Motorcycle Distribution

Remember our VBS and Church Camp project last summer?  We were raising funds for the Netia Project (click the link to read more about it) which would give 14 trusted (and proven) church leaders chickens, goats and a motorcycle.  The chickens and goats were to provide food for their family (or as the animals reproduce the offspring could be sold as a source of income) and the motorcycles were to provide transport so they could travel more easily to the churches which have been planted, thus providing more regular teaching times and eventually being able to reach further beyond where they can currently go.

We returned in January excited to tell the Netia leaders that we’d raised the funds for the project.  Initially we thought we’d wait until mid June to purchase things (honestly we didn’t want to purchase everything in January or February only for word to get around and then we’d receive hundreds of requests for motorcycles or chickens or goats or all of the above).   At the same time we needed to rely on the wisdom of the Netia leaders who understand some things we don’t.

In March the leadership advised that we should go ahead and purchase the chickens and goats as prices for animals would rise drastically once the harvest started being collected.  We took their advice and animals were distributed then (sorry we didn’t manage to get pictures).  The Motorcycles were purchased in May and a big celebration was planned to commemorate the giving of those.

Even during the preparation and celebration for distributing these motorcycles we were once again so impressed with leadership.  First of all, apparently while we were on furlough two of Dan’s students stopped coming to the weekly classes which continued in our absence.  They started attending again when we returned.  The general leadership decided that didn’t show the maturity or faithfulness to warrant receiving a motorcycle.  Secondly the leadership, on their own without prompting from us, created a list of regulations each minister receiving the motorcycle had to agree to and sign.  I won’t type each of the 13 articles out for you however they were establishing/reminding Biblical criteria for behavior, accountability in ministry, outlining works and responsibilities for the motorcycle and establishing criteria in which the motorcycle could be taken away.

It was a great day.  We rejoice because we’d found good prices on the motorcycles and therefore had extra money to purchase several bicycles for other ministers to receive.  A government official was there to observe and participate in the festivities.  There was lots of singing and a short message by Dan.  It was a great day.  Can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do through these men, now enabled to travel farther to spread the Good News of Christ and continue to disciple those new churches.  To those who gave through their VBS and/or at church camp – THANK YOU!

Good News

I have had classes the last three days.  All of them went very well, however the classes I had with Albino and Narcissio, who work in Chalaua, brought very good news.
First, Narcissio planted two churches while we were in the States.  Very exciting!
Second, together both men went to a area where there was no Christian presence; in fact it was a highly Islamic area.  They set out, with some concern for their safety, but trusted (in God) that no matter what took place they would be brave and not give up.  They joyfully told of how several people came to know the Lord and thus a small church is there now.  I was very excited to here this.
The third thing we talked about was the training they had been doing with others.   They continued to hold their Saturday class with ministers and church leaders providing training and discipleship.  I, again was very pleased to hear this news.
Finally, they talked about how the existing church gotten together and came up with a plan to help widows.  Twice a year everyone would give some offering of food, what every they could spare, and that would be distributed to those in need.  Again, what a joy it was to hear about this.
Why was I pleased?  Why was there such joy in hearing this good news?   It’s more than simply that it is good news but rather because they are doing exactly what we have talked about for years.   They are living as Christ lived.  We have studied together for over six years.  They are showing maturity and coming up with answers to problems facing the church. They are leading and developing others.  They are not perfect, but they are willing.  God is using them in a mighty way.
As I reflected on what they had told me I again reflected on what has been going on in Netia (see the blog entitled brick “oven”) I came to feel a deep peace about leaving these guys in a few months.  The time is right.
Dan

Exponential – our experience

In our ministry transition we’ll be joining a church planting team.  Knowing that, and knowing we’d be on furlough (which is a great time to take advantage of extra training opportunities) we’d asked our future teammates if they thought it wise for us to attend a church planting seminar or conference of some type.  Roberto highly recommended a large conference called Exponential.  We were able to arrange our arrival in the States with just enough time to visit some with Dan’s parents, drop the kids with my parents and head to Florida to attend the conference.

Exponential’s website (www.exponential.org) describes the group and subsequently the conference as follows;

“Exponential is a growing community of leaders committed to accelerating the multiplication of healthy, reproducing faith communities. We equip movement makers with actionable principles, ideas and solutions.
We are passionate about accelerating multiplication through movement makers!

Jesus.  Leaders.   Acceleration.   Movements.   Multiplication.”

Absolutely amazing is the short version of what we can say.  Dan & I each participated in different workshops for the pre-conference.  Once the main conference started we were together some and split at other times.  We came away challenged.  We came away with so much material to chew on and process.  We look forward to sharing ideas with future teammates.  We look forward to seeing what God does, not just in us and our church planting team but throughout the States and world.

You know those times when you can sense God is moving?  Of course He’s always at work and doing things, but sometimes you can really sense an undercurrent.  We felt that energy . . . . and await with anticipation to see what God does.