Prior to receiving the church planter training with Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM), Barasa Godfrey thought that being saved was enough—there was no need to do anything with his faith. But he soon realized that God could use him as a vessel. He learned about the Great Commission and he started evangelizing and was encouraged by the results.
“MNM’s training expanded my focus beyond my denomination,” Barasa says. “Great Commission work is for everyone!”
His passion is now for reaching the lost and sharing the gospel.
Barasa has a church in Bukoova and more than 150 adults and children are attending. Because of space limitations, they have two Sunday services, as well as a Bible study on Wednesday. Barasa has trained other leaders to be church planters. They continue to grow in faith as they reach their communities with the Good News.
Livingston Yustas had never heard about Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) before or its church planter training. But after being introduced to the program, he’s very excited about the quality of the materials and resources that MNM offers.
“If I was to be honest with you, I am extremely grateful to God for what MNM does. These materials have taken me from one step to another; they have bridged the gaps I had in my ministry,” Livingston says. “It's my calling that everyone should receive these materials just like the way I have received them. They’re extremely helpful.”
From the very beginning, life was difficult for Livingston, but he was always trying to make the best of it. He was born in a pagan family and he was known in his community as a womanizer and a drug user. His behavior made his parents and his whole family to alienate him.
“I was basically rejected by my parents and my family because of the kind of life I was living. And even the community rejected me as well. As a matter of fact, my life was empty and insecure without Jesus,” says Livingston.
At one point, Livingston found himself in jail for his actions. But God used this experience for good—Livingston was introduced to Jesus.
Livingston met prisoners who had repented of their sins and were serious in seeking the Lord’s will for their lives. Seeing prisoners praying to God astonished Livingston, and he asked himself with regret, “If prisoners are much more dedicated to seeking the Lord’s face like this, how about those who are not prisoners and yet do not diligently seek God’s face?” Impacted by the prisoners’ testimonies, Livingston decided to give his life to Jesus right there in the prison and start afresh with God. A few days later, he was released from the prison and immediately dedicated himself to serving the Lord.
“My jail time was the most important moment in my entire life because this is the very incident that led me to meet the Lord Jesus,” explains Livingston.
Livingston took the church planter training and is leading a new church in Mutukula, Tanzania. “I am confident that I will do a lot more in the years to come through the training I received from MNM. It’s my prayer that the Lord will bless this ministry and expand it,” shares Livingston.
Antonio Chirin is an indigenous Shuar. His community, Yumaran Suku, is in eastern Ecuador. At the age of 56 he met Jesus as his Savior through the Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) church planter in the area, Gonzalo Quimbuilco.
“Gonzalo spoke about the things of Christ on Sundays in the center of the community. I had been Catholic and ‘mayor’ of the community for years, and I wanted to change my life,” Antonio says.
Despite hearing from God, his understanding was based in his previous traditional ethno-religious experience and his way of living hadn't changed. “I wanted to change my life and the way I was before and was hesitant to leave behind the ‘fun’ I had when I was drunk.”
For a few years, Antonio, his wife, and 11 children had a cantina in their house. It was a place where the people could come to dance, party, and drink. “I have stopped doing this,” he says about closing the cantina, “because I decided to follow Jesus and change my way of living.”
After closing the cantina, Antonio decided to donate the property so they could have a place where families of the community could come and know Christ. Nevertheless, following Christ has not been easy. As a leader of the community, Antonio has gotten a lot of criticism and has been also been discouraged by his adult children, who do not know Jesus.
"I have talked with my children and some of them want to change their lives and follow Christ, but others do not agree and prefer to live as they please. It doesn't work to obligate them to believe. Every person, including my children needs to make their own decision. I am continuing on.” Antonio says, glad to have the support of his wife, a believer as well.
"The people from here want to party all the time. Very few of them want to follow Jesus. I don't insist that they change. I know our Father will do great things and we will continue to work with them in unity. They do need a change in their lives."
Antonio continues to learn from Gonzalo, the church planter and pastor where he lives. He wants to grow in his faith and to keep searching for God even as he experiences adversity. Antonio's dream is that all the people in his village will come to know Christ and change the way they live through the salvation Jesus wants to bring to entire communities just like Yumaran Suku.