“Friends, let us not parade our love in words or talk only; but let us show it in deeds and make it real.” – The Apostle John


Friday, October 11, 2019

College Ministry Conference - LTLA Prayer Bulletin:


 Dear LTLA Friends,

Would you join us in praying for the 40 students from Chinhoyi University of Technology who will gather this weekend for the 2nd annual Life to Life Collegiate Conference? We are excited that Edmond Mudzimu will be the speaker. Edmond used to teach at a farm school near Chinhoyi and was discipled by Ron Shimkus. He began passing along the things he was learning from Ron to his friend and fellow church-member Arthur Nhau.

When Edmond left the farm school to teach in Harare, the capitol, Ron continued discipling and training Arthur. Later, Arthur became the LTLA Director in Chinhoyi. When Edmond speaks at the conference this weekend he will therefore be sharing with his spiritual grandchildren, as he is one of Arthur's spiritual fathers. It will be a special weekend. The theme of the conference is My Life, a Light to the World. The messages are: "What is the Gospel?," "Not Ashamed of the Gospel," "Lifestyle Evangelism," and "How can I keep on Shining for Christ?"

There are also two other college ministry conferences taking place this weekend: The Navigators Zimbabwe Student Conference in Harare, and the Mid America Navigators "Main Event" Conference in Ames, IA. Let's pray that students will wholeheartedly give their lives to Christ and begin the journey of laboring for His kingdom as disciple-makers.

As you pray for college students, please also pray for the ministry efforts of the Life to Life Ministry at University of Central Florida (UCF). This university is the largest in America; last year enrollment reached 68,000. What an opportunity for sharing the Gospel! Life to Life Ministries at UCF meets on Sunday evenings. Pray for open hearts to the Good News of Jesus Christ at this large harvest field. Pray also that the students they are discipling will develop a hunger for spending time with God daily in His word.

Thank you for joining us in asking our good Lord to move in the hearts of the next generation in Africa and in America. As we all know, this world is in desperate need of transformation. Let's ask the Lord to bring it about in the young people attending these conferences this weekend, and on campuses of all sizes all around the world.


Beseeching our Lord,
Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa

Monday, September 30, 2019

First Time Ever


For the first time ever, LTLA was able to have an information table during orientation week at Chinhoyi University of Technology! Our ministry team was able to connect with 69 first year students, and of those 69, ten students have become active in attending our weekly Bible study. Pray with us that these and other students would encounter Christ, respond in following Him and be equipped to become laborers in His Kingdom.

You may recall that our ministry team was restricted in their presence on campus last semester. The university chaplain, an Evangelical Church of Zimbabwe pastor in Chinhoyi, was influential in enabling us to participate in the orientation week. We are grateful for his friendship and for the Evangelical Church with whom we collaborate well for the cause of Christ. They are holding strong to the purity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a time when the prosperity gospel is infiltrating churches.

We were encouraged by two student leaders in our ministry, Mike and Theodora, who joined the ministry team at the orientation table. Mike was led to Christ by Ezra, an Iowa State Univ student, who served with a Navigators team in 2017. Join us in praying that more students will join our ministry team in evangelism and discipling efforts on campus.


LTLA college ministry team members and two student leaders met incoming first year students during orientation week at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT). (Standing L to R: Mike (CUT student), Stella, Gogo Mildred, Theodora (CUT student), Otillia, Marvelous; Kneeling: Zviko (left) and Tatenda)


Zviko, Theodora (CUT student), Otillia & Tatenda at the LTLA orientation table at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT)



Community Impact 


You may also recall that in May the Life to Life Ministry team from University of Central Florida encouraged the LTLA team in their evangelism efforts. Since then, the LTLA team has led the following young adults to Christ: Junior, Levenia and Mildred, as well as Gogo Rice, a grandmother. The team also has come alongside the following young adult "spiritual orphans" in discipling relationships: Privilege, Abraham, Tawanda and Divine. Please pray that the LTLA team will establish these new believers in their relationships with Christ and that they would progress toward being equipped to labor for Christ.

What is especially encouraging is that the full LTLA ministry team is engaging in these efforts. The older team members have been receiving more in-depth evangelism and discipleship training this year. They have paired up with younger team members, going out two by two as Jesus sent out his disciples. We are excited to see the impact that the LTLA team is having in the Chinhoyi community!


Life to Life Africa Team



Thank you for holding us up in prayer!
Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa



Friday, September 13, 2019

Stewardship Training & Refreshment

Dear LTLA Friends,

Thank you for your prayers for me to be encouraged in and guided by the Lord! I am experiencing encouragement and guidance in my personal life as well as in my leadership of Life to Life Africa. Thank you for supporting me and this ministry by asking our Lord to remind me of his good promises that tell us "darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you." (Isaiah 60:2)

The remainder of Isaiah 60 & 61, speak of our hope in what God has done and will continue to do in establishing His kingdom. God is indeed taking the least in Zimbabwe and multiplying their lives spiritually. (Isaiah 60:22) The good news of Jesus Christ is being preached, the brokenhearted are being bound up, prisoners to sin and darkness are being freed, those mourning and without are experiencing comfort and provision. (Isaiah 61:1-2) These ones, who God calls oaks of righteousness, are seeing their beauty in God's eyes and they are filled with joy which leads them to praise God instead of living in despair. (Isaiah 61:3)

The next verses in Isaiah 61 speak of how his people will rebuild, restore and renew as well as how they will be ministers of our God. (Isaiah 61:4,6) Below are updates that tell how God is equipping the LTLA team to function in these ways.


Stewardship Training 


Shelton, LTLA team member, as well as Park and Tyler, ministry contacts in Malawi, graduated on August 31, in Blantyre, Malawi from the Crown Ministries Training of Trainers course. The six week course objective is to equip the trainees to become "faithful stewards of the natural, financial and human resources that God has entrusted to [them] with the expectation that [they] will use [their] expertise to train others." The core values of the training are: Christ-Centeredness, Faithfulness, Excellence, and Servanthood. They were trained in the following areas: Personal Finances, Personality Trait Assessment, Character First, Sustainable Farming, Composting, Vegetable & Mushroom Production, Bee Keeping, Farm Planning and Life Skill Training.

Crown Stewardship School Graduation Invitation


Shelton (right) participating in sustainable farming training at the Crown Stewardship School.


Bee Keeping Training at the Crown Stewardship School.


Shelton shares how even human waste can be redeemed for use as fertilizer. 
(Video cuts off short before he can fully explain the compost toilet concept. 
See photo explanation below.)




The three types of compost toilets that Shelton showed in the video:
 



They are extremely grateful and encouraged by the intensive training they received. These are very practical and sustainable projects that they are equipped to implement, which will supply food and income. As they embark in these projects and develop in skill they will be able to train others to duplicate these enterprises. Along with the practical training, Shelton highlighted the following as the key lessons learned:

The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the foundation of everything as it redeems our relationship with God and empowers us to live the life God created us to live.

Faithfulness and Good Stewardship. We are not owners but stewards of all that God has given us. He will bless us with more to steward as we are faithful to him and his ways.

Integrity. We are accountable to God in everything. Just as he has shown himself to be trustworthy so should we in all aspects of life.

Biblical Principles. The Bible speaks to how we are to live and it guides us in our every endeavor, whether personal or a business effort.

We are eager to see how the Lord uses this training to advance God's kingdom through LTLA in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, and through the ministry efforts of Park & Tyler in their communities in Malawi. Pray with us to see lives transformed as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is declared through these stewardship projects.


Tyler, Park, & Shelton (l to r) attended the 6-week Training of Trainers Course at Crown Ministries Stewardship School in Blantyre, Malawi


Refreshment in Ministry 


Arthur & Mildred Nhau, LTLA Director in Zimbabwe, were refreshed and encouraged in their labors for the Lord by attending a reunion conference in Nigeria of all the people who have been trained there for ministry. Arthur and Mildred were trained in Nigeria by Musa & Regina Yashim during 2013-2014. Musa & Regina were trained by Ron & Mary Ann Shimkus in the early 1980s.

Here is what Arthur reported from their experience: "What stood out for us was to observe different age groups who are still pursuing the great commission. It was encouraging to listen to others share their joys and frustrations in ministry and how God has been faithful to his promises." Would you pray for Arthur & Mildred as they continue providing leadership to the LTLA team in Chinhoyi and the ministry efforts we are undertaking there?

Nigeria Training Reunion group photo.



For God's kingdom & glory,
Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa




Friday, August 23, 2019

Silence & Light in Darkness

Dear LTLA Friends,

It has been three months since I have given an update regarding the work of Life to Life Africa. I am very sorry for not keeping you informed of what God is doing through the faithful efforts of the LTLA team in the midst of continued hardships in Zimbabwe. Please forgive me for this silence.

As I reflect on the cause for my silence, I ask for your prayers. Personally, I have been experiencing the plague of busyness, with many good things in my life here in the US. I am also detecting a bit of paralysis in my role with LTLA, from fear of the challenges that confront us in Zimbabwe. How have I slipped into this busyness and fear? The answer, I believe, is a lack of experiencing the empowering guidance and assurance of God's presence in my life. Recently in my morning scripture reading, I have been reminded of how Jesus, in the midst of many demands and discouragements, would seek out time with God the Father. (Examine the context of what Jesus was encountering in these verses: Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35, 6:46; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18,28; 11:1.) Please pray for me to follow Christ's example of seeking God's presence for guidance and assurance.

In this week's The Economist there are two articles that highlight the worsening situation in Zimbabwe. "A lack of food, water and power is pushing Zimbabwe to the brink," reads the tagline for one of the articles. When I was in Zimbabwe in May, the electricity was off on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Since June, electricity has been off every day, only being turned on overnight between 10pm and 4am. This is the only time water can be pumped, so it must be collected at night for use the next day. One of the articles in The Economist shares the forecast of the UN World Food Program that "By early next year about half of the population in Zimbabwe will need help to get enough food." Although it has been going on for a long time, the crisis in Zimbabwe is real and keeps getting worse.

In the midst of the challenges, in which Zimbabwe is quite literally in the dark, God is still at work. Below are updates from two co-laborers in Christ who ministered with the LTLA team in recent months. They share how the light of the Gospel is shining in the midst of the spiritual darkness.

Shane, Life to Life Ministry staff at the University of Central Florida (UCF), reports the following from the experience that a team of seven from their ministry had in Chinhoyi with the LTLA team in May: "It is a beautiful thing to experience the vision of discipleship spread across many hungry-for-Jesus Christians from all walks of life and ages." He said it was good for the college students on their team to experience multi-generational discipleship. He went on to share about the challenge they faced in freely engaging with students on campus at the Chinhoyi University of Technology. "The increasing political tension in Zimbabwe affected our ability to do evangelism on campus." (The new campus security director was from the ruling party, which is nervous about the strong anti-government sentiment on college campuses. He did not give the UCF team freedom to interact with new students not already associated with LTLA on campus.) As Shane said, "This pushed us to be intentional about opportunities God gave us to share, regardless of how convenient it was. Ryan and Kyle [two UCF students] shared the Gospel with college students who lived down the street from the LTLA ministry house. They also shared the Gospel with a young man walking by the LTLA ministry center. Ryan and I built a relationship with a young cashier at the nearby grocery store and we had the privilege of leading him to Christ! Maura [another UCF student] also had the first opportunity in her life to lead a girl to receiving Christ! The memories are plentiful, where God opened many doors in the hearts of men and women, despite the door for evangelism on campus being closed. We praise the Lord!"

Shane with Mackenzie (left, UCF team member) and Otillia (LTLA team member) teaching pre & early primary school children.

Ryan (left) and Kyle (right, both UCF team members) with college students they met down the street from the LTLA ministry house.


The example set by the UCF team encouraged the LTLA team to increase their boldness in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. We thank the Lord for mutual encouragement in evangelism and discipleship that took place between the two teams.



Naomi, a dear friend of the ministry from Michigan, traveled to Chinhoyi in late July. She mostly remained on site at our ministry center, due to the uneasiness of the ruling party authorities, who are nervous about anything and anyone unusual. The team was once again blessed by her love and encouraging input into their lives, as well as into the lives of the orphans and widows in the ministry. Naomi reports that the lack of electricity is causing people to spend more time together in the evenings talking around candle light. Just like these candles, the Gospel of Jesus is bringing light into darkness in Zimbabwe!

 

Naomi shared with the High School Bible Study group about the importance of friendships from the example of David and Jonathan in the Bible. In her words, "You need a 'Jonathan' in your life. Don't do life alone."

Naomi loving on widows in Chinhoyi.



Naomi experienced preparing dinner by candle light.




Holding onto Jesus in a dark world,
Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa



Thursday, June 27, 2019

Remaining in Him for Fruitfulness - LTLA Prayer Bulletin

May 15, 2019 


LTLA Friends,

Recently I have been reflecting on John 15 as I commit it to memory. Here is a prayer guide as I travel to Zimbabwe along with Madison, a veterinary student at Iowa State (ISU), and Matt, who spent the summer of 2016 in Zimbabwe. We will join the Life to Life Ministry team from the University of Central Florida, which is already in Chinhoyi:

15 May - Madison & I arrive in Chinhoyi where, like everywhere, Jesus is the true vine and the Father is the gardener. (Jn 15:1)

16 May - The Father has created us for fruitfulness and is committed to developing us in it. May all serving Him in Chinhoyi and everywhere experience it as we avail ourselves of Him. (Jn 15:2) There will be opportunities to engage with individuals in the community for evangelism and discipleship. Madison will be able to serve at a local veterinary clinic.

17 May - Thank you, Lord, for cleansing us through your word! (Jn 15:3) May those who need cleansing hear His word as we minister with the LTLA team among pre-school orphans, widows, the poor, and with college students.

18 May - Can you imagine that the Lord Jesus desires a relationship with us? Shouldn't we desire a relationship with Him? (Jn 15:4a) Those of us visiting will share about our relationship with Jesus at the the school-age youth Bible studies.

19 May - The fruitfulness that the Father created us for is directly related to our connection with Jesus. (Jn 15:4b) On this sabbath may we rest in our relationship with Christ to prepare us for more fruitfulness.

20 May - Christ is the vine, we are the branches. In Him we bear much fruit, apart from Him we accomplish nothing. (Jn 15:5) More opportunities today to serve pre-school orphans and interact with developing friendships. Another opportunity for Madison to serve at the veterinary clinic. Matt arrives to reconnect with Zimbabwean brothers and sisters in Christ he served with in 2016.

21 May - Walking away or never walking with Jesus is disastrous. (Jn 15:6) Those visiting will experience the opposite as they observe the rich time of fellowship in God's Word by the LTLA team on Tuesday mornings. They will have time with the Chosen Generation (young adult orphans) in the afternoon, as well as pick-up soccer.

22 May - The amazing part of the promise in Jn 15:7 is that our desires change and we ask for what God will gladly give. We will have another time of digging into God's Word with the LTLA team followed by time at Chinhoyi University of Technology students.

23 May - Fruit-bearing by followers of Christ is what delights God. (Jn 15:8) Continued opportunities to serve alongside the LTLA team. A final chance for Madison to serve with the local veterinarian whose assistant is eager to discuss the Bible as well.

24 May - We have the great blessing of being loved by God and by Christ Jesus. Let's stay grounded in it. (Jn 15:9) The UCF team remains serving with LTLA in Chinhoyi. Madison will serve in Harare until 29 May alongside two people with an early connection to Life to Life Africa, through the school on Jim Steele's farm where we built a school building. Today she will go to a dairy farm with Jesse Steele, Jim's grandson, who is a veterinarian.

25 May - Following Christ's example of obeying God's commands is how we stay grounded in His love. (Jn 15:10) The UCF team spend time with the Women & Men of Hope today as Shelton, Matt & I travel to Mzuzu, Malawi to meet Tyler, who was in Zimbabwe summer 2015 and again in the summer of 2016 with Matt.

26 May - Christ delights in sharing the completeness of His joy with us. (Jn 15:11) May we delight in His joy as we follow His example in obedience to God's commands.

27 May - Love one another as Christ has loved us, that is His command. (Jn 15:12) Today the UCF team is enjoying a safari experience along with some LTLA teammates. Those of us in Malawi are exploring Chitipa village where Tyler has lived for a year and a half with the Peace Corps. Madison will spend time in English conversations with students at the Millennial Academy, a school started by Edmond Mudzimu, who was discipled by Ron Shimkus while teaching at the school on Jim Steele's farm. Edmond passed along what he learned from Ron to a faithful, available, teachable young man named Arthur Nhau, now LTLA Director in Chinhoyi.

28 May - Jesus personified what he said in (Jn 15:13). The safari experience continues for the UCF team. Park, a zealous brother in Christ from Chitipa, joins our little team as we travel to southern Malawi to observe agricultural projects. Madison will serve with Edmond at his school if there is not a farm visit with Jesse Steele's veterinary work.

29 May - Friendship with Christ requires we follow His command. (Jn 15:14) Today Madison returns to the US, the UCF team continues ministry in Chinhoyi and the Malawi team connects with Chris Weaver of the Malawi Talent Fund in Zomba.

30 May - What a privilege we have to be called friends of Christ, and that he shares with us everything he has learned from the Father. (Jn 15:15) The Malawi team learns from and serves with Chris Weaver on the farm he is establishing to provide jobs and income to a local ministry.

31 May - Chosen by God to bear lasting fruit, that is who we are. (Jn 15:16) The LTLA team will send off the UCF team with a farewell gathering today. We are grateful for the lasting fruit that was generated by the shared experiences of all who served during this month in Zimbabwe. The Malawi team gets a tour of the Foundations for Farming training center in Blantyre where they will learn of the training program opportunities offered there in sustainable agriculture.

1 June - The UCF team begins their journey home to the US, as do Matt and Mike from Malawi. Shelton returns to Chinhoyi with fresh ideas for agricultural projects and business as mission exposure. Park returns to northern Malawi with the same, along with exposure to the Life to Life Africa vision.

Thank you for supporting us in prayer!
Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa


Friday, May 10, 2019

UCF Life to Life Team in Zimbabwe - Prayer Bulletin


Thomas & Tara Gilbert along with Shane Thomas, Life to Life Ministry staff at University of Central Florida (UCF), arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, May 8, with four UCF student leaders in their ministry. They will serve along side the LTLA team in Chinhoyi until June 1. Please pray that the Lord will minister in and through them for the next three weeks. Pray as they begin their time by interacting with 15 students from Chinhoyi University of Technology over this weekend. They will all get away to Hunnington Retreat Centre near Chinhoyi during the LTLA Key Student Retreat. We look forward to keeping you updated with reports of the ministry that will take place this month.


UCF Life to Life Ministry Team at the LTLA Community Center: Thomas, Kyle, Ryan, Shane, Tara, Mack & Maura



Grateful for your prayer support!!

Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Response to the Gospel Continues

April 30, 2019
Dear LTLA Friends,

Arthur Nhau, LTLA Director in Chinhoyi, reports that 10 students they met this semester at Chinhoyi University of Technology have prayed to receive Christ! Just as we have seen with children and youth in the past few months, college students are turning to Christ. In the midst of hopelessness, the next generation in Zimbabwe are encountering the only true hope!

Here are the names of those who have responded to Christ: Girls - Hilda, Kudzie, Tendai, Noreen; Guys - Blessed, Keith, Malven, Munyaradzi, Tatenda, Tawanda.

This comes after the LTLA team encountered trouble meeting students on campus at the beginning of the semester. Campus security was not allowing the team on campus since we are not an officially recognized ministry by the university. We have been trying to obtain official recognition without success. We have a good relationship with the campus chaplain and he was able to remedy the situation. Do pray we obtain official recognition with the university so we can be assured of campus access into the future.

This trouble has led the LTLA team to pursue meeting students who live off-campus. On-campus housing is reserved primarily for 1st-year students, so about 3,000 of the 4,000 total students probably live off-campus. We want to be able to meet with all students, but it is especially fruitful to meet with 1st-year students as that gives us more time with them for discipleship. All of the students who responded to Christ this semester are 1st year students and three actually live off-campus. So we thank the Lord for the trouble that led us to meet them, resulting in their encountering Christ!


LTLA Easter Youth Gathering
Children and Youth learned about Christ through songs, drama, and short talks.


Rejoicing with the angels,

Mike Sulc
Life to Life Africa