by Donald Kutala, NLWI Africa Director
Next Level Worship International organized it’s 4th intensive School at Shalom Retreat Center in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from 16th – 21st August 2019. We saw eleven countries come together for a week. This Intensive School was the second one we have organized at the same venue, Shalom Retreat Center.
Apart from our usual focus on worship leaders and pastors, this Intensive School was special because we had a very special evangelistic focused activity for the children in the villages near camp area. Called Vacation Bible Schools, these were led by a team of from First Baptist Church Lexington, Tennessee, USA. We also had 3 Regional Conferences in Kenya from 23rd – 31st August 2019.
The 2019 Intensive School was the fourth (4th) successful program held here in Africa. We had two (2) Intensive Schools in Zambia at Munsenga Retreat Center in Chingola held in 2016 with three (3) Nations, Zambia, Malawi and USA represented; the other one was held 2017 at Penina School in Chongwe where we had a representation of four (4) Nations, namely Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia and USA. Last year in 2018, the School was held in Zimbabwe at Shalom Retreat Center in Bulawayo and nine (9) Nations were represented. We had Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, India and USA. All these schools attracted 100 quality Worship Leaders and Pastors and the USA team. We had seen the Mighty Hand of God at work in these Schools; Students’ change of focus from “l” to “WE”, people dedicating their lives to Jesus, students learn an instrument, above all people loving Jesus in a new and higher way.
This past Intensive School set a new record of Nations and number of Students in attendance. We had a total of 130 people in camp from Eleven (11) Nations namely, USA, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania. We saw people traveling more than 30 hours on a bus and others were on flights to just come and be part of the School. So humbling! We saw God breaking new connections in other Nations we have not physically visited but have connected with them online. We had 1 from Uganda, 3 from Namibia, 2 from Tanzania and 1 from Democratic Republic of Congo.
We had very life-changing teachings on the heart of Worship, Worship Theology, Leadership, Musical Worship leading, Songwriting, Keyboard, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Sound and Voice trainings which was very impactful to the students. We had a special session to pray for the nations and pray for one another.
This year we also had a team of people from First Baptist Church, Lexington led by their Senior Pastor, Dr. Clay Hallmark who came to do Vacation Bible Study (VBS) with the children in the near villages around the Shalom Camp. While the Intensive School was happening at the Camp, the team working together with two ladies from Zambia and a Couple and one male youth drove out of the camp to go and impact the Gospel to the Children. There were testimonies of children trusting Jesus!
We had 87 students that graduated with certificates from the Intensive School. There was great excitement from the students. To some students, that was a first certificate from a worship school.
After the Intensive school, Dwayne, Jordan and Donald proceeded to Kenya for 3 Regional Conferences in Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi held from 23rd to 31st August 2019. We started in Nairobi at Ridgeways Baptist Church and we had a very successful 2 Days Conference with more than 8 churches represented. This was the second time NLW was doing a conference at Ridgeways Baptist Church, the first one was in August 2018. We saw a very big improvement in number of church representation, the overall numbers and the organization of the whole conference. On Sunday, 25th August 2019, the NLW team Musical Worship at Ridgeways Baptist in 2 services.
Our next conference was held in Mombasa at Nyali Baptist Church from 26thto 28th August. This was also our second time from August 2018. This conference was very well organized and very well attended for the all 3 evenings. Apart from the Conference, we had a Pastors Luncheon where 10 Pastors attended, and we shared our vision to them. Another Pastors meeting was organized in the South Coast in a town called Diani which is about 40min drive from Mombasa where we also shared our vision. We had an opportunity to check a camp site for our future Intensive School in Kenya.
Our last conference was held in a town called Malindi situated 75 miles north of Mombasa along the Coast. We were on a public transport Shuttle and this was our first time to be in this town. We were connected to this town by our trusted friend who connected us to Kenya. We had a very wonderful conference at Oceans Assemblies of God. The seeds planted in the part of the world will grow.
May l take this opportunity to thank the Board of Directors for the hearts of generosity in finances, guidance and wisdom you have been giving to thousands of souls through the teams you send to Africa led by Dwayne Moore. May also thank our partners who have been there in donation of finances, instruments, prayers and other contributions you have done to make all these trips to be successful.
To Dwayne Moore and the USA Staff, thank you for obeying God to always come down to Africa to bless us. As l have always said, “these seeds you have been planting, are planting and will be planted are for eternity; Africa will never be the same!” We know that God is opening many nations in the World and Africa in particular so that they can hear the message of Biblical Worship.