November 2013 – Women’s and Pastor’s conference in RDC plus elsewhere

by John E Gore on January 27, 2014

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Dear Friends

It seems a long time since I last wrote to you but a number of things have happened in the intervening four months. One  was a housesit in Western Tasmania next to the World Heritage wilderness area. We were there for 4.1/2 months and it was a time to enjoy God’s blessing. This included wilderness hikes, sitting around a roaring log fire in the lounge room, and on occasions watching the snow fall outside our window.

We have also beenThree OT Prophets very blessed lately with three grandchildren in 8 months after 9 years  without any.   The births were also miraculous because there were medical problems that made this impossible from a human perspective. God has been good to us. This photo shows our 3 “little prophets”: (L-R:  Ezekiel 5 mths; Samuel 8 mths; Elijah 2 weeks.)

My time in Africa during July and August was very productive as always.     Trying to obtain a visa into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is not always straightforward and some missionaries have been refused recently. The plan was to apply for the visa at the Embassy in Burundi on the Monday, wait three days for it to be processed, and then proceed to the border. However, it wasn’t that simple. The first problem was that Monday was a public holiday in Burundi so the Embassy wasn’t open until Tuesday. The second difficulty was that the DRC Government had changed the regulations so that it now takes five days to process the visa rather than three.    This would have meant that I couldn’t collect the visa until Tuesday of the following week at the earliest,   causing me to cancel the Women’s Conference totally and to reduce the Pastor’s   Conference from 5 days to 3 days,  maybe even 2 ½ days depending on what time of the day I received the visa. But God is a God of miracles and the DRC Friends Church Legal Representative “just happened” to bump into someone “by chance” who had contacts within the DRC Embassy in Burundi as well as in the DRC itself.    He made numerous phone calls to people in authority and we received the visa by Friday morning, thus enabling us to cross the border and travel to Abeka, which is on the western shore on Lake Tanganyika.

The Women’s Conference was great.  I taught on “Women and Ministry”, as I believe that the New Testament church had women apostles,  deacons,  bible teaRDC Women's Conferencechers etc., and that the five-fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11 – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers – is open to both men and women providing they have the necessary character, gifting, and calling. The teaching was very well  received and I didn’t have any objections. In case you have any doubts on this matter let me urge you to download my teaching material from the web and check what I believe the Bible has to say on the subject. Go to www.ldm.org.au and then click on ‘Training Material’ then ‘Women and Ministry’ and then on the “Women and Ministry” book cover. I am sure you would agree with me that the Bible,   rather than church tradition, is our authority in all matters of faith and doctrine.

After a week with the pastors in DRC I then returned to Burundi and spent a week with the Burundi Friends pastors teaching on the Book of Romans. I was really encouraged by this and we had some excellent discussion especially on living by faith and “the weaker brother.” From there I went to Rwanda and spend two weeks with the next level of leaders who are being trained to become pastors. The Legal Representative asked me to teach on Ephesians because he knew that these people didn’t fully understand that we are saved by faith and not by works. I must say that I was very frustrated at one stage,  especially up north at Musanze, for they simply didn’t grasp the concept. I could tell by their questions that even after three and a half days they still didn’t understand. However, God seemed to step in at one stage and I gave them an illustration which caused the “lights to go on” and their minds were opened and they suddenly understood. We had an evaluation time at the end and I wrote down some of the comments: “What he taught us really changed our lives.” “The teachings were wonderful. They transformed us and we promise to teach them to others.” Probably the best response came from one  woman who was particularly vocal and who seemed to have a very legalistic approach to Christian maturity, who said, “I learned how to live by faith.” A teacher can ask for nothing better.

I ask for your prayers concerning the future of LDM as God seems to be opening new opportunities for us. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I will be going to Bangladesh in late November and teaching the Friends pastors for a week. This will be my first visit to that country and I am looking forward to it. However, I receive emails from time to time from people in developing countries asking me to come and teach. I have never felt called to accept any of them so I usually delete the emails. However, in the early half of this year, I received an email from an organization in Liberia asking me to come and teach within their various training colleges. I was about to hit the “delete” button when I felt God say, “Don’t do that!” I then received another email a little while later from the same man, again asking me to come to Liberia. I was about to hit the “delete” button again but I couldn’t do it; I felt that God wouldn’t let me do it. As you know from previous newsletters, our financial support has dropped considerably – all for positive reasons – so the idea of launching into another country doesn’t make sense from a human point of view. But we live by faith, not by human reason.

We discussed the issue at our last Board Meeting and decided to put out a fleece to confirm one way or another whether God was calling us to accept this invitation and start ministering in West Africa. If you feel strongly that God is calling you to financially support this West Africa venture in addition to any other commitments that you might have, then please give through the bank account below. Make sure that you designate it “Liberia” “New Venture” or something along those lines. Any donation that comes in without any designation will be used in our existing ministry areas. I wrote an email to this man to advise him of our decision and I received a reply from him which included the following PS: “I just left a meeting with 9 leaders from Nine West Africa nations.. we are forming a network to accelerate pastoral training in Ghana, Togo,    Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali and Ivory Coast…. prayerfully some of your materials and training could be helpful… Lets keep talking…” This seemed to leap off the page when I read it and I would like to become involved with this but I am not sure how.

I appreciate your prayers and support.

Every blessing,

John

Bank Account Details: Westpac Bank.
BSB No. 032505   Account No.  259508
Account Name: Leadership Development Ministries Inc.

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