Trina and I recently finished a leadership meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe that we have participated in for the last twelve years. It never ceases to amaze us just how different our experience is every time we visit this conference and this year was no exception. […]
The winter months, June through August, in the Southern Hemisphere, are traditionally very busy times in our ministry. For the first time in several years, this season has been approached with more excitement and anticipation as opposed to a sense of duty. Trina and I […]
Zimbabwe has become our second home on the continent of Africa. We love the Body of Christ in this nation and it serves as an unlikely hub for our ministry to the leaders of many other nations in Sub Saharan Africa. In 2015 we hosted leaders from Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia and Uganda in Harare, Zimbabwe. It would not have been our natural choice, but it is very clear that it is the place the Lord wants us working with leaders! We have been there for more than 12 years and we have had the opportunity to get to know leaders and to what degree they can be trusted.
Last year we launched our first water well project (click here for more details) and some of the fruit of it is pictured above. While first and foremost, IRC Ministries is an equipping/training ministry, we do feel called to raise some funding for projects that will meet basic needs and alleviate some suffering in Zimbabwe. The following is a list of our current projects:
1) Water well servicing orphans in the Bendura area of Zimbabwe.($6000)
2) Used tractor and plowing implement for an undeveloped farm ($8000)
3) Bricks and plumbing for ministry housing in Zimbabwe ($4500)
4) Solar panel electricity system for multiple uses ($7000)
One of the challenges concerning projects in Africa is trust. We know the area and how the local businesses and systems work. Please pray into these different endeavors and ask us any questions you might have.
Psalm 114:7-8 (NASB)
7 Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, Before the God of Jacob,
8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water, The flint into a fountain of water.
Zimbabwe has become a “second home” to Trina and I in Africa as we have known and loved many faithful servants of God from this precious nation over the last twelve years. David Banza and Jonathan Chatendeuka work with us to coordinate an annual Southern Africa leadership conference that has become very fruitful. In July we hosted more than 100 pastors from the nations of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The theme of this year’s conference was “Preparing the Body of Christ for the last days.” We combined corporate teaching times with individual fellowship and ministry throughout the week. We had to overcome a bit of sickness and some logistic challenges during the time, but they served only to strengthen our resolve to see every person who participated be encouraged in the Lord. A personal highlight for me was Trina’s teaching, using the story of Lot, on how we must train our children about the consequences of friendship with the world.
When we got a break from our ministry to the pastors, we were busy with the commissioning of our first water well in Zimbabwe. The area we targeted for the well only receives water once per week that is only suitable for bathing after being boiled. None of the water being supplied was safe for drinking and many parts of this community were often left to retrieve water from Muslims who had established clean water sources. Throughout the entire process we were on our knees due to our lack of technical expertise and the ever changing business climate in Africa. It is with great joy and relief that we can report the drilling of the well as a rousing success. We went 50 meters deep and started hitting water within the first 15! To make it even better, the drilling hit a rock spring which produces the cleanest water available. Now our Christian brothers in Zimbabwe are no longer dependent on anyone for water of any kind and water will be given away to the community as a witness of Christ’s bountiful nature!
We are so grateful to New Life Church in Kenefick, TX, pastors Toby and Susie Ratcliff, and our own IRC team member, Lee Pearson for financially sponsoring the drilling of this first well! Most of all we are thankful to Jesus for allowing us to participate in His ever expanding Kingdom in Zimbabwe. We can’t wait to see the results of this project and where He will open the door for more practical demonstrations of His Love!
Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) speaks to us of one of the most fundamental purposes in Christianity, 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the […]
Trina and I have just returned from Harare, Zimbabwe where we co-host a Southern Africa leadership conference. This is the eleventh year we have participated in these meetings and it was definitely one of the best experiences we have had.
We draw influential leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Other nations have also been represented over the years, but these four make up the primary block whose Church Leadership we consistently encourage. The DRC is predominantly French speaking and one of our primary hurdles over the years has been finding adequate translation. This year we had a wonderful translator that showed boundless energy from the beginning to the end of the meetings.
We had well over a hundred pastors in attendance of the week long event. Many of those present lead other pastors and what they take from the conference is passed on to a larger segment of the Body of Christ. We combine times of teaching, fellowship and personal ministry/council in order to provide a wide range of encouragement to those who attend. Often our African leaders are so busy with the daily demands placed on them by the work that they have neither input from others into their own ministries nor time to sit back and be encouraged by the ministry of others. During this week, our team works in shifts from nine in the morning until nine at night to help fill these voids.
There are a significant number of female pastors and wives of other pastors that often feature very prominently in the ministry. Trina brought a wonderful teaching on the topic of spiritual submission that impacted the men and women alike! It is a huge relief to now have Trina consistently travelling with me. She really fills a void that has existed for some years and her role will certainly continue to expand as we go forward.
In addition to this, The Holy Spirit also really emphasized character this year, especially the need for all Christian workers to be willing to “overcome” any obstacle that stands in the way of accomplishing what God wants. One of our primary conference organizers, Jonathan Chatendeuka, lives in a community that only receives water one day per week in a restricted quantity! Resistance is a part of anything God is doing and we must not get discouraged or lose heart when facing it!
The testimonies of the leaders concerning their own works were tremendous. People are coming to know Christ and the Kingdom of God is expanding in all of the areas that were represented at the conference. The primary need for the Church in Africa is training and we are doing our best to train and raise up others to do the same. Bibles are a huge need in all of the areas that we are working to train pastors and their congregations. We need both more money to purchase them and the wisdom of how to transport them within Africa.
Trina and I will be spending much of September in the Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa. After this we will be in Johannesburg and several parts of our own Provence, KwaZulu-Natal. Your support is both fruitful and effective. Please continue to remember us in your prayers!