At a Community Health Evangelism (CHE) meeting on Friday evening here in Addis Ababa, I met with a small group of CHE leaders from around the country to briefly introduce them to the Million Village Challenge (MVC). The group of CHE leaders were joined by about 15 leaders from different ministries that came just to learn more about CHE.
A wave gathers in Ethiopia
The Million Village Challenge is a CHE Network initiative in partnership with a global body of evangelicals called Transform World 2020. The initiative is aimed at catalyzing transformational movements in a million poor villages. The goal is to bring villagers to Christ while lifting their communities out of cycles of poverty and disease.
I was not completely prepared for what would happen in our Friday meeting. God moved by his Spirit. Upon hearing the challenge, the entire group instantly and wholeheartedly embraced it and went to work figuring out what their contribution from Ethiopia would be. I watched in amazement. In a matter of hours, these leaders mapped out their existing work and identified strategic locations they wanted to begin work in each of Ethiopia’s 9 districts.
They set a goal of having transformational Gospel movements in 520 villages (52 clusters of 10) spread out throughout all of Ethiopia’s 9 districts. Individuals in the room wrote out their commitments on sticky notes and posted them on a hand drawn map in the middle of their circle on the floor. They then formed a national committee, and made plans to schedule the first phase of training for the leaders in the room that requested it.
Tomorrow I’m off to the Ivory Coast for another Million Village Challenge mobilization with several denominations. Pray with me that they will adopt another 520 villages!
I just came back from the United Nations where I spoke at the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy on the topic of poverty alleviation to lawmakers from many different countries. As a result, God has opened huge doors for Community Health Evangelism in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Cambodia. I will share details of this trip in my next letter, so stay tuned.
Before the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy began, we had a “by invitation” only meeting of Christians that would be part of the U.N. gathering. There is a growing fellowship of believers at the U.N. with a desire to influence policy makers with Christian values. At this meeting I heard the most amazing testimony of God’s miraculous power and grace.
Tamrat Layne was the leader of the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement in the 1980’s that overthrew then dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in the Ethiopian Civil War. A self-proclaimed atheist, he believed that “freedom comes out of the barrel of a gun”. In 1991 he became Prime Minister of a transitional government in Ethiopia, run by a three-man Junta.
About three years into his term as Prime Minister, he realized that his communist-socialist ideology was mistaken. He became a threat to the new government and in 1995 was thrown into prison on trumped up charges by then President, Meles Zenawi, who later succeeded him as Prime Minister.
Kept in solitary confinement, he tried to commit suicide multiple times, and studied Buddhism and Islam. After five years in prison, a Christian nurse slipped a tract under his pillow. The tract said God loves you, Jesus died for you, and Jesus wants to give you a new life. He didn’t believe in God and didn’t understand how Jesus could have died for him, but he did want a new life.
Over three consecutive days, Jesus appeared to him filling the room with light. Jesus said, “I am Jesus. Believe in me and follow me. If you believe in me and follow me, I am the only one who can give you the new life that you are looking for. I am the life. I will get you out of this place, and I will send you to the world to testify of me. I will be with you always.”
He slipped the nurse a note telling her what happened, and asked her to bring him something to read. She brought him a Bible. He spent the next seven years in solitary confinement with just “his Bible and the Holy Spirit”. Jesus transformed him from an angry, insulting man, to a peaceful, joyous, and hopeful person.
At one point during those remaining years, one of the guards brings Tamrat a cell phone and a slip of paper with a phone number on it. The guard tells Tamrat that the number on the slip of paper belongs to his wife, Mulu. Immediately Tamrat calls, anxious to talk to her for the first time in 7 years. During their conversation, Mulu tells Tamrat that she has had an encounter with Jesus and became a Christian. They shared their amazing stories with each other and figured out that they were both visited by Jesus on the same nights! Jesus had appeared to her in the refugee camp in Kenya over three consecutive nights, once in a dream, then in a vision, and finally through an audible voice.
Tamrat spoke to the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy at the United Nations as a former Prime Minister. At the end of his speak he said:
The theme of the Institute this year is “Transforming Nations through Peace and Reconciliation”. I cannot close this speech without telling you about the man that transformed my life. Christians refer to him as Jesus of Nazareth. Muslims call him Isa-al-Masih. He is my Lord and Savior, the one who gave me new life.
Tamrat and Mulu now have a non-profit organization that serves orphans and widows in Ethiopia. In the course of our conversations, he invited me to discuss the possibility working with his organization to launch Community Health Evangelism ministries.
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 3,574 communities.
We need your help! $750 helps launch work in one village somewhere in the world. Your gift, no matter what size, will bring light and life to some of the poorest on earth.
There is a gathering wave in the church that has transformed thousands of lives and communities around the globe in the last three decades. This gathering wave is called ‘wholistic ministry’ spelled with a “W.” It’s not new. It is as old as Jesus. It’s how Jesus ministered.
This wave is a work of God’s Spirit that is flooding the nations with truth and mercy. People are coming to Christ, whole communities are being lifted out of cycles of poverty and disease, and the church is taking its place as God’s transforming agent in society.
This is your invitation to join this movement
We thank God for your partnership in the harvest
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.
I just came back from the United Nations where I spoke to lawmakers from many different countries on the topic of poverty alleviation at the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy. This was my second year doing this. As a result of connections made this year, God has opened huge doors for Community Health Evangelism in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Cambodia.
Before the official United Nations meeting began, we had a “by invitation” only meeting of Christians that would be part of the U.N. gathering. There is a growing fellowship of believers at the U.N. with a desire to influence policy makers with Christian values. I’ll share details in my next newsletter.
Today I want to tell you about exciting events in Chad.
48 Chadian missionaries trained for work among un-reached and un-engaged peoples in the Sahel and the Sahara
At the end of February I traveled to Chad and Ghana with Djibo and Emmanuel, two French speaking trainers from different countries in North and West Africa. The purpose of the trip was to train Chadian missionaries for CHE work among 72 unengaged peoples in the Sahel and the Sahara.
The Holy Spirit is uniting the Church globally around a vision to establish a Gospel witness among the approximately 2,000 remaining unengaged unreached peoples. 95% of the unengaged live in rural poor villages. Our role as a network of organizations in 129 countries with Community Health Evangelism trainers strategically placed is to help finish that task.
For the first time in Chad, leaders from 18 different church denominations and agencies came together with 100 of their missionaries at a consultation aimed at equipping their missionaries for work among the unengaged. Bible societies, mission agencies, Bible translation groups, development organizations, and campus ministries linked arms in an effort to finish the task among the unengaged in their country.
I was impressed by the vision and courage of the national missionaries that gathered. Here are some excerpts from a devotional given by one of them, translated into English by a man who interprets for the President of Chad:
The kingdom of darkness does not want the rising of another kingdom. The kingdom of darkness rises against the kingdom of light. God gives his peace to those who resist the kingdom of darkness. Jesus is here. He has risen from the dead. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead accompanies his disciples, and this is the basis of their peace. It is this joy that enables the disciple to stand in the face of difficulty and persecution. This peace of Jesus is the foundation of every ministry, and it belongs to those who receive Jesus, the prince of peace.
Jesus breathes his peace on his disciples and they go in the power of the Spirit. Believers are not alone. They go in the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the plan of God. We are sent just like the Father sent His Son Jesus.
Jesus did not come to Chad. God is borrowing our feet, feet that he created, to preach where he did not go. It is a privilege, even in a country where we face difficulties. The father sent the son, and Jesus has sent us into a world filled with difficulties. We are not many, but Jesus worked with only twelve. We are more than 12 here. When God sends us, he makes provision. His church will generate the resources to achieve his goal.
Jesus sends us to those who have not yet been forgiven so we can bring them to Christ who forgives their sin. We were not called to withhold salvation, but have been given authority to share salvation so that others will be forgiven even as we have received forgiveness. We dare not bury the salvation that he has entrusted into our hands. We must take the Gospel to the unreached.
We gathered for six days. Each morning we had a general assembly and a keynote speaker. In one of the morning assemblies, the missionaries were invited to write the names of villages and/or people groups they were committed to reach on sticky notes. They prayed together about their commitments, and then came to the stage in front to post their commitments in the appropriate place on the map. Each sticky note on the map below represents a commitment by a Chadian missionary to a single village or people group.
After the morning assemblies, missionaries broke into three groups for a week of training in one of three areas:
Church Planting and Leadership
Community Health Evangelism
The first day we had 37 participants. The second day 48 showed up. By the end of the week, we graduated 48 missionaries from the first phase of CHE training.
Follow up plans include training two key missionaries as Master Trainers in Chad that will coach and provide further training for the other missionaries in the country working to establish CHE ministries. The photo below was taken during training on the first day.
Thank you for partnering with us
Thank you to those of you who contribute regularly to our support, and also to those that contributed to this trip in response to our requests for travel funds. God has answered your prayers.
My next trips in pursuit of our Million Village Challenge are scheduled for Southeast Asia and the Ivory Coast. Perhaps you would like to join us in this outreach to those who have never heard the good news of the Gospel. We depend on contributions from people like you to travel, mobilize, and train. Please consider giving to the cause.
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.
Joshua Project has identified 62 unreached people groups in seven countries of the Amazon region in South America. Forty-five of those groups are still unengaged with no Gospel witness among them. I have been invited to meet with Christian leaders from Brazil and Peru who are targeting these groups to discuss using Community Health Evangelism as a strategy for reaching these peoples. I will be accompanied by CHE Coordinators from Peru, Brazil, and Central America who will present case studies and provide follow up training to nationals from the region who will engage these peoples.
You are going where?
I have to admit that I had never heard of Guayaquil, Ecuador, until the Transform World Global Leadership Summit was scheduled to assemble in that city. I serve as Co-Catalyst for Transform World’s Poverty Alleviation Challenge. We are bringing together evangelical leaders from around the world to collaborate and plan for the establishment of Gospel movements in a million unreached villages using the CHE Strategy. For more information, click here.
My mom is jealous!
My mother loves to go back East in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. I’m headed to Virginia next week to do a “TED talk” on CHE for the Coalition on the Support of Indigenous Ministries (COSIM). This will be an opportunity to offer CHE as a strategy to Western organizations partnering with indigenous ministries around the world to advance the work of the Kingdom.
With gratitude in my heart
I love Jeannie! Please pray for Jeannie as she holds down the fort here at home while I travel abroad. She definitely has the tougher job, and this time of year I am away more than I am home.
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.
Terry was a guest speaker at UNITAR’s Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy last month at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva. He presented a Million Village Vision to dignitaries from 26 different countries. Lawmakers and political leaders applauded the idea of catalyzing transformational movements among the rural poor that sweep the countryside rather than doing projects that impact a single village. Pray now as we follow up invitations to initiate work in multiple countries.
8,000 come to Christ in Haiti
Lowell and Robin Adams launched Community Health Evangelism (CHE) work in Haiti in 2010. Today they have work in 42 villages. More than 1500 people have come to Christ and are receiving ongoing discipleship training.
Kevin Jone’s began CHE work in Haiti with DecAid in 2012. His goal was to establish CHE work in 10 villages within a decade – thus the name of his organization. Today he has work in 45 villages. Since October of 2012, 6500 people have made confessions of faith. On the physical side of things communities focused on building latrines and solar disinfection of drinking water (SODIS). More than 2,000 families are using SODIS to sanitize their drinking water, and in some villages every home has a latrine. Overall health in these villages has improved.
More than 500 attend IWMC 2017
CHE workers and network representatives from all over the world gathered with others who share a passion for word and deed ministries that bring people to faith in Christ and reflect the values of the Kingdom in the communities we serve. We connected, shared, prayed and collaborated, gathered resources, formed new partnerships, renewed our passion, and returned to our work strengthened for the tasks God has called us to do. The International Wholistic Missions Conference was held this year at Grand Canyon University, May 1-5, and featured more than 100 workshops in 21 tracks and seven keynote speakers. Stay tuned for next years venue and dates.
Thank you for standing with us!
Your giving and prayer are the fuel of our ministry. Your friendship and partnership provide the encouragement and strength we need to persevere. Thank you for standing with us in this global effort to bring Christ’s love and salvation to the least and the lost.
Tens of thousands are coming to Christ, new churches are being planted, and communities are being lifted out of cycles of poverty and disease. CHE network members are at work in 127 countries and 3,057 communities. Globally, 3,037 trainers and 17,680 community evangelists and leaders are working directly with 108,497 households. For more information, go here.
A million village challenge
CHE Network members are working together on eleven different initiatives. Time won’t permit me to tell you about them all, but the one I am most excited about is what we call the Million Village Challenge.
Global mission movements are converging on a single task – establishing a Gospel witness among the last of the unreached and unengaged peoples (UUPGs) on earth. (UUPGs are ethno-linguistic people groups with no believers among them and nobody reaching out to them).
There are just 1,371 UUPGs remaining. The vast majority of these peoples are in marginalized rural areas (villages) in Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
The CHE Network has accepted the challenge, in partnership with Transform World, of mobilizing and equipping national workers in these difficult and distant areas. We are working together with international partners to mobilize and equip national believers in establishing transformational Gospel movements among the village poor in these unreached areas.
We intend to reach them all. We will not stop until the last little girl in the darkest corner of the smallest hut has opportunity is reached with the truth and compassion of Christ. My prayer is that through our Million Village Challenge initiative, the church globally will be mobilized to establish transformational Gospel movements among the last of the unengaged peoples.
I want to invite you personally to join us at our network conference at Grand Canyon University, May 3-5, 2017. This is a tremendous venue to explore opportunities for sharing the Gospel in the context of love and good works, bringing people to faith in Christ and reflecting the values of the Kingdom in the communities we serve. Click here for more information about IWMC.
CHE workers and network representatives from all over the world will join us, so it would be a great opportunity for you to meet partners you support by your contributions to our ministry.
This year we feature more than 100 workshops in 20 tracks and seven keynote speakers. Check out the menu of workshops and pick the ones you want to attend.
We thank God for you!
Without you, none of this would be possible. Your giving and prayer are the fuel of our ministry. Your friendship and partnership provide the encouragement and strength we need to persevere. Thank you for standing with us in this global effort to bring Christ’s love and salvation to the least and the lost.
Oh, Emmanuel – You who are WITH us, fill us with a sense of your presence this day. This week. This month. This year. Our heads know that you are with us, but sometimes our hearts refuse to agree. Give us grace to live like we KNOW that you are with us. Let us live in the trustful rest of the incarnation.
For the truth is, when you are with us: we are never alone. we do nothing on our own. we lack for nothing. we have no reason for fear. we are safe. we are held. we are deeply loved.
When we have learned to live in this truth, give us grace to reflect your love to our family, our neighbors, our friends, and to strangers. May our actions reflect your goodness, and may they see you in us.
As we await the celebration of your first coming and and eagerly await your second, help us to reflect your love and truth to those who do not yet know you
A Christmas promise
Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
Our Christmas wish for you
May you live in the joy of His presence and find hope in the promise of His return!