Person of Peace - part 2

June 16 2015

One day, Samita went from her village to the market in town to buy food. She met Saroz, a young woman she knew, and talked about what she and her husband were doing. When Saroz heard about Jesus, she exclaimed, “You must have your husband call me and tell me more!” Samita called Anil right away, and Anil promised to visit Saroz later that same day.

Anil visited Saroz in the home where she lived with her parents, her brother and sister-in-law, and their children. Saroz listened eagerly to all that Anil told her, and she believed in Jesus. Anil discipled Saroz, and seeing her commitment and obedience to make disciples, invited her to become a church planter. She joyfully accepted and regularly shared the Good News with her family. Within a short time, all eight people in her home believed in Jesus Christ and formed a new house church. Saroz also went to her uncle’s home and led him and three others to the Lord. She then began training them in the same way that Anil was training her.

After a few months, Saroz’s sister came to visit from her village some 15 kilometers away. When Saroz told her sister about Jesus, her sister pleaded, “Please come and tell my husband and family about this!”

Saroz went to her sister’s home a few days later, accompanied by Anil. They shared the Gospel and five people confessed their faith in Jesus Christ, and another house church began in the sister’s home.

Saroz still closes the door and shutters when her house church gathers for worship in order not to disturb the neighbors. However, she is not afraid to share her faith and consistently tells her friends the Good News about Jesus.

Tags: india, person of peace, make disciples, house church, multiplication,

What Might Happen? - Plan

April 16 2015

Plan.

I love it when a plan comes together, especially when it is God’s plan. On March 15, 2014, the plan was in place, and Pastors Willy and Vicky moved from Tarlac City to Tacloban City. By car, this is a more than 24-hour move. Their plan was to distribute roofing sheets to people who lost their roofs during the typhoon. This would give them an opportunity for connection to the community.

In the first two months they had distributed sheets to 44 homes in one area and 22 in another. They requested the roofs be painted red so you can see which houses were given new roofs. The picture gives a view from the top with several homes “seeing red.” The best part of the ministry is the relationships built with people who have started attending house churches as new believers. In two months they already had two worshiping groups meeting weekly with more than 50 total in attendance.

The people of the Philippines are such giving people, despite what little they may have. If you are visiting, they will prepare a meal or an afternoon merienda (snack) from what little they have. Many of the locals lost their families. Parents lost all their children, children lost all of their family – 26 people were lost in one family alone.

A woman survived with all eight of her children by clinging to trees while the storm surge hit. By God’s miraculous grace they all survived. This is not the case for many as more than 6,000 people lost their lives in Typhoon Yolanda. The area was devastated, yet the people still show love and hope.

Pastors Willy and Vicky have committed to stay three years to help those in need and build up leaders in the church. They live sacrificially and have a true heart for glorifying God in their daily lives. They yearn to do more for the families of Tacloban City.

To be continued…

Tags: god's plan, philippines, typhoon, relief, restoration, house church, worshiping groups, grace,

Vision for South Pacific

May 17 2013

Vision for South Pacific

OMS is blessed with wonderful partners around the world who have been planting churches for a long time. It has been my privilege to work this week with our partner in the islands of the South Pacific. 

Our agenda is to pave the way for traditional churches that meet in church buildings and have seminary trained pastors to plant simple, multiplying churches that meet in homes and are led by bi-vocational pastors who, as life long learners, receive on the job training.  Sounds daunting doesn't it?

But the joy and the passion of these pastors to empower their members to do great things for God is very encouraging. They have cleared the way for bi-vocational leaders to be authorized to baptize and serve the Lord's Supper: a very big deal in Asia. They greatly appreciate OMS' help in providing Train and Multiply training. And there have been some breakthroughs lately in places where the traditional religion has held sway for years. 

I leave here with a great appreciation for the deep love that national church leaders have for OMS and OMS leaders have for them. And I have every confidence that in the South Pacific as in the Caribbean, traditional churches who love the lost can empower their members to multiply disciples, leaders and churches, even in the face of oppressive social pressures. It's ahoy to partner with these dear brothers and sisters!

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church multiplication, church planting, house churchtrain and multiply

Caribbean Stories

February 6 2013

Caribbean Stories

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

On my recent ministry trip to the Caribbean I was accompanied by five Canadian couples. What a blessing it was to have them be a part of the team to encourage and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ! One of the couples gave me a sum of money to give where “I saw a need or where someone could be blessed.”

During our trip we were having dinner with a pastor and his wife. They were in town due to the pastor’s health. He is diabetic and is losing his vision. During our conversation we were discussing Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. The pastor’s wife mentioned that years ago their family had a Christmas tree, but in recent years no trees or nativity scenes were permitted. Now, they wanted a tree for their children but could not afford one. I "saw a need” and felt led to give them some of the money to purchase a tree.  I cannot express the emotion they showed that evening.

The following day we were speaking to a pastor from another town who was giving us an update on his wife’s health. We have been praying for her. She has a broken jaw caused by lack of calcium and is being fed by a feeding tube. The doctor told them, "Until you get a floor in your home, your wife should not be living there because of her health and the danger of falling.” They only had a dirt floor, with some cement. They estimated what it would cost to replace the cement and dirt floor with some tile.  It came to almost the exact amount I had left to be given “where someone could be blessed.”  God is good! They will soon live in their home with a tile floor.     -Willie

Before I knew Christ, I was a very violent person, given to drugs and excessive drinking. I thank God that I met Jesus and accepted Him into my life. My desire is now to live for Him. The training sessions have been a great blessing and teaching for my life and have revolutionized my life. The day after I accepted Christ, I opened my house up for worship services and since then many more have opened their homes.     -Pablo

A young woman in the eastern part of the country was very involved in her work. One day, at five in the afternoon, someone came to her door and shared Jesus. She gave her heart to the Lord that day. She has been attending the local church but had not become involved in the training to plant churches. She attended a workshop last week, and it was reported that she had already brought 11 people to the church. Since the training classes, she has six new believers that have given their hearts to Christ. She is beginning a new house church next week.     -Allison

These are some examples about how God provides through His people as they obey the call to GO, GIVE and PRAY. Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

 

Tags: God's provision, house church, life change, trainingtransformed

A Family Transformed

December 24 2012

A Family Transformed

Venu is just 21 years old, but he has recently begun serving as an ECC volunteer. He is helping his father who, though previously a drunkard and a worshiper of idols, is now a member of our ECC team. In the last few months, they have helped start nine evangelistic Bible studies, eight discipleship groups and nine house churches in several villages. There are also 24 laypeople who have also begun training to participate in the Train & Multiply ministry. 

Venu’s family was transformed by Christ eight years ago, and they have embraced the ministry of ECC, equipping lay people to become pastoral workers. A house church of 40-50 people regularly meets in their home. Despite significant financial needs, the family is faithfully serving God. Their legacy will probably go unnoticed according to the standards of this world, but in the service of Jesus, Venu and his family will be rewarded for their faithful obedience!

A FAMILY SERVING THE LORD 

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church multiplication, house churchfaith multiplied

A Devoted Church Planter

December 21 2012

A Devoted Church Planter

Pastor D. is a church planter who was brought by a friend to the Church Multiplication Workshop.  Impressed by what he learned, he returned to his country and began to implement the plan he had formulated during the workshop.  

Ten months later, using the principles and strategies of church multiplication, he had eight house churches in operation.  Then one Sunday, radicals from another religious group attacked four of the churches, killing several, including Pastor D’s brother.  

Later the same day, when his aged mother heard the news, her heart was broken and she died.    Even later that day his father followed his dear wife and son to heaven.  Despite these developments, Pastor D., discouraged and downcast, returned to the next installment of the workshops.  

Once again he heard the voice of the Spirit speaking a fresh challenge to his heart.  During the finishing exercises, the participants were asked to submit fresh training goals for the following three months.  

Pastor D’s goals read: “In the next three months I will initiate the training of six new house church leaders, (and) begin nine new churches plus two in the outer villages.”  With fresh vision and fresh resolve he returned to his country and resumed his church planting ministry. 

Three months later, I returned to our training location and inquired of Pastor D’s overseer regarding his progress.  The answer came: “He is doing well.  He is already training seven new house leaders.”

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church planting, church multiplication, house churchtraining