Catchy title, eh? It has been a while since the last update and I honestly apologize. This past year has been suffering from a new disorder: SBS which is ‘Sudden Busyness Syndrome’! We have been used to being busy over the years but where it came in surges and now it has become a constant thing. Before you start feeling pity for us over here in this foreign land, please know that this busyness is an answer to prayer. It is common in the mission field for us to struggle to get ministry moving. The rule of thumb is about 5 years in order to get traction and really start seeing progress. Well, at year 7, it is here! Busyness has arrived in large measure and shows no sign of slowing down! Hence “Busyness As Unusual!”
Debra continues with her various areas of ministry. For Debra, wherever she is, ministry is! Working with the school (FMLK) was her primary focus but things ebb and flow there and right now the school year just began. Unlike the US, the school year ends before Christmas and the new school year starts at the end of January. So as she is working on things there, she also has been working on 10 other things. I love full time ministry because God knows what we need to be doing and He drops it into our laps when the time is ripe.
The traction I am really referring to has to do with my conference ministry. I wrote 2 books on biblical leadership, one for church leaders and one for believers who want to become leaders in business and life. I struggled for 2 years trying to get committed groups of people to, well, commit!
Everyone wants the training but few will commit to do the hard work.
I do not enable this behavior so I had many groups backing out when they found out they had to provide the lunches even though they could have easily provided them. The good part of this policy is that it has the effect of separating the people who will do the work of change from the ones who just want free food and a piece of paper and sadly that is really what it comes down to.
Many do not come to learn. Instead they will waste 3 days of their lives sitting in a conference just to eat free food and get a certificate! They love certificates and almost worship them. That is part of what we call “toxic charity.” It doesn’t help people; it harms them. Now that I have made clear my policies, God is now bringing group after group for conferences.
In December I took the school’s (FMLK) staff through training, in January I took another group of younger folks through. I just finished taking a local church through a 5 week Church Transformation series which is focused on turning dead churches into living ones. On top of that, Debra and I just completed our first marriage conference in 5 years and it went well.
We will be making them a higher priority. Marriage here is a very dysfunctional thing with all sorts of wrong ways and women are treated like they were in the Old Testament. The people here adopted a lot of those false teachings and completely ignore what the Bible says about the roles in marriage and that man and woman are equal to God.
He created them in His image but men confuse leadership with being a dictator when in reality he is to sacrifice for his wife and lead spiritually and in a way that treats his wife with love as Christ loved us.
All of this training is so needed here and I am so grateful that this was the area of ministry the Lord had prepared me for. He does that! Ephesians 2:10 tells us – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We see His hand in everything we do here. We are constantly amazed at how He provides everything we need to do His work.
Jesus promises us in John 15:7 –“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” He was talking to His disciples about doing the work of the Gospel and He wanted them to know that He would be their provider for what they needed to fulfill the work that Jesus had for them. Our experience is that this promise is one that never fails! Every time we have had a need in relation to our work here, He has come through and in some major ways. We do not have to worry or try to figure out something on our own. We just have to trust that if God leads us to it, He will provide what we need to go through it.
I am excited and at the same time a little overwhelmed. While I love training the young adults in those leadership conferences, my main interest is pastors since so many are poorly trained and there is so much false teaching here. God has now brought into view a large number of groups who are desperate for training and are willing to pay their “commitment fee” (lunches). So my ministry partner and translator George and I will be going on the road about once a month to other towns and villages to train groups of pastors many who come from a large false teaching denomination. So it is going to be the busiest year I have ever had. The work is exhausting but it is so fulfilling.
We want to thank all of you who have so generously given to us over the years! It is you who are a large part of our ministry. Without your support none of this would be possible. Thank you as well to our prayer partners who pray for us and our mission here consistently. We are always so grateful for how God has provided for us through all of you.
If you would like to partner with us go to this link and once you fill out the form, you will go to a new page, use the drop down to select “Goonza” which is the name of our 501c3. Thanks so much!