This Is What We Do!

This week I had to fill out a form for a church that required me to think through what IMFC does and write it down. It was time consuming and a little painful, but very helpful. I remembered why IMFC existed and why I have worked for them the past 10 year. So, I thought I would share it with you. Just a reminder of why you pray for us and why some of you give. It is a little longer than usual but I think you will find it useful if you are at all interested in IMFC and what we do. Besides, this work then pulls double duty!

Manna Ministry

IMFC's first food distribution in Katwe, August 2014

IMFC’s first food distribution in Katwe, August 2014

Manna Ministry was formed in 2005 in partnership with the IMB missionaries serving in Kampala to care for the most desperate and needy families living in the slums of Kampala. Working with the local leadership in the slums and the people, the IMFC team selects 100 families to be in Manna Ministry for six months. Each family receives 45 kilos (almost 100 pounds) of food (15 kilos of rice, 15 kilos of beans and 15 kilos of posho) and 1 liter of cooking oil monthly. Many of these families have no source of income. Some are refugees from the wars in one of the neighboring countries. Most of them are combatting some form of illness (like HIV). All the families will have children; most will have between 5 and 15 dependents. During the six months they are in Manna, the IMFC team encourages them to save the money they would have used to buy food and to use it to start a small business like buying tomatoes at the local market and selling them in the community. Through small businesses like this, many have been able to improve their lives and become self-dependent. Some don’t. But many have taken advantage of the opportunity and changed their lives and the lives of their children.

In addition to giving aid and counsel on financial issues, the IMFC team shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people, enrolls them into Bible Way, starts house churches among them and trains them to do the work of making disciples for Christ. It is normal to see over 90% of the people in Manna Ministry come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and participate in a house church and Bible Way Correspondence School during their six months in Manna. Over 80% of them will be baptized. God changes their lives, and not for just the six months they are activity in Manna Ministry. I have visited with people who made decisions to follow Christ five and six years ago while in Manna and today they are still serious about their faith. Many stories and photos can be found on our website in the Manna Ministry section: www.blog.imfc.us.

Disciple Making
Jesus commands us to make disciples. At International Missionaries For Christ we have employed a four step process to lead people to becoming devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

Out of the Church buildings and meeting people where they are

Out of the Church buildings and meeting people where they are

First, we share the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. We talk to people about creation, sin, the death and resurrection of Jesus and the need to personally receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is not a debate about religion. We do not debate or argue religious views. We simply talk about Jesus Christ as presented in the scriptures. We discriminate against no one. We talk to all who want to hear our message regardless their religious background. Manna Ministry is designed to assist in reaching the communities for Christ. The learn to trust us and are open to our message as we help the people among them. This is also where we use volunteers. Many come each year to help us share the Gospel.

Second, with people who decide to become a follower of Jesus, we ask if they can gather their friends and family members who need to hear this message at the place they stay or somewhere convenient to them. An appointment is set and we teach those who attend who to read the Bible and study it by asking three questions: (1)What does the Scripture say, (2)What is there to obey in this passage of Scripture, and (3)What truth do I need to tell? We do not preach to them, ordain pastors to preach to them, or build them a building to meet in. We teach that the church is God’s people. As they meet to study the Bible in their homes or walkways on whatever day of the week they choose, they are the church. If they wish to attend an established religious institution, they can. But we want them to know that they are the church and represent Jesus Christ in their community. We call these gatherings of people house churches. We do not build them any buildings to meet in, sponsor or support pastors, or attempt to organize them into an association of churches. We train them, at least the leaders that emerge who have a passion for what we do. We teach them how to lead the Bible Studies, share the gospel and start other groups. We want them reaching new people and growing them. More information can be found on our website: www.blog.imfc.us.

James holds the first Karamojong Bible Way book

James holds the first Karamojong Bible Way book

Third, we give to the ones who are seeking to follow Jesus Christ a booklet entitled, Who Is Jesus. An examination booklet is provided within the booklet. People can take the exam and receive other booklets. All of this is provided freely to the people. These booklets were written in the 1960’s by IMB missionaries across Africa. We are grateful to have access to this material and to be able to share it with the people of Uganda. In 2014 more than 28,000 people received the book Who Is Jesus, read it, filled out the exam booklet and passed! Those who pass are given another book, Basic Bible Teaching, then another and another until they complete the 5 books we are offering in the Bible Way Correspondence School. There are 13 books total but because of financial constraits we have selected these five to ground them in the Christian faith. Over 65,000 discipleship books where distributed in 2014. Many, many lives have been changed through these simple books. More information can be found on our website under Bible Way Correspondence School and Prison Ministry: www.blog.imfc.us.

Fourth, we train leaders to do what we do. The IMFC team’s number one job is to train leaders who can train others how to do the work and then train others (2 Tim. 2:2). We challenge the men we train to carry this message back to their villages and families. As a result, work has spread from Kampala across Eastern, Central and Northern Uganda and now into Kenya. This is our focus area. If we do this well the work will go far beyond us. Our goal is to start a movement of disciple making that we cannot count, control or claim. I believe we see the beginning of that happening now. I pray and ask you to pray that it continues.

Prison Ministry
IMG_2528.JPGIMFC currently is working in 14 prisons including the Prison Training School in Luzira Prison and Prison Headquarters in Kampala. IMFC has provided Bible Way books, Bibles, soap, female sanitation pads, food, TV’s and blankets for the inmates. This year IMFC sponsored the prison’s Maroons Netball Team made up of prison officials and their children. Tens of thousands of inmates and prison officials have benefited from these ministries spiritually and physically. Two of the Bible Way staff members were former prisoners, Francis and Clovis. You can find many stories concerning the prison work at www.blog.imfc.us under prison ministry.

Impact US
imageIMFC is a ministry based in Uganda and is focused on raising up a disciple making movement there, but since the IMFC board is made up of Americans based in the US we have a heart for the churches and the lost here as well as Uganda and the countries surrounding it. Our heart is to impact US churches and the communities surrounding them through the volunteers who come to work with us in Uganda. Many volunteers have no experience sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, they learn how to share as they walk with our men in the slums and to come to realize that it really does have the power to change lives. We teach volunteers three things to impacting communities for Christ:
Show up. Nothing happens until we show up. Jesus showed up (John 1:14). When we show up we open the door for God to work though us to touch the people.
Love the people without pre-judging them. Everyone has sinned, even us. God loves us. God loves them and so should we. If we do not love them we will make the effort to reach out to them.
Trust God and Share. God has the power to change lives and the Gospel of Jesus is the power of God to bring salvation and change. All I have to do is share. God can and will use me to be a part of changing lives for Him if I show up, love the people He loves and simply share the Gospel of Christ.

I have seen God impact the lives of many volunteers over the past 10 years and through them their churches. Today, there are people serving on the mission field, some applying to go to the mission field, others in seminary preparing for ministry, some are leading their church’s mission efforts, and others are sharing the gospel with passion and confidence and starting ministries to impact their community for the Kingdom of Christ who started their journey of service with IMFC in Uganda. Every time I hear these stories, I give thanks. This is why IMFC exist and it is why I work here.

Thanks for your prayers and help on this journey. If you would like to go with me on a trip to Uganda and work beside our men in the slums or villages, email me or call me. I would love to have you be a part of what we do. Hope you have a great day and week.

Jimmy
www.imfc.us
jimmy@imfc.us
678.478.6097

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