… " Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns
where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing. "
Dear Ministry Partners,
The Apostle Paul was not only an evangelist and church planter: he was a builder of Kingdom relationships. He did not travel around in the world of his day instituting programs. His focus was on people. He did not just initiate projects he built partnerships. And his partnerships were not temporary – but rather, eternal, covenant, Kingdom partnerships.
In doing this, Paul was only imitating the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. While He certainly dealt with the masses and multitudes – His primary focus was on men and women. That’s why there is a clear shift of emphasis from the first half of His public ministry to the second half. In the first year and a half, Jesus ministered to the multitudes. But the closer He got to the cross, the more He pulled away from the large crowds and concentrated on the Twelve … the three (Peter, James & John) … the one (John). I do not think that we can improve on His method in building the church through building church leaders.
We see this in Paul’s words to Barnabas sometime after their first missionary journey. On the very first extended missionary outreach, they visited and planted churches in Cyprus, Pergia, Psidian, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Then, after returning and reporting to their home sending church at Antioch, they felt the need to return to do “follow-up.” Paul said: “Let’s go back and visit the brothers in all the towns … to see how they are doing.” And through future personal visitation … personal letters ... personal emissaries – Paul continued this nurturing of strategic Kingdom relationships the rest of his life. I have sought to do the same thing.
When you open this email, Patt and I, along with friends and partners Andy and Jane Albright and their children Haleigh and Spencer, will be landing in Nairobi, Kenya on the first leg of a two week trip of “visiting the brothers and sisters” in Kenya and Zimbabwe. So just as soon as you open this email – START PRAYING! And here are some of the beloved brethren we will be spending time with ...
Stakwell & Francesca Yurenimo, South Horr, Kenya.
Elias & Perpetua Kagwima, Nairobi, Kenya and Bishop Trevor Manhanga,
Apostle Simon Mkolo, Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Herbert Mkwala and Tailos & Egna Ncube, Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Principal Francis Munkombwe, Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Pastor Taison Mumpande, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
We hope to be able to send a couple of brief reports to you along the way. But since we will be “on the move” and often “in the bush,” that may not be possible. However, we will send you a fuller report with pictures after our return.
In addition to spending time with our partners on this trip, we will be involved in home dedications … goat distributions … chicken projects … bicycle distribution … gardening projects … book distributions – just to mention a few! All of this will be to empower the needy – especially widows, children, and refugees. And it is all made possible by your continued prayers and financial support. Our investment in these dear partners is dependent upon your investment in us.
Thanks for your partnership with us that enables our partnership with them,
JL & Patt