Friday, February 4, 2011

CRCA-USA Opens

We have very exciting news to share! Christian Revival Church Association is now officially incorporated as a non-profit in the US. We are now able to receive donations directly sent to CRCA. We thank God for our friends and partners who have helped us in the process and those who have helped us manage donations and even carry funds back and forth from Liberia. 

We truly see this as forward motion, a blessing from God. Below is our US PO Box: 
 

Christian Revival Church Association
P.O. Box 9034
Rocky Mount, NC  27804-9034

USA
 
Also we are working towards updating and modifying our blogsite to allow more information, pictures, and even more ways that you can be involved if you are interested! Our friend Gene has done a super job of getting us started and continually updating our blog (most times surprising me with the speed in which our new updates find their place on www.crca-liberia.blogspot.com). 


Now God has brought another friend alongside him to help with this big project. Audrey Froelich has come from Virginia to be with us in Liberia for 4 months to continue to collaborate with Gene and to work on this project to help us to keep our information current and accesible and to allow our friends and partners options and information for involvement with us...praying, giving, and/or coming! Please pray with us in this exciting and challenging work! 
 
The reality of Luke 10:2 is very clear to us as the ministry efforts and the fruit grow..."The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." Please do pray earnestly with us to the Lord of the harvest to add laborers for the harvest here in Liberia! 


He is faithful and we are thankful and blessed! Thank you for rejoicing with us in God's work in us and around us and for praying with us in our struggles and sorrows.

May God richly bless you with joy and contentment and unshakable hope of His impending promises...
With much love and appreciation,
Your CRCA Family

Friday, January 28, 2011

Conference goes international


Flag raising ceremony
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

After months of intense praying, planning, and laboring…it is hard to believe that our annual conference has come and gone, but not without leaving a powerful impression on many lives! Starting on Monday, December 27, groups of excited conference attendees gathered at the Bible Way Mission School in Monrovia (this year’s conference site) from locations across Liberia, the bordering nations of Sierre Leone and Guinea, and even as far as Austria, Belarus, the USA, and representation from India; it truly was an international conference! 

Conference cow -- good eating!
As guests registered and found their lodging places (ranging from dorm facilities to floor space on classroom floors), brothers and sisters were eager to meet and fellowship with one another, this big family of God from across the country and even the globe! The big cow that was purchased from Guinea for delicious conference food had been butchered and the cassava leaf with beef soup and rice were cooking. 

The Christian flag was proudly lifted in front and above, and the nations’ flags fell in line behind. Prayers of thanksgiving and commitment were offered, hearts prepared, and anticipation overflowing. 

Building the thatch awning
The growing group settled into benches set up under a thatch awning, with God’s own canopy of stars not seemingly far above that, as they were drawn into the theme for the conference. Pastor Rob Prokop, the senior pastor of C.I.G. (church) in Vienna, Austria and our conference keynote speaker gave a beautiful opening message on the theme “It Shall Be Well”, taken from Scripture text in Romans 8:18 and 2 Corinthians 4:7:18.

The daily activities were back to back, to be sure, so as not to miss out on a moment of our precious time together! 

Rika Grier leading worship
Mornings were devoted to worshipping this amazing God who loves us with such unquenchable love and who has filled us with hope beyond explanation. Our sister and new friend, Rika Grier, a worship leader at her home church in California, joined us, and led us to praise our Jesus with joy! Singers and dancers from different Liberian tribal dialects led us according to their own styles and traditions, as well as some beautiful harmonic contributions from our friends from Guinea & Sierre Leone, and even a surprise song in Russian from our new Belarusian friends! 

Austrian Pastor Rob Prokop
Pastor Rob taught us of the love and example of the perfect “big brother” Jesus, who even met his own death in His willingness to search out and see his younger brothers and sisters come back to the Father. Small groups met discussing each lesson in various dialects allowing each person to understand and process deeply, fully open to the movement and changing power of the Holy Spirit. The children also had their small groups; playing games, doing projects, singing songs, and learning about Our Hero Jesus and His Eternal Kingdom.

Cara Schukoske leads teachers session
Each afternoon, a dozen “special interest sessions” met in different locations for special training. Sister Cara Schukoske led a much anticipated session for our CRCA school teachers on curriculum development and being a role model for students. 

Our partners and siblings in Christ from Sierre Leone, Pastor Alphonso & Nana Barry, captured the attention of those interested in evangelism as they shared Jesus’ heart for the lost and their own personal dramatic conversions from Islam. 

Small group discussion
Our partners in the Gospel, Don & Lois Sobkoviak, with S.A.N.D. International shared on Physical and Spiritual fruitfulness while their daughter Rudina joined our own CRCA speakers to teach our young adults and youth about true love God’s way. 

Other groups converged on themes like “Leading in Love”, “Shepherding the Hearts of Children”, “The Heart of Worship”, “A Servant Heart” (for Deacons), and “Powerful Prayer.”

After some intense discussion, personal application questions, and prayer for growth, minds rested and the playing fields and courts heated up with some competitive matches of kickball, volleyball, basketball, and soccer.


Topping the highlights for evening festivities was the CRCA Vision Casting Campfire. CRCA Mission Director Dennis Aggrey shared the heart of CRCA and the vision for the future, re-kindling the fire for knowing Christ and making Him known across the world. 

We were challenged with the effectiveness of spiritual multiplication over spiritual addition…sharing Jesus should be a way of life for every Christian, and at that, our joy to do so! 

Baptism in Atlantic Ocean
Cheers of rejoicing were heard across the camp as we celebrated our Christ inspired vision for the pre-reached (by God’s grace, for many salvation is impending!) and the fruit that God has been bringing in difficult frontiers (like Guinea and the Buluyema Forest).

The grand finale of this surreal conference was the Baptism of 21 believers (20 Liberian and 1 American)  in the Atlantic Ocean on the final day of 2010; we can think of no better way to thank God for the hope that we have then to witness such a resurrection-picture! Jesus is alive and so are we! 

The battle is won, the victory is sure; we are FREE…free to give, free to forgive, free to serve, free to live basking in God’s rich love for us and loving others with a supernatural love…free to believe that no present suffering is worthy of comparison to all that God has freely given us in Christ Jesus and all that awaits us for all of eternity…such freedom!
 
CRCA Prayer Requests

Kpelle Worship
1)     Praise God for the fruit of the conference and ask that its impact would be further reaching than we can imagine! Ask that the word of God would continue to encourage us, dwelling richly and deeply in us. Ask that our love for Jesus and others would grow.

2)      Our Regional Coordinator in the Yangayah Region died just before the conference. Please pray for his family; the church family; the strengthening and encouragement of the church in that region; the leadership, direction, and growth of the ministry in Yangayah.

3)      Pray with us in the vision that God has given CRCA to continue into 2011…to strengthen our existing ministry and to continue to expand the ministry by the power and work of the Holy Spirit. Continue to lift up our new frontiers: Guinea, the Buluyema Forest, and Cape Mount. Also pray for the strengthening and stability of our current churches. Ask God for the salvation of many, for discipleship and growth, and for leaders to be raised up. Pray for our pastors and evangelists. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Please ask for more laborers! Also pray for more new frontiers!

4)      Pray for our partners and the mission teams that will be coming to Liberia in 2011; specifically 3 teams coming in February: a team from CIG Vienna, Austria to work on agricultural projects in Kpondeh Town; a team coming from SP UK to work with the Operation Christmas Child project; and our new partners, Nurses for the Nations coming to do medical mission and to discuss how God might use our ministries as a team in the future for His purposes. 

Yay for Jesus!
5)      Pray for our sister Audrey who has come from Virginia to work with us for the next four months; she requests prayer for God’s will and guidance for her time in Liberia; wisdom in decision making while in this different culture; and her work with CRCA (specifically website design). 

6)      Pray for Dennis and a team that left for Lofa County yesterday. They will be working on the foundational construction for the additional classrooms and auditorium space being added to Konia Christian Revival School and doing support ministry with our churches.

7)      Pray for funding needed for a shipment of some useful materials being sent to CRCA Liberia through Service to Servants.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Badezu, Buluyema Forest & Guinea


News from the follow-up trip on the frontier of Badezu deep in the Buluyema Forest of Liberia, West Africa…

After God blessed our team (Liberians, Austrians, Americans, and Belarusians) with the opportunity to fly into Badezu by chopper on a one day trip, Pastor Willie Johnson was able to lead a team of 5 back on the long hike to the Buluyema Forest for a week long follow-up ministry there. We received a call upon Pastor Willie’s return that the trip was blessed and productive. The team was able to visit homes from village to village and host daily morning devotions and daily evening worship services. During their time there, 28 people prayed to receive Christ and the Sunday morning worship service had 68 adults in attendance from Badezu alone. There is one brother in position to continue some discipleship and teaching while he is in Buluyema.

Work on a water-well for the community has been started, and also eager hands are joining together to make blocks to be used in the construction of a building for worship and guest lodging! Please continue to praise God for His heart that all might know Him and belong to Him and pray for the discipleship and growth and encouragement for our new brothers and sisters!

After our fruitful visit to Guinea just about a week ago, Pastor Harris (our pastor in Kpassagizia) has been able to cross the border for Bible study in the biggest town across the Guinea/Liberia border! The few believers there have planned with Pastor Harris to have a weekly Bible study on Wednesday evenings in their town. The Gospel attack across the border that we have been praying about for so long now is really coming to life—please pray for continued laborers in the field…the harvest is ripe indeed!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Luyema & Borkeza


The Scripture says in 2 Corinthian 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

A recent CRCA church plant in northern Liberia is in a little town called Luyema. Brother Philip is our evangelist who visits this town. He is diligently teaching the word of God and demonstrating God’s love through his life style. He has seen the power of The Truth that sets people free. The current response to what God is doing there could easily be pulled straight from the Book of Acts. In those days a young slave girl was stopped from making money for her owners through predicting the future and fortune telling when Paul cast an evil spirit from her. Because of that the owners of the slave girl “seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities” (Acts 16:16-21).

On the second Sunday in December of 2010, Dennis visited with this new church for worship. He was greeted happily by many (about 78 adults in attendance) of the new believers in Christ. Dennis tells of the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in this new congregation. With all the excitement of changed lives, there were also some who were angry, including the town chief and his elders. After the worship service, the chief wanted to bring his complaint about the church. Dennis met with him to hear what he had to say. He explained that there was a man named Flomo Zayzay in the village that had always been getting drunk and creating disturbances in the community. The protocol for handling his misbehavior was to fine him. Since he rarely had the cash, the leaders would fine him for his possessions instead, one time even confiscating the tin sheets he was given by a relief organization to roof his house. Other times he would work on the chief and elders farms as a payment for his debts. After Brother Philip came to Luyema and this notorious troublemaker gave his life to Christ Jesus, he became a new creation in Christ and his mischief in the town stopped. Dennis was a bit puzzled…asking, “So aren’t you happy that this man is no longer causing you trouble by doing evil in the town?” To which, the elder replied that he wasn’t happy because he was losing money from the fines that Mr. Zayzay’s conduct brought to him in the past. May God continue to change the means of income in this place and transform the precious people there with His glorious Gospel!

While the Kingdom of God is advancing, Satan continues to attack. Many of you have been praying for Pastor Samson Jones and our brothers and sisters in Borkeza; thank you! Pastor Samson, his wife Alice, and their small daughter, Rebecca Weedor, were able to join us for a great time of encouragement during our annual conference. While at the conference, Samson got news from Borkeza that the town elders decided to take a strong and more official stand against his “rebellion”. (For those who aren’t aware, a few months back Pastor Samson respectfully refused to pay a “tax” that was placed on all Borkeza residents to fund the visit of a “witch doctor” to the town.) The day after Samson returned from the conference, they made proclamation through the masked devil that anyone who talked to Samson and his family, sold goods to them, or bought goods from them would be fined. Samson and his family are suffering to buy what they need and his family business (a small drug store) is now providing next to nothing for the family to live on. However, amazingly, God continues to provide and attendance at their daily Bible studies continues to increase! Samson remains hopeful, trusting in God, and rejoicing over how God is using this struggle to bring others into the church to hear God’s Word. Dennis just returned from Lofa; while in Borkeza he was able to meet with the chiefs to schedule a more formal meeting to take place in a few weeks between our church leadership and the town elders. Please pray for this upcoming meeting and pray for the Jones’ family and for the trial before them; ask for encouragement, strength, wisdom, love, and spiritual fruit!  

Monday, November 15, 2010

21 Baptized in Borkeza!

Borkeza is the town where CRCA church members have suffered ostracism and persecution recently. 
Read about it here. But our God is a mighty God!  

This morning God brought a wonderful breakthrough, a rainbow after the storm! 

Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement for our brothers and sisters in Borkeza. It has been challenging there over these last months. As some of you know, the leaders of the town put sanctions against the Christians there, saying that anyone who spoke to them would be fined. 

Although they didn't ever officially start to follow through on that, many family members and friends of the Christians started to ostracize them. 

Pastor Samson called today with a joyful report of a baptism service in which 21 people were baptized! The church rejoiced dancing through the town and even others were joining in. They also had their first communion service ever. 

God is faithful! Thanks for your continued prayers and love. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dennis is Gift #8

Dennis Aggrey is featured in Gift #8 in the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Gift Catalog -- Sharing God's Word.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Borkeza: Standing their ground


“We who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed. At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that His life also may be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11

Monday, October 04, 2010

Dear Friends:

We greet you in Jesus’ glorious name!

The above passage, taken from 2 Corinthians, has been chosen as part of our text for the upcoming CRCA 2010 Annual Conference, themed “It Shall Be Well”. This text speaks directly into the current situation in one of our churches. We want to update you about the enemy’s attack on our brothers and sisters in Christ in Borkeza, Lofa County, and especially to ask you for fervent prayers on their behalf.

Pastor Samson Jones called this morning and told us that a recent struggle between the Christians (specifically CRCA church) and the town leaders/traditional religious leaders has escalated. The town elders and traditional religious leaders decided to bring a “medicine man” (witch doctor/voodoo man) to the town to help expel evil practices and “bad” medicine (poisons) from within. They ordered every person to pay a set amount towards bringing the man to the town. Pastor Samson and Christians from the CRCA church in Borkeza respectfully explained that they would not be able to support or pay towards the presence of the “medicine man”. The pastors and members of the other two churches in town all paid their contributions. The believers and Pastor Samson were kind, but firmly stood their ground….they would not serve two masters.

After two weeks, the town leaders did not relent and the CRCA church members, too, did not give in. The leaders placed sanctions against CRCA, threatening that anyone in the town who even speaks to Pastor Samson, his family, or CRCA church members will be fined.

Thank you for praying…He that hears is faithful and powerful!

Standing on the Rock that Never Fails,
Part of the Body in Liberia
   

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lofa Road breakdown a divine appointment

Lofa Road in 2006
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

*Heart-felt Greetings to you in Christ Jesus our LORD!*

Although the dry season is almost here now, it wasn’t during our recent trip to Lofa County! The road was already rough and the Land Cruiser was not 100% and the rain kept coming. At one point Dennis said, “This car cannot take us to Konia today.” Not understanding the mind of God and His bigger-than-our-own plans, some of us prayed that He would show His power by miraculously carrying us directly to Konia. When we could go on no longer, we turned around just in time to have the Land Cruiser completely breakdown a short distance from a small village called Dr. Mason Farm. When it was clear that we would be staying for the night, we cooked dinner and the families there were kind enough to give all of us places to sleep. 

The Evangelism Team set up the big screen and their equipment and the local people spread the word to the neighboring houses and villages that The Jesus Film would be shown. Little did we know that the miracle God was going to do was far greater than the one that we asked him for. That night God opened the eyes of 18 people who came that night to follow Jesus and they prayerfully committed their lives to Him! God did show His power in a way mightier than we knew to ask or could even imagine!

The next day, after passing through some tough muddy spots, our team arrived in Konia before dark. The Evangelism Team was on the road again with a packed schedule for evangelistic efforts around Lofa County through use of The Jesus Film (video). During the 10-day trip, the team was able, by God’s grace, to do eight film showings in seven different places, with the Gospel-proclaiming efforts being followed up by the local CRCA churches and pastors. In one big city, Zorzor, nearly 1,000 people turned up to watch Jesus speaking Lorma and Kpelle (the local dialects) in the presentation of the Gospel of Luke brought to living color through The Jesus Film. The pastors and evangelists found the task of getting an exact count of the droves of people practically impossible and of those almost 1,000 viewers, more than 100 confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior that night! Thanks be to God!

Back at the Konia base, the CRCA support staff members along with the new Lofa County Regional Coordinator (Pastor Zubah Stevens), were hosting meetings and working closely with the Konia Christian Revival Church and school. The church has a strong presence in Konia and is known for loving and helping the community. Bible studies and fellowship meetings are held weekly outside various church members’ homes and daily morning devotions are held at the church at 5:30AM every morning. 

Upon sitting in on a few of these weekly activities and observing the Christians’ lives, it is clear to see that they are not content to simply hold meetings and programs, but they truly want to gain wisdom and understanding from God’s Word and then practically apply it in their daily lives. What a joy to be together with this deepening and multiplying body of Brothers and Sisters!

The Konia CRCA School, likewise, is an example of constant and growth and blessing. There are currently 447 students from Nursery to 9th Grade. The school has become highly respected in Lofa County and beyond; even Muslim parents are sending their children to the school in hopes of a better education and a brighter future. Recently a representative of the Ministry of Education recommended that the school apply for a government grant for a project to construct more classrooms with the intention of extending Konia Christian Revival to high school level. 

God and the government gave favor, the money was allotted, and the project is slated to start early next year. The school is step by step becoming self-sustaining and some of the money that it and the other CRCA schools have generated is being used to start a new school this year—Christian Revival School in Jungle Farm in Margibi County! We pray that God will continue to use CRCA to minister to children and their parents and that we might be part of raising up disciples for Jesus and giving them all of the tools to equip them to do anything that God might call them to in the future!

Thanks be to our God, the Creator and giver of wisdom, for His ways that are above ours and for His Sovereignty in all things!
  • Pray for our upcoming Annual Conference (Dec. 27-31). Ask for unity and success in the planning and preparing; our first planning meeting is scheduled for Thursday (9/30). Our theme this year is “It Shall Be Well” taken from Romans 8:18 and 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.
  • Pray for the CRCA Evangelism team—for strength, for fruit, for wisdom, and for discipleship/follow-up efforts. The team has specifically asked for prayer for the new believers, that they would be firmly rooted in the Truth and follow Jesus throughout their lives.
  • Praise God for our 7 CRCA Schools. Please pray for Yassah David (Project Coordinator), Zubah Aggrey (School Coordinator), the principals, administrators, teachers, and students. Please pray that our kids would be “trained in the way they should go” and equipped to serve God in any way that He may lead them in the future. 
  • Please pray for our Brother and Sister, David and Judy Humphries, who will be leaving the US on Saturday (10/2) to come to Liberia to serve with CRCA for two months. Please also pray for other individuals and teams who God is raising up to work with us later this year also and for our plans and schedule for next year.
  • Please pray for our pastors and evangelists and their families who are transitioning into new field assignments:
    • Pastor Zubah and Mother Nyenpue Stevens (3 sons: Junior, Moses, and Abraham)—Lofa Regional Coordinator
    • Pastor Sam Tabolo (wife Paulsha and sons Paul and Gabriel)—Jawajeh Regional Coordinator and Pastor
    • Johnny Chenney (fiancĂ© Jeanette and children Webster, Joseph, and Esther)—Evangelist and Teacher in Peter's Town
    • Elder Rennie and Ma Kpanah Carr—Brewerville Evangelist
    • Pastor Willie Johnson (wife Farzee and daughters Larme, Zygbo, Malay, Comfort, and Yassah)—Liberia Baptist Seminary Student and Monrovia Pastor
    • Pastor Jallah Anthony—Monrovia Assistant Pastor
  • Pray for wisdom, unity, effectiveness, and true team work in the CRCA family.
  • Pray for the CRCA churches and their projects to continue to bear fruit.
  • Pray for God’s continual leading and direction for the future, that we would hear His voice and listen.
  • Our prayer for our partners (you!)—that you would be encouraged and blessed by all that God is doing here through our joint effort. Thank God!