Tag Archives: Africa

A Tale of Two Extremes: Flooding, Drought Devastate Malawi, Zambia

Residents move to higher ground due to rising floodwaters in Malawi.

By Carl Stagner

A crisis of biblical proportions is ongoing in southern Africa, especially the countries of Malawi and Zambia. Lives have been lost. Storms have collapsed homes belonging to Children of Promise-sponsored children. Flooding has destroyed homes belonging to Church of God pastors and laypeople. Church buildings and facilities have been washed away. Crops—representing the livelihood of countless individuals—have been decimated by rising floodwaters in some areas, while catastrophic drought has rendered other fields worthless. Overall, thousands of Church of God people, and hundreds of thousands of people beyond the movement, have been affected by these atmospheric extremes. Church of God Ministries is sending initial funds to the Church of God in Malawi and Zambia, but so much more is needed. Continue reading

The Rising Influence of the Church of God on South Sudan

Tim Stevenson preaching under the fig tree.

By Carl Stagner

With continued expansion in northern Uganda, the influence of the Church of God on South Sudan is also on the rise. Though South Sudan achieved independence in 2011 when Africa’s longest civil war ended, tremendous socioeconomic and political struggles persist. Clashes between clans, tribes, political parties, and religions have left behind widespread destruction and hopelessness. It has been reported that over 1.2 million refugees have fled South Sudan for Uganda, the country where Global Strategy missionaries Tim and Colleen Stevenson have worked for thirty-four years. Their work is having a direct impact on South Sudanese refugees as the Church of God establishes “centers” of hope, each noted for its congregation, school, well, and other programs for physical and spiritual health. Continue reading

Côte d’Ivoire: Missing Miracles in Our Midst

Abigail and her friend who had been blind.

By LeAnn Sellers

We get busy with so many things in our lives, that we sometimes miss important things in the lives of our family or friends. Do we not also get so busy that we miss something amazing that God is doing right in our midst? Continue reading

Learning Curves in Botswana

Long lines form outside ATMs in Botswana.

By Tim and Joy Coppess

We have encountered several learning curves in adapting to our new home. Our role in this first year is to build relationships and begin learning the language (Setswana) and culture of Botswana. Since people are drawn to their mother tongue, this focus will help us more effectively carry out our assignment of facilitating discipleship and leadership development. Continue reading

Côte d’Ivoire: A Church is Being Built!

Team working together to tie a post.

By Bobby and Jenny Mihsill

On a Sunday morning in the village of Sinfra, about an hour and fifteen minutes from where we live in Yamoussoukro, people sit shoulder-to-shoulder on backless wooden benches at the local Church of God. The church has been meeting in the living room area of the house that was built for the pastor, although they outgrew the space some time ago. Continue reading

Celebrating Church of God Women in Leadership Around the World

A collage of Dorothy Colney, Mailes Ndao, and Courtney Rice.

By Megan DeBruyn

At the turn of the twentieth century, labor movements across North America and Europe were gaining momentum, and the landscape of a post-war society was beginning to shift. Birthed out of this movement came women’s suffrage in the western hemisphere, and International Women’s Day along with it. In the years that followed, this worldwide observance has taken on global significance for women in modernized and developing countries alike, seeking to rally around the common goal of female advancement, both politically and economically. Continue reading

Missionary Couples’ Adventures Begin Before Botswana

Collage: Coppesses (left), Stocksdales (right)

By Megan DeBruyn

It wasn’t a message in the sky that led both Abby and Corey Stocksdale and Joy and Tim Coppess to understand that they were being called to overseas missions in Maun, Botswana. Slowly, however, and ever-so-gently, the Lord revealed his divine plans to each couple, and subsequently surrounded them with a community that lifted them up and championed them in pursuit of their calls. Continue reading

On a ‘Vision’ Trip to Africa

By Kyle Hayes

When we finalized the plans to join other Church of God leaders on a “vision” trip to visit Mike and Heather Webb last year, I was excited. But I was also completely unaware of how transformational the trip could be. Though my wife and I had traveled internationally, we had never been on the African continent. We were very much in over our heads. Continue reading

Introducing Kaitlin Smith, New Missionary to Uganda

Photo: Kaitlin Smith

Global Strategy is delighted to welcome Kaitlin Smith to the Global Strategy family. In March, Global Strategy approved her appointment as a medical missionary to Uganda, where she will be partnering with the Church of God in Uganda to work as a medical coordinator for the five medical clinics run by the church and staffed by Ugandan nurses and doctors. Kaitlin has, over the course of the past four years, developed a close relationship with Tim and Colleen Stevenson, Global Strategy missionaries who recently celebrated thirty years of ministry in Uganda. Continue reading

Evangelism, Revival Key Themes at KIST as Semester Concludes

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Photo: Open-air evangelism gives practical experience to students.

By Ernie and Lori Nicholas

Field experience provides students opportunities to expand upon what is learned in the classroom. Shown above is the evangelism class involved in an open-air service situated just above the main road junction market in Majengo. The students assisted the Vihiga Church of God with its outreach in this community, resulting in several being added to the church. Pastor Steve, a graduate of Kima International School of Theology (KIST) in Kenya, was excited about the potential ministries these students opened for his church. KIST’s mission is to assist in developing effective and influential servant leaders for the church here in East Africa. Continue reading

Rebuilding Underway After Aldersgate Fire, Your Help Crucial

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Photo: Charred foot lockers, textbooks, and personal belongings.

By Carl Stagner

On August 29, 2016, disaster hit too close to home for the Church of God in Tanzania. A fire broke out in the high school boys’ dorm at Aldersgate Education Center at about 8:20 in the evening. Though none of the ninety boys were physically injured by the blaze, most of their belongings were destroyed and some had to be treated for emotional injury. Aldersgate, a school for nusery-age through high school students in Babati, Tanzania, provides education for Church of God laity and prepares leaders to strengthen the church of tomorrow. That’s why it’s so critical to ensure the continuing ministry of Aldersgate. Rebuilding has begun, but because of a lack of adequate emergency funds, the school desperately needs your help. Continue reading

Coppess, Stocksdale Families Announced as Missionaries to Botswana

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Photo: Art Clawson, the Nipps (left) at the 2011 Recognition Ceremony.

If there’s one thing we know as Christians, it’s that God works in mysterious ways, often keeping the road ahead of us hidden from our sight. He often calls us to step out in faith, not knowing where that call will lead.

A little more than fifty-four years ago, Jim and Mary Nipp set sail from New York Harbor with a one-way ticket on a freighter ship bound for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A year later, God led them to Maun, Botswana, where they began a ministry as independent Church of God missionaries that has blossomed into a healthy, vibrant church, with five congregations across the country. In 2012, Jim wrote: “Our first service was under a tree in Maun. We cut logs for pews. A broken truck spring and a tire lever made a perfect bell. Twenty-one people attended that service.” Over the years, the Nipps have walked in fellowship with these congregations, nurturing them to spiritual maturity. Continue reading

Hunger Relief Desperately Needed Amid Malawi Famine

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Photo: Children in Malawi eating lily roots.

By Carl Stagner

Their food supply has been reduced to roots and the occasional tree nut. If devastating, crop-destroying floods weren’t enough last year, extreme drought has now set in across Malawi, especially in the south, which is home to the densest concentration of Church of God congregations. Food sources have dried up, and even the bland water lily bulb root, which is collected from the swamp, is becoming scarce. Desperation is ensuing among families doing whatever they can to provide food for their children. The Church of God is responding, but the need for your support is immediate. Continue reading

Update from Bob and Jan Edwards, KIST

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Photo: Jan and Bob Edwards

By Bob Edwards

Bob and Jan Edwards recently returned to Kenya for a four-month stay as consultants at KIST. The following is their latest update:

Jan and I have been here at Kima for a bit over one week. We are settling into the International House, making it our home for the next four months. It is fully furnished and comfortable. The drenching African rains have begun in earnest, the dark black clouds at each evening just before sunset. It refreshes the earth, and fills the rain tanks that we depend upon for our water supply. Electricity is a bit of an issue. It is intermittently on and off. It has been interesting to Jan and me how the simple pleasures of electricity and water bring gladness to the soul. The rain brings wonderful life to the land. Electricity brings light in the darkness. Continue reading

Standing Victorious: Missionary Chronicles Cancer Struggle, Healing

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Photo: Tim and Colleen Stevenson

By Carl Stagner

“You have cancer”—three words no one ever wants to hear from a doctor. In February 2014, a blank stare spread across Colleen Stevenson’s face as a doctor in Uganda uttered these same three words. Once the initial shock wears off, many new cancer patients like Colleen are left to wrestle with feelings of disbelief, dismay, and disillusionment. Along with her husband Tim, the Church of God missionary has certainly had to climb her fair share of mountains over the past thirty years of service in and around Uganda. Never before, however, has her journey been marked by a mountain so massive, so steep. But by God’s amazing grace, the view on the other side is nothing short of spectacular. Continue reading