The Lord is still working 

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

 

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus!

 

As you remain quarantined in your home, I want you to know that I have been thinking about you and praying for you during this critical time we are all facing. My family and I have tried to make the most out of this time by praying together, building puzzle and walking once in a while in the neighborhood, while keeping social distancing.

 

Like many of you, I have been wondering when this period will be over. The more I pray about it, the more I think that the Lord is probably trying to get our attention. No matter how the situation might look like, I firmly believe that God is still working. In response to the Jewish leaders who accused Him of healing people on the Sabbath, Jesus said,” My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17). As we often sing at the Highlands, our Lord is a Way Maker, even when I don’t see it or feel it. He doesn’t stop working.

 

COVID-19 has affected many businesses, Churches and Christian organizations, including Exodus Vision. Our board has agreed to cancel the trip that was scheduled in June. It is the first time that we had to cancel a trip in the last 12 years of ministry. However, cancelling one mission trip does not mean stopping   ministry. We will be holding our board meeting via Zoom Video conference, the next one being scheduled on April 11.  We are also still working closely with our partners in Africa, supporting them for various needs they bring to us.

 

According to one report, the cases of Corona virus in Africa has reached over 7,000, South Africa being the most affected country. The Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention expects cases to rise, with some nations hitting 10,000 cases by the end of April. Given the limited testing ability of COVID-19 in Africa, the reported number of cases in different countries could be even higher. The corona virus pandemic hit Africa, while the continent was already struggling economically. Many Africans leave day by day, farming or doing hourly jobs in the city. They thrive by living in community, and social distancing would be the most cruel punishment to most Africans I know.

 

For the last few months, we have experienced an increase in requests for food relief, mostly coming from Malawi. This was due to change in weather patterns that bring either too much rain, causing the destruction of crops and houses, or a prolonged dry season. Malawi is one of the poorest countries, where the average citizen makes less than $1 per day. I can’t imagine what the future situation will be like in that nation as COVID-19 is making its way in that poor nation. I surely thank God for the Hope we have in Him. This is a time to exercise our faith and allow the roots of our Hope to get deeper in Him.



I know this is a hard time for all of us. However, I thought you might appreciate an opportunity to know what’s happening in Africa and what Exodus Vision has been up to.  As you pray for your family and our nation, I would invite you to pray for Malawi, Africa and other nations. I pray that this quarantine become an opportunity to stay closer to Jesus, love like him, give like him and live like him.

 

Rev. Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision Board , President 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISSION REPORT 2018

 

 

Dear EV friend,

 

For the last 10 years Exodus Vision has been sending teams to Africa every summer to equip churches in the area of Evangelism, Education and Economic Development. Our focus is to train rural pastors who are involved in ministry but didn't have any theological training.

In order to accomplish our goals, we partner with specific pastors the Lord has brought into our lives. Some of our pastors came from refugee camps and others came from different villages: Pastor Bosco, pastor Thomas, pastor Evance, Pastor Moses and Pastor Charles are some of our partners who are faithfully advancing get God's Kingdom throughout Malawi.

This summer, our team was comprised of 5 people: Brother Jack Hardgrave from Hollywood Press has been going with me to Africa every year since 2009. Pastor Ken Hart, the senior pastor and founder of the Highlands has always wanting to go to Africa. In fact he had planned to go with me last year but it didn't happen due to the operation he had prior to last year's trip. Meantime, I was praying that God open a door for him in the right time. Sister Tamar and Sister Frieda joined us from Belgium. 

Our training took place in two locations. During the first week, we trained 33 couples, mainly from Dzaleka refugee camp. These people come from Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo. The teaching was done in English, translated into Kinyarwanda. We suddenly realized that there was another Swahili speaking group from Congo and we had them sit together to get help from a Swahili-speaking translator.

After the first week of training, we flew 1 hour to Blantyre, South of Lilongwe. Then we drove 30 minutes to Tyolo, where trained another 33 couples, all Chichewa speaking people. Flying  to Blantyre was a big relief as our team had been  working  the whole day during the first week. While the morning was focusing on training pastors and their spouses, we took  the afternoon to visit churches and have pastor Ken teach  on marriage. One afternoon, we drove to village to check on the wells Exodus has sponsored in partnership with the Anglican church.

Jack gave course entitled "Teaching and Preaching in Church". Among other things, Jack explained how to teach different age groups in Church. Jack prepared this course in collaboration with Dr. Leyda. Toward the end of this course he discussed how to prepare a sermon and  provided study Bibles and folders. On the last day, it was obvious that pastors responded with an overwhelming gratitude as Moses was leading them into dancing and singing. This was practical a day well received, and wee can’t thank Jack and Richard for putting this course together.
 

 

Pastor Ken gave a teaching on marriage and pastoral leadership. People loved his teaching. Pastor Charles said he wished we had invited all Malawian church leaders to be part of this training.  Evance said that he was going to change a number of things in his marriage as a result of this teaching.  Teaching on marriage stirred up discussion and some laughter as Moses asked the husband and wife to respond. After the teaching on marriage, we had small group discussion. We also provided few minutes for couples to go by themselves and talk about the issues they were facing on their marriage. Pastor Ken asked to pray over couples and even counsel a couple that needed counseling.

I had the privilege to teach the course on the great commission from Mathew 28: .... the emphasis of the course was on making disciples,  following Jesus model.  We discussed the characteristics of a disciple, as a mirror of who we want to be and where we need to bring the ones we are discipline. There were interesting overlaps between this class, Jack's teaching and Pastor Ken's teaching on church leadership. At the end of the first week, we passed out a book: "Abantu Bapfa Iki? Intambwe  zo Kubabarira" [Why people don't get along? Steps of  Forgiveness]. This was a right timing as pastor Ken had just a session on Forgiveness. We had planned passing out the commentary on John, but copies of that book were send to Rwanda, to other Rwandan speaking pastors. 

One morning I was allowed to sit in the women’s conference where Sister Tamar was teaching on the story of Martha and Mary. I mean, I had heard this story before but I felt challenged and wished that all men had been invited, especially  as Tamar was challenging women, saying that one thing is needed.  There is another side to the story, Martha’s a version I wish I had been part of no but I had to be with men as well. I love Tamar's seasoned teaching and anointing. I am sure all ladies were blessed by her.  Pastor Bosco not only wanted to invite her but have her lead the women ministry in his church at a national level. I am not sure how she would do that from Belgium but God knows.

This trip would have not Ben the same without our sister Frieda. It has always been a special blessing to go to have Frieda on trip. It is not just about the delicious meals she cooks for several people, it is about her presence. I feel much support when Frieda is sitting with us at the table or singing “we are one song” while driving in the van going or coming from the camp. There is no doubt that Frieda loves her Anglican church but she is a string believer in church unity. Whenever she is given a microphone she talks about it all the time.  As we were visiting widows at the Pentecostal church, she reminded them to invite widows from other churches and hold hands.  Frieda visited Dzaleka refugee camp for the 1st time in 2007 and God used her to open a door to Exodus to start ministry to pastors at Dzaleka the following year. Her testimony was an encouragement to our team.

On every trip, one way we minister to pastors is  by feeding them. By having Frieda in charge of that ministry, we saved several hundred dollars on food money. Frieda has a unique personality. She is an experienced chef. She knows her job and work well with Mama fillette and other kitchen crew. Pastors enjoyed Frieda's physical food and Spiritual food from our different teachers.

On trips like this, my desire had always been  to go with open eyes to see what God  is doing,  open ears to hear what He is saying and open heart to do what he is telling us to do. We did not start off Exodus Vision to launch a new thing other than join in what God is doing. We are careful not to start out our own thing and ask God to bless it. We go looking what God is doing and blessing, and  find ourselves privileged to be part of it. “So, what did you find God is doing in Malawi?”, some might ask.

Moses has initiated contacts with pastors in Kasungu and Mzuzu where and did initial training. He tilled the ground and he obviously needs more hands to continue that which God started in those areas:  We think we should join hands with him in train those pastors. He has already given two courses. A course on Salvation and a course on Methods of Bible interpretation. How can you not stand behind Moses?

Pastor Thomas has been overseeing 13 Malawian churches in addition to his own church in Dzaleka. While driving from the airport, he told us that church leaders in those churches are in need of training.  Pastor Thomas is planning to use the Exodus Vision materials to train those pastors in those churches. What an opportunity to pastor with this man of God !

Pastor Charles, the farmer, continues his irrigation project. Pastor Charles teaches at Bible school in Blantyre and does Pastoral training on weekends while overseeing the rest of Samuti Churches. Jack and I visited with him and his wife Loyce. These are some of the most wonderful servants God has brought into our lives, we need to keep on supporting them in their development ministry as well as pastoral training. 

Pastor Bosco, the senior pastor of the Pentecostal Philadelphia churches has been having a vision of Christian school. When we went on this trip, we found out that he had gone from dreaming to strategic action. He has bought a land and  set up the school  project committee. The committee came up with a school business plan and mobilized his branches and outside partners to pray, give and trust. 

The vision of the school is to evangelize the non Christian  youth, strengthen and grow those who know the Lord. The school will welcome kids from different denomination and hire staff staff who aspire to the  fundamental Christian beliefs. Bosco is a man of faith. Whenever I talk to him, his favorite saying is, "Hamwe no gusenga, Imana izakora igitangaza" meaning "With prayer,  God will do  a miracle".

The school will cost a little over $250,000.  I  mean a quarter million. It will have a chapel, classrooms, offices, and every thing else a Christian school  should have. I know numbers  like this scares  some readers,  but God has never been scared by numbers. Silver and Gold belongs to Him. At Exodus, we have been talking about Evangelism and Education. It is time to put our money where our mouth is by supporting Bosco and his team.

Pastor Juttah and other pastors have been using Jesus film projector. When Juttah came to see us at the airport, he gratefully  expressed how that tool was useful in helping people to come to the Lord. Why don't we buy three more Jesus film projectors and help more people say Yes to Jesus.  It only cost less than 2,000 a backpack of Jesus film projector.

The Lord is doing more than I can report. Isaiah 43:19 says, Behold, I am doing a new   thing. Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?   The challenge we have as a board, and maybe the question the Lord is asking is as follows: “if you perceive it, are you willing to do what I am doing or you are going to do your own thing ? Are you going to bless what I am blessing or to bless your own agenda?”

Thank you for giving, thank you praying,

Thank you for sending us.

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.
Exodus Vision, president

 

EXODUS VISION MISSION REPORT 2017

 

Report 1: Our first days in Malawi 2017

 

When we landed in Malawi on June 16, several pastors from different churches had come to meet us at the airport.  Men gave us an African bear hug, and women had a flower for each team member. We spent one night at Nelly’s guest house and the following morning, we drove 4 hours to Liwonde  to start our first week of ministry. Since our team was comprised of 15 people, we had to use two vans. In Liwonde, we stayed at Hippo Lodge by the Shire River. If you were lucky, like the Deavers, you could see hippos early in the morning.

The following day, after an hour on a bumpy and dusty road from the lodge, we finally made it to the Word of Grace church, where Abusa Nkhata (“abusa” means pastor in Chichewa language) is the bishop. This is where our training was going to take place for the 1st week. A friend who was sitting behind me in the van said, "I am glad that we are finally here but every bone in my body system feels disconnected." I felt like saying, “welcome to Africa” but I thought this could have made his pain worse.  I am honestly still recovering from that trip.

 

As it is typical in most African churches, you never know when the sermon will end. Jack and I were supposed to share the preaching time, but we ended up having two additional sermons by two other pastors, mostly commenting on our sermons. As Pastor Moses would say, "In Africa, we do things as the Spirit leads". Needless to say, more than 110 pastors and some 60 women were excited to greet us. Some men were familiar faces from our past conferences. By the way, pastors had come from different parts of Malawi: Ncheu, Kasungu, Dowa, Machinga, Blantyre, Balaka, Tyolo and even Mozambique. We are talking about 3-6 hours in the bus! They were sleeping on the church floor using the mats we ( I mean you) purchased. Thank you for accommodating these dear pastors!

 

After a short time of worship service, pastor Moses had me introduce the visiting team, then he proceeded with strict (but loving) instructions to all pastors. Among other things pastors were supposed to avoid walking back and forth during the teaching time, and they were instructed to raise their hand if they had any questions… I love Pastor Moses … Everyone  in the  sanctuary  said "amen" in agreement. At first, I thought these men had served in military but I quickly realized that they had been taught by the Holy Spirit.

 

Each morning, we started our day with an amazing worship.  The theology proper course was taught in general session. Then we broke into 2 groups for Soteriology and Eschatology courses. Pastor Moses, Pastor Charles and Victor did a fantastic job translating for our 3 teachers (Jack, Tim and myself).  Hopefully, this gives you a little bit on how things went the first days. I can’t thank you enough for sending us this summer. As you know, this is something I would never want to do alone, even if I had the means. It takes the body of Christ to do a mission like this. Stay tuned for more on VBS.

 

 

 

Report 2:  Mission Report on VBS 2017

Dear EV friend,

At the end of our first Sunday service in Liwonde, pastor Moses took us to Mvera, a place where our VBS program was supposed to take place. It was about 25 minutes from Moses' church.  Like Moses' church, Mvera school is in the midst of nowhere. The building houses a nursery and 1st through 4th grade kids. According to Moses, it has a population of more than 300 kids. 

The two classes meet in a school building without chairs, two other classes meet under the shade of two baobab trees without visible branches. When I asked pastor Moses what happens when it rains, his response was the most unexpected:  “When it rains, that means the class is over". In other words, they call it a day. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a poor country but I had never seen a classroom under the tree. I have been teaching for 17 years, and it makes me mad to hear the kids whinnying and complaining about little things. Two weeks ago, I had the news that God provided the money to add classrooms for the kids who were studying outside. God bless you Pam !

This school was formerly sponsored by an American church and it closed its doors as soon as the sponsor decided to walk away, leaving the school in the hands of the community. Since teachers were not being paid, the school couldn't survive the crisis. It remained closed until pastor Moses initiated to reopen the school, trusting that the Lord would provide. Indeed the Lord has provided by using a lady from Minnesota (bless her heart !) to pay the teachers' salaries. By the way, a teacher at Mvera elementary makes $30 per month. This is not a typo! It is $30 per month, about a meal for two people at Black Angus restaurant or Olive Gardens, or wherever you like to eat.

From the evening debriefing time, I constantly heard that things went pretty well with the VBS program. Since I was busy teaching men, the few times I went to VBS were the most enjoyable times of my trip. Deni’s leadership was exceptionally well received. With her many years of experience as a director of children’s ministry, she joined our team when she was mostly needed.  Our daughters, Shalom and Faustine, taught the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 while Jemma kept track of time for the team and made sure that all our backpacks were safe. Anne, Breanne, Mariella and Julianne helped with games, crafts and storytelling. Thank you Deni ! I am sure you could write volumes of what the Lord did in Mvera and Dzaleka. I am just giving it a snapshot !

One incident at Mvera occurred at the end of VBS when  a fire broke out the shrubs around the school. The fire was getting closer and closer to the school. I was told that Shalom started holding every kid she could in her hands. Thanks to the  prayers of God’s saints, the Lord contained the fire and turned it into a different direction. I am not sure what the Lord was trying to teach us about that fire. Either it was the fire of the Holy Ghost coming our way or the fire Moses saw while attending the sheep.  Putting all the analogies and jokes away, I truly believe the Lord's hands has been on this team from the beginning to the very end. Throughout the trip, I kept on remembering the prophetic prayer of Robin before our departure and many saints who prayed for us daily. Your prayers touched the throne of God and He literally came down.

 

One morning, I woke up asking Jesus to be like Him more than I was the day before. As I was reading Isaiah 66, I felt like the Lord was asking me an interesting question: "Heaven is my throne and the Earth is my footstool, where then is the house you could  build for Me? and where is a place that I may rest ?...He went on to say that He cares about the poor who has a contrite heart" (Isaiah 66:1-2). Another day, on our way to Bimbi, Deni prayed in the van and thanked God for the bumpy road. Honestly speaking, this place is not the most desirable place to ride in. It is dusty and dry but I heard the Lord gently whispering, "I love these people, I love this place. I love this bumpy dusty, and disgusting road". He reminded me that He had sent us there because He cares for those people.

I will run out of time if I share the great things God did with VBS at Dzaleka, another location in Malawi. The songs they learned are still ringing into my ears.The memories and bonding time with the little ones were very precious. We were honored to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Malawi.  As Moses told us at the end of our trip, "a history was written in Bimbi" during that first week in Malawi. Stay tuned for more on women conference.

Again and again, thank you for sending us. 

Report 3: Focus on Women Conference 2017

Dear EV friend,

Muri bwanji (Greetings from Malawi), also known as the warm heart of Africa!

This trip has been unique and fulfilling both for our team and the people we ministered to. Our team was comprised of 15 people including my sister, Frieda, from Belgium. It was the most diverse group I’ve ever seen. We all came from different churches and age group backgrounds. However, the Lord gave us an amazing sense of unity and used each one of us!

 

Throughout our trip we had three ministries going on: Pastoral training for men, women conference, Sunday school teachers’ training and VBS ministry. Due to the enormity of what the Lord did, I will not be able to share the whole report at once. Rather, I will share little by little for the next few weeks.  Today, I will let Breanne Davis, one of our team members, share what transpired at the women conference:

During the first week, the plan was to host a 3-day women’s conference in Liwonde with women local to the church; God’s redirect gave us a 5-day conference with 60 women from all over Malawi! The LORD provided resources to host and feed these extra women and we saw massive breakthrough. The second week at Dzaleka camp, we had another 5-day conference with more speakers and times of prayer and worship translating between English, Kinyarwandan, Chichewa, and Swahili.

 

From our Exodus Vision team, there were 5 women who shared their stories and taught based on our women’s conference title “Blessings and Promises.” Each day focused on a different blessing from scripture: Abundant Peace, Precious Promises (hope), Call Her Blessed, Times of Refreshing, and Latter Rain.

In both conferences many women came to know Christ, others received physical healing, others were encouraged in their families and marriages. Most of all, the body of Christ came together across denominational, cultural, and language barriers to worship and learn together.One woman in Liwonde said, “Before this Conference I didn’t know if I believed in God, but now I know Him and I have peace and freedom; I am going to go home and tell everyone.”

This single testimony demonstrates why we go and minister wherever God takes us. When we submit to Him, He uses us to reveal Himself to His people, and bring transformation that starts in individuals and grows through families, communities, and nations. We were so blessed and honored to be a part of God’s work in Malawi and look forward to seeing His continued work in the women we served.    --Breanne Davis

At the end of the conference, we received positive feedback from the women. Most women mentioned that they were encouraged and to press on in prayer. One woman said, "I learned to love people since I saw how you loved us without knowing us." Thank you again for sending us this summer. Your prayers and support were strongly felt on the mission field. As Breanne further observed, “this trip was   the perfect opportunity to lay down our plans and submit to God’s directions by the Holy Spirit.” I am inviting you to stay tuned for the upcoming parts of the mission trip.  For those who follow us on Facebook, you can still let the picture tell you the story. Among other things, you will enjoy the women dance when they received the Bibles.

Report 4: Pastoral Training and More 2017

 

Dear EV friend,

 

“The Lord knows you and still loves you”, I told the men. “He knows the good, the bad and the ugly about you, and He is still crazy about you.” I had this revelation while I was teaching about the attributes of God. So, who is God? God is Spirit, and we must worship Him and relate to Him in Spirit. God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is infinite, the Alpha and the Omega- the beginning and the end. He is all powerful, the Almighty -El Shaddai. He is YAHWEH, the I AM WHO I AM. He is the unchanging and Sovereign God. Our God is good, our God is awesome, our God  is great! .... Go with us next time, if you need to hear part II. 

 

Every morning , we had  an amazing time of worship. For the first week, all songs were in Chichewa language which none of our team members spoke, including me. Despite our limitations of the local language, our team could connect with these men in the Spirit. I told them that most of the things we do here on earth will cease when we go to heaven. There won't be teaching or evangelism. We will not do mission trips or Bible studies because we will know God as He is. Only Love and Worship will remain. Wish you could hear these men worship. I started to think that our worship in heaven will probably be in Chichewa, and not in Swahili as I used to think. When we worshiped at the Rwandan church the following week, I had a different view about this “unrelevant” question. I started thinking that angels will be dressed and worship like Rwandese  (Lord forgive my biased attitude). The African worship is just amazing. I danced and hopped till I ran out breath! 

Another morning, as I started our session, I felt led to remind pastors that the ministry is not about us, it is about the One who called us. He used Gideon even though he despised himself. God used Moses, even though he had nothing but a staff in his hand. God cares about a contrite spirit more than the stuff we have. One boy had two little fish and 5 loaves of bread and yet Jesus used them to feed the 5,000. Feeling the pressure of pastors who were eager to learn, Pastor Moses approached us and asked if we could do an afternoon session. At first, we thought of making this session optional. But when we asked pastors if they would be available, everyone raised their hands. The following day, we had a question and answer panel with Jack, Doug and Tim. What a blessing to serve with these men, and teach pastors who are thirsty and hungry for the Lord ! It makes me feel like going back next year.

 

I will not a forget one afternoon  we distributed Bibles to the Sunday school teachers. One of those teachers had asked Deni, “How do you expect us to teach the Bible to the kids if we don’t have a Bible?” You should have seen their dance and worship to the Lord after they received Bibles. Please, do me a favor, go to my Facebook page and enjoy that video. I will re-post it just for you! This was the highlight of the day, and probably of our entire  trip. Watching this, Deni couldn't withhold her emotions. She started sobbing on Jack's shoulders! What a glorious moment to watch!!! The same day we had questions and answers on marriage. Pastors expressed the need of having a marriage conference with their wives. Pastor Moses told us that he has a dream of increasing the size each year and have a conference of 1,000 pastors!  I appreciate this man’s vision. He doesn’t dream small!  Pray that we may keep up with him.

 

There are more  amazing moments of the trip than I can report. One of the precious moments was an afternoon  we visited the widows' sowing project. The project started few years ago when Exodus Vision gave $1,000 to widows. They decided to invest that money into something that can generate income for them. The church wants to expand the same project to their 10 church  branches in Lilongwe and Blantyre. Reflecting on that visit, I was reminded  that The Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1: 27). I feel the urge to help these widows help themselves. Pray about how you can join me in these efforts. More information about this project can be sent to you upon request.

 

We also visited a Baptist church at Dzaleka camp where two young men named Charles are pastors (for some reasons, the Lord keeps on bringing  the Charles on our way: This is the third Charles we now have in Malawi). Pastor Thomas from the Anglican church joined us and it was neat to see the friendship between the two pastors from different denominations. This is quite uncommon in Africa.  The Senior Pastor from the Baptist church expressed the gratitude for the Bibles we donated two years ago. He said that a Muslim family who received the Bible we gave in the past came to know the Lord. You can imagine how heaven celebrated that event! The other Muslim still carries his Bible to the mosque and is afraid to show it to his fellow Muslims. However, he reads the Bible at home. There is hope that one day he will accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Pastor Charles has now baptized 3 Muslims. Charles is a young man in his late 30’s. He is a passionate evangelist, married and has 5 kids and 3 orphans. He pastors a church in a refugee camp while supporting his family  and attending seminary in Lilongwe. Pastor Charles just finished his first year of Seminary and has three more to go. He needs $100 per month for tuition. For these last months, he has been paying the school fees by selling the calf from the cow we gave him few years ago. No additional questions were asked about his kids to avoid any false hopes. Keep praying for this young man, his ministry and education.

 

Jack taught on the end times, and he reported that his group had very lively discussions involving Hell, the Pre-Trib and Post-Trib, millennium, and the Rapture. He went  on to say that it was so much fun, and sometimes quite challenging, to cover this material with these men.  Pastor Bosco acknowledged that this material was very important for them as they often get questions from people in their congregations regarding this subject. To echo Jack’s words, “I found it to be a great message of hope to men whose congregations have very little in this world to bring hope.  Their hope is truly that they have Eternal Life.” Well done, Jack! It has been a blessing to go to Africa with you all these years.

 

Tim had a similar experience with the Salvation group. He and Mariella have been praying for these men and supporting our ministry over the years. It was a thrill for Tim and Mariella to see Bosco, Moses, Thomas, Charles and other pastors they have been praying for. Think of praying for a child in your womb for 9 months without seeing their real face. This was the experience of Tim and Mariella in Africa, and I am sure they can tell you more. What a blessing to have shared this trip with men and women of God! The Lord gave us an amazing unity. Despite differences in our skin color, gender, age (the youngest team member was 13, and the oldest was 75), and church denomination, we were one (as my sister Frieda always reminds us) from  day one of the trip to the very end. Glory be to Jesus!

 

On our way back to Lilongwe, we decided to take the team to Mvuu National Park to experience a safari. Once in Lilongwe, half of our team members worshipped at the Philadelphia Pentecostal church, where our friend  Bosco is the pastor. Tim and  Jack  had the privilege of preaching in this  church and 6 people came forward when the invitation was given to accept Christ.  One of them was a Muslim lady whose children were already attending the church. 

 

In the second week, we had about 40 pastors at this conference and 100 women attending the women conference. In both groups we found out that we had people who spoke Swahili only. The women conference ended up having a three way translation: English- Kinyarwanda- Swahili. This reminded me of playing telephone with middle school kids. Nevertheless, God still powerfully worked at the women's conference as Breanne recalled in the previous report. In the men’s group we were lucky to have pastors who spoke both Swahili and English. When we split into the two groups, I ended up picking up the Swahili speaking pastors and taught them the Salvation course while Tim taught the rest of that class. 

 

The Lord has incredibly provided for the trip. We did not only have enough money to feed pastors but we had 12 baskets left over. There is much that went into this trip. It wasn’t just the Bibles, ground transport, air tickets and food. Just for the first week, over 120 men were camping in the church building, sleeping on the floor, not worrying about a mosquito net. 60 women were staying in another church facility. The Lord provided for the toilet paper, candles, hand soap, dish soap and much more.  We heavily relied on our partners to tell us what was needed for the conference facility. God bless our African partners who organize these conferences for Exodus Vision. None of us can put these events together without a strong relationship with these men. It is all about the Lord who reconciled us to God and whose sacrifice on the Cross paid a ticket for us to be one with Him and with each other. Blessed be His name!!

 

Again and gain, thank you for sending us this summer. With your prayers and support, we have touched the heart of Jesus as we served the least of His people.

 

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, president 

 

EXODUS VISION

P.O.Box 967

Sun Valley CA 91352

(818) 504 6297

Summer Trip 2016

Dear EV friend,

"Muli Bwanji!" is a welcome greeting from Malawi, also known as the warm heart of Africa. This summer, I had the privilege to go on another exciting mission trip with Exodus Vision. This was my seventh trip to Malawi with Exodus Vision since 2008. While every trip has been successful, this trip was very special in many ways. Our main focus was to train pastors, primarily from rural villages and Dzaleka refugee camp. We were a team of three teachers and we trained 80 pastors (35 pastors in Lilongwe, the capital city and 45 pastors in Blantyre, 5 hours of drive south of Lilongwe). Our three main courses were Christology, Jehovah's Witnesses and Islam. The courses blended well and had some overlapping in key areas such as Trinity, the deity of Christ, the death and resurrection of Christ and other essentials of Christianity.

Following our teaching, we received positive feedback for three courses we taught. It seems like the courses were very timely. During our evening meal, pastor Moses, one of our main partners in Malawi, asked me, "How did you know that people would be interactive and enthusiastically respond to the teaching?" Our response was that the Holy Spirit knew what people need. Both Islam and Jehovah's Witnesses are rapidly growing in Malawi. As you drive from Lilongwe to Blantyre, you come across mosques and kingdom halls here and there. There is a growing need to equip God's Saints in dealing with rampant religious sects and wrong doctrines.

During a break time, another young pastor approached me and told me how much he appreciated the teaching on Islam. He told me that he had a Muslim friend for a long time but he never dared to share the Gospel with him for fear that their friendship would end. The same pastor also had a biological sister who was married to a Muslim. He told me that he now learned what it takes to approach those people without fear. Several other pastors commented on how teachings on Christology and Jehovah's Witnesses were meaningful to them. The way Jehovah's witnesses knock at our doors here in Southern California, they do the same in Africa, even in the refugee camp.

The other highlight of the trip was to visit the projects Exodus Vision has been sponsoring. For the past few years, Exodus has been equipping churches in three areas: Evangelism, Education and Economic Development. When people hear the word "evangelism", the first picture that comes into mind is someone behind the pulpit, delivering a message to a big crowd in front of him. However, looking back at Jesus' model, we quickly realize that his ministry was holistic in essence. Yes, He preached to the crowd, but He also healed the sick and fed the hungry. He cared for the elderly, the young and the little ones. Our goal as a ministry is to work alongside African churches as they strive to follow Jesus' example. With that goal in mind we have developed partnership with churches in wells project, irrigation project, chicken project, bakery and cow projects. This summer, our teaching was taking place from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with a tea break around 10:00 AM and a lunch time at the end. The afternoons were dedicated to visiting and preaching at different churches, and doing local field trips to EV projects.

Given the intense afternoon visits we did this Summer, I can't really put in writing all the wonderful things we witnessed in Malawi. This one visit requires a two-hundred-page book. If you would like to be on our mailing list, feel free to drop me an e-mail at exodusvision@yahoo.com. I will be sending different pictures highlighting the teaching, church visits, the wells, the irrigation project, the school visit and other things that took place this summer. My team and I can't thank you enough for your financial and prayer support. The Lord has indeed seen the misery of his people in Egypt and He is coming to rescue them (Exodus 3:7). Stay tuned for what the Lord did in Malawi and what He is yet to do.

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.
Exodus Vision, President

Exodus Vision   August 2015

Dear EV friend,

 

As we anticipate our 10-year anniversary in 2017, it is so encouraging to look back and see what the Lord has done through Exodus Vision since 2007. Just to mention a few things, because of your faithful prayers and generous support, we have built three wells in rural villages of Malawi. We helped Pastor Moses' church to set up 70 beehives that have been generating income for his nursery school and church administration. We started a day care at Dzaleka refugee camp for some orphans in the camp. We bought a motor bike for Pastor Thomas who oversees 11 churches, and put a roof on his house.  We recently gave 31 cows to pastors in Malawi and donated 1000 Bibles through Bible society. We trained over 200 pastors who continue to have a huge impact on several local churches both in Malawi and Zambia; and I can go on and on.   I want to thank you for standing with us in the work we do in Africa.

This summer we conducted our pastoral training in two countries- Malawi and Zambia. Every time I go to Africa on a mission trip, I find myself insignificant in front of a big and plenty harvest. The need of training pastors in Malawi is far from being met.  According to Pastor Moses, most pastors do ministry without any prior training: pastors pick up verses here and there on TV station and manage to preach. "If you can make few comments on a verse, if you can do a baby dedication and burial ceremonies, you call yourself a pastor". Pastor Charles, a Bible teacher in Blantyre, echoed Moses' remarks when he said that, "80-90 % of rural pastor have never had theological training. Most of them depend on seminars. 40-60 % of urban pastors do not have theological training. You can easily find a sound biblical Evangelical Church in major town centers while sound Biblical Evangelical training is as scarce as water in the desert"

The teaching on forgiveness we gave last summer in Malawi provoked an ongoing ripple effect among churches.  One pastor who attended our training last year told me that following our training, some church leaders who were once enemies with each other are now co-leaders in the same church. Hearing such a report made me think that the benefits of that teaching far outweighed all the trip expenses and the hassle of travelling. There is no greater joy one can experience than the deliverance of a church leader from the bondage of hatred and grudge. Given the impact of the teaching on Forgiveness, I am writing a book on Forgiveness in Kinyarwanda entitled “Why don’t people get along? The process of Forgiveness” [Abantu Bapfa Iki ? Intambwe zo kubabarira] 

I saw the same ministry needs in Zambia, where 40 pastors attended our training this summer. Some of those pastors had to travel a long distance (about 1500 km) from the north to attend our conference in Lusaka. Others came from different Zambian districts travelling several hours by bus. God willing, we might train pastors outside Lusaka in the future, just to facilitate transport for pastors who live far from Lusaka. While in Zambia, I also became more aware that the Jesus film projectors are in big demand. Some pastors have used those projectors to plant churches in Malawi, and more pastors are asking for them in Zambia.

The churches we visited in Zambia work in a very dark place. One church is located in a drug-dominated part of the city and the other church headed by Martin and his team, is in the poorest neighborhood of the city. It is so uplifting to see those churches acting as oases of hope, and shining for Jesus in Zambia. The field is so ripe and the harvesters are very few. I came back from the trip convinced of two things: First, we need empower more and more indigenous trainers who would continue the training of pastors following our summer training.  Second, we need more hands to carry out this vision and a bigger team to take to Africa on the next trip. Start praying and see what the Lord would have you do in response to these opportunities.

Thank you again for your faithful support as we continue to further God's kingdom in Africa.

Sincerely in His service

 

Faustin  Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President 

EXODUS VISION MISSION TRIP June 11- August 2, 2019

 

 By  Rev. Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

 

We started our pastoral training in Lilongwe where we trained 40 pastors for two days. Our 3 courses involved marriage and family, the Holy Spirit and Christian Ethics. From day one, we encouraged the pastors to think of how they can use the same materials to train others.  We have   emphasized our “training trainers” goal this year more than the years before. It is exciting to see that our African partners are catching the vision.

On our first Sunday, Pastor Jim preached a powerful sermon at Bosco's church from this passage: 

 
“and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God" (Luke 13: 11-13)

As I was standing by him and translating, I felt like stopping in the middle of the sermon and shouting a big  Hallelujah. In the afternoon, we drove for 3 hours to Kasungu (central Malawi) where we spent one week training 45 pastors from different churches. 

For many pastors, the teaching on marriage was really hitting home. However, a number of pastors wished they had come with their wives. Among other things, one of the highlights in the marriage course was the following verse: 

 "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." (Ephesians 5:31). Pastor Jim clarified that in the context of marriage, leaving one's parents does not necessarily mean leaving them physically. 

One of the pastors admitted that they had never left their parents as they still rely more on them than on their wives. In Malawian culture, husbands have more influence in decision making than their wives.

Pastor Jim clarified that leaving one's parents should not stop one from getting some advice from parents. You still honor your parents but not to the point of putting down your spouse.

As pastor Jim rightly stated, "the woman was created from the rib of man to be beside him, under his arm to be protected by him, and not from his toes to be trampled upon."

Following that lesson on marriage, as I was talking to Moses in my room, I personally learned some interesting facts about the Malawian culture: In Yao tribe, it is the man who actually leaves his parents and literally joins the wife's family. Since the man doesn't pay any dowry, the children belong to the wife. 

 

The Tumbuka (northern tribe) and  Chewa (central and part of Southern region)  tribes do it differently: The woman leaves his parents and joins her husband. Since Tumbuka men must give a cow as a dowry, children belong to the man, and if the wife divorces him, he expects his cow back but I am not sure how they go about dividing children between them. 


Also, it was interesting to learn that in the Chewa tribe, the dowry is pretty cheap: A chicken would do it.  I don't think Anne's parents would have accepted a chicken. In some African countries, giving a chicken would be an insult to the in-laws. Some Ugandan tribes actually give as many as 30 cows for dowry. There is no right or wrong, it is all about cultural differences.  

Additionally, the Malawian pastors disclosed that they strive to have more girls than boys because a chief village is indeed a chief to his grandmother. Hence, without girls, the family is running the risk of not having a chief in the family. 

 

The course of marriage and some ethical issues had to be discussed from Biblical perspective but in light of the Malawian culture. Whenever there was a conflict between culture and the Bible, we encouraged pastors to uphold the Biblical principles, pray for wisdom and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Among other things, Jack highlighted the attributes of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity: "He is omnipresent, omniscient, eternal and the Creator. The Holy Spirit is God". The teaching on the Holy Spirit was crucial as we all must be led by Him in every decision. Since day one, one could sense that all 3 courses (Ethics, Marriage,  and Holy Spirit) were completing each other in many ways.

I started the lesson of Ethics by sharing the 10 Biblical principles that could help us make decisions in a complex situation such as family planning, use birth control and abortion.

 

The Christian Ethics course brought lively discussion both in Lilongwe and Kasungu. Following one session in Kasungu, Pastor Evance commented that this lesson came in the right time as he has 4 children and was not sure whether he and his wife should have the 5th child. Later on, pastor Thomas who has been married for about 5 years ”confessed" that he  and his wife have been having a baby every year since they  got married. 

In response to Christian Ethics, Moses admitted that "they were learning". He said that he finally  found an answer to the withdrawal  issue as recorded in the story of Er and Onan, two sons of Judah whom God put to death because they were wicked (See Genesis 38: 8 -10).

Regarding the family planning issue, we discussed   the need to keep the balance   between blessings (since children are a blessing, Psalm 127) and many responsibilities associated with raising children. 

Throughout the teaching time, I kept on coming back to the three-fold key: (1) having the correct interpretation of the Scripture ,  (2) being led by the Holy Spirit in every situation,  (3) praying  and discussing every issue with your spouse. 

At the end of one evening in Kasungu, I strongly sensed that there was a need to offer a class on raising kids God's ways. Pastor Jim recommended the Art of parenting class to be offered in the Fall at the Highlands. There is a possibility to adapt the materials from that class to the African context.


OUR 3rd DAY IN KASUNGU

 


You should have been there to see what I saw and heard on our third day in Kasungu. What a day ! 


Pastor Jim did an excellent job explaining the concept of Severance (a man leaves his father and mother), permenance (and is united to his wife), unity (they become one flesh), and intimacy (Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame).

He also used a triangle to illustrate how our relationship with God can affect human relationships and vice-versa. He reiterated the fact that when conflict arises in the family, people tend to choose one of the 2 things: Fight or Flight.

He suggested that during a troubled relationship, flight should not be an option. Instead, he recommended that we need to fight, "not against each other" he said, but fight for our relationship. Good job pastor Jim. 

At the end of his teaching, a Malawian pastor stood up and said through the translator, "Pastor Jim, I think you have been staying in Malawi for a long time. In fact, it doesn't seem like you are an American. The way you are addressing all the issues in my culture tells me that you are a Malawian ". Pastor Jim's response was that all glory goes to God. 

As we were exiting the conference room, I told Pastor Jim that he better starts applying for a Malawian citizenship. Hopefully, he will follow up on that!  

The same day, Jack opened his teaching with his testimony, which was very well received. Among other things, he discussed the fruit of the Holy Spirit till lunchtime. Given the fact that we had pastors from different church backgrounds, I was concerned that they would be some tension about doctrinal issues. I appreciated the way Jack handled the teaching on the Holy Spirit. Good job, Mr. Hardgrave!

Jack almost broke into tears as he was introducing himself during his first lesson. As he was recovering from his emotions, he said that he got it from his dad. By the third day, he was no longer emotional. One remarkable thing: After working with Jack in all the pastoral trainings we’ve had for the past 11 years, it was during this trip that I heard for the first time that Jack spoke in tongues at some point. Later on, at the dinner table, he shared with us a wonderful conversation about the Holy Spirit that he had with one of his daughters, Katie Sottile. What a great time we had in Kasungu !

 After lunch, I taught about sexual issues as they relate to marriage and the issue of polygamy. Each one of those issues rose ongoing discussion. At the end of the section, I asked a couple of questions: What counsel would you give to a man who had two wives and became a Christian. Does he keep both wives? And what wife does he get rid of? These questions kind of opened a can of worms. Pastors started talking about different cases endlessly. I had to stop the heated but enjoyable discussion as we had to go visit Bosco's school.

 

UPDATE ON KASUNGU SCHOOL

Bosco and two men from his church gave us a nice tour of the boarding Christian school in  Kasungu. The school project is underway. Pastor Bosco stated that due to post-election demonstrations, the building pace has slowed down. However, as calm is coming back into the cities, they are picking up from where they left.  

The dining hall is halfway done.   The boys’ classes, dormitories and some offices are being built. Most buildings already have iron bars that will sustain iron sheets. The tour guide showed us the plot for Chapel by the entrance of the school. He also pointed out where they were planning to build volleyball and basketball courts. By God's grace, they are hoping to have the school up and running by September 2020.  

 

The school has a capacity of 480 students. It overlooks a beautiful mountain which is often used as a prayer mountain (Pastor Jim and I attempted to hike that mountain but only made it half way. I went back the following day and still did not make it to the top....I still haven't given up. I feel like I should try it again next year).  

Next to the school property is another huge piece of land that the church bought with a possibility of building University in the future.  At the end the tour, we entered the temporary church building and prayed. What a pleasant visit! May God bless Pastor Bosco and his team.

Prior to my departure, I was informed that the work done on school so far  has cost $85,177. The church donated $50,929. Individual church members donated $24,812 and other donors gave $9,375.00 [ By other donors, I think that it is Exodus Vision]. In order to start in September, they still need the $48,687. They are expecting the church to give $12,500 and other donors to give $35,562.  The remaining amount is needed to build bathrooms, the administration building, equip the school with office supplies and finish other buildings.


After dinner, we had a long but nice discussion with our partners: Moses, Bosco, Evance, Ildephonse, and Thomas. It all started when pastor Jim asked how each one of them was connected to Exodus Vision. It was fun to recall how the Lord brought all these partners into our lives. Then there was a question whether pastoral training is still a need as it was 10 years ago. According to Pastor Moses,   given the need of rural pastors, we still have long ways to go. 

In agreement with Moses, another pastor at the table said that it seems like we have just started. Thomas added that although we are getting deeper and deeper, "we need to start again". Pastor Evance jumped in and said, "We still need you" [“You”, meaning the one reading this report].  Bosco said the he caught some pastors after the conference saying that if only the Exodus Vision team could stay here for few more days, our families can be changed. Jack and I looked at each other, not really knowing what to say. Then Pastor Jim commented, it seems like “the class is still in session”. 

MORE TEACHING ON MARRIAGE AND POLYGAMY

 

One day, at the end of teaching on marriage, there were lots of questions and ongoing discussion. Marriage in Malawi is intertwined with the cultural values that often vary from tribe to tribe.

Since Pastor Jim had left, Jack and I had to split the marriage course. He taught section one (God’s design for marriage) while I focused on section two (Building a Strong Marriage). I had the privilege to teach about "expectations in marriage" and gave some examples on my dating time back in mid-nineties (how time flies!!). Pastors were listening and asking many questions at the end. 

That particular day, most of the questions were about polygamy: What do you advise to a Malawian woman whose husband goes to South Africa to look for a job, leaving her wife behind, and then marries another woman in South Africa? 

Not only does the husband marry another woman, but he doesn't send any financial support to his first love, during his entire stay in South Africa. Should the first wife divorce him and marry another man?

It is obvious that the man has become unfaithful, and according to Mathew 19:9, the wife is allowed to marry another man. However, in Malawian culture, it is not that easy. Since polygamy is accepted, the husband can sue the wife, if he comes back and finds out that his first wife married another man.

In order to solve this puzzle, the first wife must have her parents meet the parents of her husband. They both go to the village chief and explain to him that the man married their daughter, and left her with children and never send any financial support during his absence. After hearing both sides, the chief might officially allow the wife to marry another husband.

 

KASUNGU SUNDAY VISIT

 

As we were visiting Bosco's church in Kasungu, it became obvious that Bosco and other pastors from Rwanda and Burundi are doing a real missionary work. 

The Philadelphia Pentecostal Church in Kasungu is a perfect example of  diaspora  missiology at work. In order to reach out to the lost souls, the church has incorporated Chichewa into church service. Both the youth and children's choir have Chichewa-speaking children. 

By embracing and including the Chichewa language in Sunday service, the Bosco’s Philadelphia Pentecostal Church is aiming at reaching out to the Malawian people in the most efficient way. We also noticed that the church had several young people.  In fact, at the end of the service, the church youth leader approached us and said that since Jack loves the youth (as he had previously stated), they would love us to bring young people from US for a visit.

 


 MORE TEACHING ON POLYGAMY IN MZUZU

The teaching on polygamy kept on bringing more discussion, especially at Mzuzu conference. The night before, we had found out from our partners that some pastors attending the conference had more than one wife.

Sure enough, at the end of the teaching on polygamy, one pastor stood up and said that he had three wives. The first one did not bear any children to him, but the second and third had children. He said, "I want to go to heaven, what should I do?"

As soon as he finished talking, another pastor who also had two wives stood up and said that when they were baptized, their pastors also had many wives. The pastors who baptized them tried to hide   the scripture about what the Bible says on polygamy. In other words, these pastors grew up in a church that was ignorant about   polygamy. 

The same pastor went on to say that he was praying to God to take away one of his two wives so that he remains with one.  Then, everyone clapped hands for him. I heard another story of one man who had to marry a second wife because his first wife needed help at home. He was basically trying to help his first wife. What an interesting reason! 

In addressing these questions, I acknowledged that it was hard to know what to do as different people were facing different situations. I suggested that if someone had children with several wives, he is still responsible to raise those children. God loves those children in the same way. He has plans for their lives, regardless, the circumstances in which they were born.

In regards to knowing which wife to keep and which one to send away, I asked if their wives knew the Lord. In case they don't, they need to know the Truth   before any action is taken. Then, I suggested that after all parties involved know the truth, they pray together and seek God's guidance.  

I have heard some people say that you have to keep the first wife and get rid of the rest, and I understand where they are coming from. However, since the Malawian culture allows polygamy, kicking out your wife (first or second) without her consent can open up a lawsuit case against you. To me, the most important is that both the husband and the wife know the truth and the truth would set them free. There are cases when one of the wives had to leave on her own.  Our part is to get God involved in our business, no matter how messy the situation might look. He will sort everything out on our behalf.

 
One lady sitting in the corner gave a long response to the teaching on polygamy but her translator shortened what she said. Here is what I was able to capture:  "I don't know if you are all excited as I am", she said..."We would ask Pastor Moses to organize another conference".

In his turn, Moses responded by saying, "don't ask me, ask Faustin".  Then, he went on to tell the audience that if they needed counseling, they should come and talk to Faustin and Jack.

As I was closing the teaching on polygamy, I told them that I came from a polygamist family.  My dad had 9 children with my mom, and had 4 kids with two other wives. Some pastors felt relieved as they realized that my teaching was not   to bring condemnation but to share the truth of the scripture. 

I told them that what I shared with them, I would be glad to share it with my polygamist dad if he was still around today. Then I told them that I would be glad to pray for anybody, not as a superman over them, but in the same way I would need prayer from anybody. I clarified that neither Jack nor I have all the answers.

At this time,  I could sense that the Holy Spirit was doing something special in our midst. In conclusion, I redirected them to the two-fold principles: Having the correct interpretation of the scripture and being led by the Holy Spirit in all things. Then, I asked 2 people to pray for us, and it was lunchtime. What a day!! Thank you for praying for me and my team!

  A SPECIAL MOMENT WITH THE EV PARTNERS IN KASUNGU   

 

 

During our last dinner in Kasungu, we had a very fruitful time with our partners: 

Moses said: "People started calling me bishop because of the cows I gave on behalf of Exodus Vision. One of the pastors who leads a big churches in my area saw me and said, "This is the young man who gives cows to pastors". “Then the news reached the chief in my village and he started appreciating the work I was doing. But I told people that it wasn't me. The gift was from Exodus Vision".  

Apparently, the cow gift made the Word of Grace, Moses church, more and more visible in the community. Talking about cows, Moses said that they have recently passed on 7 calves to 7 pastors. So, the gifts are still multiplying and being passed on endlessly.   

Moses believes that in Malawi   people get married before they are fully prepared. "Many young men and women don’t know why they are getting married", he said. People who have been married for 20 years and have grand children are still confused and don't know why they are married. Moses highlighted that people   need counseling and teaching they should have received prior to entering a marriage covenant. 

Evance: There is a need to train both husband and wife because it would be hard for a husband  to go home and  correct all  the mistakes that have been done over the years. “The wife will likely not take it”, he cautioned. 

Pastor Jim reiterated that there are benefits of teaching couples. For example, the course of communication must be heard by both parties. Other biblical principles on marriage could be effectively applied if taught to husband and wife.

Moses said that teaching couples could provide an opportunity for discussion about issues that are affecting the family. 

I believe that teaching   couples has a significant effect on the ministry of these pastors. Teaching pastors alone without their wives will not produce the long term desired results.

Pastor Thomas rightly said that “we need to start again”. He regretted the fact that we were not able to finish all the wonderful teaching we had prepared for the group of pastors in Lilongwe.  He particularly recommended repeating the courses on ethics and marriage. 

All pastors, Moses, Evance and Thomas highlighted the role of Exodus Vision in bringing unity and providing an opportunity to meet and fellowship with different pastors. Thomas said that it is a challenge for a local  pastor to bring together pastors from other churches to his church to fellowship as they would start thinking that he is about to recruit them to the Anglican church. He sees Exodus as a unifying organization and in better position to bring churches together.

Well established Churches such as Anglican, Baptists and Presbyterian find  it hard to mingle with  independent churches. 

 

Both Thomas and Evance appreciated staying at the Lodge with us. Thomas had previously requested me to send him an invitation to our conference. He needed to get a special permission from the immigration service, in order to leave the refugee camp.

Evance was overwhelmingly appreciative of his time with us in the lodge. He said that he looked around and wondered if he was already in heaven. Pastor Evance invited Exodus to have a meeting at his church where he would invite other church members for a crusade. He believes that this would be a great encouragement to him, and make his church more visible in the community.

After dinner time, I asked Pastor Jim his feedback as this was his first time in Africa and with Exodus Vision. He said that we have exceeded his expectations. He highlighted the fact that we have well established contacts with our partners. Among them he was able to meet with pastor Bosco, Thomas, Evance, Moses,  and Ildephonse. 

Then he reached and rubbed my shoulders saying, “I believe God has placed a mantle on your shoulders for this ministry". It was a second time he made this statement during his one week visit (Glory to God). It feels good to be appreciated once in a while, especially when you are starting to wonder if you are heading the right direction.
 

We moved from the dining room to the conference room and closed our day in prayers. By that time, I was ready for brief suggestions from each one of our 4 partners: 

Ildephonse proposed the idea of building a training center in Malawi. It was not my first time to hear this. To some extent, this makes some sense considering the amount of money we have been spending on lodging and accommodations.

 

Moses proposed  thinks that we need to have a complete Exodus Vision curriculum that could be shared with all our African partners. He proposed using school facilities to accommodate pastors,  and do a rotational training for 1 month. This means a group of rural pastors would come and stay for 1 month at a certain place and be trained for that month. He was saying that the EV team should be stationed at one place (I would add, preferably and EV- owned facility) and have different groups of pastors take turns in their training. I think this was an excellent option we should revisit at our board meeting.  

Jack and I suggested the idea of continuing the model of "training trainers". Since our African partners have already taken many courses, they can take our materials and use them to train rural pastors in different areas. 

Upon hearing our response to different options, our partners replied by saying that they wouldn't do a good job like the EV team. Instead, they requested that we pray about sending more Jacks, more Jims and more Faustins. I am convinced they get the idea of training trainers. However, they need more trainers from Exodus Vision to come alongside, at least once a year. They were crying for more partnership, doing it together kind of thing… What fun conversation we had with our partners!

As Moses was speaking, I felt that since last year the harvest has been increasing in Malawi but the harvesters remain few.  

TRAINING NEEDS IN MOZAMBIQUE: ARE YOU READY?

 

Another evening, as we were sitting around the dinner table in Mzuzu, Moses described the needs for pastoral training  in Mozambique as  very urgent. He said that there are  many pastors who live in remote areas, and Moses has been in contact with them. In order to reach   some village pastors  in Mozambique, you have to take your own tent and mattress. The closest city to those villages  is several miles away. There is no lodge or WIFI nearby. 

Since Moses has been developing relationship with those pastors, I asked him to tell me how he really feels about the situation in Mozambique. Here is what he said, "When I went there, I found out that people were lost in their cultural way of doing things. They are called pastors, some of them are even wearing collars, but they don't know what being a Christian all is about." Then I asked,  "what do you  mean ?". 

He said that for example, while visiting Mozambique, he asked one pastor to give him a testimony. In response, the pastor replied by saying, "Well, I would like to be baptized". Then Moses asked another pastor to tell him how he became a Christian. In response, the pastor said, " You know, my friend and I started this church, and he left me. So, I became a pastor". In Mozambican villages, you can be called a pastor, only  if you are bold enough to  conduct a funeral service or share a verse you heard from  someone.

Pastor Moses ended up baptizing one Mozambican bishop.  How can one be promoted from being a pastor to being a bishop without ever being  a born again Christian ? The answer is very simple; they don't know what it means. Someone has to teach them.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word if God (2 Cor 5:17). “And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?" (Romans 10:14), asked the Apostle Paul.  Pastor Moses has been teaching basic courses on Salvation, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to some of these pastors, using the Exodus Vision materials.

It became clear to me that Mozambique is in a much worse shape than Malawi in regards to pastoral training. Hearing Moses describe the situation in Mozambique was very disturbing and urging me to go to Mozambique.  

Knowing that I was almost sold out, Moses said to me, " I don't even know why you are still in US working".  I wish I could go to Mozambique with Moses someday and train pastors with him. May the Lord open the door for me widely and quickly. In Jesus ‘name.  Amen. 

 

 

WITCHCRAFT IS A PROBLEM IN MALAWI AND AFRICA  

 

As we were having breakfast, Shadrack, one of Pastor Charles' associates raised a question about euthanasia, also known as mercy killing. From that question, we came to discover that euthanasia in Malawi is sometimes practiced using witchcraft.

We were told that some people in Malawi “refuse to die" How? You might ask.  Apparently, some people make special agreement with witch doctors who inject some stuff in their bodies. The injection might be a snake or crocodile powder! . So, while people expect the aged individual to die, he surprises them by turning into a snake or a crocodile. Finally,  people get tired of the person  who is "refusing to die". His relatives end up calling a more experienced witch doctor who comes and knocks him out, using a hammer. What a horrible story I heard  that evening !  

Jack and I were just speechless upon hearing that story. Jack reminded me of the class on demonology we have been discussing in our board meetings. I have little faith (Lord help my unbelief) that a single class would make any change to the witchcraft issues that have been rooted in the nation over the years.  However, I believe in a God who delivers. It takes a spiritual warfare and dedicated intercessors. A few weeks before the trip, I was dreaming of taking a team of intercessors to Africa.  I hope this might happen in God’s timing.

Let's pray: "Lord, I believe that you have seen the misery of your people in Malawi and Africa. You have certainly heard them crying out for deliverance. Thank you for coming down to rescue them. Thank you for using Exodus Vision to play a small part in your greater plan for Africa. In Jesus’ name. Amen 

CONNECTION WITH Dr. ZGAMBO FROM EMBANGWENI HOSPITAL 

 

Dr. Zgambo is s young man in his mid-thirties. He was born and grew up in rural Malawi. When he was a little boy, he would hear his dad always brag about other kids who were educated and say how much he was proud of them (this is a typical way African parents motivate their kids to learn).

Dr. Zgambo quickly got the message. When he went to school, he was determined  to make his dad proud by going as far as he could go in his educational journey. Dr. Zgambo is married to Rita, another medical doctor who is working with the district’s government hospital. They recently had their first baby. 

Since we had planned to train Moses' group in the north, Jack contacted Dr. Zgambo and asked him  if he could invite some rural pastors from  his area. Sure enough, Dr. Zgambo kindly sent us 15 pastors, joining the other 25 pastors that Moses had been training, mostly from Ekwendeni. 

When you look at our pictures in Mzuzu, you will quickly notice that most of Moses group had a green Exodus Vision t-shirts and pastors under Zgambo had a collar and were coming either from Abraham church or the Last Church. The Zgambo group is the one who had not been taught about polygamy and were trying to understand what a husband of one wife was all about. It was nice of Dr. Zgambo to connect us with these dear pastors. You should have heard these men sing!!

At our last day in Mzuzu, Dr. Zgambo drove about 2 hours and came to see how things were going with the group of pastors he had sent. As it was my turn to teach after our tea break, I introduced him and gave him the podium to greet the audience. Then he preached a long but nice sermon on how God sent Samuel to anoint David. His point was that these pastors were chosen among many other pastors in Malawi who could have been there. 

At the end, he showed a deep appreciation for our training team and Exodus Vision in general.  He was glad to be there and said that he learned something for himself.  We ended our time in Mzuzu by awarding certificates to pastors and giving Bibles.  It was quite a party. The image  of pastors  singing and waving their Bibles is still stuck in my mind. Thank you Kevin, I am so thankful to your mom who gave this precious gift. Nothing can really replace it. 

Since Embamgweni hospital has a long history with Hollywood Press, Jack wanted to stop by this place and see the real thing. Embangweni is at two hours of drive from Mzuzu. The hospital is located in typical rural Malawi. It is 300 meters from the main road, half of which is unfinished and very dusty. At the end of the tour, we drove back to Lilongwe and arrived around 8:00 PM. It was Jack's last night at Nelly's lodge and for me, it was the beginning of another week of training in Malawi.

 TYOLO PASTORAL TRAINING

 

After 6 hours on the road from Lilongwe, I made it safely to Thyolo around 11:00 PM. It was good to work with pastor Evance and Pastor Charles in Tyolo. I decided to take Ildephonse with  me on that long journey for 2 reasons: Paul never travelled alone, he often had Timothy by his side. Second,  Ildephonse had the updates on street demonstrations   that I didn’t have, in case of emergency or shortcuts.

 

 The ministry in Tyolo was another successful part of the trip. There was much discussion and great questions.  To me, this training was even more meaningful than the previous conferences as   we had husbands and their wives together. 

During the discussion time, many couples shared how the teaching applied to their particular situation. During break time, I suggested that spouses spend quality time together, reflecting on what they have learned at the seminar. The teaching time and interaction with pastors were  the best time of this trip.

The teaching on divorce raised some interesting comments. The main question revolved around knowing what to do when a man becomes a Christian after he already had 2 wives. Does he keep the first or the second? This has been a re-occurring question throughout the trip. This question had a couple of cultural components to be taken into consideration: (1) Polygamy is still rampant in Malawi. (2) Parents have a big influence on their children, even after they get married. Spouses tend to listen to their parents more than their partner. 

While commenting on polygamy, one pastor who was sitting in the back shared an example of a former Muslim who came to his church. He had two wives, and he became a Christian at his church. The pastor shared the gospel with him and discipled him. Then he shared the gospel with his two wives. When the second wife heard the Gospel, she decided to leave on her own. 

During a teaching on marriage, a man in his 70's said that his daughter married another husband. They both had children from their previous marriage. Everything seems to work pretty well except in the area of sexual intimacy. The man had come to the seminar after meeting with his daughter regarding this issue, and he wanted to know how he can help his daughter and his son- in-law. 

The most animated discussion took place during the teaching on communication. As I was teaching about 5 levels of communication, I felt inspired to share the African story of a rat that provoked fight between a husband a wife on Christmas eve.

I highlighted some differences between men and women  and challenged  couples to express their love language to each other. Husbands and wives took turns to share how they were doing in their communication. 

The major problem seemed to be a lack of transparency and accountability.  They agreed that most African couples pretend to live together when they are actually divorced inside. Ladies gave thumbs up when they felt like their husbands "were being told" and men stood up and spoke up their minds. Suddenly, applauses and "Amens" were heard across the room. 

Overall, both men and women appreciated the teaching and asked to have another conference. In appreciation, one of the attendees stated that their lives will not be the same after this two-day conference. 

At the end of the conference, Pastor Charles asked Evance and two other Bishops to meet and discuss the best time they can do follow up. 

 

 

UPDATE ON THE IRRIGATION PROJECT

During a two- day training in Tyolo, I got a chance to talk to pastor Charles and Shadrack, his assistant pastor,  about the irrigation project. Initially, they were leasing two properties (one in Samuti and another one in Chikwawa) and they now own one property in Blantyre, each one of  those properties is about 3 hectares.

Currently, only the land in Chikwawa and Blantyre are operational. Unfortunately, due to much flood and bad weather this year, there was no much harvest. Pastor Charles  and Shadrack  told me that the two fields are almost ready to be harvested.

The Chikwawa field is serving more than 80 families and the Blantyre field  is serving 4 families. The rest of the land in Blantyre is being used by the church to take care for various needs in  the church and the community. The involved families agreed to give 20% of the harvest to the church and keep the rest for themselves. Moses follows the same format. I personally think that   keeping 80% and giving 20%  is a good deal, and if I was living in the area , I would be tempted to lease as much  land  as possible from church . How greedy of me! 

Pastor Charles said that they would still use some technical help to teach people how to do modern farming. We had previously assisted a couple of people from the Samuti Churches to get some training in the area of farming, and I am sure   they have benefited from that training. However, it appeared to me that the kind of training they have received was a theory without any practical application. 

I sensed that there was a need of a specialist in farming who can work alongside the irrigation project staff.   Pastor Charles reminded me of a German I had mentioned in the early start of this project. However, the German fellow was not a direct acquaintance. I knew him through a friend of another friend. You understand how the chain goes...So I don't know the whereabouts of the German friend. The irrigation is up and running. People still need to be motivated before we start to see any tangible outcomes.

The exciting news is that  Shadrack is considering to possibly plant a church in Blantyre, nearby the land owned by the Samuti Churches. It is hoped that with his presence, more families will not only be motivated to lease a portion of the land from church but also find Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

 

In addition to the irrigation project, I also asked Pastor Charles about his trip in Korea and whether it was worthwhile. He said that he was honored to be one of the 3,000 attendees from different countries. Although some speakers had controversial issues (such as the issue losing/not losing one’s Salvation - once saved, always saved), the conference was generally beneficial in many ways. Pastors learned a lot from different speakers, including the Korean work habits.     

 

DOWA PASTORAL TRAINING

 

When I arrived in Dowa, only a half of the pastors had arrived.  I asked Pastor Thomas where the other pastors were, and he said that they had to walk for 2 hours in order to get to the training center. We couldn't use the van to bring them because those pastors live in rural villages with no roads. They soon started arriving one by one and filling the room. We had about 40 people in the conference room, all from the Dowa Anglican Parish.

The issue of divorce and polygamy particularly generated lots of questions. Unlike what I experienced in the previous trainings, there was less translation during the discussion time. Whenever I gave pastors  a chance to discuss,  they seemed to be carried away by the subject  and  since I don’t speak Chichewa, I  often  had to stop and ask  what they were saying.

Overall, there was a sense of appreciation for the training. One bishop said that this training is much needed because “we live in the last days”. As he was accompanying me to the airport, Pastor Thomas expressed deep gratitude not only for inviting him to our Kasungu training but also for organizing a conference in Dowa. Our Dowa training reinforced his leadership and partnership with the Dowa parish. 

I was told that there were about 48 homosexual couples in Malawi. Don't ask me how they were counted.  Pastors told me that these couples are not visible in many churches but they do come to some churches in a disguised manner.

I was very impressed by Thomas’ fluency in Chichewa language. He really connects well with the Chichewa pastors.   He is a gifted missionary and understands the culture of the Malawian people.  He and Ildephonse are dedicated to do a follow up training and hope to include pastors from other churches, whenever possible. 

I asked Pastor Thomas if he could teach some portions of Ethics the following day as I sit down and watch. He was open to my suggestion but said that since they are used to him, it would be better for them to hear someone from outside. Without understanding Chichewa, I could tell that the way he was clarifying points and reinforcing what I was teaching was very powerful. 

I am aware that that this trip was expensive. However, my heart is filled with joy for what the Lord has done.  The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy (Psalm 126:3).

 

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS 

 

1.  Our partners in different parts of Malawi are committed to do follow up: Let’s continue to support them financially and through prayers.

 

2. Our partners still need to work alongside our EV team at least once a year. It is a huge encouragement to them (and to us), especially when they are moving into new areas such as Mzuzu, Dowa, Nsangano, Nkhota-Kota, Salima, and Mozambique.  

 

3.  The idea of building a training center is an excellent one: We need to revisit this idea and look at the pros and cons.  

 

4. Strategic/Rotational training: Exodus Vision team can take a team and be stationed in one place for 1 month: Different groups of pastors from a particular region would come and be trained at that training station. (Mzuzu – 1 month; Kasungu 1-month, and Tyolo- 1 month, etc….)

Although I personally feel like I can possibly commit to an extended time during my retirement, which is not too far, the invitation is open to anybody. Let’s talk more about this at our next meeting. There is no limit to what God can do through any obedient vessel.

 

5. Focusing on the whole family: We need to think more on how we can train pastors with their wives. In addition to marriage courses, we need to incorporate parenting courses and train more Sunday school teachers. Those courses must be grounded in the scripture and be adapted to the African context.

 

6. I see huge potentials with the Christian school in Kasungu. Let’s support Bosco and his team. His school can also be used to host several pastors when the school is not in session.

 

7.  Evangelism: Besides pastoral training, we need to partner with our African friends in the area of Evangelism by bringing seasoned preachers.   I already have a couple of people in mind! 

 

8. Mozambique is crying out for training and Evangelism.  I also think that the groups from Embangweni and Ekwendeni need intensive and urgent follow up. Moses is committed to follow up on those groups. Let’s support him.

 

9. More Bibles are needed for refugees and Malawians

 

10. Let finish the revision of our courses and make them available to our partners in one package    

 

Thank you all for your faithful support.  This trip wouldn’t have been successful without your financial and prayer support. The harvest is still plenty.  Let’s keep on going, sending and giving.

 

Rev. Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D

Exodus Vision, President & Founder    

 

 

EXODUS VOICE August 2014

 

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

 

The Lord's faithfulness endures forever, and His compassions are new every morning:  We experienced that truth again during our last mission trip in Malawi and Zambia. We had a privilege to spend some time with 30 pastors in Malawi from rural area and Dzaleka refugee camp. Our team consisted of 5 people: Four from US and one from Rwanda. Our goal in Malawi was to provide an atmosphere of retreat and spiritual growth as we taught about church unity, forgiveness and the role of the Holy Spirit. Half of our pastors in Malawi spoke Chichewa and the other half were primarily Kinyarwanda and Kirundi-speaking pastors.  We had morning worship and evening worship with both groups and split into two groups during daytime teaching.  During our last night in Malawi, we asked if there was anybody who was willing to respond to the teaching we had during the week. The Lord moved the hearts of several pastors to share how God dealt with them on the issue of unity and forgiveness, and I will only share a few of them. 

 

A Burundian pastor stood up and shared that his parents were killed in 1972. After the teaching on forgiveness, he stated that he forgave those people. Another Malawian pastor in his early 70's asked prayers for his church on the issue of forgiveness. He confessed that there is lack of unity in Malawian churches and asked that we pray for love and unity in Malawian churches. Still another Rwandan pastor confessed that he had been wrestling with the issue of unforgiveness for a long time. At the end of our conference,   he was convinced that he did not have to hold onto the wounds he had been carrying for the last 20 years. He knelt down and asked for prayers. Pastor Pascal was planning to sue a farmer who had robbed him 12, 0000 Kwachas, an equivalent of about $25 dollars. After our conference, he decided to go to him and tell him that he cancelled his debt. It went on and on and on...

 

 From Malawi, we flew to Zambia, where we were welcomed by Pastor Athanase, Pastor Martin and Bishop Yesaya. All those pastors have churches in the midst of big slums, about 25 minutes of drive from Lusaka downtown. Just by the location of their churches, you can tell that the church is the only light and hope of Zambia. According to Bishop Yesaya and other attendants, Zambia needs more training. The 25 pastors we trained in Zambia were kind of a drop in the sea. At the end of our training, they invited us to come back again and train 100 pastors.  Some pastors in Zambia suggested that we increase the training period (from three days to five days). They pointed out that we can definitely partner in the area of Evangelism, especially using the Jesus Film projector we introduced to them.  A couple of pastors recommended having a Bible training school or a Training center in southern part of Africa, because there is a need of more Biblically equipped pastors. "After attending such type of training, you can never be the same", said Regina Zulu, a Zambian pastor who attended our Lusaka conference. As I am reflecting back on what the Lord did through our team in Zambia this summer, I feel a strong Macedonian call to go back.  

 

From the experience we had this summer in Malawi and Zambia, I came back convinced that unity is possible between pastors from different denominations and language background. Pastors from Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi blended really well: There was no wall of separation between Chichewa- speaking and Rwandan or Burundian pastors. It was beautiful to watch them as they took turns in worship and taught songs to each other. The conference proximity to Lake Malawi provided an opportunity for morning walk and a heart to heart conversation with some pastors.  Pastor Moses was often caught serving all pastors regardless their language or denominational background. He made sure that those who were on special diet had special meals. What a servant-leader!

 

On the side note, I had a privilege to meet with Pastor Sempinga Marcel and Pastor Pierre Rukara who used to live at Maheba refugee camp. Maheba is a refugee camp at about 650 Km from Lusaka. The camp is located at 75 km from Solwezi, the Provincial Headquarters of the North-Western Zambian Province. According to the UNHCR, the camp hosts about 15,000 refugees. As we were having meal, Marcel told me that people in that camp walked from Rwanda, crossed the Democratic Republic of Congo into Angola, and made it to Zambia (about 1500 miles). Today those refugees have increased in number like the children of Israel in Egypt, despite the hardship they have to endure daily. They are praying and fasting for a Bible. 

 

NOTE TO ALL OUR EXODUS VISION FRIENDS:  As you might recall, Anne and I were planning to relocate to Africa next year.  However, after some more thinking, praying and discussing with our board, it became clear that we will not be able to move to Africa next year as we were planning to.  We are waiting on God's timing and his leading in the future, regarding what He has for us in Africa. Meantime, we will continue to send teams every year through our US office till we get clear directions to do otherwise. His mercies are new every morning, and that's where we find our niche.

 

Thank you for your continual support to God's work in Africa. We value your friendship and support.

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXODUS VOICE September 2013   

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

 

It has been a month since we returned from Africa.  Whenever I land at Lilongwe International airport, I feel like something is tickling inside of me.  This is not because I am back to Africa motherland. There are places in Africa where feel totally unsafe and with no excitement. For the last four years we have built some bond with pastors in Malawi and what makes me feel excited about Malawi is that whenever I go, I am anticipating seeing God at work. Needless to say I have never been disappointed ever since we started sending teams to Malawi. Below are the highlights of our trip:

 

As you know we did things a little differently this summer:  My friend Jack and I took all the teaching on SD mini cards with a couple projectors to show the teaching.  Our intent was not only to present the teaching but also train facilitators who would use the same equipment to train their own people.  Each projector we had ordered came with two Jesus film, one in Kinyarwanda and the other in Chichewa.  We trained 18 Kinyarwanda- speaking pastors in Lilongwe and travelled 4.5 hours on the bus to train about 20 Chichewa - speaking pastors in Blantyre.   All pastors received the teaching and equipment with great enthusiasm.  A month after we arrived, Pastor Moses, one of our partners in Malawi wrote to me and said that he has used the projector we left in six places, mainly for evangelism.  While the training of pastors was the main focus of the trip, we had an opportunity to visit with our partners and discuss some exciting projects:

 Pastor Bosco in Lilongwe is considering starting a private primary school. They have already identified the place where they might buy the land, five minutes of drive from the church.  We discussed the possibilities and feasibility of starting this new school.  Their goal is to evangelize the young generation through primary Christian education. The school would include both nationals and refugees. Four years ago, pastor Bosco was telling me that they felt like mere orphans prior to our connection. Recently, he and his congregation just finished a church that can seat over 800 people in Lilongwe. They are evangelizing in remote parts of Malawi, and they are now envisioning evangelism through a primary school. I left Malawi thinking, Wow! What a great vision to be part of!

 

Pastor Thomas is young pastor with a contagious zeal for the Lord:  When he saw the equipment that came with Jesus' film he couldn't help but thank us every day. For some time, he had been praying for Jesus film and the possibility of using it in his evangelistic outreach. We took the projector with the film not really knowing that it was an answer to someone's prayer.  As some of you might recall, Exodus Vision helped Pastor Thomas' church build some wells in villages where he feels called to evangelize.  By the time we arrived, some of the wells were not working, and we gave $300 to start repairing those wells.   Pastor Thomas just finished an orphanage building in the refugee camp to which he hopes to bring some orphans and use as youth outreach facility.  In order to keep it up and running, he is planning to have a chicken project, and build a fence around the church property for safety purposes.

 

Pastor Moses is another Exodus Vision partner I would want all of you to meet one day.   He and his wife Fales remind me of Nathaniel. As soon as Jesus saw him, He proclaimed, here is a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit.  Moses works in highly Islamic region of Eastern Malawi. About once a month he and other fellow pastors organize an all-night prayer meeting to which they invite many Muslim who can't go to church daytime for fear of being made fun of or even banned.  Pastor Moses has many interesting projects and I will only share the beehive one: His church recently acquired 10 beehives.  By the time we were visiting, only   two of them were functional as it takes about 20,000 Malawian kwachas to get the bees in. (How do you catch the bees and makes them go in? Only Pastor Moses can tell you).  Once all the beehives start working, the church will harvest honey twice a year, and make about 70,000 mkw from each harvest.  If all 10 hives were working, this would be a great source of revenue for the church.  Ten beehives would easily generate 700,000 kwacha per year (about $2,000 per year).  Such a project doesn't go without high cost or risk of bee bites. Moses tells a story about how one bee was stuck in his left ear during honey harvest.  It stayed there for about 5-10 minutes till a fellow bee specialist carefully removed it. What a survivor! Other Moses'projects include nursery school and women microfinance.

 

Stories from Malawi can go on and on. The bottom line is that God is clearly working, and Exodus Vision is privileged to come alongside these dear pastors. We are so blessed to have such wonderful and faithful partners we work with in Malawi.  Thank you for giving financially and prayerfully. There are no words to express what our Lord is doing and can do through you and me.

 Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D

Exodus Vision, president

EXODUS VOICE

 

May 10, 2014

 

Dear Friend,

 

Since 1994, the African great lakes region has entered a period of unprecedented turmoil.   Rwanda experienced genocide in which 800,000 people (10% of the population) were killed in less than 100 days. Many of the pastors (between 70% and 80%)   were among the killed.   Following the genocide in Rwanda, the Democratic republic of Congo was shaken by a frenzy civil war  that cost life to more than 5 million people. Burundi went through similar experience. Many Rwandese, Burundians and Congolese who survived went to refugee camps where they still live today. One such camp is Dzaleka in Malawi.  Exodus Vision has been sending teams to Africa several times in a an attempt to minister to the least of God's people,  the forgotten, the last and the lost . We are planning to go back again this summer.

 

Exodus Vision is a mission organization that God led us to start in response to the turmoil   churches in central Africa went through.  We started off by serving African churches in sub-Saharan diaspora but we have extended our work to indigenous churches operating in rural areas. Our work consists of training pastors, providing for basic needs (water wells; micro businesses; providing money so that an orphanage can be build). For the last 5 years, our focus has been on Malawi a country where the person lives on less than $1 per day and yet hosts about 10,000 refugees from Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.

 

This summer we are planning a trip to Malawi from July 19 through August 2 to do a pastoral conference and retreat as well as work with local churches, and provide money for basic needs. Four men will be going from the USA to Malawi to do this work, and I am one of them. We will invite about 30 pastors to this conference, from rural areas of Malawi and pastors from  Dzaleka refugee camp. We have been in Malawi doing this work for about 5 years now and see wonderful results. We see greater unity among the churches and people from different cultures. We see pastors growing in the Lord, many of whom did not have any pastoral training. We have also seen several micro businesses develop, a church running a small bakery, another church involved with the honey industry after we provided money for beehives. One church is building an orphanage in the refugee camp. We will do a special Bible study on forgiveness and reconciliation   and church unity during this conference.

 

Please pray for us. If you feel lead to be involved financially, please donate money to Exodus Vision, P.O. Box 967, Sun Valley, CA. 91353 or donate online through exodusvision.com. If you like to donate for some specific issue you can also do that. Just write in the memo what you like to support. You could donate to support one of us (travel cost is about $2300 each plus room and board) or for the pastor's conference. Exodus wants to pay for the pastors, their travel, stay, meals and supplies (about $6000). Exodus Vision wants to make donations to several churches that help us organize the conferences (about $2000).

 

May the Lord bless you as partner with us for this great cause.

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, president and founder

 

April 2013 EXODUS VOICE

Exodus Mission and Objectives

 

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

The damage of civil wars, epidemic diseases and ill past in the African great region has caused many to live a hopeless life. Many African brothers and sisters are confined in a cage of status quo that they think nothing can change. We believe that God has heard the cry and seen the bondage of his people and He promised that He is coming to rescue them as he did to the Israelites many years ago (Exodus 3:7-8).  We believe that our African brothers and sisters are not doomed to stay where they are. There is a new place for them, there is a hope and future that God intends to give them.

 

Evangelism

Exodus Vision is committed to work alongside church leaders from different churches in the African great region, particularly those reaching out to rural areas and refugee camps. We support evangelism by training church leaders, through pastoral care, sending teams to Africa and partnering with faithful and dedicated servants of God on the mission field.     

 

Education

 Exodus Vision is committed to building and shaping a new generation of people.  We focus on sponsoring and giving hope to orphans and other needy kids who have been confined in a cage of despair and ignorance, because they think they can't make it. The African youth constitutes a tremendous treasure for the future of African nations.   Our goal is to educate the body, mind, soul and spirit   by working with and through local churches

 

Economic development

We believe in using our own hands to promote God's kingdom instead of being dependent on the brethren. In that regards Exodus Vision encourages African churches to initiate projects that will help them know how to catch a fish for themselves instead of expecting to be fed by others. We want to see more African churches not only supporting themselves but also sending forth their own evangelists from one region to another.    

 

 Sincerely in Christ,

 Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President

 

 

 

EXODUS VISION UPDATE

January 26, 2013

 

WHERE THERE IS A CHURCH THERE IS HOPE

 Some people often ask me why we chose to work with and through churches. The people we are trying to reach have internal wounds and scars for what happened to them. In fact, some are still bleeding. Many of them are angry and bitter.  They need healing and a holistic transformation. They need peace that the world cannot offer. At Exodus Vision,we believe the Church has historically played an important role in addressing those needs.   I like to tell people that where there is a church, there is hope.

 

I have witnessed a drastic difference between kids who attend a church and those outside the church in 2008 while visiting a refugee camp for the first time in Malawi. The signs of kids outside the church were seen from the top of their head to the sole of their feet. They were hopeless, unclean, traumatized and displayed desperate needs. On the other hand, kids inside the church were clean, smiling, well clothed and hopeful. 

When a church is effectively equipped and honestly managed, it can provide a complete transformation. By complete, I mean holistic- spiritually, emotionally and physically.  There are some examples in Africa where healthy churches lead to amazing acts of transformation. The signs that will tell you that a church is thriving in an African village are easily noticed:  where you see a church, you see a school, a clinic and a project helping people to help themselves. This approach is not to be confused with the prosperity gospel that teaches people to name it and claim it.   

 In that sense, True evangelism should be holistic:  First and foremost, it should focus on the spirit, for "What will it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but destroys or forfeits his own life?" (Luke 9:25). Second, evangelism  should focus on the mind and the body,  because our Lord Jesus went through towns and villages not only preaching the Good News and teaching people how to live but also feeding and healing people (Matthew 9:35; see also chapters  5; 6 & 14).

 

The apostle Paul emphasized the role of hard work in his epistle to the Thessalonians (See 1 Thess.  2: 8-9; 2 Thess.  3: 10-12), and his letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:13) and Titus (Titus 2:5). While there might be other ways to help the least of God's people, Exodus Vision chose to work with and through churches because we believe that the church is the hope of today's society.   Our vision is to prepare an army of pastors who can bring a holistic transformation into their congregation and reproduce themselves by sending missionaries from one country to another.

 Prayerfully consider how you and your church can become involved with Exodus Vision as it reaches across international borders.  You can bring a Vision to spiritually trapped and enslaved peoples, helping them find an Exodus to a bright and shining rebirth.  The Lord of the Harvest said, "as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to Me."  Come join Exodus Vision today as it extends its hand to some of the "least" who have suffered the "most."  For more information, please contact Exodus Vision atexodusvision@yahoo.com or at (818) 504-6297.

Join us we train pastors in Malawi this Summer. More information to follow soon

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

EXODUS VOICE :  Mission Report

September 27, 2012

 

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

We have just returned from our two and a half week ministry in Burundi and Rwanda. Our team was comprised of 12 people mainly from Exodus Vision and Global Teaching Network.   In Burundi, we trained over one hundred people including several pastors, women, and children's pastors from different denominations.  Our training went from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and was often followed by visiting and preaching at different churches. Our hosting church was led by Pastor Emmanuel, a young man in his 30's who leads a congregation of about 800 young people.

 During break time, we enjoyed the fellowship and connection with pastors at a personal level. While in Burundi, we visited the Heritage Christian TV station and had four of our team members teach at the Heritage studio. Except for three of us who got stomach upset, the ministry in Burundi went well.  Before our departure to Rwanda, my friend Emmanuel Nkusi who owns a business in the capital city took us to Lake Tanganyika and treated us for a delightful dinner.  Our plan was to travel to Rwanda by bus and enjoy the sight-seeing for 6 hours. However, after being warned that traveling by bus in Burundi countryside wasn't that safe, we decided to fly to Rwanda.

The flight to Rwanda was 25 minutes. It was my first time to go to Rwanda after 18 years since the 1994 genocide. In Rwanda, we trained over 150 people (100 in Kigali city, and 52 in Kabuga, 25 minutes from Kigali). Those trained included church leaders, women, and children's pastors, all from the Rwandan Pentecostal church. Three of the team members taught at theological school in the evening and the rest of the team did the training at the guest house where we were staying.

 

When I was blessed to be relieved of translation duties, I took an opportunity to visit and share the Word at a couple of churches during the day. One of the churches I visited in Gakinjiro hosted about 2,000 people who meet every Tuesday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The other church I visited in Mulindi had about 1,000 people who were meeting  in what looked like a tent  to fast and pray for 3 days.  I was told that there were other meetings like this in Kigali city.  It seems like there is an unusual hunger and thirst for God in Rwanda. The church is growing rapidly but several pastors remain untrained, which is a big concern for our ministry.

 

One of the highlights of this trip was the visit of the EV site in Gikongoro.  This area is part of the Southern province of Rwanda where Exodus Vision is planning to build a training/retreat  center. The location is 92 miles from the capital city. It is in the hilly side of the region (over 6,000 feet), overlooking the mountain chain geographically known as Crete-Zaire Nil, where the Nile River finds its early beginning. The EV training center is meant to serve churches away from the capital city and hopefully accommodate pastors from Bukavu (Eastern Congo) and Ngozi (northern Burundi). Those cities are each a 2- hours of drive to the site. We explored the property where the center will be built, and visited a nearby Anglican church, just  one block from  the house I grew up in. This is the church where I got saved at the age of 12 before I joined the Pentecostal church at the age of 15.

 

While in Rwanda, I had a special moment to greet and visit with some relatives and old folks I hadn't seen for the last 18 years and took several pictures with them.   Before the end of our day in Gikongoro, we had a pleasant visit with the Anglican bishop who welcomed us by having me read a Bible verse from the book of Romans.  The following day while in Gikongoro, we worshipped at two different Pentecostal churches.  One of those churches, Nzega is where I grew up as a young Christian. I was pleased to recognize three people from my generation. One lady called Penina in her 70's hugged me at least three times, still not believing it was me. The other old fellow I connected with in Kigali we used to call "Methu" couldn't let go of my hand, saying nothing but "it's impossible", meaning he couldn't believe his eyes. While it was a good time to reconnect with some friends, it was also emotionally hard not to find many people I used to see, either because they died during the genocide or were scattered in different corners of the world.

 

Overall, I was impressed by how fast the country is developing, especially in the capital city and how fast the body of Christ is growing. I left Rwanda with a challenge to equip more shepherds that would take care of the rapidly growing flock. This is exactly the challenge that   churches in Rwanda and Burundi are facing, and I think it's a good challenge.  Thank you again and again for stepping in and supporting the mission God has given us as a ministry- equipping African churches for Evangelism, education, and economic development.

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President

 

 

 

 

 EXODUS VOICE  Summer 2012: Pastoral Training in Rwanda and Burundi 

 

July 23- August 8, 2012

 

Dear friend of Exodus Vision,

 

I happened to write this message on my birthday. Ironically,  the month I was born is the same month I was scheduled to die, eighteen years ago.  Those of you who heard me share my testimony, this is the month when the country of Rwanda lost the biggest number of people (nearly one million) in the shortest period (less than 90 days). I walked half way to the grave, and telling you how I made it is a whole another story. Every  April 12th, I celebrate the fact that God graciously extended  few days to my life.  In 1994, 70% of  Rwandan church leaders either died of fled the country.  

 

The neighboring Burundi experienced similar tragedy in 1970's. Today, it is estimated that 80% of pastors in Rwanda and Burundi don't have formal training. While churches are multiplying at a high rate in both countries, the level of training remains ridiculously low. You can understand why the church in Africa,   and particularly in those two countries, has been rightly referred to as "a mile wide but an inch long".

 Due to this urgent need in pastoral training in Rwanda and Burundi, Exodus Vision is partnering with GTN [Global Teaching Network] this summer to train at least 100 pastors in each country.  In addition to pastoral training, some our team members will be teaching at a Bible school while others will be training children's teachers and women, who once trained, will train others. The beauty of this training is an exponential effect that would spread from the epicenter to the neighboring churches and other African regions.

 

I am blessed to go with a team of 10 people for a two-weeks training in Rwanda and Burundi.  To me, this trip is mixed with both excitement and emotions as I haven't been in Rwanda since 1994. You can imagine how it would feel to go back home after 18 years. At the same time, I am excited for the opportunity of pastoral training in those two countries.  I need your support to raise $3,500 for personal air ticket and stay expenses, and $ 10, 000 for Exodus Vision to cover meals for pastors, their local transport to the training location, and other training expenses.  The cost per pastor will be about $100 per pastor without counting my air  ticket expenses.  You may choose to sponsor one pastor for the whole training for $100, take care of his meal ($ 25 for a week) or cover one pastor's bus fare to the training location ($5).

 In case you live in Santa Clarita area, two of our board members- Lori and john Burris, are hosting an open house to thank the friends of Exodus Vision on Sunday, April 15 from 12:30 PM  to 3:30 PM. The address is 15628 Saul Court Canyon Country, CA 91387; ph.661-252-8726. Feel free to come and join us.

 God bless you as consider praying and /or giving financially. In case you choose to give financially, feel free to write a check to Exodus Vision. Remember all donations you give are tax-deductible.  Pray for me to be emotionally strong during this trip, and for our team to display God's splendor during this whole training.

 

Sincerely in Christ

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President

 

 

 

EXODUS VOICE: June 2, 2011  

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

On behalf of the Exodus Vision board,  I would like to thank you for your sacrificial giving and faithful prayers as we continue to prepare for our Malawi trip.  These last two months have been busy with two fundraisers, meetings and putting together teaching materials.

I received a list of 55 pastors who are already registered for our pastoral training. We are expecting 60 pastors in total.  The busiest time will be Friday, August 5,   when we have pastors come with their spouses for teaching on marriage.  We are expecting about 80 people on that day.

 In addition to training pastors, a couple of our team members, Dr. Miller and Pastor Julie will be teaching the youth in the refugee camp.  Pastor Bosco, our partner in Malawi told me that we should expect 240 teenagers including those coming from outside the camp.  I am working with him to minimize that number to at least 100.  There is a plenty harvest and more need than we are able to handle.

 Let me pose and say that God has been faithful to us: We have about $ 14,000 for this summer training. This is an incredible blessing considering the impact our team will have in Malawi this summer. Given the number of couples to be trained on August 5, an unanticipated number of teenagers, and gifts we are planning to give to a couple of churches partnering with us in Malawi, we need to raise another $4,000 by July.

 Again, thank you for your obedience to the Lord in giving to his work in Africa. Remember, our principle is "what comes in goes out into ministry".  I know we are living in hard financial times, but I also realize that we are living in amazing opportunities to give for a plenty harvest in Malawi and throughout Africa.  Thus, I would unashamedly ask that you continue supporting us financially and/or prayerfully  for the following: 

 

Travel mercies:  We are sending a team of 5 people and a sister from Belgium. It takes $50 to train one pastor a day, and $500 to train one pastor in 10 days.

Pray for Anne as she joins the Global Teaching Network, GTN-our ministry partner, next summer to minister to women in Rwanda.

Pray for our faithful board members as they continue to sacrificially serve the mission of Exodus Vision.

Pray for Faustin as he translates the teaching materials and continues to translate the New Testament Life Application Bible commentary (the book of John) in Kinyarwanda.

 

Sincerely in Him,

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

 Exodus Vision, president

 

 I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering (Exodus 3:7, NLT)

 

EXODUS VOICE NOVEMBER 13, 2010

 

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

 

Greetings in the name of our Lord! Last summer our team had a privilege of training 32 pastors from 12 different churches and with total number 12,886 church members in Malawi, Africa.    While numbers are not the ultimate goal in our ministry, I am so grateful to watch how God is using you and me to have an eternal   impact on so many lives.

 Upon the completion of our pastoral training, we asked 32 pastors to give us some feedback.  Our team received several requests to come back next year, bring Bible resources, and do extended trainings. After seeing what God did in our August training, one of the attending pastors scheduled a similar training at his church, right after our departure on August 12.  Other pastors left with an excitement to implement Bible study in small groups, in their congregations.

I know we are living in a hard financial times, but I also realize that we are living in amazing opportunities to give for a plenty harvest in Malawi and throughout Africa.  As you celebrate your thanksgiving and holiday season this year, I would appreciate if you could consider supporting us prayerfully and/or financially for the following: 

1)      We are sending a team of 5 people to train about 50 pastors in Malawi from August 2- August 14: It takes $500 to train one pastor in 10 days.

2)      Pray for Anne as she joins the Global Teaching Network, GTN-our ministry partner, next summer to minister to women in Rwanda.

3)      Pray for our faithful board members as they continue to sacrificially  serve the mission of Exodus Vision

4)      Pray for Faustin as he undertakes the long project of translating the New Testament Life Application Bible commentary (the book of John) in Kinyarwanda.

 

Sincerely in Him,

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President

 

 

November 1, 2010

 

Exodus Vision: Hear Pastors in their own words !!!!       

 

Dear Exodus Vision partner,

I am glad to share some feed back from our pastoral training (I apologize for a few of you who are receiving this report for the second time). Among other things, the pastors were asked to share how the training personally impacted them and their ministry. Here is what they had to say:

  • This pastoral training personally helped me know how to prepare the sermon,  study in Sunday small groups and help other people grow in the Word of God (Ngendahayo Zukwa)

  • It has changed my pastoral work.... It has turned me into a soul  winner  (anonymous from Redeemed Christian church)

  • I have received effective knowledge on reaching out to Jehovah's Witnesses; choosing leaders to assist  me in ministry,  and studying in small groups  (anonymous from Dzaleka Anglican Church )

  • This has helped  me in church planting  and inspired me for future vision ( from Living Hope ministries)

  • My Bible study and meditation has been renewed ( from Anglican church)

  • The impact has been great. I am not the same anymore (Living  Water Church)

  • I gained skills for doing  Bible study ; was exposed to different areas on how to interpret the Bible ; got to know other churches and how they operate (Evangelical Lutheran church of Tanzania)

  • I have learned a lot that will help me help others ( Jean de Dieu Uwimana, Pentecostal  Church)

  • I have learned  the difference between "teach" and "preach" ; got more knowledge about teaching others the Bible; how to prepare a lesson and teach the Bible in small groups (Anglican church)

  • Now we know about Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims and Habakkuk etc...(Pentecostal church)

  • This training has increased my desire to study the Word of God,  and I  love it more ( Living Water Church)

  • This training taught me other things I never knew in the Bible, I made friendship with leaders from other churches  (Augustine, Pentecostal Church)

  • I now understand how to  do  small groups ( Pastor John  Ngwira, Kingdom Gospel Church)

  • It has taken me deep in Christianity (Pentecostal church)

  • I did not read the book of Mark very often or preach from it, but now I understand it and love it more than I used to (Baptist church).

  • I have learned more about the Holy Spirit and how He leads people through the Word of God. I have also learned how to teach people in small groups; Meeting with people from other churches helps us build unity and gain wisdom ( Anglican Church)

  • The training helped me personally. It will help my congregation  ( Pentecostal Philadelphia Evangelical Church)

  • The training will help my teaching, preaching and preparing my lesson ( Pentecostal Philadelphia Evangelical Church)

  • This training will help me in preaching the Gospel because I got to understand things I did not understand before. As a result, I will help the church BUT God will enable me (Jerome, Pentecostal church)

  • ·         I got to learn things I didn't know such as such as looking for the words " BUT"  and "AND"- I now understand what   this means ( Anglican church)

  • I was impacted in the following areas: How to lead a church under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, How to prepare and teach a Bible lesson; How to observe, explain a Biblical passage in order to help people achieve given objectives; How to work in small groups; build relationship with other churches; and reach out to the Cults (Pentecostal Philadelphia Evangelical Church).

  • I discovered how to study a Bible book using other resources and some teaching doctrines; I learned about the doctrine of Islam and Jehovah's Witnesses and how to reach out to them (Baptist church).

  • Studying in small group helps every group member share his ideas and meditate on God's Word. It also enhances  the teacher's research in God's word  as the disciples share different ideas because of the Holy Spirit indwelling them  (Nzeyimana Pascal,  Pentecostal Church )

  • This training increased my knowledge in preaching; It taught me how to work in unity to advance God's word. It helped us understand how  false doctrines came to be (Mushime Sam, Pentecostal Church)

  • I learned how to use a small group in preparing fellow leaders ; how to teach and preach from the Word of God using other resources; How to reach out to Jehovah's Witnesses (Pentecostal Church)

  • I learned that there are people who make sacrifice for the work of God. Seeing the money you spent on this seminar encouraged me love and serve God. I learned how to meditate on God's word before teaching. I also learned how I can help others in small groups (Pentecostal community Swedish).

  • The training especially helped me understand  the Gospel of Mark, read Bible thoughtfully, and deepened my understating of Jesus as the only way ( Anglican)

  • I was happy to know the doctrines of Islam and Jehovah's Witnesses; how to prepare a Bible lesson. I understood the book of Mark ( Philadelphia Pentecostal Church)

  • I learned the gospel of Mark; how to communicate with Muslims... ( anonymous)

  • I learned studying in small groups with different people ( anonymous)

 

 

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

 Exodus Vision, president

 

Exodus Voice: Malawi Pastoral Training Report:  August  2010

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

 Our first training session began on Tuesday, August 3, at 9 am in the conference room at Longonot Lodge in Lilongwe.  Our Exodus Vision team consisted of our leader and translator, Faustin Uzabakiliho, and four others; Gerard VanHeijzen, Dr. Richard Leyda, Frieda (Faustin's sister) and Jack Hardgrave.

Faustin, Gerard and Jack are all teachers at Village Christian High School and Richard is a professor at Biola University/Talbot Seminary.  Frieda came to us from her home in Belgium.

We provided eight days of training at the conference room at Longonot Lodge in Lilongwe.  These training sessions usually went from 8:30 am to 12:30 or 1:00 pm.  These morning sessions involved training in How to Study the Bible by Dr. Leyda and lessons in basic theology by Gerard VanHeijzen. Three afternoons, we also did an afternoon session on small groups and inductive Bible study led by Jack Hardgrave.

These training sessions were attended by 30 pastors and church leaders from churches in Southern Malawi and two pastors from Tanzania. Many of these live and minister in Dzaleka Refugee Camp which is a 50-minute drive from Longonot Lodge.  We provided two vans with drivers to bring the leaders from Dzaleka and from various parts of Lilongwe each day and then to return them in the afternoon.  Several others came via local buses.

 These leaders represent a variety of denominations including Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Anglican and others. They serve a total of 54 congregations with one or two of these congregations numbering in the thousands.  We were truly honored to serve these awesome Christian brothers and sisters by providing this training.

One of Exodus Vision's goals was to provide this training event completely free, including their transportation and two meals each day.  We also provided 50-page booklets containing the training outlines in English and Kinyarwanda.  These booklets were compiled and translated prior to our trip.   At the end of the two-week seminar, we provided them with Certificates of Completion.

There was a sense of great excitement and anticipation each morning as the vans arrived at Longonot and the church leaders began piling out.  We began each morning with singing some worship songs and then after an opening prayer, the seminars began.   

One of the amazing occurrences was to see them work in small groups across denominational lines.  They searched the scriptures and worked well together in these groups of 6 to 10 students.  On the last day, Gerard challenged them to be unified as the Body of Christ.  They seemed to enjoy their fellowship among the various denominational groupings and we pray that this unity that they experienced during the conference will continue to strengthen.

Each day after the morning lessons, our cooking team, led by Frieda, fed a delicious hot lunch to all the participants.  All the "lunches" were prepared from scratch and were a delight to all. Often, because of power outages, they were cooked on charcoal fires.  When the pastors left each day, we also gave them a stipend to provide their evening meal.   

Richard used the Gospel of Mark as his teaching tool for the various Bible-study techniques he covered.  These included studying what the text says, looking at the context, discovering what the text meant to its original audience and to us, and finally applying its teaching to us.  On the last day of the training, he gave each church one or two commentaries of the Gospel of Mark.  We also gave them a laminated sheet with an outline of the various methods we taught.  We are hopeful that they will continue pursuing a serious study of the Bible using these methods and tools, and that this study by these leaders will continue to strengthen the Church in that area.

 Gerard provided a careful study of each of several of the foundational doctrines of our faith.  These included a study of each person of the Trinity, sin and salvation and a discussion of Islam and Jehovah's Witnesses.   There were some lively discussions involving some of these subjects, all with a great spirit of learning.

Jack handled the afternoon sessions which involved teaching on the use of small groups and an inductive study of the book of Habakkuk.  This book brought out some pretty deep discussions involving God's judgment and the wars that many of these dear saints have witnessed.

We visited several of the churches during our stay including the Rwandan Pentecostal, Anglican, Burundian and Congolese congregations in Dzaleka Camp.  We also attended the Sunday service at the Pentecostal Church in Lilongwe.  These times of worshiping with our fellow believers were a profound blessing to all of us as we sensed their deep joy and dedication to serving Jesus.  Their unique worship, which involves many choirs and much dancing, was a blessing to all of us.

We were invited to witness a wedding at the Anglican Church in Dzaleka Camp.  That event happened on Saturday and we also went to the reception which followed.  The wedding was delayed about two hours as the bride and groom were in Lilongwe getting ready.  Gerard preached a sermon during the combination worship/wedding service.   The groom was Faustin and Frieda's nephew who, with his new bride, live in Dzaleka Camp next door to the groom's father.

 

We were invited to witness a wedding at the Anglican Church in Dzaleka Camp.  That event happened on Saturday and we also went to the reception which followed.  The wedding was delayed about two hours as the bride and groom were in Lilongwe getting ready.  Gerard preached a sermon during the combination worship/wedding service.   The groom was Faustin and Frieda's nephew who, with his new bride, live in Dzaleka Camp next door to the groom's father.

The reception was especially memorable since there were scores of non-guests trying to force their way into the reception hall to join the dinner and ceremony.  In addition, the power went out during the reception, throwing us into total darkness for about 30 minutes before candles were lit and we were able to see again.  It was an amazing experience to be part of this important, joyful life event happening in a refugee camp among survivors of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.

Richard became very ill over the weekend of the wedding and we took him to the African Bible College Community Clinic in Lilongwe on Monday morning.  He had a violent reaction to the Malaria medication he was taking and had to remain in the hospital overnight to receive IV's of hydration and medication. He returned on Tuesday and began teaching again on Wednesday.  Our students were very concerned about him and were excited to have him return to continue his teaching.  We were so blessed by the care that Richard received at the Clinic and were delighted to have him rejoin the team.

We all left this 2-week course sensing that God had used us in a very special way to help strengthen the Greater Church Body in Malawi.   Thank you to all who prayed for us and to those who gave that we might be able to serve this special group of God's servants.  We are truly blessed. 

 

Thank you  for your  faithful prayers and continual support.

 

Sincerely,

 Jack Hardgrave

Exodus Vision

 

 

 

Exodus Voice : December 5, 2009

OUR VALUES

 

  • We believe that love is the ultimate fruit for all Christians.  Based on 1 Corinthians 13, we see love as the greatest Christian virtue that will never have an end.   We also acknowledge the love for God and the love for one's neighbor as the greatest commandments given by our Lord. According  to  John 13:35, it is by the acts of love that the people in the great lakes region of Africa, and in the entire  African continent at large will be know as Jesus' disciples, if they love one another. 

 

  • We believe that God has given us the ministry of Reconciliation after reconciling himself to us (2 Corinthians 5:18).  We   endorse the reconciliation with God through sincere repentance and the reconciliation with one's neighbor by humbly asking forgiveness and unconditionally forgiving others many times.

 

  • We believe in the liberating power of forgiveness. The unmerited forgiveness of our sins by our Lord compels us to forgive those who have hurt us. "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:13-15).

 

  • We believe that God's good plans for the nations involve the restoration of hope and   future for his people. " For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). This hope is not in the finite prosperity but something greater than what one can ask or imagine.

 

  • We believe that the true wisdom is grounded in the fear of the Lord and that without knowledge people perish. It is Exodus Vision's objective to foster a system of education that is God-centered, a school environment where faith and reason will find a place in the curriculum. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10; Hosea 4:6).

  • We believe that aliens, orphans and widows have a special place in God's sight. The Exodus Vision will spare no efforts to do exactly what God's intention is for refugees, orphans and widows victimized by the civil war. "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt" (Exodus 22:21).  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling" (Psalm 68:5).

  • We believe in using our own hands to promote God's kingdom in lieu of being dependent upon and burdensome towards the brethren. Exodus Vision will encourage churches to start projects that will help them know how to catch a fish for themselves instead of being continually fed by others. "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

 

  • We believe that God's promises to take his people out of bondage into the Promised Land are yes. Based on those promises Exodus Vision was entirely conceived as a mere vehicle carried by God himself and with the sole purpose to glorify God. The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering" (Exodus 3:7).

 

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God" (2 Corinthians 1:20).

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho

For Exodus Vision

 

 

Exodus Voice November 30, 2009 - 10:50 am

 

Dear friend,

 

Greetings in the name of our Lord !

 As I mentioned in our last newsletter, our last summer visit in Malawi was a great blessing. All our Malawi team members have good memories about the trip and the relationship with Churches in Malawi and Exodus Vision grew stronger. Thank you for giving and praying for us.

One of the many needs we identified while in Malawi was pastoral training.  We are planning to have a 14-day pastoral training during the first two weeks of August 2010.  The areas of training shall include soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), the study of cults and principles of pastoral leadership. We need to raise $15,000 to train 30 church leaders for two weeks. If those church leaders went to a local three-year seminary for training, it would cost them $9,000 per person to finish the program. The next summer trip will also be an opportunity to follow up on the projects going on at our church partners- the Anglican and Pentecostal church.

 As some people would argue, the ideal should be to send money to those churches and have them take care of their needs. However, I believe that going and ministering hand in hand with sister churches in Africa makes a big difference. While money alone can't solve problems, our physical presence in Africa gives an opportunity to build partnership and friendship and touch lives for eternity. Ultimately, it is God who makes all the difference as we choose to go in obedience.

 

Besides pastoral training, our church partners in Africa recently sent usupdate about the ongoing projects.  The bakery project we supported early this year is doing well. They bake twice a month but need capital of $720 to make more bread.  The needs for women projects at the Anglican Church include sowing machine and buying sewing materials that would cost $680. Pastor Thomas has a vision of building an orphanage that would cost $2507.

 The Pentecostal church in Lilongwe continues to reach out to Malawi nationals. According to pastor Bosco - the senior pastor, the congregation will start building a new church before the end of this year. The estimated cost of the church building is $80,000. The church has raised half of that money and they want to move in faith and start building.

 The   Sumba Bible School in Rwanda opened in 2008. At the beginning of 2009, it was planned to have 60 students. But only 30 out of 37 initially enrolled were able to continue due to financial hardship. According to pastor Come writing from Rwanda, Sumba Bible School is planning to increase the enrollment up to 50 students in regular classes and train 30 more pastors who are working in private and public sectors through distance learning.

God bless you as you continue to pray and give to the mission of Exodus Vision- equipping churches for Evangelism, Education and Economic development.

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho

For Exodus Vision

 

 

 

Wishing you the best of everything always.

 

Dear Exodus Vision friend,

 

 "The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy (Psalm 126:3).With your prayers and financial support, we have built a bakery and sponsored a chicken project in refugee camp to help feed the orphans; we placed 70 beehives in Eastern Malawi to generate income that would go on nursery school and church administration; we built wells to provide clean water in villages of Malawi; we supplied projectors to show Jesus' film and train pastors; and we recently extended our pastoral  training to Zambia. The more we travel to Africa, the more the Lord opens doors of opportunity and things we should focus on.

 

We are so thankful to have established solid contacts with 30 pastors in Malawi. After five years of training these dear pastors, we came to realize that we can't just train the minds while ignoring their physical needs. These pastors work in a country where the average income is less than a dollar per day. They do not receive salaries and they are wholeheartedly dedicated to the ministry.  We are planning to provide a cow or a cow- equivalent as one time gift to each pastor, in the amount of $400.00. According to pastors, a cow would be the best long term investment that would help meet their physical needs. We believe that churches are agents for spiritual and social transformation.  Time after time, we have seen oases of real joy, hope, peace and wholeness in every community that has a healthy church. I mean, there are no greater returns than investing in faithful pastors such as the ones the Lord brought to us in the country of Malawi. Giving a cow to one pastor is likely a life-changing donation you can ever give this year.

 

Second, we are planning to send Bibles in Kinyarwanda, Kirundi and Swahili to refugee camps in Malawi and Zambia through local Bible societies.  Following the conversation I had with some pastors last summer, it occurred to me that many Christian refugees living in Malawi and Zambia don't have a Bible in their language. There are no Christian bookstores that sell books in their language and many young people who were born in those countries are crying out for a Bible. The Bibles will be printed in Korea and shipped to Malawi and Zambia. We have more than 1,000 people who need Bibles. The price per Bible is less than 10 dollars, including shipping. How would you like to send a Bible, as Christmas gift, to a person who is crying and fasting for it?

 

Last but not least, the Lord recently blessed us with the funds to help one church start an orphanage in a Malawi refugee camp.  The church will commit to take care of only 10 orphans out of 480 orphans in the refugee camp. The housing is already finished and we are about to send money for blankets and beds. However, the church will need $300 monthly support to keep the orphanage running ($30 per child:  With 1$ per day, you can help one orphan). We are planning to have another trip next summer and deliver the pastoral gifts, follow up on Zambia's request for pastoral training, as well as get a closer look at other projects the Lord is doing through Exodus Vision.    

 

Thank you for joining hands with us as we continue to pursue God's direction in empowering African churches.

 

Sincerely in Him,

  

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President 

 

 

 

 

SUMMER 2014 UPDATE

Dear Exodus Vision friend,
 

The Lord's faithfulness endures forever, and His compassions are new every morning:  We experienced that truth again during our last mission trip in Malawi and Zambia. We had a privilege to spend some time with 30 pastors in Malawi from rural area and Dzaleka refugee camp. Our team consisted of 5 people: Four from US and one from Rwanda. Our goal in Malawi was to provide an atmosphere of retreat and spiritual growth as we taught about church unity, forgiveness and the role of the Holy Spirit. Half of our pastors in Malawi spoke Chichewa and the other half were primarily Kinyarwanda and Kirundi-speaking pastors.  We had morning worship and evening worship with both groups and split into two groups during daytime teaching.  During our last night in Malawi, we asked if there was anybody who was willing to respond to the teaching we had during the week. The Lord moved the hearts of several pastors to share how God dealt with them on the issue of unity and forgiveness, and I will only share a few of them.  

 

A Burundian pastor stood up and shared that his parents were killed in 1972. After the teaching on forgiveness, he stated that he forgave those people. Another Malawian pastor in his early 70's asked prayers for his church on the issue of forgiveness. He confessed that there is lack of unity in Malawian churches and asked that we pray for love and unity in Malawian churches. Still another Rwandan pastor confessed that he had been wrestling with the issue of unforgiveness for a long time. At the end of our conference,   he was convinced that he did not have to hold onto the wounds he had been carrying for the last 20 years. He knelt down and asked for prayers. Pastor Pascal was planning to sue a farmer who had robbed him 12, 0000 Kwachas, an equivalent of about $25 dollars. After our conference, he decided to go to him and tell him that he cancelled his debt. It went on and on and on...


 From Malawi, we flew to Zambia, where we were welcomed by Pastor Athanase, Pastor Martin and Bishop Yesaya. All those pastors have churches in the midst of big slums, about 25 minutes of drive from Lusaka downtown. Just by the location of their churches, you can tell that the church is the only light and hope of Zambia. According to Bishop Yesaya and other attendants, Zambia needs more training. The 25 pastors we trained in Zambia were kind of a drop in the sea. At the end of our training, they invited us to come back again and train 100 pastors.  Some pastors in Zambia suggested that we increase the training period (from three days to five days). They pointed out that we can definitely partner in the area of Evangelism, especially using the Jesus Film projector we introduced to them.  A couple of pastors recommended having a Bible training school or a Training center in southern part of Africa, because there is a need of more Biblically equipped pastors. "After attending such type of training, you can never be the same", said Regina Zulu, a Zambian pastor who attended our Lusaka conference. As I am reflecting back on what the Lord did through our team in Zambia this summer, I feel a strong Macedonian call to go back.   

 

From the experience we had this summer in Malawi and Zambia, I came back convinced that unity is possible between pastors from different denominations and language background. Pastors from Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi blended really well: There was no wall of separation between Chichewa- speaking and Rwandan or Burundian pastors. It was beautiful to watch them as they took turns in worship and taught songs to each other. The conference proximity to Lake Malawi provided an opportunity for morning walk and a heart to heart conversation with some pastors.  Pastor Moses was often caught serving all pastors regardless their language or denominational background. He made sure that those who were on special diet had special meals. What a servant-leader!

 

On the side note, I had a privilege to meet with Pastor Sempinga Marcel and Pastor Pierre Rukara who used to live at Maheba refugee camp. Maheba is a refugee camp at about 650 Km from Lusaka. The camp is located at 75 km from Solwezi, the Provincial Headquarters of the North-Western Zambian Province. According to the UNHCR, the camp hosts about 15,000 refugees. As we were having meal, Marcel told me that people in that camp walked from Rwanda, crossed the Democratic Republic of Congo into Angola, and made it to Zambia (about 1500 miles). Today those refugees have increased in number like the children of Israel in Egypt, despite the hardship they have to endure daily. They are praying and fasting for a Bible.  

 

NOTE TO ALL OUR EXODUS VISION FRIENDS:  As you might recall, Anne and I were planning to relocate to Africa next year.  However, after some more thinking, praying and discussing with our board, it became clear that we will not be able to move to Africa next year as we were planning to.  We are waiting on God's timing and his leading in the future, regarding what He has for us in Africa. Meantime, we will continue to send teams every year through our US office till we get clear directions to do otherwise.His mercies are new every morning, and that's where we find our niche.

Thank you for your continual support to God's work in Africa. We value your friendship and support.

 

Faustin Uzabakiliho, Ph.D.

Exodus Vision, President   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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