eNews January 2016
In this issue:
- Ebola-free! Praise and Prayer for Sierra Leone
- Join us in prayer
- LPA CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
Ebola-free! Praise and Prayer for Sierra Leone
‘We praise God that Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola free by WHO’, writes Christo Jonah, the Langham Preaching country coordinator in Sierra Leone. It is wonderful to be able to start 2016 praising and thanking God with our brothers and sisters there!
Pastors in the preaching networks across the remote parts of the country were well placed to help distribute aid during the worst times, and they have been publicly acknowledged for this.
God made it possible for us not only to pray and encourage but also to meet real needs at a very difficult time. We did not have the means to do so; God used our friends to help us to respond. I remember dropping food in Bo for a Langham member who was out of town and working somewhere else. When we met him later he said he had not been paid for three months and that the rice and milk came at ‘just the right time’.
The monthly radio sermon broadcast became a lifeline for many during the crisis, especially across outlying rural areas. It continues to grow. The phone-in afterwards is proving very popular.
Our engagement with the public during our 15-minute question-and-feedback time has been very good … we are able to answer some difficult questions, confront some difficult issues and model good preaching.
Most preaching clubs have now resumed.
Our group in Freetown was the only group that continued to meet during the Ebola crisis. Following visits to the other clubs, many were able to meet up once before the end of 2015. We pray that in 2016 they will all be established again. Pictured above are some students who managed to complete their Bible training courses successfully, despite the disruption of Ebola.
But post-Ebola recovery has sadly also presented significant new challenges.
There are thousands of Ebola orphans and survivors who are left to fend for themselves.
The side-effects that some survivors developed after treatment are causing hardship. Some have hearing, speech or weakness difficulties. A few have died after they had survived Ebola.
Finding enough food to live and maintaining general sustenance remain a challenge for many.
These are the challenges in the communities where pastors work who attend Langham training seminars and preaching networks.
The challenge of leadership at all levels is another urgent one.
The enquiry into the misuse of Ebola funds by government agencies is almost dead; it appears that those who could not account for huge sums of money will not be held accountable … The way ahead is uncertain, especially with [so much disappointment in] the kind of leadership we had during the Ebola fight.
Christo urges, ‘Please pray for us that God may provide for us [many pastors are exhausted, several have struggled with illness, and travelling is very difficult] and give us wisdom to know how to respond to the many needs and be relevant at this time! … Our regular training will continue with visits to the preachers clubs in the Northern Province and two refresher days in Freetown and Bo. Level 1 and 2 Preaching training seminars are scheduled for July and September.
By Elria Kwant, Langham Literature
Join us in prayer…
- Give thanks that Femi Adeleye has commenced as the new Director for Langham Preaching in Africa. This week he has been meeting with Paul Windsor (Program Director) in Ghana — and then with both Mike McGowan (Regional Coordinator, Francophone Africa) and Emeka Egbo (Regional Coordinator, Anglophone Africa). Pray for wisdom and for a common mind as they plan how to best progress the work across this great continent.
- Please pray for fruitful negotiations between Langham Literature, another literature funding body plus leaders and publishers in Sri Lanka so good preaching resources can be effectively translated into both Sinhala and Tamil. It would be ideal to have some resources ready by late July for the planned Level 2 Preaching training.
- The publishing team have a busy year planned for 2016 with many publications being worked on and 30-40 titles being released. Langham publishes books from a global authorship with topics that are relevant for the Majority World. These books are then made available affordably and in accessible formats to Majority World seminaries, scholars and pastors. Please pray for authors, editors, designers and those involved in distribution.
- Pray for the impact of the South Asia Bible Commentary, that it will be a well-used resource in South Asia. Pray for those working on the Hindi and Urdu translations.
- Pray for Anwar Berhe and his family (from Ethiopia), who are relocating to a new address in Melbourne. Pray for Anwar as he studies at Melbourne School of Theology.
- Pray for all Langham Scholars that have graduated in the past year; that they will be able to share what they have learned from doing their PhD and will be able to schedule in time to keep up their own ongoing learning.
Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
As we begin a New Year, Langham Partnership faces many challenges internationally. Despite working in over 80 countries, only 6 countries provide the majority of the funds needed to support the ministry. Australia has played a significant role (we are the 3rd largest supporter after the US and UK), and we are deeply grateful for the faithful and generous commitment you have shown over many years to enable us to contribute at this level. Even so, we need to find ways of building our support base and our ability to raise funds in order to maintain our contribution and also help fund the vision for the next few years. Can you help organise a visit to your Church or an event in your location where we can let others know of the work of Langham? Can you be an advocate for Langham Partnership by helping distribute newsletters, or keeping us on your Church’s prayer diary? We have support materials we can offer you for display on notice boards, or ideas for Mission events we could help you facilitate. Phone or email us to ask how we can help you!
Most of all, of course, we value your prayers. Please continue to pray, not only for the three ministries (Scholars, Literature, Preaching), but also for the Committee who oversee Langham Partnership Australia and the team who undertake the work in Australia. Pray also for the international leadership team, that they may have wisdom, courage–and complete reliance on God’s provision and direction as they continue to manage the programs and the administrative requirements of Langham. We thank God that He is faithful and kind, and has invited us to work with Him in helping build maturity in His Church, by equipping Bible teachers to preach faithfully, clearly and relevantly!! Gillean