A Family Transformed

December 24 2012

A Family Transformed

Venu is just 21 years old, but he has recently begun serving as an ECC volunteer. He is helping his father who, though previously a drunkard and a worshiper of idols, is now a member of our ECC team. In the last few months, they have helped start nine evangelistic Bible studies, eight discipleship groups and nine house churches in several villages. There are also 24 laypeople who have also begun training to participate in the Train & Multiply ministry. 

Venu’s family was transformed by Christ eight years ago, and they have embraced the ministry of ECC, equipping lay people to become pastoral workers. A house church of 40-50 people regularly meets in their home. Despite significant financial needs, the family is faithfully serving God. Their legacy will probably go unnoticed according to the standards of this world, but in the service of Jesus, Venu and his family will be rewarded for their faithful obedience!

A FAMILY SERVING THE LORD 

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

Tags: church multiplication, house churchfaith multiplied

A Devoted Church Planter

December 21 2012

A Devoted Church Planter

Pastor D. is a church planter who was brought by a friend to the Church Multiplication Workshop.  Impressed by what he learned, he returned to his country and began to implement the plan he had formulated during the workshop.  

Ten months later, using the principles and strategies of church multiplication, he had eight house churches in operation.  Then one Sunday, radicals from another religious group attacked four of the churches, killing several, including Pastor D’s brother.  

Later the same day, when his aged mother heard the news, her heart was broken and she died.    Even later that day his father followed his dear wife and son to heaven.  Despite these developments, Pastor D., discouraged and downcast, returned to the next installment of the workshops.  

Once again he heard the voice of the Spirit speaking a fresh challenge to his heart.  During the finishing exercises, the participants were asked to submit fresh training goals for the following three months.  

Pastor D’s goals read: “In the next three months I will initiate the training of six new house church leaders, (and) begin nine new churches plus two in the outer villages.”  With fresh vision and fresh resolve he returned to his country and resumed his church planting ministry. 

Three months later, I returned to our training location and inquired of Pastor D’s overseer regarding his progress.  The answer came: “He is doing well.  He is already training seven new house leaders.”

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

Tags: church planting, church multiplication, house churchtraining

One Life Shared and Multiplied

December 10 2012

One Life Shared and Multiplied

Endla and Tamara have been believers for a long time but were not active in the church other than filling a seat each Sunday morning. In fact Tamara had become so bored with church that she spent most of the time looking for people and things to criticize, and eventually she had stopped attending altogether. 

That was until they started attending the women’s small group led by Piret Saard. As Piret quietly and steadily fed into their lives, they saw that God had work for them to do and that the Christian life could be one of dynamic service. Each week they were led not only to study the Scripture together, but also to apply it in concrete practical ways. This resulted in life change for both of these women. They came to understand that God had given them a life and relationship with Him that needed to be shared with others. Together they asked God to open the doors to non-believers that they could pray for, care for and share with.  

God answered their prayers and inspired them to approach the Rapla care home to see if there was some way they could help there. This home houses both pensioners and others who have fallen on hard times or have some kind of disability.

They were not sure exactly what they should do there, but God again answered their prayers and gave them the idea to take along a cassette player and some Estonian Christian music. This was a great hit and gave them the chance to discuss the meaning of the songs with the 6 or so who come regularly. They have also found other ways to serve by baking cakes to help celebrate birthdays or other special events. The word has gone out around the home that these ladies love us and pray for us and care when most feel that there is no one in the world who needs them.  They are slowly getting the message that it is not just Endla and Tamara who care, but that God their Creator also loves and cares deeply about them and seeks a personal relationship with them.

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

Tags: dynamic service, life change, answered prayerperson of peace

Mountaintop Experience

December 3 2012

Mountaintop Experience

360 degrees of God’s Grace or The Rest of the Story

Jesus says that we can worship God anywhere when we worship Him in spirit and in truth. The city of Azogues rests high in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador. Outside of the city, high on a mountaintop, a statue of the Virgin of the Mist was recently erected. Pilgrims visiting this statue are promised blessings from God when they petition the Virgin to mediate for them. Located on another mountaintop near the city are Inca ruins, where the sun and moon were worshiped many years ago. 

One morning Pastor Sergio and Every Community for Christ workers Pablo and Jacob took us up another mountaintop north of the city to tell us how God is answering prayers to reach every household in this area with the message of Christ’s salvation. As we drove up the mountain, we followed many switchbacks; each one seemed to reach the top, only to turn a corner and find another one. Finally, we came to a stop and got out of the car. There before us was a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Although the sun was shining, the breeze was brisk and cool at roughly 9,000 ft. above sea level.  

Sergio began showing and sharing God’s story. “See that village half way up that mountain?” he would ask. “There is a Bible study group meeting in a home there.” Then after a slight turn, “See that group of homes down in the valley? God has raised up a person of peace who is being discipled.” Looking back toward the other side, “A house church meets in that town, and up there on that mountainside lives a family who has recently asked for more information about what the Bible says.” We were overwhelmed as he continued to share with us how the ECC team has been working to reach rural areas with the Good News and how God is responding. We had a prayer time together praising God and asking Him for wisdom for these young men. It was a mountaintop experience that will remain in our memory for a long time.

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

Tags: spirit and truth, answered prayer, person of peacehouse church