I had a sore throat and stomach issues. I didn’t understand the culture, and had no idea what questions were going to be asked in the upcoming media interview. I didn’t even know if it would be radio or television or both. As we left the hotel for the studio, I asked Pastor Lovemore to pray that God would give me strength for one more hour. I made this flight to Zambia to commend the work of Lovemore and his team, but at this moment I seriously doubted that a live national broadcast was the way to achieve it.
As we approached the entrance to the media headquarters, Pastor Obrian, the man who would interview us, said to me: “This is the largest media outlet in the country. When you speak here, you speak to millions of Zambians.”
I think he thought that was supposed to encourage me!
I requested that Lovemore be the primary spokesperson, and that I just be supporting cast.
The interview lasted for an hour. Pastor Obrian went back and forth between Pastor Lovemore and me on a whole range of topics: CHE, our vision, mission and strategy, the role of the church in civil society, gender based violence, marriage and family.
When it was all over, Pastor Obrian said the interview was fantastic, and that I answered all the questions thrown at me with excellence. Pastor Lovemore said: “You have accomplished the work for which you came. You have advanced the ministry of CHEEP.”
Praise God! Mission Accomplished. I am ready now to go HOME to Jeannie and enjoy Christmas with family.
By the way, my sore throat vanished and my stomach settled down on the way to the studio. God did give me the strength for one more hour. Thank you again for praying.
Greetings from Zambia. I’m writing on Saturday evening here in Zambia. Tomorrow is another big day, and I need your prayer.
I spoke yesterday at a ceremony to launch CHE ministries here in Zambia nationwide under a newly formed non-government organization called the “Community Health Evangelism and Education Program” (CHEEP). The Minister of Health, Honorable Chitalu Chilufya gave a strong endorsement of CHEEP’s work, including the spiritual, and pledged to work together with CHEEP for the accomplishment of his national directives.
We are giving invitations to 6 of the Presidents Cabinet members to join us at the United Nations for our Geneva Institute in Leadership and Public Policy along with Pastor Lovemore. This should give time for relationship building and strategy discussions.
Our ministry continues to grow. We now have Community Health Evangelism work in 129 countries with the strategy being used by people from more than 650 denominations and faith-based organizations. Here in Zambia, Community Health Evangelists are visiting the same 40,098 homes every month teaching both physical and spiritual topics impacting nearly 200,000 people. After the launch today, we expect that number to grow exponentially. We are believing God to help us reach a million villages worldwide with the love and truth of the Gospel by 2025.
I will preach at a large church Sunday morning, and then do a one hour radio and television interview in the evening. Please pray for me. These things are stretching this little man from Tucson, and I need God’s enabling.
Thank you for your support and prayers. We are thankful for you, and and wish you a very Merry Christmas!
CHE work in Zambia is transforming village life in more than 281 communities and 10 provinces throughout Zambia. Under the the leadership of Mr. Lovemore Zulu (below), 935 trainers and an army of more than 2700 volunteers are bringing help and hope to an entire nation. Lovemore’s team has recently incorporated as a non-government organization (NGO) under the name “Community Health Evangelism and Education Program”.
On December 15, this ministry will be recognized by the national government. His Excellency Mr. Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, will provide the keynote address at the launch of this newly formed NGO. I will be there to honor Lovemore and speak a word of encouragement to those gathered. I have been asked to be prepared to do radio and television interviews. Please pray that God will use this event to bring honor and glory to His name.
For the bigger picture of what God is doing through CHE globally, take a look at the map on our home page – 129 countries and 3,175 communities.
Work set to begin among the un-reached peoples of the Amazon
I traveled to five places in Peru and Brazil last month to meet with indigenous leaders about CHE as a strategy for their mission to unreached people groups in the Amazon jungles.
The most significant meeting was just outside of Sao Paulo, with leaders of an association called CONPLEI. CONPLEI represents an association of 2,000 indigenous pastors and workers from 120 different ethnic groups in Brazil that are targeting the remaining 100 unreached peoples in the Amazon jungles.
After our presentation to the leaders of CONPLEI, the spokesperson for the group said to me, “Why haven’t we heard about this before?” Tears flowed from his eyes as he invited us to come and begin training.
CONPLEI leadership specifically requested trainers from indigenous groups that have some understanding of the context in which they will be working. Trainers from among indigenous peoples in Brazil and Peru with experience in oral strategies have accepted their invitation and a contract is being drawn up to begin training in 2018.
Christian Aid, the organization that sponsored my trip, quickly agreed to pay transformation costs for the trainers.
I felt like an eyewitness to a miracle as God put puzzle pieces together and revealed a beautiful picture. Pray now as training begins and indigenous workers make their way deep into the jungles to connect with some of the most isolated peoples on earth.
Thank you to those of you who contributed to this trip in response to my last letter, and prayed as I traveled. God has answered your prayers.
My next trip in pursuit of our Million Village Challenge will be to Chad. Perhaps you are one of the pieces to the puzzle that God is putting together among the 72 unreached peoples we are targeting in that country. For more information, go to: http://www.millionvillagechallenge.org
Church in Iloilo celebrates 29th anniversary
The picture below is two years old, but I retrieved it from my files because I want to tell a story about Attorney Pablo Nava III and his family (shown). I baptized Attorney Nava while we were church planting in Iloilo, and he became one of the elders in the church. Bebot and Gilda (as we called them) would become dear friends for life.
I was in a meeting of Transform World’s Global Leadership in Ecuador last month, strategizing for the achievement of our Million Village Challenge. A man stood to talk about what they were doing among the poor in the Philippines. He told how he had served to help organize a political party for the poor and fielded a candidate to run for congress. He concluded by saying “Our candidate won, and is now a sitting congressman.”
I recognized the story, so I raised my hand and asked if the man’s name was Attorney Nava. The presenter looked at me in shock, and asked “How did you know?” We bonded immediately.
Pray for Attorney Nava as he represents the poor in the name of Christ in the Philippine Congress. And pray for the church in Iloilo, that their light will continue to shine out from Iloilo throughout the Philippines and to the ends of the earth.
Have a merry Christmas!
Thank you all for your support and prayers. I am thankful for each of you, and pray God’s blessing in every area of your lives. Without you, none of would be possible.