At the end of February 2013, I was in Myanmar to assist with the training of a new JESUS Film Partnership team. Sixteen years ago, I was there before the group which became Wesleyan was a part of The Wesleyan Church. At that time, we did not know who this group was or why they wanted to join The Wesleyan Church. Their primary objective was to be a part of an international church that believes in conversion not just “dialogue.” They also wanted to be associated with a church that would tolerate “active worship”—hand clapping, hand raising, electric guitars and drums, and occasionally walking the isles.
I was not able to visit in this region again until this year. We made the right decision to take this group into The Wesleyan Church. They have grown 66% in the past 16 years through conversion growth (10,000 members now). They have a thriving church that stretches across the border into India. They have a Bible college, an orphanage, and medical work—all directly connected to the church.
One of the JESUS film team members that we just trained is a converted Buddhist monk. At his birth a fortuneteller was called to perform her rituals. It was her assessment that he should become a monk, and his apprenticeship began at the age of five. At the age of 22, he was saved. Today he is an ordained Wesleyan pastor and a full-time member of the JESUS film team with a heart for enlightening Buddhists. Rejected and beaten by his family, he faithfully continues in his new faith and evangelistic tasks.
On March 24, 2014, Doris Wall, retired Global Partners missionary, was honored by Indiana Wesleyan University as one of their 2014 Alumni World Changes. Doris served as a Wesleyan missionary in Guyana, South America, from 1967-1988 and 1995-2012. She first served as a nurse and midwife. Later on in her career, she moved into the interior of the country and established the Paramakatoi Wesleyan Bible School where she taught and was principal. Toward the end of her missionary career, she was a key contributor to the translation of the Patamuna New Testament.
While speaking to the IWU students during chapel she said, “In your life you will find lots of situations that are less than ideal, but no one else can mess up God’s plan for your life. He allows things to happen for a purpose. You need to learn to hold onto your faith. At 22 years of age in the South American jungle, I learned what it meant for God to supply my needs. . . . If my success had depended on my prayers alone, I would have failed [in translating the Patamuna New Testament]. It happened because I had a faithful prayer team behind me."
For more on Doris’ induction as an IWU Alumni World Changer, go the IWU web page http://iwualumniblog.com/?p=780.
We entered the town of Yendi in Ghana, Africa, in the white mission van. Isaac, the pastor of the Yedni church, was waiting for us. Chairs and a bench were arranged in a circle where we sat to visit, encourage, and pray.
While we talked, a young man came down the road on a motorcycle. He passed by the van, came around the other side, and appeared to be startled. Pastor Isaac went over to him and then brought the young man to us saying, “This man wants to give his life to Jesus.” We made a place for him to sit, shared the gospel, and led him in prayer to receive Jesus.
He told us that he was involved in animal sacrifice to the gods and lived in fear that if he didn’t sacrifice, he would be killed. Earlier that same morning, he had a dream. In his dream an evil man was chasing him, wanting to kill him. As he was running away, he saw a white van with The Wesleyan Church logo on it. He saw a group of people sitting in a circle who were calling him to come to Jesus. Jesus continues to push past every barrier to seek and save the lost.
The Lord is blessing the new work started in French-speaking Burkina Faso just over a year ago by The Wesleyan Church of Ghana. According to Africa Area Director Bob Bagley, one church has been established and there are three preaching points that are quickly developing into churches. Praise God! One of the most pressing needs is to begin training leaders within each emerging church.
Wesleyans in Haiti have been expressing a desire to reach out to a French-speaking African country. A Wesleyan leader in Papua New Guinea felt impressed to support ministry in Africa. It has all come together, and Bob reported that there will be a Haitian missions team serving on a Ghanaian mission field in Burkina Faso to help train leaders. The team will be partially supported by Papua New Guinea and North America. “Praise God for how He is pulling people from around the world to advance His work in Burkina Faso!” Pray for the Haitian mission team as they prepare for this mission. They plan to depart for Burkina Faso in mid-September 2014.
Picture: Map of Burkina Faso