Just got back from a ten day ministry trip working with children’s pastors and ministry leaders in South Africa. It was a magnificent time of training and encouragement; both for me and for the participants. The conference is run by Lisa Ekman, a representative of Ivangeli, which is loosely connected to Gospel Light. This was Lisa’s 20th year of running a children’s ministry leader’s training conference in South Africa. Additionally, she travels most Saturdays throughout the region and works with churches, training their children’s ministry leader teams. Her work has been steadfast and effective. This was my 7th time being involved in this particular training event and it has always been a blessing.
Many of the participants are volunteers at their churches and travel long distances to come to the conference and get training. Because of the support I receive from donations to Jeff Smith Ministries, I am able to provide resources for reduced prices and for free. I also leave Lisa product as follow up for ministries in the area that might want to get some of these resources well after I’m gone.
In this picture, I am leading the ministry teams in prayer for the conference and for their ministries. It was part of my keynote address: Praying with Purpose.
During this session in Johannesburg, I was teaching storytelling and getting participants involved in a rousing rendition of a favorite parable.
This group of volunteers works with Jackson Ridge Children’s Ministry Training Centers in Magailesburg, South Africa. The students all were trained in using the God Rods, well before I got there. They have a wild and infectious enthusiasm for children’s ministry and it was great to meet and work with them.
Can’t do a conference without some movement ministry classes, right? We taught, “When Love Was Born” as a Christmas piece and “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” for Easter.
In the middle of the week, I get to take a small hiatus with Colin, Lisa’s husband, who is a pastor at Village Church in Lone Hills, but just getting ready to retire in April. (Congratulations Colin! Well done my good and faithful servant!) This year, we went to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and had wonderful (and relaxing) time. Victoria Falls is a wonder and a glorious place to soak in the presence of God. I was able to spend some valuable and important time in ministry with Colin while I was there. The Falls were filled with rainbows. It was a wonderful reminder of God’s promises to be faithful in all things.As always, my thanks to those who give to make these trips possible. Next up is a trip to Lima, Peru to be with Rich and Wanda Ferguson and working with children’s ministry leaders and creative ministry teams that support their mission there. I’ll be heavily involved in camps, training conferences, and VBS programs this summer.