God is so good
We wish you all a Merry Christmas, and hope you and your family are having a joyful holiday season!
As we reflect on the second half of this year, we realize that we could not possibly put all that God did into one newsletter. However, allow us to share a few highlights.
In our last newsletter, we mentioned that William was heading to Northern India. A team from South Africa, along with Dick Teed from the USA, arrived a few days before William to train the first group of facilitators. William joined the group on the second leg of the India journey.
The Indian people are beautiful inside and out, so warm, friendly, and hospitable. While India still remains one of the most unreached parts of the world, God is raising his church there in amazing ways.
During our second meeting, through one of our local partners, we trained over 150 facilitators. A hundred of those facilitators showed us the names of their students who want to receive Live School training. We praised God as we handed out 100 Live School units that day.
It was so refreshing to be among so many believers who have such a sincere hunger for God and a willingness to pay the ultimate price. Live School is an answer to many prayers in India for solid, local missions training. There is a great need to equip saints as church planters and missionaries. At the end of this letter you will find various ways to get involved in what Live School is doing around the world.
This past summer, William, Casey, and Hannah (the media team from the USA office) joined Willie, Paul, John, and Alfonso (from Africa) on an epic 18-day journey to document the story of how many unreached and least reached people groups in Kenya were reached with the gospel and able to establish local churches. This took place through the efforts of a group of churches, led by Harvest Church, and World Mission Centre’s Project Focus, now called Live School.
We had the privilege of traveling all over Kenya to visit many ethnic tribes. From nomadic tribes in the northern desert, to the tribes living on coastal islands, to Islamic tribes in the center of the country where persecution (to the point of death at times) is a daily reality for many believers. One thing stood out while interviewing more than 20 people on this trip: God is good. God is good in the small and the big, in little and in much, in the good times and the bad times. There were many times that the film crew had to fight back tears as people shared their testimonies and stories.
One of the missionaries we interviewed started his interview with the following words:
“God be praised, I was beaten and left for dead when I became a believer and kicked out of my family.”
In our Western mindset, it does not even make sense to start that statement with “God be praised.” When the police arrested the man’s perpetrators, he told them he did not want to press charges. He then told his attackers he forgave them and that he loved them. Today this Live School graduate has opened doors in a very militant Muslim community and plans to start a Live School in his village soon.
We hope to share many of these testimonies and stories on the web and social media in the near future.
WMC LEADERS MEETING
The USA Office had the privilege, along with Willie and Lydia Crew (WMC International Team Leaders), to host the bi-annual WMC Leaders Meeting in Columbia in October. It is always such a refreshing and blessed time as each regional leader shares what God has done and is doing in their region.
Live School has grown tremendously in 2018, and has schools in 90+ countries, operating in over 2,000 local churches and has trained more than 20,000 students. Thousands of churches have been planted by active and graduated Live School students. The most exciting part is that most of these new churches are among or very near to unreached people groups.
There are many exciting stories to share of what God is doing in all these different regions, and we would love to tell them to you over a cup of coffee.
Our annual report back and fundraising evening was held at Harvest church in October of this year, and it was a great success! What a privilege to share all that God is doing around the world with so many people who are all excited about God’s mission.
LIVE SCHOOL UNIT COMPRESSION
During the summer, we asked you to join us in prayer for the completion of the Live School compression project. We are excited to announce that the Live School video material is now compressed in all 11 languages and available on the updated unit. Two languages are also available on a MicroSD card for closed countries. We want to thank each one of you who prayed. We also want to thank the many young interns who worked tirelessly on this project during their summers.
RUNNING WITH HORSES
We will celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Mission Centre next year! The celebration will take the form of a three-day missions conference called Running With Horses and will be held in Pretoria, South Africa. The dates are July 23-25, 2019.
Shirley and I are planning to take a delegation from the USA to the conference in South Africa.
Please join us! Contact us and we will gladly send you more information and an invitation.
Find out more about the conference at www.runningwithhorses.org
PARTNER WITH US (pray • give • go)
- God blessed us with a few amazing office team members in 2018! We are also praying that God will add a few more skilled video and graphic artists in 2019 as we continue to restructure our USA office to better serve the organization as a whole.
- Please pray for an increase in the monthly support of the organization and staff members so that we can focus on the task at hand.
- Pray for the leadership of the organization. For the leaders’ protection, as well as the protection of their families as they travel around the world.
- Pray for team members to join the teams of our regional leaders.
- We are a faith-based non-profit 501C(3) organization. Go to https://worldmissioncentre.com/getinvolved/#donate if would like to partner with us financially through a contribution to the work of the ministry.
Go: Outreach Opportunities:
- INDIA: (February 3-12, 2019) If you would like to be a part of what we do, we have a great trip planned to India for February. For more information about this trip contact Dick Teed at email@example.com
SOUTH AFRICA – Running With Horses Conference (July 17 – 27, 2019) We are excited to invite you to the Running With Horses mission conference that will be hosted in Pretoria next year. Join speakers and delegates representing many countries around the world for a unique opportunity to hear what God is doing around the world. You will also connect with mission-minded pastors from across South Africa and the rest of the world.
We hope you and your families have a blessed Christmas! We are praying that God will reveal Himself to you in a new way in 2019. May you know beyond a doubt that He is God and that God is good.
With much love and wishing you a Blessed Christmas Season and a Happy New Year!
William & Shirley and the USA Office Team
Extol the Lord!
“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.” Psalm 117
I was reading this short psalm this morning and began to focus on the words extol Him. A search revealed that the phrase means “to praise enthusiastically, heap praise on, rave about, throw bouquets at, express delight, acclaim, etc.”
As we come to the end of an eventful year, we too can say “Extol the Lord!” for He has done so much. All the glory belongs to Him. He alone is worthy of our praise and worship.
Would you take a few minutes before reading the rest of this letter and enthusiastically heap praises on Him? Throw praise on Him as if it were bouquets of flowers, and express your delight in Him.
As we approach Christmas, we remember His faithfulness and love toward us. We celebrate that Christ came to earth to pay our debt and eternally reconcile us to the Father! This love and reconciliation is extending to the nations of the world where He is working powerfully to bring millions unto himself.
As we look toward 2019, we are keenly aware that the Lord can and will do more than we could ever dream. With great expectation, we look forward to see what He will do in your life and our lives, families, countries, and the world. Let’s commit to work with Him and make 2019 the greatest year ever in the Kingdom.
Allow me and Lydia to wish you and yours a wonderful Jesus-filled Christmas and a happy New Year!
With much love and gratitude,
Willie & Lydia
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
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!
Ferver for the Lord in Burundi
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in East Africa and the Horn has been accosted with political upheavals that threaten security and safety of its citizen, yet is also one of the countries with the most loving and warm-hearted citizens.
As Live School, we started with the mission here through a Facilitators Training that took place in the mountain countryside of Gatabo after a Facilitators Training that was hosted by the Africa Gospel Churches (AGC) of Burundi.
Although French is the official language, most people speak Kirundi which is the native language spoken all across the country. This greatly influenced the operation of the Live School besides other structural issues that affected the Schools in Bujumbura in Gatabo.
Through their different challenges, the School in Bujumbura gladly graduated its first class of 11 students on the 27th of October at a ceremony that took place in one of the AGC churches in Bujumbura.
Their journey was not without incidence having moved venues about four times and some of the trainees were chased away by a machete wielding man during one of their practical outreaches into the mountains where they had gone to witness.
Their fervor for the Lord could not be quenched and on the training were key leaders of AGC who collectively facilitated the classes and faithfully attended all the sessions. We had the graduation divided into two beginning in the morning with the three leaders with their leaders in a separate venue before joining the rest of the student body at the church for the a celebration service and the Commissioning of the graduating class.
These men had the vision and dream to see the Live School cross the border into Kivu, a province on the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, while continuing to raise labourers for the harvest.
My time in Burundi stretched my faith. I met with a young man with a burning passion for the youth of his country inviting us to set up a Mission School parallel to what we are currently doing in Nairobi. I am seeking God to grant me the wisdom and strategy to faithfully execute what He has called us for in Burundi and to this end I covet your prayers.
Much thanks to the churches as well as every friend and partner who faithfully stands with us through our work. Lastly, to a group of boys and girls from the Catalysts in Davidson County College whose passion and love for God as well as the will to serve have made a huge difference in Burundi and the rest of our work.
Fruitful Trip to Guyana
God promised to lead us and He does! We were so uncertain about going on our trip to Guyana as the hurricane was going to hit home, as we leave for the airport. We asked God to open or close doors as He knew best, and He did. More on that later.
Once again, I’d like to start this newsletter with a tribute. Pastor Glen Anderson passed away on October 9. I met Ps Glen about 17 years ago in Madagascar of all places. We were busy mobilizing churches there to plant churches all over the island and he came as a speaker in a conference of over 4,000 leaders. He always spoke powerfully and passionately. When we moved to Columbia, we looked him up and he very quickly drew us into his world. He is the person who connected us with the majority of churches I have contact with. He also regularly invited us to his Myrtle Beach pastors retreat. At these meetings he would just leave the agenda in the Holy Spirit’s hands and often the outcome was life changing for us and others. He loved to worship God, he loved God’s word and he loved God! We will miss him. His legacy remains. Our condolences to Ms Becky and the family.
So, God left all the doors open and we made it to Guyana! Driving the first 45 minutes in the dark with pounding rain and wind was gnarly, but Chuck did a great job. By the time we were supposed to take off in Charlotte, the storm was there and we took off in the middle of it. Once again, God’s hand was with us and we only experienced a few bumps for about 10 minutes and then everything was fine. It was such a lesson in hearing God.
We can see why He wanted us to be in Guyana. I can truly say that, after traveling there for 10 years, this was one of the most fruitful trips. It was the 7th year that the Vreed en Hoop Wesleyan church hosted this conference.
God spoke clearly about the fact that it was time for Guyana and other Caribbean nations to send missionaries to other nations. Many stood and committed their lives to go, should God send them. We had tremendous favor around the vision of making sure that every village in Guyana has a church.
By the time we arrived, Alex had already researched 195 of the 802 villages.
My biggest concern in this process is the 200 villages in the interior, of which we had information on only 1. By the end of the conference, we had the information on another 22, plus a lady who does research committed to get the info on another 55 villages!
Over and above that, many other brought us info on the coastal villages. I would estimate, that this conference will result in at least 100 villages’ information. An additional spin off was that as many as 4 churches showed interest in starting Live School. One of them may be run by a Haitian living in Suriname! God willing, Chuck will go back in January to train facilitators. Another blessing was getting to know Alex better. The Lord truly sent him our way and he has already been a tremendous help.
We are so aware of God’s grace, mercy and favor as we stop and look around us. Our desire is that God will use us to share His love, his salvation and His purpose with others.
We know that many prayed for us the last few days, especially as we had to travel through the storm. God bless you for that, He used you in a real and effective way to partner with us.
Journey through Kenya (Summer 2018)
Over 26 years ago, we established a research department at World Mission Centre to find out where the unreached people groups of Southern Africa were located. We researched all the countries in Southern Africa, including those that crossed the equator. At the end of our research, we published a book called “The 100 Least Reached People Groups of Southern Africa: It Can Be Done” in 1997. We dreamed of a day when a church would be established in every one of the unreached groups.
At the Global Consultation on World Evangelization in 1997 (GCOWE ’97), we gave a copy of this book to each of the 400 local South African church pastors who attended. We asked them to commit to forming groups of churches – called HUBS – and together work to reach an unreached people group in a given country.
The Harvest Church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa took on the challenge to gather a group of South African churches and reach one of the unreached tribe in Kenya. So many wonderful things have happened in the ensuing years that we eventually felt it was time to go on an extended trip to document some of the stories. We wanted to tell the stories of heroic men and women who have witnessed to many people, planted churches, and used Live School to train believers in reaching more unreached tribes with the good news.
Just a few weeks ago, we completed an epic journey of 18 days, recording the story of how unreached/least reached people groups in Kenya were reached through the efforts of a group of churches, led by Harvest Church, and World Mission Centre’s Project Focus. We wanted to witness first-hand the impact that the gospel had made in these areas and how Live School had been used in that process.
Nothing could have prepared me for what we saw. People from many of these once unreached people groups are hearing and accepting the gospel, churches are being planted, communities empowered, and Live Schools are being established to train members of these tribes to reach out to their own and surrounding peoples. All I can say is: TO GOD BE THE GLORY! It is an amazing story.
Early in August seven of us met in Nairobi to start the “Kenya: Tell the Story” trip. Myself, the video crew, led by William, who came from the USA, Paul Achilles, the World Mission team leader for East Africa and Pastor John Scholtz, former senior pastor of Harvest Church in Port Elizabeth, and Alfons Wessels, who worked tirelessly with his wife Adri for 13 years in some of the most remote parts of Kenya formed the team.
We first headed north toward the Ethiopian border. Along the way, in Isiolo, we met with a whole group of missionaries who were trained in a Live School run by our longtime partners, Livingstone Mission. To my surprise we found that a fourth generation of Live School is now being trained there. Among those trained, one couple has planted a church within the Samburu people, and they are now training and discipling the new believers using Live School. They are about to start a second school in a church they planted about 30km to the west.
From here, we drove further north to LogLogo where we met a Live School graduate who planted a church in an arid part of Kenya. Real desert! He had connected with a partner organization that helped to drill for water that eventually transformed the desert community. His ministry supplies water to the local school and started a vegetable garden project where 36 families are allowed to plant their veggies. The families are able to sell the produce they do not eat. They have also formed a partnership with an organization and started a pre-school that has over 200 children attending.
One of their biggest projects is planting Moringa trees. The leaves of these trees are cooked in the same way as spinach, and it tastes good! Moringa is known to have incredible value in combating malnutrition. The local clinic reported that the village children who were once the most malnourished are now among the healthiest in the area because their diet has included these leaves.
We then journeyed into the harsh and mostly dry hinterland of beautiful Kenya where nomadic people live. Their greatest assets are their livestock. It’s said that they value their livestock more than their health and family. Here we met with some amazing women and men who are reaching out to some of the most difficult to reach people in the country.
One of the local pastors is now running his second Live School intake. There is a total of 35 students between those who have graduated and those currently in the training.
Live School missionaries
All of these students were sent to five outreach points in the north for the whole month of August. To date, they have planted 11 churches in those areas. Their missional efforts also spilled over the border into Ethiopia.
Hinterland of Kenya
Driving back down south from the Ethiopian border, through the Chalbi Desert, was not without incident, but our able men sorted it out quickly. This part of our journey took us through parts of the country where the Rendille, Turkana, Samburu, Gabra, Borana, Gare and Burji tribes live.
We eventually turned eastward toward Garissa, Garsen and onto the Indian Ocean coastline.
It was absolutely amazing to meet with Live School graduates and students along this road who are planting churches and transforming their communities around them.
Among the many incredible experiences, I had the immense privilege of meeting up with a veteran missionary from Tanzania whom we trained back in 2000 as part of Project Focus (reaching the 100 least reached people groups of southern Africa).
After his training at a Project Focus School in Tanzania, we sent him on a six-month short-term mission trip to an unreached tribe in Northern Kenya. He never moved back home, but instead brought his wife and children to minister with him among the tribe. He is an amazing example of a faithful servant of the Lord. We witnessed first-hand how even the people he works among who follow a different religion still love and respect him. I suppose only eternity will tell the full story of how men like him have impacted the Kingdom.
On the third leg of our trip, we had the privilege of graduating eight Live School students in a rural part of Kenya where persecution of Christians is still a reality today. Seven of the graduates are pastors of churches, and they told us how Live School changed their lives and invigorated their churches. Thank you, Lord!
After the graduation, we drove along a dangerous road where Al Shabaab terrorist activity is often reported. We thank the Lord for His protection and for the many who were standing with us in prayer and intercession. A few hours later we have arrived at the Indian Ocean coastline. Here we would start the fourth and last leg of our journey.
Visiting these brave people along the coast who are spreading the gospel in hostile areas has almost reduced me to tears. They need our prayers and encouragement every day.
Missionary trained through Project Focus
Graduation in rural Kenya
I spent the last two days in Kenya with our East Africa regional team leader, Paul Achilles, and his team at his home in Nairobi. They are an amazing, mature group of women and men, sold out to the purposes of God.
(Unique in the photo below: these five guys come from different countries, namely, Eastern DRC Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi and South Africa. Amazing to how the Lord has brought four of them together to roll-out Live School in the region.
After witnessing all of this, I can say: “The 100 least reached people groups of southern Africa – they are being reached!”
Thank you, Jesus, for you are certainly doing this.
Thank you to everyone who journeyed with and prayed for us for the last three weeks. It was wonderful to finally return home to my sweetie, Lydia.
Cuba is ready for The Word
God is faithful! He has heard your and our prayers for my trip to Cuba. Thank you so much for praying. Just a few highlights.
There was a moment when I thought I was not going to get into the country. I could not get the right visa in time and the officials gave me a hard time. But this is where I could see God at work, as no person could stop what He had ordained.
Our two coordinators traveled 14 and 18 hours, by bus, to meet me and to be part of the presentations. Their commitment and zeal was truly humbling. Praise God they got there safely and returned home safely again.
We had 2 meetings with about 30 leaders in total. Live School was well received. One meeting was with a Cuban organization who trains church members in the areas of family, leadership, counseling, intimacy with God, etc. I was not sure what we could offer them but presented Live School to them anyways. When we were done, they said this, “Our vision is to send Cubans to [a Muslim country in South East Asia] but we were not sure how to train our people. We attended a conference with around 200 mission organizations and asked for help, but no one responded. Live School is an answer to our prayers.” That blew my mind! Their leader is actually going to South East Asia later this year, to start paving the way for them to send Cubans!
I was blessed once again by two of our Cuban Live School coordinators, Marlen & Felix. They are so diligent and hard working. One day, in conversation, it came out that Felix, who is 50 years old, has never eaten an apple. He has never had the opportunity! It spoke volumes of what the economic realities are in the country. God willing, Felix will return to this area in November to train facilitators for roughly 11 Live Schools. What a blessing to have local believers able to do what we do, and more!
Felix, helping to present Live School. Note the condition of the building where this church worships.
I had the opportunity to visit Fidel Castro’s grave.
Once again, thank you for praying. The soil is fertile in Cuba and I have an urgency to “sow” there. God willing, we’ll head to another province in January to introduce Live School.
Matthew 9:38 Around the World
There is no doubt that the prayer request of Jesus in Matthew 9:38 is being answered in our day. Around the world, committed believers are eager to be disciplined and trained to gather in the great end-time harvest. They reach the lost, plant churches, do acts of kindness, and so much more. This is certainly the time for all of us to be prepared and willing to do whatever the Lord asks of us for His kingdom.
Allow us to share a few highlights from our journeys these last few weeks.
with pastors, Lawrence and Nina Khong in Singapore
Lydia and I had the privilege to be a part of the FCBC Annual Mission Conference in Singapore. What a joy to connect with our dear friends, Pastor Lawrence and Nina Khong as well as the dynamic FCBC team and members.
The Live School Retreat in Hwange, Zimbabwe was a great blessing to me and Isaac. It was a blessing to see my dear friend, Pastor Simon Mukolo, and to meet the facilitators who have run Live Schools under difficult circumstances in the past few years. Pastor Simon started over 400 churches in his lifetime!
My heart breaks as I see the devastating poverty that the economy of Zimbabwe has brought upon rural churches.
Out of the 15 Live Schools that will start in the next few months, 14 are in need of solar power and 12 Volt television sets. Please pray about being a part of providing one of these sets to a church in great need.
A few weeks after we left the retreat, I received the sad news that Pastor Simon has gone to be with the Lord. This is a huge loss on earth and a great gain in Heaven.
Live School facilitators we trained in Hwange, Zimbabwe.
It was such a blessing to attend the Live School graduation at the Living Hope Centre in Fishhoek, Cape Town. The facilitators of the school, Gerhard and Hanalize, did an outstanding job.
It was a privilege to meet and spend a few moments with Pastor John Thomas who, until recently, was the senior pastor of the King of Kings Baptist Church in Fishhoek.
The Living Hope Centre is a ministry of the King of Kings Baptist Church, formally called the Fishhoek Baptist Church, which my grandfather, Dr. JHP Steyn started many many years ago.
God is SO GOOD!!
Students graduating from Live School at the Living Hope Centre.
Expanding the Work in Namibia
I was privileged to speak at a local church’s mission conference in Namibia as well as meet with a number of other local church pastors.
Sixteen of the pastors indicated that they want to start Live School in their churches soon! We will be training their facilitators in the next few weeks.
As I got off the plane in Windhoek, I could sense that the Lord wants to do a new thing in this beautiful country. During four days of ministry, various people from different walks of life confirmed this. Please pray that the Namibian church would be ready and willing to receive all that the Lord has in store for them.
A team of twelve people joined us on another epic journey to India. There is not enough time to write all that the Lord did in the two weeks that we were there, training Live School facilitators and encouraging local pastors.
We visited three different cities in northern India and trained over 200 facilitators who will run 142 Live Schools! When we got there, 95 of the facilitators came with the names of 1,583 students who will join the various schools. Amazing to see the names of so many new gospel workers in India! THANK YOU, LORD JESUS!!!
with pastors, Lawrence and Nina Khong in Singapore
Chip and Kathy returned to West Africa after Chip’s medical emergency back in November. So many of you prayed fervently for him and the Lord completely healed him. Thank you, Lord! Now, Chip is right back in West Africa continuing in the work that the enemy tried to stop.
The West Africa team is “on fire” – we moved another 210 units to the region in the first five months of this year and school facilitators are being trained as we speak.
Freddie Steenkamp and a team have just returned from Siberia where they started the 80th Live School! More details will follow as we get the information.
Pastor Freddie preaching in Russia
Live School facilitators trained in Siberia
South African Office
We are excited to announce that our WMC South Africa office has officially moved from Cape Town to Centurion!
The WMC South Africa office will be overseen by Henkie and Nerina Maritz and run by Casper. A big thanks to all of you who have shown such patience to us as we have made this administrative transition.
Lydia and I will continue to run the WMC International office in Paarl, Cape Town.
Allow us to thank you for your tremendous support in prayer and finances. In doing so, you are a part of a great symphony of volunteers reaching many who have not yet heard or responded to the message of Jesus Christ.
Willie & Lydia Crew
Road of Faith
We hope that you are doing well. Here in the States it is a “new year” as the new school year started last week. Life is “back to normal” again. We have so much to share.
Firstly, just to wrap up the South Africa trip, Chloe is 100% well and praise God for that. Other great news is that the insurance refunded us what we paid to change our tickets when Chloe was not well enough to travel back. It was a lot of money and we thank God for providing in this way. We are waiting to hear from another insurance company concerning medical expenses we claimed. All we can say is that God’s grace has been sufficient for us through all of that. A special “thank you” to Ebony, Ron, Lorraine, Corne & Mari who were so supportive with the practical challenges during this time.
While still in South Africa I started working on my next trip, to Cuba. God willing, I leave on Monday to a new province in Cuba. We plan to meet with key church leaders who are the oversight of around 30 churches. Our goal is to introduce Live School to them. The plan is that one of our Cuba brothers will return to train facilitators. Please can I ask that you pray for us on this trip. For God’s protection, favor and good fruit on the trip. I’m also working on trips to Guyana and North Africa and would appreciate your prayers.
I’d like to share a spontaneous message one of our Cuba coordinators sent me. He wrote, “One more thing, every time when I visit any school they always want to express their gratitude for learning a lot about the Bible. Believe me, a bunch of pastors didn’t know even the half they have learnt since the got these devices. And weep and ask forgiveness from God because they were preaching a “Half Gospel.” I give thanks to God for being a tool in His hands. I want to keep on being useful in this work. Thank you brother.”
All is well with the family. Lere is working hard and getting more and more focused on the barn. (Read more about that below) She felt the Lord challenging her to make changes to the way she operates. Tayla moved into a little house with 2 other girls. It is walking distance from the University of South Carolina where she is now majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Celine started her matric year and university applications. She got a part time job and is playing tennis for her school team again. Chloe is very happy with her teachers and started her last year of middle school, 8th grade. She was very excited about the fact that her braces came off the day before school started. We are very blessed by our children and continue to pray and trust that they will serve God all the days of their lives. Also that He would use them to impact many lives for His sake.
God has us on an amazing road of faith, where we are being stretched way beyond where we are comfortable. I think the bible is quite clear that He does this and is pleased by our faith. Please pray and trust with us for God’s continued blessing, favor and provision.
Thanks again for all your prayers, especially when Chloe and Tayla fell ill. God bless you and keep you.
Eddie and Lere and kids