Jonathan Menn-ECLEA Director
ECLEA 2023 YEAR-END REPORT
2023 has been a momentous year for ECLEA. ECLEA began its existence as a ministry of Community Church of Appleton, Wisconsin. This year, with the blessing of the Community Church, we have completed the process of separately incorporating as our own, independent 501(c)(3) organization! Our name is the same. We opened our own bank account at Associated Bank in Appleton. Brenda Haase has agreed to continue to be our bookkeeper. So, organizationally, things will continue pretty much as in the past. We hope that our new status will assist with promotion, recruitment, and fundraising.
On the field, our work—both from the American side and indigenously by the East Africans—has continued unabated. We did suffer the unexpected loss in October of our friend and Swahili translator, Michael Nyangusi. Fortunately, we have also worked with other Swahili translators, but Michael will be missed. New ECLEA books and translations have been completed, and ECLEA has extended its relationships with East African colleges and theological schools. Here are some of the year’s highlights:
Jonathan’s work in East Africa
I was again able to make five trips to East Africa. In January-February, I was in Rwanda, where I taught Expository Preaching and 1 Timothy (twice). In March-April, I was in Burundi and did Biblical Eschatology (twice). In June, I was in Tanzania and taught 1 Peter, Ruth, Jonah, and Habakkuk. In August, I went to Kenya and taught Habakkuk, James, Ruth, and The Church: Its Nature, Mission, and Purpose. I also participated in the graduation ceremony of 36 students at the Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College, Karatina Center, who completed their 2-year diploma program (utilizing ECLEA course books). Finally, in October, I was in Uganda where I taught Galatians (three times) and Biblical Stewardship. I also participated in TWO graduation ceremonies of 41 and 29 students, respectively, who received certificates, diplomas, degrees, and even a masters degree from East Africa Polytechnic College Kyambogo (the theological school which has partnered with ECLEA in Uganda). In short, a wonderful and productive year where the gospel is being taught broadly and deeply throughout East Africa!
Frank Cummings’ work in East Africa
While teaching a Biblical Counseling course in Kenya last fall, Frank received an email inviting him to teach that same course in South America, specifically at a remote enclave in the Amazon jungle. The organization which facilitated the logistics for the February 2023 trip was RiverWind whose headquarters are located in the river city of Pucallpa, Peru. As God would have it, the biblical counseling manual was translated into Spanish, thus, the only ECLEA manual which has been translated into multiple non-East African languages including Arabic and Spanish (as well as Swahili). The students (approximately 30) of all ages had a hunger and thirst for learning how to be effective biblical counselors. The facilitators and translators had keen insights about the workshop format/style. In the jungle, like at some places in East Africa, there was no electricity. The enclave was powered at some points in the day by a generator. It was extremely hot and Frank met some of the nicest people (and a few snakes too)! However, the security situation in the jungle is moderately dangerous. A couple of the villagers were beaten by some drug cartel thugs. In fact, the USA’s DEA has partnered with some South American governments resulting in the cocaine growing and processing trade taking over land in the Amazon jungle. One of the cartels took over 300 acres of land donated to RiverWind to grow and process cocaine. Unrelated to the cocaine trade, there were about 50 police in riot gear inside the Lima airport as a show of force after farmers in the Machu Picchu area protested the Peruvian president being jailed. Pray for the people of Peru during these difficult times. ECLEA’s influence is now reaching more people than ever. We need your prayers and financial support to continue this important ministry. Solo Deo Gloria!
Paul and Rosemary Nelsen’s work in East Africa
Rosemary and Paul were not on the field teaching this year, but Rosemary was revising her Bible Literacy Course No. 2, which is called “Where Do They Fit?” This course has always been the hardest for Rosemary to teach and for people to sit through due to the five United Kingdom books (Job through Song of Solomon) and the 17 prophecy books (Isaiah through Malachi). Now, in the revised course, each book from Job to Malachi has a summary statement, with much more on each book under that statement. A big change that she made was to put the prophecy books into chronological order. Rosemary and Paul will be teaching in Tanzania for a week during January 2024.
Jacob Boldig’s work in East Africa
In 2023, Jake became the treasurer for ECLEA and worked to start transitioning the banking functionalities in the manner required now that ECLEA has become a 501(c)(3) organization. Jake taught The Church: Its Nature, Mission, and Purpose in Uganda with Alex Obaale. In the latter portion of the course, the pastors each prepared to teach a portion of the course with great effectiveness. Great emphasis was put on the Church’s need to disciple members and equip their flock to disciple others. Various pastors mentioned that they developed a new perspective on the value in planting churches despite the fear of “sheep stealing” in East Africa. Jake is praying that this will bear fruit in a more unified Church on earth.
All-African ECLEA training conferences
ECLEA’s name reflects what we stand for: we equip church leaders of East Africa so they can equip others. As a result, the vast majority of ECLEA’s work is done by the East Africa church leaders themselves! In 2023 our East African ECLEA teams kept moving forward, teaching at the different centers they established:
* Burundi: Rema Ministries (ECLEA’s teaching partner in Burundi) have done over 50 training sessions around the country and had a graduation ceremony in March!
* Kenya: Kenya’s regional coordinators led approximately 100 ECLEA conferences.
* Rwanda: Under national coordinator Protais Nshogoza, our Rwandan ECLEA teams did approximately 50 all-African training conferences this year.
* Tanzania: Joram Ibrahim, ECLEA-Tanzania’s national coordinator, and the ECLEA-Tanzania team have led over 50 conferences.
* Uganda: Under Bishop Stephen Sempala’s leadership, over 300 all-African teaching conferences and follow-ups were conducted around the country.
Reports from the all-African training conferences are available on the individual country pages of the ECLEA website (www.eclea.net); reports of my conferences are on the “News & Blog” page of the website (http://www.eclea.net/news.html).
The impact of ECLEA
ECLEA’s vision and goal is: “Deep Foundations=>Healthy Churches=>Transformed Lives.” Here are some comments from East Africans I have received concerning the impact ECLEA is having:
* Stephano Edward (Tanzania): When I was planning and thinking about equipping members of the body of Christ in our local church where I stand as pastor, what came in my mind are the ECLEA course materials I had. How thankful I am for what ECLEA does in the body of Christ!
* Osinde Wilbrod (Uganda): I am preparing for a course in Expository Preaching and found your material very useful. Thank you so much.
* Njapit Philip (Kenya): The ECLEA materials are of great help to our churches and the body of Christ in Maasai Land. The Lord bless you for the good work.
Other ECLEA happenings
In addition to our multiple church leader training conferences all over East Africa, ECLEA has a number of other projects to increase our lasting impact and effectiveness. These include:
* ECLEA books and video lectures: In 2023 our ECLEA book on Ephesians, and the accompanying set of video lectures, was finalized. All of our books and video lectures are on the “ECLEA Courses & Resources” page of the website: http://www.eclea.net/courses.html. The video lectures (as well as videos of other matters pertaining to East Africa and ECLEA’s work) also are on the ECLEA YouTube video channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpN8YUjt8zpi9iKfcuozxJw.
* ECLEA book translations. Translations of several of our books also were completed in 2023. These include the KISWAHILI translation of Ephesians and the LUGANDA translation of all of our books (except Biblical Eschatology and Christianity and Islam: The Essentials—both of which are in process)! All of our translations are on the “ECLEA Courses & Resources” page of the website: http://www.eclea.net/courses.html.
* School partnerships. Our ECLEA teaching books provide some of the most in-depth teaching available. One of our goals is to establish partnerships or agreements with existing East African theological schools whereby our materials become part of the schools’ curriculum. ECLEA now has relationships with Lawrence Bible University in Rwanda, Bishop Kiguru Bible College in Tanzania (that endeavor is called the East Africa Theological Bible Institute-TZ), Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College in Kenya, and East Africa Polytechnic College Kyambogo in Uganda.
By God’s grace we will continue moving forward in all areas in 2024. We take seriously Christ’s commission to go “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Few others are doing what we are doing—none is doing church leader training and preparing and translating excellent books that go to the heart of what Christians and church leaders need on the scale we are doing it.
You can make a difference
* Giving opportunities: 100% of donations goes to the work of the ministry. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Your financial support is necessary (it enables us to go “to the ends of the earth,” translate our books into the indigenous languages, and also helps facilitate the all-African training conferences). It is paying great dividends (as I hope you see from the above report).
Tax-deductible giving can be done through the website (http://www.eclea.net/contact.html), automatic fund transfers can be arranged through your bank, or checks (payable to ECLEA) can be sent to the ECLEA office at 3701 N. Gillett St., Appleton, WI 54914.
* To contact ECLEA's bookkeeper: If you wish to contact Benda Haase, ECLEA’s bookkeeper, her office number is 920-731-5523 and her email address is email@example.com.
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Thank you and God bless you,
Jonathan Menn (ECLEA Director) TOP OF PAGE