Blossoming of a Student on the Mission Field

What makes a student blossom?

This question makes me pause to think, because it is the dry season here in Kenya. In spite of the dryness, there are flowers blossoming, including some that have never bloomed in my garden before, like the ones pictured here. Surely, the sun causes them to burst forth in splendor.

God’s Call

What about students? What makes them blossom? I’m thinking about Aaron’s rod, which not only budded, but also blossomed and produced almonds. In Numbers 17, it was God’s choice, His anointing that caused Aaron’s rod to undergo such remarkable changes. Certainly God’s call is important in causing a student to flourish and the warmth of God’s love is a key factor for growth.

Trust In God

But, the dryness itself seems to be a factor. There are students who blossom even though they experience difficulties, though the soil seems not to be conducive for flourishing. I remember Marvin, a student at the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries in Manila, Philippines. He never was sure if he would have tuition from one term to the next, yet he graduated. He commented he had noticed that students who had their way completely paid didn’t finish, but he had. He said, “I had to trust God all the way.” And God had not failed him.

The Soil Matters.

I’ve seen students struggle to survive, because they had sent themselves. There was no supporting community to say, “Yes, we see God’s hand upon this life.” God made sure the whole community saw that Aaron’s rod had blossomed: those alive at that time, and also those who would follow afterwards had seen the rod in the Ark of the Covenant that declared that Aaron was a chosen instrument of the Lord.

Watering the Plant

Certainly watering is an important factor. When the rains stop, plants still need water. After a period of dryness, grass will revive once water is applied, but other plants will die. I think students are like that. They cannot be ignored. They must be watered well with the Word. An institution must have qualified, God-centered faculty to make sure that happens. Not only are classes important, but also chapel, worship, and prayer times are vital to water the plant. For example, at Discipleship College, one of the people who makes a large difference in the growth of our students is the campus pastor or Dean of Students. He represents students in the administration and takes a personal interest in each student. He looks for their gifting and talents and nurtures them in chapel. We at Discipleship College recognize that mentoring is a key factor in enabling a student to blossom.

Community

The growing environment is very important. If plants are squeezed together and weeds are allowed to encroach, plants will not produce beautiful blossoms. At Discipleship College, students meet together to discuss important issues in Community of Faith, enjoy sports competitions, and have opportunities to minister at neighboring churches. We believe these contacts with other students and neighboring churches enrich their lives and ministries.

Lack of Peace

In Africa, one of the destabilizing factors is lack of peace. How can a student flourish when at home friends and family are being killed? Yet, these same countries desperately need to have quality ministers being prepared to communicate the gospel to a war-torn people. They definitely need scholarship help and your prayers to make it possible for them to bloom.

Lack of Resource

One of the weeds that can choke a student’s ability to blossom is lack of finances. While total reliance on a sponsor is often not healthy, many need a helping hand if they are to reach the goal in terms of education. You can help lighten that load with your giving.

Thank you for helping educate young Christian leaders!

Dr. Marcia Anderson spends her time passionately sharing the Living Water that is a fountain in her heart! She serves as a missionary and currently teaches at Discipleship College in Eldoret, Kenya.

 

To partner with Dr. Anderson click here: Project 060-0054

AFRICA DAY OF PRAYER

Peter Thomas, field director for the Church of God in Africa, recently joined Christopher Sabale, prayer coordinator for Africa, along with other leaders in the nation of Botswana for the first-ever All Africa Day of Prayer.

The call to prayer rose from a decision made by the African Council and national leaders at a Continental Congress last year. Thomas noted, “In light of the challenge before us, the battle for the continent of Africa, the massive need for evangelism and church-planting, we must pray—and we must pray as never before!”

Last year, in Zambia and Togo, national overseers and prayer leaders gathered for prayer mobilization and training. Fifty nations across Africa were involved in the All Africa Day of Prayer effort. Churches, prayer leaders, and intercessors in the United States and around the world are encouraged to continue praying for Africa.

No one realized when the initial date was set that it fell on Easter Sunday 2017. Thomas reflected: “For us, it was a good day—we prayed for a kind of spiritual resurrection across Africa, that the forgotten continent will be visited by God with a mighty spiritual awakening!”

Teaching and Preaching in Kenya

Missionary Evangelist Charles Thornton recently visited Kenya, Africa. Taking two other individuals with him, they were in Kenya for two weekends.

Under the supervision of National Overseer Bishop David Bwire, the same ministry was presented in two different districts. In Africa, the Church of God is known as the New Testament Church of God.

The team taught pastors, church leaders, and church members. On Saturdays, they conducted a community outreach geared toward the children. Preaching in the local churches was the venue on Sundays.

Approximately 180 to 190 children and two adults received Jesus for the first time. Participating Sunday school teachers were greatly encouraged, and have already contacted Bishop Bwire in favor of providing the community outreach twice a year.

Project Number 065-0879

RWANDA PASTORS AND LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Missionary Evangelist Charles Thornton frequently conducts conferences for pastors and leadership training, and recent efforts were held in Kigali, Rwanda.

A Lifestyle Foreign to Us

Charles stated: “Life there is hard. Imagine you had to go and fetch every drop of water you would need for cooking, cleaning, drinking, and bathing—every day!

The majority living there face that on a continual basis. In residential sections, one sees people everywhere with large, 5-gallon, yellow plastic jugs obtaining water to take home. You’ll find individuals beside the road, down in the ditches, filling the jugs from any source of water they can find. Then, the water is carried back to their homes on their heads, by hand, or bicycle.”

Rainy Season Was Not Rainy

While in Rwanda, Charles was fortunate to stay in a home that had city water. However, at the time, the area was in a drought during what was supposed to be their rainy season. The last two days he was there, no city water was available and they had to fetch water like everyone else.

Training Will Affect 3,000 People

The host pastor, Steven Turikunkiko, has a vision for his region that extends beyond his own church, which is in a rural, poor area. He realizes his fellow pastors lack knowledge and need training, both biblically and in leadership. His church hosted the conference (which was free), and of the 120 invited, 110 attended. Those hungry for the training walked, some from great distances, over hilly terrain and on dirt roads. The combined membership of the churches represented amounted to approximately 3,000 people.

Far Richer In Spirit

The praise and worship was boisterous and glad! The people may seem poor in comparison to those in America, but they are far richer in the Spirit. They exhibit more spiritual hunger and determination than most. God is

To Partner in ministry with Charles and Mavis Thornton click here. Project Number: 065-0897

BIBLES FOR AFRICA

“Sending light to a dark world” … that’s the goal of One Fold/One Shepherd Ministries.

TAKING THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL

One Fold/One Shepherd Ministries was inspired by the scripture reference in Matthew 28:19 when Jesus told His disciples to “go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” Guided by the Holy Spirit after visiting family in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Solomon Macauley, saw the great need for the Word of God, experiencing firsthand how people in poorer nations are fleeced and indoctrinated with incorrect, traditional teaching about the Gospel. As director of OFOS, Macauley strives to take the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poorest and darkest parts of the world where technology is not prevalent. OFOS wants to put a Bible in the hands of every believer.

TEACHING SCRIPTURAL MEANING

Through discipleship evangelism, OFOS trains individuals who have not been exposed to God’s Word, even in areas where they may have heard it, but have not been taught the Scriptures’ meaning.

OTHER SHEEP

John 10:16 says: “And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” OFOS is going after the other sheep … the less fortunate who do not have the privilege to hear the true gospel, many who do not own personal Bibles. OFOS provides local people with Bibles and materials, and trains them to go to remote areas of their villages and surrounding places to shepherd and gather these sheep into the fold. OFOS is fulfilling Christ’s command by taking discipleship evangelism to the far reaches of the world, preaching repentance and the remission of sins (Luke 24:47).

Once known in earlier missions efforts as the “Dark Continent,” Africa is now receiving the Light that drives out the darkness!

Click here to give to Project number 102-9455

TWO BOOKS TO SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS

Christmas is vastly different in Kenya, Africa, where Missionary Marcia Anderson teaches at Discipleship College. No Christmas trees, no Christmas music, no lights to show it’s a different season.

Yet, it is a special time when young people marry, churches have youth camps, and streets are crowded with people shopping for Christmas clothes for their children. Families travel home to their villages to visit family for Christmas and eat “kuku” (chicken) and “chapatis (unleavened bread) which everyone loves.

For Marcia, it was a time to rest and she was able to finish two books: her autobiography The Shepherd’s Network, and Tea Without Sugar: Chastened for a Destiny. Any profits from these books will help bring scholarship students to Discipleship College.

At the close of last year, there was a constructive alumni meeting, a festive graduation, and an excellent faculty training and staff retreat. Some of their colleagues from other institutions in the missionary fellowship helped them.

Marcia looks forward to teaching Hebrew again and Old Testament Survey at the diploma level. The approval has not yet come for the school to become a constituent college of the Asian Seminary for Christian Ministry. Please pray an important paper that ASCM needs will arrive quickly so they can begin, as they are believing for increased enrollment.

Marcia Anderson: Project 060-0054 (click here to partner online).

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For information about these books contact info@cogwm.org with your information and Church of God World Missions will contact her about your interest.

COOPERATION COMES FROM VARIOUS PLACES

In recent posts, we reported that Lee University adopted the Church of God Phebe Grey Orphanage in Liberia as its project for missions efforts. The main thrust of the emphasis brought new items for the school via books for the library, school supplies, a new science lab, and so forth.

A young lady by the name of Lindsey Slaughter, who is a home missionary through Indian Ministries of North America located in Cleveland, Tennessee, contacted Lee University with this message:

“We receive many donations throughout the year, and, at times, become overwhelmed with extra blessings. I recently attended Lee U. chapel and heard Pastor Jimmy Harper say that donations of books for the library at the school in Liberia were being accepted. Here at IMNA, we have several boxes of age-appropriate and topic-appropriate books that were donated to us to distribute, along with several library organization items. I hope our donations will benefit the efforts in Liberia.”

An unexpected source will provide more blessings for a needy project through cooperation efforts.

To assist and partner with Phebe Grey Orphanage click here.

CELEBRATING 70 YEARS

Some 30 years ago, Pastor Emmanuel J. Moodley planted a new church with only 12 members under the shade of a large tree on a vacant lot in Durban, South Africa. Today, the Bethsaida Full Gospel Church of God boasts a membership of 10,000.

Currently serving as Second Deputy Moderator of the Full Gospel Church of God in South Africa, this illustrious pastor has not only ministered to those in his immediate parish, but has touched innumerable nations with his ministry … Israel, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Rodriquez, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Bahamas, Hawaii, Cuba, Jamaica, Russia, England, Hungary, Ile De Sol, Switzerland, Greece, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Panama City, West Indies, Canada, Portugal, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Egypt, Namibia, Lesotho, Angola, Congo, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, Cape Verde Island, the Czech Republic, Libya, Swaziland, Jordan, Malawi, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Cyprus, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Iceland, Romania, Vatican City, Philippines, Senegal, as well as 51 trips to the USA.

Dr. Moodley’s heart is for the people, and he has initiated multiple programs of outreach during his tenure at the Bethsaida church, one being the launching of a Widows Ministry, an historic first for South Africa.

World Missions Director Dr. David M. Griffis, Assistant Director M. Thomas Propes, and Church of God World Missions wish Dr. Emmanuel J. Moodley congratulations on this landmark event, his 70th birthday—to a man who has made his years on earth count for the glory of God!

AN ABDUCTED PASTOR

Part Two

The following morning, the general’s brother lost his courage. He contacted the general and explained what he had seen in the vision. The general said, “I know this pastor. He is a man of prayer, and I know there are people praying for him. Ask him to pay $600 instead and I will release him—$600. Not a penny more, not a penny less.”

The Church treasury had only $200, which was being prepared for mailing to the National Office. I told my children to sell some of my personal items and my wife’s clothes which raised an additional $200. The general refused the $400. My brother obtained the other $200 for a total of $600 and the general said, “You can go now.”

I wanted to know the reason for all this. He stated, “Your son got married, your daughter got married, but you never gave me anything when I got married twice. The place you live, you have gold, but you never gave me anything.” I explained to him that I was not involved in the gold extraction in the area. He replied, “This $600 is my share for that. Now leave!”

We were tired, weak, and in poor condition. My wife suffered pain in her chest because of the beatings. We could not walk, and were not given any food. My wife found some cassava and tarot near their camp that she roasted on an open fire, and we survived initially on that.

A young man in a nearby village met us on the way back home, and he brought food to strengthen us, thereby miraculously saving us in our weakened conditions.

All that transpired … the visions … the prayers of the saints … not only brought about release, but the prayers destabilized the kingdom of darkness. God’s angel appeared to the general and demanded they stop all activity against the population, or they would die! The soldiers were frightened and understood there was nothing they could do but to obey … they knew the power of Almighty God!

AN ABDUCTED PASTOR

Part One

As many of you may remember, recently a pastor and his family in Africa were kidnapped by rebels. This first-hand account will show how God is able to deliver from the most impossible situations. Intercessors also played a key role in the family’s release, and we give thanks to God for answering earnest prayer.

“Evening … we had finished our meal; I sat on the veranda in the dark. Two young men who had been orphans that were raised in my home and left once older, were coming toward me. They had joined a group of militia in the forest. Accompanying them was a group of five people to whom they identified me as their father. Asking where my wife was, they then said we were under arrest. My daughter and my sister were also captured. It was raining. We were taken into the forest where we walked all night until 6 a.m. All of us were put into water, then whipped and tortured. When I asked what the problem was, they said I would be informed when the general arrived. We slept outside in the open with nothing to protect us from the cold. After one week, they again tortured us. My wife was beaten to the point she fainted.

One of the two orphans became angry. Remorse set in when they realized their mother was almost dead. The one young man wanted to shoot the other soldiers, but they lied to him to calm him. Because of his reaction, they stopped the torture. The general contacted the soldiers on a walkie-talkie and asked if I (the pastor) was there. He wanted to talk to me.

The reason for the kidnapping became crystal clear … he wanted $1,500 for our release. The general used to be an evangelist working under my supervision, so he knew my life and that I didn’t have that amount of money, nor could I afford to borrow it. Again, they began torturing us. Amazingly, the general’s brother was in the camp and had three separate visions during the night. In each one, he heard a voice telling him: “You must release this pastor, or you will die!”

(To be continued …)