Breakthrough Training in Togo

In our last issue we reported about Chris Amapadu’s new training opportunity with Mercy Ships. Here, Chris shares some further fruit from a training in Kara, Togo.

Last week’s experience in Kara with Mercy Ships was just wonderful as almost 400 community leaders were mobilized to be trained. On the last day, l started the day by asking the participants to share a discipline of love done the previous day as a result of what they had learned. Over 50 people, including Moslems, told of transformed attitudes towards their wives. Many showed true love toward their spouse for first time. Others had started planting flowers in their homes, creating beauty and taking the mantle of stewardship of nature and their environment.

l made a presentation of a copy of Hope for Africa to the chief Imam. Even though he was very grateful, he insisted in buying for himself If Jesus were Mayor to my surprise!

A steering committee of 15 was appointed to encourage further implementation of the teaching. They have already met twice! The Moslem youth leader was full of praise and appreciation for our teachings and promised that they will do whatever it takes to realize the aim and objectives of Mercy Ships i.e. “Partnership for Development.” To God be the glory!

New Book Release: Emancipating the World!

Darrow Miller’s latest title, Emancipating the World. A Christian Response to Radical Islam and Fundamentalist Atheismwas released May 1.

This book treats what the Great Commission means for the church of 2012, facing Secular Atheism on the one hand and Radical Jihadism on the other. What should be the Christian response to these two fronts, the war in the West and the war from the East?

Of all Darrow’s books, President Scott Allen deems Emancipating the World as perhaps closest to the core of the heart and message of Disciple Nations Alliance, i.e. the radical task of making disciples as Jesus envisioned it.

Adherents of fundamentalist atheism and militant Islam know who they are and what they are about. They have an all-encompassing narrative that guides their lives, and they want to impose these ideas on the world. Darrow argues that the church must reclaim a fuller, more biblical understanding of the Great Commission if it hopes to prevail against the twin threats of both fundamentalist atheism and militant Islam.

The book is available for purchase here (at a discount through June 30).

From the Street to the Campus

Gizachew Ayka serves as director of Win Souls for God Evangelical Ministries, an organization seeking “to bring the street children of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia out of their misery into a stable life with well-being.” Gizachew also leads Hope for Children, a relief and development organization serving among extremely poor children of Ethiopia.

Gizachew was first exposed to the DNA over ten years ago at a vision conference, facilitated by Bob Moffitt and Darrow Miller, in Addis Ababa. He was invited to the conference by his Sunday School teacher, Demelash Lemma. Today Demelash is Horn of Africa coordinator for Samaritan Strategy Africa.

In this brief video, Gizachew shares the story of a dynamic work that started with two young men at a vision conference and since has grown explosively and is serving needs in multiple countries.  Listen as Gizachew tells the amazing story of a street kid who was nurtured by the love of Christ to become a college professor.

Tribal Transformation in Tanzania

Stephen Mosheni of Kenya recently led a facilitator team in a Vision Conference in Rorya, Tanzania. Rorya, situated near Lake Victoria in the northern part of the country, is home to the Luo tribe and also includes people of Kuria and some smaller tribes as well.

Some 64 people attended from 23 parishes in the Rorya District. Stephen was joined by Paul Kibona from Tanzania, Karobia Njogu from Kenya, and Felix Ringo, also from Tanzania, who is training to be a facilitator. The conference was hosted by Bishop John Adiema, who also gave the official opening.

At the beginning the team was not sure what to expect, given the strong traditional belief among the Luo people, as well as the customary oppression of women. Typically, women have no voice in the family or community, and are often taken as slaves. Their traditions also include wife inheritance, practiced even by some pastors. One pastor told his mother, immediately after his father’s funeral, that she should be inherited or else she would bring a curse on the family.

The matter of the dignity of women was a hot issue; the men became visibly unsettled at any mention that men and women are equal and have the same value before God. Early in the week, during the small-group discussion following the teaching on the ABCs of Culture, one pastor stood up and angrily asked, “Why do you defend women? You have been speaking a lot about oppression of women!”

Yet, even as the week progressed, the group experienced powerful changes. Stephen noted that when the men were challenged to identify one thing they would do for their wives, the initial resistance gave way to accepting the biblical teaching.

“When the message reached the hearts of people,” Stephen said, “we had to bow and ask God to forgive us as men for oppressing women in our community. This time of repentance was so deep, you could read this on the faces of men.”

The women followed in repentance and forgiveness toward the men.

One pastor shared,

I am very grateful for this Vision Conference, it came for me in the right time. I personally have discovered that God is involved in His all creation, He works with His people. I have discovered weaknesses … in my daily life. The way I was enslaved with our traditions and customs, especially the way I treated my wife. Through this teachings I have realized that my salvation was not perfect. I lived a life which is not godly in my marriage, I treated my wife very badly. May the Lord have mercy on me!

Following the conference, this pastor led many other church leaders in a seminar sharing a biblical perspective on the treatment of their wives. A short time later, he unexpectedly passed away.

“The burial was on Saturday,” Stephen said. “The good news is that this man is with Lord having made peace with God and his wife and neighbours!”

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The conference included several other encouraging highlights:

  • A visiting bishop from Kenya, who came to teach at the bible school, decided to postpone the class and join the vision conference together with students from the college! He said “I don’t want to miss even a single session, I need this!”
  • The Bible school students were challenged to read the Bible differently. Not only reading through their worldviews, but as a word of God which speaks to all areas of His creation.
  • The oldest man in the class danced with excitement one day before the session began!
  • Felix joyfully received a challenge to disciple his new friend, the bishop’s driver.

Follow up plans include seed ministries and/or acts of love in all 23 parishes. The group elected six leaders to organize these activities and communicate with Stephen when he visits their parishes in June.

“We are seeing the Lord do great things through these vision conferences,” Steven shared, “more than many crusades done around Africa.”

This story was developed from a report filed by Stephen Mosheni.

Out of the Mouth of a Muslim

In this video, we hear the story of a Muslim who learned Jesus’ message of forgiveness and then preached it to his community.

The speaker’s identity is obscured for security reasons.

The Message Which Can Change our Continent

Buingo Mateene was exposed to DNA in 2003 when he attended three vision conferences. One VC was in Ghana, facilitated by Darrow Miller and Chris Amapadu; the other two, in Togo and Benin, were facilitated by Chris and John Wood.

Buingo is country director for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here is the powerful story of DNA’s impact on Buingo’s own life and the difference between knowing it and doing it!

Calling All Asia Partners: DNA Asia Working Group Update

At a recent planning session in Kuala Lampur, the DNA Asia working group welcomed new member Aung Thet Nyunt. A Burmese national, Aung Thet is is the head of the DNA network in Myanmar, the first Asian country to hold a Vision Conference. Since then, they have had numerous vision conferences and have seen God do many great things as they apply these ideas.

The group identified two key issues to address: restoring the dignity of women and eliminating hunger. While they acknowledged that both are “far beyond what any organization can tackle alone,” they want to rally groups “who feel a call to either of these” in the belief that progress can come from a synergistic effort.

Read the complete DNA Asia Newsletter – March 2012, which also includes details about the next Training of Trainers, scheduled for September 17‐21, and the next Partners Forum to be held January 21‐23, 2013.