Making ourselves available to God for His purposes
We just finished our Central Africa WACA Team Meeting. We had one for West Africa in Abidjan in July. This is was my first stop on a five country trip. One of the passages I shared with our team was the entirety of Ephesians 3, which is split into 2 halves. The last half of the chapter is a prayer that Paul prayed over the Ephesians that they understand and experience the overwhelming love of God to the point that they are filled with His power, His grace, Himself to the fullest. He ends by stating in Eph 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Without a doubt, the Lord exceeded our expectations and ministered to all of us in great measure and positioned our leadership structure in Cameroon in a way that made me know He is in control.
When in Abidjan in July, Grant Dreyden of Farming God’s Way and John Scholtz, previous pastor and chairman of the board for World Mission Centre in South Africa, joined us. We were able to present the valuable tool, Farming God’s Way, that has been added as a course to Live School and also listen to much of John’s teaching on World View and Fatherhood. The Lord melted us and ministered greatly to everyone through the Fatherhood session. The Church is not an enterprise or business; it’s a FAMILY!
This week we appointed Pascal to oversee the north half of Cameroon for us. He is a pastor who was on the ministry team on my first trip here, when we held some meetings in Garoua in the north. When I first met him, my heart jumped, and I wanted him on our team. Now, years later, he is. As I prayed over him I shared this, and he later came to testify that the same thing happened to him when he first met me. Such a wonderful confirmation! He has two Live Schools of his own and is graduating from the Chad LDA on November 11. He set up a Pastor Meeting for us, which we held one afternoon while in Ngaoundere. Now, two weeks after returning home from his three month LDA Training, he will return here to train facilitators to use Live School to train indigenous missionaries. He is wasting no time! Please pray for Pascal. The north of Cameroon is largely muslim.
And in the south, Bernard, who is also a pastor using Live School, will oversee the work in the southern half of Cameroon. Both will relate to Justin, whom we have placed in charge of overseeing all of Central Africa (Eph 3:20)!
The prayer Paul prayed in Eph 3:14-21 begins, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…” God does not want to be known as a CEO or the President, but as the “Father,” even “Abba” to us His children.
I’ve heard many wonderful sermons about Eph 3:14-21, but I have not heard any about Eph 3:1-13. Yet, Eph 3:1-13 is the reason Paul prayed Eph 3:14-21 over the Ephesians. The church has largely replaced this prayer as the goal, when it is actually the means by which we, the Body of Christ, are to do our part in seeing God’s “eternal purpose” accomplished in this earth, the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
We are to bring “the mystery” of Christ to the Gentiles (those who have never heard…the unreached). In other words, just as the first Live School course, Introduction to Missions teaches, the Great Commission is “the what,” our God given objective or task. The strategy of how we are to go about it is to love one another.
Bernard, Chip & Bienvenu to Gabon on a 12+ hour bus ride from Ngaoundere to Yaounde’ Cameroon.
They will know we are Christians by our love… Jesus prayed that we would be one with one another, that the world may know that the Father sent Him (Jn 17:20-23). He said we would be filled with His Spirit and with His power (Acts 1:8). He wants us to experience His limitless love in greater and greater measure and to be filled up with Himself for a reason (Eph 3:14, 16-19). Sure, He loves us as His children and wants to bless us with His presence, but He also has committed Himself to filling the earth with His glory (Num 13:21) and to having a people from among every ethnic group worship Him in heaven (Rev 7:9-10). What is most amazing is that He has chosen to do this through His people, you and me! Apart from Him, we cannot do this, but He can do it, and will, through His children (Eph 3:10; Phil 2:12-13). He desires to fill us with Himself, for a purpose…to bring His life, truth and love to a dying and hurting world. Paul knew this (1Co 15:10). He had tried to serve God in his own strength but found out that he was actually fighting against God on the road to Damascus.
The Lord told Gideon (and many others), “Go in this your strength. (Jdg 6:14-16). What was Gideon’s strength? He was hiding in the wine vat! His strength was that the LORD would be with him! And He promises to be with us too (Mat 28:18-20).
Not only is He with us, but the Holy Spirit now lives in us (Jn 14:17). Therefore, let us be confident and make ourselves AVAILABLE to God for His purposes (2Co 5:15). Let us APPLY and do the words He speaks to us. These were key words that kept coming up in our meeting in Ngaoundere, Cameroon. God uses those who are available. And it is not enough to have knowledge of the truth; we must apply it.
The Leadership Development Academy students of Central Africa joined us.
Kathy’s note: Chip will be traveling to 4 more countries and we look forward to hearing about the exciting things happening in his next letter. We are so thankful for your continued prayers for Chip on this trip. He will be gone from October 27 through November 18. God bless you and we pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving in a few weeks. We are grateful for the blessing of great family and friends like all of you!