Greetings from the cold winter days here in South Africa! It is hard to believe that parts of the southern tip of Africa can reach freezing temperatures but it has been down to just a few degrees above freezing this past month and we are ready for some spring weather. It has been a busy month in July as both Michelle and I have travelled to many different countries across the region.
We recently launched the orality bible story telling program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and have seen the leaders embrace and spread the stories throughout this huge country. I then travelled to Liberia where we completed the last stages of the roll out of the Orality training in West Africa. The stories continue to roll in about how these brave storytellers are changing their nation by sharing the truth of Christ in their local languages in every part of their country. Following that trip I travelled to Ethiopia where we spent a week training Jesus Film leaders and evangelists and pastors working in a very different context. I was humbled by their dedication to the work even in the face of persecution.
Michelle and I then joined the team from Bethany First Church in Swaziland, now called Eswatini, where we helped paint a pastor’s parsonage and also relaunched the church planting movement in the southern district of Swaziland. Though the church started in this area nearly 100 years ago, there are still townships and communities that need the love of Christ. We pray that whole new generation of leaders will begin planting churches in this beautiful mountainous country.
Michelle spent a week in Zambia with the missionaries of the Africa South East Field. It was a great time of fellowship and training for both retiring missionaries and those who are just starting out as new missionaries. The week confirmed that we are in a new age of missions where dynamic African leaders are expanding the role of missions to reach other countries and to expand the work of the church. We still have needs for missionaries from every country of the world, working together to accomplish the great commission of making Christ-like disciples in the nations.
My final trip for the month was to Benin where we met a team from the JFHP who brought more equipment for our teams. It was one of the most exciting trips of the year as we experienced the fellowship with key church planters who have been working among some of the most unreached people groups of the north like the Gourmantche. Benin is the home of voodoo and superstitions and witchcraft have been the dominant religious practices of that country. Today however, every province of this nation has the people of the Church of the Nazarene proclaiming the new hope in Christ. I encourage you to read the story of that trip on our website called “Finding the Way”
Hard to believe our home assignment time is only one month away. We return to the USA on September 9th for a time of visiting churches and sharing what God is doing across the continent of Africa. We will travel as far west as Portland, Oregon to South Alabama, to Ohio and Indiana, and all they way to Wisconsin. We will have our schedule up on the website soon and hope to cross paths with many of you as we spend 3 months in the USA. We look forward to our Christmas with family again as we get to spoil our grandkids just a little before returning to our roles in the Africa region in early January 2020.
Thanks again for your continued support. We praise God for all that is happening in the kingdom around Africa and hope that you will get involved by praying, by supporting our projects financially and by visiting and helping us to make a difference here in Africa where God has placed us for this season of our lives. We love and appreciate each one of you and hope to see you soon.
Tim and Michelle