Multiplication Abounds-September 2021

Dear Precious Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Apostle Paul described the process of multiplication through biblical discipleship, in the following verse, “The things which you have LEARNED and RECEIVED and HEARD and SAW in me, these DO, and the God of peace will be with you.” - Philippians 4:9 Doesn’t this exhortation sound very similar to the Great Commission! As I consider Paul’s instructions, I am reminded that all of us, who have repented and believed the Gospel, are disciples of Jesus Christ for the sake of making other disciples for the glory of God. Paul had effectively discipled these young believers at Philippi, through both the exposition of the Word and the example of his life. He was now encouraging those disciples to reproduce ‘that same teaching and living’ into the lives of others. This devoted apostle was urging these followers of Jesus to become an apprentice of him; and then, to reproduce what they had ‘learned and saw lived out’, as they invest the truth and themselves into the lives of others! Fellow disciples, this is our present mission in the midst of this collapsing culture. We too, must give ourselves to this divine assignment of ‘man- fishing and disciple-making’, through both the message that we declare and the lives, which we live.

I am so grateful that the Lord placed a man in my life to disciple me, when I was a baby believer in the Lord. He invested many, many hours pouring the fundamentals of the faith into my life, and living it out before me. He also encouraged me to be faithful to pass the baton of truth to others, just as that baton had been passed on to me. Friends, at that point in my spiritual infancy, I had no earthly idea that I would have the privilege of being involved in such a ministry of multiplication. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to pass the baton of truth in one- on-one discipleship, to over forty men, as we met in my home every week. Never would I have imagined, that I would be investing the truth and my life into thousands of pastors, church-planters and disciple-makers in over 200 foreign mission trips in 20 different nations! Moreover, as these doors opened for me to pass the baton, I would have never dreamed that God would raise up an army of faithful ‘prayer warriors and financial supporters’, who would be greatly used by Him, to enable me to preach and teach the Word of God all over this planet; in Bible conferences in so many different nations. He has allowed the training of thousands of spiritual leaders and blessed us to witness their commitment to teach others also; investing into scores of other pastors and church-planters’. Friends, you are being a channel of financial and prayer support to so many men of God, who are faithfully serving the Lord in very difficult environments across this world. The Lord is using your love for His mission, your prayers and financial support; and we rejoice because great multiplication is taking place. Therefore, Dianne and I wanted to express our heart-felt gratefulness to our God and to you for standing with us as we run this race, continuing to pass the baton to others.

Because of the great multiplication that is on going, we wanted to pass to you a few of the many testimonies we have recently received from the church-planters and pastors, whom your prayers and financial gifts support. In this letter to you, we want to draw our attention to Kenya and Uganda. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in these areas. They too, have been suffering greatly from the effects of Covid. They are experiencing several variants from this virus, yet they are marching forward in the faith. So I pray that these words from a few of these dear brothers in Africa will be a great encouragement to your heart in these difficult days.

Kenya and Uganda

The first testimony is from Dr. George Wafula, whom I have had the tremendous joy to co-labor with on many occasions in East Africa. Your generous gifts to this ministry have been employed to support Bro. George, his family, and his ministry of multiplication for many years. Bro. George writes, “I am the Director of Kenya Ministry Training Institute, which has branches in both the nation of Kenya and the nation of Uganda. KMTI is a Bible training college for pastors and church leaders. I have been involved with KMTI for the last 23 years as a teacher, principal and currently the Director. Due to this, I travel extensively throughout these two nations, to multiply the word of God into the lives of those who will teach others also! We have graduated over 3000 pastors and church leaders, who are spread all over East and Central Africa. These followers of Christ are committed to do God I am also the pastor of Grace Ministries International in Bungoma, Kenya. Our church is located 95 Kilometers from my work station in Kitale, so I have to drive there every week to minister in my home church. I want to thank my dear brother Ed Lacy and each one of you for your continued support; even during these difficult times. My wife and I are grateful to be the recipients of your love and generosity, at such a time as this. It is quite amazing to see the hundreds of pastors and senior overseers, which attend the Ed Lacy annual conference in Kenya. These pastors and church-planters take ‘2-inch’ mattresses and sleep on the hard floors, in both our teaching hall and our guesthouses, for the 4-full days of the annual ‘Bible Training Conferences’, which are taught by Bro. Ed, with me as the interpreter. These men sleep on the floor joyfully, because of the truth, which they will receive from the fruit of Bro. Eds study of the Word of God. I know of many conferences in Kenya and Uganda, where pastors and overseers are promised accommodatations in nice hotels and guesthouses. However, not many of these pastors are excited to attend, because they get nothing of spiritual significance from these meetings. Oh, but I am so very grateful to the LORD for the favor that God has given to our brother, Ed Lacy, to come every year (for 15 years) to teach us the word of God. I truly believe that he has the word that the church in East Africa needs in these days. I am forever thankful to his wife, Dianne, and all those who pray for him and support his ministry. The church in East Africa is being enlightened and edified through this ministry. Brothers and sisters, thank you so very much for supporting his ministry, so that he might support men like me, both spiritually and financially.”

The following testimony is from another dear pastor and church-planter, that we have had the joy of working with and supporting, both with financial support and persevering prayer, for many years. His name is Pastor Fredrick Mulei. He is both a pastor and overseer of many others pastors. He also has a significant orphan minister in Kenya. The following words are his testimony of gratitude to you, “Dear Bro. Ed, It is with profound sense of appreciation, that I testify of how God has used your ministry to be a blessing to my ministry, my life and my family. For the last 16 years, you have mentored me with true biblical teachings such as ‘Christ-centered Evangelism, as well as many other workbook studies, which cluster around a God-pleasing ministry. My personal ministry has grown both numerically and spiritually, because of the Word of God that you have rightly interpreted and applied to the ministry that the Lord has given to me. I thank my God for bringing you into my life.

Our meeting and subsequent working together to further the Gospel in East Africa, cannot be explained—except by the sovereign work of God alone! Only He could have produced the amazing spiritual success that has resulted from this partnership in God’s mission. The whole area of East Africa has been gloriously affected, through the teachings that you have offered to hundreds of pastor such as I. God has encouraged and sustained me in magnificent ways! I give all glory and honor to Him. I have also learned how to suffer for Christ in a manner that magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ. I have learned how to do God’s work; God’s way; for God’s glory! Ed, may God continue to strengthen you to continue to expose the false teachings, which continually sprout up in Africa, for there are many heresies, which spread like a bush fire. These are used by the adversary to injure and destroy many souls. Oh, but God continues to use you to expose the doctrines of demons and replace them with the powerful truth of the Word of God. Dear man of God, I am forever grateful for your life and the teachings that you have invested in me. I am also so very grateful for the financial support that you give to support our ongoing ministry of church planting and the orphanage. God is using them both to extend His Kingdom into the hearts and lives of multitudes of Kenyans.”

Then lastly, I would like to share the following words of thanks from our dear brother, John Machuka. On my own behalf, and on behalf of our ministry and the churches that we serve in North West Kenya and Eastern Uganda, I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to you for your continued support in biblical stewardship toward our ministry.

It is because of your training resources and sustained financial donations that we have been able by the grace of God to grow and establish this ministry over the past years, reaching and equipping many needy and economically challenged churches, whose dream of attaining biblical and ministry training was a distant possibility. Your support goes a long way in strengthening more than 200 local churches drawn from over 80 different denominations. Many peoples’ lives are transformed as they grow into an intimate relationship with God through training and mentorship. Now we have 950 trainees doing pastoral ministry in their churches, each teach and exhort a minimum of 25 people weekly. CBLTK takes biblical and ministry training to church leaders where they live and continue to serve in their church. Many of these churches here have been led by people with no biblical training. The kind of Christianity that is practiced is characterized by compromise, false teaching, mediocrity and moribund faith. Church leaders in rural and remote areas desired training and saw no possibility for it. This mode of training organizes 2-hour weekly training sessions of 12 participants who are pastors or associates. They are taken through courses that are tailor made for Christian missioners working within diverse typical African culture. Christ Centered Evangelism from your resources continues to be one of the most relevant courses we have ever taught. Redeemed to Worship is another, just to mention a few. These, coupled with other courses, have made it possible for the pastors to correctly study, interpret, apply and teach the Word of God to their own lives and to their congregation.

Syncretistic practices were perceived as normal in churches where aspects of African tradition practices were incorporated into Christian worship. These adversely watered down the power of the gospel and the meaning of Christianity. People professed Christian faith, but held onto aspects of animism believed for physical wellness. Another disturbing dimension has been the Prosperity Gospel in churches focusing on physical health and material wealth, while Holy Spirit Power incorporates numerous ideas about supernatural power, protection from curses and the devil, as well as the expression of spiritual gifts. These doctrines were taught at the expense of Jesus teaching on discipleship. As a result of these, those who are Christians were weak in faith. Families were weak. Sinful behavior reigned rather than becoming like Jesus. Divisions existed within and between churches rather than unity. The Lordship of Jesus was not emphasized as most church-goers were biblically uninformed. The result is a religious deception among many professing believers and a weak witness of Christ to the lost. The people remained lost while in churches, downtrodden, and disillusioned. Churches followed lies and teachings of men rather than biblical truth. They had zeal for God, but not according to knowledge! The message of salvation in Jesus by faith alone was lost. 1,000,000s were and still remain perishing from a proclamation of a gospel that is false, distorted, not the gospel of the bible! This is the context that informs our partnership, that the people in our ministry environment may truly know the Lord on His terms, and not their religious fads and perceptions.

Most of the people we target live in rural areas are characterized by poverty. Most are sustenance farmers that earn just enough for basic food, clothing, and shelter. To some, these fundamental needs remain a challenge. Therefore, paying for training in an institution is a challenge. Many serving in church leadership roles have a desire for training, but cannot leave sustaining their family to train in institutionalized bible schools and seminaries in large cities. The few that leave for training do not return to the area they came from. Only an intentional strategy, taking training to church leaders where they live, as they remain in their churches and train on the job can change the situation. Pastors and church leaders learning biblical truth, teaching the Word of God in their churches, and the churches carrying out the Great Commission to the lost.

We thank God for the hundreds that are turning to the faith through the ministry of these church leaders.
We pray for you often in our meetings and it is our desire and prayer that we remain true to the vision. Once again thank you. Pass our sincere regards and appreciation to the friends and supporters of the ministry through whom God makes this ministry possible. We are deeply indebted to them. Love you all!

Friends, All three of these men, George, Frederick and John, are such faithful servants of the Lord Jesus. They work tirelessly in their ministries, and willingly and diligently have given themselves in the preparation and organization of every Bible Conference we have held over these many years, which host so many other pastors. They are committed to following up and continuing to work with these men after the conclusion of the conferences, because their desire is for multiplication, for the glory of our God.

For Such a Time as This

Brothers and sisters, we trust that as you have read through these testimonies, it is your loving liberality to this ministry, which enables us to support many ministries and produce a spiritual harvest of multiplication for the glory of God! Our hearts are filled with joy for your love, your prayers and your ongoing support of this ministry. We thank you for your love and concern for us and for others. You have been so faithful to stand with us through it all. We know many of you are facing sicknesses; loss of loved ones, and you are very weary with all of the restrictions and challenges, which we are enduring. Please know that we are praying for you also. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us with anything that we can help you with or pray for. We know that our God is faithful to work in us and through us during this time.

Continue to pray for the open doors we have before us. I am continuing to preach weekly, both in my home city and nearby states. We are continuing to plan future ‘pastors and church-planters’ conferences via Zoom. When at home, I am preaching every week at The Mission of Hope in Mobile, as well as monthly opportunities at the Home of Grace in MS. Dianne and I have also offered to serve as ‘community group leaders’ in our local church, which is a great blessing and desire of our hearts. When I am in town, I will be teaching a men’s class and Dianne is a teacher of a ladies group.

In these uncertain days, we, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, need to be standing tall in the faith. Now is the time to be bolder than ever, for we serve the Only true God and He alone can save. It is true that the world is in chaos. However, we must never forget that nothing hinders the plans of our Sovereign God. We have been left her to carry out His mission. Like Mordecai and Esther, we need to be resolute in our faith, and be ready for the works the Lord has for us to do, “FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS”!

JULY 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus the Lord,

As I prepared this July newsletter, I found myself rejoicing over how our Lord has sovereignly caused your paths to intertwine with us. It caused me to think of I John 3:14a, “We know that we have passed from (spiritual) death to (eternal) life because we love the brethren.” Later in this epistle, this Apostle of love further wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” When this formerly agnostic rock and jazz-fusion drummer was born from above in October of 1980, the love of God was unleashed in my heart, like a summer shower saturates the soil! (Romans 5:5) Of course, I am not speaking of my love for the Lord. I am testifying of the amazing, astonishing, and abounding love of God, for a wretch like me, which was shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit! He broke my heart over my mountains of sins against God and then blessed me with the overwhelming reality that God the Son had been pierced for my transgressions and crushed for my iniquities. God shined the light of the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ on my previously sin-blinded mind. For the first time in my life, I could behold the majestic glory of the love of God in the Cross of Jesus Christ for this sin-enslaved rebel. The Holy Spirit graciously planted the roots of conviction, contrition, and conversion in my heart. Moreover, He permeated my heart with the infinite glory of the love of God! As John Newton wrote, “I once was blind, but now I see!”

Precious friends, this same unconditional and irrevocable love of God has been poured into the heart of every born again believer, that we might be living channels of the mighty river of God’s love to other born again brothers and sisters. This is one of the blessed birthmarks of the new birth. The apostle further declared in I John 3:14, that the disciple of Jesus Christ knows that he has eternal life in Jesus Christ because he loves those who have been graciously adopted into the same forever family! The Apostle John was not describing the natural love of human affection, as in the love of a parent for their children. For there are hundreds of millions of unconverted parents who experience and express the ‘common grace of natural love’ for their children. Oh, but John was maintaining that this love is none other than the supernatural, sacrificial, serving, and sharing love of God the Father! This word ‘love’, which John continually employed in chapters 3 through 6 is the same Greek word which is found in John 3:16, “For GOD SO LOVED the world... .” It is the same Greek word which we find in I John 4:8, “For GOD is LOVE”. So, John was reminding us that the love of God (in Christ Jesus) has been unleashed in our hearts, so that we might be a ‘channel of HIS astounding and abounding LOVE’ to other born again disciples of Jesus Christ. “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples if you have (this brand of) love for one another.” Precious saints, this is precisely why our hearts remain overwhelmed with gratitude, over the truth that so many of you have continually exhibited God’s supernatural, sacrificial and sharing love (through the channel of this ministry) to pastors, church planters, and other believers who live and minister in very difficult and dangerous conditions. Your faithful ‘prayers and joyful grace-giving to this ministry have been a perpetual expression of the love of God to us, and to a countless number of fellow disciples in many different nations and cultures! Allow me to give just a few examples of how your ‘prayers and grace-giving have been employed since our last newsletter.

GOD HAS USED YOUR GIFTS TO MEET CRITICAL NEEDS FOR PERSECUTED CHURCH PLANTERS AND THEIR FAMILIES!

Recently, I was contacted by a dear brother in Christ, who I have been working with within a particular state in the nation of India. This servant pastor is an overseer of approximately 150 house church planters. This is the group that I was ministering to in a ‘secret conference’, which occurred at the beginning of the global pandemic. These brothers preach, teach and witness at the very risk of imprisonment and even death, for our Lord has called them to serve Him while living under the ruthless authority of a radical state government. He shared with me about an urgent need. Because of their faith, ten families had been run out of their homes and their village by religious extremists. These terrorists had literally pursued these families until they chased them into a forest. Fleeing to safety without any provisions, these Christian parents and their numerous children were in desperate need of a bore-well, for a clean water supply. Through your faithful and gracious giving, our ministry was able to provide the funding for this critical essential need. Also, we were able to give two other large gifts to a very significant ‘meal distribution and evangelistic outreach’ in another state in that same nation. They are being ravaged, once again, by a new strain of the Covid virus. Approximately 24,000 unconverted people have been fed numerous times, prayed for, and witnessed to, through this tremendous Gospel outreach. Friends, your gifts have been a vital part of this compassionate, evangelistic outreach. The leader of this outreach, who is also a close brother in the Lord, has interpreted for me on many occasions. He is one of the numerous church planters that this ministry supports monthly. He and other Christian doctors and nurses have taken this ‘crisis’ as an opportunity to do God’s work; God’s way; for God’s glory! It was such an encouragement to see Christian medical doctors, nurses, and other believers come alongside this church planter to minister to thousands of physical and spiritual needs, during this time of adversity.

Your gifts have also helped to supply a new P.A. system to a growing ‘church plant’ in South Africa. A few months ago, I taught the ‘Christ-centered Evangelism’ study to these dear church-planters and many others via Zoom and Facebook Live. In the following weeks, we learned about the glorious blessing that HeartCry Missionary Society had been the conduit to supply a much-needed building for these church planters, which will be transformed into a church building. For years, these two brothers have been faithful to preach and reach out to people in this high-crime area near Capetown. Recently, they have seen a gang leader converted to Christ, along with several others! The following are just a few words of testimony I received yesterday from one of the brothers. “Beloved, I am not sure what the Lord is busy doing, but it is mind blowing! This afternoon a woman, for whom we have been praying for years, made her way to my mom's house for prayer. My mom shared the Gospel with her and exhorted her to repent and believe. She said she wants God to save her and my mom told her that she needs to cry out to the Lord and confess her sins. She did just that. My mom said she has never seen someone change right in front of her eyes like that. This lady is in her late sixties. My mom used to tell us horror stories about her. She sold her daughter into prostitution when she was still a minor and introduced drugs to all her kids. She has been on our church prayer list for years. We buried her son who died from drugs and her boyfriend who also died from drugs. Her daughter is still a prostitute and on drugs. Please keep her in prayer and for wisdom as my mom and other sisters will disciple her. God is so gracious!” This is the third person, who has sought out our church and coming under conviction in less than two weeks.” (Mario Maneville) Dear co-laborers in Christ, our ministry has the opportunity to support one of their full-time Gospel workers, as they evangelize the lost, disciple new believers and will be actively involved in biblical counseling. We are extremely blessed to be a supporter of this thoroughly biblical and church-based ministry. Brothers and sisters, these are only a few of the numerous examples of how your faithful prayers and support are being used in the extension of the Gospel.

Additionally, I have been graced with open doors to continue to preach and teach in India and Africa through the means of Zoom and Facebook Live. Our ministry is still furnishing the funds for the workbook materials, meals, and other expenses, which are connected with these conferences. Although I long for the day, if the Lord would be so pleased, to return IN PERSON to teach these precious church planters and pastors in Kenya, South Africa, and varying different language states in India. But, I must trust in the truth that my Lord is sovereign over these present limitations for gathering assemblies of brothers within these countries. We must pray for these dear saints of God, for India is undergoing a devastating uptick of Covid. Uganda has shut down once again, and Kenya has issued new suspensions on worship gatherings in 13 hotspot counties. Please pray for all of these dear saints of God!