Church Plants in Africa
By Dave Ohlerking
In cooperation with USA pastors Dino Rizzo, Baton Rouge, and Jay Miller, Lafayette, Louisiana, Children's Cup planted a new church in Nkobe, Mozambique, which is a desolate forced resettlement area with about 8000 residents. There was no water. We put in a well and instantly became the center of the community. We started feeding 200-300 kids every day at the well site. We started telling the people we would also like to put a church there.
We got the property for the church and some community ladies were helping clear away the brush. I got a terrifying call telling me that a black mamba, the second deadliest snake in the world, bit one of the ladies who was clearing the land.
My instant reaction was, "Now the people will all think the property is cursed."
We got everybody we could to pray for the lady. The doctors said she couldn't live, but by the third day the paralysis was gone, her sight was back and except for two fang marks, you couldn't even tell she had ever been bitten.
Children's Cup Africa Director Ben Rodgers went back to the lady and asked, "What would have happened if you had died?"
She just hung her head.
"God has given you a second chance--do you want to give your life to Him?"
"Oh, yes, yes!" she cried.
They prayed the sinners' prayer together and she jumped up and said, "I have to tell my family, my neighbors, everybody."
Then she started letting people know if they wanted to meet the God that beat the snake, come to this church. Hundreds came and it continues to grow and young Christians are maturing.
God turned a curse into a blessing.
I would put it in church-planting terms like this:
- Get involved meeting the people's needs in the community.
- Give them Jesus.
- Have the people start to see themselves as a connected group--a body--a church.
- Let the people experience the power of God. No need to import black mambas--the devil play that role very well.
- Get busy with the building.
- Get the church to reach out to their loved ones and neighbors.
- Expect God to make it work.
- Add new church sites quickly.
- Train up the once hopeless children to evangelize and grow into Christian leaders.
- Nkobe is "exhibit A" that the above principles work.
Children's Cup has partnered with USA churches to start more than 25 new churches in the last two years.
Children's Cup was birthed March 1, 1992. However it was conceived many years before that. Dave & Jean Ohlerking were "called" as children to missions and answered that call in 1970. With the birth of Children's Cup the focus became those little ones in the hard places of the world. Today 28,000 children
are being fed, provided with medications, education, and most importantly of all, Jesus. Today's children are tomorrow's leaders--Children's Cup is changing nations, one child at a time. The Ohlerkings have been married 50 years and have four children and 13 grandchildren.
Copyright © 2009 Children?s Cup. All rights reserved. Used by permission.