THE POWER OF A CONFESSION
Rev. Dosseh is guiding a church plant in Bamako, Mali, which is the first Free Methodist work in this country. On his visit last year, a story began to unfold. Surprisingly, it was told this year.
After delivering the Sunday morning message last year, a woman came to Pastor Dosseh and started explaining that she had some problems in her life. *Jeanne was only speaking vaguely about her problems and so Dosseh sat with her apart from others in the room and said, “Now, it is just God, you and me. You can be open to share what your problems are.” With that safe context, she told her story…
She was there that day with another woman. Right after the preaching they walked out commenting, “He was talking about our lives, exactly! Should we stop what we are doing or keep going?” They were prostitutes. Jeanne decided she must stop and returned, not quite knowing how to tell Dosseh her problems.
Jeanne came from the country of Benin, several countries east of Mali, in West Africa. Another woman friend, from Benin, had invited her to come and start her own hairdressing shop in Bamako. They made the journey and found a place to stay. Jeanne found it a little odd that the woman who invited her to come,
usually went out at night and usually had money.
Perhaps she suspected what was happening. She asked, “What about starting my hairdressing shop?” The woman said, “You just stay here. Don’t follow me when I go out. I will provide for you.” But the providing did not continue. One night she said, “You come with me tonight.” They went to a bar. The woman became harsh and said, “You see me coming and going all the time, yet you do nothing. Tomorrow you will
have nothing to eat.” Jeanne broke down in tears. The scene was so emotional the bartender advised, “You better take her home. She is bad for my business!”
But, the woman’s threat stood. She stopped providing and the would-be hairdresser began to work as a prostitute. Jeanne proved to make quite a bit of money. But if her financial gain was more than others’, so was her inward agony and misery. She longed to have a different life. When given the safe opportunity to tell her problems, she was more than ready to talk and confess.
Jeanne received Christ that day and told the woman who had invited her to Bamako that she could no longer live with her. Over the past year she was discipled by Pastor Deborah. Her vigor and dedication has led to her becoming the women’s leader in this small congregation.
This year, when Rev. Dosseh came for a visit, he taught about giving your testimony; the basics of how to tell what Christ has done for you. He was impressed that with great candor Jeanne for the first time told her whole story to the congregation. It is remarkable how a safe context for talking can lead to confession. And confession can lead to a freedom to testify of what was once all shame, but is now a life God has rescued.
*The name is fictional, the stories is true.
THE FRUIT OF HOSPITALITY
“Immigrants revitalize Methodism in Britain” proclaims a headline in Christian Century of May 23, 2018. The article mentions historic places like Wesley’s Chapel (built in 1798 by John Wesley) and Methodist Central Hall near Big Ben in central London. Membership is up in each case to around 500, due in large part to immigrants from the Methodist world, many of them from Africa. The newcomers, including many second-generation members whose parents come from elsewhere, are directed to membership classes.
A similar thing has been happening in the FreeMethodist Church USA. After 80 years of Free Methodist mission investment with lives and treasure,the Free Methodist Church in central Africa numbers over 400,000. Because of periodic troubles in Burundi, Congo, and Rwanda, substantial numbers of African
immigrants from the Free Methodist Church have come to the United States to seek asylum and a new life. They are seeking out their Free Methodist family. Bishop Matt Thomas says there may be as many as 40 such clusters across the U.S. Free Methodist Church. Many have integrated into existing churches bringing new life and increased numbers. A few are starting their own churches and are prospering.
In the central United States, a new initiative called African Immigrants Ministries (AIM) has been started with the Reverend Isaac Bujambi as coordinator. The vision of this new organization, guided by an advisory group out of John Wesley Free Methodist Church in Indianapolis, is to provide counsel and support to groups of African immigrants and their host churches. Rev. Bujambi, once a refugee himself, offers his services through onsite visits and workshops, and through phone consultation. Support of this effort has come from the Board of Bishops, several annual conferences and individual donors.
AIM is planning a major event, a “Welcome Home” conference, August 24-25 on the Wabash Park Campground in Clay City, Indiana. The event will include praise and worship, thanksgiving, teaching, and celebration. There will be a mass choir, early morning prayers in the African style, workshops, fellowship times, meals together, and activities for youth.
The workshops will serve to assist Africans with skills to adjust to American life, and they will help American church leaders know how to relate and assist in the cultural adjustment process. Translation will be provided – Swahili/English and English/ Swahili – so all can participate fully. Attending will be African bishops, missionaries and other distinguished speakers, along with African immigrants from across the country.
For information on the “Welcome Home” conference and how to register please contact acting Administrative Assistant, Rev. Estelle Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rev. Bujambi at email@example.com.
World Missions Prayer Calendar: August
01 WEDNESDAY | Costa Rica
“Even as the immigration crisis in Europe continues to present challenges, God is providing opportunities for Christian service and witness. Pray for wisdom, endurance, and resourcing for those who are working with refugees and immigrants.”
Birthday: Wendy Lorenz
02 THURSDAY | Creative Access –
Pray for new church-planting opportunities and the development of national leaders.
03 FRIDAY | Nepal
The church in Nepal has grown from around 2,000 members to nearly 12,000 members. Pray for pastors, leaders, church planters, and members to grow and make disciples in an increasingly difficult context.
04 SATURDAY | Kenya
Ken and Letty Myers live and work in Eldoret, Kenya. Pray for them as they seek to assist the Kenyan church in discipleship ministry. Pray for their two children, Nathan and Naysa, who are attending school in the
U.S. Birthday: Letty Myers
05 SUNDAY | Brazil
In Brazil, the Lord has answered the prayer for “persons of peace,” who do not yet know Jesus. They have opened their homes for Bible studies. Pray that these homes of peace will bear fruit and the new believers will be strengthened in faith
06 MONDAY| Middle East
Some churches in this region are providing schools for refugee children. Many of these children have seen or experienced much violence. Pray for these children to see and experience the love of Jesus Christ.
07 TUESDAY | Myanmar
Pray for church planting efforts in Myanmar as well as the homes for children and youth, the boarding school for high school students, and the Light and Life Bible College in Yangoon.
08 WEDNESDAY | Bulgaria
Pray for Chance and Dee Dee Galloway as they work with various church-planting, compassion, and micro-enterprise projects. Ask the Lord to give them continued strength and fervor for each of these ministries.
Birthday: Dee Dee Galloway
09 THURSDAY |Liberia
Pray for the continued formation of a healthy, strong church in Liberia and for the church- planting initiatives to expand.
10 FRIDAY | Costa Rica
Pray for the ongoing ministries of the Shoreline Mission District to teens and their families through small group discipleship, service projects, counseling, English classes, and holistic children’s outreach programs.
11 SATURDAY | Ukraine
The Lighthouse of Hope is a rehabilitation ministry for drug addicts in Rivne. Praise the Lord they are breaking down barriers of hostility with neighbors and people in the village by assisting neighbors with chores like gardening, painting, and chopping firewood. Pray for the Lord to continue to transform the lives of the addicts and the community.
12 SUNDAY | Set Free
There are approximately 40 million enslaved persons in the world today. Pray for communities to be transformed by Christ who can heal the broken relationships, values, and systems that have created these injustices
13 MONDAY | Philippines
Pray for the churches and leaders in the Philippines as they prepare for their General Conference in November.
14 TUESDAY | Kenya
Pray for Thom and Sherry Cahill’s family (a son and daughter-in-law along with Thom’s father) who will be traveling to Kenya in late August to visit them. Also, continue to pray for Thom’s travel and teaching schedule in Kenya and for stamina, wisdom and creativity as he trains leaders.
Birthday: Thom Cahill
15 WEDNESDAY | Chile
Pray for the continued support and development of dynamic ministries to children. Also, pray for the encouragement of those who minister to children in Chile and throughout Latin America
16 THURSDAY | Middle East
Pray for leaders who go into prisons in this region to hold Bible studies and share the forgiveness of Jesus with criminals. Thank the Lord for prisoners and family members who are coming to Christ
17 FRIDAY | Thailand
New churches are being planted throughout Southeast Asia. Pray for Corey and Connie Persing as they come alongside national leaders to assist, train and encourage them.
Birthday: Corey Persing
18 SATURDAY | Greece
Pray for Arabic- speaking believers who can share the hope of the gospel with refugees being ministered to by the church in Thessaloniki
19 SUNDAY | Africa
Pray for the medical ministries of the church through clinics and hospitals, and pray for the dozens of FM primary schools. Ask the Lord to use these established ministries to have a powerful influence on people throughout Africa.
20 MONDAY | Taiwan
Pray for the faculty, staff, and students at Holy Light Theological Seminary in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Also, pray for this school to be effective in training leaders in our Wesleyan heritage.
21 TUESDAY | SEED Livelihood
Livelihood Pray for a growing number of SEED Champions who share the message of sustainable economic development and who host events at churches and community groups selling items from artisan groups around the world.
22 WEDNESDAY | Creative Access X
Pray for leadership who oversee the ministries to have supernatural insight into the issues confronting the church, and pray for the continued boldness and growth of the church.
23 THURSDAY | African Immigrants
Central African immigrants from FM churches across the country will gather August 24-25 at Wabash Park Campground in Clay City, Indiana. Pray those attending the “Welcome Home” conference will be encouraged by the worship and fellowship. Also, pray for church leaders who will be trained in ways to assist these friends in cultural adjustments to the U.S.
24 FRIDAY | Bulgaria
Pray for the St. John’s home as the construction continues and they prepare for opening the doors later this year.
Birthday: David Sweet
25 SATURDAY | Tanzania
Pray for Christians to be active in AIDS education and in addressing the needs of those who are suffering from or losing their families because of AIDS.
26 SUNDAY | Asia
26 SUNDAY | Asia Pray for Asia Area Director Eric Spangler and his wife Virginia. Ask the Lord to give safety, health, and Spirit-filled ministry effectiveness.
27 MONDAY | Peru
Peru David and Ginegda “Yeya” Lopez are international missionaries from Latin America to Lima, Peru. They are training others to do Community Church Planting (CCP). Pray that the CCP training will be implemented with hope for the city of Lima to be a city filled with the presence of God.
28 TUESDAY | Middle East
In this region of the world, the ritual of Christian baptism could subject an individual to reprisal and persecution. However, many are taking this step. Thank the Lord for their courage and pray they will continue to find strength in Christ.
29 WEDNESDAY | Portugal
A new church in Lisbon gathers in a hotel near the center of the city. Pray that their work of feeding the homeless will continue to be a bridge for evangelization
30 THURSDAY | Global
Global Fourteen new missionaries were approved from March of 2017 to April of 2018. Pray for these individuals and couples as they are in the process of leaving current jobs or ministry positions, selling possessions, saying goodbye to friends, and beginning the process of partnership building.
31 FRIDAY | Creative Access Asia
Praise the Lord for the 15 individuals who are serving in five creative access countries in Asia. Pray for the Lord to sustain them and encourage them daily, and for them to see the fruit of their labors.