little girl

little girlAs soon as I finished teaching the second seminar we hopped in a taxi for the twenty minute ride to my hotel just outside of Arusha.  We got a place for me to stay and after dinner I crashed.  Teaching six days in a row after flying 24 hours took the stuffing out of me.  Dickson had me scheduled to teach in his church the next day, so I got up early to go over my message, then headed to the church.  I was glad that after lunch at church I was able to go back to the room and rest for a bit.

I’ve had a lot of ugali (thick grits) and beef gravy while I’ve been here.  It’s really good, but a little messy.  You pull off part of the ugali and form it into a ball with a hole partially though it, then you dip it into the gravy and eat it.  The pastors and I had a good laugh at Betty the first time she tried eating gravy with her hands.  She had it dripping halfway to her elbow, but she got the hang of it really fast.

The pastors in the third seminar have had more schooling than the other two groups, so I didn’t have to do as much explaining and we were able to go a little faster.  On the second day one of the men stood up and told the pastors he had been in my seminar in ’97 and how much it has meant in his life and ministry these past 15 years.  He encouraged the pastors to listen  carefully and take good notes, then to make sure they put it into practice.

The seminars are over, now I will be meeting with some of the men who were in my previous seminars and the man who will translate our material into Swahili.  Thanks for praying me through this trip.  I’ll hop on a plane on Saturday and arrive home on  Sunday.  Ken

Ken and a Friend
Ken and a Friend
Scenes from Arusha
Scenes from Arusha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the other Diary Entries

Please Continue to Pray for WDA, Ken and especially the people who have received training in Disciple Building. WDA is having an impact Worldwide through our staff and leaders around the world.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Arusha Tanzania

At 2:00 on Saturday I’ll be on a plane, headed for Detroit and my final destination of Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania.  Pastor Nnko, our Associate staff in Tanzania for almost twenty years, was a prolific church planter before he died in 2012.  Nnko began almost 25 churches and each one is pastored by one of his disciples.  He named the churches all ‘Grace Evangelical Church’ because he thought that was a cool name!

Dickson Lazier is one of his disciples.  Dickson pastors the church in Arusha, which was built by a group of men from our church here in Fayetteville.  I’ll be teaching three seminars for Nnko’s disciples since they are like sheep without a shepherd since he died.  I hope to re-focus their vision on helping their people to grow in Christ-like character.

Please be praying for Dickson and Pastor Charles Sengasu as they coordinate the seminars and for health and strength for me.

Thanks, Ken

Dickson's Church
Dickson’s Church
Arusha Tanzania
Arusha Tanzania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Run Forest Run”- That often seems the best advice on how many managers, parents and friends manage conflict. But is avoiding conflict really the best way to manage it?

When we avoid or run from conflict rarely do we see it go away. Sure it might go away for a while, but all to often, it rears it’s ugly head again and often, while at rest, the beast grows even larger!

What if we took the time to understand conflict for what it really is and learned to manage the process of how to resolve it? For example let’s begin with the premise that not only is conflict normal but it is even profitable! 

A wise supervisor once told me if we all thought the exact same thing that the company would only need one of us. Each of us brings a unique point of view, skill set and perspective to any situation. That is what makes us valuable and it is also what is the root of conflict-differences. The issue is not whether we have differing points of view but rather how we manage our emotions and ego through the process.

This makes sense at a core level, however managing, and profiting from conflict is not so easy to do! The key in handling conflict is to be prepared before you enter the fray. There are lots of books on the subject, anger management classes and web sites devoted to the topic. How do you choose?

Well if you believe in God, it might be a good idea to understand how the creator of the universe, the One who invented emotions, the Alpha and Omega of human development and understanding designed a process for us to be both unique and to live together in peace.

Worldwide Discipleship Association, Inc has discovered nine key Biblical principles, drawn from scripture, which provide key understandings and methods for resolving conflict.

For example have you read about how Paul taught the Philippians to work at developing agreement, not just being agreeable?

Or how we can receive correction without it damaging our self-image?

These and other key methods are covered in “Developing Healthy Relationships” one of several key leadership skill trainings found at disciplebuilding.org.

My mother used to tell my brother and sister and I to “fight nice”! As I continue to study and grow I find that conflict is not to be avoided. Wade right in. Learn something in the process but understand that it is a process and equip yourself how to do it well.

Bob Dukes

bob dukesGrowing up, there were times in our local church when being around other believers became troublesome and tedious.  That’s when someone would usually say:  “To live above with the saints in love…  that will be glory!  But to live here below with the folks I know…  that’s another story!”  Everyone would laugh, but too often there remained an undercurrent of frustration and disappointment.  This prompted me to wonder: “Why is church life so difficult?”

Being with other Christians can be wonderful.  God has placed us in His spiritual family, the Church, to encourage us, protect us, correct us, direct us, and provide for us.  There are specific situations that help believers experience beneficial relationships with other Christians.  Each of these experiences plays a unique role in helping to form us spiritually, but each requires some effort.  Christians who do not have connections with other Christians tend to stop growing. (cf. Hebrews 10: 24-25)

But sometimes being with other Christians can be painful.  Proverbs affirms this tension: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  A sharp tool makes work easier and more productive, but the sharpening file causes sparks to fly.  Anyone who’s been part of a church for a while can identify.  People can be petty and immature.  We’re all human, but we expect more from fellow believers.

In the first century there were very few church buildings.  Mostly the believers met together in private homes for Bible teaching, prayer, and fellowship.  This close proximity allowed for greater intimacy, but it also created the possibility of conflict.  No doubt this prompted the apostles to write such passages as Romans 12: 10-21.  The closer we get to people the more they encourage us, but we can also see their faults more clearly; and they can see ours!

So church life is both challenging and blessed.  In light of this, one of the commodities most needed in the church is maturity, evidenced by servant-hearted love.  Paul seemed to have this in mind when he spoke to a very immature church of a better, “most excellent way”: Love that never fails!  (I Cor. 13: 1-10.)  God is in the process of changing us into His likeness, but sometimes change takes time and requires effort.  The outcome (maturity) is worth it, but the process is still painful.  So we persevere, loving each other, and forbearing with each other.

What are some of the ways you have seen God use the church to help you grow to maturity?