We were delighted to hear that our recent Live School graduate, Alex Sibiyo, was visiting in Mwandi. Sadly, he had come because of the death of his grandfather with whom he was very close. Eric and I (Doug) went out to the IMC land where Alex was camping to express our condolences and to catch up with him.
Alex had been instrumental last Fall in a fruitful evangelization work in Lutaba, Zambia that had resulted in the planting of a new church. Now, he told us, he's working with Pastor Ernest of the Global Movement of Salvation Church in Katima, just across the border into Namibia, about an hour from Mwandi.
The church is small, but has a global vision as you can see by its name, something not uncommon in Africa these days. Pastor Ernest has invited us to train his leaders in Namibia in August, and Alex concurred that our training would be helpful.
When we asked him how the evangelization efforts were going, he described the process to us:
First, he said that he spends time getting to know the area where the people live that he is trying to reach. He wants to understand their context and the things they are dealing with day-to-day.
Second, he takes the time to get to know people, learning about their families, work and situations. In other words, as he put it, "It's relational."
Then, once a relationship is established, he feels free to share his testimony which he described as "letting them know how everything changed when Jesus came into my life." In particular, Alex talked about how the love of Jesus for him is what amazed him at his conversion and continues to amaze him.
Finally, if they are interested, Alex invites them to worship where they can "hear the Gospel" and, perhaps, respond in faith.
It was very exciting hearing him describe how he has been putting into practice what he learned from IMC Live School training.
I asked him if there was anything he had learned as he had reached out to people. "Yes," he said,, "People want action." When I asked him what kind of action, he continued, "People want to see if my actions match my words, If what I am telling them about Jesus can be seen in my life."
One last thing. I asked Alex what theme our training should take in August. His response was simple: "They need to know more about the deep love of Jesus!"
Please pray for Alex and Pastor Ernest as they continue to build the Global Movement of Salvation Church. And pray for the students whom we will be training in August. We can't wait!