2022 September Newsletter
Greetings from The Keystone Project and All Our Disciples in the Nations!
“AGAIN THE NEXT DAY JOHN WAS STANDING WITH TWO OF HIS DISCIPLES, AND HE LOOKED AT JESUS AS HE WALKED, AND SAID, ‘BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD!’ THE TWO DISCIPLES HEARD HIM SPEAK, AND THEY FOLLOWED JESUS.” (JOHN 1:35-37)
John chapter one illustrates some basic principles in missional living and the discipling process. It also highlights the fruit of a prophetic lifestyle and message. It concerns John the Baptist and two of his disciples. As John was standing with them, he saw Jesus and made the famous prophetic declaration, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard these words, they left John and followed Jesus.
This passage begins with the word again, showing a connection with the previous passage from 1:19-34, in which John’s testimony is presented (1:19). This testimony is significant because it identifies Jesus as the Messiah and John as His forerunner (1:23-27). Two things are worthy of note here. First, the Father chose to reveal the Son to His prophet with a sign: “He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’” This would also be the identifying mark on the followers of Jesus (Romans 8:9, 14).
John the Baptist presents three credentialing qualifications for his assertion that Jesus is the long- awaited Messiah: (1) He “… takes away the sin of the world”; (2) the “… Spirit descend(ed) and remain(ed) upon Him…”; and (3) “… this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”
John’s life and message pointed to Jesus, not to a method or a theological position or to a manner of life but to Jesus Himself. This is the message we have been given to proclaim throughout the nations. The simplicity of this message is its power. Paul wrote, “For I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1Corinthians 2:2). Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Again, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) At the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” And John the gospel writer tells us, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39).
Brothers and sisters, the same fruit must be evident in our lives and ministries. We work so hard to get people to follow us and to join our churches or our ministries. But the true fruit of
prophetic living is that people are drawn to Christ and to Christ alone. Indeed, the message of the gospel is Jesus Himself. We do not seek the systems, productions, and accomplishments of men; we do not call people to a way, a formula, a method, or a ministry. We call them to Jesus with the promise that all who believe in Him will receive the Holy Spirit and have eternal life. “Do you believe this?” If so, then I urge you to proclaim it everywhere to everyone! As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30).
• I asked our Director of Operations, Shawn Walker, to write the following report on our trip to Indiana. “We had the distinct privilege of traveling to Martinsville, IN, as guests of the Indiana Dream Team, which is a Christ-centered in-house recovery and detox center. There we conducted a 4-day training for the inhabitants and staff of the program that ‘not only offers true life change but restoration and a growing relationship with Jesus.’ We expected a move of the Holy Spirit as always, and we were not disappointed! What we discovered was a group of people who were desperately hungry for God and the mission! God responded with many kairos moments. Men and women who were once in darkness, like the rest of us, were moved powerfully by the presence of God and the commission to go and make disciples! After the first day of teaching, one young lady who had only known addiction most of her life begged us to go out on the mission with her that day! By the end of the training, we were able to do just that. Some of our team took 9 of the students and staff into their town to go on the mission. One of our staff asked the group what their biggest concern was before they started. Most of the time when we ask that question of people who have never been on the mission, they say things like, & “That I won’t know what to say,” or “That I might have to talk to someone.”This group only said, “We are concerned that we might not see anyone.” Can you see the hunger? Their concern was that they might not encounter anyone to share Christ with! Well, God showed up again! The team came across over 40 individuals on the streets in just a few hours’ time! One of the students remarked how amazing it was to be out on mission for God, considering how not that long ago he had walked the same path selling drugs. One of the other students was able to pray with and for an older couple who had only ever known him as a drug addict. That couple preached back to us with so much joy in their hearts for what they saw! That same young man joined us as we led his cousin to Christ! By the end of the night, all the students and staff committed to continue the work in their town and profess Christ in the very place where they had been in bondage to the enemy. God redeems everything! We left the IDT with full hearts and a promise to return the same time next year!”
• Thank you for your prayers for our mission team as they travel in Africa. The fruit of their mission is amazing! God is opening the doors of hundreds of churches to receive the training of The Keystone Project to go and make disciples of all the nations.
• We have a three-pronged approach to accomplish this: (1) through our Online Academy, which continues to grow and is impacting many people in the nations; (2) through our training events here in Keystone, SD, and other cities in the US; and (3) through our training events in the nations. Pray for us to have the resources to finish this great task.
• It was a joy to visit Grabill Missionary Church in Grabill, IN, and to see so many friends and ministry partners. GMC has supported us for many years. We thank God for their faithfulness.
• We continue to volunteer with Feeding South Dakota by distributing food to the residents of the town. This is something we truly enjoy as we meet the great people of Keystone.
• Though our support levels have dropped, we are still seeing God’s hand of provision and blessing upon us. I want to encourage you to help us. Even a small donation of ten dollars a month will move us forward in completing the mission God has given to us to make disciples of all the nations. You can easily give online through our website, http://www.keystoneproject.org, or by sending a check to The Keystone Project, Inc., PO Box 473, Rapid City, SD 57709.
• Our next training is a month-long event from October 3-28. It will include translation into Spanish. This training, as are all our trainings, is at no cost to our students and includes hotel rooms and food. The estimated cost for us is around $30,000, so we appreciate any support you can give towards the training ministry. You can also apply to attend the training on our website.
• Please continue to pray for our disciples around the world, especially those living and working in dangerous areas of persecution or where they are affected by the pandemic. The COVID pandemic really hurt some of our supporting churches. Please pray for them to fully recover in health and membership.
• Pray for the financial success and growth of the hotel and The Keystone Project.
• Pray for our staff, who work so hard and have sacrificed so much to serve the Lord through the mission God has given to us.
• Please continue to pray for the team we sent to Africa. They will be in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Pray for missional success and protection.
• At the close of our October International Leaders’ Training, we will have our annual board and staff retreat here in Keystone. Please pray for us as we gather for a time of rest and renewal. We thank the Lord for all of you and pray for His blessings in all that you do for His glory!
For God’s Glory,
President, The Keystone Project, Inc.
“Nothing Can Stop God”
I am greeting you from Lomé, Togo (West Africa). We are just a few days away from finishing the third week of our mission in Africa. We have another nine days left in our missionary endeavor, and then I go back to my family, whom I miss greatly. It is challenging to express everything God has done on this trip. We spent the last eight days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Amid a fuel shortage that has the country on the brink of a crisis and despite tremendous opposition, we had an amazing Vision-Casting Training with one of the largest evangelical communities in the nation; they represent 80 denominations. In the words of the association’s vice president, Rev. Mossi Nzimba, "It was a miracle of unity for the Body of Christ.” Our local hosts, Pastor David Samuel Chambo and his wife Israelah, were deeply grateful for our visit and were challenged to continue the vision of The Keystone Project in the DRC. We were very blessed by their love for Christ and their nation. God allowed this divine connection for His glory. The group of pastors and leaders received the vision to make disciples who make disciples to fill the earth with God’s glory with an open heart, and they are eager to continue to work with our ministry to launch disciple-making movements in Africa.
Before our trip to the DRC, we spent some days in Accra, Ghana. We met with the senior leadership of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC). They also are very excited about sending students to the US to help mobilize the church to the unreached people groups with future trainings in Ghana. Our dear brother Rev. William Wilson and his wife Comfort (they attended the 2022 April International Leaders Training) are doing a fantastic job casting the vision of making disciples in the nations with their church, peers, and regional organizations.
One of the main objectives of this trip was to summon the nations to a one-week training we are planning to have in Cotonou, Benin Republic, from January 23-27, 2023. Cotonou’s local senior church leaders are working very hard to host West Africa and some other francophone nations. We know it will be a historical training for this continent.
One thing we’ve been able to do on this trip is to engage in prayer walks and evangelistic efforts. We’ve seen hundreds of people coming to Christ, getting healed and delivered, and embracing the call to become disciples of Jesus. One lady attended an evangelistic crusade where I preached; she testified that even though no one personally invited her to the meeting, she heard the music from afar, and something led her to look for whatever was going on. She said that as soon as she stepped into the meeting (being held at a soccer field), she heard from what I was preaching that Jesus could remove her shame and make her a new creature. At that moment, she knew God was calling her to a new life, so she gave her life to God. Hallelujah! May our great God be glorified in the nations! Please pray that the seed of the Gospel of the Kingdom will bear much and lasting fruit in these leaders and souls. More to come for this trip!
Director of Global Operations
Feeding the Hungry
One of the core beliefs of The Keystone Project is that we need to lift the curse through Kingdom acts of justice. In plain language, we want to serve our community at the point of their greatest need, which is hunger. In our town, the poverty line is very high for the population. Through partnership with a local ministry called the “Keystone Mobile Food Pantry,” we have been able to nearly eradicate food insecurity in our town. Partnership and unity are key elements to any meaningful service, and that is what we have with Mike Proios, who is the real driving force behind this effort. Delivering food to those who need it is more than an act of service for Mike; it is a true labor of love.
In the state of South Dakota, a government program is responsible for providing food to those who need it most in over 200 locations once a month. That was not going to be enough, so Mike invested his own money to purchase a refrigerated truck, maintain it, pay for all the diesel fuel, and pick up all the food mostly by himself. He makes several stops to pick up donated food from several locations, and we in The Keystone Project, along with other local volunteers, help him to distribute the food to our city EVERY WEEK! That means rain or shine, the people of Keystone will receive a donation of nutritious and necessary food every week. Oftentimes, those in need from neighboring towns will come to receive a desperately needed box of food.
How big is this effort? In 2021, Mike picked up almost 46,000 pounds of food that was disseminated to over 2,900 people. Well, God is honoring the sacrifice by bringing GREAT increase! Already by the first week of September, Mike has picked up over 78,000 pounds that has been distributed to almost 4,000 people! Mike also delivers food to a neighboring town, Hill City, where an additional 2,800 people have been served so far! Furthermore, at our recent monthly community dinner, an extension of the Keystone Mobile Food Pantry, we were able to serve 30 people a hot, quality, and FREE meal!
As a result, we have been able to engage our community and, together with our brother in Christ, are able to show them the love of Jesus freely given. It has opened doors of opportunity in our city and built trust with key leaders who are able to see what unity in Christ and partnership really look like. If you would like to contribute and help to feed our community, you can do so from our website by clicking “Donate” and mentioning the “Keystone Mobile Food Pantry.” God is truly moving in our city, and we are excited to see the fruit that comes from giving freely in the name of Jesus!
Director of Operations
ABOUT THE KEYSTONE PROJECT
The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.