|"GRACEVINE" Newsletter - October 2003|
Regional Office greetings to all - its Newsletter time again!
We have so much each month that we could share with our co-workers, prayer and financial partners, as well as friends and family that it's not always easy how to select what to include in our newsletters! This month is no exception! Opportunities are greater within our Region than ever before - especially in East Africa where our teams have reaffirmed their vision, focus and enthusiasm to reach every home with a clear Gospel presentation.
After many months of prayer and preparation, September 8th arrived (with much excitement in the hearts of the Anglo African and US Teams and everyone involved in making this possible). This was indeed a life-changing, awesome tour, with a focus on training key leaders (from 7 different East Africa nations) to reach their respective countries with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The tour included two major Training Sessions (Consultations) - one in Arusha, Tanzania at the "Sakila" facility, where one of our strategic partners Bishop Eliudi Issangya acted as our host and the second in Masailand, Kenya. Our team from the US (26 of them) arrived at Kilimanjaro International Airport on Monday evening September 8. Our Anglo Africa Regional team (myself, Lazarus Selahle, Hennie Van Zyl, Cleopas Chitapa, Nicholas Mulea, and Simon Msowoya) met them at the airport.
It is a delight to report than more than 1,000 key (hand-picked) leaders from these 7 nations gathered together for this 3-day "Conference with a difference" held at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro! The US team consisted of senior Pastors, as well as supporters of our ministry, and a medical team. We thank the Lord that He opened so many doors enabling this tour to go ahead as planned, and that the Regional and US team members were able to leave behind an EHC 'legacy' in East Africa that we believe will impact these nations for eternity. We give God all the glory for giving us the capacity to care, pray, preach and teach with His anointing. Through the power of His Holy Spirit we were able to inspire hope and faith, lifting each participant up to 'new heights' in terms of their focus on evangelism.
Some edited highlights from a few of our team members:-
Cleopas Chitapa (Zonal Leader - Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi)
"A new day was born. A ray of hope is shining and the wave of healing is spreading …" The US team leader (Richard Smith) quoted the foundation components: pray, care and preach - and everything was practiced. While our achievements in the Anglo Africa Region have been monumental, the Arusha convention may very well stand out as one of the largest number of people trained for strategic evangelism in one single meeting.
The delegates received and embraced the EHC tools with excitement and many found the Heart of Man chart to be the missing link in pursuit to evangelise their countries. Our host, Bishop Eliudi, remarked that this was the first time such an all round ministry had been carried out in this region.
EHC workers in Uganda are witnessing the reversal of all the gains Islam has made over the past years as many come to Christ everyday. The secret lies in the new EHC tool for evangelism, the Heart of Man chart and the results are phenomenal. Its success among the Moslems is like no other tool ever used to bring Islamic adherence to salvation. An EHC worker in Kampala shared the mystery behind their success: "If you go to a Moslem using a Bible, he will not listen to you. But we go with the Heart of Man chart and they listen." The message of the Heart of Man transcends religious prejudice; it is a message of the heart, which ultimately points to Him who promised a new heart.
Masailand: In Masailand the clinic team were overwhelmed by the need, seeing in one day a record of 150 patients. At the conference materials and tools were distributed, including 15 bicycles for EHC workers in Masailand. Richard Smith remarked that he will never forget the look on the faces of those pastors faces as they received the bicycles.
My heart shudders as I imagine what is happening right now following the release of such an army in the mission field in those 7 East Africa countries.
The enthusiasm of the participants was encouraging. By 4.00 am more than 1,000 people would already be in the conference facility praying. The flow and harmony of all the speakers was amazing, emphasizing and building on the EHC vision with such coherence that was only Spirit borne. "
Nicholas Mulea (Zonal Leader - East Africa)
"I want to express great thanks for your consideration in sending the 2003 East Africa mission team to this zone. May God bless you so much and also the brothers and sisters who are working with me in this area who appreciated it so much, everything that took place and all the gifts.
It would be worthwhile if teams, especially medical, can be organized and sent to us in East Africa as frequently as possible. I have just returned from my monthly meeting with Masailand pastors and evangelists and I received testimonies of many who were healed as a result of treatment. Some went to churches the following Sunday and were saved because of the practical love they saw from the entire team and especially those who were working in the clinic."
Hennie Van Zyl (Southern Africa Zonal Leader)
I must confess that this is the best outreach I have been on in a very long time. We had wonderful conference speakers among the US visitors, who really touched and strengthened the leaders with their teachings. One evening Pastor Val Treece (US team) spoke about inner healing - healing for the abused - those who were or are being abused and those who are abusing others. This was one of the most powerful and anointed times on the outreach. God really touched and healed so many people.
I had an opportunity to share about my trip to Mt Kilimanjaro and the lessons that I had learned out of that experience. This was a wonderful time because the people all know the mountain, even though none of them have ever climbed it. They really enjoyed the teaching and related to the lessons of guidance God has shown and taught me.
We saw the most wonderful healings. Many, many sick people were healed and did not even go into the clinic but just went right home! I remember a small boy coming to the clinic; he was crying and his throat was swollen and looked bad. One guy approached him with tears in his eyes as his heart went out to the little boy, placed his hands on his throat and called on the Name of Jesus for healing. I saw the swollen neck return to normal, the little boy was smiling and laughing and joyfully ran away home! God is good! The prayer team who interceded for the conference and the team formed the foundation for the success of this outreach!
The important thing is not what was done in these two weeks, but the results that will follow out of these visits. The leaders who attended promised to join hands with EHC to reach every house in every village in every town so that the wonderful news of Jesus Christ will reach each person in their specific areas.
Richard Smith (US Team Leader)
" There was complete agreement and focus as we 'united in love' for the cause we were called to do from the very beginning. It was a ministry of love in unity that must have pleased the heart of God. We were three teams : Prayer, Care and Share, all united in one. We blended from different states and different countries. From the unity came spiritual, physical, emotional and mental healings as the Lord blessed and used each group of pastors and key leaders from 7 different Africa nations who heard and learnt. Many walked for miles and even days - many more than we expected - but God took our loaves and fishes (goat, rice and beans) and fed everyone both physically and spiritually. Only eternity will reveal what was accomplished. Now we are in the important phase of follow-up and we, the team, are providing the needed funds for the completion of our work together. Praise the Lord that we will be able to advance His Kingdom into the needy and dark areas of Africa, so that Africa may become the continent of Light!
Farrell and Barbi Evans (US team)
Farrell: This was my 5th trip to Africa; each trip is different than any of the others. This team was awesome; everyone worked together really well. The worship in Tanzania was terrific. The Masai people in Kenya were colourful. Working in the clinic was really rewarding to see so many people saved and healed."
Barbi: The trip to Tanzania and Kenya was a very memorable trip for me. The area of ministry of hands-on praying for the people in the medical clinic was an unforgettable experience. Although we were limited in treating them medically, God showed Himself strong through our prayers. It was wonderful to see the looks on their faces when we would reach out to them with hugs and our prayers. Even through the language barrier, they understood we were there to help them. Our church family (Cornerstone Church, Tennessee) sent us with a large suitcase crammed full of stuffed toys and we gave them to the children in the school at Sakila Village …. And what a delight!
And the worship services at Sakila Village … WOW! We could use more of that kind of worship here in the States! Bishop Eliudi was so personable to us, greeting each of us with hugs every morning. It's no wonder he is loved and respected so much. He even joined the US team in a dance on the stage one night. What fun it was!
Candy Carmichael (US Medical Team)
"We awoke every morning at about 4.30 am to people beginning the day with prayer and worship. What a refreshing wake-up call! The clinic was on the grounds. We set up on the Tuesday afternoon and began seeing patients the next day. There were 3 nurses, a medic/psychologist and an awesome prayer team that prayed for every patient before sending them into the clinic. Many people were led to Christ, baptized in the Holy Spirit, or healed before we ever saw them and that was the purpose of that part of the team. We saw lots of respiratory diseases, extremely poor dental health, and two patients with second and third degree burns. The nearest hospital is in Nairobi, nearly 5 hours away. Please pray for the Bishop's vision to build a hospital for the 2 million people in the area without doctors or dentists. We were expecting 500-600 pastors but more than 1,000 came and guess what? The food did not run out until the last plate had been served! The medical company gave us 3 times the amount of medical supplies that we had money for! THAT was God!
In Masailand we had some of the same diseases as in Tanzania, but more skin disease. There was lots of ringworm, lice and scabies. They are nomadic people who live with their livestock. We saw kids with draining ears, lots of poor eyesight problems and one man with severe venous statis ulcers.
Our "clinic" was a tin shack about 15 x 20 ft with a concrete floor and no electricity. I was very thankful for the paper drapes we had with us. We pulled 4 little wooden school desks together in the centre, covered them with the drape and made it our "clean area'! By the time I got to the man with the severe ulcers the prayer team had already led him to Christ. I gave him something for the pain and during the course of treatment his whole expression changed. He told the interpreter that even if he died of his wounds that was all right, because he would be with Jesus! Justin, one of our team helping us with the dressings, gave this man his own shoes, which just 'happened' to fit, and bought a pair of the tire shoes for himself to wear home.
We saw a 17-year old deaf boy HEALED of deafness. I verified that healing myself after seeing it occur, so I know it was real. The poor kid was actually holding his ears, totally unaccustomed to hearing sound for the first time in his life! God did so many marvellous things that only Heaven has the record of what was accomplished, but none of us will ever be the same.
Thanks again to all of you for your contributions financially, for the Bibles and other gifts for the people and for your prayers. You made an eternal investment that God will reward richly.
Carol Fouse (US Team)
The International Evangelism Centre where we stayed and worked is on a 14-acre compound and has a residential Bible school. Each year this Bible school trains and sends approx. 200 pastors, teachers and evangelists into seven nations (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire and Mozambique).
Every Conference session started with a time of worship, with the Africans worship dancing joyfully to the rhythm of the music. Besides the huge volumes of Gospel literature and Heart of Man materials that were distributed, we had almost 12,000 Gospel bracelets with us to give to every one of the leaders in the two Conferences (Tanzania and Kenya). The person who brought the bracelets (Carol Fouse) as introduced to the attendees and special prayer was offered by one of the African team. At one point the entire American team stood before the attendees and were prayed for, representing America and the need of our nation for prayer.
In another evening conference meeting, the Holy Spirit blew over the attendees, and the whole place erupted in joy and dancing. Some of them ran out and tore branches from trees and brought them in to us to wave as we praised the Lord.
It was good to be part of something so significant. It was like lighting a fire that will spread throughout all the Region. I look forward to the reports that will come in of increased numbers of homes reached, people coming into the Kingdom and new churches planted as a result of these Conferences.
Birthday Greeting to:
Oct. 1st - Fredrick Chewe (Focus Leader, Zambia). Brother Fredrick, thank you for your continued faithful commitment to our vision for Zambia!
Pieces of Gospel literature distributed 108,419 Number of homes reached 65,949 People reached with a clear Gospel presentation 329,745 Salvations (responses to the Gospel) 42,434 Number of Christ Groups formed 280 Volunteer workers (Pioneer Missionaries) 6,524
Brother Karl Menyah (National Leader for Ghana) is awarded our book prize this month for his 'promptness' in sending his reports each month. Thank you brother Karl for your tremendous efforts to reach every home; you are appreciated for your consistent, faithful approach to our EHC strategies and vision for your nation.
SPECIAL PRAYER REQUEST
Our sympathy is extended to our National Leader for Swaziland, brother George Dlamini. His mother and brother within a few days of each other both passed away. Please join us in prayer for the Dlamini family, especially brother George at this time.
East Africa Vehicle:
I trust you were blessed as your read about our recent East Africa trip. To enable our leader (Nicholas Mulea) for this part of our Region to do the required follow-up and all that is required of him, he is in desperate need of a reliable vehicle. Huge quantities of Gospel literature and Heart of Man materials are needed to meet the needs in East Africa, especially after our September missions trip. Please pray and trust God with us.
Second-hand clothes (this request is intended for those who are in close proximity to our Regional Office): Our Southern Africa nations are in need of second-hand clothes. Our Zonal leaders would be able to deliver these items on their regular trips throughout the year. Please communicate with our Regional Office if you would like to be a blessing and we will ensure that others are blessed through your giving.