Projects and Missionaires in Africa
Recent Stories from Africa

THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

In Ethiopia, the Church of God has established Christian schools throughout the country: Sidama in the South; the Arsi Oromo area (961 children are enrolled and have to be accommodated by two shifts—all of whom are from Muslim families!); the city of Shashemene (a Muslim area in the southern Rift Valley); and Lake Awassa in southern Ethiopia.

The Harvest Church of God currently operates over 70 kindergarten (pre-school level) schools, plus several primary schools. All inclusive, they serve over 8,000 children, mostly in the southern regions, but also in other parts of Ethiopia where we have churches.

The church faces a challenge in maintaining the school because of insufficient finances. The government is trying to improve education and raises their teachers’ salaries, but the church cannot match those increases in pay, so often the school loses some of its best teachers to government schools. The school ministry basically survives on a monthly support of 2,000 Euros (about $2,361) from the Church of God in Germany—barely enough to keep the schools open, but not enough to maintain buildings, provide adequate teaching materials, or good quality teachers.

Despite a lack of proper funds, these kindergarten and primary schools are an outstanding, signal ministry with an incredible impact upon the lives of the children and their families, even upon the growth of the respective local congregations.

Hiruy Tsige, overseer, reports there are 180-plus congregations (some with more than 15,000 members; some with only 20 members), but overall membership is estimated at over 67,000. The educational contributions have had a large impact in growing congregations.

The influence continues!

NEWS FROM LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

Missionaries Rodney and Carol Friend arrived in Zambia this past July, and experienced the busyness of getting settled in the first three weeks.

The Friends were warmly welcomed as the new directors by the Bethel Theological College faculty and staff. The third term begins in September, and the administrative offices and classrooms are currently being remodeled with new floor tiles and paint. The new dormitories are nearing completion on the first floor, anticipating it will house the students for the new term.Rodney and Carol Friend

During their initial time in Zambia, Rodney and Carol visited two churches in Lusaka … one is Family Life Church of God pastored by Missionary Teresa Kimbrell, who is also a faculty member and financial manager at BTC. Rodney ministered in the service at Family Life. Holy Cross Church of God in the Bauleni area is led by Pastor John, and the Friends enjoyed meeting and worshipping with the congregation.

The Friends went to their neighboring nation of Zimbabwe with Field Director Peter Thomas and Dr. Israel Simbaya, BTC academic dean. The intent is to hopefully build ways to have students from Zimbabwe attend BTC. They met with Bishop Maushe, overseer of Zimbabwe who is also the education director.

Although other matters associated with settling into a new home and nation remain to be done, the Friends are thankful for God’s help in accomplishing tasks so far.

Rodney and Carol ask for continued prayer and support so that they can remain and be fruitful in Zambia!

Project #060-0016

WINDOW INTO THE AFRICAN HARVEST

Field Directors Peter and Debbie Thomas recently traveled to the southernmost tip of the African continent, Cape Town, to attend the Africa Council meeting. They experienced a wonderful prayer time,

The Africa Council praying at the southern most tip of Africa.

interceding for the entire continent asking God for souls, committing the ministry of the Church of God into the mighty hands of God, and rededicating themselves to the Harvest of Africa.

A Leadership seminar for the French-speaking West African countries was held in Sikasso, Mali, with 59 delegates from eight countries participating. This seminar was intentionally planned for the Sahel Zone ministers. Some of the graduates from the Master Program taught sessions, along with Dr. Hong Yang, Jurgen Rudolph, and Peter Thomas. The next seminar will be held in February 2018.

Two large Church of God facilities were dedicated—one a big, beautiful church building in Goma and a sizable Ministry Center in Dakar, Senegal. The fourth floor of the Ministry Center is complete and is equipped with a seminar room, accommodations for delegates and an apartment for a teacher. The harvest of souls is tremendous in the Sahel Zone of Senegal. Sixty (60) youngsters are trained in a Christian environment to become good soccer players with the intent to present Jesus to them. Church of God Missionaries Everaldo and Lydia Nascimento are dedicated to fulfill their ministry among the young people.

New national overseers have been appointed in Botswana (Reuben Bajaki Kegomoditswe), Namibia (Bennie Smith), and Zimbabwe (Zafania Maushe). May the Lord empower these brothers with godly wisdom and passion for the Kingdom of God.

To support online, click here: Project #030-0184

 

 

 

 

AFRICA REPORT

Recently, in Kigali, Rwanda a team from RIO Central church, in East Tennessee, led by Pastor Tommy Roberts and Assistant Pastor Tony Simerly trained over 100 Church of God church planters from the countries of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many of these Pastors have seen their colleagues kidnapped, beaten and persecuted but they have soldiered on.

In the last 6 months with the Global Fire Advance and Harvesters Hub model church planting training, they have planted 183 churches.

It seems the STIFFER the resistance the greater the harvest.

Their faith and perseverance in the face of daunting odds sometimes almost makes you ashamed to complain or get tired. They definitely have something valuable and aren’t intimidated or reluctant to share it.

The same New Testament phenomenon being expressed in this training site is being replicated approximately 50 more times in 50 locations around the globe to the tune of around 6,000 new churches in the last year alone.

Africans, Asians, Latinos, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists are being swept into the Kingdom in wholesale numbers. Trainers and students of the Church of God Global Fire Advance* are going into the highways and hedges seeking and searching for the lost.

We need partners, strategies and resources to continue this onslaught on the kingdom of darkness. We are pushing back the darkness now as we seek to Send the Light to the Cities and finish the great commitment.

Ronnie Hepperly, Southeast Asia Regional Superintendent for Church of God World Missions

*Global Fire Advance is an extension of the Firewall Project AFRICA

ETHIOPIA: A VISION REALIZED

At long last, the National Ministries Center of the Harvest Church of God in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is nearing completion.

The capital of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba, is home to 10 million people. The ministry center will rise high, lifting the cross of Christ!

“Lifting the Cross, Raising the Children” was the theme of the 2011 YWEA of the young people in the U.S. and Canada when they raised nearly $700,000 for the project. The countless young people of the COG in Ethiopia will view the Center as a promise of an exciting future for “their” Church. The five-story center will also serve as a beacon of hope and grace with its tall white cross that seems to be reaching to the heavens.

The property was purchased and plans were drawn, and on November 8, 2015, the ground was broken. What a joyous day it was for the leaders and members of the Harvest Church. The structural part of the building is nearly complete and the finishing work has begun on the inside. The urgent need now is for an additional $95,000 to finish … a finish here will mean a “FINISH” toward the Great Commission!

To partner with the COG in Ethiopia, please use Project #020-8053. Your investment will enable the Harvest Church of God to reach many more thousands for Christ in Ethiopia.

 

 

MINISTERING TO PASTORS AND WIVES IN AFRICA

Ministering to a pastoral couple is a bit challenging, but greatly needed. Although a pastoral couple is primarily called to the needs of others, they also need ministry. They too have felt needs. It is said that no one is above needing ministry. Like most ministers in certain fields, pastors and their wives are a unique category. Not only do they do life as a couple, parents, and members of an extended family, they also have the care of all of their constituents/members/congregation.

The temptation is to get “lost” in everyone else’s lives. Peoples’ “demands” can override the pastoral home. Meaning … when people are in the midst of crisis or exciting events, they only think of themselves—their here and now.

Some people never realize the pressures, stress, and so forth, that exists within the pastoral home/relationship. It is difficult and often unwise for a pastoral couple to talk about issues with others. For many, it has caused greater harm, because when people get upset with the pastoral couple they tell what they know; if they want them to leave, then they will be pressured with ultimatums or blackmailed.

How does one minister to those in the pastoral home? Simply by prayer, leadership of the Holy Spirit, being present for/with them, and building relationships with them. It takes people who understand, trust, and have created a “safe place” with full assurance that whatever is shared is confidential. Listening is key. Letting them share openly and honestly the good, the bad, and the ugly. Pray for them, encourage them in the Word, remind them God has not forgotten them and knows right where they are. Their labor is not in vain!

Many times, I have found just being present and listening to the pastoral couple/family really ministers to them. Those in the same shoes know best how to minister to those in like-minded professions. I have had the experience of sitting with pastoral families and listening to their stories, experiences, and life.  As they re-count their calling, meeting of spouses, children’s births, etc., there seems to be a reviving of purpose. For some, it is a reminding of Who called them and that they can carry on. One time, we did a Christmas lunch for some of the pastoral couples in Zambia. For many, “dating” their spouse is non-existent. It was so sweet to see the couples of all ages and years of marriage sitting together for a meal. Each was given a red rose. For most, it was their first date. Marriage traditions are different here than in the West.

Simple reminders of the greatest love ever is God’s love for us. This can be so renewing, refreshing, reviving, and refocusing. In ministering to the pastoral family, it really requires prayer, understanding, and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and His presence.

-Teresa Kimbrell is a career missionary working in Zambia, Africa.

Online support may be given by clicking this link: Project 065-0110

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