Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Rwanda Fires

Pr-Air Force—

Next week Philip and I go to Boy Scout Winter Camp. We both like to play with the fire. Small consolation for sleeping in tents in the winter . . . but it helps. I especially like getting up in the morning and putting wood on the embers from the night before. Before long, a huge blaze is going. Existing embers + more wood = blazing fire.


We are working on this same concept in our ministry now. We will continue to lead short term mission teams to help light fires of church planting. But we also want to throw more wood (more resources) on the church planting fires already burning around the world.

Our new e3 Partners program raises funds in the US ($30/month) to provide EvangeCubes and other church planting resources for our national partners. In Rwanda we had the blessing of hearing how God is fanning many church planting fires with the resources provided by our e3 Partners. Some examples—

Sudan: in the midst of the horrible conditions caused by 20+ years of civil war, David Kaya reported that he had heard of 10 new churches being planted. Because of the difficult transportation and communication situation there, he knows there are many professions of faith and more churches planted, but he has to wait until he personally sees the trainers in order to get more reports.

Tanzania: Michael Omega reported that 1011 people were trained, and they saw 1764 people pray to receive Christ in the hour or so they practiced evangelism after the training. Also, 10 new churches were planted by 7 trainers.

Kenya: Joe Michael Kamau reported 1,400 trained with EvangeCubes, 235 trained in church planting, 2,525 professions of faith and 24 new churches planted.

Uganda: Moses Kaziba reported 390+ people trained with EvangeCube and church planting, 2000 professions of faith and 12 new churches.

Uganda: Joseph Oyuki reported 20 new churches planted through his network of EvangeCube trainers.

Rwanda: Robert Mutijima reported 40,000 professions of faith and 139 new churches planted.

Middle East: Our Middle East leader (name withheld for security reasons) reported that they had planted 36 new churches among Iraqi refugees in his country, and also 8 new churches among immigrants from another Middle East country.

Ethiopia: Yoseph Menna reported 7,213 professions of faith after the EvangeCube training events they hosted, plus 1,480 new churches planted. He admitted these numbers are partial, because he does not yet have reports from the northern part of the country, where communication is especially difficult.

Church planting fires are burning brightly in these countries! God is bringing glory to Himself as e3 Partners in the US are helping add fuel to these fires.


Thanks also for praying for the leadership conference in Kigali. 230 pastors and leaders from all of the 8 provinces of Rwanda attended. The training center was packed out. They had to bring in more seats to the front of the room because every square inch in back was maxed out.

A trainer always wonders “do they get it”? We always try to work in “laboratory” with “lecture” when we do training to make sure people “get it.” Usually we have church planting campaigns (laboratory) that follows our Leadership Conferences (lecture). Since we do not have a campaign immediately following this conference, we tried something new.

We did a church plant during the conference! Yep, God used this group to birth a new church! Here’s how it worked.

The first day everyone got an EvangeCube and learned how to use it. Then they went out to practice that afternoon. 109 people prayed to receive Christ! They were so happy. Hallelujah!

The second day we talked about the vision for church planting. One of the key ideas is about following up with new believers to begin discipling them. Not merely do more evangelism, but take steps to obey Christ’s command to “make disciples.” So that afternoon we sent the teams out again to go back to visit the new believers in their homes. Not only did they do that, but about 200 more family and friends accepted Christ! The group was ecstatic! Hallelujah!

Before the conference, our Rwanda coordinator recruited Pastor Emmanuel Rukundo and his nearby church to be the “mother” of this new work. They invited me to speak at their Sunday service. I challenged them to adopt these new spiritual babies as their own.

The new church has now had two meetings. 30 attended the first one, and 37 the second. I’ve challenged the pastor to recruit a team to personally visit as many of the new believers in their homes as possible to encourage more to actively follow Christ.


Thanks for praying for this trip, Pr-Air Force. God blessed us exceedingly abundantly. Please continue to pray that He will blow on the fires of church planting in these countries until they are totally out of control!

Have a blessed CHRISTmas.
Mike Jorgensen

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Plant a Church in a Week? It'll Never Last.

Pr-Air Force,

No, I’m not getting lazy . . . it’s just that Mike Congrove keeps writing great reports so fast that I can’t keep up with him! So here’s the latest from here in Kigali.

Please keep praying for us. We started this afternoon with our planning meetings. Please pray that God will give us wisdom, and continue the sweet unity He has given us so far.

Thanks for standing in the gap for us.

Mike Jorgensen

From: mike congrove
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 3:34 PM
To: Mike Jorgensen
Subject: The Church

This morning, I gave a testimony in a local church here in Kigali, Rwanda. Rwanda is called "The Country of a Thousand Hills" (at night when you can just see the lights of the houses, it looks like California with its hills and deep valleys). We went up the side of one of those hills this morning to be a part of a church service--a service that ran from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I couldn't help thinking of my fellow Baptists and if this was in the States. With their worship, however, time flew.

A pastor who attended our training invited us. Now, I want to share with you what I shared with the 200 Rwandans I stood in front of this morning, but first a brief detour.

There were 200 Rwandan adults at this church. We met in an open area under a tin roof. See pics, guess where? Yep, here.

If you won't click, imagine a very large carport.

Anyway, the pastor said they were running 200 adults and 140 children. And then the bombshell: This church was established by the Lord via GMF in June of THIS YEAR!

Can God plant a church in a week? Hellooooooooo.

So, my testimony time subject matter. This is good stuff, keep reading. This is what I shared, but I'll alter it a bit for you.

I surrendered to the ministry when I was 17, and at first I obeyed. But then I disobeyed and spent a few years in the wilderness, just like Israel. Even in the spiritual desert, God put Africa on my heart. And here, years later I stood in Africa fulfilling a dream.

After coming out of the wilderness, I prayed for God to show me what He wanted me to do.But someone else was praying for me too, Ali, my wife. For years, she prayed,

"that [I] would be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that [I would] walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience:" Colossians 1:9-11

So I attribute being here, seeing God work in more people, seeing a fulfillment in my life, and finding God's purpose for me, to a large extent, because of a wife who prays for me. And she's cute. What a deal!

I talked to the congregation about the power of praying scripture; it sure had a big impact on me. Several widows told me afterwards it touched their hearts as well.

We've begun our strategy and planning meetings. Please pray for wisdom, vision, and understanding.

I owe you the "Tomorrow you will die" story. I know, it's coming. I had an "I love my wife" moment that intervened. Also have a Sudan story for you. Our national leader from Sudan gave a heart wrenching report this afternoon.

Keep the faith,

Mike Congrove

Stop the Bus!

Thanks for praying for us, Pr-Air Force. God is doing some wonderful things here. I'll send a more complete report, but I thought you'd enjoy this praise report from Mike Congrove, our new staffer who's here with us.


Mike Jorgensen

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Congrove
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 12:13 AM
Subject: Stop the Bus!


That's how many pastors and leaders we trained in Kigali, Rwanda this week. When Curtis, Steve and Mike (see my blog for pics of these guys,
http://lettersfrompaphos.blogspot.com) trained these folks with the Evangecube, they made a few requests. One is to share Christ via the cube twice a week for a year.

230 x 2 = 460
460 x 52 = 23,920 gospel presentations in Rwanda for a year, just from the training.

Ah, but you won't have 100% participation you say, that number is bogus.

Uh-huh. Well, let me introduce you to Robert Mugabe. (His pic is here:
http://lettersfrompaphos.blogspot.com) Robert got on a bus last night to go to restaurant and he had his cube out. The folks asked him about it so much that finally the driver stopped the bus until he showed everyone the cube. He went through the gospel presentation and eight people accepted Christ.

When he arrived at his restaurant a woman from the bus saw him. She had the owner close the doors to the restaurant while he showed everyone the cube. Six more people accepted Jesus.

I may be way low on that 23k number because God's math is way different, and much better, than mine. Now in your Ronco voice, read this, "But wait, there's more."

Mike Jorgensen repeatedly challenged everyone to constantly disciple at least one person, if not a few. Let's stay conservative:

1st Generation: 230 disciples of the 230 conference attendees 2nd Generation: Those 230 find a disciple each = 460 3rd Generation: And so on, 690 4th Generation: 920 evangecube and church-planting trained leaders.

Hallelujah! That's from ONE training. This training.

From the neighborhood where these 230 "practiced" using the Evangecube,
the Lord brought about 100 to Himself on Thursday afternoon. We were out for an hour. On Friday afternoon, we went to follow up with those who accepted Christ the previous day. Because of those folks bringing friends and family to hear the gospel, 198 more Rwandans came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Ahh, discipleship. What do you know?
If you obey God's word, He blesses.

Hopefully tomorrow, I can share with you a story of our Ethiopian national leader. It begins with a letter he received years ago. The letter read, "Tomorrow you will die."

Keep praying, we now begin meetings with our national leaders from:

A closed Middle East Country

Oh so much more later, God bless,

Mike C
Pr-Air Force--

Thanks for praying for our trip to Nairobi. Things went very smoothly. Thought you'd enjoy an email Mike Congrove sent out to his prayer list. He did a good job of capturing our day today.

Tomorrow we fly to Rwanda. Please keep praying for us.

Blessings. Mike Jorgensen
From: mike congrove
Sent: Tue 06/12/2005 08:30
To: Mike Jorgensen
Subject: I've got 3 goats

The Goat Story

"I've got three goats."

This was the reply of a Masai pastor here in Kenya when GMF's Kenyan national leader, Joe Michael Kamau, asked him what he had in terms of resources to plant a new church. Joe Michael was talking with the pastor about planting a new church among the Masai people in a rural area of Kenya.

Joe Michael asked him about the preparation he had done for a church-planting campaign. The Masai pastor replied that he had people from his church who were willing to do the evangelism and follow-up discipleship, and he had a man who could pastor the new work, but he was concerned that he didn't have the resources to host the 16 people Joe Michael was bringing from Nairobi to help conduct the church-planting campaign.

The pastor asked Joe Michael how much money he would contribute the campaign to cover the costs for hosting and feeding the workers. Joe Michael returned the question back to him, "What resources do you have for this campaign?"

That's when the Masai pastor told him he had three goats. Joe Michael told him to focus on what the Lord had given him, not what he lacked. Later as the time for the campaign approached, Joe Michael and the Masai pastor spoke again. The pastor had secured two more goats, totally five for this campaign. He sold two, using those funds to buy wheat to make bread. He found a place for the workers to sleep, and he slaughtered two more goats for meat for the campaigners to eat. He used a plot of land he owned to start the new church on, and on their final campaign meeting day, he slaughtered the fifth goat for a celebratory feast for the workers and the new believers.

Hallelujonga indeed.

I heard this story at lunch today with Joe Michael. There are 65 people attending that "goat church" today. Amazing what happens when we use what the Lord has given us rather than focusing on what we desire.

By you being a part of GMF, you're a part of amazing works like this. "Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes;"-- Jesus (Luke 10:3-4)

The Office

We met with a dapper Kenyan attorney today in a quiet office, tucked away from the center of busy Nairobi under large trees and surrounded by blooming hibiscuses. The attorney is guiding GMF through the process of registering as a foreign registered company in Kenya.

Apparently Kenyan intelligence has to check out us thoroughly before granting the registration. Then Joe Michael can get the office up and rolling and begin to receive shipments of Evangecubes for distribution throughout the country. The investigators vet these applications for groups using the registration as fronts to funnel money and goods into the country illegally.

Please pray for the registration to go smoothly and quickly. This will jumpstart the next level of work for GMF here in Kenya.Joe Michael is an impressive figure. I'm glad he's a part of GMF. He appears to be an impassioned man for planting churches, evangelism, and expanding the Lord's kingdom in Kenya and East Africa in general.

After lunch we met with the organization that is translating our church-planting training material into Swahili. I thought their approach to translating a document was impressive.

First, they have three linguists translate the document individually. Then those three compare, contrast and argue until they're satisfied the document is translated properly.

Pray the Lord will use this training tool in a powerful, multiplicative way in Kenya for years to come.

God bless, next message will be from Kigali, Rwanda.

Mike C