India 11 -25 November 2014
A busy trip saw the team in 3 different towns, two orphanages, several villages and even a walk on the beach, where damage from the recent cyclone was still evident. Conferences for pastors, ladies meetings, church services, puppet ministry to children and the Wordless Book kept us busy with 44 people making professions of faith even though the emphasis was more teaching than evangelism. We had wonderful hospitality from three different families, a precious time with a Dalit church, the "untouchables" of India, who catch rats for 20p each to supplement their tiny incomes. Conferences saw teaching on the Great commission, Baptism, Romans and some of Hebrews. There was much praying for individuals after services, by all the team.
Zambia 2 - 16 June 2014
"Dr Livingstone, I presume?" Not quite! but Mark found himself walking in the famous missionary's footsteps along the Luangwa River bordering Mozambique. This particular venue was a later alteration to the programme, and seemingly proved to be an inspired decision. There was a great hunger and enthusiasm for the Word, and the location allowed for some Mozambican pastors to be in our midst. While conditions were very basic in this area it seemed that the Lord had a particular work to do. In a crusade one evening, whilst Mark was preaching the Gospel and then calling for a response, even pastors were seen responding to Christ.
Many people in Zambia, (and other parts of Arica) believe in the Christian God and even go to church, but they don't know the Gospel. They have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. (Similar to Romans 10:1-3 and 4). That's one reason why, when it is explained to them, they respond so easily. Also, the host pastor told one of the Zambian team that Mark was the first missionary to come to their district in living memory.
Previously the team spent a few days in Nyimba, a town in the eastern region on the road to Malawi. Many pastors came in from surrounding villages to be fed on God's Word, as we looked at the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation 2-3. In examining what Christ thinks of the Church we covered the importance of doctrine, devotion and personal holiness; seeing the need to walk faithfully with Christ until the end. Pastors were stirred, encouraged and spoken to by the Lord. Some said that they had a renewed determination that their churches should be actively involved in the Great Commission.
Planting King's Church, Arundel, UK January 2014
Ghana November 2013
The Gospel is flourishing in Ghana. So many have a Christian outlook, but do not know salvation. When someone explains the Gospel to them, many are prepared to respond, turning to Jesus for forgiveness of their sins. Mark worked with four Ghanaians, going into junior and senior schools, preaching the Gospel and explaining the HIV/AIDS problem. Whilst the world proffers ways to combat this problem, the team made clear that the only real solution is the Christian one – abstinence. The pupils are humorously yet clearly encouraged to save sexual activity for marriage.
In the evenings, crusades were held in the open air, with crowds that would often exceed a thousand people. On responding to the Gospel, many prayed to receive the Saviour, and were followed up by members of local churches. Then, teaching from Acts 16, it was explained that they should be baptised after turning to Jesus. It was amazing to see significant numbers baptized at night in a jungle setting, where a river happened to be flowing by. Praise the Lord.
Kenya 20 - 30 September 2013
There is an openness to the Gospel, and a hunger for the Word in Kenya. Whilst challenges such as a widespread "Health and Wealth" gospel, and lack of Bibles in many areas are real, many gathered to feed on Bible teaching.
Working with Nashon Ooko and George Odour, ministry was held in churches near Kakamenga, Bar Ober, Luanda (crossing the equator at Maseno) and in a village off the Bondi Road, Subjects included an overview of Romans 1-8 and the Atonement from Isaiah 53. At the Pastor's conference in Kisumu, Richard Brunton and Mark worked through Hebrews (only getting chapter 4!) but by God's grace messages were powerful and seemed to speak into a local situation.
Unfortunately, due to paperwork and the like issues, the Prison ministry did not occur, but we were able to meet the prison Chaplain, and take a step to ensure future ministry with the 2,400 condemned inmates. There is a also a small women's section.
The crusades were reasonably well attended, wtih good respones. The host pastor said we really had God's favour that they were held, as it was the rainy season. On the last night, with the biggest crowd (c.500) the early part of gthe programme was rather long, and Mark only got through 3/4 of the message. Before the appeal as the black clouds were about to open, the crowd FLED! We drove back, very slowly, in a deluge, with some roads seeming like rivers!
Visited Nashon and Monica's 35 orphans one breakfast time, cramped into their two small rooms. They are all well, as are the widows who look after them.
It Nairobi, it was good to see familiar faces at Buru Buru Tabernacle of Praise during the Pastor's seminars, and two Sunday services (English and KiSwahili). Bishop Stephn Kiguru was there, but with serious back problems. The church is moving forward, and Worthing Tabernacle's container is still there, acting as an office/store room.
Zambia 26 June - 9 July 2013
(Written by Team Member Val Hunter)
Hosted by three caring Pastors and staying in four different locations, the team spent an incredible two weeks of ministry in Zambia. Travelling on the Cape to Cairo road and on miles of dry, dusty and pot-holed dirt tracks, the good Lord kept us safe.
The Jesus film was shown every night in dark villages where hundreds of people saw the Light and gave their lives to Christ. Demons were released and captives set free.
All three Pastors Conferences were well attended, the Pastors being greatly encouraged by the teaching and by the gifts of Bibles and books. There were very powerful prayer times when the presence of God was felt and His Holy Spirit came upon us.
Ladies were given tips on health and hygiene and appreciated the opportunity to chat with other women. In the schools, the single and double orphans joined in our singing and were told the Gospel message by way of the Wordless Book. Many children accepted Jesus into their hearts and in one school the Headmistress remarked that she had not seen the children smile so much before.
There were many challenges that were overcome by God's grace but many blessings too. All in all a very fruitful and spiritual trip, and each member has returned safe, healthy and enriched by the experience.
"Hallelujah!" Salvation and glory and honour and power belong to the Lord our God! Revelation 19:1
Malawi 1-13 March 2013
Mark spoke at a Pastors Conference that took place deep in the south of Malawi, near the borders of Mozambique, Virtually everyone who came had to walk or cycle. Some walked 20 km to attend, others 30, 40 or even 50 km (30 miles). One man walked 60 km. Others cycled up to 120 km. Most touching of all was a grey-haired man who hobbled 15 km on crutches - such hunger for God's Living Word! There were 7 evangelists in this conference, none of whom owned a Bible. They were each given one. While most of the pastors present possessed a Bible, many knew pastors who did not. Bibles were specifically given to be taken to those pastors who were without. Over a hundred Bibles, God's eternal Word, were given away at this conference. Mark also spoke at the Jesus Way School of Evangelism in Malawi. There is a waiting list of potential students, un-enrolled only because of a lack of finance. Two of the students did not have a Bible and so were given one each. The school was also presented with 15 New Testaments, and about 20 Christian books. Please pray that the Bibles given out will be a great blessing to Pastors and whole congregations. Pray for the teaching to remain with pastors to help edify and strengthen their flocks. Please also pray for those who made a profession of faith, that they will truly walk with the Lord.
India November/December 2012
India is a land of great contrasts - beautiful scenery and litter strewn everywhere; great poverty and hunger, yet cows are worshiped; much spiritual darkness yet people are open to Jesus and hungry for God's Word.
A small team went with Mark to a small state in India visiting churches, preaching, speaking and sharing testimonies of God's goodness in their lives. Ministry occurred with the 32 children of a local orphanage home and there were some 40 attendees at the Bible School. Early one evening they were able to walk along the canal, visiting those who lived in very poor housing along the way, giving out tracts, talking of the Lord, and praying with many for various needs.
Towards the end of the trip, seven people were baptised, whose hearts had been stirred from the first Sunday's mission.
Zambia 7-18 July 2012
God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). This was clearly evident in Zambia in different ways, a country that struggles more than most in Africa. We were blessed to be in a powerful prayer meeting of Campus Crusade for Christ evangelists and staff, with wonderful ministry reports. Our own crusades were clearly blessed also, with increasing crowds and numbers of people responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.These were all held in poor areas, one literally on the wrong side of the tracks, as many lined up along the railway line as well as crowding around the equipment whilst we showed the Jesus film. Not so easy to convey was the drive past the city sewerage works, with squalid housing on the opposite side of the road.
A highlight of the Trip: We went to prison! (but only for a temporary visit). There clearly seemed to be a spiritual battle to prevent us going, but the Lord overruled. We were able to meet with and encourage a prisoner, who is due to be released in a year's time. Pray for him to continue to walk with the Lord.
Ghana 10-26 May 2012
Wherever we went in the Ayanfuri district of Ghana, we saw many make a profession of faith. Whether in schools, or open air crusades, the Gospel was proclaimed, making it clear that the Bible is the Word of God, that we were all sinners, the reality of heaven and hell, and explaining why Jesus is the only way to salvation. Working alongside the Church of Pentecost, a rapidly expanding denomination, who counselled and followed up those making a profession of faith, we regularly saw hundreds at a time respond. Whilst we are not used to this in the UK, the Africans have a simple lifestyle without the props of a developed economy (like insurances, the NHS & pensions) and so they see their need more easily. In the schools, pupils and teachers were equally responsive. The team also taught about the reality of HIV/AIDS, and sources of contracting it, and the only sure way of protecting oneself-by sticking to Biblical principles. Ministry also occurred in other areas, notably Sunday services and Seminars teaching on the Gospel and follow up.
Kenya 16-29 March 2012
There was a clear sense of the Lord at work in the ministry trip to Kenya, with powerful anointing on the preaching, and many hearts touched. Pastor Nashon Ooko and his team had organised a number of seminars for pastors and church leaders, in and around the Kisumu area, on the shores of Lake Victoria. Some were in remote areas toward the Ugandan border.The main seminar was a two day event in the city, averaging 215 attendees – mostly pastors, but including a number of bishops. Ministry also took place in two slums in Nairobi - Kibera, and in Kawangware with Chris Lane and David Weaver of Living Hope. It was good to be able to share ministry and fellowship together.
What was taught?
The essence of the teaching to pastors was on Biblical leadership, under these headings:
Servant Leadership Mt 20:25ff
Sanctified Leadership Jas 3:1
Spiritual Leadership 1Cor 2
Shepherd Leadership John 10
Sacrificial LeadershipMt 20:28
with Phil 2:5-11 as our model.