otLIVE in a village outside Nhkotakota, Malawi
In the words of one of our Malawian translators ‘it was a funny journey of crossing big rivers over narrow bridges, pot holes and slippery roads’ to reach the village outside Nhkotakota – which was where we were to present the otLIVE seminar. A village once described as far as from everywhere and near to nothing.
Our host was Pastor Mwandu from Bliss Ministries – a small church which operates out of a dilapidated clinic building. Pastor Mwandu is a man with a big heart – for the elderly, for raising up leaders, for his community and for the Word of God.
Our trio, of a Walk Thru the Bible instructor from South Africa and two Chichewan co-teachers, were humbled by the ceremonial greetings and also by the expectation of the people who began to fill the room. The seminar was held in one of the village school class rooms and the people made themselves comfortable on the carpet that had been sown from old flour bags.
The pastor had invited the whole village, as well as the headmen of surrounding villages – and it was soon clear that this was a significant event in the life of the village. The people were excited to understand the Old Testament and how the books of the Bible fit together. There were old men and women, children and also the village chiefs doing the hand signs and enjoying themselves.
The village headmen and others expressed their enthusiasm:
“We’re leaders but we have never come across such a technique of illustrating the Bible.”
“May the Lord be with you. May this also be the beginning of our literacy. Please lift us up so that we can see the light.”
Even at the end of the seminar, the people were energized and could have kept going for much longer. We are grateful that the Lord’s work, however, is ongoing. In the week after the seminar, the pastor was faithful in following up all of the attendees.
In the words of Pastor Mwandu from Bliss Ministries:
“You planted seeds and I have started watering. Ten members have been added to our church – among them a chief from another village – who was previously of another faith. The greatest testimony is that these people have not only joined Bliss ministries, but have received Jesus Christ as their personal saviour. God has used the otLIVE seminar to anchor Bliss Ministries. May the Almighty God tremendously bless Walk Thru the Bible.”
What a blessing, during October 2019, to have trained new otLIVE instructors who have ministry and influence in Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa!
Please pray with us for the impact of otLIVE in our region. May many come to know and love the Lord and His Word – as otLIVE is taught in Southern Africa.
Below is a glimpse into the ministries and testimonies of some of these new instructors:
Leonard Ntinda from Destiny Discovery Ministries in Namibia
“otLIVE really turned my life around. After these 3 days of training, I now have a better understanding of the big picture of the Bible than I did after completing my Masters in Theology. I have many years of Bible training: otLIVE is not better than the training I had before, it’s the best!
I see so much potential for otLIVE. Our ministry ‘Destiny Discovery Ministry All by Faith Church’ has a focus on church planting in the unreached villages of Namibia and Angola. And by ‘unreached’ I mean that there is no church in the village. My aim is to go where people don’t go – and many of these areas are reachable only by bicycle or motor bike.
So far we have planted 26 churches in villages in Namibia and 6 in villages in Angola – and by that I mean that we have trained and sent pastors to those churches where there are at least 100 people. There are also many other smaller ‘cell’ churches – who as of yet do not have a trained pastor.
otLIVE will be an excellent tool to help in the training of these pastors whose home language is Oshiwambo. These pastors will then go back to teach the people of the village. It gives a clear, easier and quicker way to understand the Bible – that will work for old and young alike. otLIVE will help to clearly teach the story of the Bible. Our devotions and study of the Bible will completely change; and church will improve as well. This material is such a help!
My vision is to see a church, a pre-school and a borehole in every village. Some people travel 10km to fetch water. But where there is a borehole, people will gather and there we can teach them the Word of God. Many children don’t go to school as some villages have no schools. So we are establishing pre-schools and teaching them to read.”
We also have plans to reach villages in Zambia and Zimbabwe – and have just recently sent a team to villages outside Bulawayo.
Anastacio Mutisse – Gaza Province in Mozambique
“I am currently pastoring two churches that I have planted. One is in the village of Xai-Xai and other is in Zimilene. In Xai-Xai, we rejoice that we finally have a church building structure that we are slowly building out of local clay bricks. The church in Zimilene really grew out of ministering to the sick people in the area.
Personally, I haven’t really been an Old Testament reader, but now I am motivated. I have never taught on the Old Testament before. otLIVE will be a wonderful way to start! My vision is to build up 40 Old Testament sermons to preach – based on the hand signs. I am also regularly invited to different churches and I will have the opportunity to teach otLIVE to them.
I also have a secular job as a pastor and am a father of five children. One of my biggest struggles is teaching the Word of God to my own children. I come home late and tired. But I am going to use otLIVE strategically with my own kids and practice the hand signs together with them in the mornings.
Mozambique often feels like a lost island in Africa. The official language is Portuguese, but we also speak Shangaan. Most of the material and ministries are in English. There is a desperate need for Portuguese material. I am so excited about using otLIVE.”
[insert photo of Anastacio] [insert photos of his churches]
(We praise the Lord that otLIVE is already translated into Portuguese.)
John Heita Pastor from Foursquare Church in Namibia
“OtLIVE has ignited in me a new passion to go back and read my Bible – especially the Old Testament – and it will also impact my leaders. I will start with my family and practice in my home. Then I will train my church and Sunday School leaders and invite other pastors.
I come from Ohangwena, which is in the far north of Namibia, close to the Angolan border – even there we have the opportunity to influence many different cultures. There is such a need for otLIVE – even in the villages and surrounding towns. The majority of people are not interested in the Old Testament and they don’t understand the whole story of what God wants to say to His people. As a result, people abuse Scripture and use it out of context. But I do believe that people are getting hungrier for the Word at this time.”
Team from Beacon of Hope
Also attending the otLIVE training, were a team from Beacon of Hope, an organization working in AIDS prevention education in schools in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa. Beacon of Hope will be conducting a trial of otLIVE in some schools.
As the team members commented:
~ otLIVE helps with understanding the plans, mercy and love that Almighty God has for each one of us. What a lively and passionate way to share the Old Testament and to understand the Gospel from the Old Testament story.
~ otLIVE really ignites passion for God’s Word and encourages you to read the Scriptures daily.
“I teach at Asikhule Bible School in the Midands of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Many of my students are local pastors from the area. There is such a need for otLIVE. We all need to understand the big picture of the Bible – which is so important in avoiding the tendency to take verses out of context. I also love the otLIVE hand signs – they really make the material sink into your heart and mind – and you start to own what you are learning! I so appreciated the care and energy that went into this training.”
Kevin Julius from Johannesburg Bible College, South Africa
“If you really want to grow in relationship and understanding of God – and also help others to understand the Bible and grow in Christ – then otLIVE is a must! After doing otLIVE, I am deeply encouraged to read the Bible more and draw closer to God. It really gives you a deeper passion for God’s Word.
otLIVE will be a blessing to the students I teach, the church I pastor and the churches within my network – as together we learn the big picture of God’s redemptive story. I look forward to teaching otLIVE. It will appeal to anyone regardless of age. The hand signs are fun and creative and really make it ‘stick’.”
For more information on attending an otLIVE event please click here
To find out about being trained as an otLIVE instructor click here
The TBN Management team recently attended a Solving the People Puzzle Live Event.
Feedback from TBN managers at the event:
“This Live Event gave us so many ‘AHA’ moments! Now that we better understand ourselves and those in our team, we will look at putting people in positions that build on their strengths. It has also shown us how to adapt our management styles so as not to cause frustration for others.”
“I love the focus on the positive attributes of each behavioural style. I will be a better leader by focusing on the strengths of each of my team members.”
“I learnt so much about my team mates. This training will really help improve our communication.”
“I’ve come to understand myself so much better and got to understand the team that I work with.’’
Walk Thru the Bible offers innovative people skills Live Events suitable for your church, business or school. To find out more, please click here.
The Live Event, Sharpening Your People Skills (SYPS) is not only about self-discovery, but also about understanding others and building healthy relationships. Many have testified to the value of this people skills training in building respect and tolerance for one another.
I will be able to respect others more as I understand their unique strengths – I am reminded that we are all ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’
~ Margaret B
Sharpening Your People Skills will help me to be more tolerant and adjust how I interact with people as I understand them better.
Now that I understand myself, I also understand others – and I will be able to build far healthier relationships spiritually and emotionally.
This live event opened my eyes to understand and see people in a different light.
Now that I understand myself, I can accept myself and feel that I am free.
Now I know how to treat others who are not like me.
Now that I understand others, I feel that I can complement others who are not like me.
Please click here for more information on Sharpening Your People Skills
Pastor’s Circle is Walk Thru the Bible’s new initiative to encourage Bible teaching by providing easy to use sermons and tools for pastors – as well as a network of support and encouragement.
Following the launch of the pilot of Pastor’s Circle in September 2019, we received many encouraging testimonies – both about the need for Pastor’s Circle and about the relevance of the sermon messages:
Pastor Joseph Mokhoethi:
I have many pressures and limited time to prepare my sermons. I am convinced that Pastors Circle and this material is of God. This is something that boosts me. I can take it and run with it. I can apply it, preach it and bring my own story to it.
The content and teaching in these sermon tools is 100%. The messages in the sermon tools will help to heal me first, and then I can bring the message to my people. You know, sometimes, we can be ignorant or scared to face hard issues – but these sermon tools will help!
Pastor Saki Moeketsi:
Pastors are very excited about Pastor’s Circle. It so helpful to have direction with sermon points and to understand how to prepare the message so that we can preach it. This is part of the struggle that pastors face. Having sermons that follow after each other is a great help.
Pastor Bheki Dingiso – Arise and Shine Ministries:
Pastor’s Circle brings great content – that the Spirit convinces me is of God!
This will help me so much in my time of prayer and study to preach.
Our communities need these sermons. It reminds me of 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things you have heard me say… entrust to reliable people, who will also be qualified to teach others”. That is what happened here today! Pastor’s Circle is pouring into us pastors so that we can go and influence our communities.
Pastor’s Circle will help a lot. It brings a new perspective. The sermons are easy to use, easy to understand and easy to take back to my people. I will use this to train the students in my Bible School. You know I see myself in some of these messages. I saw where I failed – and left God out of my life.
I have been waiting for this. This is a blessing. I know Scripture, but today I have been equipped more as a pastor. I have experienced lots of giants, disappointments and challenges. I had decided I was quitting. But today, after attending pastor’s Circle, I got the courage to keep going.
Pastor Eddie Komane:
I love the interactive and inclusive nature of Pastor’s Circle and the sermons. This is different – it’s so refreshing and enlightening. The sermons are well researched and I could relate to them. The sermon tools are user friendly. This will be used to effectively advance the message of the Gospel.
Pastor Simon Otwang:
As a pastor I face many pressures. I am not supported by my congregants – and so I also have another job. There are also commitments to family. Always time is a problem – time to prepare my sermons. Pastor’s Circle will help me greatly with these ready to use sermons.
Pastor’s Circle brought us closer as pastors. These are great sermon tools from Walk Thru the Bible and I will use them.
Pastor Solomon Mahlangu:
I am busy each day with many challenges – as a result I end up doing my sermon preparation late on a Saturday. These ready to use sermon tools will really make things easier. The content is relevant to my people.
The sermon tools from Walk Thru the Bible are a great concept to help with the preaching of the Word. This will help me to grow as a pastor. I am definitely coming back to Pastor’s Circle!
Pastor Brain Mabena:
It is always a challenge to find time to prepare sermons and to find good material. The sermon tools from Walk Thru the Bible Pastor’s Circle will be so helpful.
Pastor Jeremiah Boshumange:
I often just don’t have the time I need to prepare sermons. This material from Pastor’s Circle will really help in conveying the message of our Lord.
My ministry is really street preaching and evangelism – outside hospitals and to shift workers who don’t manage to get to church. I can use these sermon messages for this.
Pastor’s Circle has helped me learn how to preach. It will help me a lot. I have little time to prepare sermons. Now I can use these sermon tools – I will pray and bring my stories to the messages too.
For more information on Pastor’s Circle please click here
Rev David Mathebula on Pastor’s Circle, Walk the Bible’s new initiative:
“Pastor’s Circle encourages great Bible teaching by providing easy to use sermons and tools for pastors. It gives the pastor much needed practical help with how to structure and prepare sermons. This is so helpful – knowing how to breakdown the sermon and bringing up important points. It shows how to communicate the message to the audience.
To me the network of support that Pastor’s Circle provides is also of great importance.
There are many young pastors who are coming up – feeling called to ministry. Many have no opportunity for Bible School because of limited financial resources. There is a lack of training. These young pastors so easily ‘fall into the wrong hands’. But Pastor’s circle provides the much needed platform for mentoring and support from other pastors. It provides access to resources – and the opportunity to learn good preaching skills in a step by step fashion.
You know ministry can be lonely. Often no one is filling you, but you are giving out all the time.
Pastor’s Circle is like a refresher – the boost to say ‘I can go on again!’
It is so helpful to meet with other pastors, young and old and not only receive excellent sermon tools, but also have the opportunity to share, fellowship with and encourage one another.
Many times as a pastor you may be preaching the truth – but sometimes those who preach the truth are alone. But the pastors in this network are the ones who can encourage you: “You are on the right track. We are standing with you.”
There are also many pastors in Africa who are independent. Pastor’s Circle is a place where they can connect – and in due season, if they need it, they can ask for help.
We need to grow and expand Pastor’s Circle. There are many who need this.”
For more information on Pastor’s Circle please click here