May 2014

Phelps News - May 2014

Greetings from Pretoria

In Short (If you only have a few moments)
1. March – Colin facilitated a week of training for middle level leaders from a number of countries around Africa.

2. March - Colin travelled to Belgium and participated in an OM International meeting evaluating leadership development throughout the movement.

3. April - Colin travelled to Zimbabwe to meet with pastors in Siabuwa and trained some new recruits in Harare.

4. April - Grietjie went up to Zambia and did some basic business training with a group of sports ministry coaches.

5. Family Finances – Please join us in praying for a significant increase in our monthly support levels.

*** Please stop for a moment and pray for us. ***

Thank you for your interest in our ministry.


In more detail (If you have more time on your hands)

1. Colin – Pretoria (March 2014)
17 mid level leaders from 6 different countries in Africa gathered for a week of training. Colin was privileged to coordinate and guide the week with as they were exposed to a variety of leaders teaching on various topics appropriate to their level and experience. Some of the leaders who were there were:
1. Oscar who leads a team in Ndola, Zambia reaching out to Somalis.
2. Lamech who leads a team in Chipata, Zambia who planting churches amongst Yao Muslims.
3. Immanuel from Ghana who leads a team in the Northern parts of Ghana.
4. Privy who is a key administrator for the OM Zimbabwe office in Harare.

2. Colin - Belgium (March 2014)
Leaders! Without leaders no endeavour will succeed. With 3500 people in over 100 countries all around the globe OM is committed to developing and sustaining leaders. A group of twenty of us met in Belgium to review progress in the organisation and to chart a way forward. It was humbling to be invited to participate in these crucial meetings. I am also looking forward to further involvement in this area.

3. Colin - Zimbabwe (April 2014)
Off again to one of my favourite places - Zimbabwe.

First, quick trip up to Siabuwa in Northern Zimbabwe. What a privilege to handover to the pastors the fruit of their labour. Two years ago I challenged them to translate a short introduction to basic Christian theology into Zimbabwean Tonga. After many hours of hand written translations, then typed into an old laptop, revisions being driven backwards and forwards from Harare to Siabuwa, and typesetting and printing in Pretoria the books were finally finished. There was obvious excitement as the church leaders got first sight of what is probably the first Christian book in their own language. Even their Bibles are in the Zambian Tonga which is quite different. We spent an exciting time together discussing how this Biblically based tool can be used to disciple the believers in the region.

Back in Harare I spent four days with five Zimbabwean men who are considering a future in missions. It was fulfilling to see them grasp the Biblical basis of God's heart for the nations of the earth and to share something of the historical progress of the Gospel since Jesus commissioned His Church 2000 years ago.

4. Grietjie - Zambia (April 2014)
Twenty two faces, four groups, two days - and my task: to lay the foundation on how to run a small business and making a measurable income.

I (Grietjie) arrived the afternoon that the group finished with their 24 hour calvary road marathon.  Standing and watching as the individuals pass me with the wooden beam on their backs, pushing themselves beyond their limits, I wondered where the training that I give fits in.  The next morning I sat and listened as they shared what God taught them during the last 36 hours, words like perseverance, pain, humility, teamwork, support and many other were used to described their experience.  After tea, the team assemble again and we plunged into the BEST simulation game.  I knew we had the time for me not to rush, and by lunchtime we were halfway through module one - but I could see that the individuals were starting to grasp the lessons.  I had to let one accountant know to slow it down - to keep it simple.  During lunch I had a quite word with him, explain what I want to achieve.  After lunch he changed his contribution and the group functioned better.  We finished module one by suppertime.  The evening session started well - until we came to the end of the first assessment - and every group was heading for bankruptcy!! We stopped and the team voted for a restart the next morning. At the end of module two it was clear that we have achieved the target that I set : for each person to understand how a basic business works, to recognise the importance of record keeping, and to have a way to determine the profitability of a business regardless of its size.  My contribution was to equipped the team members with the knowledge to start, run, and find a sustainable micro business within or alongside their main ministry. For some it will become the way to enter a community - for others it will be a way to sustain their ministry - but for all it is tool to use in working in God's kingdom.

5. Family Finances
We find ourselves at a real crossroads. Our personal finances are simply not keeping up with our expenses. While we are constantly grateful for God's obvious provision and particularly for those individuals and churches that continue to support us faithfully. We are also doing all we can to live a simple lifestyle. Despite that we are falling behind and each month it becomes more difficult to pay the bills.

The bottom line is we need more support. We do not receive a salary and the people to whom we minister are unable to contribute to our living expenses.

We are open to God leading us in a different direction if he so desires but at present we remain convinced that we are serving Him where He wants us.

We believe we need 5-10 new supporters who would commit to a monthly amount of between R200 (US$20) - R1000 (US$100). If you believe that God is leading you to join us in what God through us please contact me and we'd be happy to share more about what we do.

Praise for:
1. The many opportunities to minister within Africa training labourers for the harvest field.
2. God’s faithful provision for us as a family.

Prayer for:
1. Hearing from God as to His strategic direction and wisdom in choosing between opportunities.
2. Caroline and Colson as they grow and develop as young teenagers.
3. Ongoing support and provision of our monthly needs.
4. The sale of our house in Randburg. (***This one is a big one!!!!***)

Blessings and thank you
Colin for the family