cape Town that has plans to involve neighbourhood children in a Christmas pageant. PKBC wants to share the wonderful story of Jesus’ birth with others. The church also wants to see children come on Sundays and throughout the week to worship and learn about God. This month several members are organizing a Christmas Pageant for the children to perform in December. Ask the Father for this project to be a success and that the children will have fun and feel loved at church. Pray that this PKBC will be a church with children.
The group gathered early for worship and then made the trek to the beach on the Indian Ocean. The Spirit has been moving and there were a number of believers ready to take that next step in proclaiming their hearts desire to follow Jesus Christ, no turning back. With waves crashing and smiles on everyone’s face, the people rejoice!
The Lord is moving in South Madagascar. Through a partnership with a local church and their association, we are seeing people raised up from the harvest and ready to share the gospel. From telling stories to their oikos (households) to preaching in the remotest of villages, new Christian are catching hold of the vision (422- the number that reminds us of the number of Malagasy people dying each day and the urgency with which we need to be sharing) and shattering the silence.
Would you continue to pray? In the midst of rejoicing, spiritual warfare lurks. Pray each new believer and seasoned believer would “trust in the Lord with all their heart and lean not on their own understanding, but in all their ways they would acknowledge him and he will make their paths straight! (Prov. 3:4-5)
I love Namibians! I wish that I could write that statement in such a way that you could truly see all of the emotions that these words evoke in me. Because I immensely love Namibians, I long for all to personally understand and experience Romans 10:9 which says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” We are thrilled to see Namibian believers being trained and going out to share the good news of Jesus with others, but many people die every day without ever being told about Jesus.
We read in Romans that there is an urgent need for sending people with the good news of Jesus to those who do not yet know Him. “Sending” involves prayer, funding, and those willing to go. I love Namibians! Please ask God to show you your part in getting the good news of Jesus to each one of them.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they havBe not heard? And how can they hear withouč someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15