Hamjambo MaBebe na MaBwana, (Greetings to my Sisters and Brothers)
As we begin this newsletter, Sharon and I want to wish you a very happy, prosperous and blessed 2023. Each of you receiving this newsletter are very special to us and are incredible blessings from our God above in our lives and the ministry God has given us to steward. We do pray that God has been your source of strength in 2022 and that 2023 will be a year where the heaviness of the past few years will be broken off your family, your health, your finances, and your relationship with Him and with others.
We also bring you greetings from all the countries and church leaders we represent. The year 2022 has been a pretty incredible year for the IPHC works in the region of East & Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA). In 2018 we were asked by our WMM Director to set 5-year goals that would help us get to our ultimate goals for our denominational push to reach Arise 2033. Just a few months ago I was getting our numbers together and was overwhelmed at what God and our national leaders had accomplished.
Here are a few areas that show what has been accomplished:
- We set a goal to have 1,156 Churches and 551,235 church members in ESSA by the end of 2023. In September 2022, as I was putting our numbers together, we have 1,400 churches and over 630,000 members.
- We have also been able to establish a new work in a very difficult nation in our region. For the safety of our workers there I will not mention the name of the country.
We thank God for each of these achievements and sincerely thank all our national leaders and pastors who have helped make this happen. They have continued to work tirelessly, even through the challenges of Covid and instability in some countries. Their reward will be great one day.
We have also been able to see some progress in our building projects. We have made some good headway on many of our major projects and a lot of smaller ones as well.
- In this year we have been able to assist with at least 15 roofing jobs.
- We have finished the main structure and roofed and finished one of the four floors on our large headquarters in Ethiopia.
- We have finished the first phase of the Philip and Gailya List Centre, a two-story structure that serves as the HQ for our church in Kenya, as well as the home of Christian Life Worship Centre. We also were able to dig a borehole and set up a water distribution ministry at this location.
- In January we hope to begin phase two of this centre, which will be a multistoried building that will have a kitchen and dining facilities, as well as offices and classrooms.
- We have completed about 70% of our Bible School buildings in Ethiopia and DR Congo.
- We have also completed at least 50% of our Central Church in Burundi, where we have a growing church and a large children’s ministry.
God has been good and has provided so faithfully in all these areas. Of course, as the work grows more and more, opportunities will arise, and we will continue finishing what we have started. If you feel led to assist us in completing one of these projects, see the list of projects included below.
On the family side of life, all is very well. Sharon and I are both doing very well even though we are dealing with some small physical issues. Our kids are all well. Joshua and Allison had a new baby girl on Feb. 16. She is a wonderful surprise gift from God! She has just learned to do her version of scooting and crawling and can get anywhere she needs to. Then we got another surprise this Christmas when we found out that Jessica and Luke will be having a little girl in June of 2023. Also, most of you know, Janene, who is also a full-time missionary, was released to her mission field in June and moved to Wales in August 2022. She is doing great and getting adjusted to living in a different country.
Let me close this letter out by once again saying, on behalf of Sharon and myself, thank you, thank you, thank you! You have been so faithful to pray for us, support us, and encourage us as we continue to serve Him here in Africa.
Below are projects that need support in order to be completed. You can donate through your local IPHC Church, give online, or mail a check to IPHC WMM with the earmarked project to PO Box 270420, Oklahoma City, OK 73173.
1. Ethiopia Conference Centre – 15002P - give.iphc.org/project/ethiopia-addis-abba-church
2. List Conference Centre – 11581P - give.iphc.org/project/kenya-list-conference-center
3. Burundi Conference Centre – 11623P - give.iphc.org/project/burundi-bujumbura-conf
4. East Africa Church Roofs – 11517P - give.iphc.org/project/east-africa-church-roofs
God bless you all and again, Happy New Year!!!
Ron & Sharon Wooten