Earlier this year at our Shepherd Serve Conference in northern Kenya, I taught, as I often do, about the means and methods of making disciples. That included some teaching about the concept of house churches, which was a revolutionary and liberating idea for most of the 180 pastors who attended our conference. People are so poor in much of rural Africa that they have no money to construct church buildings.
One of the pastors who attended our conference began to teach what he had learned to other leaders, and the woman in the above photo, Selina Akiru, is one of his disciples. She is from a large Kenyan tribe known as the Turkana, considered to be primitive and sometimes hostile. Here is what he wrote to me about her:
This lady came to us about six months ago, just when the teaching was still fresh in our minds after the seminar you had with us. I shared with her about house churches and how it won’t cost anything. To her this sounded great. In her community there is no woman pastor and she didn’t want to become a pastor but she said she could assist in planting house churches among the Turkana community. And once she got one going she would look for a male pastor to oversee.
The past six months she has planted a total of ten house churches. She doesn’t call herself a pastor. She says she just has a gift to build relationships. She just goes around her community, and once someone invites her in, she shares the Word with them. And once the people open up and they receive Christ, she asks them if they would agree for their home to become a place where their neighbours and friends can come and share a meal and hear the Word together. These homes end up becoming house churches. It is amazing how she is doing it.
We were recently able to ship three-hundred copies of the Swahili version of The Disciple-Making Minister to Kenya, and Selina Akiru was one of the recipients. She will likely never attend a Bible School or seminary, but there are thirty-three biblical chapters in TDMM that will equip her for effective ministry. Imagine what she’ll accomplish in the next six months! No wonder she is smiling! Imagine what the other 299 recipients (mostly pastors) will accomplish!
It took two years of persistent work and jumping many hurdles to get a copy of The Disciple-Making Minister into the hands of Selina Akiru in Swahili. And that is just one of our book projects. To date, The Disciple-Making Minister is being translated, printed or distributed in Vietnamese, Chin, Mizo, Burmese, Chinese, Malayalam, Tamil, Bulgarian, Swahili, Romanian, Singalese, Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, Russian, Farsi, Urdu, Arabic, Pashto, Nepalese, Polish and Telegu. More projects are on the horizon. After my twenty-seven years of ministry in about fifty nations, I know that equipping Christian leaders with biblical truth is the most fruitful thing we can do to build God’s kingdom.
You may wonder how I have the time to oversee all those book projects along with everything else we’re doing. I’ve wondered that myself! I’m happy to tell you that the Lord has sent someone to help carry the load—my dear friend Chuck King. Chuck is a former pastor with thirty-one year’s experience who carries a similar calling as I do. He has ministered in twenty-six nations and has a heart for the poor.
Beginning in 2007, Chuck will be coordinating all of our book projects and pastors’ conferences around the world. In fact, Chuck has already begun helping us. He just returned from leadership training in Ukraine where he arranged the printing and distribution of the Russian version of TDMM with the help of several influential Christian leaders in that country. He is currently raising his personal support to serve at Heaven’s Family. (Contact him at [email protected])
|You can help put TDMM into the hands of pastors around the world by contributing directly to the Books for Pastors Fund by credit card or by sending a check to Heaven’s Family with “Pastors’ Book Fund” designated in the memo.|
In early November, disaster struck the city of Machilipatnam, India, in the form of eight days and nights of torrential downpour and flooding. Many followers of Jesus sustained significant damage to their simple thatched houses. Some homes were completely washed away by the flood waters, a huge loss to people who live on a few dollars per day. Heaven’s Family is coming to their aid.
|We’ve sent an initial gift to India to meet some of the most pressing needs, like daily food, for members of our spiritual family who lost everything. But there is much more that needs to be done, and we hope to send additional relief. If you would like to help, you can give by credit card to the Disaster Relief Fund or send a check to Heaven’s Family with “India Flood” in the memo. 100% of your gifts will be sent to India flood victims.|
The director of Christ’s Family Orphanage in Pakistan has a heart larger than most. After accepting into his small orphanage an additional sixty-six children whose parents all died in the October 2005 earthquake, he dreamed of building a new orphanage for them. But he had no money. So he sold everything he had of any value. A piece of land. His only car. His wife’s wedding jewelry. (She has since forgiven him.) Then he borrowed what he could. But he was still $40,000 short and construction came to a halt.
The “Father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5), however, never ceases to amaze us with His love. In November, some folks from Georgia whom I’ve never met sent Orphan’s Tear $40,000. Construction of Christ’s Family Orphanage has resumed.
|Now what is needed more than anything are sponsors for the seventy-eight unsponsored Pakistani orphans. Fifty-eight of those unsponsored orphans lost their parents when the earthquake struck a little more than one year ago. You can sponsor one orphan for just $20 per month on Orphans Tear. Select “Pakistan” for the country and little faces will appear! Someone there is waiting for you!|
Don’t Forget the Christmas Gift Cards!
Christmas is now just about three weeks away! Don’t forget that we have the perfect gift for you to give your loved ones—a gift card by which you can make a contribution to Orphan’s Tear in their honor. Everything collected will be sent to provide practical Christmas gifts for our 982 orphans in six nations. You can send a gift card to your loved one online.
Your Prayers Requested
As you are reading this, I’m ministering in Myanmar with team of eleven others from the U.S. and Australia. Orphan’s Tear sponsors care for 411 orphans in Myanmar, and we’re visiting all their orphanages. I’m conducting a leadership conference for 300 pastors, and we’re also dedicating several new orphanage dorms and a new medical clinic funded by Heaven’s Family. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. — David