“In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” (Acts 19:20)
Part I. “Put This Money to Work!” (Luke 19:13)
Through deep Bible study of Luke’s gospel during 2010, we took Luke 19:13 as our spiritual direction for the year 2011. "So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'" As the signs of the second coming of Jesus, such as disasters, weather changes, rumors of wars and strife, are rampant, we heard that Jesus wanted us not to be scared but to do what we should do. "Put this money to work until I come!" For the year 2011, we prayed that all of us leaders should grow as good managers of God's mission. We especially prayed to strengthen our God-given gifts, that is, to be good managers of God’s word, to serve God so that we all might be fruitful, internally and externally.
From the beginning of the year, our utmost prayer topic was for all members to write and share Bible testimonies once every week. But it was not easy for graduates and students to create a personal devotion time to meditate on the word of God. Through open discussion with fellowship leaders, we agreed to write Bible testimonies just after worship service every week. At the beginning, only committed members joined, but gradually, many members began experiencing the benefit of internalizing the word of God. As they began meditating on the word of God deeply, the Spirit of God revived us to live by the word of God and overcome worldly temptations. Our mothers of prayer, the wives of house churches, devoted their hearts to pray for the ministry and also beautifully co-worked to arrange special songs to serve every worship service.
(Bible meditation by fellowship)
God also helped us put God’s word to work mightily among us through the Easter Bible Conference in April. God worked in senior shepherds to help them repent deeply as they served the main messages during the conference. During student vacation in July, we held a discipleship devotion camp. M. Pauline and a senior leader managed the student team and helped them write their life testimonies serving them lunch every day for two weeks. Out of such devotion, five brothers were committed to the program, and they all were touched by Jesus’ salvation work in them. As a result, Shp. Mrabu, Shp. Alex, Shp. Robinson were designated as new Bible teachers in our ministry. They were the fruit of the ministry.
(Easter Bible Conference 2011)
In October, God helped us to prepare a fishing ministry for freshmen invitation. It was time for all of us to remember our year key verse, "Put this money to work!" and put them into practice through helping the freshmen with the word of God. In order to prepare ourselves first, we had a Special Leadership workshop for the fishing ministry. This time, we invited Shep. Abraham Omotunde from Nigeria bearing his travel cost with our own funds. As being one of the faithful shepherds in African UBF ministry, he had a lot of testimonies of his spiritual journey to keep his calling to the UBF ministry in Nigeria. His live testimonies touched the hearts of our struggling leaders effectively since he had gone through similar challenges of serving campus ministry in Nigeria. Through this workshop we could learn that one of the practical ways to express our love to Jesus is to feed his sheep. We all decided to serve at least one sheep from the freshmen invitation ministry so that we may grow as good shepherds like Jesus in this generation.
(Shp. Robinson, Alex, Mrabu)
After the leadership workshop, God also touched Sh.Wekesa to obey God's calling to serve the Obedience fellowship as a fellowship leader. In fact, the Obedience fellowship lost their leader and was struggling with only a few sister members. Shp. Wekesa was more world oriented than towards pioneering a fellowship. But through this workshop, he repented his business mindedness to spend more time for money making rather than serving campus ministry. In fact, God reminded him of how God saved him miraculously out of a tragic accident. On his way home driving early in the morning, his car lost control avoiding a reckless driver, and the car rolled down a hill. Only one survived out of the 4 passengers: Shp. Wekesa. Reviving God’s intervention in his life, he made up his mind to join pioneering the Obedience fellowship. Through this, our five fellowships were fully organized, making a holy vessel of prayer and leadership.
After making a holy vessel for the freshmen invitation ministry through united prayer among leaders and missionaries, God blessed our fresher fishing ministry abundantly. After October, most leaders had more than one sheep to teach the Bible, so that every night, we could find our Mission Center full. Some of our leaders and sheep were sitting outside in the corridor, and some were doing Bible studies even on the stairs--almost anywhere they could find room to sit. We also had a freshman welcoming retreat at a public park to make friends with them. About 40 freshmen joined us and God blessed us to create a wonderful bonding experience. It was God's work when we just obeyed his words: Put this money to work!
(A Welcoming Retreat)
One of the most precious rewards for us from God this year was to establish a House Church by faith. Shep. Janet engaged with Shep. Juma in December, 2010. However, her father rejected Shep. Juma because he was from another tribe, so they couldn’t carry on marriage as planned. Though they were ready to marry together by faith, she wished that God should prove his divine will through working on her father to finally bless them. It took almost one year. But God blessed her prayer as well as all our united prayers so that they were able to establish a House Church. Even to the last minute, Satan worked against them in many unexpected issues, but we continuously prayed for God's glory to be revealed. When we did so, God rather used these challenges to confirm to the bride and groom as well as to all of us that their marriage was led by God and God alone.
Personally, I took 1 Sam. 7:3 as my personal key verse: "And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, 'If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.'" I prayed for my own spiritual revival first, then the revival of our leaders to be fruitful. For this, I made up my mind to devote myself to writing Bible testimonies every week without failure so that I may be a good influence on others. I prayed that God may help us build the community of repentance, and that our ministry may realize spiritual revival and our ministry double. Thank God that even if there were many interventions to prevent me from writing Bible testimonies, through our humble struggle, we all began forming a spiritual environment of deep meditation of the word every week. There was also a time one of our house churches experienced a serious relationship problem. While counseling them, God touched my heart to repent my hidden sin as well. With a deep repentant heart, I counseled the shepherdess with tears, then God moved her to tears and eventually, God protected the family. When I look back upon the year of 2011, I was piled up full of sins and short-comings, but God worked mightily among our leaders; now they have grown so maturely as I should have been as well. I praise God for all these great works by the word of God.
Part 2. Tyrannus Ministry for the year 2012
For the year 2012, we took Act 19:20 as our spiritual direction, "In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power." The key of Tyrannus ministry was a disciple-centered ministry through deep Bible study. The influence was so great that the entire unbelieving society repented, and Jesus' kingdom was established in Asia Minor. Even Paul himself saw a bigger vision through this: "I must visit Rome also!"
We pray for our ministry to grow in the power of the word so that we may strengthen the disciple-centered ministry. For this, we have one focused prayer topic that our fellowship leaders may grow as powerful Bible teachers for this generation through this year's devoted Bible study. So, from this year, we agreed for all missionaries and fellowship leaders to have Bible study together, and serve 5 minutes messages every Friday taking turn.
Personally, God gave me Psalm 81:10 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." Last year, God strengthened our ministry through the work of the word of God! I prayed to God for what next! During one of the morning devotions during Christmas break, God gave me this key verse. At first, I rejected it from my heart. Through so many years of failure in the ministry, my heart was shut tight and had no dream or vision to expect anything good from God. I didn't want to suffer any more if it was not necessary. I wanted to be satisfied by just a manger ministry. Little did I know I was suffering from deep spiritual defeatism. But when I prayed for a New Year direction, I felt God was leading me to accept this key verse. As I meditated the passage, I felt God wanted me to repent my selfish defeatism. He wanted me to open my eyes and mind wide to receive better things from God! Most of all, God opened my closed heart to pray to build our own Mission Center by 2020 by our own hands. It is my humble prayer that from this year, we may lay the foundation for an African Leadership Center project through deep Bible study and raising disciples of Jesus! For this, I may devote at least 30 minutes of morning devotion and a minimum of three hours for Bible study preparation for fellowship leaders this year!
1. For devoted Bible study & Bible testimony sharing among members
2. For fellowship leaders to grow as powerful messengers of God's word
3. To establish 2 house churches this year
4. To lay a spiritual foundation to build our own mission center