Zambia 2017 Update #3

20841276_10159221710540343_1832640912_oHi everyone… we have just finished a very exciting four days with New Life Church in Limulunga, Mongu Province! Among the first for us… the conference sessions on Saturday went for over 12 hours straight! We had a fantastic time with a very wonderful people with great teaching from Jeremy on our identity in Christ and from Joseph Mwila on “going to the next village”. There was plenty of prophetic opportunities throughout our visit with evidences of people’s lives being changed. Very cool indeed! Many of those attending traveled over ten hours on foot to be at the conference demonstrating such a hunger for community and God’s word.

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23 leaders responding to a call to plant churches

 

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Steve Nawa who leads the Newfronteirs churches here!
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With our gift of Mongu rice
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Hello Christ Central Fredericton!!

We leave very shortly via a return flight to Lusaka with Flying Mission Zambia and our trusted pilot Jason Speichinger. He even let me fly the plane in the way here (not!). We return to Canada with our first leg of the home journey to London at 2:00am Wednesday. We are looking forward to seeing everyone!

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Zambia 2017 Update #2

Hi everyone from beautiful Zambia! We thought we’d send a recap of the past couple days which saw us round out the Global Conference on Thursday and Friday.

Joseph Mwila and Jeremy communicated the truth of the gospel in word and spirit so brilliantly on Thursday in the three sessions. The final session was very impacting with a massive response from leaders who sensed the call of a God to the nations. There is definitely a stirring taking place in this part of the world for international mission that is both local and global rolled into one.

Barb and I had the privilege of leading the one day marriage conference on Friday with the leaders and wives from around the region, doing three sessions on the foundations of a healthy marriage including a very interesting Q+ A session at the end. There were over 125 couples represented that day with a very overwhelming response at the end with a powerful ministry time. It was a very humbling experience to say the least. We were able to model team in each session sharing the platform in a fun and relaxed environment, all with each of us having our own interpreter!

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Yesterday we had a very full day beginning in the morning with a visit to the Street Life Girl’s Home run by Joseph’s wife Lily. Things started with the feeding of a 100 of the local children who rarely have enough to eat in the run of a day. This is our fourth visit there over the years and it is always a very moving experience. What is so impressive is how the girl residents, who themselves are orphaned, served the local children in such a loving manner. After the feeding program was complete we were entertained by the girls with song and dance which was followed by our presenting them with new mattresses and a new gas stove for the home purchased for them by a generous donation from the students of Devon Middle School! The girls were overwhelmed to say the least. Our visit was concluded with our having the opportunity to pray and prophesy over the children and Lily… very powerful and impacting time!

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We had a brief break in the early afternoon after our visit and then met with three church leader/planters to the conference from Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania who are all coming into the Newfrontiers family. This was a very moving time as we were able to hear their stories of how God is moving in their nations. We met well into the evening and finished our day with a late meal together. This morning I am off to preach at Oasis of Love Church who are looking into coming into Newfrontiers, then off to DaySpring Church for their meeting later this morning. Please keep us in your prayers!

 

 

Zambia 2017 Update #1

Hi Christ Central and friends! It’s hard to believe that we have been in Zambia a week now. Time does go by quickly but then again the days are very full. After a couple of days in the capital, Lusaka, to get rested and acclimatized we set off for Kapiri Mposhi, the site of the Vinjeru Trust School founded and administrated by the brilliant couple, Martin and Caroline Sembeye. Through their partnership with Mosaic Church in Leeds they are in year 4 of operations and have grown from 35 students in their first year to now a thriving education centre with 136 Preschool – Grade 3 students and 180 Grade 8 – Grade 12 students. That means they will graduate their first class this year. Very exciting. Barb spent time in the primary classes observing teacher engagement and offering suggestions as well as assessing the learning abilities of several students who have been experiencing difficulties reading and writing. I had opportunity to do walk throughs in the secondary classes and consult with Martin, the Principal, on how to increase teacher efficacy and student engagement. All in all a very exciting and profitable time. We’re not sure who was blessed more, us or them!

As I said earlier, this couple who run the school are simply amazing in carrying out what God has given to them all while raising five, yes five, children. We had time to pray with them and encourage them in what they are doing. We are enclosing some picture for you to see. In the photos you will see the third student block, still under construction, and set to open in January.

From Kapiri, we made the long journey to Kitwe, but not before picking up Jeremy and Ann from the airport in Ndola! The NewFrontiers Global Leadership Conference started yesterday with over 350 in attendance from all over Zambia and, for the first time with leaders from Ghana, Kenya and the Congo. Very exciting! I had the humbling honour of doing the first keynote session on the Promises of God, an adapted message from what I have been carrying and spoke at Christ Central. The reception of the message which included “prophetic interruptions” was amazing to say the least, with a couple of hundred leaders and wives responding and coming for prayer. Jeremy followed me in the next session with a brilliant message on revival which was very impacting and resulting in the same kind of response by those in attendance.  Things just seem to be heating up here! Sorry, but I only have a couple of pics from yesterday… more to follow. Please continue to pray for Barb and I and Jeremy and Ann as the schedule is ramping up today!

We miss all of you so much and we always brag about CCCF and the support we feel. Another report will follow tomorrow’s marriage conference – please pray for us as Barb and I are doing the entire day in three long sessions with an expected turnout of 150 couples.

Love Gary and Barb

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Zambia 2016: Update #3

Here is our final update, from our last days in the wonderful country of Zambia.
We last reported that we were about to meet with the Kitwe area pastors last Wednesday… Turns out the number who turned out exceeded expectations by over a hundred with over two hundred and fifty gathered together. This was a significant event and stands as a testimony to Joseph Mwila’s apostolic gift and his influence in the region. They came and heard the groundbreaking message of God’s grace taught by Jeremy and responded, in great humility and vulnerability, recommitting themselves to this core Apostolic message. Many commented, with surprise, to the manner these wonderful men and women of God responded to the messages. In addition over forty church leaders indicated interest in become more acquainted with Christ Central/Newfrontiers values staying after the day’s schedule to hear more!
Thursday to Sunday we were involved in the Newfrontiers National Leadership Conference. These were remarkable times together where we were privileged to share wonderful times in God’s presence, apostolic teaching and more time to continue to develop what are becoming close friendships. The conference was marked on Saturday by the graduation of twenty-one students from the two year Newfrontiers Leadership Course. These leaders gathered once a month for the last two years and attended from their provinces all over the nation. The deep commitment to training and our mission together was evidenced by many who regularly combined eight hours of walking followed by 12 hour bus rides to get to the training centre in Kitwe! Needless to say the conference was full on but extremely rewarding for us all.

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Sunday saw Jeremy and Ann and Barb and I being sent to different Newfrontiers church in the region. For both of us couples it was so good to be in some of the other local works and experience our gathering to God in other local contexts! Later in the afternoon we travelled to the town of Chambishi and participated in aa mass prayer gathering with other church leaders and people from many communities. With the national election taking place this Thursday, it was an opportunity to intercede for the nation where all party allegiances were set aside in favour of calling out to God for peace and calm. It was truly an impressive display of the power of the Spirit in bringing a refreshed sense of unity and new vision for the region.
In closing, as Barb and I wing our way back to Canada we are very thankful for many things… Thankful for growing friendships and partnerships. Thankful for our brothers and sisters who, despite massive obstacles, live happy, joyful lives in God and never complain. The Zambian people live in the hope of the Gospel. We are thankful that they continue to teach us what is truly important and bless us with having the ability to stand against having a myopic view of life. We are thankful for Christ Central Fredericton and the privilege that continues in serving in apostolic team internationally. We bring our community with us everywhere we go!

Gary

Zambia 2016 Update #2

Hi guys.. Just to recap the past week since arriving… we arrived in Kitwe after our school visit and right away were involved in a two day business conference (July 28/29) organized by DaySpring ministries (Joseph’s Church) called Zambia 2050 which seeks to encourage and motivate young Christian business men and women for the future prosperity and success of the nation. This is the second year for this event which is proving to be a massive encouragement to many. Joseph truly has an “everything” view seeking to see Christ’s kingdom principles taking root in all areas of life!

One of the sessions, by our friend Tony Harwood, even addressed how to start a business with no money. Amazingly, Tony led by example and for two days prior to the conference started his own side business in this fashion. Needless to say this turned many heads! On Saturday, July 30, we took part in a leaders meeting for DaySpring church which was a pivotal meeting, and arguably a watershed moment for the local church, where God clearly spoke prophetically about the next phase of the church relative to Joseph’s apostolic role and the next stages of leadership for the local church. Sound familiar? Suffice to say it was a great time together in God!

That was followed by Sunday’s celebration of the 14th anniversary of DaySpring Grace Church- more great teaching by Jeremy Simpkins and a wonderful display of the prophetic and team ministry. Very cool to be a part of. After that We were whisked away to another church meeting where one of Joseph’s team members, a man named Austin, leads a another family of Newfrontiers churches called Missions Outreach Church. Again a very wonderful celebration and key moment for the church family which is itself in leadership transition.

From there we travelled to Nsobe for a two day apostolic team meeting where Josephs emerging team met with us, the visiting team. Again a very timely and purposeful time together. Of note- Barb and I led a session with the group on the importance of leading through our marriage touching on topics that rarely, if ever, have been given attention in this culture. It seemed like a ground breaking session to be sure! We arrived back in Kitwe last night and in a couple of hours we will be attending and ministering at a local pastors meeting where over 150 local leaders are expected. This is a testament to Joseph’s influence in the city. More on this significant gathering later… To be continued!

Gary

Nowhere Else I’d Rather Be – 2016 Christ Central Conference Recap

by Emma Bicknell (this blog originally appeared on Emma’s personal blog “Emma’s English Kitchen”)

On the first hot, sunny and long weekend of the year, many in the city were outside enjoying the weather. Frederictonians are quick to dive in to the almost summer time. A steady stream of trucks towing trailers (that’s caravans in Brit-speak) and cars with canoes strapped to their roof racks head out-of-town. Nothing wrong with that.

In contrast though, the weekend found us inside at the convention centre. Even though the weather was gorgeous, there is nowhere I’d rather have been. Our church hosted a conference, ‘Kingdom Come’, so there were a bunch of people from our own church, Christ Central Church Fredericton, but also from other churches in the city and from our family of churches across the nation. A family get together.

I’ve written before how I love the church. I do. I love worshipping Jesus, laughing, hanging out, and learning together. All different backgrounds, ages and nationalities, yet all made one in Jesus. Full of variety, gifts and expression. We’re in God’s presence together and it is a beautiful thing. Messy sometimes, but life changing stuff when His Spirit is among us.

We heard stories about God’s kingdom. Stories (parables) that Jesus told that are written in the Bible and stories of how the kingdom is growing now in nations around the world – in nations that you may not expect it to be, even in Muslim majority nations. Miraculous stories. Stories that make you say, ‘This can only be God.’ It’s not a kingdom as we understand and it doesn’t suddenly take nations like an invading force.

That’s what shocked the Jews of the time so much when Jesus talked about the kingdom. They expected a Messiah who would bring the kingdom in with military victory. Jesus is not what they expected.  Jesus told stories that were meant to change their worldview of what the kingdom is like, and they change ours. It grows like a seed, it’s like a small piece of leaven working through the whole dough. It starts small and grows to be a blessing to the nations.*

We don’t take the city, we serve the city.’ David Devenish 

As much as I love being part of a weekend conference, the real challenge is to go out from there. The ‘nowhere I’d rather be’ needs to be extended to the places I live my life, because that’s where He is taking His kingdom. Everywhere I go in my daily life. In every activity. The challenge is to be where God has planted me for His kingdom rather than living for what may be round the corner – to be content with my small contribution right now.

I’m good at thinking like this: ‘I know God has got something for me that he wants me to do, I’m just waiting for him to show me.’ Actually it’s now, it’s where I am, it’s what I do now, in the places God has put me now to serve. Planted like a seed.

*Matthew 13:31-33