Tag Archives: praise

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.

House Hunting, New Fields and Praise

House Hunting, New Fields and Praise

Thank you for your constant prayers concerning the work visa approval for the family entering Pretoria, South Africa! God has answered these prayers, and this family has been granted a 5-year approval! Take Your glory Lord!!

Will you now pray for them as they seek the Lord as to WHERE they will live? They want to live in the precise location which God has purposed for them. Pray also as this family prepares to enter this new field of ministry – that God would prepare the fields for the gospel.

Seeds of Life

Seeds of Life

1470684666461Like 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!

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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.

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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.

 

Praising God for a successful T4T Training Day

Praising God for a successful T4T Training Day

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We are praising the Lord for your prayers for us this past Saturday!  Our T4T training day went amazingly well…to God be the glory!  Instead of telling you in our own words how it went, we thought we’d share a letter we received the next day from one of the attendees.  This is what he wrote:

Dear Friends,

 I’m sitting on the plane on my way back to South Africa and I would like to share my heart with you because you and some others in (this island country) have made the past four days some of the most significant and memorable days in my life.

 All glory to God the Father, Jesus the Son, through the amazing work of the Holy Spirit!

 When I got the invitation from Jeff and Fred to attend the T4T meeting on Saturday I knew that this was the answer to prayer; I have been praying, and I’m sure many others, for the Father to thrust out workers into the harvest which is plentiful. We have been praying according to Psalm 2 that God would in the Name of his anointed One, give us (this island country) as His inheritance. My fervent prayer for this island has been from Luke when Jesus was in Nazareth and He said to the people that the prophecy in Isaiah has come true that He has come to set the captives free, to give sight to the blind, to raise up those who have been oppressed, to declare the favourable year of the Lord.

 I am privileged and blessed, as all believers who attended Saturday’s meeting that the Lord has and is and will be answering our prayers for the Great Commission to be fulfilled in this country, for the Father’s glory. The 31st January 2015 will be marked on the calendar as an historic day in the history of (this island country), the day when the history of (this island country) has changed forever.

 We as His servants and co-workers have been given an amazing opportunity to work alongside Him to make sure that each Mauritian will have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and have been given the opportunity to make a decision. THIS IS HARVEST TIME!

My prayer for all of you and all those who signed up yesterday to be trained as disciple makers, is to make sure we understand that we have made a commitment to God, that we will not be distracted in the days to come and be sidetracked by anything, even “good things”, that we will strive to keep our unity, that we will not seek to expand our own kingdoms, that we will be vigilant not to be deceived by the enemy who is prowling like a roaring lion. Let us grow in our love so that we can have insight and understanding about the things that are happening and when Jesus returns, that we would be found blameless and in right standing in our relationship with God, for his glory.

 Let’s see and understand where God is working and join His agenda.

 May the Lord bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you, and remember His promise;” I will be with you until the end.”

 For His Glory !

There were around 120 leaders in attendance, and many of them signed up to be used for teaching T4T on the island.  Truly God, the Lord of the harvest, is thrusting out laborers into His fields!  Take Your glory Lord! We discovered that there are more than 700 people waiting to be trained and 29 new groups will start in the next month. There are plans to train groups on the surrounding islands as well.

Continue to pray for MUCH FRUIT to come from these groups!

Mary3

“From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.”

“From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.”

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The little kids of Irodo, a village in northern Madagascar, are always the first to gather for worship and Bible study each Tuesday. The adults take a little while longer to show up. Last Tuesday, I had fun spying on this group of little ones before the adults showed up. As I came up, I heard them singing a song that we taught the group a couple of months back. “Lalana tokana mankany an-danitra, Jesosy ny lalana” Translation: “Only one way that goes to heaven, Jesus is the way.” One of the little girls had never been to one of our meetings before but she knew the song just as well as the others. It was obvious that her friends had taught her that song. Several times in the last few months, I’ve met people in the village that have never attended one of our Bible Studies but they sing out portions of the songs we sing. I was always surprised that they knew the song until I figured out what was going on. The kids who come to our Bible Studies are teaching their friends the songs. Then many of the kids go home and sing the songs there, teaching their parents and relatives the songs. My heart overflows with joy when I think about the name of Jesus being praised throughout this village. Six months ago, these kids had never heard of Jesus and the parents knew nothing of the gospel. I am so thankful that light is beginning to penetrate the darkness in this area. Please pray that the group of new believers in this village of Irodo (E-roo-doo) becomes a strong, healthy, reproducing church. And pray that the truth from these songs will penetrate the hearts of these children and their parents and that many more will trust Jesus as the only way.

Wonderful Praise!

Wonderful Praise!

In 2011 a container containing 648 Baptist Global Response buckets for those terminally ill and suffering with AIDS left the US for South Africa.  After a delay and finally a rejection for the container to enter South Africa, Swaziland was awarded the 648 buckets that have blessed the lives of those receiving as well as those delivering the buckets.  Now, word again has reached us that another container of BGR buckets has been rejected by South Africa.  AND GUESS WHAT???? It looks as though Swaziland will have a chance to receive another container of BGR buckets just when all the 648 buckets have been delivered!!!  Pray as the paper work is submitted in Swaziland to receive this container.  Pray the government office will look as favorably upon our request as it did in 2011 and the container will be able to enter without any problems!!

And Praises for Zululand

And Praises for Zululand

Rejoice with David and Julie over these praise items!  We praise God for another successful week of training at the Zululand School of the Bible.  We had 7 students who took part in the classes during the last week of May.  Dave taught an Old Testament course on Genesis through Leviticus.  Continue to pray for new students to come to the school for training.

Pray for a man by the name of S*.  He has started a new church in Empangeni and is looking to work with us to start another rural church.  Pray that God will guide us to the place that we should begin work to reach people for Christ and start a new church.

Down by the River

Down by the River

Amy of the Garden Route Evangelism Area Team shares some exciting new!  “In a previous letter I wrote to you about our new brother in Christ, S*.  Well, in the week following that prayer letter, B* also came and prayed to be born again by God’s good grace!  We then had a baptism service down at a local river.  B’s father refused to allow him to be baptized, however.   Please pray for B* to be a good witness to his father.  Perhaps God would grant salvation to B’s entire family through his testimony of obedience and respect to his father.”

Chuck meets weekly with the two boys, S* and B*, for a time of discipleship.  Pray that these boys would be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11 NKJV)  We ask you to join us in prayer for the other Xhosa youth in our group who NEED to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.