Note: posted by Roger but written by Brooks.
Well, so much of what we do is build relationships . . . and that is the very fun and exciting part . . . to see who God is connecting us with and for what purpose. As for the days we spend doing trainings, here’s an example of what we do from the last couple of days in Burundi.
The Opening Agenda:
- God’s Big Vision – What is It???
- God’s Strategy to Accomplish His Vision
- What is church?
- The Power of Multiplication (of Believers)
- Every Believer is a Disciple-Maker
This particular training was especially fun for us, because John Omondi and Dawson Mudenyo from Kenya, Steven Alembe from DR Congo and Justin from Rwanda joined Roger in the training. Nothing like having on the ground, true African testimonies to complement the teachings!
Steven opened the group of 35, seated in an open circle by asking them to share what their expectations of the two-day training would be. Here are some of their answers (written down by them and then discussed):
- I want to know what is the cost of the call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?
- I want to go forward spiritually from where I am now to where Jesus wants me to go. How do I get there?
- I want to know how to reach the WHOLE world making disciples. For example, how can I reach the people in Japan?
- I want to know how to live without compromise.
- I want to get more than I have right now to be able to live for Jesus and make disciples for Him.
- How do I reach my neighbors who are Muslims?
- How can I be a true servant of Jesus Christ?
- I want teaching! How can I make a true disciple, not just a convert?
- How can I behave (what do I do) when I have MANY disciples?
- I want to be equipped to reach many people with the Word of God.
- How can I help those who are facing struggles and help them to move forward in the power of Jesus Christ?
- What is a real disciple of Jesus Christ?
- I want to hear from God. I need a new strategy of how to go far and make disciples.
- I want to know the Truth so I can live as a real disciple of Jesus Christ.
- I want to be a proper disciple of Jesus Christ and put his commands into practice. I want to be zealous for God.
- I want to change spiritually.
- I want to spread to others what I have received.
- I want to discuss the obstacles to reaching people for Christ.
This is just an example of some of the thoughts of the people we get to hang out with! Quite obviously, they are men and women who are passionate about their faith and desire to be obedient to the teachings and committed in their relationship with Christ. Just one of the Muslim men I talked to had recently become a Christian. The cost? His wife left him, taking their young son with her. His parents and siblings have disowned him. Still, he says he has joy with Jesus that he has never had before and he will not go back.
Another man told me since I had seen him last year that he has started 15 churches in homes. Just yesterday he told me he had met two guys from South Africa. When they were just getting to know each other…exchanging personal information about jobs, families…he had told them that his life is very, very different since he became a follower of Jesus Christ. After discussions with the men, both of them became believers because of this one man’s testimony of hope, peace and freedom.
Thirty-five men and women . . . each one has a unique and very special story, but all of them are fervent in their love and gratitude to God and their desire to serve Him. None of them seem motivated by guilt or fear, only an unquenchable desire to give love back to the One who first loved them.
This is just what happened in the first hour of greetings and introduction to our two days together. Visiting with some well into the evenings, we realize these are young, fervent men and women just like us. They have families, friends, homes, children and challenges just like us. We are inspired and grateful to get to be a part of their journey and that they are part of ours.