Archive for July, 2011

“Jehovah Sneaky”

Delights in Our Journey

I think I first heard Bill Johnson identify God’s surprises as the work of “Jehovah Sneaky” and it made me laugh out loud! We are becoming very aware that there are times in waiting on God… that He sneaks up on us. These past few months have been “Jehovah Sneaky”, at His best.

 There’s been a whole lotta sneakin’ goin’ on.

Just to refresh your memory or bring you up to speed, if you have not been following along. This past February God snuck up on us… big time. He nudged Pastor Wycliffe Khaemba to invite RevivalHut Ministries to Kenya for Pastor’s Conferences and Crusade meetings set for April 27-30. 

A week later God ”spoke” Ron’s name to Pastor Allan Mugoha in a dream and told him to make connections as soon as possible. When Pastor Allan woke up, he tracked ”Pastor Ron Bateman” down on Google and contacted him through emails. The following day Ron’s spiritual mentor encouraged him to spend at least 2 weeks in Kenya and establish a ”bridge” with the Kenyan pastors. He said he felt like this was a “Divine set-up”. Pastor Conferences and Crusades were put together and God was opening doors that no man could shut. Within days money came in without even asking, schedules were established without any difficulty and off we went for a powerful adventure in East Africa.

Meanwhile: 

While Ron was still in Kenya we watched a unique door open in the nation of Pakistan. The invitation to come to Pakistan was two days prior to Osama Bin Laden being killed and our ears perked up to another Jehovah Sneaky moment. Several Christian Brothers are in contact with Ron now almost daily, working toward details for what will most likely lead to a trip to Pakistan in September.

A New Directive:

Back in the States, yet still living in the excitement of the trip to Kenya, many of the leaders sent emails to Ron sharing how blessed they were in Eldoret, Webuye and Mt. Elgon Regions, having received Ron’s messages. Pastor Allan commented that he believed Ron was not done. ”You are a leader to pastors my brother and we need your voice among our fellowship of churches,” wrote Pastor Allan.

Pastor Wycliffe calls Ron at least once a week, just to hear his voice and get some advise or encouragement in the ministry. Almost daily emails are traded or phone calls are answered in the wonderful aftermath of God’s new directives for RevivalHut Ministries.  

Jehovah Sneaky” gets us again:

Up until now the scope of influence had been mostly Kenya, with a possibility of a trip into Pakistan, but God is looking for more. Ron received an e-mail from Pastor George Marabu. This Pastor lives in Kisii, Kenya, but has many connections in Tanzania and Uganda.

Hello Friends in the Lord,
I am Rev. George Keengu Marabu  from  Kenya, I am looking for God’s servants, who may accept to work together and plant more churches here in Kenya. But since God is so merciful, He has given  me your Ministry as I was searching the internet. Therefore the Lord put great interest to my heart to write to you and your ministry. Therefore Brother amd Sister in the Lord, I request you to accept my desire for affiliation to your Ministry.
Ron and I checked out this email and wondered “how does this work?” We began praying and Ron realized that God had placed him in relationship with 7 key pastors in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Since the number seven means completion, our thought was again that God was up to something. All 7 of these pastors communicated through email regularly and seemed to want Ron’s ongoing input and leadership.

Following God’s Heart:  

Ron shared the testimony of what it looked like God was doing and a friend pledged a $1,000 towards a return trip to Kenya. His spiritual mentor said “I think you need to go back in August and get things set.” All this happened on a Wednesday night before Bible study and when Ron shared testimony with them, 2 people in the Bible study pledged $100 a piece. This was so similar to what happened in the Spring, we knew God had His finger on it.

Next Steps? 

Daily “Jehovah Sneaky” has been wooing us into His plans and bringing about provision. Please pray for us in this journey. It looks right now like we will be opening an Apostolic Training Center in the region of Western Kenya, to serve as a platform for training leaders and gathering resources for orphan and widow care. One very important need among the leaders is a place to develop resources for training. Bibles, books, media and technical supplies are in short supply or very expensive, so this would be a wonderful blessing for the region. We really believe Ron should go back to Kenya the end of August and spend another couple of weeks, meeting with the pastors and confirming what God is placing on our hearts. Please, pray for wide open doors and continued provision as we follow the Lord, our wonderful God, ”Jehovah Sneaky”.

Priority: Kenya

Wycliffe, Allan, Me, Hesborne

Wycliffe, Allan, Myself, Hesborne

Much has been discussed over these recent months about the future plans of our work in the land of Kenya. My heart has been engaged in prayer and I cannot help but focus upon the needs of my new friends on the other side of the Globe. There have been a number of emails and encouraging phone calls that confirm an alignment of hearts and minds toward greater impact in the region. What strikes me most about our relationship is how it feels so natural and positive. The pastors and their families have done something in my heart that I cannot describe in words. They are beautiful, welcoming and authentic lovers of God and I am longing for more of their fellowship.

Sharing our food together

Connecting for Kingdom Purpose:

 I am connected to the wealth of grace we share together in Kingdom purpose. My visit to two orphanages helped me wrap my heart around the needs of a poor, yet happy atmosphere where children were present at every table. Understaffed and underfunded these facilities carried no lack of compassion or creativity. Families have been so ravished by poverty and the HIV/Aids epidemic, that so many of the children have lives without attachments or meaningful relationship. My heart could only take in so much at times and I needed to just stop asking the question, “Why?”. Pastor Wycliffe Khaemba would explain to me, ”many of these children just live with us here.” 

Children in Webuye

  “This is home!”

 Not a house or facility, not a school or an academy… “this is our home”, he would say to me. Its a place that nurtures grace and favor. As God offered His loving embrace, they passed it on to every child in the area. At one of our visits in Webuye, we planted a tree in celebration of our commitment to provide an atmosphere that could be called “home”. Home for almost 300 displaced children between the two locations (Webuye and Eldoret). More than just meeting daily needs, you could watch as leaders tenderly rubbed a child’s back to encourage, held a hand or wiped away a tear. These are vivid expressions of the Father’s heart made available in their own journeys of trusting Jesus with their lives.

Making Disciples:

Certificates Of Completion

One of the most difficult realities  in any effort to rise above poverty is the constant reminder of broken dreams… dreams of a brighter future for the next generation. Jesus gave us the great commission to truly enable those who want to better their lives. He commanded us to go make disciples by feeding a hunger that is very natural, the desire to grow as a whole person in Christ. It births an appetite for an unlimited potential, because nothing is impossible for him who believes. Making disciples is all about creating learners, who although they are changing and growing in knowledge, they are looking to leave a legacy for those who will come behind them. Watching the smiles emerge as pastors and church leadership received their certificates of completion made an impact on every congregation in the region. Success encourages success like nothing else can and it helps pastors believe the percieved lid that held them back can be removed. In many of these areas pastors are the key to the community peace and the future opportunity for growth.

Can We Serve?

Absolutely, we at RevivalHut Ministries are at this very moment deepening our bonds and establishing a platform for the future. Our cooperation and resource distribution will be a huge lift to a flourishing commitment to excellence. These pastors are not just interested in success, they want a revolution in their communities. A revolution of hope!

Our Opportunity:

As close to a thousand souls were swept into the Kingdom in the Malaha Market of Webuye and nineteen widows forgave the murderers of their husbands in the Mt Elgon Region, so also our God is offering us an open door. The Holy Spirit is establishing an Apostolic Training Center for developing leaders, gathering orphans and distributing resources to widows in distress. Nothing quite like this is being done with such an emphasis upon releasing a Culture of Honor. Our desire is to come alongside with resources and training that will enable a fresh company of disciples to breakforth into God’s future.

Hand in Hand

I feel compelled to lock arms with my brothers and sisters across the Globe and want to invite my readers to come along. It looks as though I will be returning to Kenya for three weeks at the end of September. Already $1200.00 has been given toward the trip. Please pray and believe God with us as we gather our team of key leaders and continue to uncover the vision of the Father’s heart.

An Apostolic Call

Called an "Apostle"

Called an "Apostle"

Nearly 2,000 years from the time of Jesus and the call still reverberates in the ears of those who are mending nets or working in the fields. The call is for disciples, those who will follow Christ without hesitation. Jesus is calling for the ones who are ready to pick up their cross… and run to the Nations.

Jesus is Walking the Shorelines:

Throughout the Earth today, people like the first century Peter and Andrew or Paul and Silas are sensing a deployment of epic proportion. Christ is calling them forth. Its as real a sound as at any time in human history. Its like Jesus is walking the shorelines of our comfortable lives, challenging people to respond and step away from the activities of fixing nets and building programs. The Church of Jesus Christ is being called to fill the Kingdom… with souls.  

Note: Its an Apostolic Calling;

You might ask, “So what makes a calling apostolic?” Glad you asked. At the center are two key concepts – “send” and “go”. The word “apostle” was a common military term used among the naval officers of Rome during the time of Christ. The word described a person like an admiral of a fleet of ships being sent with the special assignment of colonizing a new territory. These individuals were ambassadors who represented the interest of Rome. The “apostle” part of their calling has to do with their message, what they carried. In those days Rome wanted to conquer the world and when the apostle went into new territory it was to inform the present occupants of that land that they were under a new governing order. A flag and constitution were the first two orders of business.

Interestingly the Bible uses the term in reference to the returning twelve disciples Jesus had sent out with power and authority. They are sent out as students and learners- “disciples” (Lk 9:1), but return testifying to all that they had done, now being called- “apostles” (Lk 9:10). It would seem to suggest that their experience had transformed their understanding of themselves, to such a degree that they were now ruled by the purposes and priorities of the Kingdom they were representing. Thus an Apostolic Call is embraced by those who are fully engaged in establishing God’s Kingdom on planet Earth. 

New Testament Paradigm:

When the 120 believers in the upper room experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there was such a massive wave of God’s power that hit the Earth that the little company of followers were transformed into revolutionaries. The region was infiltrated, shaken and completely turned upside down by the Holy Spirit. This event represents the first apostolic revolution and at the end of the day 3,000 souls were saved and a New Church was birthed that looked nothing like the religion of the day. A unity of Spirit and community of faith were now to begin shaping the future of how the World would see God (Acts 2:40-47). The Church would be supernatural and authentic, yet committed to one another and the teaching of the Apostles.

An Apostolic People: 

An Apostolic People are a sending people, knit from the same fabric as their Leader, Jesus. “As the Father has sent (apostello) Me into the world, I also have sent (apostello) them into the world” (Jn 17:18). Today, as in the days following Pentecost, there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is making its way across our land and reviving the apostolic mandate. The echo is felt in the heart of every Apostle,  “go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19).

Making Disciples

To make disciples

To make disciples

So what has Jesus called the Church to do? Cuz’ right now we look a little silly with our cookie cutter programs and rock concert style services.

Jesus says to Peter and his brother Andrew, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). We are to be followers of Jesus who, with God’s power, make other people followers of Jesus as well. We call this discipleship. Jesus confirms this calling for us with these words, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). The Apostle Paul clarifies this calling “…the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim 2:2). 

In a nutshell: Its all about disciples!

Everything we do as the Church must be evaluated on the basis of whether it helps us accomplish the goal of making disciples who can make disciples, both within our own culture and cross-culturally in every nation, tribe and people group. That must be our standard for success as the Church.

So, how are we doing?

Are we effectively making disciples that are making disciples? As I told a group the other day, over half of our young people are walking away from Church in college. Our common model for doing church is for people to “pray a prayer and sit in a chair” and listen to the pastor. Like the culture at large, our Church culture in America is centered on entertainment, not on equipping people as effective disciple-makers. The pastor is the “performer” and the people are the spectators.

The Correct Focus:

How much of the Church is nurturing leadership that actively demonstrates the ability to make disciples, who can make disciples? There is nothing wrong with having a wonderful worship service, or a pastor who is a great teacher, but if that is the main focus of the Church then it is out of focus on what really counts.

Where to Begin?

Let’s begin with some conviction! Christians must stop pandering to the culture of our day! We cannot accept media or marketing as a valid way to acceptance with God. It is God’s will that “every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11). Our calling to discipleship is not an interference in people’s lives. It is the unavoidable conflict in the heavenly realm over the lordship of Jesus Christ in the heart of those we love. Yes, its those we love. The greatest motivation in life is to love people and carry a passion for the purposes of God. Our confession that Jesus is Lord must cause us to see… Every Nation must come into view as fields ripe unto harvest. Then and only then will we make disciples, who in turn make disciples.

Latest Update: Kenya

Hello Readers…
It is good to pray this morning about what God is about to do in the land of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania! Very soon we shall see Him raise up an Apostolic Training Center to establish a platform for resources to be dispersed into the region. The goal is to equip and empower Church leaders, train teachers and orphanage workers and offer help to widows in distress. These are times of preparation and prayer. It is with great joy that we lock arms on the ground with literally hundreds of people who are ready to step into position to offer hope and opportunity. We are expecting many wonderful testimonies among the congregations as the Will of God is made more visible by the Holy Spirit. It is very exciting, indeed!

God is moving quickly. We now stand at a unique moment, where heaven is touching earth and we get to watch a transformation emerge. It will be great and difficult… But our joy is in Jesus, using the lives of those who will walk with us in this vision. This shall become a ministry platform that God will confirm in all of us. Those who give and those who go rejoice together.

Something God is speaking into my heart is, “Focus on Purpose”. Focus on the priorities of God and not on the wisdom of man. Jesus carried five primary goals while He ministered among His 12 disciples:

  1. To preach the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven! (Mt 4:17)(Mt 4:23-25)
  2. To destroy the works of the devil! (Lk 4:18-19)(Acts 10:38)(1 Jn 3:8)
  3. To declare the Father’s Glory! (Jn 1:18)(Jn 17:22-23)(2 Cor 4:6)
  4. To give His life to Redeem man from sin! (Mt 20:28)(Lk 19:9-10)
  5. To release the Holy Spirit! (Lk 3:16)(Jn 7:37-39)(Jn 20:20-23)(Lk 24:49)(Acts 1:8)

It is an awesome privilege to commit ourselves to these principles as we set up offices and leadership in the region. God has given us incredible favor to create functional relationships and partnerships among already established Christian Leaders. These folks are living where most of the real resources are needed, right in the heart of those toughest areas to reach. I am blessed and honored to work together with seven key leaders who are humbly giving themselves daily to minister among the poorest and neediest.

I spent an hour this morning just worshiping and thanking the Father for my wonderful friends in the region, who serve as powerful Ministers of God ready to turn a nation upside down for His Glory. Let us not miss our moment of consecrated celebration. Its a commitment of covenant partnership that God will offer favor and hold us accountable, as we honor His Word.

I was taken to a Scripture in Hebrews yesterday (Heb 11:2) where God says that faith is what the ancient fathers were commended for. We will not be commended for our methods or our preaching style, we will be commended for our faith. I heard God say into my heart… ”

“Real faith is reaching into somewhere that is invisible, grabbing hold of something that is unseen and holding on until it becomes… believable, tangible and visible.”

 We see nothing today but a dream within the heart, but we must reach into that dream with our faith and be convinced of its reality in the heart of God. Then we must hold onto the prophetic purposes that God would want beyond our personal glory or efforts. Then as we see it come into the natural realm for fruitful harvest and blessing, we must prepare for the Father’s pruning for greater impact.

Honoring the New Day

Honoring the New Day

This is the New Day we heard God speak about before I ever stepped onto the airplane this past spring and entered the land of Kenya. God was dreaming and He saw in the Earth some loyal hearts ready and willing to serve. By drawing us together He gets to enjoy His dream breaking into this world. Its bigger than any one of us, bigger than the ministies we have served and bigger than our imagination, but it is completely possible in God! We place our trust in Him and we commit to follow His heart.

 Release Your Holy Spirit, Lord- like never before. We are waiting…

Blessings my friends, Pastor Ron Bateman

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