Browse Month: April 2012

Monday Musings 30/04/12

What do people say about you…?

I could not help but overhear two men talking on the plane as we were landing at London Heathrow late Saturday afternoon.

They were talking about a co-worker that they worked with in the medical field, speaking very highly of her personality and work ethic.  On the other hand, they spoke of a man, whether husband of this lady, or another co-worker, the story does not tell.  Although they did not speak derogatory of him, their words were not as positive.

It got me thinking.  Do you ever wonder what people say about you when you are many miles away from the conversation?  I suspect that somewhere in the world, someone is bringing up your or my name in the course of conversation.  What might they be saying?

Whether we like it or not, people are watching us and talking about us when we are not around.  It is not that we are looking for the approval of men, but it is a reminder that we should live in a way that when our name does come up in conversation, it will come up for positive reasons.  After listening in on the conversation between these two men, you knew that the one they were talking about was one you would be pleased to meet.  We should all desire to live in such a way!

Well, after a brief meeting with the cardboard Queen at Heathrow Airport, and wishing her a happy jubilee, it was off to Montreal.  We were greeted with a hug from our daughter at the airport and surprised by our son and daughter-in-law when we arrived home!  What a joy!  What a blessing! What a life! 

Until next Monday…

Don

Taking risks for Kingdom impact!

www.reinventingthechurch.com

Monday Musings – 25/04/12

Mission accomplished…

MJ and I return to Canada on Saturday after four months of ministry here in Zambia.

We came to Zambia in January with some specific goals in mind and will leave with a sense that the mission for this term has been accomplished.

Two hundred and thirty pastors/church leaders were trained in two different sets of seminars.  The comments have been humbling and overwhelming.  A pastor said:  “It has highly impacted me in that it has opened my spiritual awareness”. I quote a church leader who said:  “It has helped me to grow to another stage as a spiritual leader.  One denominational leader said:  “Immensely great tool …great organization”.   The thing that we hear over and over again is the thanks expressed for providing a forum to discuss challenges that are not being addressed in the nation.

There were two firsts accomplished during this term.  The first “Student Ministry Formation” at Trans-Africa Theological College (TTC).  Three Wednesday chapels were designated as student ministry formation days.  Following the chapel, four seasoned Zambian pastors mentored the student body in grade sensitive groups.  The biggest complaint from the students was that the time was too short.  Not a bad problem.

The second “first” was the development of the first ever Internet Café at TTC.  MJ and I just hired the first café employee from the student body at the college.  The students will return May 7th from spring break to a brand new internet café.  Our only regret is that we will not be here to experience the thrill of the first day.  It just means that we will have to have an official opening when we come back in August/September!

Finally, our second micro-enterprise project was launched yesterday.  A school for orphans and vulnerable children, started in the home of a lady in Kabwe, Zambia, has grown from five students to two-hundred and twenty-five.  The Kawama Church Women’s Club received a sewing machine and kit from RTC yesterday.  This project has two goals.  One, it will provide a sustainable business for the ladies of the sewing and knitting club. Secondly, they will use the machine to sew much-needed uniforms and jerseys for the pupils at Lufutuko Community School and other schools in the area.

We leave Zambia with a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.  We return to Canada to face a busy three months of ministry that will have us crisscrossing the nation speaking at camps, pastor’s conferences and conducting pastor/board seminars.  Already, we are preparing for our return to Zambia in August/September for another series of seminars that will include a trip to Uganda.  Can’t wait!!!

MJ and I look forward to seeing many of you upon our return to Canada.  Thank you for your ongoing readership support and the encouragement that you continue to pour out to us in so many ways!

Until next Monday (from Canada)…

Don

Taking risks for Kingdom impact!

www.reinventingthechurch.com

 

 

 

Monday Musings 16/04/12

Million kwacha smile…

I have no idea where the expression “a million dollar smile” comes from or what it means, but I can tell you what it looks like.

One million Zambian kwacha’s is the equivalent of two hundred Canadian dollars.  That was the cost of an internet modem that put the smile on the face of this student at Trans-Africa Theological College.  This past Friday, we did a trial test of the new Internet Café at TTC.  Nine of the ten computers were running simultaneously and the speed was absolutely incredible.  Maybe to those who have unlimited access to high speed internet, this perceived euphoria seems a little over the top, but in Zambia, a country ranked as the 184th worst country around the world for internet service out of 187, this means everything.

Last year’s dream of an internet café at the college became a reality this past week because of two churches in Montreal, Laval Christian Assembly and Trinity Pentecostal Church, who caught the vision and raised the funds for the project.  Ten computers came from a company in Montreal who donated the computers they were turning over.  Two brand new computers came from a family who wanted to do something in another part of the world instead of buying gifts for themselves last Christmas.  The pastor of Laval Christian Assembly and an IT specialist in his church gave a week out of their busy schedule, to come and set up the internet café. 

Today, the café is ready for the students return from their school break in two weeks time.  After a three month trial with the students, the café will be opened in September to the surrounding communities.  It will provide a service that does not presently exist in those communities on a campus where Jesus is the center of all we do.  That puts a “million dollar (five trillion Zambian kwacha) smile” on my face!!!!!

Until next Monday…

Don

Taking risks for Kingdom impact!

www.reinventingthechurch.com

 

Monday Musings 09/04/12

 Resurrected, regenerated, reinvented…

What a privilege it was for MJ and I to celebrate Resurrection Sunday in the Bread of Life International Church on the outskirts of Kitwe.  Pastor Jacob Ntuntu, a recent graduate of Trans-Africa Theological College, has watched the church grow by 100% in just over three years.  Over lunch, he shared with us how drunkards have been set free.  It is a reminder to me that even the grip of alcohol is no match for the resurrected power of Jesus Christ.

What a thrill for me to preach on the resurrected power of Jesus and witness six young men and women walk to the front of the church and accept Christ as their personal Saviour on Easter Sunday morning.  Following the service, the pastor told me that one of the young men who came forward was his neighbour who he had been inviting to church for some time.  Yesterday was his day to be regenerated by the power of the resurrected Christ.

What an opportunity I had last week to discover another way of illustrating the word reinvented.  For years, my old gold college ring has sat in a drawer at home.  MJ got the idea of bringing it to Zambia to have it melted down and formed into another ring.  I watched as within seconds a piece of my past was melted down and “reinvented” into a ring that now finds its new home on my wife’s right hand.

It is time that the church stop placing Jesus in a drawer, making Him a relic of the past through our traditions.  It is time that the church returns to the preaching of the resurrected power of Jesus Christ and watch as it regenerates lives on a daily basis.  It is time for the church to “reinvent” itself by melting down its traditions, taking Jesus out of the drawer, and putting Him back on display on the hands of the Church where He belongs.

Until next Monday…

Don

Taking risks for Kingdom impact!

Monday Musings 02/04/12

TTC “hot spot”…

The dream of having the first ever internet café on the grounds of Trans-Africa Theological College has become a reality!

Two churches in Montreal, Laval Christian Assembly and Trinity Church – Lasalle, raised the necessary funds for the project.  Pastor John Ippolito, and Jimmy Abraham (an IT specialist from LCA) caught the vision of coming to Zambia to set up the internet on the second floor of the Ministry Formation Center.

The “J” team, as they are now known,  took on a truly International flavour.  Jackson the electrician, Joseph the painter and John the IT guy at TTC prepared the way for John and Jimmy to come from Canada and complete the final installation. And just to make the “J” Team complete, José the decorator (my MJ) chose the colours.  Every team needs the touch and taste of a classy woman!!!!

The vision is simple – a café for the students, run by the students with the ultimate goal of community outreach.  The strategy is just as simple – a three month trial run for the students starting in May and opening the doors to the surrounding communities in September.  Already, the news is spreading in the compounds surrounding TTC about the café that is coming to town.

The system is up and running and two computers are already in place.  Now all that remains is for the container to arrive from Canada with the rest of the computers to be installed.  It could come at any moment, maybe even today.

Instead of me doing the talking, let the pictures paint a thousand words, starting with the before and after.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next Monday…

Don

Taking risks for Kingdom impact!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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