Video: A wholistic education leads to a wholistic, missional life

“When it comes to school, there’s no shortage of what to learn. The shortage is, Why?”

Here is an innovative video from our friend Christian Overman at Worldview Matters. DNA co-founder Darrow Miller said this is “one of the clearest explanations of the sacred/secular dichotomy that I have seen.”

Worldview Maters

Worldview Matters exists to help followers of Christ recover from secularized thought, instead revealing God’s plan for Christians in the marketplace to shape culture and transform society every day of the week–not just on Sunday.

Worldview Matters also helps Christian educators create lesson plans that directly, relevantly connect to God’s “bigger picture,” filling students at all levels with a biblical worldview.

Contact Christian Overman at

Join DNA at the first annual International Wholistic Missions Conference

Leaders from the Phoenix office of Disciple Nations Alliance will lead the workshop on “Worldview and Christian Community Development.” Please join us! If you’re coming from out of state, please let us know; we may be able to provide housing. Hope to see you there!

After a decade in the field, an American missionary has the ‘scales removed from his mind’

Philip Renfroe compares the years after his “second conversion” to waking up early in the morning and walking through a very thick fog. As the day progresses, the fog lifts, but early on, you can’t see where you are or where you’re going.

“Even though I had been a missionary for over 10 years,” he says, “in my heart, I cried out and said, ‘Lord, I had no idea I was blind from these things. But I’m asking you to remove the scales from my mind and to help me see the truth from a biblical-worldview perspective.’”

After working for years as a medical doctor in a rural Kenyan hospital–a 300-bed facility serving half a million people–Philip learned new things about Kenyans that changed his whole perspective.

All of this resulted unexpectedly from a great trial facing Philip’s Christian colleagues. But isn’t that just how our God loves to work–to take a hopeless, difficult situation and turn it into something profound and life-changing?

While working through a difficult conflict in the ministry, one of Philip’s colleagues suggested seeking outside counsel. Dennis Tongoi was brought into the picture–he is DNA’s representative in East Africa and the leader of DNA’s partner Samaritan Strategy Africa.

Instead of discussing strategy, budgets and business, Dennis talked about what it means to have a biblical worldview. He explained the impact of animism on African churches and the impact of humanistic secularism on Western churches, giving specific examples that resonated with Philip and his group.

“He was answering questions that I had as a North American missionary well over 10 years,” says Philip. “As he was talking, I can still picture in my mind sitting in the chapel of this Bible college where we were meeting … and the Holy Spirit came to me and said, “Philip Renfroe, you are a secularist.’ I knew in my heart that the Holy Spirit was right.”

Dennis encouraged the ministry leaders to change their whole approach to this certain problem, but his involvement didn’t stop there.

“Dennis Tongoi is a dear friend; I love him as a brother,” Philip says. “God has used him as a mentor to me.”

A few months after meeting, Philip attended a DNA Vision Conference led by Dennis. He soaked up more DNA teachings on biblical worldview and seed projects, deciding his missions organization, World Gospel Mission (WGM), needed to hear these things.

Infiltrating the organization

Philip and Dennis organized another Vision Conference, this time for 70 Africa Gospel Church leaders and 30 WGM missionaries. Out of that grew a vibrant ministry at the local Bomet Prison (learn more about that).

Philip’s next plan was to have Hubert Harriman, president of WGM, meet Dennis. This came to fruition in the lobby of a Nairobi hotel.

“As I sat and listened to him,” recalls Hubert, “the illustrations he used and his thoughts, it reminded me a lot of [famed theologian] John Wesley.”

Dennis (top right) conducts “Trainer of Trainers” workshops as a strategic way to multiply DNA teachings.

Hubert, a former pastor, began to see what Dennis meant by “humanistic secularism”–how he and the Western church had set a division into something that meant to be whole.

There are two rails, Hubert says: the rail of the spiritual (holiness) and that of the social (people’s needs). The tendency is to separate the two.

“I had the same tendency and realized these rails run together; they make a track. If we don’t run these two rails together–parallel–we will get off track,” Hubert says.

WGM is an organization more than 100 years old; an establishment like that doesn’t change quickly. But when its top leadership experiences a head-and-heart change, as Hubert did, movement can be swift.

Hubert and other top leadership dove deeper into DNA teachings, assembling a conference with 20 WGM country directors from around the world to talk about integrating physical and spiritual ministry. The board of directors then agreed to adopt a more intentional focus on wholistic community transformation, with Philip in charge.

This plan enables WGM field workers to go back to established churches and help them discover how to minister wholistically to their communities. New missionaries not yet deployed will be trained as well, and even the 30-plus employees in WGM’s administrative office in Indiana will have a two-day training this coming January.

Hubert wants to show churches: “Let’s not just deal with these four walls; there’s a community around you.”

Contact Philip Renfroe or Hubert Harriman at

Fukushima, Japan: being restored from the inside out

When you have just a bird’s-eye view of the catastrophes that laid siege to Japan about 16 months ago — earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster — it could seem impossible to find a loving, restorative God in the midst of it all. But if you get up close, on the inside, you will find incredible power and renewal — you will see Him working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Even in such destruction, He uses the local church to heal, restore, and build His Kingdom. Over the past year, DNA national organization Friends with the Voiceless, Intl. (FVI) has been instrumental in this work.

(From left) Midori and Eisuke from FVI spent time in Fukushima relief shelters, comforting the residents who left their homes behind. (photo from DNA partner Soohwan Park)

A 2006 Gallup poll found that Christianity is the fastest-growing faith among Japanese youth. Japan is thirsty for the gospel, and FVI is helping pave the way for its people to receive it.

As many doctors, nurses and pastors fled the district of Fukishima, the area most damaged by the nuclear disaster, a few stayed — one pastor explaining that he dreamed he saw Jesus walking with His cross toward the power plant.

Aside from physical destruction, in Fukushima, families have been torn apart as many husbands have gone to find work elsewhere. Divorce has skyrocketed. In this country where 29 percent of youth describe themselves as “very lonely” and suicide rates are high, FVI helps unite and equip the Church to bear the hope of Christ.

Since the nuclear disaster, FVI staff members have made 15 trips to the province, conducting “Fukushima Future Forums” with dozens of pastors in attendance. In March 2012, one of these Forums geared for young Japanese Christian leaders had 50 attendees — half from Fukushima. At these events, Christian leaders are invited to recommit their lives to the Lord and commit to rebuilding Fukushima from a biblical worldview.

The first Fukushima Future Forum ended with husbands washing their wives’ feet: a biblical but counter-cultural act in Japan. (photo from DNA partner Soohwan Park)

As a result, while many people continued to flee the province, one Forum participant moved in and planted a church. Another started an out-of-the box “listening ministry,” and a network of young participants formed to practically serve Fukushima residents.

Also at the Forum last March was a pastor from Ukraine who ministered to survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. He offered great encouragement and invited Fukushima pastors to come to Ukraine and meet other Christian leaders with similar experience. That visit is planned for October 2012.

(From left) Eisuke Kanda and Shun Jinnai co-lead Friends with the Voiceless, the DNA national network in Japan. To contact them, e-mail

In the DR Congo, cleaning up streets opens the door for the gospel

From Brother Serge, serving the Lord in Kinshasa, the DR Congo’s capital and largest city

For some time, I have been concerned with the physical cleanliness of our community. The streets were lined with litter. Drains were clogged up so much that they became breeding grounds for malaria-spreading mosquitoes — these would claim many lives every day, especially among infants and children.

It was during a training by Harvest (a partner of DNA) that I was challenged to do something about this.

Every Saturday, I took steps to care for this environment where I live. Soon, many neighbors joined me….

Today, you will find a whole group of men, women and even children working together to improve their community. We call ourselves the Wholistic Discipleship Club for Community Transformation.

As a result, we have been invited by many churches to share about this ministry — God’s desire for us to be healthy not just spiritually, but also physically, stewarding our resources and serving each other together.

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.

Three Stories of the Power of a Mustard Seed

My name is Rev.  Meshack Okumu. I live in Nairobi, Kenya. I work for Carlile College, Centre for Urban Mission.

We are doing DNA training in eight informal settlements. Last year we wanted to reach 200 pastors and church leaders with the DNA material and we were able to actually train more than 200! The following stories are examples of what God has done through the DNA trainings in our region.


A few years ago we had a training in one of the slums called Kawangware. In this slum there was a pastor from the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya. After going through the training he went back to his village and talked about the concepts with the members of his congregation and to people in the community.

One of the issues they were dealing with was poverty. Many poor, needy people were coming to church and living in the community. So he decided to begin an economic empowerment program for his community.

Working with the community, they formed a savings group and started saving 50 shillings (less than a dollar) every week. After about six months they began making loans to the members of the group. Each borrower would return the money with interest.

This program started about four years ago. Today they have in excess of 300,000 shillings which they have generated without any outside help. The people thought they had nothing to give and now they have much! The finances of the church has increased because of this.


We had a training in another slum called Mwiki Kasarani. About 35 pastors came. Most of the pastors are also working other jobs. One pastor was also a teacher in an informal school, so his immediate audience was the children in his school.

The people coming from this community are so poor that sometimes the children would come to school without breakfast and sometimes would go without lunch. So this pastor and his members decided they would start making porridge for the children in this school. They said they would begin by making porridge for just 10 children. The success of this porridge business was so good that the local government official (he is called the Chief) heard about it. The Chief then called the pastor/teacher and told him to come to his office for some relief food. They got about six bags of maize and six bags of beans. The pastor realized that you don’t have to have everything but when you begin being faithful with the very little that you have, God will multiply it.

The pastor was excited that the Chief was able to hear and give them some food. They are continuing with the services of giving the children some light meal.


Another slum where we work is called Kibera. It is reportedly the second largest slum in Africa.

Beatrice studies in a recent training session

I had a training in Soweto, one local village in this slum. A lady there, named Beatrice, is a leader in their  church. Beatrice went through the training and began thinking about how to implement this training in her community. But before she could share these ideas with her church she felt she needed to begin doing something in her own surroundings.

Beatrice went to visit a neighbor and to her surprise found that the neighbor’s children were sleeping on a carton on the floor without a mattress. She was moved because in her home she had a mat and felt she needed to share. She went home and took a knife and cut in two the mat her children slept on. Through this she was able to share and lots of relationship developed, neighbors who had not been talking to each were now in relationship.

Beatrice’s simple gift bore fruit

A pastor in the same training thought about the discipline of love. He had never visited a sick neighbor. This time he went back to his neighborhood and visited this neighbor. He found the neighbor was very sick and needed attention. But he didn’t have money to take the neighbor to the hospital. So he went to another neighbor and asked if he could borrow 50 shillings (less than one dollar) for transport to the hospital. But that neighbor gave him 1000 shillings which was enough to take a taxi instead of using public transport.

As we learn in the training about the discipline of love, you don’t have to have everything to serve God. You just begin with what you have. He was so happy that God was able to use him, not necessarily removing money from his pocket but the Lord provided through other people.

A Church Moves Out of Isolation

Rev. Dr. Clifton Charles is Senior Pastor of the Worldwide Church of God (known in the U.S. as Grace Communion International) congregations in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago. He also teaches economics at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.

Clifton and his wife, Pearl, planned and hosted DNA vision conferences in Trinidad in 2009 and in Tobago in 2011 which were facilitated by Bob Moffitt and Darrow Miller.

In this brief video about the impact of DNA principles, Clifton Charles relates how a Caribbean church that was once isolated became recognized for its impact on the community.

Fifty Learners and Five Seeds: One Week in the DRC

Changed lives and cleaner streets were the fruit of DNA training in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Some local neighborhoods in Kinshasa, western DRC benefitted from an April 2011 Vision Conference held in a collaboration between Harvest Foundation, Samaritan Strategy Africa, Reach Africa, and 17ème Communauté Evangélique du Christ en Ubangi (CECU). During the week, 50 participants from five parishes were trained in worldview and development and wholistic ministry. Also, five Seed Actions were planned, one per parish.

Trainees gathered from several churches, including 17ème CECU, Communauté Pentecôtiste Christ Roi, Communauté Evangélique au Kwango, and Arche de l’alliance. Among the participants (10 women and 40 men) were pastors, choir leaders, deacons, ushers, Sunday school teachers, army chaplains, missionaries, youth leaders, church elders, evangelists and community development staff.

From these, 30 were selected for a training of trainers session to be held in the near future.

Rev. Buingo Mateene and Pastor Jeff Sikabwe, joined by Romain Diakou and Martin Mambula, facilitated the sessions. The facilitators reported that the week was “a good opportunity for church leaders to look for new ways through which they could serve their communities to see positive change in lives of their people.”

Small group plans seed action

Participants committed themselves to six seed actions:

  1. Garbage collection at the Mabanza market in Mokali
  2. Mobilizing population to clean Limeté Avenue in Luka
  3. Cleaning gutters on the Djabir roundabout in Matonge division
  4. Filling potholes on Maluku street
  5. Collection and distribution of foodstuffs for poor families in the neighborhoods
  6. Visiting and distributing fruits and soft drinks to patients at King Baudouin Hospital

In addition to these Seed Actions planned during the training, participants committed themselves to do more acts of service in the future. Some of them testified to the impact of the training.

We thank Reach Africa for its concern of seeing the local churches of Congo standing on its feet in each area of their life. We thank God for Harvest and Samaritan Strategy for their efforts in behavior changing of Congolese society through teachings on the holistic ministry. We also thank 17ème CECU/Kinshasa which provided all necessary logistics for success of this conference. This teaching enabled us to have a new vision of the Gospel, one of considering human being in his entirety according to the model of growth and service provided by Jesus in Luke 2:52. We have discovered that we do not need to have a lot of resources to help someone else (street children or beggars) to grow in the image of Christ. … We have the conviction to be well equipped and able to put into practice the lessons learnt for change in our society. Nadine Deco: On behalf of women  

This training helped us to identify many bad practices in use in our cultures which are the root causes of many problems which lead to selfishness, hatred, poverty … We have discovered that we suffer for lack of practical application of the assets and by bad stewardship of what God has given to us. Through this training we have discovered that the human being is the master of his destiny, able to change situations and to help other people to grow holistically by accomplishing small acts of sacrificial service. Reverend Alenge Nabwe Cyrille: 17ème CECU Church

Rev. Selenga receives his participant certificate

We thank Harvest/SSA because they are a source of blessings for us – you have an appropriate message for Africa at this particular time of history. We are convinced that through such messages our church can come out of poverty … now we are informed that we are also able to do something for the change of our current situation. Let’s try putting this message into practice and wait seeing what will happen in our families and communities. Pastor Silas Selenga: Reach Africa

Reverend Buingo Mateene,  Central Africa Cordinator for Samaritan Strategy Africa, summarized the conference:

We thank the congregations and organizations which came to joinHarvest and SSA for the planning of this conference. Truly speaking, we believe that through this partnership the call of standing on our own feet and fight against poverty of mind can reach many African church leaders. … our aim is to equip trainers for spreading this message through many congregations in Congo. 

My Business Is My Ministry

When Singaporean businessman James Teo first read Discipling Nations in 2000, he gained a new understanding about “how to connect my belief with what I’m doing as a business person.” In April 2010, James attended a conference in Manila where he heard Darrow Miller speak.

In this brief video, James shares how DNA teaching has transformed the way he thinks about being in business.

“In the past I felt that I had to be a pastor, I have to be a missionary, to spread the message of the gospel, but now my business is my ministry.”