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Prayer Update Resurrection Week - March 2010
In this Update:
 
Click Here
to see our on-going needs
 
2010 Church
Leadership
Conferences
DR Congo
June 2010

Rwanda
June 2010

Kenya (3)

June-July 2010

Costa Rica,
Ghana

date unknown
 
Did you Know?
  • In Africa there are over 9 million Christians, but the church is a mile wide and an inch deep.
  • Many rural Indigenous pastors learn more from charismatic American tv evangelists and false teachers than from formal seminaries.
  • A large majority of the people who attend church are syncretisitc- mixing traditional religions with Christianity.
  • There are entire congregations which do not have Bibles.
  • There are virtually little or no discipleship materials written or available to a large majority of indigenous pastors.
  • There are preachers and Christians living in refugee camps who don't even have a Bible because they have fled their homes and villages to escape from rebel groups.
  • Because of war, disease, poverty, and persecution, and a lack of training, many believers are kept thinking they are the mission field rather than those who can work together to send out missionaries.
  • Many pastors we work with have never attended a formal seminary. Some of them do not own Bibles.
  • Jehovah Witnesses are more active in passing out their version of the Bible than Protestants are in giving out Bibles.
  • Bibles are very expensive in Africa, and sometimes rare. In DR Congo, where people sometimes make 25 cents per day to buy food, shelter, and clothing for their family, Bibles are $10. Study Bibles are $25.
  • It has been said in some countries, that false religious people are buying Bibles (to prevent others from having them) and creating shortages where Bibles are greatly needed.
 
Thank you to our board members at Equip Disciples for their counsel, support, and encouragement throughout the years! Joe Friberg- Pres. and Treasurer; Jennifer Carson- Vice Pres.; Tammie Friberg- Sec.; and members: Brad Scott; Mark Carson; Cheryl Allovio; Jeff Caffey; and Phyllis Hardy.
 

Consider serving with Equip Disciples this year!

Contact tammie@ equipdisciples.org for more information.

 

Visit our Website
EquipDisciples.org

New resources under Resources:

  • HIV/AIDS booklet has been posted in English and Swahili
  • Theological Discipleship manual in English has been updated

BikeRunWalk4Bibles

*** Benefiting Mission Arlington and Equip Disciples ***

Sunday May 2, 2010

4:30-8:00pm

Location: River Legacy Park, Elm Grove Pavilion 703 NW Green Oaks Boulevard, Arlington, TX, 76006

Registration:

*Bring one new or gently used Bible for Mission Arlington

*and a $15 fee for individuals and $25 for a family.

Register on-line at: ../Bike4Bibles/default.htm or, we have walk up registration. You may purchase a Bible to give to Mission Arlington at the park. Sponsor sheets available to raise funds for more Bibles.

All proceeds go toward purchasing Bibles to distribute in Equip Disciples summer discipleship conferences in Rwanda, DR Congo, and Kenya this year. Our goal is 700 Bibles, or $7,000.
 

Prayer Needs

  • Pray for the 5 conferences we will be leading this June and July in Rwanda, DR Congo, and Kenya.
  • Pray for our team members.
  • Pray for God to equip us, guide us, and prepare us for the many hours of teaching we will do.
  • Pray for God's spiritual and physical protection as we travel and work. And for our families back home.
  • Pray for God to give us insight into the spiritual needs of those who come, and how to answer cultural and doctrinal questions.
  • Pray for God to prepare those who are going to attend:
  • Pray for the strengthening of the church so that it can stand against false teachings, persecution, discouragement, and false religions.
  • Pray for the movement of God's people in Africa into the work of missions and church planting.
  • Pray for our partners: Alfred, Amos, Martin, Dieudonne, Kenneth, Charles, Timothy, and Alan.
  • Pray for the former youth soldiers with whom we will be teaching in Congo this summer.
  • Pray for our plans to start a self-sustaining business for the youth in Congo.
  • Pray for our collegue, Nathan, who is right now teaching our discipleship materials in India to indigenous pastors at a Bible College.
  • Pray for Lauren and Ben as they are translating our materials into Spanish.
  • Pray for Mimi as she is working on drawings for a Chinese version of our teaching materials.

Thank you for your support and on-going prayers for us. We are truly grateful. This year's trips will be a challenge to us as we are doing five 3 day intensive conferences in a row, in 3 different countries.  Pray for our strength, our voices, our health, our team members, and for the absolute guidance and wisdom of the Spirit in all things. There is not a day that passes that we are not aware of the prayers you all offer on our behalf. We literally feel the undergirding and the incredible work of the Spirit. He gives us what we need for each day and for each moment.  May God bless you.

 

Recent News:

Equip Disciples recently programmed and prepared mega voices for First Baptist Church, Arlington's mission work in West Africa.

Our Theological Discipleship Materials are currently being introduced in a Bible College in India by one of our former team members.

Equip Disciples started a youth Bible study for grades 8-12 on Friday nights focusing on in-depth study of the book of Philippians and basic theology.

Mimi Cheung is working on Illustrations for an upcoming Chinese version of Theological Discipleship.

Lauren and Ben Escoto are working on a Spanish translation of Theological Discipleship.

BikeRunWalk4Bibles event is to be held in May to raise funds for Bibles to be distributed in Africa.

10:00am Sat., April 10, next Equip Disciples team meeting. Contact Tammie@equipdisciples.org for becoming a team member.

 

Ministry Needs

Dear Supporters, Thank you for your on-going support for our ministry. We are deeply grateful.  Right now we are in need of people who will sign up to give to us on a monthly basis. We have one person doing this right now. It is easier for us to save and plan ahead for conferences if we know what funding we are going to have available. Keep in mind, we work out of another business office for free. We have no paid staff.  We do have supply costs, which amount to about .05% of our income.  We are tentmakers, and we also work to provide for this ministry ourselves. In addition, we pay our own way to Africa and everywhere we go!  All of this to say, that your gifts are saved and used for the needs of our conferences. If you are able to give on a monthly basis, we have some suggestions below of how you might give, or you can just give generally. Please see our website listed below for information.
Consider giving a one-time gift, or sign up to give automatically each month.
*We have a special gift of appreciation for donations of $100 or more--see details below!
Theological Discipleship Manual
1 per month = $5/month or $60/year
Order-one-give-one = $10

../donations#Theological

Bibles
1 per month = $20/month or $240/year

../donations#Bibles

Equip Disciples Printshop / Bookstore in Nairobi, Kenya
To provide printing and distribution of materials in East Africa. $3500 needed.

../donations#Printshop

Café for Former Child Soldiers in DR Congo
To provide self-sustaining support for ex-child soldiers' training and school fees and daily needs. $1350 needed.

../donations#Cafe

Thank You for your Support!

While Supplies Last, we will send everyone who donates $100 or more to Equip Disciples, a bar of homemade organic hand soap made from goats milk and essential oils. This soap was donated by a friend who makes it, and is very good for your skin. 
Equip Disciples is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry.
All donations are tax-deductable.
 

Discipleship Corner...

Haneks

 

What led to Jesus' death?   

by Tammie Friberg

Familiar term? Probably not - at least not the Hebrew form of the word. But it is an interesting word to explore as we approach the resurrection celebration. So what does this Hebrew word have to do with Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection?

In the Old Testament, there were certain types of people we come to know through David and the Prophets in particular. They were known as haneks, or those who exhibited godlessness or ungodliness. A glimpse of this type of person is seen in Isaiah 33:14-15 where the “godless” are presented as opposite of the person who, “Lives righteously and speaks rightly, who refuses gain from extortion, whose hand never takes a bribe, who stops his ears from listening to murderous plots and shuts his eyes to avoid endorsing evil--he will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the rocky fortresses, his food provided, his water assured. Isa. 33:5-16. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Both prophet and priest are ungodly, even in My house I have found their evil. This is the Lord's declaration” (Jer. 23:11). King David referred to the godless as those who opposed the righteous, who spoke against them, who plotted against them, and who set traps for them (see Psalm 35, and 61).

It is a profound word and quite interesting because the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT, used during the NT days) uses the term hupokrites when translating this word. Do you recognize the word yet? It is the word, hypocrite- meaning actor, or to play a part. But in most of our English versions, it is translated as godlessness in the OT. Hypocrite-godlessness, hmm an interesting comparison especially when considering the Pharisees who opposed Jesus, and even our modern day use of the word. It makes sense that such people existed before the NT times, but under a different language label. Stephen referred to them when he addressed religious leaders saying, "You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your forefathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They even killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it" (Acts 7:51-53).

Isn't it true that hypocrisy is godlessness in the place God is to reign- in our hearts? The hypocrite resists the Holy Spirit.  While there is godlessness in the heart, there is a false outward appearance of religiosity evidenced by the person's position as a leader or by a person's ritualistic practice of outward religion. So the problem is that the person's inner self and outward title or ritual, do not match. And the things the person practices are inconsistent with true godliness. Hypocrites give a false outward appearance. They honor God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him (Mark 7:6). As Jesus put it, on the inside they are full of deadmen's bones.

In the NT, we find Jesus using the term hypocrite 15 times in the Synoptic Gospels in reference to the scribes, experts of the Law, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He addressed the religious leaders more aggressively than anyone else. What a sad commentary on the religious leaders of His day....and also on those in leadership in the days of the prophets. As Jesus puts it, the Pharisees are the sons of the haneks who killed the prophets. Jesus addressing them as hypocrites is not exactly what modern day communicators would say was the way to win friends and influence people! But then trying to avoid death may not be the proper focus if corruption is to be strongly addressed, and the right way to God's Kingdom revealed.

Have you ever noted the number of times the Pharisees and scribes or other leaders “gnashed their teeth” at Jesus, or went out and plotted how they might capture him....sounds similar to David's descriptions of those who opposed him in the Psalms. In fact, the way Jesus talks to and about the Pharisees coupled with His popularity with the crowds, are the very things that brings about his death. You see, it was not just that Jesus claimed to be God's Son that killed Him. Even Pilate knew that, “It was because of envy that the chief priests had handed Him over” (Mark 15:10-11).

It was the same with Stephen. When Stephen addressed the religious leaders, "they were enraged in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him. Then they screamed at the top of their lungs, stopped their ears, and rushed together against him" (Acts 7:54). We know shortly after this, the religious leaders had Stephen killed. It was because of the things he implied against them.

What made the Pharisees and other religious leaders so mad? Consider the following:

*Jesus told the crowds not to do what the Pharisees did, because they did not practice what they preached- Matt. 23:3. [Ca-ching!]

*He said when they convert others, they only make them twice as fit for hell as they were- Matt. 23:15. [Glad Jesus said this and not me!]

*He called them blind guides, fools, hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, snakes, broods of vipers, and those who killed the prophets- Matt. 23. [Oooooouch!]

*They exchanged the major elements of the Law (truth, justice, mercy) for the minor ones (tithing spices)- Luke 11:42. [Yep.]

*They loved to sit in the important seats in the synagogues and in the greeting places- Luke 11:43. [hmm]

*They deceived people- Luke 11:44. [tttttt]

*They were those who have taken away the key of knowledge and hindered others from entering God's kingdom- Luke 11:52. [so sad]

*He referred to them as not having eyes to see or ears to hear. And as those who replaced God's teachings with the teachings of men and tradition- Mark 7:6-9. [so true]

*He said the yeast of the Pharisees is hypocrisy- Luke 12:1d. [so it expands and grows!]

*Jesus said they had the ability to predict the weather, but could not discern the work of God or the coming of God's Kingdom- Luke 12:54-56. [they took pride in what they knew, but they were missing true spiritual discernment]

*Jesus also taught many parables condemning the religious leaders to hell- Matt. And Luke. [Would have been interesting watching their faces the whole time]

*Luke 16:15 and 18:9 use the Greek word hubris to denote their excessive pride or self-confidence. [absolutely]

The Pharisees through-out the life of Jesus opposed Him fiercely and cross-examined Him about many things. They laid in wait for him in order to trap Him in something He said- Luke 11:53-54. There were even great divisions which occurred where some people said Jesus was good, and some said he was demon possessed. Eventually, they plotted how they would capture him and put him to death.

I suppose Jesus stood firm against them because here they were the leaders, but they were seriously going in the wrong direction! Jesus wanted to make major distinctions between their form of righteousness and the true way to righteousness. He even said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter God's Kingdom” (Matt. 5:20). So when Jesus came to earth, He taught directly against them—for God, for the Kingdom, knowing they would seek to kill him for it.

It is said of Jesus that he went from place to place teaching the kingdom of God. In fact, He spent most of His time on earth teaching. He was one single person going against the grain and direction of hypocritical and hostile religious leadership. It was the same opposite force that the prophets encountered. It was the same hanek. We sometimes forget that the OT prophets were not only opposed to the idol worship that religious leaders were promoting, but they were also opposed to them because they were unjust in judgments, they allowed the poor to be oppressed, they allowed false weights and balances, they were out for personal gain, and they sought the life of the righteous. What godlessness, and how they were blinded by their own power and position!

Some other interesting occasions of hypocrisy took place in the early church. Paul publicly addressed Peter for his hypocrisy when he was preventing table fellowship with Gentile believers. Peter's making distinctions forbidding table fellowship between believers was in violation of the teachings that everyone who believes in Jesus has been justified before God (Gal. 2:11-21). Table fellowship should be open to all. In another instance, Paul warns Timothy about hypocrites who have departed from the faith, listening to deceitful spirits and doctrines (pseudo-logos) of demons (1 Tim. 4:1-5). In early church writings we find The Shepherd of Hermas writing about hypocritical repentance where no sin had dropped away from the new believers, and Clement differentiates between those who keep peace and those who pretend to keep peace in 1 Clement 15, 1. Hypocrisy was even associated with those who gave a pretense of friendship. As you can see, hypocrisy is one issue that is strongly addressed by the prophets, Jesus, New Testament writers, and early church fathers because hypocrisy is an an inner and outward lie lived by those who are associated with knowing God.

So whether leaders or laymen, a study of hypocrisy gives us much to think about. When you think about it, all sin is hypocrisy. No wonder people are turned away from the church when they see this in leaders or layman. They don't see a difference between religious people and the world. I think Peter said it best, when he said, “Let love be without hypocrisy” (1 Pet. 1:22). Love is the fruit of true belief, because love stems forth from the inside. Let us also clean out the leaven of the Pharisees—which is hypocrisy. As we remember the resurrection of Jesus, let us remember who sits on the throne of our hearts and walk in the newness of life.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me.  

Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven.

For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5:11-12--HCSB)


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+1.682.556.2156 | Email us | 2126 Belmont Park Drive,
Arlington, TX  76017-4534
Equip Disciples is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry.
All contributions are tax-deductible.