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.
ADDING FUEL TO FIRES
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.
DO THEY GET IT?
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
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.