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!