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Prayer Update Thanksgiving Day, November 2008
In this Update:
 
Potential
2009 Church Leadership Conferences
Ghana
March 2009
Kenya
July 2009
Rwanda
July 2009
DR Congo
July 2009
Costa Rica
date unknown
 
Prayer Needs

*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 become self-sufficient.

 
Report from Kenya
Youth Pastor Training Materials have been sent to a youth pastor in Kenya who is training others in the discipleship curriculum.
 

Visit our Website EquipDisciples.org

*New resources under Resources
*HIV/AIDS booklet has been posted in English and Swahili

*See additional trip photos and reports coming soon.

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is Good!


African feast

Cabécar banquet

O taste and see that the LORD is good.
How happy is the one who takes refuge in Him!
(Psalm 37:8--HCSB)

We give thanks for...

Partners in the Great Commission    God's Word   God's protection
Those who taught us the Bible Faithful friends  Dedicated volunteers
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  Jesus!
 

Potential Missions for 2009


Kigali, Rwanda
We 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 tammie@equipdisciples.org.

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; Passport.
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.

 

Current Needs

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 year:

  • 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 software.

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 Congo.
  • Youth camp for 50 youth next summer in Rwanda.

As you are led, you may contribute online as well as at our mailing address (below).

Thanks to all of you for your continued support!

 

Crisis in Congo

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.

 

Testimony from the Field

by Alfred Mtawali

Editor'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:

I 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?

At 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.”

Several 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.

 

501(c)(3) Status

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 ministry.

 

Discipleship Corner:

Seeing others in a True Light

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 storerooms of--

  • fear or jealousy
  • selfish ambition or pride
  • resentment
  • unforgiveness
  • 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.

As 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 neighbor.

We must 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 and justice.

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.

(Proverbs 27:17--HCSB)


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Scripture Quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)