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We are coming for a visit to the United States May 17 thru July 11!
Update on Church plants, ISOM Bible Schools, Discipleship Course Completions and Past ISOM Bible Schools- it's time to Multiply!

March Update 2018

Hello Friends and Family,
 
Greetings to you in Jesus name! We hope and pray all is well with you. We have had a wonderful summer here in Swaziland with plenty of rain, which has been an absolute blessing. Most of the dams in Swaziland are full to capacity which means we have finally recovered from the drought over 3 years ago. Praise the Lord!
 
We have some very exciting news ...... we will be coming to the United States for a visit from May 17 thru July 11, 2018. We are so excited to see all of you and share with you what the Lord has been doing over the last 3 years.
 
Whenever we visit the States, we are dependent on the help and generosity of others. When we left the US in 2006 and moved to Africa, we sold our house, car and all of our belongings. So when we visit the US, we need a place to call 'home' and a car to get around. If you would please pray with us for our needs to be met, we would really appreciate it.  If you have a place for us to stay or even a vehicle to use, please let us know.  Just send us a quick email ......... We would be so very thankful!
 
We would also like to update on the ministry and what the Lord is doing through the church plants, ISOM Bible Schools, and the Discipleship Course. What the Lord has been continuing to emphasize to us lately has been the necessity of the body of Christ working together to accomplish the Lords will. Paul talks about this very idea in 1 Corinthians 12 and again in Ephesians 4. It was beautifully demonstrated in a little rural church that we preached at recently ...... keep reading on for the details!
 
Thank you for being a part of what the Lord is doing here in Swaziland .....  thank you for praying, thank you for giving, and thank you for partnering with us in advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ in Swaziland, Africa.
 
Sending much love from Swaziland,
Karen and Randy

Church Plant

This is Pastor Bulunga, his lovely wife Glory, and Randy. In January of 2017, we partnered with Pastor Bulunga to plant a church in his rural home area, Khuphuka. Recently, we visited Pastor Bulunga to see how the church in Khupukha was doing. What we saw was absolutely beautiful ...... it truly was an example of the entire body had something to offer. He and his family sang a song, the youth group also sang a song that they had written, even the children sang about their love for Jesus and recited scripture verses, and Randy shared the Word of God.
 
We had a graduation ceremony for those people who completed our 14 lesson Discipleship Course that we give to new church plants. Afterward, his wife had cooked a beautiful meal that we shared with the family. We were so encouraged to see what the Lord is doing in and through his people. Praise the Lord!

ISOM Bible Schools

Currently we have two ISOM Bible Schools running this year. One of the schools is a first year Certificate level class and the other school is a second year Diploma level class.
Earlier in the update, I mentioned that the Lord has been speaking to us about His heart for His body of Christ working together in unity, to advance His Kingdom. This is one of the lessons that the Lord teaches us through experience. We can read about it and say we understand, but until we experience it first hand, it is only head knowledge.
In our second year Diploma level class, there are roughly 30 students that come from 25 different churches. 25 of them are either a pastor or have some type of leadership role in their church. As a group, they have decided to do an outreach to a local community where there currently is not a bible based church. They are working together as the body of Christ advancing His Kingdom in a community where the Light of the Gospel needs to be preached!!!!
As they meet together and pray together for this outreach, they are learning how the Lord has gifted one another, and they are discovering how the Lord will use each one of them in "the big picture". Some of the students are evangelists, others are worshipers and can play instruments, and still others have a heart for children's ministry or women's ministry, and will be used by the Lord in that way. Others students are good at organizing and are playing a key role in planning the event. They will be responsible to talk with the local authorities to receive permission to put up the revival tent for the outreach.
This is such a learning by experience ...... to discover how EACH person plays a part in God's plan and they must do their part!
Please be praying for this group of people and the outreach that will happen later this year!

Discipleship Course Completion


Pastor Malaza was one of our ISOM students years ago. We connected with him in May of 2017 and asked how things were going at his church. We shared with him that we had a 14 lesson Discipleship Course was that very good. He said he wanted to take a look at it to see if it was something that he could use in his church ...... and he loved it! The best part of all is that the course is available in both English and Siswati!
 
The 14 lessons are almost a "new believers" handbook of the Bible. The lessons take you on a spiritual journey from the beginning of your walk with the Lord, and finishes with the topic of God's plan for when we die. Some of the topics included are: The way of salvation, what is salvation, how can I live my life the way God wants me to. Other topics include: Love God's Word and read it everyday because it's like food, it changes us, it gives us faith, it gives light for our path, it is spiritual weapon for us to use, and it teaches us how to speak out God's word over our life.
 
The 14 lessons are intended to show them how to love God and how to love their neighbor. Luke 10:27 says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself." It emphasizes loving your family, friends and even your enemies; it explains how to pray, it answers the question, should I be baptized? It also explains how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. There is an emphasis on being dedicated to God and walking in holiness, because God himself is holy.
 
The graduation was really a celebration of God's goodness. It was wonderful to hear testimonies of what the Lord is doing in their lives!  There were actually 29 who completed the studies but only 17 are pictured here. Pastor Malaza is going to start another discipleship class because the testimonies of the people who have gone through the classes have been so encouraging and life changing!

Past ISOM Bible Schools: It's Time to Multiply

Lastly, the month of February was spent meeting with selected individuals from three of our previous ISOM Bible School locations: Luyengo, Mbukwane and Pine Valley. In all three of these locations, we have spent two years meeting with the students, going through the ISOM curriculum and we have seen them grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Prior to graduation, the students asked if we would continue the classes so they could receive their bachelors degrees. We explained to them that we love the idea, but now it is time for them to put into practice what they have been learning. We explained to them that we would like to give them a tool and resource that would allow them to disciple the people in their churches in a very systematic way. In essence, each of their churches would become Bible training centers.

We selected 35 pastors from the three locations to begin the Discipleship Course. Each pastor would be able to receive the 14 lessons in Siswati or English. They would decide how and when to use the lessons. Some of the pastors will have a Wednesday night class designed specifically for the discipleship lessons. Others have decided to meet Sunday mornings before church service. One pastor has chosen to have all 50 people go through the lessons!

Many of the pastors realized that when new people started coming to their church, they had nothing in place to get them grounded in the basics of their faith. They would come to church every Sunday, like all the others who had been coming for years, listen to the message for the day, but they were young in their faith and there were things that the new believers didn't understand in this new relationship with the Lord. That is why one pastor has decided to take his entire church through the classes.

Another challenge that many of these pastors face is the availability of biblical teaching materials that are easy to read and in Siswati, as well as the financial resources to purchase them. Between keeping food on the table, putting kids through school and helping those people in their churches who are orphaned and widowed, the needs are endless!!!! So we are providing these 14 discipleship lessons to the pastors at no expense to them ..... free of charge!

We explain to them that the only reason we are able to do this is because we have amazing people in the United States that love them, care about them and give financially to the Lord's work here in Swaziland. This is another beautiful picture of the body of Christ working together! Thank you so very much for your partnership in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ here in Swaziland!
We print, punch and bind the 14 lesson discipleship workbooks for each of the pastors. We have been busy since the beginning of the year ...... we have printed over 24,000 pages since January 1st!

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for each of the church plants over the last two years; that each person will grow in their relationship with the Lord and walk in holiness and obedience to the Lord's leading.
  • Pray for the 35 pastors who are using the discipleship course in their churches. That each person receives revelation and understanding about their relationship with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that a strong and firm foundation is laid for each of them.
  • Pray for future church plants as well. This month there are 2 new churches being established in rural Swaziland. 
  • Pray for the students in the ISOM bible schools, that they get equipped to do the work of the ministry.
  • Please continue to pray for the Lord's grace to abound to us as we continue to minister here in Swaziland.
  • Pray for our plans to come to the States for our visit, to plan our itinerary in a fashion where we can see all of you, for a car to use while we are there and for a place to "call home".
Thank you for your love and your prayers! We look forward to seeing YOU while we are in the States this summer.  May His grace and favor abound to you always!
Blessings,
Karen and Randy
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