In India, over 1.2 billion people do not have access to the Gospel and it has more unreached people than any other country across the globe.
But God, in His amazing provision, has given us key partners in India and they are opening giant doors. The first Live School facilitators were trained in India this past week.
We would ask you to join us in prayer for this nation. Pray for the billions who not know Christ. The fields are certainly ripe and the harvest is plentiful in India. We ask for your partnership in this country as we train local believers to be missionaries in their own country.
I’d like to share another report with you from one of the Cuba trip members. Dennis Banks is the Minister of Pastoral Care & Adults 55+ at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Shandon Baptist has officially partnered with Live School in Cuba and plans to send regular teams with us. This was written when Dennis and Charlie Miles headed to Cienfuegos after the graduation. He writes:
Eddie, I send this report to you with much praise to God for all He has done and is doing in Cuba. The first graduation of students of Live School in Cuba was filled with great joy and celebration. Back in September of last year I visited many from this group and they had expressed then that the school time and training had been hard at times and some had wanted to quit. However they found that in prayer and faith that God’s promises and encouragement would sustain them. To witness the joy and sense of great accomplishment thrilled our hearts. One student had already begun a new home church and her confidence of reaching others with the gospel was such a testimony to the effectiveness of Live School.
In training the new Live School Facilitators both Marlin and Felix were invaluable. The devotion of trainees and confession of commitment was greatly encouraging. I believe that the effectiveness of Live School is spreading well and it’s reputation gaining momentum in order for all provinces of Cuba to one day have Live School present.
Charlie and I went to pray for a child who was sick and with great fever. Entering their home, anointing her with oil and praying over her in faith the Lord was gracious to answer our prayer with healing. That same day we learned that two of Charlie’s children back home were sick and one of our trainees led us in prayer for their healing. The next day we heard of their well being and the children were out playing as if they were never ill.
To see the intense faith, love and commitment of these dear brothers and sisters in Christ was very encouraging to my heart and my confidence in their commitment to Live School very sure. Our visit to a new school that had just started back in September of last year was equally encouraging as we witnessed a class in action. Carlos, their facilitator, was a very competent leader and the 15 students participating eager to be involved.
Facilitators trained by Dennis, Charlie & Felix
Overall, I am greatly encouraged to have been a part of the training of these new Facilitators of LS and blessed to pray for, build relationship with and support this work in Cuba. God is doing great work in Cuba and leadership from South Carolina and Cuba are continuing to build a great partnership for the building up of God’s Kingdom.”
Thank you so much for praying for our volunteer team who traveled to Cuba. They arrived back safely last night and are giving glowing reports of what God has done. I’ve asked them to write some of what they experienced in their own words and I will share some of that with you in separate emails.
The graduation went well. This was both the first students graduating in Cuba and the first Spanish speakers to graduate. The team trained facilitators for 35 new schools in the the provinces they were in.
Here is the first report written by Hunter McKenzie, one of the team members who trained facilitators in Cuba last week. He is an architect who is a member at First Baptist at a church in South Carolina. Hunter, Andrew & Marlen, who also came on the trip, broke away from the rest of the team and headed to the province of Pinar del Dio where they trained facilitators.
Hunter is on the far right
“We had an absolutely wonderful trip in Cuba. The church service and graduation ceremony on Sunday was a great success. You could see the joy and feel the sense of accomplishment on the graduate’s faces as they received their diplomas. One lady even gave her diploma a little kiss after she received it and sat down.
After our lunch on Sunday we went our separate ways, and Andrew and I traveled to Pinar del Rio. We met with Pastor Argudin on Sunday evening, and he shared his testimony with us as well as the history of how he was called to build the church in Pinar del Rio. On Monday we had 11 students arrive to begin the facilitator training. They ranged from a 13 year old girl, who had to ask permission to be absent from school, to older ladies who were in their mid sixties.
25 students graduated!
There were also young men there who were leaders in their churches as well as a 28-year-old man who had his masters in physics and mathematics and taught there as a professor. It was obvious from the moment we began the training sessions that these students were fully engaged and hungry to receive the Live School training. This was only my second time doing facilitator training, however, Andrew said that this was the best facilitator training session that he has been a part of. We heard multiple times from the students that the Live School training is something for which they had been praying for a long time.
Facilitators in training.
Each one of the students seemed very committed to understanding the roles of the facilitator in order to run their schools well. After the first day of training it took one of the older ladies three and a half hours to get home due to the poor reliability of the bus system in the area. We didn’t know if she would come for the next day of training, however she was early for our 9:00 am start on Tuesday.
Most of the students ended up staying at the church compound throughout the training, which gave us a great opportunity to get to know them better. On Monday evening, Andrew, Marlen, and I went to play dominoes with Pastor Argudin while the students organized an impromptu worship service in the chapel. They sang for hours, and when we were walking past the church on our way to bed, we found them on their knees, holding hands in a circle in passionate prayer. We joined in for a few minutes, and although we did not understand what they were saying, their passion and faith were very evident.
During the training on Tuesday, one of the middle aged women received a call that her mother was not doing well. We took a moment to pray for her mother and that this would not distract her from the training. Within less than an hour she received another call saying that her mother was doing better and was able to focus on her studies.
At the end of the training, we held a prayer for each facilitator individually that they would be protected and guided as they find their students and begin their schools. There was an incredibly sweet spirit and sense of unity throughout the training days and it was a little sad to see it end.”
We set foot in Nairobi, the heart of East Africa’s hub on the 12th of August, 2016, as a part of a God-led transition for us. My personal preference would have been to relocate in 2019, the dust of Kenya’s election having settled with a new government in place. However, we realize that our role is to follow, for therein lies the blessings and reward of obedience.
I spent a good amount of time at work and settling down the family between 2016 and 2017. Considering much of what God has been speaking about the region, I had peace and assurance that He will lead the process, and He has indeed!
God spoke to us about escalation in the region and we pray more laborers will arise with the financial and logistical capacity required for the task. We believe it will be a year of great fulfillment as God’s promise over the region comes to life; a belief affirmed by the first Missions and Info evening held at Nairobi’s Milele Conference Centre on 16th of December. This meeting happened against a backdrop of serious political and economic challenges that hit the country after the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, whom the main Opposition coalition have since declined to recognize, citing legitimacy issues with his re-election on the 26th of October after an annulment of the August 8th election.
It was a Worship and Missions Information evening to create an awareness of our presence in the region and the Live School as a tool to serve the Church. The Lord, however, used it to make a declaration over the 14 Countries of East Africa and The Horn as classified by World Mission Centre, the Church and the Fathers of the Land, as well as the younger generation of upcoming leaders.
As 19 of us stood on the stage and every Pastor and ministry leader held a flag in hand and led a prayer for the country, a ceiling was broken and it was the dawning of new day. At the end of the meeting, I realized that the Lord had done it His way and we must keep preparing to ride with Him. Missions was not man’s noble idea, but God’s. Thus, may God give us the grace to love and serve the best way we know how!
Days before, on Dec 16, close to twenty of us gathered at Nairobi’s Kenya Assemblies of God Leadership Centre for a workshop with delegates from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. At the end of the workshop, it was clear that God was calling us to revisit our priorities and embrace the next level. As the pages of 2018 turn, I am asking God to give us the courage to dare, faith to care and a burning vision for Him and His kingdom. I am asking Him for partners to invest and journey with us as we venture into the frontiers. Besides having a Conference with about 300 delegates from countries of the region, we intend to venture into some of the restricted countries.
I request you prayerfully consider the possibility of helping us broaden our financial support and prayer network. Thank you for those of you who have stood with us thus far.
Finally, our prayer is that God’s richest blessing may fill your hearts with joy and grant you victory through 2018.
“God be merciful unto us, and bless us; cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations”.
Psalms 67:1-2 KJV
Paul Achilles- WMC East Africa and The Horn
Another exciting development is that the official launch of the Hindi Live School will take place during the India Christian Media Association’s annual conference in Delhi at the end of September. It is a great honor to be included in this high-powered media conference.
We had a few hours available to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal – that is about 220 km from Delhi.
On our way to India, we stopped over in Singapore where I had the privilege of preaching in the three services of Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) – two in English and one on Mandarin. Each of the services is broadcast to a second venue in another part of city. Somehow I felt that the Mandarin service was a precursor to the start of the Mandarin translation of the Live School, which we plan to begin in 2018. It was such a blessing to reconnect with Pastor’s Lawrence and Nina Khong and to spend time with their son, Daniel Khong!
Back on African soil, our Southern African team leader, Pastor Isaac Modise, spoke at the graduation of one of the Live Schools in Soweto, a city of around 1.3 million people. The students have been on several outreaches during their training. The church already has another group of students prepared to start the next intake of the Live School. What an absolute blessing to see how the harvest force is growing in Soweto, South Africa!
Our West African team has just ordered another 40 Live School units that will be taken to the region in the next few weeks.
Plans have been made for July for the graduation service of the first group of students in Mozambique who have gone through the Portuguese version of Live School.
A team from our USA office, consisting of William Jr., Bucky Drake, Jim Hartman, and Michael Lobmeyer, recently returned from Guatemala and El Salvador where they held two pastors’ meetings to explain how the Live School can help the churches by training their members to join the harvest force. The USA team will return to these two countries soon to train the facilitators, some of whom have already started to recruit their students!
Toward the end of last year, we launched the Spanish version of the Live School. The launch took place at the SETECA (Central American Theological Seminary) campus in Guatemala.
Since then, a team from the USA, Jim Hartman, Bucky Drake, William Crew Jr. – Who is our USA regional team and media development leader and Michael Lobmeyer have traveled back twice to start the roll-out process in Central America. Their first visit was to discuss the next step with pastors in Guatemala and El Salvador. They are currently on the second trip, busy training Live School facilitators in both countries. After three days of intensive training in Guatemala, they signed the Documents of Understanding that would see the start of the first three Live School in Central America. From there they traveled to El Salvador where they will start training facilitators in the next three days. One of the pastors reported that he already has seven students signed to be trained in the school that he will start. The most amazing thing is that all seven is said to be ex-gang members who have come to Christ.
Willie leaves this coming week to Argentina where he will speak at five churches and four pastors meeting arranged by Werner and Adele Swart, who recently joined our international team to oversee the roll-out of Live School in South America. The purpose of these meetings is to create a greater awareness of the mission call that the Lord has on this amazing country and to share how the Live School can help the church train their own members as missionaries who will work in and from South America.
Mozambique – God is up to something in Mozambique!!!
During the month, Lydia and I did a road trip to Pretoria and Mozambique, a journey of almost 6000km. OH and by the way, we also had to eat along the way!!!
It was such a blessing. Our first stop was to see my mom who is currently in a step-down facility in Pretoria recovering from a fall she had a few months ago.
Our second stop was to speak at the opening of The Rise Mission conference that is hosted by our Southern African team leaders, Isaac and Rachel Modise.
The third and main reason for the trip was to witness the growth of the Live School in Southern Mozambique. We launched the Portuguese version of the Live School just over a year ago and since then 38 Live Schools have been started. We had the privilege of celebrating with 64 students of five of the Live Schools who have already completed 183 hours of the 242-hour curriculum. We were blessed and amazed to see the one page notes for each session they have studied, all neatly put into their files.
We also had the privilege to host the South Carolina Christian Dance Theater, (SCCDT), in Xai Xai, Mozambique where they taught over 50 young Mozambicans to worship the Lord in Dance. What an amazing experience to see how enthusiastic they were to learn.
East Africa partner meeting
We had opportunity to meet with the leadership of our key partners from East Africa during The Rise conference.These men and woman are doing an amazing work in the region.
Finally, we want to honor the intercessors that so faithfully pray for the work of the World Mission Centre. This amazing group of men and women numbering over 1000, are led by our faithful Chrissie Naude who has been working at WMC for over 20 years. She is 81 years old and still going strong in the Lord. The core group of intercessors come together once a month for a face to face prayer meeting. There is no doubt that we can never do what we do without prayer. Please let us know if you are interested in receiving prayer requests and updates.