The Mordecai Project Newsletter
2008 End of Year Report
I spent a lot of time in December remembering God’s goodness during 2008. Even though it was an intense year in terms of politics and the economy, it was a year of great blessing and fruitfulness. On the personal side, our daughter Margaret graduated from Emmanuel College and got married a week later. I turned 50 in July and my wife organized an awesome party for me. Then I was able to take my daughter Meredith with me to South Africa—a special treat since she will graduate from college next spring.
I preached in 10 countries: Australia, India, Ecuador, South Africa, Bolivia, Colombia, Wales, England and Guatemala. My feet touched every continent (except Antarctica!) and I also ministered in 24 U.S. cities in 10 states. I did about 102 meetings this year. I was in huge cities like Sydney, Lagos and La Paz, but also in small towns such as Umatilla, Florida; Waycross, Georgia; and Saspan, Guatemala. Jesus loves people wherever they are, and He wants His message to spread everywhere.
There is no way I could rank the highlights of the year, but here are some of the most memorable moments:
** Taking the gospel to Oruro, Bolivia, a city oppressed by witchcraft and idolatry. In spite of the dark spiritual atmosphere, God moved in that place. Many women were emotionally healed and men repented for abusing their wives.
** Praying for the sick at a large outdoor meeting in Warrangal, in south India, and seeing hundreds line up to tell how God touched them. I am grateful to my friend Harry Gomes for allowing me to minister alongside him.
** Washing the feet of an “untouchable” man from India in a conference in Sydney, Australia. The video of that moment has since been shown to many untouchables in India and has had a profound impact on these precious people who have been rejected by society.
** Training 900 Nigerian women for three days in our special African Woman Arising conference. I am still amazed by what God did during that event, and I am especially grateful to Jackson and Yinka Ekwugun for the sacrifice they made to host it.
** Seeing hundreds of abused women get emotionally healed in Bogota, Colombia, after I preached about the Samaritan woman at the well.
** Visiting the birthplace of the Welsh Revival and standing in the same pulpit where Evan Roberts preached to coal miners in 1904.
** Preaching at the Mount Hermon Christian Retreat Center in northern California, where Henrietta Mears ministered back in the 1940s and ‘50s.
Looking back I can see some common threads running through 2008 that help me understand how God is moving:
1. It was a year of freedom for women. A large percentage of my meetings were conferences designed to empower women for ministry and heal them from the wounds of the past. Jesus has a message from His heart to the women of the world and I am privileged to help carry it.
2. It was a year for immigrants. God continues to connect me with immigrant church leaders in the United States who simply want connection and affirmation. This year I was blessed to continue building a relationship with Pastor Fernando and Sylvia Pinto (Brazilians) and Nebby and Dee Gomez (Ecuadorian). This year I also ministered in a Russian congregation in Philadelphia and a Nigerian congregation in Washington, D.C.
3. It was a year to challenge racism. The Lord often uses me to break racial divisions and this happened in many ways in 2008. At a young adult conference in the Atlanta area, a young white man repented of racism and is now reaching out with the love of Jesus to people of color. In Umatilla, Florida, I equipped a radical band of women who are working to break racial walls in their community. In Waycross, Georgia, I led a reconciliation service to heal the breach that still exists there between churches. I was also able to challenge the caste system in India.
4. It was a year to mobilize for evangelism. The Lord has connected me with some awesome churches, and this year I was able to challenge them in their outreach strategies. I was also blessed to see many people saved in various meetings—including a Russian Jewish girl who gave her heart to the Lord in Philadelphia and a Welsh man who wandered into the church off the street and came to the altar.
5. It was an intense year of spiritual confrontation. I continued my work at Charisma magazine, and the issues I had to address in my weekly online columns were not easy. This has been an intense season of spiritual warfare for the church. There were times when I wanted to run from Jezebel and hide in a cave, but the Lord sustained me—thanks in part to your prayers.
6. It was a year to launch out in faith. I made the decision in the fall to go half time with Charisma. I will begin this new arrangement in February 2009. It is scary to step out of the boat, but I sense a great deal of peace and I know that Jesus will meet me on the water.
7. It was a year of teamwork. I am very grateful for the people who traveled with me this year and supported me so faithfully. I am very glad that my wife was able to accompany me to a conference in Ohio—since she is usually manning the battle stations at home. Andy Byrd, a pastor from West Virginia, took three weeks off to go with me to India and Australia; Maureen Bravo also joined me for part of the trip to north India; A.J. Hall, a youth pastor from Gainesville, Fla., served with me in Bolivia; Danny Morgan, a youth pastor from Baltimore, traveled with me to Guatemala; the Getting Free team from South Florida drove all the way to Umatilla to join me there; Brandon Duck, who is now a professor at Southeastern University, went with me on six domestic trips; and Charlie Daniels, a pastor from Ann Arbor, Michigan, not only went to Nigeria with me but also served as my conference administrator.
The African Woman Arising event in Nigeria was the biggest event I have ever sponsored, but I could not have done it without the other speakers who came: Barbara Wentroble, Naomi Dowdy, Remi Ogunrinde, Mosy Madugba and Funke Adejumo. I am also grateful to Barbara Wentroble’s team that provided prayer ministry. A young Nigerian man I am mentoring, Miracle, also worked alongside me in Lagos
8. It was a year of many new ministry friends. The Lord connected me with so many new friends this year. I can’t begin to list them all but I must mention Jack and Carol Hanes of Sydney; Indian evangelist Biju Thampy of Mumbai, Arizona pastors Tom Messer and Tom Renard, Shibu Zachariah from India, Pastors Francois and Ansa Van Neikerk of South Africa (they took my daughter and me to a game reserve and showed us the “locals”— rhinos, elephants, hippos and wildebeests), Pastor Zacharias and Pastor Alexandro from Bolivia, Pastor Chris Cartright from Wales, Rodney and Renee Thrift of Waycross, Georgia, Pastor Craig Morton of New Hampshire, Imena and Chisa Nosamiefan of Boston, and Jonathan Dow, new leader of the Aldersgate Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee.
I am also very grateful for all my “old” friends (“old” has a new meaning now that I have turned 50!)—especially to those who provided counsel in difficult moments or encouragement when I was in the line of fire. My most valuable counselor, of course, is my wife, Deborah, who was always ready to listen and offer no-nonsense advice.
Posted by Lee Grady on December 22, 2008 01:55 PM