Ministry in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Over the years I have had the privilege of traveling to connect with and encourage leaders around the world. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for me on these trips since I began serving as Global Connections Coordinator for FCA USA almost 2 years ago. I just returned from 3 weeks in Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda, and I can tell you that God’s Kingdom is advancing around the world and the gates of hell are not prevailing against the called-out-ones of Jesus Christ!

I want to give you a quick glimpse into what God is doing through several of our Global Affiliates in the three countries in the Great Lakes Region of Africa that I was able to visit on this three-week trip. My wife, Sarah, and daughter, Abby, worked hard to be able to join me for 2/3 of this trip, and some generous friends helped Abby with the remainder needed to make this happen; truly a life-changing investment for her. I was greatly encouraged by the work being done in this region: The partnership that our churches have had with the ministries and leaders connected to World Outreach Ministry Foundation has borne much fruit.

Standing in the North AND the South at the same time!


It was a joy to be able to connect with Pastor Steven Mayanja, his wife Cissy, Bob Mayonza, and many others who are connected to Uganda Christian Outreach Ministries.  We were also able to visit the Medical clinic in Seguku and to visit and speak at Seguku Worship Center with Pastor David Stuart for two services on a Sunday, the first service was all English, so you can check it out HERE, or HERE if you want to just hear the message that I shared. We also got to speak at a chapel service at Yesu Akwagala Bible School (Yesu Akwagala means “Jesus Loves You”) and at several High Schools.

Many of you partnered to help build this new campus of the Bible School: It’s coming along well!


Abby speaking to students at an area High School.


Abby encouraging students at Yesu Akwagala High School.

Praying for students during chapel at the Yesu Akwagala High School.

We made a quick 72-hour trip over to Burundi for two days of seminars with Burundi Christian Outreach Ministries. I did not know this before preparing for this trip, but Burundi is considered the poorest country by GDP and among the “saddest” due to the impact from years of war and violence on society and individuals. Talking with Pastor Ezechiel, the leader of that group of churches, we found out that smiling was rare in the communities when they began over 1o years ago, and that it wasn’t until the ministries of reconciliation and healing came in to transform people’s hearts that you could begin to see smiles and joy. The welcome that we received was so warm and the worship was so joyful that you would not have known that you were in what the world considers one of the “saddest” countries in the world: God truly transforms hearts and entire communities!


We gathered with pastors and church leaders from over 10 churches to spend time in prayer, worship, and teaching on church and ministry leadership from Pastor Steve Mayanja and I. It was a powerful time: You’ll get a chance to hear him preach at the FCA USA Convention in a few weeks!


We also got to see the Primary School that has been founded in the village we were visiting. It was particularly challenging to hear of four teachers who have been volunteering their time for the last 2 years to teach students from 8 AM to 1 PM and then going to their gardens to work in the afternoons to be able to provide for their families: May God give us all that level of dedication for the work of ministry that he has called us to!

Speaking of dedication, one thing that the people we met had was dedication: Everywhere we looked there were plots of land that were cultivated: Where the world has declared poverty, God has provided resources and the dedication to steward those well!

That dedication was recently seen in the perseverance of Pastor Ezechiel with processing his visa to be able to join us at the FCA Convention in Minneapolis…After many appointments he was granted his visa today and he is looking forward to the opportunity to get to know all of you in Minneapolis!

We had a great time with the leaders there and this is their greeting to you:


From Burundi, we went back to Uganda for a few more days of ministry in my role as International Ministry Director with the Pilgrim Center for Reconciliation before traveling to Rwanda for a week of ministry training with Rwandan and Congolese leaders. God is doing great things through those servant leaders from various denominations and fellowships. Lots of good ministry during my 12 days with the national leaders of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo!

On the last Sunday of the trip I was able to spend the day with Pastor Canisius Gacura and his wife Allen. They are wonderful people doing a great work in Kigali. They are pastoring a church called Nyabugingo (life-giving) in the part of the city known as “the place of the dead”.

Pastor Gacura was so joyful and humble, yet the depth of what God has done in him became clearer as I read the story of his life the following week. This is one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever read: I can tell you that his story will both challenge and encourage you to reach beyond yourself and live an unlimited life! It should be required reading for being a spiritual leader:

(This book is helping with the construction of the new church building and ministry center along with the partnerships with many of you).

This trip was longer than usual (23 days total) and very full of many good things. I am thankful for all of your prayers because there are many things that could have gone wrong while traveling for so long and with so many different things to get done in so many places, yet things went very smoothly. I was able to connect with many wonderful people from these ministries, and many other ministries I was not able to include in this update. I also enjoyed being able to eat fruit that I grew up eating (matoke, pineapple, mango…yum!) and it was also pretty cool to see THREE of the Great Lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika, and Kivu) and eat fresh fish from them…Delicious!

May God continue to provide for the advancing of His kingdom around the world by the power of the Holy Spirit through each of our local churches to make disciples of all nations! 

Jesus Calls Us Friends

Al Toledo, pastor of the Chicago Tabernacle, spoke at Thursday night’s service.

On Thursday, the last night of the 2017 US convention, Al Toledo, pastor of the Chicago Tabernacle, shared about the power of the invitations given to us by God. He highlighted three invitations from John 15:15-16:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Don’t Forget the Invitation!

Toledo reminded us of God’s invitation to us…

  1. An invitation: To Friendship with God, which is our primary calling. Yet it is so easy to allow busyness to take us away from this friendship; busy activities—even good things—can cause the love of many to grow cold.
  2. An invitation: To Confidence in our Calling. We were chosen and appointed by the Lord, which should give us confidence in who we are. We need to get close enough to God so we can know what He’s called and appointed us to do. It’s not self-confidence we need; it’s God-confidence.
  3. An invitation: To Boldness in Asking. Are we praying in the right name? Are we praying for the right things? Sometimes God won’t answer our little prayers because he wants us to ask for something bigger.

“When you’re friends with God,” said Toledo and you know you’ve been called by God, you can ask for gigantic things!” God uses the combination of all three of these invitations to work in and through us.

Inspirational and Generational

This morning we heard from two young leaders in our fellowship who shared about the importance of having an overflow of God in our lives that impacts our lives and ministries and lasts for generations.



Daniel Johnson, Associate Pastor of Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship, reminded everybody that “In the Kingdom of God ‘Just-Enough’ is not enough. God wants to give you an overflow!”  He went on to elaborate that we are called to minister out of the overflow of what God is speaking to us, of who God is in us, of His word, and of what God has done and is doing in our lives. If we minister out of the overflow we won’t run dry or burn out!



After a brief break for fellowship and snacks, we jumped right back into it with Stephen Zarlengo, Young Adults Pastor at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle. Stephen shared that the idea of generations isn’t something humanity created but is a reflection of the Trinity;  something between the Father and Son. It’s out of that overflow that we came into existence. As the church, we need all generations in order to be the proper reflection of the Father. As we value each generation and what they bring to ministry as we work together we will be able to go above and beyond from generation to generation. He left us with this challenge that the roof of the older generation’s lives would become the floors of the younger generations so that we may take the kingdom to a new level.



Day 3 – Anointed for a Purpose

[Update: You can now view the main session videos HERE!]

Day Three of the FCA USA National Convention was a powerful day of growing in our understanding and experience of the purposes of the anointing!

Dan Hammer started us out by reminding us all that we’ve been “Anointed for a Unique Purpose.” Jesus Himself was anointed for a purpose (Isaiah 61), and just as the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, the same Spirit abides within us. Because the anointing is upon us, we have the authority to proclaim the promises of God to His people! Dan shared with us the ‘recipe’ for the anointing, as spelled out in the book of Hebrews along with fun stories of walking in the anointing as he has seen in his life as he has continued to allow the Father to fashion his heart afresh for His glory.

There were powerful workshops that morning as well as lots of time connecting with others that afternoon. That evening the Heritage Committee honored two couples for over thirty years of ministry:

FinleyDaryl & Mari Louise Finley

(their son Doug accepted the recognition on their behalf as they were not able to attend due to unexpected health issues but they joined in via livestream).

DevoreRon & Shirley DeVore


The names of those who have gone on to be with the Lord during this last year were also read, including the names of Bob Finke, whose wife Marilyn was present and received prayer for strength as she continues on in ministry throughout South America, and of Scott Volz and Ed Pohlreich who recently died in a tragic car accident in Uganda. Brenda Volz and Marci Pohlreich shared from their heart about the last few weeks and about their determination to continue the work they have been involved in to see the Kingdom of God continue to advance in the nations.

Dr. Stephen List was our speaker that night and he encouraged us from Luke 4:18 & John 21.

The same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus has anointed us, not just for ministry but for LIFE!List

John 21 tells of the time when Peter and some of the other disciples went back to fishing after the resurrection. Their supplier was gone so they went fishing to provide for themselves. They did something that they knew how to do yet they had caught nothing all night. Jesus told them to cast the net from the other side even though they were the ones who “knew what they were doing.” He was saying, “children, shift over!”

God will ask you to do things that don’t make sense, that aren’t logical, but you will know that it’s God! We are coming to the end of an era. Things that had worked in the past don’t work anymore. Those things served their purpose but it’s time to shift! The Holy Spirit is being poured out all over the world but it’s not according to the old ways. Don’t jump out of the boat. Don’t drop the net. Just make the shift God is telling you to do and throw your net on the other side! We are on the brink of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this nation and it’s not tied to anything else. You’re not too old to change how you’ve been doing things. God can help you change.

It was daytime and the time for fishing was over but they got the biggest catch because they listened to what Jesus told them to do…even when it didn’t make sense! God has anointed you for living. That’s every day. Every hour. Everything you’re doing. God has things in store for you that you’ve never even dreamed of! Don’t get stuck thinking “I’m just who I am and I can’t do any better.” Step into the divine realm. It’s not far from where you are but you must be willing to make the shift. What God will heap on you will be greater than what you think your capacity is to handle, but don’t worry, you’re net won’t break. He will give you the capacity to handle it.

Trust the anointing that God has already put in you. He has anointed you for a purpose! Walk in boldness and authority into the things He’s calling you to. Stay in the boat, keep the net, but cast it where HE is telling you to cast it!


Conventions Are Just Around The Corner!

We’re heading into a great season of receiving great information, fresh impartation, and powerful transformation as we come together for our National Conventions in April in the USA and in May in Canada. It will be a great time of connecting with God and with each other to advance God’s Kingdom together!
First up is the USA convention in Seattle beginning next Tuesday and concluding at noon on Friday. There are some great speakers, workshops, and activities lined up. I know the crew in the Northwest have been working very hard to prepare for this wonderful time together and are looking forward to hosting all of us. It’s going to be great!

I encourage you to follow along on the blog and on social media if you are not able to be present…and join the conversation online if you ARE present. We’ll be using the hashtags #fcaconvention and #theanointing throughout the week so that we can all be part of what God is doing in us as a fellowship and as ministers.

See you soon!