Alcides Lorenzana is the National Supervisor of the Church of God in Guatemala. He is thankful for Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) and the training that is available. “MNM’s ministry has become a great tool and a complement for so many churches and denominations,” he says.
Alcides shares that they are going to implement the church planter training within the denomination. “It makes sense and it is functional, even better than the systems we were using.”
His denomination has the goal of organizing 90 churches in 2019 to 2020. Alcides shares that the pastors are feeling an awakening and motivation in their hearts to be part of this project.
“MNM has a good program, such as the 12 modules to prepare the church planters and most of all, the work is of God and we know that hearts are touched by God,” Alcides says.
He sees God moving in Guatemala. “There is an awakening, a joy, and God is raising up young people with passion. The leadership is perceiving all the movement and the [MNM] model is being implemented. Many are accepting the call to go and plant a church,” he says.
Alcides gives thanks to God for allowing them to be involved in His work. “Our request to MNM is that they pray for us to be able to carry out the work of the Lord and that the Kingdom of God be magnified.”
Omar Carmona works in Costa Rica as the secretary of church planting for his denomination. Since they began working with Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) three years ago, they have been dedicated to cultivating the field of ministry in which they work. This year, they are challenging themselves to plant 30-40 churches. They are seeing progress towards this goal even though they have not yet received reports from it. They hope this is the year they can consider it a success.
Omar and other Costa Rican church planters face challenges every day. One of the biggest trials is communication with the church planters. Not every planter has internet access and some do not even have phones. Thankfully, the national bishop has taken initiative by arranging to fund transportation and fuel costs for visiting leaders. This is an important aspect of MNM’s model – sharing costs with our partners to reach more people. MNM is able to strengthen our partners’ ability to track progress in church planting by providing them with complimentary funds to establish or reinforce their field work. They are confident in our processes and encouragement and it trickles down to their own church planters.
Costa Rica has a great need for churches. There are many villages that have no churches, both within the city and in rural areas. Another challenge Omar and other church planters regularly encounter is violence.
“Personally, I am planting a church in a village that they call ‘El Infiernillo,’ or ‘Little Hell.’ It is very violent. It is a community where you see children of 12-14 years using drugs, drinking alcohol. Children of alcoholic or drug-addicted parents often don’t live in a house. The violence is growing and they see the need to rob or beg. Praise God we are planting a church there,” Omar says.
The area is filled with darkness and violence. Through the church plant, work is being done in the community to bring light to that darkness. With the vision of the church plant is a vision of social change. Supplies like food, clothes, notebooks, and more are being brought in to aid the people.
One strategy Omar and the leadership have incorporated is bringing in professionals and teachers to educate the community. Through this work they encourage parents that “if they can succeed, there is hope.” These programs allow Omar and other church planters to minister to the people and develop positive relationships with the community. This opens the door for the church to share the gospel message with them.
Omar recognizes that none of the work they have accomplished would be possible without God’s blessing and the prayers and support of all of you. He asks for continued prayers for more church planters to rise up and accept the call. While they currently have 40 church planters, they have plans to train many more. Omar also requests prayers for the current planters, for perseverance, and for the pastors of the mother churches that they may stand firm in the face of challenges and take charge of the ministry in their communities.
Daudi Kitwima is a pastor in Tanzania. His life began on a dark trail. He was raised in a pagan family by parents who were both witch doctors. Daudi himself was a witch doctor for two years. Then God’s grace found him and his journey was dramatically changed.
Soon after giving his life to Jesus, Daudi felt God calling him to be a pastor and a church planter. He searched for an avenue leading where he could receive the training he needed to fulfill this calling. A short time later, Daudi met Michael Sillah, the East Africa Director for Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM). Michael told him about MNM’s ministry path and the church planter training that would help guide him. Thanks to your support of MNM, Daudi was able to join a church planter class and following this route, he successfully completed all 12 modules.
After finishing the MNM church planter curriculum, Daudi planted several new churches and trained other church planters. He has already seen how the MNM materials have positively affected his ministry.
“Ever since I completed the MNM church planter training, I have observed my ministry growing and producing fruit. It has increased the vision God has put on my heart,” declares Daudi. This gives him many reasons to push on even harder to help many others find the Way.
Daudi is now an MNM trainer. He has dedicated his time and energy equipping others to follow God’s path for their lives. Daudi believes his ministry is more effective because the tools and training from MNM are very different from what he had used in the past.
Daudi’s goal is to plot the course for more church planters. They will in turn multiply to plant more and stronger churches in many communities. Early on, he started training his own church members using the MNM materials provided by your gift. One such church member is Justine Steven.
Before Daudi told Justine about Jesus, she did not even know what sin was or that she had a need for salvation. Her parents left her directionless and did not teach their children about God. Justine lived her life as she pleased.
In Justine’s culture, when a woman is 20 and is not yet married, everyone assumes there is something wrong with her. They believe she should go consult the witch doctors for solutions. When she came to that age, still single, she went to every witch doctor she knew of to figure out what was wrong with her. “I spent all I had on witch doctors.I thought maybe they would help me find direction to solve my problems, but nothing they did ever worked,” Justine says.
Justine felt hopeless because she couldn’t find her way.
One day, Daudi Kitwima walked up to her door and simply shared Christ with her. Justine made up her mind to give her life to Jesus and then joined the newly planted church.
After giving her life to Jesus, Justine felt called to become a church planter. She was able to join an MNM church planter training class that was provided because of your support and successfully completed all 12 modules. As she put into practice what she had learned, Justine was amazed how effective the training was in preparing her.
“I did not know how to preach at first, but after receiving the MNM training, I can confidently convey the message of Jesus,” says Justine.
Justine has seen exciting growth in her ministry after the MNM training.Her vision is to plant a healthy church that will transform the community where she is living. God also led Justine to meet her husband Yusuph. Now he too has enrolled in church planter training. Together, Justine and Yusuph are leading people to Jesus by planting stronger and healthier churches. They are enjoying serving the Lord together as church planters.
Through the training you provided through Multiplication Network Ministries, Daudi, Justine, and Yusuph’s steps are now ordered by the Lord. The Lord will guide them continually as God’s word is a lamp to their feet and a light to their path.
Will you join Daudi, Justine,Yusuph, and MNM on this path?
Once they were surrounded by evil and witchcraft, then the gospel message through the ministry of MNM church planters brought these three out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. Daudi’s ministry has been multiplied through Justine and Yusuph. Together, they are bearing witness of the Kingdom of God with each step they take. Training more church planters in Africa to teach the way of salvation will help set free those stumbling in the darkness.