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Ministry Updates

Carlos' Story - Costa Rica

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Carlos Rios 1 Edit squareMultiplication Network Ministries (MNM) Founder and President Dr. John Wagenveld says, "The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us globally as national leaders in newly planted churches are having to find different ways of ministering in their communities." Please note that all of MNM's leaders around the world have been cautioned to reduce exposure and be safe while following the regulations set by their countries' governments.

Carlos Ríos is an associate pastor for the Assemblies of God in Costa Rica. For several years, he had been involved with the church and serving God but had been searching for God’s direction for some time. Carlos was introduced to church planting and started to take an interest in it. He soon saw God opening many doors for him.

One such door was the opportunity to receive church planter training provided by you through Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM). Carlos began to learn the first steps in church planting. One of the first obstacles he had to overcome was to break certain traditional paradigms regarding planting churches such as making a change from the way church planting had been done for the last 30-40 years.

Carlos says that the key part of planting churches is people. “We need passionate leaders who live the gospel in every second of their lives, not just when they are in an evangelical activity or in a meeting but also at work, with their family, in the neighborhood.”

For him, church planting opened a range of possibilities because he is no longer limited to one way of doing things. Rather, he says, the strategy is planting churches in every corner, in every place, and with a specific strategy for that place. “MNM’s church planting approach begins with an analysis of the location and the community itself tells us how to reach them,” Carlos adds.

Carlos shares that one mistake many people make is to think that the people of the local church do not want to plant more churches. He assures that there are many passionate people like him, waiting to be invited to impact their communities and families with the gospel through the planting of churches.

COVID-19 - KEEPING YOU, OUR PARTNER, INFORMED

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Dear friends and partners of Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM):

May the peace of Christ be with you!

I’m glad to report to you that our global staff, your team, is safe and taking precautions during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Travel has stopped, large gatherings postponed. But everyone is finding ways to minister despite the isolation. Thankfully, the MNM model of national partnership does not require us to repatriate foreigners to their country of origin. Instead, national leaders have been trained and prepared to be “spiritual first responders” in their own contexts, proclaiming a word of hope and encouragement—looking out for the most vulnerable in the name of Jesus.   

Some compare the COVID-19 pandemic to a world war. A “war creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it” (CS Lewis, Learning in Wartime). The US Army War College uses the term VUCA when referring to times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Whether in business, ministry, or family, this describes the disruption we have all experienced in our lives over the last few weeks. Many are asking questions. Many are considering their station in life. The indigenous and national leaders MNM has already trained are now well positioned, on the front line, to share the gospel.

A few days ago, I read Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” The verses that follow list a series of imminent dangers and threats to the psalmist. I love that in the Psalms there is room for the full range of human emotion and I suspect many of us are spending time there.

Recently, we gathered as an MNM team and remembered three principles that are important to us:

  • Name the pain: It is good to be honest and transparent of how we are feeling. Make room for lament. I like that the Scriptures give us permission to be real and name the pain and acknowledge the sense of loss we experience.
  • Remember your identity: We are not our own but belong to the Lord. We are children of God. We are rooted in the gospel and anchored in Christ. Circumstances change but our identity stands on solid rock.
  • Remember your vocation: We are called to walk in the Light and to be missionary agents of hope and reconciliation. Even in this situation we are still servants of the Kingdom: wash hands and keep washing feet!

The last verse of Psalm 27 calls us to patience saying, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” That is what we are attempting to do at MNM.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us globally as national leaders in newly planted churches are having to find different ways of ministering in their communities. Much more is now being done through social media and virtual online meetings. As everyone practices “social distancing” to abide by nationwide restrictions to “flatten the curve,” amazingly we are finding people have much more time for sustained meaningful conversations. A time such as this is not being wasted! The MNM National Director in Spain, wrote: “In just the last 24 hours hundreds of people have died in Spain because of the Coronavirus. But in the middle of this sadness, we have opportunities the Lord provides to us.”

We want to thank you for allowing us to partner with you in mission to the world with the truth and peace of the gospel.

The opportunity that we have in God’s ministry of reconciliation in the world is to use both common sense and also be bold in ministering to others. With God’s direction and through the power of His Holy Spirit, MNM (you and us in partnership) can not only survive this global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic but realize it is possible to thrive as we trust and place our faith firmly in Him.

John Wagenveld

Founder / President

Multiplication Network Ministries

Kennedy's Story - Tanzania

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Kennedy PauloMultiplication Network Ministries (MNM) Founder and President Dr. John Wagenveld says, "The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us globally as national leaders in newly planted churches are having to find different ways of ministering in their communities." Please note that all of MNM's leaders around the world have been cautioned to reduce exposure and be safe while following the regulations set by their countries' governments.

Kennedy Paulo was born in Bukumbi, Mwanza, Tanzania. As a child, Kennedy did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. In their family’s religious tradition, they regarded certain trees as holy or gods. He and his entire family worshipped them despite also reading the Bible. Kennedy’s father frequently visited witch doctors.

Kennedy felt a disquiet in his heart because of these traditions. “I really wanted to choose a different life from what my parents had,” he remembers.

One day, Kennedy was thinking of where he would spend his eternity if he were to die in sin. Then, all of a sudden, he remembered that he had read in the Bible in Mark 8:36 –  “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Through this thought-provoking question, Kennedy decided to completely surrender his life to Jesus and to live only for Him.

Because of what he had lived through, Kennedy had a strong burden for people lost in darkness, specifically his family. He realized God was calling him to be a church planter but didn’t want to go plant a church before he received proper training to help him succeed in his work.

God led him to meet Cretus Ishengoma, a church planter and trainer through Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM). Cretus shared about the ministry and how it works. Kennedy was excited to see how MNM’s vision aligned with the vision the Lord laid upon his heart. He joined a church planter class in Sengerema and successfully completed his training program.

“I have learned a lot through the training I received,” Kennedy says. “God is calling people so he can prepare them and make them ready to go into His vineyard. People with a true call from God will not be driven away from the ultimate goal, which is to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus even if they face challenges.”

Kennedy plans to plant a church to bring hope to the hopeless and transform the lives of many.

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