It has been encouraging to see our partners continue to focus on fulfilling Matthew 28:19-20 – Jesus’ last command to his Church: to make disciples of all people groups. And this in spite of a global pandemic and many personal and family challenges. Several years ago Doug Friesen (President of CLIMB, Canadian partner of MCNet Intl.) and Phil Jeske wrote a discipleship guide (Discipling thru Intentional Relationships) that was designed to help walk a new believer through the basics of being a disciple of Jesus – from salvation to sanctification; basic spiritual disciplines to living a life of faith; a practical understanding of the believers relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as well as helping the disciple of Jesus understand and find their place in the body of Christ.
Since being translated into several languages, this resource has been used in various countries as a small group study, as well as a relational tool for a one-on-one relationship. Over ten years ago, Phil spent several years travelling to the Crimea (which was then part of Ukraine) and coaching Pastor Mikhail and his wife and their team. Once Crimea became part of Russia in 2014, and Phil was no longer granted a visa to Russia, travelling to this beautiful region along the Black Sea was no longer possible. However, Alexei, a coach in our Network (from Moscow), has been travelling to this region and watering the seeds that were first planted in this region by Phil some ten years ago.
Recently, Pastor Mikhail gathered five churches in his region and together they funded printing several hundred copies of these Discipleship Guides and Alexey joined them to launch this material in their churches. Our ministry recently received this email from Alexey,
Greetings from Sevastopol [Crimea].
I am here for three days to do another seminar on Discipleship and Mentoring (previous one I did in November for students of their Bible school and now they gathered pastoral teams of 5 churches. Mikhail, his bishop and leaders of four churches gathered because they see discipleship and mentoring as an important emphasis in their further churches development. The seeds that Phil planted 10 years ago were not fast to bring fruits, but presently it is happening!
It is really exciting to see the fruit of our labors and your prayers and support taking root in this region. Our ministry has also provided materials to Greg, a missionary in Kenya, who we introduced to you in the last Update. He had received our Mentoring (Mentoring thru Intentional Relationship) materials at a mission conference several years ago and had begun equipping his young leaders using these materials. He was interested in our other materials and so we sent him a digital copy of our Discipling materials for new believers. Recently he sent the following email to our office:
So, the mentoring process (Mentoring thru Intentional Relationships) is going awesome, as usual, with our leaders….every time it is so wonderful and we all learn a lot from one another.
On Saturday nights, we have been doing a Discovery Group ….for around a year we have been using some materials to do a course on character, which has been great and created full participation. It used biblical principles to teach good character and life skills, but does not use the bible directly. For some time I have not been totally thrilled with the fruit of what came out of it.
So last Saturday we began with your materials – Discipling through Intentional Relationships. It was so great….began in Chap 1.0 with Salvation and we separated into 3 groups with 21 attendees. Everyone participated so much and loved it and didn’t want it to end. Tonight will be our second kick at it and I’m excited for it. It’s a great format and it’s working so well for us. Thanks again bro!!
In love and appreciation
Greg (Seas of Life Missions Kenya)
Thank you for continuing to stand with us so that we can provide these materials to those serving the church around the world who may not otherwise have access to them or be able to afford them. Though providing these materials for free is not a great business plan….it is a great Kingdom plan! We are so grateful for how the Lord is using these materials to build his Church around the world. Your partnership makes this possible.