August Heartbeat

Partnerships Fulfilling Educational Aspirations

The road to providing educational opportunities can be steep. Yet despite the difficulty, the Free Methodist Church in Tanzania pushes forward. In 2002 a Free Methodist Bible school began in Tanzania, but by 2006 the school was unable to continue. Still, the longing to provide education for pastors remained in the hearts of the church leaders.

A specific vision developed for a school in the Geita District. A longtime partnership with the FM church in Evart, MI, had allowed for the construction of more than 10 churches in Tanzania. The leadership of the church in Tanzania shared the need for pastoral education, and the partnership took on a new direction. In 2011 a small piece of land was purchased. The construction of buildings started in 2016. There are now five buildings: an administration/library building, a kitchen/dining hall, a two-winged dormitory, a guest house, and the education center.

In 2018, with construction nearly completed, the school board reached out to Africa Area Director Mike Reynen to help with steps toward opening the school. Mike invited my wife, Sherry, and me to meet with the school board. At the meeting, the formation of administration and curriculum began. On January 28, 2019, Evart Bible College (EBC) opened its doors with 17 students in attendance. Although the partnership with the Free Methodist Church in Michigan provided significantly for the campus, the launching and operating of its first three sessions have — by God’s grace — been all by the hard work and sacrifice of local leaders and church members banding together.

Students travel to the EBC three times a year. The modular format allows them to take courses without relocating their families or leaving behind a job. Students take three courses for one month. The program currently offers a certificate in pastoral ministry.

Sherry and I are currently in the U.S. completing our partnership building and plan to relocate from Kenya to Tanzania. We will assist EBC with the development of academics and administration, along with teaching.

We are pleased how the longtime partnership between a U.S. church and the FM church in Tanzania has led to re-establishing a school, now on a permanent campus. This school is a fulfillment of a long-held aspiration. Our praise goes to the Lord for the way He has enabled Tanzanian leaders to open their school, and for a new partnership with resident missionaries.

May many pastors find their ministries enriched because of it!

By Thom Cahill

Transformation in Chewale

 

In the village of Chewale, most women brew beer as their means of livelihood, and most of the men are the customers of their business. There had never been a church in this village until God called me to Chewale. Now God is working, and many are becoming Christians.

Over the past 10 years, God has been using me in the field of church planting, in addition to my appointment to existing churches. Part of God’s call has been to work in the village of Chewale.

At first, I began visiting the village and made friends with some of the villagers. Later, I did door-to-door and one-on-one evangelism. One day I met a man named Chikopa. He was working security and guiding the irrigation system on a tea plantation. Chikopa was a drinker — addicted to alcohol. We talked, and I shared the good news about Jesus. We then parted for that day. Three days later, I visited him again. We talked more about receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He accepted Jesus Christ, and the Spirit changed his life. He is now a faithful follower of Jesus in the Free Methodist Church.

One day when I was doing door-to-door evangelism, I visited a woman named Mary. I continued to visit her regularly. We always talked about Jesus. She, too, accepted Jesus as her Savior and now is a faithful follower. Mary is no longer a brewer, but a seasonal worker in a tea company, plucking tea leaves. Jesus changed her life and her livelihood. She is also a member of the Free Methodist Church in Chewale.

The church began by gathering under a tree or in someone’s front yard. Then the congregation built a shelter using bamboo and thatch. We now have moved to a burnt brick church building. We praise God for His saving grace and the growing congregation in this village.

The Spirit of the Lord has overshadowed the people in the village of Chewale, and they now have a hunger for God’s Word. Some have given their lives to the Lord, and others are still learning what it means to be a Christian.

Please join us in prayer for Chewale. Pray the village will be transformed as many others come to faith in Jesus.

By Pastor Emson Goodson Phiri

Beautiful Grand Mere

 

The Free Methodist Church in Cameroon is a ministry centered on holiness, love for God, love for people, and making disciples. Our ministry’s essential spiritual resources come from spending time in God’s Word, praying and fasting. Testimonies of what God is doing are sometimes heard daily, and the church is growing both spiritually and numerically.

One beautiful story has unfolded for us. Some church members became acquainted with an older woman in the community. They preached to her; she accepted Christ and became a member of the church.

This woman is now commonly called Grand Mere (Grand Mother) by members of the church. Grand Mere is a committed mama; we could even say a saint, always present in the church. She loves God, the members, and even at 70-plus she is a disciple-maker.

At her age, it is impressive how committed and involved she is in the church. But she also has some significant needs like completing heavy or difficult tasks around her home. Because she is one of the oldest and most devoted members, the church’s youth rally regularly to clean her house and wash her clothes. To her, the church is an important family with an extraordinary love she had not previously experienced.

Grand Mere testifies:

Since I repented in the Free Methodist Church, my life is transformed and full of love. Sickness, depression and loneliness are no longer part of my life. I was admitted to the hospital and was unable to complete the payment of all my bills. But to my great surprise, the church in Douala came in and paid all the remaining hospital and medication bills. I will never forget this practical reality of love. Truly God is love.

When she left the hospital, the women visited her and took some gifts, including bars of soap. Like the youth’s service to Grand Mere, the women are part of showing our love to this special member. I am thankful and proud of how our church has demonstrated God’s love in practical and life-changing ways.

By Pastor Wilson Esembe

01 Saturday | Creative Access-V

Praise the Lord, more than 40 new believers were baptized in one month. Pray for the ongoing discipleship of these new believers and that their family members also will come to faith in Jesus.

02 Sunday | Hungary

Praise the Lord for many extended family members who heard the gospel for the first time as one family member joined services online during the pandemic. Pray the message of the gospel will bear fruit in many lives as a result.

03 Monday | Paraguay

Pray for the beginnings of a gardening project that will have the potential to provide food for many families.

04 Tuesday | Kenya

Ken and Letty Myers assist the Kenyan church through development and discipleship. Pray for continued acquisition of the Swahili language and development of relationships.

Birthday: Letty Myers

05 Wednesday | Middle East

Pray for our courageous leaders in the Middle East. Sometimes a “seeker” is not someone who can be trusted. Pray leaders will have wisdom and discernment to know the true heart of everyone they meet.

06 Thursday | Cambodia

Schools in Cambodia were closed due to the coronavirus. The government has announced it will reopen schools again in November. Pray for many children in Cambodia who cannot access online classes due to the lack of computers, the internet or even electricity in their homes.

07 Friday | Burundi

More than 60% of the Burundian population is under the age of 25. Pray for church leaders who find themselves challenged by the contemporary changes and ways to relate to the growing youth population.

08 Saturday | Bulgaria

Missionary Dee Dee Galloway requests prayer for wisdom, for continued spiritual growth, and the strength of the Lord to press through and accomplish the things God is calling her to do in the coming months.

Birthday: Dee Dee Galloway.

09 Sunday | Sierra Leone

The work in Sierra Leone was officially opened in 2019. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading in adding devoted pastors and church planters to form a solid core of leadership for this young work.

10 Monday | Middle East

Every day, the Lord is opening doors of opportunity to share the gospel throughout the Middle East. The coronavirus pandemic has created even more opportunities. Give thanks and pray believers will share the good news with boldness and joy.

11 Tuesday | Ghana

Today there is a growing fellowship of new churches in Ghana, along with ongoing ministerial training. Pray specifically for church-planting projects in the largely unreached Muslim areas of the northern and central regions.

 

12 Wednesday | Hong Kong

Pray for the political situation in Hong Kong. People are afraid and uncertain of the future, and many are considering migration. Pray for strength and unity in the church during these days, and for the fruitfulness of the gospel to provide hope and peace to those who are fearful.

13 Thursday | Mexico

Ask the Lord to help both leaders and church members grow in wisdom, faith, love and maturity in Christ.

14 Friday | Tanzania

Pray for the FMC in Tanzania and the Evart Bible College staff and students. Ask the Father to continue His work in their lives, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through them to glorify Him. Birthday: Thom Cahill

15 Saturday | SEED

Pray for the continued growth of the Into Tarshish livelihood group in Spain. This group produces olive oil and now has customers in Europe and the United States. Proceeds are helping the FMC in Spain to live out its vision for church planting.

16 Sunday | Chile

Pray for encouragement and God’s healing touch on missionary Laurie Sheriff who has been receiving treatment for cancer. Birthday: Laurie Sheriff

17 Monday | Thailand

Pray for missionary Corey Persing in his role as the regional “reporting and tech coach” for Southeast Asia. Ask the Lord to give him effective methods and communication skills as he assists leaders in developing an area-wide reporting system.

Birthday: Corey Persing

 

18 Tuesday | Bahamas

One church in Nassau is part of the South Atlantic Conference. Pray for increasing numbers of new disciples and leaders with a vision to plant churches.

19 Wednesday | Middle East

Use Proverbs 3:5-6 as you pray for leaders in the Middle East. Pray they will trust in the Lord and not their own understanding. Pray they will continue to acknowledge Christ in all their ways. Ask the Father to make their paths straight.

20 Thursday | Nigeria

In early June, the superintendent of the newly organized Northern Mission Conference died suddenly. Pray for the strength and stability of churches in this newly formed conference and the selection of a mature leader to continue the work.

21 Friday | Belgium

Pray for the development of new leaders, especially among native Belgians.

Birthday: Amy Casteel (Affiliate Missionary)

22 Saturday | Creative Access-L

There are a growing number of FM believers in this country. Pray for the continued spread of the gospel to reach this nation’s 109 unreached people groups.

23 Sunday | Middle East

Pray for daily encouragement and the refreshment of the Holy Spirit for those who regularly serve the refugees’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

24 Monday | Bulgaria

Missionary David Sweet engages church members of all ages in recreational activities. Pray for his personal development as he pursues ordination in the FMC and for his ongoing recreational ministry in Bulgaria.

Birthday: David Sweet

25 Tuesday | Ecuador

Pray for the ministry of international missionary Eunice Alvarez. She teaches a class, Free Methodist Doctrine and Identity, as well as mentors several ministerial candidates. Her role also involves overseeing the pastoral formation process in Quito and Esmeraldas.

Birthday: Eunice Alvarez

26 Wednesday | Cameroon

Cameroon has a church in the Anglophone region. This church needs to move to a more secure area. Pray for a new place to meet and for the safety of these church members.

27 Thursday | Set Free Movement

Pray for the spiritual, emotional and financial needs of six international leaders in the Set Free Movement. Also, pray for a growing number of Set Free Movement leaders in the U.S. who are helping to facilitate change in their communities.

28 Friday | Peru

Pray for the encouragement of Free Methodist leaders. Ask the Lord to help them persevere in developing their vision to see churches planted despite the social and economic challenges they have faced in 2020.

Birthday: “Yeya Lopez” (International Missionary)

29 Saturday | Japan

At their General Conference earlier this year, Hiromichi Oshima was elected the new bishop of the FMC in Japan. Pray for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit on Bishop Oshima and the FMC in Japan. Pray the church will be used by God to offer the hope of Jesus Christ to their nation.

30 Sunday | Haiti

The situation in Haiti continues to be very challenging. The entire economy of Haiti has been decimated below its normal low for a year now. COVID-19 has made the situation worse. Churches have reorganized in little groups of 10 with pastors visiting the small groups. Pray for God to encourage and provide for His church.

31 Monday | Chile

Pray the Lord will meet the psychological, spiritual and economic needs existing as a result of the pandemic. Pray specifically for two bi-vocational pastors who lost their jobs. Ask the Lord to provide new work for them.

Birthday: Rich Sheriff