More blessed to give than to receive.
The Christmas season is one of great joy. All of us love to receive gifts, but the greatest joy on that first Christmas night was the joy the Father had when He gave us His Son. Yes, that is how much He loves you and me! Finally, our Redeemer, Emmanuel, had come in the flesh. Like His Dad, Jesus confirmed this reality, teaching and demonstrating that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Act 20:35). The truth is that we are not here just to be blessed, but to be a blessing to others (Gen. 12:1-3; Psa. 67:1-2). I was recently in Liberia and was reflecting on how much joy has come from the giving we have done there. READ MORE.
Solar System Project
I am a novice when it comes to electricity, but several years ago I began to notice the effect that lack of electricity in the WACA region was having on many churches using Live School and others who wanted to use it, especially in the interior of countries where potential host churches are closest to the unreached. I began to look at solar power instead of generators as a viable alternative to producing the small amount of electricity needed to view Live School. In rural areas, the generators are often “held together by a shoestring.” When the generator breaks, it is not unlikely for such schools stop meeting for 6 months or more, until they can get their dilapidated generator fixed. While Solar Systems have been more expensive than generators for host churches to purchase, they are cheaper to use and typically don’t break down. There is no recurring fuel cost, and the only recurring cost after the solar system is purchased tends to be the battery, when it wears out. Until now, we have been using two year deep cycle batteries.
This fall, our Nigerian Coordinator Moses has researched and identified some reliable portable solar system options. They cost about half what the solar systems we’ve used in the past cost, and they include a monitor and a 5 year deep cycle battery! This is a real answer to prayer! The Lord is teaching us as we go. We are now determining what our solar system needs in many WACA countries for 2019, as well as determining delivery costs. We then plan to purchase the portable solar systems in bulk and distribute them across WACA as we can. If I had to estimate, the solar systems will average about $350 each. We will require qualified host churches to contribute towards the cost of it, as we do the Live School unit itself. We plan to subsidize the balance.
The Foya Live School in Lofa County, Liberia
In April of 2017 we held a regional WACA meeting for our leadership in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. John, who is on our Liberian Coordination team, was there. He told me that he wanted to start a full time Live School in Foya, which is in the far northeast of Liberia. Most Live Schools in WACA are part time. Full time schools are more effective, but they are also more expensive to operate. I excitedly asked him when he was planning to start, to which he replied, “January of 2018.” That answer had the effect of throwing a wet blanket on me. Knowing most of Africa’s view of time, my thought was that the school would never happen. But John proved me wrong! Hallelujah! In January of 2018 he started a full time Live School near Foya, Lofa County, Liberia. It is a large muslim area and one of the most unreached areas of Liberia.
The venue for the school did not have electricity or access to a generator. John decided to install a solar system to hold the Foya Live School, which has served as a great prototype for us. John selected Marcus Monzey to facilitate this special full time Live School. Marcus had just graduated from a Leadership Development Academy (LDA) we held in Kumasi, Ghana in the fall of 2017. He did a great job, and the students planted several churches. As alumni, they continue to bear fruit (see the “Foya Live School Alumni” section below).
Leadership Development Academies
The LDA is a great way to make disciples who make disciples (2Ti 2:2). They help us raise up volunteers to rollout Live School across the WACA region. Last year we held one in Ghana and another in Senegal. This year we held one in Chad with students from 5 different countries and this one in Liberia, which graduates next weekend. Marcus is facilitating the Liberian LDA. When there in November, we had great times of worship and ministry. But we also spent some quality time fellowshipping and building meaningful relationships with each other (Mk 3:14-15). The lasting fruit of these LDA’s is such a blessing to see! They are helping us build “family.” And as the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.” The Lord is blessing this effort! We intend to hold four LDA’s across WACA next year in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Chad.
A time of worship and a time of fun with the Liberia LDA students (Mk 3:14)
Foya Live School Alumni
John had the vision to hold a full time Live School in Foya. He didn’t hold the school just to have a school, but to reach out with the truth and love of Christ to the least reached of Liberia. He was focused on a certain outcome. Live School is “outcome based,” and this school shows it. Not only were the students’ lives transformed, not only did they reach many, but they also made disciples and planted churches in one of the most difficult regions of Liberia.
These are some pictures of a crusade Free Pentecostal Global Mission did with the help of the Foya Live School alumni in Lofa County. Crusades are known for making many converts. The Church is known for making disciples. These Live School alumni raised $700 from the local members of Free Pentecostal Global Mission to build a new church building for the new converts from the crusade. They will help make disciples of them, pastoring them. Everyone is participating: the main church, the business people of that church, and the Live School students. Some of the students have become evangelists, others pastors. Some will return to help the main church as fruitful believers. But all of them were ordinary members of the host church or other nearby churches, and their lives have been changed to the glory of God! To see Live School equip and mobilize “the priesthood of believers” makes all the work we do worth it all!
We are each part of God’s family and army. We each have a different function, but we have the same value in Christ (1Co 12:12-27; Rom 12:3-8). Therefore, let us celebrate each other and use our gifts to expand His kingdom wherever we are.
Jn. 15:17 – You did not choose Me, but I chose you that you would bear fruit and that your fruit would remain.
An altar call at the Lofa County Crusade and follow-up the next morning
A new church building for a new church! The new believers from the Lofa Country Crusade will be pastored by some of the Foya Live School graduates.
The Harsh Realities of the Mission Field
The mission field is not an easy place. Jesus said, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves (Mat 10:16). While I was in having a meeting with our Central African leaders in late October on the east side of Cameroon, Charles Wesco was shot and killed on the west side of the nation. He had just moved to Cameroon two weeks earlier with his wife and eight children. We specifically met towards the east, because we knew there had been fighting for some time in the west. Please pray for his wife and children that are left behind.
Likewise, a young man John Chau, whom we knew as an acquaintance and who was a friend of one of our daughters, was recently killed as he sought to bring the truth and love of Christ to an indigenous tribe on the Andaman Islands. His death has been covered extensively by the news, but I’m enclosing a link from a recent ORU chapel service. It is a message shared by ORU’s president Billy Wilson on Christmas and John Chau. Please click on this link to watch the service.
We honor John Chau and ask you to pray for his family.
We work to raise up indigenous missionaries who will go to places we cannot go. They have the same spirit as John Chau. They are going into some of the most difficult places to bring the love and truth of Christ. Please also remember them in your prayers.
May you receive the gift of Christ this season in a way that makes you realize how loved and valuable you are. Once we begin to understand His great love for us, the only right response is to begin living for Him (2Co 5:14-15). Then, as we work together “for the faith of the Gospel,” all the world will hear (Jn. 17:20-23; Phil 1:27).
May the Lord’s blessings rest on you, that all nations might know His glory. (Genesis 12:1-3 & Psalms 67:1-2)
By His grace,
Chip and Kathy