This is the RENEWED Ministries update for 23 June 2021 as provided by Reverend Courtney Richards.
Greetings and sanitation friends, prayer partners and donors to RENEWED Ministries!???? God is good and good to us.
Praise His holy name.
Our training in Kampala, Uganda, Nairobi, Kenya and Ukunda, Kenya over the past three weeks via Zoom, Wednesdays to Fridays, came to an end last Friday and we have been doing evaluations and getting feedback from those we trained. And they are good. Such a rich blessing! I’ll tell you more below.
My son, Pastor Alex Altidor and I decided to focus the training on strategic planning for disciple-making and to add to that some teaching on leadership – on integrity as the main ingredient of leadership and on servant leadership and some other leadership materials. In addition, we focused on Jesus’ discipleship way – how he made disciples – and to look at the ancient paths of cultural traditions, customs, beliefs and practices that we often accept but they conflict with the way of Christ and the teachings of the Bible. Thank God for leading us by His Spirit to teach on those topics.
Many of the pastors and leaders said they had never heard anyone teach on how Jesus made disciples before. Their eyes were opened to things like sharing his life with his disciples, being vulnerable with them and that this was done in a relationship context where Jesus’ whole life was open to his disciples. The teaching on integrity opened them to look at the issues in their lives that need to be dealt with like hurts from their past that carry over into their lives and negatively affects how they function today. Some asked about how to get counselling to help them heal. The teaching on servant leadership continues to capture the attention of those we train in Africa because they don’t have servant leadership models and don’t see it being practised by many if any, pastors. Leaders in Africa just don’t wash the feet of others. That’s below them!
The area of greatest discussion was on the ancient paths – the traditions, customs, etc that have been handed down in their cultures that negatively impact their Christ following. Not surprisingly they struggle with the way men treat women in their cultures and what the Bible says. Men are viewed as superior to women in their cultures, so for us to teach that they are equal based on Genesis chapter one and therefore each must be equally valued and honored is hard for African ears. Women honor men in Africa. So, pastor Altidor’s question in the training in Ukunda brought a profound response that we must now confront in future training. The question is: If women are required to honor men in Africa, how do men honor women in Africa? A pastor in Ukunda gave this response: MEN DO NOT HONOR WOMEN IN AFRICA!
So, we have a lot of work to do in the years ahead. We have come to realize that disciple-making must be done in the context of where and how people live or have lived. This with a focus on how that may conflict with scripture. Discipleship must also focus on how Jesus did it not how we think it should be done! So, we in the West, need to do our own soul searching on these matters. Ask, “Are we discipling people correctly, the Jesus way and are we confronting our own cultural traditions and customs that are not of God?”
Thanks for your prayers and financial support. There is a lot of work to be done in the years ahead. We are committed to the task. We have several countries added to our expanding vision due to the training. Leaders from 8 African countries were in the training in Nairobi – Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Ethiopia. We also had leaders who are from Rwanda in the Ukunda training. However, other countries are asking for training or my mentees have ministry in those countries. PRAY FOR GOD’S BOUNTIFUL SUPPLY OF PERSONS TO HELP AND OF FINANCES TO DO THE TRAINING! AND PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY TO HELP US WITH THESE TRAINING CONFERENCES! WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Please send your gifts by check to RENEWED Ministries, P.O. Box 1229, Mishawaka, Indiana, 46546, USA or give via PayPal on our website: www.renewed-ministries.org
God’s richest and choicest blessings on each of you and your family and loved ones.
Always in God’s grip,
Muzei, Baba, Dad, Pops, Papa, Big Father etc. etc.????????
For more on Reverend Richards’ missionary journey, go to our Archive pages.