Thank you for bringing this teaching on Romans!

The entire team has done an outstanding job of communicating as God has answered your prayers for us.

I [Joel] began the conference summarizing Rom 1-10.  Imagine, it took 2 1/2 hrs to summarize what took a week to teach last trip.  This set the stage for the rest of Romans.

So we began on Romans 11-12. We moved from the certainty of our salvation in Christ to the ways we begin to change in our Christian walk.  “I appeal to you therefore by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice…”.  Working through the gifts, grace, love to others, how to respond to an enemy who harms us.  Imagine sharing such a message with people who have lived with years of war, unspeakable brutality, broken economy, and hardship on every front.  Romans says “give water and food to an enemy.”  They wrestled.  Sometime you would hear a lot of voices break out as they spoke to one another.

Yet, as these areas unfolded, they continued to drink in the teaching of God’s Word.  Then there were moments of celebration.  Singing.  Fervent prayers of thanks to God.  Smiles.  Praise God!  They don’t hide their amazement at God’s Counsel.

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As you will recall I spent five weeks in India, which included four weeks of teaching Indian pastors. All told, we ministered to some 320 church leaders in three Indian states. Topics included: Doctrine of Christ, Living in Grace, Evangelism, and Bible Survey. I had as a co-teacher my friend Francois who serves as an Elder here in our local church. Francois was with me for three weeks, and I think he will return to India again when he is able.
In fact, I wish all of you reading this could come and get a taste of the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing in that land! Churches are growing and multiplying. I have heard estimates of 20,000 people coming to Christ EACH DAY! Who will shepherd these young believers? Who will care for them, and teach them the basics of walking with Christ and belonging to His family? God gives gifts in His church, including pastor/teachers. But most are poorly trained. We in the North American church are drowning in resources for Bible study, Christian books, radio and podcasts, and many gifted teachers. It is our privilege in ELI to share from the wealth the Lord has blessed us with. Church leaders in India (and most of the world) are hungry for the meat of God’s Word, and for training in the skills of study, preaching and counseling. As you know, ELI provides training for these leaders, at little or no cost to them. Some enroll in a Certificate program and others go on for Bachelors and even Masters work in Theology. (The Indian Masters students began their program last fall.) Be encouraged, friends, God is using your prayers and support to strengthen His church where it is growing so very fast.
I anticipate returning to India in Sept/Oct, God willing. Please join me in praying for co-teachers, funds, and all the logistics.

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ELI recently added a new Board Trustee – Dr. Vicki Kloosterhouse.  Vicki brings to ELI a high level of educational, leadership and stress management expertise made practical by her personal experience teaching in developing nations.  She also brings a joyful passion for the  Kingdom of God.  We are delighted the LORD has added Vicki to our Board.

Vicki has had the opportunity to put stress management and leadership principles in practice around the world.  In the field of higher education, she has served as a faculty member and in administrative positions at various educational institutions, which included Dean of Education at an African university that had been decimated by civil war.   She has worked as a facilitator for an educational organization that trains teachers in the area of leadership, brain-based learning and best practices.  As a John Maxwell Certified Team Member, she receives ongoing training in leadership.  Her background in wellness has afforded her the opportunity to teach in a college health program, as well as conduct stress management training for relief workers in Asia, Africa, Haiti and the United States.

Dr. Kloosterhouse, LLC is active providing workshops/presentation, group and individual coaching.   http://www.vickikloosterhouse.com

She also serves with Empower Women Leaders whose mission is to serve and train women in developing countries.

​Graduating from Michigan State University, she received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on psychosocial health and a M.A. in Classroom Education. Additional training in stress management and in trauma care came through the Harvard Medical School/New England Deaconess Hospital: Clinical Training in Mind/Body Medicine, The Center for Mind/Body Medicine, The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, and Certificates of Completion in Stress Coaching and Crisis Response.



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Jim and Shari Whittle report….   It started early Sunday morning at Baggage Claim in Mumbai – 45 minutes for the first bag to come off the belt.  Then our airline didn’t have a counter in the new terminal so we had to rent a taxi big enough for 4 people and 12 bags to get to the other terminal.  Sunday afternoon as we rested, the worst noise imaginable was outside our window – AC fan broke. Monday morning we awoke with no water and didn’t have hot water for a couple days.  No worries – conference starts Tuesday and we have a day to get ready.  After breakfast Monday I casually asked Swarupa what time to come back for lunch.  She said, “Lunch is at the conference.”  Uh-oh!  We were starting in 2 hours – time for cold bucket baths!

On Thursday we flew to Delhi and took two taxis to the hotel – the rear taxi got lost. Friday we woke early for a 5 hour van trip for the six of us to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra.  We arrived at lunch-time and pulled up to an empty gate – where is everybody?  Oh! – the Taj is Muslim and it’s Friday – closed (That’s why the highway was empty).  We were able to take pictures across the river from the garden, and the fort/palace was open – awesome.  Five hour drive back to Delhi.  We awoke at 3 am Saturday to catch the only flight to our weekend destination in the Himalayas.  Flight is delayed 3 hours then cancelled.  They put us on a flight to Chandigarh (half way) and booked taxis for everyone – we were in 2 of course – 10 hours later through the Himalayan switchbacks we’re near our hotel but lost in the dark in the rain on the narrow road on the mountain. A day of rest in the beauty of the mountains has turned into a 19 hour trip.  Then 8 hours of driving on Monday to our conference. Sunday was nice at the top of the world.

The beauty of this whole montage of trouble is that the Women’s Conference and the Marriage Conference were fabulous. The scriptures were faithfully taught, marriages were immediately impacted, and Curt and Gina began what is hopefully a long partnership with ELI.


Women’s Conference

This conference was the third of a series of three Women’s Conferences, and the subject this time was  leadership development in women’s ministry. In order to develop leaders it is necessary to identify specific ministry skills and habits, and then establish training to bear that fruit.  We have identified 10 basic habits for a leader, divided between loving God and loving Neighbor.  The vertical habits are Scripture reading and study, Prayer, Daily Repentance, Corporate Worship, and Giving.  The five horizontal traits correspond to the vertical: Evangelism & Discipleship, Hospitality, Reconciliation & Forgiveness, Service, and Generosity.  It’s not possible in three days to train people in all these areas.  The conference was designed to give them an overview and a beginning framework to build upon.

Marriage Conference

Chandigarh is a new region for ELI & CGM (Christ Gospel Ministries) and our starting path is always marriage.  By starting with training in a Christ-centered marriage we address the greatest need in the pastor’s family and their church.  It also avoids arguments that come from beginning with theology and doctrine and hot buttons, and yet the gospel of grace is revealed as the foundation of life in God’s kingdom.  Family illness and travel issues led to a smaller conference than usual, but the relative intimacy allowed for more interaction along with Q & A.  It’s so refreshing for us to see the gospel address cultural errors, with the result being public confession of sin by husbands who are harsh with their wives.  We saw plenty of fruit of repentance in three days.

Thank you for praying for us!!
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Another cause for praise occurred on Wednesday, when I [Rick Renninger] spoke with a young man (+/- 30 yrs) I met 9 months ago when Jim and I taught a Leadership Conference on 1 Timothy here in Chennai, India.  His name is John Paul.  Last July I learned that he started a house church and within one year 19 people had made professions of faith.  John Paul is a physical therapist who gives all the time he can to evangelism and leading his church.

He told me that he reaches out to poor people; people who do manual labor and may only find work a few days a week.  Since last summer there have been fewer conversions, and even though some people have stopped attending his church, he currently has 25 people gathering together for Sunday worship.  Praise Him!

But here’s what really blew me away!  Having no idea how he would answer I asked John Paul this very open-ended question:  “In the past year, what has most encouraged you?”  Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied, “The Leadership Conference on 1 Timothy!”

John Paul hungers to grow in his understanding of the Scriptures, not only to encourage and feed his own soul, but to teach others also.  And praise God that that is just what he is doing, teaching 1 Timothy regularly.  In this, he is representative of what many others are doing as well.   In fact, when I was in Rwanda Theophile, who serves as a bishop for some 60 churches, told me that it is a requirement for ordination that a man seeking the pastorate must take ELI’s Leadership course on 1 Timothy.  This ordination preparation for pastors is not occurring by ELI staff, but through Rwandans who have been taught the material (2 Timothy 2:2).

Thank you for your partnership with me in promoting healthy Christ-exalting churches that impact Majority World communities by the transforming power of the Gospel!

Rick Renninger

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Well, I’m on my way home now, but wanted to give you all a summary of our conference in Nebbi, Uganda.   This region was far more organized, many more pastors and churches are represented, and they arrived on time.  The level of understanding was much stronger than Adjumani and that’s because they obviously haven’t suffered in the same way those poor folks have.

The attendees in this conference were mainly senior pastors, 160 of them representing 22 denominations.  This made for a time of strong fellowship and hunger. The team members each taught with greater clarity and boldness.  At times, the pastors responded with loud discussion among themselves when points were made.  Once again, I see their Biblical understanding being challenged and stretched, and the verbal and physical body language is commensurate.  The singing became stronger, and there were questions addressed to all of us. It has been obvious that your prayers were making a difference.

Merle said a pastor approached with these words:  “this has changed forever the way I will approach Scripture and preach the Word.”  He had not been trained in ministry.  These three days did more for this pastor than anything in all his life.  One lady said to me, “After the second day, I went to the church and repented with tears before the Lord. “ Indeed the Lord used us to challenge their grasp of God and His work of grace.  The older bishop spoke at the end of the conference and indicated to the entire assembly that they had never heard such challenging teaching. This course is extremely challenging to teach and I know it is even more difficult to understand.  It was amazing to see them sit all day; we started at 9:00AM and didn’t finish until 5:15PM with a few breaks in-between.  They begged us to return next year so we will make that a matter of prayer.

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Dear Sir,

I would like to express our sincere gratitude and thankfulness for your admirable teachings from ELI in our regional seminars.  It is not an exaggeration here if I say that your teachings have transformed our churches in western Uganda and northern Uganda.

ELI helped leaders in being more confident and made them fearless in public speaking, which has now become an added advantage in carrying out the good news of Jesus Christ.

It is purely you who made our leaders settle comfortably today and I will remember your help forever and support.  Thank you very much brother, in anticipation of your same affection and guidance to us in future also. I would like to express my sincere gratitude through this letter for the erudite exposure of your own self to guide us for ministry challenges and church growth.

Not only on spiritual growth alone but my churches have now realized that they need financial breakthrough and so far I have got about 4 saving groups which are now developing to be a Saving and credit company we are now in a stage of registering, this came as a result of some topics covered by the ELI topics which have talked about the HOLISTIC ministry of Jesus Christ.

By the time before we started pattern ship with ELI we had a 40 churches, which was not coordinated, with untrained leaders, unruly but Iam  proud to say we have 65 registered churches and 8 new churches which we have planted this year and as a result I had a vision of northern Uganda which I had failed but now we have 4 churches planted by mbarara region in the south of Uganda.

I have registered many pastors who want to study a bible college after testing the material of teachings in Eli.

Your teaching is like resurrecting a sleeping dog of Africa; they have what it takes but sleeping with it.

Thanks be to God that ELI through Dr Joel McCall William, has been instrumental ever since we met him, it was God who directed this group of missionaries to our region and country.

The spirit of churches is now minimum unlike the former days when disagreements was arising on daily basis due to lack of training.

I have always admired you; in my previous years of learning also you were the same in helping us to grow in the lord. You have been always very compassionate in solving our doubts about our good God.

Yours faithfully,

Rev George Byabagambi

Director, Mbarara District Full Gospel Churches

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Most churches in America never multiply or plant a daughter church.  Some say the number is over 95% of churches that fail to multiply.  The reasons vary: for some it’s not in their plan at all, for some the only multiplication is a missionary far away, for some the plan  keeps getting pushed backward in time because of expense, and for some the plan to multiply is simply too hard to accomplish.  If you have 100 in attendance and your plan is to multiply at 400, there’s a large statistical chance that your church will never have 400 since only about 3% of churches are that large.

The primary reason that churches don’t multiply is the failure to multiply leaders.  The Lord Jesus had 3 close friends, then the twelve, the 70, and the 500.  He picked 12 to be his apostles and poured his life into them so that they might be his face to the world.  This is what leaders are meant to do – replicate.

In India, when we hold a three-day Leadership Conference teaching through 1Timothy, on the second day we ask this question, “how many of you are training elders?” And the universal answer is that they are not.  In a room of 100 pastors there might be two who are actually training others to lead.  Most of them are struggling to lead churches of 25-30 people and these leaders are barely surviving.  It is the breath of life when we show them from the Bible that God’s plan is for a plurality of leaders in the church – we’re not wired or expected to lead alone.  You can visibly see stress leave and joy come at the thought of sharing the emotional and spiritual load of shepherding God’s people.

Our calling at ELI is to train leaders who multiply.  Like Nehemiah, we seek to train leaders who will train leaders who are responsible for the fruit and success of their portion of the work.  Like Paul expressed to Timothy, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

In order to be successful, a leader needs three things: Knowledge, Skill, and Motivation.  Like the three sides of a triangle, these aspects of leadership are connected together.  Pastors and Elders need Knowledge of the gospel, the scriptures, theology, and church history; they need Skill in shepherding, organization management, training others (discipleship), teaching, preaching, prayer, evangelism, counseling, and marriage; they need Motivation to overcome the many obstacles within and outside the church to move forward in exalting the name of Jesus and leading His church.  Those three work together – Motivation is necessary to gain Knowledge or Skill, and of course, Skill and Knowledge improve Motivation.  All of this tied together by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, in places like India and Africa, many have significant Motivation as a result of being delivered from deep spiritual oppression by the power of the Gospel.  As a result of their Gospel Motivation, many preach Christ to others and small churches are born before the leader gains much needed Knowledge and Skill.

At ELI our purpose is to resource and train international leaders who will in turn train others so that the fame of the name of Jesus would grow.


If you would like to contribute, you can do so online  http://www.equippingleadersinternational.org/get-involved-2/


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Ghanaian Pastor Edward writes in response to an ELI course titled “Peacemaking in a World of Conflict”

As a pastor called by God, I believe God has called me to deal with conflict in a way that is different from the world. Besides in this course I learned that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God.

I had one thing which I had found difficult to forgive and forget, but this course has shown me the way.  It was a long frustrating battle. The whole thing began when I took a young man and trained him, even taking care of all his needs.  Then I opened a new “out station” for him to oversee and along the line he became a pastor for the local church. 

This young pastor had a problem with his elders.  They wanted to handle the church’s finances and deposit the offerings in the bank.  The pastor’s wanted to keep the money.  I was called in and I supported the elders’ proposal. The pastor attacked me telling the elders that I was a wicked person because I didn’t defend him.  He then left the church.

After some time that pastor came back to me to ask forgiveness, but I decided not to accept him anymore.  But the whole thing turned after the course; by reading the course notes and books I changed my mind.  So I went to him seeking reconciliation. 

What really came across to me in my reading was that when we repent and God forgives us, he releases us from the penalty of being separated from him. When I told the young pastor that I was ready to forgive and forget all that he had done, he came up to me beaming, thanking me for forgiving his offence and for accepting him. 

As I shook his hand love for this young pastor overwhelmed me.  I have come to realize that God can give you the ultimate desire and ability to truly forgive others.  From the day of our reconciliation until this very day this pastor is doing well and our relationship is great.

Edward goes on to tell another story about how God used him as God’s peacemaker to save a marriage in which the wife’s adultery had resulted in her being thrown out of the house.

Praise God for the transforming & reconciling power of His Gospel!

Pray for these Ghanaian pastors to continue to grow in their grasp of the Gospel and its application to all of life.



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Dr. Dan Steere – For the first two weeks of my recently-completed mission trip to Nigeria, I had the privilege of ministering in two cities I had never taught in before.  It was fascinating to see new areas of the country and a delight to make new friends among the brethren there.  In both venues, I taught on Biblical Marriage – a topic that is greatly needed in Nigeria.  By God’s grace and the faithful prayers of His people, the response was enthusiastic

I began in Abeokuta, the regional capital of Ogun State.  This city is the site of the first Christian church in Nigeria.  Henry Townsend, an Anglican missionary, brought the gospel to Abeokuta in the early 1830’s.  From that humble beginning the Church of Jesus Christ has grown in Nigeria to the point that nearly 50% of the 300 million Nigerians claim to be followers of Christ.  We are there because many church leaders have no Biblical training whatsoever and are infected by the false gospel of “health and wealth.”

Abeokuta means “under the rock,” and large piles of granite boulders are scattered all around the city.  The church in which I taught is built on one of these boulder piles and we climbed a long steep stairway every evening to get to the conference.  The 60-70 people who attended the conference started the week rather detached and perhaps suspicious of the oyeebo (“white man”) who was teaching them.  But before long, God moved in their hearts and the questions began to come.  The wives seemed particularly moved and had lots of questions about the realities of married life in Nigerian culture. Several leading couples in the church – including Pastor Chima and his wife – took the teaching the heart and committed themselves to following Biblical principles in their marriage.  Praise God!

Jason Coffey joined me for the next week in Shagamu.  He came to help me and to assist in the establishment of a Nigerian branch of Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC).  As we drove to the church the first night, carefully negotiating the broken asphalt on the main streets and the muddy, rut-filled dirt side-streets, we both wondered what the venue would be like.  But several buildings down from the local mosque, we walked into a large, clean church building.  Once again, the 100-120 people attending were initially cautious, but they quickly gave us their hearts.  We had a wonderful time of worship as we taught.  Jason’s teaching on communication within marriage was especially appreciated and provoked lots of questions.  Nigerian spouses often live almost totally separate lives, although within the same house.  The capstone of this wonderful week was dinner at Pastor Sam Anuforo’s house – chicken and rice, of course!

Sam (left), Steere (center) Jason (right) with Sam’s family

For the final week, we were at the Servant Leadership Institute (SLI) in Akure with Gideon and Excel Umukoro.  I taught an introduction to Leadership Coaching – teaching 30 leaders the skills of listening, asking open questions, setting goals and accountability.  The leaders at SLI are old friends since I have been going there for years.  Still, they were stunned to learn this “new” way of training and equipping leaders.  Jason taught with me the first two days and then joined Alex Chisanga, CBMC’s Africa coordinator, in meeting with local business people to establish a new CBMC chapter.

God clearly blessed this trip. It confirmed that we are entering a new phase of our ministry in West Africa.  God is opening new venues and bringing new leaders to hear Biblical teaching.  In both Ghana and Nigeria, I am being asked to spend more time AND to bring Susan with me more frequently.  Please join us in praying for God’s wisdom!

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