Witch Doctor - Haiti

July 22 2015

While doing evangelism, we met a young lady, the daughter of a witch doctor. She heard our message and introduced us to her father who listened to the Gospel, but would not accept Christ.

A month later, this man went over the other side of the mountain to sell a cow. On his trip back home, he was attacked and beheaded. The police are not nearby, so his wife and children took his body and buried it.

Five days after his death, it was learned that his attackers had been paid to murder him. This realization precipitated a string of revenge killings in which three people lost their lives.

The road where the murder occurred is the route also used by the people of Augarde to access the school and market in town. Residents of the village below use the road to reach their farms on the hillsides and church in the mountains. As a result of the three revenge murders, three children were also killed on the route to school.

This on-going violence brought a halt to the regular rhythm of life, as people could not make their trips to school, market and church. Christians began to pray, and as the prayer intensified, the tension began to diminish. Residents of the area attributed the obvious change to the prayers of God’s people.

The witch doctor’s second daughter is now also a believer and his wife is attending church weekly. She has not committed her life to Christ, but has asked for prayer and stated that at some point she will become a follower of Jesus. Since this crisis and the subsequent prayer, there has been an increased openness to the Gospel.

Tags: witch doctor, prayer, transformation

T&M Training in India

June 23 2015

One of the final year students, Akanksha Samuel, was always attentive and offered feedback during learning tasks. She was very creative in doing a T&M “Good News” demo about love to the large group with another female student. On the last day we were to practice Enrolling a Pastoral Worker and needed someone to practice with. Akansha easily handled the material and process with T&M booklet “Pastoral Worker Training and You.”

After the demo, she made this statement, “Tomorrow is my birthday and the Train & Multiply training has been the greatest gift I have received from God.”

Please pray for Akansha to finish her studies well and to see how God uses the training to impact others.

Tags: train and multiply; india; great gift;,

Training the Ready

June 18 2015

A pastor in the south has been working in some of the islands in SE Asia. His initial training was in 2013. He has been working with uneducated peoples but with considerable success. During this visit, A. conducted T&M training in this province for 27 students. Most were from his church and about 20 were native to that area. A. taught for four hours without a break because the students did not want him to stop! The pastor estimates that perhaps ten worshiping groups will be born from this first generation.

Tags: pastoral training, new churches, multiplication

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,

Person of Peace - part 1

June 11 2015

Anil is an ECC trainer in northern India. Shortly after Anil married Samita, they were returning home by train from a worship service in another town. Sitting in a crowded compartment together, Anil was advising Samita on the proper way to sing worship songs. Although Anil was singing softly, a man sitting close to them said, “What is that you are singing? It is beautiful!” Immediately, Anil saw an opportunity to share the Gospel. He told the man about Jesus, and then he and Samita sang several Hindi praise songs.

The man asked, “Where do you live?” When Anil told him, the man exclaimed, “That is only a few kilometers from my home. You must come and tell us more about Jesus!” They exchanged phone numbers and Anil promised to visit.

The next day was Monday, the usual day of rest for ECC workers, and Anil and Samita were enjoying the day at home. Anil’s cell phone rang. It was the man from the train. “Where are you?” he asked. “We are all here waiting for you.” Anil apologized and promised to visit the next day.

On Tuesday, Anil and Samita walked to the man’s village. He was waiting for them on the road to escort them to his home. As they passed an old woman sitting by the road, the man told her, “Auntie, come to my home. You must hear this.” As the group was about to enter the house, the man saw several men working in a nearby field. He walked over to them and said, “Stop what you are doing and come to my house. These people have something you need to hear!”

For the next few hours, Anil and Samita shared the Gospel through word and song. The man and his family all believed in Jesus Christ and formed the nucleus of a new house church.

Tags: india, worship, salvation,

Korean Transformation

June 9 2015

V is one of the many migrant workers who moved to South Korea looking for better job opportunities. He and his wife were optimistic until V began spending all of the money he earned drinking at local bars.

One Sunday, V heard David Jun of Friends of All Nations (a partner ministry of One Mission Society) preach. After the service, V talked to David about his situation. He told David that his wife was at home crying, and he needed help. David told him that he needed Jesus.

V was skeptical of Christianity at first. He was nervous that he would lose the friends he had made at work if he followed Jesus. A while later, V came to the Friends of All Nations center and told David that, in a dream, God had told him to not worry about his friends. That day, V accepted Christ as his Savior. His wife soon became a believer as well. V and his wife served with Friends of All Nations for several years and continually brought people to the center. Today, he is a missionary in his home country. God is good!

Tags: friends of all nations, salvation,

Akhi’s Story

June 4 2015

My name is Akhi, and I am a pastor’s wife. One day my husband and I attended an engagement party of one of the Christian young men we knew. While at the party, we discovered that the Christian man was marrying a Hindu girl. We were very concerned, knowing what the Bible says about being unequally yoked with a non-believer.

My husband and I had no choice but to go this young man and explain that he shouldn’t get married until his future wife became a Christian. I offered to meet with this young lady for Bible study and asked her to invite any of her Hindu friends that she would like.

At first I shared with them the story of Noah. This young woman was open to the Gospel and responded immediately to Christ, acknowledging Him as her Savior. We continued to meet on a weekly basis, and as a result of meeting with this Hindu girl and her friends, twenty-two family members became Christians! The young couple ended up getting married and have established a beautiful Christian home. But the blessings didn’t stop there - another outcome was that the parents of the Hindu girl even got married! Although they had lived together for years and years, they had never felt the need to be officially married until they met the Savior.

Tags: hindu, noah, christ,

Asia Training

June 1 2015

“Our homes are often ransacked, and our Bibles are confiscated; then they have Bible burnings, building huge bonfires in the community. Sometimes they also light fires outside our churches to scare and intimidate us.” The young lady spoke in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

I was in a country in Asia training people to evangelize, make disciples, and form new churches - any of which could mean severe retaliation and serious persecution if they are caught. I looked at the young woman with respect, admiration, and compassion; but as a valiant soldier of the cross, she wasn’t looking for any of those responses from me.

She knows the risks of practicing her faith and obeying God’s command to be His witness. I thought to myself, “She is very young. She has her whole life before her. She could be living for herself and desiring a peaceful future without danger, but instead, she has come to be trained.”

She and dozens more came to be trained. They had made the decision to follow Jesus, regardless of the possible cost to their lives. They are not choosing to live safely or to walk an easy path. They are choosing to live obediently.

It was humbling to meet these brave ones. I felt a heavy weight of responsibility as I equipped them to undertake ministry that could cost them their lives. However, I know that the Gospel has always been spread through the shedding of blood. For generations, we have had it easy in the United States. I wonder how many of us would follow suit. II Timothy 3:12 also states, “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

As we see our religious rights disappearing, perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves this question.

Tags: asia, training, witness, peace,

Young Adults are Our Future

May 27 2015

The future growth in the Philippines will come from the tremendous group of college-age young people God is raising up. We saw their enthusiasm and potential when we visited the Don Mariano Marcos State University in La Union.

We met the Dagupan team at the National Lay Leaders' Training in Baguio (more than half of the lay leaders were from this age group), and at the Banaba House Ministry retreat for 17 young people, primarily children of ECC workers and pastors.

These young adults are catching the vision of church multiplication through T&M training and desire to spread the Gospel throughout the Philippines and elsewhere. They come to the training events and return home excited and ready to apply what they learned. They are starting groups on their campuses and in their communities.

One young lady attended the training in La Union. She committed to start a group with two friends on campus. She started with nine! The group has now grown to 20 members. She is training three leaders in order to divide the group so that it may continue to grow. The members lead worship teams and are involved in children’s and youth ministries in their local churches.

We believe that many of these young people will be the future T&M trainers in the regional training centers, and the church planters and pastors needed for the developing house churches.

Tags: philippines, young people, retreat, ecc, t&m, worshiping groups, training, multiplication,

Miracles Happen

May 21 2015

When we arrived at El Progreso Prison, we were met by the warden and a member of the Honduran Judiciary. She welcomed us and was very familiar with our local volunteers, Lilian and Annabella.

Lillian and Annabella were members of our classes for T&M Levels One and Two. The inmates were gathering in the Chapel to worship with us. We met with and had an opportunity to hear from the “Hijos de Paz.” These four men were on fire for God. Along with Lilian and Annabella, the attendance at the Bible studies was approaching 85 to 90 individuals and growing each week.

The service lasted for one-and-a-half hours as they expressed their thanks to God for providing a way of learning and coming to know Him. They related this to the lessons they had been studying; with many references to the first study, the story of Noah. They drew comparisons to the world in the days of Noah and how they were products of the present evil world. They spoke of the ark as a symbol of Jesus, and that just as the ark had saved and preserved the lives of Noah and his family, Jesus through His death on the cross had paid for their sins and lifted them up and preserved their lives for eternity.

We could truly see that God is directing what is happening, and that with the obedience the volunteers demonstrate, the program will continue growing.

We also learned that great things are happening outside the prison. The program has started in several neighborhoods and people are very interested in continuing the lessons. We heard about one man identified in the neighborhood mapping of Level One as a possible problem. The man had a drinking problem and mistreated his wife and children.

One of the volunteers stopped and spoke to the man one morning as he was sitting in front of his home. They discussed the lessons from Noah and lessons from the T&M booklets “Good News” and “Family Prayers.” He began to ask serious questions and after about two weeks, he invited his wife and one of his teenage daughters to join them as they discussed the material. The family noticed a change in the man, and soon they invited another daughter, and then a neighborhood friend to join them. This group which started almost reluctantly is now beginning to actively seek the Lord and His answers to their spiritual questions.

Tags: prison, honduras, t&m, noah, obedience, good news, family prayers, train & multiply,