I visited a church under construction in Madagascar today. One of the requirements of an ICM partnership is that the congregation must be involved in the construction of the building. This helps to reduce the cost and also enables the members to be part of the process resulting in a stronger sense of ownership and creating a desire to maintain the building well.
Pictured below are members of the church that had gathered to help with the construction on a Saturday morning.
On Saturday I met with 16 pastors and church leaders in Rwanda. These are pastors who are involved with ICM through our partnership with an organization there that has constructed 17 projects.
In addition to the building projects, they have been very active with Mini Bible College (MBC), and to date have distributed 218 players which are being used in over 230 groups. As part of a training session with these leaders, I heard many powerful testimonies of how MBC is impacting the lives of so many people in so many ways. To God be the glory! #churchbuildersafrica
Andy Scott, Director of Partnership Review Africa, shares with us about his upcoming trip to Africa. He will visit nine countries over the next month, with his first partner meeting starting tomorrow morning.
Andy sharing the details of his trip. Mr. Dois Rosser, is featured in the painting. Thank you, Scott Harris of Harris Design Studios, for creating this beautiful representation.
Let’s partner together in praying for him and everyone he will have opportunity to meet! #churchbuildersafrica
ICM staff and prayer team praying for Andy before he begins the month long trip.
The following is an excerpt from an email sent by one of partners in Africa where Christianity faces incredible persecution.
We had marvelous time celebrating what the Lord has done in the past four years. Just to share the reason of our joy, in the past four years we have got 114 new congregations that grew from outreach level to congregation, we trained several ministers and ordained 132 new pastors, and in addition we trained several ministers and officially assigned 125 Evangelist to new outreach areas and new congregations. The number of outreaches is increasing from time to time we have now 710 outreaches. All the last four years were a time of peace and advancement of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior.
A project under construction in Africa
I always love seeing construction pictures come in from our partners. The picture below is one of my favorite storyboards of what ICM does through its indigenous partners in Africa.
The old structure where the church currently meets in is now being enveloped by the new building being constructed in partnership with ICM and our faithful donors.
The International Church Growth Committee (ICG) meets every week to approve new partnerships and building applications. Over 4,800 projects have been approved worldwide by the committee, 1,200 of which are in 24 African countries.
Each of these projects represents a new church building for a congregation which results in significant growth and has an incredible impact in their communities. There are countless testimonies of just how important these projects are to our partners and to the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
We had a full table this week with all the Director’s of Partnership in country and two new Directors who will be covering Eurasia.
Last week I went to Tennessee to meet with some potential partners in Africa. They have a network of established churches and are strategically planting more churches to secure as much ground for the Kingdom as they can.
It’s always great to hear what other ministries as doing to establish God’s Kingdom and then to explore if a partnership with ICM can enhance their vision.
During my last trip to Africa, I visited a school at one of our potential church projects. As you can see from the picture above, the classroom is very basic and the rainy season presents even greater challenges.
The church often becomes involved in improving the community by providing schooling, orphan care, men’s and women’s groups, small business opportunities etc. Once a permanent church building is constructed, it is often used to accommodate the various community needs the church is involved with, including the school classes.
I had the privilege of sharing with the students during my visit. The school buildings are in the background.
I received an email from a contact in a very volatile country in Africa, communicating the desperate need after recent conflicts. Some of the comments from the email follow:
Most Organizations have left and halted their operations. The few remaining are struggling since nothing can operate as usual. I am here because we are encouraging many Christian organizations to include trauma healing, forgiveness and peace building and reconciliation in their programs even if they are not the main ones, since majority of the people are traumatized and will need healing, pastoral care and counseling before life becomes normal and are able to undertake other activities.
They have been involved in relief for displaced pastors and are helping them to deal with their own trauma, resentment, anger, and disappointments so that they in turn will help others.
Please pray for the pastors in this region who are working through their own healing process before they can effectively minister to others in desperate need.