2009 Church Leadership Conferences
*For God to bring the right team members for the trips this year.
*For planning and preparation of the conference with the purpose to
expand God's Kingdom and strengthen the churches.
*For our friends and partners in Africa: Alfred, Joe, Amos L., Amos K.,
Dieudonne, Martin, Mbusa....
*For peace in Congo.
*For the believers to keep the faith and expand God's Kingdom.
*For continued fruit from the conferences last year.
*For God to provide for us.
*For God's wisdom and direction.
*For God's protection.
Report from DR Congo
We are supporting 7 child soldiers from last summer's mission
trip. We are currently providing for their schooling, housing, clothes,
and food. Some of the students are in school and some are being trained
in masonry, woodwork, and electricity so that at some point they can
Report from Kenya|
Youth Pastor Training Materials have been sent to a youth pastor in
Kenya who is training others in the discipleship curriculum.
Give Thanks to the Lord, for He
O taste and see that the LORD is
How happy is the one who takes refuge in Him!
We give thanks for...
Partners in the Great Commission|| God's Word||
Those who taught us the Bible|| Faithful friends||
|Those who preach peace
God's watch over our friends in Goma
God's provision and goodness||
Those who live with integrity|
Those who speak for justice and mercy|| Prayers of the saints||
Potential Missions for 2009
look forward with excitement to what God will do both in and through Equip
Disciples this coming year. Planning is still in the early stages, but it is
already time for people to begin making plans to serve with us this coming year. Be
in prayer for us as we prepare and let us know if you know anyone interested
in being on one of the teams.
Planning meetings begin Sunday January 11 at the
Friberg's house (see
details). You can also contact
Church Leadership Conferences in the works:
- Ghana, West Africa (March 2009)
- Kenya, East Africa (July 2009)
- Rwanda, Central Africa (July 2009)
- DR Congo, Central Africa (July 2009)
- Costa Rica (date unknown)
Personnel needed: Seasoned Bible teachers; HIV/AIDS awareness
teachers; computer PowerPoint & Bible Software teachers (in Kenya);
other special topic teachers; Youth workers (in Rwanda--including sports
coaches, Bible study leaders).
Requirements: immunizations; preparation meetings; travel insurance;
Volunteer Cost: estimated at $3,000
Basic Information: Conferences last from 8 to 5 each day, and in the evenings we pray and
share together from the Word of God and the days experiences. We typically
stay in a hotel or guest house in a large city. We pay careful attention to
security issues in each country. Volunteers must be active in their local
church and have gifts in the area of service where they want to serve.
We are both looking ahead to the 2009 missions and
also following up on the missions of the past year.
1. Church Leadership Conference Expenses for the new
- Printing of Worldview Discipleship Training Materials.
A basic theological and Christian living training manual
for use with believers of all ages and spiritual depths
whether they are literate or illiterate.
- Printing of HIV/AIDS Awareness and Ministry Booklet.
Written to educate people as to the transmission and
prevention of HIV, as well as a guide on starting
ministries to those affected by this virus.
- Purchasing of the Bridges videos and manuals. A series
written by a former Muslim, training others how to share
their faith with their Muslim neighbors.
- Purchasing of Study Bibles. Many church leaders and
memberships do not have Bibles in the areas we minister.
- Purchase of CDs for distributing free Bible Study
2. Youth Work
- Child Soldier Vocational Training Expenses.
Self-sustaining housing, education, and vocational
training safe-haven for our new sons in Christ, the
former child soldiers we worked with last summer in DR
- Youth camp for 50 youth next summer in Rwanda.
you are led, you may
contribute online as well as at our mailing address
Thanks to all of you for your continued
On August 28, war broke out once again in eastern Congo. The conflict has
finally surfaced on a regular basis in the international media--after 5
million people have died as a result of the conflict over the last 10 years.
Currently the city of Goma is under siege. Cut off from the rest of the
Congo, food must come in from Rwanda. At one point recently, 100,000
additional IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) were in Goma, but many have
left due to lack of food. Food prices have skyrocketed--even tripled. When
we were there in July, we saw prices rise 10-25% in one week, and this was
well before the conflict broke out.
Our Christian brothers and sisters are keeping half a dozen refugees in
their homes on average. Yet they do not even have enough food for their own
families. Pray with us as we consider how we might be able to help
coordinate support for these Christians in
their ministry to refugees.
Alfred MtawaliEditor's Note: Last summer, Alfred Mtawali, our partner
from Kenya, went with us to minister in DR Congo (DRC). We asked
Alfred for a testimony concerning his work last summer in Congo:
grew up in an environment where violence and conflict was unheard of, let
alone tribal wrangles. I could not imagine that there were children
somewhere who lived in fear, who were forced into killing their fellow
countrymen, who were intimidated by power hungry people. My assumptions were
canceled when in July 27, 2008, I landed in Goma, the eastern side of Congo.
I met with people who had lived in fear all their lives.
I met with over 40 child soldiers who had been rescued by government
troops or other peace keeping forces in the DRC. When I met them for the
first time, I noticed that their heads had been shaved like soldiers. What
struck me though were the smiles they carried on their faces. Within a few
days of interacting with them, I got to hear their stories. How they had
broken all God’s Ten Commandments. They confessed having raped, killed,
stolen, hated, and talked of all the sins you cannot imagine. It was when I
had heard their sad stories and the pain they had gone through that a cloud
of mercy engulfed my spirit. Immediately, my mind went to my six year old
daughter. I imagined what would happen if she was suddenly abducted, what
would happen if she suddenly could not locate where her parents were?
one point, I felt like taking these boys to my home village where my dad has
enough land for them to live and experience peace, and yet I knew very well
that it is not possible. I remember one boy asking me if he could even come
to Kenya with me, for he had no place to call home. Another boy gave me a
drawing on a simple paper with his name on it. And these are the words he
said, “Take this and remember that you met, a young boy like me.” I
laminated that drawing and keep it as a treasure and also as a way of
reminding me to always pray for these children.
I will not forget the day I asked them to accept the Lord as their
personal Savior. I had doubts as to whether or not they meant to give their
lives to God when I saw all their hands raised to Jesus. So I asked them
three times if they were sure. They all kept raising their hands. It was a
joy to see these beautiful people coming to the Lord. One boy said, “We
don’t want to live in the past anymore.”
things came out clearly in my life when I interacted with these kids. These
are the words of Paul in Romans 8:1ff where he says, “There is now no
condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.” I tried to think about my
life. How would I go on with life, if I had killed someone? Would I be able
to fight the guilt in my life? Would I able to forgive myself? Yet God says
that if we confess our sins, he will forgive us.
I was thrilled when it dawned on me that God would never remember the
past lives of these children. He had forgiven them and justified them
through faith in Christ. I marveled at God’s love and forgiveness. They
could sing with vitality and jump around with the joy of the Lord.
I was personally challenged by these children’s appetite for the word of
God. Every time I mentioned a Scripture reference, they would insist on
reading it. There was no day I spoke to them without them reminding me of
their need for God’s written Word. And here I was having about 10 Bibles in
my house, some of which are never read. I finally was challenged and gave
out the Swahili Bible I had carried to one of the kids.
Since then, I find myself following up the news on Eastern Congo all the
time. It is my hope that God will establish them in their faith and that He
will give them hope--in such a conflict-ravaged region of Africa. The Bible
says that with God all things are possible. I pray that there will be peace
and that the Word of God will spread.
Our application for a determination letter from the IRS is finally with a
reviewer! A letter could be issued within a couple of weeks. Note that
the determination, once received, is retroactive to the beginning of the
by Tammie Friberg
Have you ever been frustrated when someone jumps
to the wrong conclusions about something you've done or said? At times
we all jump to the wrong conclusions--and misunderstandings occur. But
when we regularly misjudge someone, it points to something deeper,
hidden within ourselves. These misjudgments can come from inner
- fear or jealousy
- selfish ambition or pride
- unresolved conflict
- anger from a past hurt transferred to the present
- one's own sinfulness that one is trying to hide
- deep rooted bitterness
These inner problems can deceitfully distort our perceptions of others. Sin is deceitful, and can
influence us to ignore our own sinfulness by placing excessive blame on
someone else. King David spoke of people who would twist his words and
falsely accuse him, and of people who
plotted his harm. Psalm 56:5-6 says:
They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk;
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
believers, we certainly don't want to be like that.
So how do we clean out the storerooms of our heart and replenish them with good
character and integrity? The answer lies in our ability to allow God's
love to control us (2 Cor. 5:14).
Consider Leviticus 19:17-18, “You must not hate your brother in your
heart. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt
because of him. Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of
your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.”
Even in the Old Testament Law, it's the inner grudge that we must do away with so
that we are free to love our neighbors as ourselves. Notice the last
phrase, “I am the LORD.” Letting go of grudges must fall under obedience
to the Lord. But notice also that it doesn't mean we aren't to correct our
remember truth and justice are the foundation of God's Throne.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Loving-kindness and truth go before You” (Psalm 89:14). How much more,
then, should we be reflecting Him in our relationships!
Seeking understanding is another way we can see others in a true
light. Seeking understanding isn't just a thought process we go
through; it's talking together with those with whom we've experienced
misunderstandings. In Scripture, wisdom and understanding go hand in
hand. Understanding is an interesting word in the Bible, because it
encompasses justice, mercy, and love, all together. We are exhorted in
Scripture to “Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' And call
understanding your intimate friend” (Proverbs 8:4).
One of the
Hebrew words for wisdom is the word, Abigail. Yes, it's a girl's name.
But it also has a special meaning in Hebrew. It means the ability to see
things from every angle. Remember when Abigail went out to bring David food
because she could see the situation brewing between David and her
husband from every angle (1 Samuel 25)?
We should seek to see things from
every perspective--only then are we able to proceed with right actions.
If we haven't acquired understanding with wisdom, we're likely to
allow our emotions and our own judgments of others to prevail over love
Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
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