News from GFI affiliates in other nations

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French / English Seminar Presented

GFI_QC_3_28_14On 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

Brazil Fermata Retreats

Spiritual Clinics in Brazil

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

Fermata group at Juazeiro do Norte, Brazil April 3, 2014

Fermata group at Juazeiro do Norte, Brazil April 3, 2014

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.

Elly and interpreter teaching "Wheel and Line" message in Malawi

Dynamic Discipling in Malawi, Africa

[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.

Elly and interpreter teaching "Wheel and Line" message in Malawi

Elly and interpreter teaching “Wheel and Line” message in Malawi

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

Grace Counseling India Update

From Executive Secretary John Zachariah:

Visit to Chennai Tyrannous Hall: I was in CTH on 22nd and 23rd February for the CTH Managing  Committee meeting. At present there are 5 believing students staying and doing studies in different Colleges. They are being discipled and trained for life and ministry under the leadership of Dr. Abey Alexander of Christian Institute of Management, staying in the Campus as Voluntary Resident Staff.

Chennai GCI Centre:  CTH, under St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, was constructed in 2003 under my initiative and started functioning in 2006 me as the Executive Director. We made an agreement with the Church and CTH for a space in the CTH for the regular and permanent use for Grace Counseling India for Counseling and Training. Mr. Samuel Chandran and wife were taking care of the activities of the Centre and supported financially for a few years.

I had apersonal interview with the three students available and took a session on their True Identity in Christ.

Capt. T. M. Cherian and his wife Capt. Latha underwent GCI training program in 2012. Cherian was helping the students in their spiritual and personality development after their training with GCI. As per the decision of the GCI Governing Board, he has taken charge as Counselor and Trainer at GCI Chennai Centre (in the space provided in CTH) from December 2013. He is doing counseling to other people who come to him at the Chennai GCI Center on appointment.

GCI Chennai Centre Training Plans: We plan regular week-end or evening training programs, after May 2014, for those from the big city of Chennai who are interested about the Exchanged Life Counseling under the leadership of Capt. Cherian. Capt. Cherian and Capt. Letha are planning to attend the special GCI Seminar at GCI Centre, Kottayam from 7th to 10th May 2014 when John Woodward will be with us. They may stay back till John W leaves. Capt. Cherian will be a faculty for the training program taking some sessions for the trainees.

Pray that there will be great ministry in Chennai through our this GCI Chennai Centre under the leadership of Capt. Cherian and Capt. Latha in the years to come.

STECI Church worship – Sharing of the Exchanged Life message: On Sunday the Pastor gave me opportunity to give the message during the Church worship and to talk on Spiritually Mature Believer. God helped me share about Christ-centered life as the only alternative to self-centered life and the means to Christian maturity. The message was new and real to most of the members and they appreciated the message. I hope I will have more opportunity to conduct an Exchanged Life Seminar in the days to come for the Church members. The Pastor is one who was mentored by me years back.

Grace Counselor: The quarterly publication of Grace Counselor will be published within two weeks after 5 years gap as  January- March Issue 2014. The matter is gone to press with Cherian Zachariah as Editor and Deepak doing hard work on the same. This quarterly was greatly appreciated by the readers in the past and there were enquiries about the quarterly all these years. We go with the publication by faith as we have yet to find funds for the same.

Pray for all these needs and opportunities foe His glory and for the furtherance of the ministry in the country.

In His Grace and Love,
John Z.

[To partner with Grace Counseling India financially (single donation or recurring), please use the international fund at GFI’s web site.]

Nepal Mission Trip

Our East Africa Director, “Westin”, was greatly used of the Lord in a return trip to teach and equip believers with Christ centered counseling in Nepal.

Here is a glimpse of what the Lord did (as described in one of his reports):

On Thursday evening turned out to be an evening where the Holy Spirit moved into all the Students lives and powerfully entered into their new found Identity in Christ . There was a lot of laughter , joys and tears as they realized that they had to conduct their own funeral and enter into the joy of living out of their resources in Christ. It was a session that was difficult to stop because of the release of the presence of God .

In between the sessions I had several Counseling Sessions with a number of the Students that turned out to be transformational and many testified of God’s hand at work in their lives.

We had in attendance a young man  from Mid-Western Nepal that I led to Christ last year. He attended with his Pastor after you could tell that in this past year he had really grown spiritually . He came for the training and also for Water Baptism which took place today where we had Five Candidates being baptized.

We sampled a few testimonies with one coming from a lady pursuing her Masters in Divinity Program saying she had made up her mind that this training had confirmed the call of God upon her life and was going out there to use what she had learned. A Pastor whom I met last year… shared of the joy of going back to his family and Church a transformed life and vessel in the hands of God…

This trip required an estimated 2000 miles of travel in the country! Grace Fellowship’s international workers can be financially supported via GFI’s mission fund.

Renewal in South Africa

We just had a wonderful morning of quick fellowship with one of our trainees of many years ago. I think I have told you about him in the past. Drs, J. E. and his wife_____.

______’s [Her] life was changed dramatically by the Exchanged Life when we trained her and her team who are ministering to the homeless. After J______ saw the dramatic change in his wife, he wanted to know more. He invited us to train him and a cell group. During the training J______ had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and the old J_____ “died” (Luke 9:23).

Then he invited us to do the training with his elders. Now his whole church is based on the Exchanged Life (Gal. 2:20). He says that his whole ministry has changed and he now has a vision. The Exchanged Life is not just another course which can be ticked off as done.

He can now measure spiritual growth. He now knows what discipleship is. He now knows where other ministries fit in–after the Cross (Rom. 6:6-14) is applied. He has trained people in his church to carry the message of the Cross. His church is an example of how the Cross is the cornerstone and the message of a church. And his church is growing. It is not that he is interested in numbers, he wants people to know the Cross and as he says: “the Cross applied.”

He also started an English church, _____________ for the thousands of foreigners living in the Bellville area. This church is also growing…

Thank you again for sending [training materials] to us. It is of great value to all our trainees. When we go to Fish Hoek we will give it to Gordon to copy as well and also to our brother George.

Before we leave Cape Town we will invite all our co-workers from Cape Town and Surroundings and we will have a time of fellowship and thanking God. We will ask all the participants to give a short testimony of how God is using them. The aim is also to strengthen the network of all the ones who “died in Christ”. Wish you could all be here, We will let you know when it happens and we will make a video for you to see all your “offspring”.

We also had such good news from a young man Hendrik ministered to in Pretoria. He was in a big black hole and Hendrik kept on encouraging him and bringing him the Cross. Last night we heard that he has a steady job now and is a changed person. He wrote a poem to the Lord with Whom he is now totally in love with. As Amanda taught us: I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU. When we move to Pretoria we will be close to him and be able to disciple him.

We praise God to be part of this glorious ministry. Many blessings and favour to you all.
Hendrik and Nehlsie

[They supported through GFI’s missions budget]

Update from Romania

Greetings from Romania,
I just come back from a preaching tour in Bucovina (North Romania and Ukraine).  I established with pastors there to begin a training with some potential leaders in exchanged life counseling and discipleship. Please pray for me to be efficient in this work. We are going to start in October of this year.
Say hello to the GFI team.
-Peter Mihent
(GFI Romania)

Internship in South Africa

Amanda W. attended the Grace Fellowship Conference and Workshop last March. To get more biblical counseling experience, she has gone to Grace Fellowship’s counselor/trainers in South Africa–Hendrick and Nehlsie DeBruto. God is transforming lives there through the Christ-centered personal ministry there. Pray for their work, known as “Curare.”  Nehlsie’s talk, Discovering God’s Role for Women is online here.

Nelsie_ANehlsie and Amanda