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Haven of Peace

Haven of Peace

Haven of Peace

I have just returned from a field trip in Tanzania where I visited Dar es Salaam, Bariadi, Mwanza, Kigoma, Zanzibar and Pemba. The trip was long overdue for our Missions Training Program and I was strongly compelled to go, even though some of the needful things were wanting. I’m glad I obeyed because it was by far one of the greatest trips we have done in Tanzania years after the launch of the Swahili version of the Live School in 2012 and subsequent trips to the country thereafter.

We had orientation meetings with pastors in Dar es Salaam, Ilala and Kigamboni areas, with a total of 146 pastors and leaders, before proceeding to Mwanza and ultimately Bariadi. We then made our way up to the Western town of Kigoma which is considered the gateway of Islam into the mainland. Kigoma is of great significance to both the world of Christianity and early explorers. Among its many districts is Ujiji where Henry Morton Stanley met Dr David Livingstone in 1872. On the waters of Lake Tanganyika in the region is also one of the world’s oldest German Cargo and Passenger ships, MV Liemba; back in Dar es Salaam still offering a life line in trade and passenger transport. 

We conducted a Live School Facilitators Training for Pastors in Nyarubanda, some 20+ kilometers from the border with Burundi. Eight churches are due to launch their own Mission Training Schools using the Live School.  The road trip from Mwanza to Kigoma was the worst of ideas due to the condition of the road, on which sections are currently under construction. My colleague Bishop Philemon, fell ill and we rerouted our return flight from Mwanza to Kigoma, for Dar es Salaam.  From Dar es Salaam we headed to Zanzibar and flew to Pemba for the last orientation meeting on the Live School before coming back to Zanzibar’s Ugunja for the last of the Facilitators Training to start some seven Mission Schools. 

My health gave up on me, but God healed me and I was able to do the Covid test and travel back home on the 27th of July. Looking at what God has done, I’m excited by the potential increase and release of labourers that is likely to take place in the country. The preliminary evaluation report on the meetings and training, records 146 pastors and leaders committing to train some 1564 missionaries and church planters. 17 of the needed 146 Schools are already on the ground for Nyarubanda, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. My team is currently working on the requests and we have set October as a month for Facilitator Trainings in Dar es Salaam and Bariadi while working to have the Pemba training done before then.

While in Zanzibar I met with one of the Live School Facilitators who at the launch in 2012, had indicated on the wall map we had that he had a vision for Zanzibar; finding his work in both Zanzibar and Pemba was one of the most encouraging encounters and reality of God’s faithfulness. Another Live School graduate from Nigeria responded to the call to be a missionary in Tanzania with his wife and their two little children. God has given them amazing favors with the Church of Tanzania and they were key allies during this trip. They will be starting their own school as well to prepare their team members and the church in general.

We are grateful for what God is doing and as a region, request you to pray with us for partners to help us get the job done; not only in Tanzania, but all the other countries in the region. We would also appreciate it if you could help us connect with people or ministries that may be interested in partnering with us.

Shalom

July 2021 – STORIES from Kenya(Paul)

July 2021 – STORIES from Kenya(Paul)

Stories from Kenya - July 2021

From a church under tree into a building

In a small community in Kenyas’ Isiolo county there is a church building is construction among the Doroboand Turkana communities thanks to the generosity of willing friends and believers. The Church was started by a Live School graduate who currently has two Churches in the county as well as a Ministry among the deaf community.

They started meeting under a tree where the chairs were nothing but a rock. Every stone under the tree represented a person who was part of that fellowship. Now after many years of prayer, their prayers are being answered with the construction currently at 70% completion with only fittings, paint work and furnishings lacking.

The building has worked to encourage and assure many about the commitment of the Pastors’ commitment to them and made the community more receptive to the Gospel. For this we are most grateful. God upgraded them from under the tree into a building for His glory.

Transformation with a Prayer

A trip to the little village confronts one with a community caught in time between the past and present. Old building styles giving way to modern housing designs, yet the one constant thing carried over the ages is the community’s allegiance to Islam.

This is one of the fields where World Mission Centre through project FOCUS sent teams in 2000. 20 years later, the seeds sown through much difficulty and aggression have paid off. Although there have been a number of Muslim background believers that returning back to Islam, some have held on to their new found faith with unrelenting commitment.

The Christian School started by the missionaries in the place offer an opportunity for an army in waiting to be trained through Live School. We are persuaded that through prayer, transformation will take place in the community and the Lord Jesus will be exalted as king with many giving their lives to God.

God at Work

God at Work

God at Work

About two years ago, after years of battling to gain access into the Horn of Africa, God changed this when He sent us a young Somali couple as part of our Live School facilitators training in Nairobi CBD.

After the training, we gave him our portable projector and a Live School unit for their secret team of converts scattered across different fellowships where they live.

Due to security and life-threatening risks, it was not possible to follow up on the progress, needless to say, my meeting with him back in Nairobi two years later was one of the most refreshing meetings I have attended in light of the pandemic.

Former Muslim taking part in a tie and dye skill empowerment

He reported that they have been going through the Curriculum, but language was a challenge forcing him to transcribe the lectures into Somali. It being a visual curriculum, has been most beneficial for the orate majority of converts.

The Chronological Approach has struck a major chord with many, especially by seeing the power of the incarnational approach in the field on ‘Etaow’.  It brought home a challenge on how a believer must live and what they must do to reach others.

Although risks abound with kidnappings and extortions on the rise, he raised the need to visit them in the frontline, and I felt it to be a necessary risk by the grace of God.

Their days within the country are numbered and we need to do all we can to invest the best we have to prepare them for what lies ahead, should they be moved according to the current government stance.

His heart burns to get the Gospel to his People Group.

He recently returned from the frontlines going through militant terror territories on a journey that took him through key towns where God opened doors.

His heart like Paul in Romans 9, burns for his people and I pray God will grant us a portion with them in the Horn.

We are presently working on a plan to get to the frontline as he requested, but I cannot disclose the details.

We are leaning on God to make it possible to realize all the necessary logistics and finances to make the trip under the radar before the end of this year. 

At the end of our meeting, I was beyond words and could only think of the words of Christ that we must work while it’s day because night comes when no man can work.

In the two years without contact, God never stopped working.  

In about two weeks, I will head off to five different locations in Tanzania’s mainland and Islands, while my team is organizing to take a group of young believers to one of the People Groups in Kenya to help a young Church plant.

Underground Fellowships in one of the horn of Africa countries

Handing over Live School Unit and projector after Facilitators Training

During the trip, I will train a country coordinator for Tanzania, conduct mission awareness and training with various groups of pastors, train pastors that will launch local mission centers to train their own local people as well as missionaries and church planters. 

We are grateful for our friends and partners who faithfully hold our hands while asking if you can refer us to someone we can talk to about support and partnership.

God is at work. 

Please pray and consider partnering with us or making a donation to help us through these initiatives and our work in Eastern Africa. 

You can do this either by going online to www.worldmissioncentre.com or writing a cheque to the World Mission Centre, 229 Bookman Mill Road, Irmo, 29063.

Indicate either Eastern Africa, Horn of Africa or Tanzania on the memo for reference. 

If in South Africa, you can do a cheque deposit or an EFT to World Mission Centre International, Account No: 1602 117411, Branch Code: 198765.

Email proof of payment to paulo@wmcint.org 

For Kenya, go to Mpesa Pay Bill No: 400222, Account Number 182 7235#(Your name)

Live School in Guateng

Live School in Guateng

Live School in Gauteng

An Update from Southern Africa

Over the past few months our Southern Africa team has felt God leading them to focus more on equipping the churches in their own city and they now have a goal to start 50 new schools within the Gauteng province of South Africa by the end of 2021. It started as a response to the many travel resrictions but now it has started to yield much fruit.

 

In December 2020 our Southern Africa leader, Isaac Modise, had a meeting with some pastors from the area where he is pastoring a church. They were immediately interested and wanted their leaders to be trained as facilitators so we arranged to have Facilitator Training (Ft Training) in the beginning of February. After the training they immediately started looking for students to recruit and we now have 5 new Live Schools with between 4 and 7 students each Starting in April.

This is however just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout March our South African interns (Manie and Thabiso) have been traveling all over the province to have meetings with pastors from places like Soshanguve, Hammanskraal, Ga-Motle, Mabopane and other rural areas and towns in and around Gauteng province. They have been arranging to meet with pastors and are planning two separate Ft Training events each hosting between four and twelve new liveschool facilitators along with their church pastors.

 

Two weeks ago (26 March) they have had one of these pastors meetings in Hammanskraal where more than 9 local pastors attended and are now recruiting leaders as facilitators to be trained as soon as possible.

The All Purposeful, Loving and Merciful God

The All Purposeful, Loving and Merciful God

The All Purposeful, Loving and Merciful God

“And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how long and wide and high and deep is the love, of Christ, and to know this love, that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

The love of God is all encompassing, unfathomable and in our sinful state we cannot dare to understand it; the most we can do is try to grasp it as though looking through a faded grimy mirror, and when we do, we see but a dim reflection… we see in part 1Chorinthians 13:12; But isn’t it wonderful, the little we, see? What we are talking about is a love that has remained constant from the beginning of time. From the moment Elohim laid eyes on His newly formed creation and declared it good. He loves us and when Adam and Eve sinned, He made a promise to redeem us all, from sin. Genesis 3:15

Coming to the time of Noah, the world is in chaos, the people steeped in sin. A people, who did not deserve a chance but Our Lord gave them a chance anyway; Noah warned them though no one listened. A preacher of righteousness through his wordless preaching, in the very construction of the ark. He bore witness through each and every hammer blow and pounding of the nail. A call to repentance and a declaration that judgement was coming. Obviously, no one listened and they were destroyed by the flood, while eight souls (Noah and his family) were saved through the water by God, water that symbolizes the baptism that saves us as well 2Peter 2:5. The flood was a reminder of the coming salvation. 

Fast forward to Abraham, hundreds of years after Adam and Eve. The Lord uses Abraham as an illustration and reminder of what was to come. In Genesis 22, Abraham faithfully offers up his son when the Lord asks him, and as they climb up the mountain without a sacrifice, Isaac questions this in Genesis 22:7-8 and Abraham responds by saying, “God Himself will provide {Jehovah Jireh} the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” and when Abraham is about to plunge the knife into his only beloved son’s chest, The Lord does indeed provide a Lamb. Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket and offered it in place of his son. Here we see an example of substitutionary atonement, an echo of what is to come. God provided a sacrifice to take the place of Isaac; this was another wordless sermon, this time directly from God. It is like God was saying, ‘see here Abraham, in the distant future I will come down Myself, become man through your offspring and die for the whole world. It will not be another ram taking the place of your son, but I who will be a sacrifice and take the place of all humanity in the wrath of the Father.’

All this illustrates God’s steadfast character. He is not like man that He should forget a promise made. He does not change His mind nor does He go back on His word Numbers 23:19. He made us for Himself and He has every intention to bring us back to Him. 

“Now to Him who is able to do so much than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

The Town of Many Hills

The Town of Many Hills

The Town of Many Hills

Lodwar, also known as the town of many hills is the largest town in northwest Kenya within Turkana County. To access the town from Nairobi, you will use the Nakuru-Kitale route which takes roughly twelve and half hours by bus or 1 hour 55 minutes on a flight. It is predominantly arid with temperatures as high as 38 degrees Celsius. The inhabitants are mostly Turkanas who have held strongly to some of their ancient cultural practices like early child marriages and wife inheritance. 

Illiteracy levels are high especially among those living in the outskirts of the town. Very few parents take their children to school. They stay at home looking after livestock. With the terrain being unforgiving, the young boys and girls have to travel long-distances in search of water and pasture for their animals. 

Other communities in the area are Somalis, Sudanese and a few Bantu speaking tribes. While some of the people practice pastoralism, others have gone into businesses, operating shops in the town. The businesses range from fish mongering, general stores and supermarkets, hotel industry, basket weaving, fruit and vegetable vending, just to mention, but a few. When it comes to religion, the townsfolk ascribe to Christianity and Islam while their counterparts (pastoralists) follow their Traditional African Religion (ATR) while others are Christians.

We were in Lodwar to attend and minister at a pastors and leaders training conference hosted by Kingdom Vision International Ministry. The delegates came from as far as Isiolo, Nairobi, outskirts of Turkana, the border of Kenya and Sudan as well as Lodwar itself.  It was a wonderful opportunity to encourage the brethren in the work they were doing of making disciples in the different areas they came from. 

During our interactions with the locals, we got to learn of the combined efforts between the church and the government to eradicate illiteracy and early child marriages. It is through community education that the Turkanas have started to see the value of taking their children to school especially the girl child. We heard amazing testimonies of how those practicing ATR were coming to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and how the Gospel has helped pave way to some of the changes in the cultural practices among the people. 

The passion and zeal these men and women have to reach their communities with the Good News is out of this world. They long for the day that the whole of Turkana County will be covered with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. Through this trip we were able to see how as an organization we can position ourselves strategically to contribute to the work the church is doing. It is our desire that through partnerships with the various leaders we will be able to roll out Live School to empower them to continue running the race.

The Great Promise

The Great Promise

The Great Promise

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His son to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him – John 3:16

Martin Luther called John 3:16, the miniature gospel. All of the Bible; God’s plan for our salvation summarized into that one sentence, it is the sum and substance of the gospel. The way that God took to recover us from our lapsed state. But where does it all begin? When did God make this promise, and how did He go about fulfilling it? The answer is in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, we see the journey to the salvation of man.

In fact, the Hebrew term for Heaven or paradise is Gan Eden meaning literally, the garden of Eden. In the beginning, after creating man, God placed Him in the garden of Eden. When the word Eden is broken down and translated, we find it has to do with pleasure or delight.  Looking at Genesis 2:8, we see that God placed man in the garden of delight. So, from the start of time, we see that God’s desire was for man to be in delight (Psalms 36:8). Still, man fell after disobeying God and eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which eventually led to banishment from the garden. They were barred entry into delight. This was both a physical and spiritual barring. They were physically barred from the garden and the tree of life, but they were also barred from the presence of God, who is the source of all delight. It may sound like a hopeless situation, but it is not. Still, at the end of the day, God loved them even though they had disobeyed Him and so He made them a promise that salvation would indeed come. He gave them a lifeline in the form of 5 simple but powerful words said to the serpent, ‘He will crush your head’(Genesis 3:15).  Here at the very beginning of sin, our merciful, kind, loving, gracious and the almighty God made the promise of redemption. The seed of the woman (virgin birth), would give a fatal blow to the devil and only His heel will be bruised, “That bruised heel is painful enough. Behold our Lord in his human nature sore bruised: he was betrayed, bound, accused, buffeted, scourged, spit upon. He was nailed to the cross; he hung there in thirst and fever, and darkness and desertion” (Spurgeon) All praise to Jesus Christ, our wounded Saviour (Isaiah 53:10-11). 

This (Genesis 3:15) is known as the protoevangelium the first gospel. “This is the first gospel sermon that was ever delivered upon the surface of this earth. It was a memorable discourse indeed, with Jehovah himself for the preacher, and the whole human race and the prince of darkness for the audience.” (Spurgeon) and this is true when everything seemed lost and the whole of humanity in dire straits, the Lord gave hope (Romans 5:8).  Our Lord showed us that not all was lost, He always had an eternal plan for us, a plan for our own good, for He is our reward (Genesis 15:1) and will bring us back to Him. The Lord saw Satan’s downfall at his first taste of victory (Luke 10:18) because He knew this was coming all along; it was not a surprise. Still, He gave Adam and Eve the free will to choose. There is beauty found in innocence, but the glowing brilliance of a redeemed heart (one who sees and understands the awe-inspiring might of God’s grace and love), is breathtaking. 

In this series, we will walk through the Bible and see how we got from point A (Genesis 3) to point Z(Revelation 7)

“You have made us for Yourself O Lord, and our hearts find no rest till they find it in You” – Agustine of Hippo

“This people I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”      Isaiah 43:21            

How You Can Become a Missionary

How You Can Become a Missionary

How You Can Become a Missionary

Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all peoples. 1st Chronicles 16:23-24

All questions aside, the fact of the matter is, as a believer, you are called to spread the good news unless The Lord tells you otherwise. We do not all do the same thing or play the same roll when it comes to spreading the word, but it is our duty. 

Winning a war in a battle field involves multiple players with different roles for the war to be won. There is the commander, the soldiers/warriors, there are snipers/archers, the armourer, the people who bring food to the battle fields (a great example is David when he took food to his brothers 1Samuel 17:17). We can even delve deeper and see how each of these roles play into our battle for the Kingdom of God. We obviously know that Jesus Christ is the commander, but where do we as believers fall? We have the soldiers who risk their lives on the ground; in our case, those will be the missionaries who leave their homes and loved ones behind to spread the gospel in foreign lands or across cultures. Then the snipers, those are long distant combatants whose job is to provide detailed surveillance from a hidden point, those would be our prayer partners; praying for those in the field constantly (Ephesians 6:18) for our war is not of the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:3). There is the armourer, whose job is to make and repair the soldiers’ weapons and armour, in the case of missions those are the pastors and fellow believers whose job is to uplift and to admonish those in the field (Hebrews 10:24-25). Then there is the one who brings food to the battlefield; in our case they are the donors, those who donate money and gifts in kind like medical supplies, food, farming materials and many more.  All these people come together to fight the war for the Kingdom. All of us playing an important role, none can succeed without the other and the crowning jewel is Jesus Christ our Commander in Chief giving us graceful marching orders and the Holy Spirit equipping us with knowledge of the battle plan, guiding our steps with strength to face the enemy.

So, it is not really how to become a missionary but where in the battle does the Lord want you, what is your role. Prayer will guide you. The Lord will open your eyes to where you should be if you are willing. Fellow believers, let us go to the presence of God and ask where He wants us to be and how He wants us to help. For our commander has given us a command…

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:19-20

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

World Mission Centre Signs Academic Recognition Agreement with Facultad Internacional de Estudios Teológicos

World Mission Centre Signs Academic Recognition Agreement with Facultad Internacional de Estudios Teológicos

World Mission Centre Signs Academic Recognition Sgreement with Facultad Internacional de Estudios Teológicos

We are glad to publicly announce that even in spite of the pandemic, we were able to sign off on an academic recognition agreement between World Mission Centre and FIET (Facultad Internacional de Estudios Teológicos) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This agreement will give any Spanish-speaking Live School graduate the opportunity to continue with a Bachelors in Theology Degree via Distance Learning.

This was made possible because a similar agreement already in place between WMC and the South African Theological Seminary (SATS).

We are excited about what this will mean for many saints in the field, living in Latin America, who now can be further equipped for ministry.

Early Christian Missionaries

Early Christian Missionaries

Early Christian Missionaries

Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)

For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel. (Luke 2:30-32)

Who were the first witnesses for Christ? The first people to sacrifice their lives for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the light of revelation reflecting the radiant Glory of our risen Christ? We find them in the book of Acts (Acts 8: 1-4), this is right after the stoning of Stephen and there is a great persecution of believers. All believers apart from some of the apostles, scattered throughout Judea and Samaria and they preached the word wherever they went. Jesus very clearly told them to look beyond Jerusalem and bring the gospel to Judea, Samaria, and the whole world. But to this point, Jesus’ followers had not done this. They may have stopped in Jerusalem and made a great church there were it not for the persecutions; but instead, they were blown away like the spores of a mushroom or like seeds, planting the word of God in the hearts of all the people. Sometimes God will shake us out of our comfort zone in order for His will to be done. And in this case the end result of the persecution was God’s glory. So, my fellow believers let our lives be a seed for Christ wherever we may go.

In Acts 8 we meet the first believers to leave Jerusalem, though at this time they mostly preached to the Jews (Acts 11:19); but who was the first person to go out and spread the Good News to the Gentiles? This was Paul. Now let’s go back to Acts 7 and meet Paul, rather, let us go back and meet Saul. Saul was a young man at the time, a young zealous man with loyalties that lay on the wrong side. As the Sanhedrin rushed at Stephen in rage to stone him, they left their garment at Saul’s feet (Acts 7:57-58); and in chapter 8 we see that Saul consented with pleasure and delight, the stoning of Stephen. Fueled by the murder of Stephen, he became more furious in his persecution of the church of Jesus Christ. It is hard to believe that this is the very same man whose letters we read in the new testament, who would later become the greatest preacher of the Gospel.  A thing to be admired is Paul’s single-minded focus and dedication. He was always earnest no matter what he did. When he persecuted, he did it with all his might; and when he was converted, then he preached with all his might. 

Let us now fast forward to Acts 13, where Paul and Barnabas are called to leave their church in Antioch and they heeded the voice of the Lord and left. First, they went to the Jewish synagogues but the Jews rejected the good news and so they went to the Gentiles who received the word with gladness (Acts 13:48-49). This was the beginning of the Christian movement and as we read through the book of Acts, we will read about the persecutions and all the sacrifices made to further the good news to the lost. It is the same even in the recent history of Christian missions. In 1956 a group of five young men gave up their lives to the cause, in an attempt to share the good news with the Aucas tribe. This sacrifice led to an upsurge of missionaries and even opened the door to the Aucas. 

I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in as well, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16)

Christian Missions is dotted with men who loved God above their very own lives and their purpose was obedience to the utmost regardless of the cost. The invitation to carry the Gospel forth remains binding on the Church of Jesus today, but the sad reality is that there are still many that are yet join the fold. Will you go for them?