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Buddy, David, Jeff, Dan and Woody

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier faced off in the 3rd matchup of their boxing careers. The previous meetings had them tied one win each. In what was an amazing fight, Ali won by technical knockout in the 15th round. The bout is ranked in the sport as one of the best in the sports history.

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Philippine Bible Society Staff

WDA sent a team of five men to the Philippines this April, and it was a “Thrilla” as well. For over the last nine months WDA has been establishing a relationship with a ministry partner, James Tioco (pron ch-eo-ko), who leads a ministry called Sowers of the Word (S.O.W). James had contacted WDA after reading many of our books and looking at our website. He believed that WDA had the comprehensive approach that would serve the church in the Philippines. Our Exec VP and C.O.O., David Partfitt, began a dialogue over the phone and by Skype which allowed us to learn about them and them about us. It was clear that James wanted to see WDA help him roll out a discipleship ministry. So this brought us nine months later to our trip to Manila.

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James Tioco: Sowers of the Word

David Parfitt, Dan Horne (WDA Board Chairman), Woody Johnson (WDA Board Member), Jeff Pritchett (Chick-fil-A), and I (WDA Church Staff, Atlanta Arts Coordinator, Publishing Leader) began to develop a series of presentations for church and ministry leaders, denomination leaders and ministry partners. We flew to Manila April 27-May 7, and over a week introduce the ministry of WDA to a limited number of people who we hoped would pray, lead and/or volunteer to be WDA trainer of churches. From the beginning, we realized that James could have gathered hundreds of leaders to a one day “training” but we wanted to be strategic in our launch. Limiting the numbers would allow James and Sowers to have a manageable number of people to train.

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Monday Group of 80

On Monday and Tuesday we did full-day “orientation” meetings in which we discussed the need for discipleship, the priority of the local church as the vehicle for disciple building, the process, biblical foundation, and our Biblical Framework and the Five Initiatives of Disciple Building, R-CAPS®. Each day closed with a challenge for them to pray, lead a new or existing group using our approach, and/or also be willing to become a WDA Trainer to train churches and ministries to use our approach in their context.

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Wednesday Vision Lunch

Wednesday we met with potential ministry partners who would commit to pray and fund the ministry of WDA Philippines (Sowers). Our team also spent Wednesday morning meeting with the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) who will be our in-country publishing partner. They will be printing and translating our materials for use beginning in Manila, then to other areas as God provides people and opportunity.

Our last day was a full day with the Sower’s ministry, discussing next steps, strategy and reporting on the results of the earlier meetings. We left the meeting with lots of energy and ideas for how we could move forward.

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Thursday Planning with Sowers

We were a bit overwhelmed by the many churches and pastors who already were committing to train other trainers. Many were already making plans to begin new groups or multiply existing groups and use our WDA approach and materials. They desired training as soon as possible and wanted to know what materials were ready now! We had financial backers who wanted to know more details and what would be needed to fund this initiative. James said that his phone was full of text messages each night following the meetings as people were responding very positively towards our orientations and vision.

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Tuesday Orientation

It is by the grace of God that our work in Manila is happening now. Even a few years ago WDA would not have had the ability to move forward with this type of initiative in the way we are able to do today. Over the last two years we have redesigned and printed books for our country and have the ability to take the exact same English materials and have the Philippine Bible Society adapt our format to one which is more suitable in size and affordability for the church there. After being on the ground and talking to leaders, hearing from James and his team, we are positioned to provide materials and training to over 700 people in just this first stage.

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Dan teaching on the Great Commission and Importance of the Church

We begin by providing leadership training and materials using WDA’s Disciple Building: A Biblical Framework and A Small Groups Manual. PBS will also print all of our Cornerstone (Phase 1 and 2) materials. Leaders will be using Pocket Principles® and Guided Discussions, and the students will get a version that has just the Pocket Principles®. The partners at PBS were very helpful as was the Sowers team in helping us decide how to configure our materials specifically for them.

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Jeff teaching on the process of growth

The churches want to launch their new groups as soon as possible, so we have a goal of 30 days to get new materials in their hands. Our publishing team and the PBS will be working hard in the next few weeks to get books reconfigured and to their printing press. We will also spend these weeks providing short video training segments that Sowers will use to begin to follow up from our orientation and prepare leaders to launch discipleship groups using Getting Started.  Over the next 12-18 months, they will complete all of Cornerstone. WDA will continue to work with Sowers to provide training from the U.S. while planning for second trip to roll our Life Coaching Ministry and additional training.

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David tying up all the various points

There is the potential for us to see thousands of people building disciples in a relational approach which is able to be adapted for their churches. We have seen a hunger for discipleship as person after person who connected with our presentations also saw the need and understood how our approach to disciple building was progressive, biblical and flexible. We worked very hard to show that one size did not fit all, and that WDA could help them design and build specifically for their country and culture. One leader over hundreds of churches said to us, “You know you have started a fire here.”

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Buddy teaching R-CAPS and 5 Phases

We are overwhelmed by God’s providential work in bringing our team to the Philippines, creating a desire for Biblical discipleship, providing people and organizations in-country that are primed to move forward and provide the people and resources for this to go forward.

As of this date we have 81 prayer partners, 71 leaders of new Cornerstone groups, 59 new Cornerstone trainers, 125 new small groups beginning. 35 Youth Pastors trained by a participant using R-CAPS®. The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship Board, approved our approach and ordered 50 copies of Disciple Building: A Biblical Framework Book.

We are humbled that God would use the five of us men to promote His work. This was not about us as individuals, but it was clear that God wanted to encourage these leaders that they and their church members can have a significant ministry to many people as they continue with us to fulfill Jesus’ commission to make disciples by going, baptizing and teaching to do all that He commanded.

Our team, while still feeling the Jet Lag, returned with great joy and thankfulness for the opportunity to be part of a launch of Disciple Building ministry with a great partner in Manila.

This certainly was a “Thrilla.” There will be much more work but also much more fruit from our trip.

 

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Woody sharing the testimony of a lay leader disciple builder

 

 

  • Pray for James Tioco and Sowers of the Word and for us.
  • Pray for the hundreds of pastors who this very moment are beginning to share what they learned in our orientation.
  • Pray for the publication of materials, training of leaders and wisdom for next steps.

Thanks for those who pray for our ministry. God is at work all over the world bringing people to himself and raising up men and women in the church who are committed to helping others grow to Christ-like Maturity.

Praise be to God!

Life Coaching Pt 2

Spiritual Life Coaching

Jesus Christ was the ultimate Life Coach.  In the Gospel of John, He offers this promise:  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (NAS) The Great Commission given to His disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 is both a command and invitation to join Him on one of the greatest adventures in life: building disciples.  Spiritual Life Coaching involves “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”(NAS)  There are two implications to this command that often escape our notice.

Teaching should be comprehensive.

The first is that the teaching should be comprehensive.  We are to teach everything, not just the familiar principles or the introductory concepts.  Spiritual Life Coaches must ask the question: “Is my coaching part of a larger, comprehensive plan to teach the whole curriculum of Christ?”

“We should help the people we are teaching to actually obey the truth.”

The second implication is that we should help the people we are teaching to actually obey the truth.  I like to call this doing truth versus just knowing truth.  There is a clear biblical priority to evangelize the nations and plant churches, but we must not forget that the Great Commission includes helping Christ’s followers become “conformed to the likeness of His Son [Christ].”  Our spiritual Life Coaching must be intensive and intentional enough to transform lives.

But any parent can tell you this is easier said than done.  Teaching others to ‘do’ truth is a complex process that involves the changing of motives, values, and worldview.  It also hopes to develop a walk of faith, teaching people how to trust God.  This type of training cannot be accomplished in a classroom alone.  It must be worked out in the context of real life experiences.  Some of the concepts, such as how to develop and demonstrate mature love, are not simple.  This is why spiritual Life Coaches are critical to the process.  It’s only in the context of a close relationship (where there is encouragement, accountability, prayer, and teaching) that this type of transformation can effectively occur.

The importance of the example and teaching of a spiritual Life Coach cannot be overstated.  Paul admonished Timothy to follow him as he followed Christ.  In another place the instruction was for Timothy to follow the “pattern of sound teaching” that Paul had taught.  Timothy learned these truths from Paul in the context of close relationships.  II Timothy 2:2 states, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (NAS)  Jesus, after washing His disciples feet as a model of Christian love and leadership, urged them, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (emphasis mine).

We who build disciples should be encouraged by the importance God places on the Life Coaching process.  The Scriptures remind us that anyone who aspires to the office of overseer has an honorable, noble role in the Kingdom.  But we should also be sobered by the responsible role God expects us to play.  Paul warns the Corinthian church that “each one should be careful how he builds.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  Paul goes on to explain that we can either build by using temporal materials or eternal materials, but there will be a Day when we must give an account for our work of building up others.

In order to be effective disciple builders, we must realize that God is the author and finisher of the process of sanctification.  Paul states, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” (NAS)  In another place Paul asserts that “He who began a good work in you will perfect [complete] it until the Day of Christ Jesus.” (NAS)  Spiritual Life Coaches can take heart that God will sovereignly oversee the process.

The role of spiritual Life Coaching is only one part of the disciple building process.  For years there has been a debate in disciple building circles about what is the best forum for helping people grow spiritually.  The advocates of small groups can list examples of people whose lives have been changed by the intimacy and accountability of this arrangement, while the proponents of one-to-one discipleship (Life Coaching) cite the advantages of this format.  Others extol the merits of teaching and preaching, or the benefits of being well-read.  Some point out the importance of putting disciples into ministry situations as the best way to facilitate growth and development.  The spiritual disciplines such as fasting, solitude, or personal devotions are mentioned by many as being especially beneficial in spiritual formation.

All of these forms constitute healthy approaches to spiritual development.  All should be included as part of a disciple building program.  Each format has certain advantages and certain limitations.  It is valuable to note that Jesus used all of these forms as part of His disciple building training.  Because the local church has all of these structures (e.g. small groups, teaching, preaching, etc.), it is the best location for making and training disciples if the structures are utilized strategically.  Within the church there is a unique role for a well-equipped Life Coach.  This person is able to “meet people where they are, and help them take the next step®.”

If disciple building is the overall process in which more mature believers assist younger believers as they grow, then spiritual Life Coaching is the “one-to-one” part of the process.  A Life Coach is able to help a disciple integrate and incorporate all the other growth processes into a unified whole.  The Life Coach is responsible for tracking and overseeing the progress of the individual believers entrusted to his care. This individual encouragement and accountability is invaluable. As we will see later, this is best accomplished when the Life Coach works in concert with a team of others in a ministry context.  One of the purposes of this manual is to offer assistance and coaching skills to help make the task of Life Coaching more manageable and successful.

Where have you seen a “one-on-one” or Life Coaching process have an impact on others? Have you ever considered learning how to be life coach?

WDA Life Coaching Manual will train leaders to coach others as Spiritual Life Coaches.  If you are a Discipleship Professional or Leader, you can use the WDA Life Coaching Manual to train a team of Life Coaches for you church.

Read more of this series on Life Coaching:

Part 1 – Life Coaching

Brazil

Translation Team Established for Brazil! Partner with us to help!

Hello! How are you? and God bless you!

From Brazil.

WDA in Brazil

Rio Tinto, Brazil is a city of about 25,000 with a huge catholic church right in the middle of town. The whole city spreads out around this very visible church. And in this city of Rio Tinto, there lives a very interesting man named Fernando Frincu.  One of the interesting things about Fernando is that, even though he lives in Brazil, he is Romanian. Fernando and his wife Carolina are associate staff members with WDA.

Everette Albrecht, who is on the WDA Equipping Team at Purdue University, has been to Rio Tinto about seven times over the years to teach discipleship principles. The pastors in that area were learning a lot about how to disciple others and in the course of their training, Everette starting teaching them about the importance of emotional healing. Just like everywhere else, the emotional needs are huge there and the pastors wanted to learn more.

So, in the summers of 2010 and 2012, Margo and Jack, from the WDA Restorative Team headed south with Everette, to teach and train about emotional healing and the importance of this in the discipleship process. They had the privilege of returning there again in August of 2013 for another three weeks and this is their report…..

Testimony of God’s Healing Work

Last year in Brazil, Margo had shared her own story of healing and redemption with some of the women. Talking about her struggles empowered the women there to open up their own hearts.

“One lady (Helen) came up and thanked me for sharing my testimony in Joao Pessoa. We had chatted with each other last year. She shared more of her story with me this year. God has brought healing in her life. She has asked her Pastor for permission to lead a Restoring Your Heart (RYH) group in her church.

M., another young lady with whom I met last year, told me that hearing my “history” had helped her in the healing process. Since I’d seen her last summer, M. had participated in a Restoring Your Heart group and as a result, had forgiven her father. She told me with a smile that she was going to buy a gift for him for Father’s Day! She also wrote him a letter to apologize to him and tell him she loved him. M’s father wrote her back and asked her for forgiveness as well!

A highlight of our time was hearing feedback from a group of men and women (in Rio Tinto) who had participated in RYH groups during the year since we had been there. Each person talked about what they had learned, their initial concerns, the benefits to them and their desire for more healing in their lives. They all plan to continue participating in RYH groups.”

The seeds planted over the last two years had already born much fruit!

Discipleship and Emotional Healing

One of Everette’s goals for this trip was to introduce church leaders and seminary students to WDA’s philosophy of ministry, in two new areas, Joao Pessoa and Campina Grande. Everette has such a gift for teaching and has a huge amount of experience training seminary students in both Mexico and Brazil.

Fernando, Carolina, Everette, Margo and Jack in Brazil
Fernando, Carolina, Everette, Margo and Jack in Brazil

The team was encouraged by the fact that Fernando and Carolina both have a strong vision for discipleship and emotional healing. Since one of WDA’s objectives is to train people in the countries we visit, Margo, Jack and Everette spent extra time this summer with Fernando and Carolina.  They were able to share more advanced training in both restorative and discipleship principles and practices. This will allow Fernando and Carolina to better train the people in their own community and thereby spread the process. We feel this is the best way to multiply the blessings of healing and growth. Fernando’s schedule will allow him to do future training both in Brazil and also in Romania and their contacts will open the doors for WDA to hold even more seminars in Brazil.

“We work so well as a team with Fernando and Carolina. They are so teachable and it is a joy to be in partnership with them. We are very blessed to have them on staff with WDA.”

 Next Step: Translation of Materials

With most of the objectives of this trip being accomplished, including forming a translation team to work on both discipleship and restorative materials, Margo, Jack and Everette are looking forward to returning again next August. They plan, among other things, to do seminars in three large churches in different parts of Sao Paulo, a city where news of God is desperately needed.

We ask that you would pray with us for the trip next year, for Fernando and Carolina and for the people of Brazil. Many of the areas we visit are very dark and very much in the stronghold of sexual sin. There is a huge need for healing there, both emotional and spiritual.

Note: It is expensive and time consuming to have WDA materials translated into other languages. If you would like to contribute financially to this effort or to the ongoing training in Brazil, please click the button below. Your donations will be gratefully received and used to advance God’s Kingdom.


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To find out more about the WDA International Ministry and all the amazing places we go, click here.  To find out more about the WDA Restoring Your Heart Ministry, click here.

Bihar

WDA announces new discipleship training partnership in India.

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Bihar, India

We are excited to announce that WDA is officially planning to establish an ongoing training partnership with a coalition of churches in the province of Bihar, India.  Pastor E. Abraham of Neighbor Hope Ministries (Headquartered in CO, USA) and his staff have invited us to train the NHM executive leadership team, with a view toward offering our training and resources to a coalition of nearly 1200 churches in the region sometime in the future.

On November 4, Mike (a WDA board member) and Angela Wolf along with Bob and Linda Dukes will travel to Bihar, to formally and relationally establish this new partnership.

 

The goals of this trip are:

1] Train a core group of NHM leaders in WDA’s philosophy of ministry and in specific ministry skills,

2] Equip them how to use our resources, most likely (initially) our Cornerstone Project (Cornerstone is WDA’s new name for the combination of our “Getting Started” and “Laying Foundations” materials) and,

3] Assess long-term needs and forge relational connections as we visit their network of churches and schools in the province.

 

Our desire is to lay a foundation for future support and training, both with WDA and through our 2820 Partner-Churches.

In preparation for this new endeavor we ask you to join us in prayer. Please pray for

  • Protection against spiritual warfare.
  • The Lord to go before us to open doors and open hearts.
  • A coalition of unified leaders to train.
  • New disciple building associations, both U.S. based and overseas, that will join with us in this long-term project.

In addition to the cost of travel we also seek funding to provide WDA materials translated into Hindi. If you would like to support this project, please click on the following link India International Trip.

Online donation system by ClickandPledge

We are very excited about what God is doing and look forward to sharing with you our progress on this great adventure!

 

welcome group

Malawi MapKen Hewett, WDA’s International Director, recently returned from leader training in Malawi.

We wanted to share his journal.

August 21

“We received an e-mail on Thursday night saying instead of going through Amsterdam and Nairobi, I would be going through London (with an 8 hour layover) and Johannesburg. Also, instead of leaving at 5:30 Friday afternoon, I would be leaving at 10:45 that night The 8-hour layover and the late departure meant I arrived in Lilongwe at noon on Sunday rather than at midnight on Saturday.

welcome group

I arrived in Lilongwe 30 hours after my flight left for London, but my suitcase didn’t make it. I waited around for the next flight from Johannesburg, but it wasn’t on that flight, either. After filling out all the paperwork, I made it to the hostel in time to have dinner and go to bed; then I went back to the airport the next morning and my suitcase arrived at noon. (Whew!)

I took an afternoon bus to Blantyre, then on to Lunzu, where I arrived at 9:30PM. I was really tired, so Paul said we would start the

seminar two hours late today. I really appreciated it because that gave me some time to rest before the teaching began.

I have enjoyed seeing the pastors again. They have all been through the basic training on disciple building, so I am giving them more advanced teaching.

Please be praying for wisdom and strength as I begin my hectic schedule here in Malawi. Ken

 

Two Days Later: August 22

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Pic – This is my welcome committee in the village.
I was able to coax some smiles after a while.

“On Thursday morning my interpreter, Paul and I hopped on a 15-seater bus headed for Golomoti Center. By the time we were loaded we had 28 men, women and children on board. Each stop some got off and others got on. The lady sitting next to me had a chicken on her lap, which is a usual sight in Africa.

We arrived at my ‘hotel’ at 3:00 and I checked in. I have a bed with a mosquito net and an attached bathroom, which was nice. However, there is no water in the toilet, sink or shower. One of the girls brought me a 5 gallon bucket of water.  So with the soap, washcloth and toilet paper I brought along, I’ll get by just fine. Betty and I have stayed in this kind of ‘hotel’ before.

There is supposed to be a restaurant here, but I haven’t found it and I’ve been all over the place. The owner brought me a piece of paper and a pencil and asked me to write down what I want and I’m trying to think of what would be safe. I picked up some water and tangerines in the small village, so with the peanutbutter I brought along, I’ll be fine.

Be praying for me as my second seminar begins tomorrow. This will be a little different than my usual seminars because I will be helping the pastors know how to teach their people to be strong in their Muslim community.

Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words.

Ken”

August 25

Report from Ken:

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This is how the church in Lunzui looked last year. It was extremely hot, so they took the tarp off this year.

My church for the second seminar was built of sticks, just like the one for the first seminar. They weren’t made very well, so it was good there wasn’t a wolf (or windstorm) around or it would have all come tumbling down. The pastors in the first seminar were middle aged men who had been pastoring for quite a while. They had been through the basic seminar and they are teaching the Phase II material on Knowing God, which was translated for them by Paul, our associate staff in Malawi.. They only have one booklet for two people to share, so they are praying for finances to print more.

The group in Golomoti was much younger than the first group. They hadn’t been through the basic seminar on disciple building, so we met as long as possible each day, to pack all the information into those three days. On the first day I talked to them about children, young men and old men (from I John). They were really encouraged when we talked about them being the young men, in the prime of their lives with a life of ministry ahead of them. They really soaked it all up and now it will be Paul’s job to follow them up. He’s good at that, though. They were a fun group to work with.

We finish up tomorrow afternoon, then we’ll head to Monkey Bay. I’m feeling strong and the group has been understanding the material. Thanks for your prayers. It is difficult to find water here. Please be praying there will be more in Monkey Bay.

Ken

August 28

“In early 2012, a Women’s Bible Study from Fletcher, Oklahoma, decided they wanted a project to support in Africa. I had met a group of women from the town of Lunzu, when we previously had a seminar there and these women had said they wanted to help the widows and orphans of the Lunzu area. The Bible Study group in Oklahoma decided these women would make a good project, so they began supporting them. I bought a sewing machine for them and they used the support from the women of Oklahoma to buy thread, material and the ingredients to make bread.

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Ladies of Lunzu

They have been selling the clothes and the bread to make money to buy rice and other staples for the older women who are caring for their orphaned grandchildren.

Before going back to Malawi this year I was able to raise $300 to buy them another treadle sewing machine. On Wednesday a man came to our seminar carrying a sewing machine on his back. The women were so excited! They ran home and got one of the dresses they had made and showed me how the machine worked. They were excited that they would be able to help even more women and children.

Thanks for praying for physical and spiritual strength. I’m doing great. Ken”

 

 

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Passing out food in a nearby village.

 

August 30

“It only took three hours to get from Golomoti Center to Monkey Bay. We rode in an open pickup that stopped wherever people were standing on the side of the road, and if you wanted to get off you just rapped on the top of the cab. We were constantly stopping and starting. I was fortunate enough to get a seat up by the driver with another guy, but Paul and my interpreter were stuck in back. They were able to find a seat on a bag of rice though, so they didn’t have to try to stand up.

I felt like I had died and gone to heaven when we reached my room in Monkey Bay. There was hot and cold water, electricity, air conditioning, and I had a woman named Blessing who cooked for me. I had stopped eating the food in the hotel in Golomoti because it was so greasy. Everything was swimming in grease.

The Monkey Bay group was a mix of young pastors and some who had been pastors for about fifteen years. On Tuesday we had a really lively discussion that lasted quite a while. I asked them if there was anything in the Church in Malawi that bothered them and they said it was the shamanism and witchcraft that was creeping into the churches. They were standing up and speaking and one could hardly wait until the other finished to begin sharing his experiences. They were hugging each other and praying for one another and I finally turned it over to Paul so he could talk to them in their own language. He was really speaking powerfully as he told them the answer to this problem was discipleship, helping their people grow in Christlike character. They all agreed with him and said they wanted to kidnap me so I would stay and help them. I don’t think Betty would like that, though.

Monkey Bay
Monkey Bay

I catch the bus for Lilongwe tomorrow morning at 5:30. It’s quite a long trip, so I have to travel on Friday even though my flight isn’t until Saturday. The schedule is for me to arrive home at 8:30 Sunday night, if none of my flights are changed. Thanks for praying for this trip. I’m coming home encouraged by what the Lord is doing in Malawi, despite the shamanism and witchcraft that is creeping in. Ken”

Monkey Bay is a beautiful town on the shores of Lake Malawi. It is a tourist town, so there are lots of places Blessing can find food I can eat and there was plenty of bottled water.

 

I just saw Ken today as he arrived home Sept 2. Thanks for praying for Ken and all of our international trainers.