TIMES OF CHANGE
Updated: Jan 31, 2020
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
Daniel 2:21 (NIV)
God changes times and seasons.
We believe that this is a new time and a new season as we enter not only into a new year but also into a new decade.
We have seen the times of change in the earthly realm and more specifically in Zambia over the last few years. Since our coming to this nation as a married couple in ministry 15 years ago, we have seen so much change.
Change for the good? Yes! I remember my first years in Ndola standing in line at the grocery store waiting for what seemed like hours! Today there are not only several grocery stores but also several malls of sorts with tonnes of stores with basically almost anything you could need. Sure does make life easier now.
Over the years there has been a significant increase in vehicles in Zambia. Good second hand vehicles are coming in steadily from Japan making it much easier and affordable for Zambians to own their own cars.
There has also been change for the good with the increase of companies coming in the Chiwala area providing jobs for the locals. Now they are no longer solely dependent upon their gardens for income.
While there has been much change for the good (in many other ways as well), there have also been changes that aren’t so lovely.
In the recent months we have heard of an increase in child trafficking and kidnapping. When we visited Livingstone last year we were told that we needed birth certificates with us if we planned to cross the border. Immigration was trying to tighten things up as children were being smuggled out of the country to be sold in South Africa. And closer to home (in more ways than one), just this past December sadly one of our young nephews went missing (still to this day). We have heard of 3 or 4 other stories since then where local Ndola children have been kidnapped (often right from school).
Additionally, within the last year Zambians have been complaining that there is “no money” in the country any more. The cost of living has increased. Fuel has increased. In the grocery store the other day I saw several people shaking their heads while commenting on the increase in prices. Even ZESCO (the power company) has been cutting power off up to 12-18 hours a day - meaning many of us have had to resort back to charcoal and candlelight while others have turned to gas and solar solutions.
Implications of these times of change on our ministry
With an increase in child trafficking and kidnapping, the government is trying to crack down on child and youth care workers and organizations so that there will be no violations in such a manner. This means more requirements for New Gen Mission to follow. Thankfully Hellen is available for us in this way and is helping us to put everything in order. She is aware of the minimum standard of care for the children and youth we reach out to as well as all the changes in governing guidelines that need to be followed and carried out.
The increase in the cost of living also means an increase in the overall running costs for the various ministries of NGM. At the moment we have less monthly donations coming in than our ministry needs (see below for our current needs).
We definitely do not claim that the negative changes in the earthly realm are of God’s doing – we know and understand that they are a result of Satan’s tactics to try and abort God’s plans and purposes. But in light of these changes we can discern the times of change in the heavenly realm.
Just as in the days of Moses and Jesus, when the enemy killed children in order to try and put a stop to God’s plan, so it is in this season that we can believe that God is raising up leaders among children who will vastly influence the world for His Kingdom. And because of this, Satan is frightened and is summoning his kingdom to try and stop the true children of God from being revealed – the children that all creation has been groaning and longing for. We can believe that we are entering an exciting new season in which children are being raised up as God’s presence carriers so that the whole earth may indeed be covered with His glory .
We can also be encouraged that since the Kingdom of God operates according to the government of heaven, we who belong to His Kingdom do not have to conform to the patterns of this world (including the up and down patterns of its economy) as we are transformed by the renewing of our mind to His Kingdom ways and principles. In His Word, we have been told that Jesus has given us everything that we need to live godly lives and to carry out the calling He predestined for us to fulfill. We can be assured that there is no financial lack in His Kingdom. So in the midst of a poor earthly economy and more specifically a poor Zambian economy – God’s children can rise above with the promises of His abundance and we can see His plans and purposes being fulfilled. He is the God of the more than enough. He does exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or imagine. To Him be the glory.
Instead of being discouraged at this time of change where we see things becoming more difficult in the natural realm, we can be encouraged to shine as His bright ones through which He brings hope to the world. We need to see that within this new season is a ripe and plentiful harvest for souls. This new season is a time of restoration for the children of God to take back from the enemy which is rightfully ours in Jesus’ Name.
September last year was the beginning of the Jewish year, 5780*. Much has been spoken of 5780 as a year in which we must be very wise with our use of words. Speaking words of life and not death. And so we are taking this opportunity to speak words of life over NGM and all those we touch in Jesus’ Name.
Keeping in alignment with the Jewish Calendar*, we are now entering the 5th month, Shevat. This month, which coincides with February, has its name derived from the root word meaning “strike” – referring to the heavy rains of the season (this is definitely in line with Zambian’s current rainy season). We want to declare that this month will not only be a month of heavy rains in the natural but also in the supernatural as well.
Interestingly enough, with a little research, we also discovered that the biblical significance of number 5 has to do with the goodness, grace and favour of God.
We are believing that this month we will see God’s favour heavily reign upon and through NGM by giving us an increase in children ripe for harvest as well as an increase of 5 times the usual monthly giving of just over 1000. This is our prayer and desire not just for February (although a good start) but also for the whole year. We are seeking God’s favour for more of the riches of His glory stored up for the saints to be released to NGM as we seek to honour Him by making Him known to the children and youth of Zambia.
A new year has started with 29 B2S students.
In December Joel served as a team leader for Teen Mission International’s Boot Camp. Upon completion, he was accepted into their 3 year BMW (Bible, Mission and Work) diploma course. Late in 2019 we were approached by the director of MMM (Mobile Mission Maintenance) asking us if we knew of any young men who would be interested in their Vocational Training Program. We shared with some of the young men we knew and Kelvin accepted the invitation for an interview. He was readily accepted and given a partial scholarship. He just started his program this week!
NGM Royal Academy
This year we started renting a few homes in the Chilenga area to serve as classrooms for our school. The community in fact encouraged us to build a school in the area since there is none close by. We managed to acquire land nearby to build a primary school for the community (still of course with the goal and purpose of raising a new generation on fire for Jesus). The other land that we have will be used, in time, God willing for a secondary school with boarding facilities.
We thank God for the opportunity our family had over the girls’ school break to spend time at OM Zambia. It was precious to spend time with other missionary families and gain many more friends.
We also had the opportunity to go to Lusaka to work on Josiah’s Canadian citizenship and passport applications. Part of the requirement included submitting proof of travel. And so we had to purchase tickets to Canada for Mommy and Josiah. Of course our plan is for the whole family to travel together to Canada – we will purchase the rest of the tickets in due time. God willing, our family departs for Canada July 27th – just days after the completion of the girls’ school year here and in good timing for them to prepare for another school year there.
We are asking you to come in agreement with us as we believe God for everything to come together according to His God ordained plan for our lives (home, school, income, length of stay, destiny fulfillment path, etc).
Please pray for Hellen and Smart as they will be the ones heading up NGM in Zambia during our stay in Canada.
Transportation – We are trusting God for a large van to help run the ministry more smoothly and efficiently. Chilenga is so far from Ndola (approximately 25km) to try and rely on hiking and taxis alone. Hellen is a licensed driver with much experience and we hope to provide Smart with training too in the near future.
Staff – Currently we have 8 staff members and are in need of at least a few more to help run NGM smoothly and efficiently. Along with that comes their monthly payments as well.
B2S – With the beginning of a new school year we need to pay more school fees, as well as purchase more school uniforms and supplies, and everything else needed in order to meet the minimum standard of care for the children and youth we are serving.
NGM Royal Academy – Everything needed to run a functioning school with excellence: materials, curriculum, supplies, equipment, furniture, posters, teaching aids, readers, sports equipment, craft supplies, etc
You! – We would love to invite you to be involved with NGM by PRAYING, GIVING, GOING & SHARING! We need intercessors to join us in the fight for souls so that truly a new generation of children would be raised up on fire for Jesus to impact this world for Christ! We need more monthly and occasional givers as the Spirit leads and provides in order to help meet the growing needs. We need volunteers to come and see what’s happening here – you are welcome to come and give us a hand in building up the school both physically (construction) and academically (teaching/administration). We also would be so grateful for you to share about NGM with others in your life (friends, family, church, school, groups, etc) who can also do the same (Pray, Give, Go, Share).
Thank you for all you do to help push NGM towards reaching a new generation of children and youth for JESUS!
God bless you exceedingly and abundantly!
Love in Christ,
Happy, Evangeline, Caia, Malaika and Josiah for us all at NGM!
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward them for what they have done.
*Editor's Note: This past September (or the month of Tishri according to the Jewish Calendar), Israel, Jews, Messianic Jews and other believers in Christ celebrated the new year 5780. The Hebrew calendar starts counting from creation. So it is believed that it is year 5780 from the date of creation. Many people have emphasized this year as a year in which we are to be careful with our words.
To have clearer understanding as to why men and women of God are saying this, I did some more research and discovered here (for instance) that the number 80 in Hebrew is pronounced peh which is the same word for mouth. Hence, believers are encouraging us to be careful with our mouths - to declare words of life and not death.
When writing the newsletter, I counted 5 months beginning from the Jewish New Year (aka Rosh Hashanah) in September until February. I then looked up online the name of the month of the Hebrew calendar that coincides with the Gregorian month February and discovered that it was Shevat. Here is where I learned the meaning behind the name Shevat.
According to the civil year, Shevat is the 5th month counting from the new year beginning with the month Tishri (which was in September).
That's how I used #5. I looked up the biblical meaning of 5 here
You can read about Rosh Hashanah (the Head of the Year) here
As you can notice from the above, according to the ecclesiastical year, Nissan is the first month of the year and the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) was to be in the 7th month (Tishri) making Shevat the eleventh month. I didn't realize that there was more than one new year in the Jewish Calendar.
The above link about Rosh Hashanah highlights Leviticus 23:23-25; Numbers 29:1; Nehemiah 8-9; Psalm 81:3-4 as to why Jews celebrate the New Year at the time they do.
I am sorry for any confusion. I am learning.
The reason why I enjoy learning about the Hebrew/Jewish calendar is because it is so biblically significant with the times and seasons. Its holidays are the ones celebrated in the bible (Leviticus 23) by the Israelites and all point to Christ. See more about the biblical feasts here.
It was personally on my heart to declare good words for NGM specifically (and for all of us believers generally). From reading scripture and listening to men and women of God, these days seem very strategic for His Kingdom. Romans 8 talks of all creation groaning for the true sons of God to be revealed. Waiting for believers to rise up and be and do all that God has for us to be and do by His Spirit.
While at the same time it seems things are getting much more evil and dark in our world, I believe from reading the Word and hearing from other believers that this is a new season in which His children will be shining brighter than ever before.
In America abortion has been a huge topic - men and women of God have compared the killing of innocent babies with the times of Moses and Jesus.
We believe before the end of this age that there will be a great in gathering of souls - a huge harvest where many will come to Christ - and children and youth will have a significant role to play.
We know that no matter the evil and hardships that may be happening in our world, we as believers can be encouraged that we are not of this world and that better days are ahead for us. We receive God's favour, grace and goodness to shine brighter and brighter in the ever increasing darkness so that still more may know Jesus!