HAVE YOU SHARED THE GOSPEL THIS MONTH?

So the farmer went forth sowing seed…” ~ Jesus

… therefore, Go…” ~ Jesus, after his resurrection.

The world is my parish.” ~ John Wesley

 

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Sugar Village Headman - host of countless Bible Studies

Sugar Village Headman – host of countless Bible Studies

“How often have you shared the gospel last month?” The question came as I was asking God for perspective on our ministry. We were all about watering and nurturing and shaping the disciples, hoping they in turn would sow the seed – but they were yet too timid. So our focus was on them, and there was no sowing of the gospel to the thousands along this river that were dying at a young age and lost forever from the benefit of the blood that Jesus spilled for them!

We refocused on what should be obvious – the foundational work of church planting is Prayer- soaked Evangelism. But something that is foundational, you must never stop doing. Once the field has been sown and some shoots are springing up, one should not stop throwing seed! There are many bald patches! Don’t start thinking, “Ah, if those villages would have been good soil they would have received the first seed that fell on them. No, we will not sow there again!”

And don’t start focusing on the farm house and barns and machinery when you see 3 shoots springing up. Keep sowing! Sure we need to water and manure the growing ones – but keep sowing.

Soon those plants themselves will start shedding their seed – then get the barns ready!

Statistics show most churches grow for the first five years, then gradually decline. Why? They start out with enthusiastic evangelism, but soon evangelism becomes as scarce as a hair on Yul Brynner’s head. Their focus turns inward.

 

Bible study in Luanshya
Bible study in Luanshya

When Jesus told his disciples to pray for more harvest workers (Luke 10) it was as they were walking down the road towards the first town for Kingdom exploits. Jesus wasn’t asking his disciples to pray that more evangelists will come from America or Europe to help in that Jewish field. In essence Jesus was saying, “As you are harvesting souls, be praying over each one, “May this one be set aside for giving his life for the gospel! Father, stir up passion in this one for loosing her life for the sake of your Kingdom!”

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Praying for one another

Praying for one another

When I first met Edward I asked him and his two friends to tell me their stories. Then I asked if I could share mine – they were excited about getting a picture into that “other” world. They opened a hornet’s nest! At the end Edward said, “I have been in church all my life, but I have never been born again like you.” I asked if he wanted it and he said yes. Edward is not the same man today! Mike and Ken have been discipling him and, without prompting, has been taking that good stuff and telling his friends – first Parity, then Mabole and now Junior. The first two are with him in preparation for baptism at this time.

 

One could not imagine it, but Mwangala was a drunk before he moved to Lioka to find work. Now he is so excited about actually living in new birth he is going to the shabeens and telling all his friends.

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Mentoring the orphans

Mentoring the orphans

As I neared the House of Moses (our Singanga children’s home) I could hear the hushed tones of Mama Susan reading thru a Bible book with them – saying it first in English, then in their language. The single candle glistening off their sincere faces made an unforgettable scene. The three little ones were in bed, so the five others were huddling intently around the coffee table with Mama Susan, crowding close in to see the picture on the book being read. Order prevailed. A question was offered, several hands shot up, a selection, another – usually it would end up with Siloka answering correctly. At which the group would chant in sing-song fashion, “Good boy, good boy, Siloka is a good boy.” One time, to show off because of my intrusion on the sacred scene, one of the smaller boys offered the answer, “What Joseph says” – at which we all laughed heartily. Joseph is the oldest – a 16 year old sage whom all the small ones look to as the patron saint. At the end of the nightly devotions the prayer was said – not like our tame “civilized” prayers! No. This is Africa where people know how to pray – all at once and with speed and fervency, with bowed heads and hands clasped. My eyes could not close for that prayer, but my heart was soaring!

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We are trying to make sowing seed a lifestyle. Tools such as a simple method, a regular schedule, and intentional prayer focus keep us living it daily. We are just entering into the time when our disciples will be the primary evangels, but we must not let up. I try to share the gospel or pray with someone each day I’m in the village. I would recommend this for every believer.

 

NEWS UPDATE

  • Our church is becoming a youth movement! We had never imagined that the young people of the village would be the ones coming to Christ, but they are! We baptized 2 a couple weeks ago and three more are on the docket. All young people. This week I counted 31 of the 51 people were about 17-25 age group! We are so busy trying to keep up with the bible studies – some discipleship, and some evangelistic. We need more village church workers – someone to disciple the young people – especially the girls.Come for 6 months and get in the skin of these young people looking for Life.
  • God has shut the door for building a school! A group came into the villages and is going to build a full school in our area, so we are no longer planning on this. We are thankful and confident how God guides us, even sovereignly shutting doors before us. And opening others…
  • We are helping a neighboring village start a pre-school. Teachers: a high school grad and a 3rd grade level adult. Building: an old ramshackle straw house that one would hardly need to huff and puff to blow right over. We will gather 2-8 year olds from 3 villages – about 30 are coming now with the potential for many more. We are putting new grass on the house, digging toilets, getting drinking water buckets, finding some scraps from a nearby mill to make benches. The cost? $1 per month or a chicken per quarter or some labor on a small cooperative business. This will pay the teachers wage and some for school materials hopefully. Our hope is to keep it simple, let it grow, and make it sustainable for them to maintain. We help with the infrastructure. We need an intern for a year to train and establish this school. Please give this request to any home school or pre-school teacher or aspiring teacher you know.
  • We are STILL in negotiations concerning the portion of land we are using for development activities. Please pray. Unless you live in Africa you could never believe how many turns and side roads this trail can take! Until we have a secure site we cannot continue building our orphan village. Pray!
  • THE GUYSKen Machisa – a long term Zambian, is leaving us this month to go to a Biblical study school. He hopes to join us again in 6 months. We will miss him SO SO SO much. He is the primary disciple factory – turning earthlings into heavenly beings. Also Rodrick Nkoma has just left us for another training in SA. Pray for these two wonderful Zambian missionaries – it is not easy to be an African missionary with always trusting God for even soap and toothpaste. If anyone wants to support some of these guys please let me know – Linda, Rodrick, Ken, Mike are the ones with us.
  • The Luanshya ministry center and House of Noah are prospering as well. There are new bible studies in the villages. They are facing opposition and accusation from jealous churches and husbands as people are getting set free from life-long bondages to sin. Please pray about coming and serving with them for 6 months as a volunteer in their home or in village ministry work. This is a context with zero Westerners involved in the work – a place for real pioneers to follow Jesus in service to the least. 
  • I read in Acts 1 today that “someone is to take his place of ministry” – IS IT YOU? Pray about it. I am calling to the Western church – unentangle yourself from your bonds. Come and throw yourself into the Kingdom work for a year or three. You will not regret it – at the end of your life you will be a proud steward – somehow you actually found the way to do it right, when so many are trapped in the machinery of “progress”. This could be the thing that gets you back on the True North Alignment again. This is not for Love’s Door – it’s for you! Will you go from High School to College to Career to Marriage to Obligations – and wait until you are 60 to be able to do what you are really passionate about? Live Today! For such a time as this…
  •  Thank you so so so very much for your ongoing partnership, love, affirmation, support, prayers. We hear from different ones how our ministry has enriched their lives – that is the Work of God – we are so humbled to be vessels. We love and need you!

 


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