Sacrificial Service

June 29 2015

S* is a bi-vocational worker in the Caribbean. She wanted to attend Train & Multiply training in the capital, so she would leave her nursing job around 10 p.m. and travel through the night to receive training on Saturday. She would then travel through the night back to her city for church on Sunday. There are many new groups in her church, and it is being used for multiple services.

After a time, the ministry grew so much that S* quit her job. She dedicated all of her time to evangelism and discipleship, without receiving a salary. She also volunteered to travel to an outlying remote town to conduct a training center in a local church. The people in this town are farmers, and the 6 to 8 hours of travel one way to the city is much too far.

This devoted servant’s story is echoed in her fellow workers. Many have quit their jobs and depend on the Lord to provide so that they can work full time in ministry. In one city, 23 of the 26 leaders have followed this model.

Tags: evangelism; discipleship; god's provision

He is Faithful and We are Spoiled!

July 8 2013

He is Faithful and We are Spoiled!

Thursday...

Here I am in a small village in the Sunderban Islands south of Calcutta. It is surprising that there is even a hotel here. Nevertheless, Greg’s and my expectations were different than the reality! Our Indian co-worker Patra had proudly assured us that it was a very good hotel and newly built. However, we discovered the outside looked quite dilapidated and the lobby was dark with 3 young men sprawled on the floor sleeping with a small TV blaring. As we climbed the stairs the first floor rooms looked like nowhere I wanted to stay! By the time we reached the 2nd floor, there seemed to be some hope. We opened the room and discovered a single bed 4 foot wide for us both to sleep on. We discussed our options and found out another room across the hall was available as well. At $15 a room per night we took them both! They just dropped off a top sheet for my bed. It is quite damp with holes and stains a plenty. Best of all, however, there is an air conditioning unit. Now if only the electricity keeps going! This will be home for three days. God’s provision reminds us that He is faithful and we are spoiled!     Roger

 

Tags: expectations, God's provisionmissions in India

From Tree to Tree

April 2 2013

From Tree to Tree

Life is changing for the Pannabeckers. David and I are in the partnership-raising phase of a new ministry with One Mission Society based in Greenwood, Indiana. When we are fully funded, active ministry can begin. At this point, we are praying and sharing our story with anyone who will listen.

David is stepping into the newly created position of international worship consultant for Every Community for Christ, the church-planting branch of One Mission Society. I use my administrative and organizational skills to assist David and look forward to working with the Dynamic Women in Missions team of OMS.

You may be thinking, “Why in the world are you doing this, especially at this stage in your lives?” Read on, and I’ll attempt to shed some light on a good question.

As millions of new believers are coming into God’s kingdom at an astounding rate, Every Community for Christ leaders have identified an urgent need for training material to guide these new Christians into a solid understanding of biblical worship.

What should happen when believers gather to worship in the name of Jesus? Many international worshipping communities meet in homes and have virtually no resources, so this is a discussion about substance, not style!      Go to their blog to Read More.

 

Tags: worship, dynamic service, God's provisionlife change

We continue to follow Roger and Glenda in India…

March 20 2013

We continue to follow Roger and Glenda in India…

We are now in Bangalore, in the south of India. 89 church planters have come from three states. Because 20 more people than expected came, things became a bit chaotic with the logistics of finding more lodging and another training hall down the street! Never mind, you either learn to be flexible here or you probably won’t come back. Unfortunately, my body is struggling with some kind of bug. I am trusting God to touch me as I rest tonight. Your prayers would surely be welcomed! Glenda has written a summary of our final couple days in Bhopal. Hope you enjoy!

Following the Bhopal training we took the opportunity over two days to see God at work around the city. You may remember that almost 30 years ago an industrial explosion occurred on the outskirts of Bhopal with more than 16,000 killed by poisonous gas. Because of this tragedy one would expect a dusty, depressed and demoralized city. However, there are areas of beauty in the lakes and gardens as well as evident economic growth. More than that, though, we caught glimpses of inspiring growth of the church! 

Pastor Amos is the T&M coordinator for Madhya Pradesh. In recent years he has been working closely with Abdul M., training him to be a church planter. Through their ministry, five people were ready to be baptized that day. When we arrived at the church, only two of the five had arrived. One of them, an undergarment salesman, couldn’t come on time because his bicycle tire was punctured. He had been instructed to bring dry clothes to put on following the baptism. He thought he was being asked to bring his merchandise. He bundled up a huge assortment – so much the bike’s tire couldn’t handle the weight! While waiting for him, we interviewed another two candidates who were present. Our co-worker, Jim Hogrefe, pointed out a rat that was near a drain. Soon after I felt little feet scurrying across my foot! Afterwards Jim and Roger made several witty suggestions as to the name of my “pet rat!”

Both of the men who were lovingly baptized by Amos, as well as a farmer who was baptized later that day, were all faithfully discipled by Abdul. He travels several hundred kilometers each month to encourage and train new believers. We are so impressed by this humble, hard-working, dedicated servant of God. 

We drove past the remains of the Union Carbide factory on our way to visit a middle-aged couple who now follow Christ. A house church regularly meets at their home. Not long ago they sensed God was calling them to build an “upper room” on top of their existing house so that more people could attend. It will seat over 100, Indian style! Stepping out in faith, they took out a loan and construction is well underway. We were privileged to be asked to help dedicate this room for the glory of God. I am SO thankful to God for the opportunity to have my heart touched by God’s people in this land.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: answered prayer, church planting, faith multiplied, God's provisionmissions in India

Joseph in India

March 15 2013

Joseph in India

Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. Previously he was his father’s favorite with great dreams from God. Now he labored in Potiphar’s house as a lowly servant. But several times the Bible repeats the phrase, “the Lord was with Joseph.” In his darkest hour, when Joseph languished in prison for a crime he never committed, God was there with him. A divine purpose and plan was unfolding!

Today at lunch we met and prayed with the manager of the hotel, also named Joseph. His story is quite amazing. From an unemployed immigrant from Sri Lanka to the general manager of a good sized hotel, he has faithfully served with excellence. Yet he still considers his “job” to be sharing God’s love and Word with those around him. He often prays for the sick, imparting faith and healing. Now he stands at the crossroads of a new beginning, seeking to start up a number of hotels dedicated to the glory of God. He is trusting the Lord for many more miracles!

Earlier, Glenda I shared tea with a co-worker named Durai Suami. He is a young, very intelligent man of 35, and is committed to doing all things well. He is above all a servant of God, who faithfully carries out any task required of him. He is a teacher at our OMS/ECI Bible seminary, academic dean, practical ministries coordinator, associate pastor at a local church, editor and publisher of the ECI Church Planter online magazine, and hopes to soon embark on his PhD studies.

I told him of my vision to begin a compassionate church planting ministry in a slum somewhere around Chennai. We agreed to pray and gather information until I return in May. We will be seeking a T&M trainer who will begin the work under ECC supervision. In addition, D.S’s wife Ruth is a nurse who could help with a medical compassion ministry. Please pray for this dream to become reality.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: God's provision, life changemissions in India

Caribbean Stories

February 6 2013

Caribbean Stories

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

On my recent ministry trip to the Caribbean I was accompanied by five Canadian couples. What a blessing it was to have them be a part of the team to encourage and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ! One of the couples gave me a sum of money to give where “I saw a need or where someone could be blessed.”

During our trip we were having dinner with a pastor and his wife. They were in town due to the pastor’s health. He is diabetic and is losing his vision. During our conversation we were discussing Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. The pastor’s wife mentioned that years ago their family had a Christmas tree, but in recent years no trees or nativity scenes were permitted. Now, they wanted a tree for their children but could not afford one. I "saw a need” and felt led to give them some of the money to purchase a tree.  I cannot express the emotion they showed that evening.

The following day we were speaking to a pastor from another town who was giving us an update on his wife’s health. We have been praying for her. She has a broken jaw caused by lack of calcium and is being fed by a feeding tube. The doctor told them, "Until you get a floor in your home, your wife should not be living there because of her health and the danger of falling.” They only had a dirt floor, with some cement. They estimated what it would cost to replace the cement and dirt floor with some tile.  It came to almost the exact amount I had left to be given “where someone could be blessed.”  God is good! They will soon live in their home with a tile floor.     -Willie

Before I knew Christ, I was a very violent person, given to drugs and excessive drinking. I thank God that I met Jesus and accepted Him into my life. My desire is now to live for Him. The training sessions have been a great blessing and teaching for my life and have revolutionized my life. The day after I accepted Christ, I opened my house up for worship services and since then many more have opened their homes.     -Pablo

A young woman in the eastern part of the country was very involved in her work. One day, at five in the afternoon, someone came to her door and shared Jesus. She gave her heart to the Lord that day. She has been attending the local church but had not become involved in the training to plant churches. She attended a workshop last week, and it was reported that she had already brought 11 people to the church. Since the training classes, she has six new believers that have given their hearts to Christ. She is beginning a new house church next week.     -Allison

These are some examples about how God provides through His people as they obey the call to GO, GIVE and PRAY. Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

 

Tags: God's provision, house church, life change, trainingtransformed