Mission Trip to Africa

Drew and Lisa Hickman,  Sherl, and I just returned last Monday evening from a trip to the East Central Africa Division (ECD) of our church. We were invited to assist in conducting preliminary meetings for leaders who are launching an ambitious plan to baptize five million new converts over the next year to Jesus Christ and His last day message in Revelation 14. (This means doubling their current membership) 

These leaders decided to begin in the most important territory first---their own hearts with the work of Revival! What is revival? I like the way Pastor John Piper describes it: 

“...a sovereign work of God in which the whole region of many churches, many Christians has been lifted out of spiritual indifference and worldliness into conviction of sin, earnest desires for more of Christ and his word, boldness in witness, purity of life, lots of conversions, joyful worship, renewed commitment to missions...” --John Piper, desiringgod.org/interviews/what-is-revival-and-where-do-we-find-it

From God’s perspective my friends that is what normal Christianity is supposed to be all the time! Revival is simply bringing us back to the place we are supposed to be spiritually. 

The four of us were part of a twelve team which included Don MacLafferty, founder of In Discipleship, an intergenerational revival and discipleship training ministry that has recently joined hands with the General Conference to promote THE WAY BACK TO THE ALTAR initiative to facilitate revival. 

ECD Union and Conference presidents and leaders were so moved by what they experienced when introduced to it here in the United States, they felt convicted to invite Don and our team to bring it to their leaders and pastors in preparation for their evangelistic thrust.

Our team spent one week in Kenya with 400 leaders and one week in Tanzania with 1100 leaders. In Discipleship is conducted in an intergenerational format with activities designed to get all ages united in praying, studying the Word, and growing together.

Lessons from Elijah were led by Don MacLafferty while team members taught one of seven principles of discipleship along with coaching small group leaders and leading seasons of prayer.  ECD participants were given material so that they could in turn repeat what they experienced in their own churches and communities. 

We have completed this same training at our church Chapel Oaks with Don in January, and it is still making an impact.  In fact, someone recently told Sherl they noticed a difference in the church after these meetings.  We have continued similar meetings on Wednesday evenings with church members’ families leading in worship and prayer and teaching additional intergenerational Bible lessons.  Our kids are anxious and excited to lead out in these activities in which they are personally seeing God in the Word.

If you have not visited our midweek meetings, please give it a try. We need revival here like they experienced in Africa. How will it come?   

“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.”-- Selected Messages Book 1, p. 121 - Pastor Mike

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