Phelps News - July 2014

Greetings from a chilly Pretoria where the temperatures have slipped below freezing in the mornings.

The Short Version
1. Ghana - Colin had a very productive two weeks of training in Ghana in June. Pray for long-term fruit.

2. Donald Mwape - Colin spent time teaching Donald about training design and designing a mission mobilising process. Pray for Donald's future.

3. GO Challenge - Thank God for a successful GO Challenge and Colin's part in it.

4. Holiday Club - Grietjie, Caroline and Colson were very involved and all felt that it had been worthwhile.

5. Health - Please pray for all of us to get over the colds and flu that we're battling with.

6. Finances - Praise God for major breakthroughs in our personal support.

The Longer Version

1. Ghana
The weather was very different in Ghana in June where I (Colin) spent 2 weeks training. Five days were spent with the OM staff doing leadership training and giving some input in the area of personal support raising. These are two critical areas in all of our fields throughout Africa. We'd particularly appreciate your prayers in the area of support raising. 2000 years ago Jesus said that the harvest was ready but that the labourers were few. Today the same tension exists. Throughout Africa our experience is that there are many willing to make the sacrifice of being a labourer in the harvest field. The challenge is that, largely speaking, the African church has not learnt to give and support to those who wish to serve God amongst the least reached.

I, along with our Ghanaian field leader, Christian Insaidoo, also conducted two 2-day leadership workshops for church leaders. We had nearly 40, mainly younger leaders, attend in Kumasi, and then over 90 in Yendi, a small town in the North-West of Ghana. These workshops were very significant and the feedback, both from the participants and the leadership who had invited us, was extremely positive. The leaders were all from the Ghana Church of Pentecost, the third biggest church in Ghana with over a million members. They are enormously influential and it was a privilege to play a small role in the development of their leadership. Please pray for wisdom in knowing where to go with future opportunities.

2. Donald Mwape
Returning back to a cold Pretoria I spent a week with Donald Mwape, a younger leader who is on two year leadership exposure internship. Donald is from Zambia and was a church planter on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. He is a very gifted individual and has proven himself, and we believe he has a significant contribution to make to the ministry in Africa. We spent the week talking about training design and then working on designing a church mobilising process that would be contextual for Zambia. There is still work to be done but we are excited about the possibilities. Please pray for Donald, Dyness and there three year old son, Blessed, as they spend the next six months as part of our training team leadership here in Pretoria.

3. GO Challenge
While working with Donald I was also getting ready for presenting at OM South Africa's GO Challenge. Around 280 people gathered in Mamelodi for the GO Conference and then teams were sent out to 16 different ministries in and around Pretoria for a week of outreach. I had the privilege of doing "The Biblical Basis of Missions" and "Crossing Cultures" with the larger group. Most of the training I do, and prefer, is with smaller groups where I can have more interaction but it was fun to do some big group activities for change.

4. Holiday Club
While I was at the GO Challenge Grietjie, Caroline and Colson were immersed in nearly 500 children at Eastside Community Church's annual holiday club. Caroline and Colson part of the 140 teenage and young adult leaders and stayed at the church for the duration of the event. Grietjie travelled in and out each day helping with registration and discipling the leaders. Everyone had an amazing time. The holiday club is then followed by the "Trailer Ministry" where the holiday club is literally packed up into a trailer a small team from the church go to a rural community and run the holiday club alongside a local church, training them to be able to do it for themselves the following year. Caroline is there as I write, but unfortunately Colson was laid low by flu and has spent the week at home in bed. Much to his disgust. Please thank God for his goodness and for Caroline and Coslon's ongoing spitirual journey.

5. Health
As I prepare to go up to Zambia for two at the end of July for our Area Leaders meetings, the AfricaLead training, our annual Love Africa conference, and AfricaJourney training please pray for our health. The whole family is struggling with colds and flu.

6. Finances
In our last few newsletters we have mentioned the challenges we face with our finances. We are grateful to be able to report that while we continue to trust God into the future He has seen fit to answer prayer and our personal support, at least until the end of 2104, is sufficient, thanks to an increase in support from two of our supporting churches and four new supporters coming on board. We are blessed, humbled and grateful.