To The Least of These
Jesus said that if you give even a cup of water to the least of these you have as much as done it to Him. The Lord has not forgotten even one of these precious children. No matter where they may be His heart and His salvation are for them. We have, recently, had a chance to visit some of our Hope for Children ministry sites. These are located around schools where we have repaired a well and have found favor with the local villagers. The goal of these ministry sites is to provide a clear understanding of salvation through Jesus Christ and to provide regular discipleship for the local children.
The children are so receptive. So willing to learn. They love to participate in memory verses, singing, and games. We must continue to grow in our ministry to them. We are always looking to connect with other effective children's ministries here to learn and grow. They deserve the very best that we can provide them.
His life was given so that they might have life and experience the love and forgiveness of God. This field is ripe for the harvest. Many thousands more of these beautiful children are waiting for someone to care enough to come to them. Together we can be the feet that bring the good news. One thing that we need at this time is to purchase another vehicle to get our team members out to these remote ministry sites. If the Lord would guide you to help us in this please send your donation to our address below and mark it TEAM VEHICLE. Thank you so much from all of us for partnering in this great harvest.
"Pray the Lord of the Harvest that He will send labourers into the field."
Last year we launched our first missions school to train Zambians to do the work of ministry in the areas that we were repairing wells. When Marsha and I left Zambia in October it became a test of our strategy. Last week they (19 of them) came back to Livingstone for their 5th week of training. So the first thing we did was allowed each of them to tell us and their fellow students what they did in that 6 month period. What we heard absolutely amazed us! One theme was true in all of their testimonies was the impact that the baptism with the Holy Spirit had on their personal lives and ministries. In July of last year when they came in for their first class we spent the days teaching them the foundations of salvation, but at night we ministered to them the power of the Holy Spirit. What follows are just some of the amazing testimonies of that power working in their lives.
This is Killian. Before he came to missions school he was a farmer who was saved but had never been involved in ministry. After he was filled with the Holy Spirit he began to see visions from God. As he was selling tomatoes in the village a woman passed by and was limping. He asked her if he could pray for her and so he took her to a hut close by and ministered to her and she was immediately healed. The family in the hut watched this happen and he preached the gospel to them and the entire family accepted Jesus as savior.
This is Joseph. The Lord led him to go minister to the local witch doctor. There seemed to be no success in the first meeting but last week the witch doctors entire family which included many wives and children showed up at church. Linford told us of praying for a woman who was mute and two days later she spoke for the first time. He goes to the surrounding villages and preaches the gospel and many are healed and delivered. Susan prayed for a woman with a paralyzed hand and she was instantly healed and her church saw it. She now goes into the bars in the villages and preaches to the men there. Effines goes around to the villages near her and ministers to couples who have marriage problems. Humphrey was preaching in his home church when a little girl began manifesting a demon. He cast the demon out of her and led the entire family to Jesus Christ. Harold pastors a church and he testifies that the church is constantly growing with new converts and he has begun discipleship classes to train them to go out. This is how the kingdom of God spreads.
This is Eunice. She is an very soft spoke woman on the outside but full of the fire of God. Her pastor told us that he wishes he had 10 more just like her. She became very ill in January and was placed in the clinic. One of our missions students heard about it and came and laid his hands on her and she was immediately healed. Soon after God gave her a dream about two women in another village. She went to the other village, found the two women. They were Christians who had backslidden. She ministered to them and they repented and turned back to the Lord. She preaches everywhere she goes!
We will be launching a second missions class at the end of May. Each week that we bring the students in costs us about $700.00 in food, housing, and transport. Would you consider sponsoring one of these weeks as we do two a month. It would be money very well spent.
Thank you so much for faithfully partnering with us, IT IS WORKING!
The Perfect Gift - Clean Water
Choosing the perfect gift can be challenging. The right size, something practical, something they really need. Now for these two children the need is obvious. The gift they need is simple; it is a sustainable source of clean water. There is a good chance that they live near to a well that is broken. So now they look for water wherever they can find it and as you can see they are sharing it with cattle!
Their faces do not reveal the joy and hope that children of this age should be experiencing. Their story is repeated every day by so many children in Africa. In 2016 OMC repaired 60 wells in the southern province of Zambia which provided 57,000 people with clean water. We estimate that of that number about 20,000 were children of this age. In 2017 our goal is to reach 100,000 people with clean water.
An average well repair this year cost $650.00. When you divide that by the average number of people each well serves that is a $1.46 gift per person. A gift that is exactly what they need. The perfect gift, so simple, yet life changing. Jesus said that when we give a cup of cold water to even the least, we will be rewarded. Together we can deliver this gift to 100,000 people who need it the most.
Things That We Take for Granted
On August 30th and 31st in partnership with Rural Hope Zambia we sponsored a one day medical clinic. It was located in the village of Simalundu in the chiefdom of Simwatachela. 280 patients were seen by one doctor, one doctors assistant, one nurse and one pharmacy technician. This little girl came the day before, slept on the ground, and waited for hours to be seen. We complain if our doctors visit is 1/2 hour behind schedule!
There were patients that walked as far as 20 miles one way to get to this clinic. Some of the common medical problems were respiratory infections, diarrhea, dental problems, Gynecological cases, wound care, and sight conditions. Three people had to be transported to a hospital due to more serious issues. In this chiefdom there are only 5 regular clinics. These are staffed by a nurse only with no doctors. One clinic services about 20,000 people. Most Zambians living in the rural areas receive very little or no medical care. You can understand why 2,500 children die of diarrhea every day mostly in rural Africa.
These parents love their children and want the best for them just like we do. Think what it would be like if your child was sick and you could not get them help. It is big problem with no easy solutions. When you support OMC you provide us with the resources to reach more of these families with the gospel, clean water and medical support. Please consider sending a gift today. With our well repair ministry and medical clinics we are saving children from becoming a part of the statistics. If you are already partnering with us thank you so much for caring.
2 Timothy 2:2 Ministry
In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul instructs Timothy, the pastor at Ephesus, to find other faithful people to do the work of ministry. On August 29th in partnership with Rural Hope we launched our first Zambian missions school. In our first class we had 24 students from as far as 125 miles away. They attended classes for 5 days in which we laid the foundations of Christianity. At night they were touched by God's power in revival meetings. They will attend once a month for 12 months to graduate. In their third month they will choose a specialty ministry from 5 choices. Discipleship, evangelism, children's ministry, Youth ministry, or helps ministry. After they make their choice they will receive specialized training specific to their chosen ministry. During their one year they will be given practical assignments to be completed in-between their class weeks. We gave this first group the title "the next village team." This is our hope that their passion will be to reach the next village for Christ.
In the night meetings we wanted the students to experience the power of God and be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said "and you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me....." Acts 1:8
On a recent well repair trip Tom noticed these two boys carrying water from a ditch. Tom stopped and asked them what they were doing. They told him that they were getting water to drink. As you can see the water is very discolored and Tom said it had a strong oder of animal urine and feces. It is not a pleasant image but it is the reality of how many children live here. Every well we repair gives more of these children a chance to have clean water to drink. Your partnership with us makes that possible.
You can send a financial gift through Pay-Pal on our web site at omcwater.org. Or you may send funds directly to us. Our address is OMC c/o Jennifer Shifflett at 3280 Saddlewood Circle, Myrtle Beach SC 29579. Thank you
For the past two weeks OMC board members Mike Kordek and Tim Pickel came to Zambia to help us repair wells. During their time here they repaired 5 wells affecting about 6000 people including 1900 children at three schools. We have begun to pay very close attention to broken wells at schools and are giving them priority, along with broken wells that are close to churches.
The strategy for prioritizing schools for wells repair is simple: it gives us a door to a captive audience of children to share the gospel. At each of the three schools that we repaired wells at the head master immediately invited us to come once a week and share the gospel. The challenge to this is to find, train, and release children's ministers who live close to these schools. This is the hard work of doing ministry in such remote areas. We are putting together a training system for children ministers and expect to have it up and running in the next month. We will then reach out to the 1900 children in these three schools with the gospel and follow up discipleship.
One of our updated strategies that is very exciting is that we will be launching a missions school for Zambians. We are totally committed to the development of Zambians for the sake of reaching Zambia. The school will meet in a local church in Livingstone and the students will come in for one week each month for a year. The first two months will be used to lay a Biblical foundation for all students. During the third month each student will have the opportunity to choose from one of 5 different focus ministry areas. They will be evangelism, discipleship, children's ministry, youth ministry, and practical needs ministries. Each student will be given assignments out in the villages which will be specific to their chosen ministry along with classroom training. Our goal is to launch this school by the beginning of September with 15 students.
There are exciting things happening and we are very grateful to you for partnering with us. Please remember that if you are sending monthly support to our Myrtle Beach address that you are using the new one. It is OMC c/o Jennifer Shifflett at 3280 Saddlewood Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579. THANK YOU!
The Zambian Well Repair Team
Since our arrival in April we have been developing a well repair team. Our goal is to assure that we are providing sustainable solutions for clean water and effective ministry. On May12 we had our first monthly meeting in Kolomo. In the picture from left to right is Tom Siachitema who is the founder of Rural Hope. He is an amazing leader with a passion for his fellow Zambians. Tom and I have done ministry together for the past 4 years. He lives in Livingstone with his wife and baby daughter. Next is Pastor Crossland Mweetwa. He pastors a Pilgrim Weslyian Church outside of Zimba. He is unmarried. Anthony Halwundi is from Zimba and is a business man there. He regularly does volunteer work at the Christian eye clinic in Zimba. I have known Anthony for 4 years and he has interpreted for me many times. He is married with no children. Joshua Siakuba is our well repair expert. He was trained by UNICEF and has been repairing wells for 18 years. He lives in Simwatachela with his wife and children. Not appearing in the picture is pastor Obbey Mwaanga. He will be handling the follow up discipleship in the villages where we have repaired wells. He also lives in the chiefdom of Simwatachela.
Tom and Anthony early in the morning at the market in Zimba comparing village contacts and locations. Anthony is our first contact with the leadership of a village that has a broken well. His task is to coordinate everything to make sure the repair goes smoothly. He also works with the village leadership on developing ownership for the future repairs of their well. Pastor Crossland will be focused on the evangelism of the villages in which we have repaired a well. Our priority is always the gospel. Joshua handles all the well repair but also trains a few local men at each site on how to do basic maintenance on the pump. Pastor Obbey will be looking for leaders in these villages who we can train to do Bible studies to maintain the work of God.
This is a great time to get involved with us in reaching out to these Zambians. We have repaired 40 wells this year already and have more than 150 waiting to be repaired. At each well we are reaching out to the villagers with the gospel. You can partner with us monthly or with a one time gift. No amount is to small and it will go directly to the people who need it. Thank you so very much.
You can mail your gift to OMC c/o Jennifer Shifflett at 3280 Saddlewood Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579. Or you can give through PayPal on our web site at omcwater.org.
As the title implies this is a mid month special edition of African Journals. We have been very busy since arriving in Zambia a little more than a month ago. In partnership with Rural Hope we have been developing a well repair team to meet the overwhelming need. At this writing we have already repaired 11 wells and we have 73 confirmed waiting to be repaired! Just about every day that number is growing as word gets out into the villages about this ministry. As we grow we learn what the needs and challenges are. One thing we have discovered is that we need a better way to get the repair parts out to these very remote well repair sites. This usually involves large numbers of pipe and pump rods all of which are 10 feet in length. we have attempted to use what public transport there is available, but it is very unreliable and many times our parts come damaged. If we are to efficiently continue to repair wells we will need our own vehicle to cary the needed parts to the repair sites. This is the reason for our special edition. We would like to purchase a Toyota Dyna truck like the one in the picture above. There is a good selection of these vehicles in used condition especially in the capital city of Lusaka. We estimate that a good used one with low milage will cost around $20,000. this would include all government fees and insurance. If the Lord would prompt you to help we would be very grateful and thousands of precious people will receive clean water and the water of Life: Jesus Christ. If you send a check please mail it to our new address. Make your check out to OMC and mark it for the truck project. Mail it to OMC c/o Jennifer Shifflett at 3280 Saddlewood Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579. If you are giving online please also make a note that it is for the truck project. Thank you so very much.
This looks like most wells that you will come across in this part of Zambia. However this one has been broken for 12 years and the people of the village of Moombwe in the chiefdom of Musokotwane have had to get their water from the river for 12 years; 3000 people drinking dirty river water and suffering the effects of it. We heard of this well because Overland Missions is taking the Advanced Missions Training students here for their first expedition in about two weeks. So along with the Overland well repair team, I went to help repair this well.
The beauty of working in the village is that the men are very willing to assist in the repair work. We were able to train several of the local men to help to maintain the well in the future. This is critical to sustainability as it gives them a sense of ownership of the well. We believe that they will take better care of the well going forward. We talked with the senior head man about creating a fund in which each household puts a small amount of money each month. This fund would be used for future repairs. That would eliminate waiting on others to come and fix a problem.
Your partnership with us makes these miracles possible. We are so grateful to each of you and so wish that you could experience these times first hand. We are in the process of repairing 21 wells and will be sharing some of those experiences with you. If you are not a partner why not consider starting now making a difference in the lives of these precious people. You can do it on line at our web site at www.omcwater.org or by sending it to the address below. Thank you
***Please take note that if you are sending your support by check there is a new address. Please send it to OMC c/o Jennifer Shifflett at 3280 Saddlewood Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
The packing has begun. We are headed back to Africa this weekend and the excitement of new opportunities to serve God. Trying to find room for everything you will need for 7 months in the field is always a challenge. We have shipped a 55 gallon drum full of well repair equipment and even some curtains to make the house in Africa feel a little bit more like home.
OMC is an infant organization as missions ministries go. God has done great things in a very short time. Yet, we are convinced that open doors to reach more people with the gospel and fulfilling His mission for this ministry is totally dependent on God showing up and leading us every day. This is why in this months African Journals we want to share with you, our partners, our deepest needs for prayer. The above picture is of the missionaries at Overland Missions. Every morning, Monday through Friday, they worship and pray from 8:30 to 9:00am. It is from this place of intimacy that God does great things among them.We ask you to partner with us and if you would add the following items to your time with God.
(1) Please pray for our travel safety not only in flying to and from Africa, but also in our travels while we are there.
(2) Please lift Marsha and I up to God that we would be protected from the many diseases that are common to Africa.
(3) Stand with us that we would walk in God's wisdom in our yes's and no's concerning ministry. That the Father would give us favor with our partnerships and with those who we will need favor with. We ask for the power of God to bring souls into His Kingdom.
(4) Finally please remember our family here in America for their safety and that our home would also remain safe in our absence.
There is no more important thing we can ask of you. Thank you so much.
To each of you who faithfully support this ministry with your finances we want you to remember the faces of these children. We understand that you may send money and forget what it is going for. Their lives are precious to God. Your partnership puts a smile on their faces, a new hope in their hearts, and an entrance into the love of God. We give thanks to God for your faithfulness and love. We pray God's abundant blessings overwhelm you.
Going Back to School
It has been said that you are never too old to learn. So Mike Kordek, Tim Pickel, (OMC board members) and myself attended Living Water International's Well Repair school in Cleveland Texas. The training was from Tuesday evening until late Saturday afternoon and included class at night and hands on training during the day. Our three instructors had more than 20 years field experience repairing wells in third world countries around the world. We focused on diagnosing problems, repair, safety,and sustainability. We were taught how to do water testing and how to properly disinfect a well. We learned creative solutions to well problems and the need for special tools crafted in the field to solve challenges that arise. All three of us came away from the school with a firm commitment to doing this ministry with high standards of quality, safety, and sustainability.
I chose this picture to focus on the importance of developing a relationship with the leaders of a village where a well is to be repaired. To create a sustainable water solution the village must be actively involved in the maintenance and repair of the well. The first factor is to discuss with the village a system of collecting money on a monthly basis to cover the repair parts and maintenance of the well. This gives them ownership of the well and they will be diligent to take care of it. Another part of this is to train someone in the chiefdom to systematically check on the wells in his region. When regular maintenance is done it will normally prevent major breakdowns. Another area that adds to their empowerment is to teach them about the importance of personal hygiene. So you see that the ministry does not stop with a repaired well. We will work to develop these parts to a sustainable water solution and keep you updated of our progress.
I close with this picture of a well we repaired last year. The young man with the child in his arm said to us that "water is life for my children." This is why we are compelled by the love of God to be effective. Together we can serve their need for water and demonstrate the love of God through Jesus Christ. Please take a moment to visit our updated web site at omcwater.org.
Our Vision for 2016
The priority of OMC has been and always will be the evangelism of the children of Africa. Our goal is to reach as many children as we can with the message of the gospel. Yet doing that in a sustainable way is crucial. This is why it is difficult to put a number on the children that have and will receive Jesus Christ. The only real sustainable way to reach children in such remote areas is to continually develop new leaders who will evangelize and disciple the children that they have access to. That is why our leader's trainings are as important as a children's outreach. In 2016 our goal is to reach 10 new Zambians who will commit themselves to children's ministry in their chiefdom, train and then release them into this ministry.
Well repair is a ministry that we desire to expand. It not only provides clean water, but opens doors to evangelize entire villages. In 2016 our goal is to repair 100 broken wells and reach 10,000 people with the gospel message through this ministry.
Zambia ranks 26th in the world in terms of mothers dying in childbirth. Infant mortality is 66.6% per 100,000 births. Zambia is also 17th in losing children before the age of 5. Common problems are pneumonia, malaria, diarrheal diseases, and HIV. At this time our partnership with Rural Hope provides us access to 5 rural clinics reaching approximately 10,000 children per month. They are in need of their own 4 wheel drive vehicle to be able to transport doctors and nurses to these remote clinics. Cost of this would be $25,000.00 US. In 2016 we envision reaching 50,000 children with basic medical support and vaccinations. At each clinic the gospel is preached to the mothers and children.
Last year I set myself to develop Zambian leaders with the focus of releasing them to develop Bible studies and their leaders to do the same. In our December newsletter we called it a viral move of God. We are committed to expanding this ministry in 2016. So in 2016 we will train and release 5 new Zambian leaders and we will develop 20 new Bible studies through them.
We will continue to pastor the staff of Overland Missions and this year look to find ways to maintain contact with staff that are in other remote areas of the world.
If you are partnering with us now we want to thank you. If you are not won't you consider starting in 2016. Any amount will help us to fulfill the vision for this year. If you would like more information before you make a decision to partner please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Viral Move of God
This month in African Journals we are going to share with you about a viral move of God. We all know what a virus is. The common cold is a virus. Viruses are spread from person to person in very simple manners. The Biblical reference for this principle is found in Mark 4:26-27. We are the ones who scatter the seed or the word of God into the ground, which is the hearts and minds of humans. The seed grows and we do not know how because it is the work of God. Paul said in 1Corinthians 3 that God is the one who brings the increase. If we are faithful to do our part God always does His. When a viral move of God happens we see new growth in the body of Christ from people and places that we had no influence over. This is critical in all parts of the world, but in Africa it is essential.
The man in the picture with me is named Jerry. We call him Pastor Jerry. He lives in the village of Ngwezi in the chiefdom of Musokotwane. I first met Jerry in a Bible study I was teaching in Ngwezi. Several years before we met, Jerry was the village drunk who got into fights every time he drank. Overland Missions sent an expedition into that area of Musokotwane and for a week one of the members of that team pursued Jerry to share the gospel with him. On the last day that the expedition was in his village Jerry came and heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and was born again and went from the village drunk to the village evangelist. Perfect example of we don't know how God does it but He does.
Now this is where I come into the picture. Paul, my interpreter, and I began doing Bible studies in Ngwezi and immediately Jerry stood out to us as a genuine leader. We would camp out at his home and spend many hours around a camp fire sowing the word of God into him. This year we challenged him to step out and start some new Bible studies in nearby villages. When we left in October he had begun 4 new Bible studies, had planted leaders in each of them and was meeting monthly with those leaders to train them and challenge them to reach new areas with the gospel. This is a viral move of God. From the village drunk to the gospel being preached to hundreds of people in a remote area of the world. We constantly search for more men and women like Jerry that we can sow the word of God into and watch God move in their lives to sow into the lives of others.
If you are not partnering with us please consider what impact your one time or monthly gift would have in these viral moves of God. Thank you so much for taking time to read our newsletter.
From our home to yours, we wish your family a very blessed Christmas.