This week and next week GFI partners with our daughter ministry, Grace Counseling India, to provide Christ-Centered Counseling training. John is there for the conclusion of a training module at their ministry center in Kerala. May 18-21 will be a conference for pastors and lay leaders of St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India. The speakers will be John Woodward, Alex Mathew, and John Zachariah. The GCI web site gives the details: GraceCounselor.org. Intercession for these events is appreciated.
News from GFI affiliates in other nations
Our strategic partners in Pakistan have translated Handbook to Happiness into the local Urdu language. The first printing arrived in time for Christmas. Now let’s pray as this church sends sample copies to selected Christian leaders in the country. When the senior pastor’s father read Handbook, he was impressed that this message could be used of the Lord as a catalyst for personal renewal and church revival there. Wouldn’t it be ironic if those churches lead the way as an example to American churches in making the fuller message of the Cross central in ministry.
Handbook to Happiness is coming off the press in Urdu in Pakistan. Via Skype, Chuck Solomon spoke to a group of 500 at a church in Lahore, Pakistan at 3:00 A.M. on November 13th. Each attendee received an Urdu Wheel & Line tract to refer to during his lecture, and each will receive a Handbook. Pray for the translator, Simon. His father (also a pastor). He believes God will use Handbook’s message to spark revival in the churches there.
GFI board member, Hans Haun, left November 13th for his mission trip to the Philippines. He will have an exchanged life conference in Bohol this week for 30+ pastors. On his way home on the weekend, he will lay over in Manila and speak with 5-6 pastors from a large church there.
GFI missionary, Perfecto Mumar, will be hosting the conference and Pastor Joel (GFI trainee) will also attend. Please pray for all the pastors involved and Hans.
“The message of the cross changed the life of many people. One of the testimonies is of brother Franck. He experienced rejection after the death of both parents who died in a car accident; he was a baby and the only one who survived. At the age of 13 Franke discovered that the one who raised him was not his mother, but his aunt. He was suicidal without knowing the root cause. He was one of the people who exchanged his life for the Christ-Life. I preached in the church, Seed of Life, that has a Bible school and plans to include the Exchanged Life (Galatians 2:20) in their curriculum.”
Please pray for the advance of the French ministry there.
Grace Counseling India has been conducting their one month biblical counselor training at their campus in Kerala, India. GFI’s John Woodward joined them May 7-14, co-teaching at the Institute and a three day seminar. A recording of one of his messages on Christ-centered Soul Care is online here: gfiworld.sermoncampus.info/20083384
A English / French conference was presented at Word of Life Church in Cape Town South Africa, concluding on March 2nd. The teacher, pastor Jacques Ngaliema, has been trained at GFI, TN with an internship at our sister ministry, Curare (with Hendrik and Nehlsie DeBruto). God touched and guided many to “cross the Jordan River” by appropriating their co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ. Participants were also from Nigeria, Namibia, Congo, and Gabon. Pray for Jacques as he counsels and teaches the victorious life in various places.
On March 29th, a French & English GFI Exchanged Life seminar was presented in Montreal. The event was hosted by Grace Ministries International (church). The event was taught by Mr. Dominique Gallou. He and his wife, Eileen, are GFI- trained lay counselors who now direct GFI Quebec. An English seminar is being planned for June hosted by Bethel Chapel. Pray for God to grow this equipping ministry that is greatly needed in that province.
The French ministry’s web site is gfiquebec.com
Two “Fermata” spiritual retreats for pastoral couples were conducted recently in NE Brazil. The ministry was sponsored by Churches in Mission. John Woodward co-taught the sessions with event leader, Edmund Spieker. The pastors received Portuguese
literature and digital resources to equip them to share the fuller message of the Cross in public ministry, discipleship, and pastoral counseling. Please pray the family of Pedro dos Santos. This precious team leader was called home to be with the Lord just two days after completing the second event. A photo album of the trip is online here.
[Hans and Elly are alumni of the GFI training and use the resources effectively in Africa. Here is a report from them.]
Elly and I have taught the Exchanged Life using the Wheel and Line diagrams to groups of pastors, Christian leaders and also to villagers in Northern Malawi when we visited in May 2012.
About 1,400,000 Tumbuka speaking people live in the North of Malawi under very poor living conditions. This is the area where David Livingstone was about 170 years ago. Slavery in the past and more recently, AIDS have devastated these communities, destroying the values and skills needed for harmonious living. Love is not part of life, neither between parents nor toward children. Witchcraft and demon possession are common, causing fear and death.
These Malawians grow maize (corn) for food and some tobacco for cash. The poverty is astounding. People live in mud brick houses with leaky thatch roofs and work the land for a living. We work together with the Good Hope Team, which does a lot of humanitarian work and also shows the Jesus Film in each village they visit. We (the DCI Team) build on the Good Hope Team work by establishing one-on-one discipling and training leaders for multiplying Life Groups.
The Wheel diagram is a great help in teaching people to understand who they are in Christ. They realize that the problems in their life impact not only their daily existence, but also affect their bodies. We explained that once a person is born again, great help is available to make good choices. We taught them that the one in charge of their life (the one who is on the throne of life) determines whether they please God or not. As believers we can make choices based on what the Spirit tells us and based on God’s Word. The problem is not the problem, but how you deal with the problem is the problem.
The Line diagram helps people understand why we need to be born again. This is very helpful, because using the Line diagram people begin to understand that they belong to Adam’s family by nature and are lost. In order to be in Christ’s family we need to die to Adam’s family and be born again into Christ’s family and thus re-establish the spiritual relationship with God that was broken in the garden when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
At present our DCI Team in Malawi makes teaching the Wheel and Line Diagrams part of their teaching schedule when training leaders and also villagers. As the DCI Team goes into the villages they teach the Dynamic Churches International one-on-one discipling and also how to have multiplying Life Groups. The booklets we use in the native Tumbuka language also have the Exchanged Life teaching right in them as well.
Our teams (Good Hope and DCI) have handed out 22,000 Tumbuka New Testaments since 2012 and are handing out 30,000 more this year. These New Testaments, provided by the Canadian Gideons, are given to families, one to a family. The DCI Team seeks to establish Life Groups in the villages and train a Life Group leader/trainer so the vision for group multiplication can continue. Thousands are finding freedom in Christ through this process. The Malawians in Northern Malawi are very open to the Gospel. They have lost the understanding of how to live harmoniously together as a community and as a consequence a lot of dysfunction exists, not only on the family level, but also in their community. Once the Good News is preached and people are being saved, the whole situation changes. Alcoholism goes down, crime goes down, and families are beginning to live together in a loving relationship. We often hear them say, “We knew our life style was evil and wrong, but we didn’t know how to fix it. Now we know and we will change.” And they do, right away!
For more on their ministry, visit: northernmalawinews.wordpress.com
Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-5:00PM E.S.T.