Saturday, September 29, 2018

God Changes Lives

Bill Bagwell
FSBC Scottsdale
 2nd time serving with Hope Baptist Church

Conference youth volunteers with
the kitchen crew and Go Girl.
Today was Day 2 of The Christian Community Development Conference at Hope Baptist Church in Sunnyside. After having a good night’s sleep, we met for breakfast and were led in devotion by Joy Waller. Joy challenged us to consider that we grow in the Lord when working outside our comfort zone. We then discussed some of the reasons we might feel challenged, such as better listening to clearly understand the various dialects of those we share. All 12 of us left for the church with great anticipation that God would do great work today and He did not let us down. Hallelujah!

Bill Bagwell teaching on Finances.
Steve Shook teaching on Healthy Churches
The conference began around 9:30 today with about 45 minutes of wonderful praise and worship. There were three morning plenary sessions around the topic of God Healing our Communities. Bill Bagwell shared a session on God Healing our Finances. The highlight was that God owns everything and we are simply stewards. Bill discussed financial planning topics and ended with the importance of tithing and the church’s responsibility to utilize tithes and offering well. This was followed by a talk by Thokozile Zulu Elizabeth regarding God Healing Women. She focused on abuse that is occurring in South Africa among married women, where men are very dominating. She shared about some of the African Ancestral Worship that remains prevalent is parts of South Africa and the family estrangement that can occur when family members accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Steve Shook followed Thoko’s session by sharing God Healing Churches. Steve listed good characteristics of healthy churches and alternatively common habits leading to unhealthy churches. Steve then listed excellent suggestions for churches to return to a healthy status. The three plenary sessions were well received by approximately 80 people, including pastors and lay people from South Africa, Nigeria, Congo, Zimbabwe, Malawi and others. After a delightful African lunch buffet, we repeated our afternoon Workshops. A final Worship Service topped off the conference and then Pastor Julius passed out certificates of completion to all the participants. We heard many outstanding testimonies during the day regarding how God was changing the lives of people in Africa. And we are greatly impacted through seeing God act in the lives of these small churches with less financial resources than we have in America.

We just finished a late dinner and returned to our hotel at 9:00 pm. Tomorrow starts early again, but we are again excited as we prepare for a Sunday of worship. Pray for Keith Matney, Mitch McDonald and Steve Waller as each will be preaching at different venues tomorrow. Then in the afternoon we will have our first Eyeglass and Sunglass clinic in Soshanguve community. Pray for our continued good health, safety while driving on the left side of road and divine appointments with those needing Christ.

Bill Bagwell

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