How (Our History) We Have Hundreds of Converts
& Scores of New Leaders Every Month
How We Started-by Greg
The First Trip: Oct, 04, while teaching in many Pentecostal (more or less) churches in Burundi, I got to know 5 young Christian leaders, usually about 29 years old who felt a divine connection with me, my teaching, & vision for pleasing God. I told them I had only taught one time to a congregation in the USA, but they were captured by the message & anointing that God gave me in teaching & in personal sharing. If you want to know about my personal preparation read “Greg’s Personal Preparation” at the end. We formed New Wave Core Team & decided to start New Wave Ministry, with them working to get legal ministry status with the Burundi government as we met frequently to pray & discuss what we would do.
Bienvenu Bizimana: Just before I ended that 7 wk trip, extended from 4 wks, I taught in a church pastured by 29 yr old Bienvenu Bizimana. Bienvenu interpreted while I taught, but during my first teaching we both felt a divine connection. In about an hour & ½ we knew independently without discussion that if he decided to work with me, he would be forced to resign by the association of churches his church was a part of. As I remember we did not discuss that knowledge until the Holy Spirit brought us together some days later by independent revelation when He spoke in my heart that it was time to ask him to consider working full-time with me to which he smiled & said that he had had a vision or dream of us sitting & talking together & when I asked him to work full time with me, he saw himself, say, “Yes!” So he said, “What can I say?”
Since he was the last of the 5 young men, he was not the senior leader of our core team of 4 Burundian & 1 Rwandan young man, but after about 2 weeks with him we continued to talk by phone & email after I returned 4 mos. to the USA before coming back to Burundi with my 22 yr old daughter. 2 & ½ yrs later I married 22 yr old Providence, who was the founder & director of New Wave Ministry in Goma, DRCongo, in part because Bievnvenu interpreted for me in Goma & told me what she was saying, since she spoke very little English in Feb 07.
Bienvenu’s Leadership: Of all the young leaders, he was the most available & willing to sacrifice income & reputation by working with me. The Lord spoke to me that I should offer to pay him $100/mo to work with me, which seemed like a lot to me, since I knew the average income in Burundi was $50/mo & I had a full-time helper that I paid $25/mo. But I felt that God told me he would produce a hundred-fold return & he would be a good investment. I had virtually no donations for over one year after beginning, so I had & still do in 2010 return to the USA to earn the money to support the work in Africa.
For him it was a sacrifice, because his average pay as a traditional church pastor was about $200/mo, which continued for some time, until he was forced to resign as God had shown us would happen. He also endured tremendous gossip & criticism for working with me, in part because I was honest about being divorced & some knew that I had my 5th daughter by my fiancé, whom I never married, when I was all beat up from being driven away by my wife & threatened with dis-fellowship by my local church in 96, because they falsely claimed that I had not sold my business as I promised, to try to save my marriage by meeting my wife’s baseless demand to control all my earnings.
Our First House Churches: During my 2nd 5 week trip March & April 05, after a couple weeks in Burundi with a 1 week trip together for me to teach a Song of Solomon seminar in Rwanda, Bienvenu, myself, & my daughter began 2 house churches in the capital of Burundi, but we only went to 3 or 4 meetings before returning to the USA.
Bienvenu was now the functioning director of New Wave Ministry in Burundi with great support and assistance by Chris Ndikumana of our core-team who was busy with his own Burundi internet cafe & 2 or 3 ministries. Despite his business he helped us get New Wave Ministry registered as a ministry with the Burundi gov’t. He gave me the privilege of free internet access in his private office & provided printing services with the duplexing printer I bought in London on my way that 2nd trip. He continued to be supportive & helpful, although for a long time we no longer talked on the phone, because for many months it took about 50 calls to get through to Burundi one time, though it somewhat improved in Dec 07 (about 1 in 10).
6 wks after planting those 2 churches together, Bienvenu told me by phone, that he was surprised, because we already had 6 house churches in Burundi.
After that, while I was in the USA trying to recover from the theft of my entire heating & air-conditioning business, except for my skills & hand-tools, we were growing slowly in Burundi to about 9 churches for around 4 mos. But God continued to give Bienv. & I amazing divine guidance by phone & when I visited, with perfect unity about everything we felt led to do in ministry or business efforts. After I called a missionary who was planting house churches in Ecuador, Beinv & I discussed how we could do something similar to expand making disciples through house churches & the Holy Spirit fell on that conversation, giving us the plan to start a weekly meeting in the Burundi capital for everyone we knew who was interested in planting simple churches.
The Fire Falls: About the 3rd or 4rth of those weekly church-planting meetings the Holy Spirit fell during prayer & worship & simply caught the group of around a dozen people on fire for reaching the lost & making more true disciples.
In a short time we grew to 13 house churches, then in a few weeks to 20 with one 18-19 yr old brother, who still works with us, planting 5 house churches, then in about 5 more weeks we grew to 40, but one brother was actually leading 15 very small house churches, which was not too solid, so by the time 1 year had passed partly by choice & partly because he left the group, we shrunk back down to 14 house churches, but they were solid, so we had multiplied 7 times our first year.
2-3 weeks after the fire fell, I was at one of those meetings on a busy 1 month trip, & I have never seen or heard anything like it in my life. Before we started praying as a group, during a short time of worship, you could easily hear at least 3-4 voices sobbing above the singing for their lost neighbors who need to be reached with the gospel.
Our 2nd Year: In our 2nd yr. Bienv told me by phone that we had new house churches in new believer’s homes that decided with their friends & family to take this wonderful gospel of being accepted into both heaven’s family & a family of believers in a home to their neighbor’s immediately & some time later many of them were starting at least 1 new house church before they had their 2nd meeting & some had even started up to 5 house churches before the 2nd meeting. I said, “Would you say that they are on fire?” He laughed & said, “Yes, you could say they are on fire!!!”
So during our 2nd year we grew in Burundi to approx 150 house churches from 14, though the growth was too fast & the people to poor to have phones, so we never know exactly how many churches we have. I remember during that time that we had at least 10 to 20 new converts most weeks & were adding at least 7-10 house churches/wk, though around 30% of them died, just as much seeds sown sprout & die.
When we had only about 7 house churches the first year God spoke to Bienv. that we were going to fill Burundi with house churches, but it was time to go beyond the borders because people were ready & waiting. As a result of that we traveled together to Tanzania where I taught another Song of Solomon seminar & we met another about 29 yr old pastor who was ready to start churches in houses. After our one week visit he started a house church in Tanzania & they grew gradually to 7 while we were growing from 14 to about 150 in Burundi.
Amazing Trouble, Amazing Growth: During the first year my father gave me a big sum that we used to buy a mini-van used as a 3rd-world bus hoping to earn $3-700/mo in profit. But it was frequently breaking down, with times of slow business & I think we averaged less than $200 profit per month, with frequent money spent from me to repair it or renew the permits which wiped out much of our profit. One time it was overloaded with luggage & came back from the bad roads to Uvira, DRCongo, with 4 broken shocks, mounts & damaged springs. But we learned a lot about transportation business & eventually bought a moto-taxi, which did much better. We increased Bievnvenu’s pay, since he no longer got donations from the traditional church he formerly pastured, but I think in general, we never had enough to pay him the reasonable increase, since I was trying to recover from my stolen business & had a month of not working in the USA, because of getting cerebral malaria, which nearly killed me & made me too weak for a month to easily climb 11 steps without resting.
Our biggest obstacle has always been finances, but somehow we have survived some amazing problems. When we took our first trip to Tanzania together, we didn’t get the donation Bienv expected from a friend he made on a previous trip & after flying to Dar Es Salaam, we only had enough to travel back 4 days by bus, with no money for food. But I got my first big $1,000 donation from an American house church that had saved up the money, so we were able to fly across Tanzania, and then take a taxi to save money from Kigoma, Tanz. to home in Burundi.
That was an amazing trip because the gravel roads were so muddy in the rain that after we pushed the taxi out of the mud 5 times the driver sold us (his passengers) to an African bus that couldn’t get around the 200’ mud puddle. The 3-4 hour trip turned to 12 hrs, as the bus waited hours for big trucks to get up the road 10’ at a time, and then our bus broke down after racing up one more muddy hill. So we walked about a mile with our luggage, took bicycle taxi’s twice at the border (I had to jump off mine when we fell over) & a taxi to a bus in Burundi till we finally got to our nice (soon to lose) home & both ate & collapsed into bed. Almost all we said was, “I’m going to bed.” For me the bed was the living room couch cushions in my own bedroom for a long time.
After getting a loan turned donation we got a 2nd moto-taxi, but one of our drivers went the wrong way down a one-way street, hit a truck, died, & destroyed the moto-taxi. We did sell the broken down bus getting ½ of the $2,000 price, & with my, at that time, good US business income, bought another moto-taxi, but still never had enough to pay the house rent of $350 on time, so we eventually lost the house to get a cheaper one for about $200, I think which was lost again, then a house that costs $110/mo & now Bienvenu has a smaller two-room house for his wife & two daughters, that he pays with his very small business.
But while all this was happening we grew to about 200 churches in Burundi summer 07, then while I was in Indiana trying to earn adequate $ they had a crusade with other ministries, leading 5900 people to Christ & planting over 1,000 new churches all in two weeks.
But before that, in Feb 07, I spent 8 days in Burundi then traveled with Bienv. to two places in DRCongo teaching my Song of Solomon seminar again in Goma, then we traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, starting three new house churches in the two countries before we left in early March. In three weeks our Goma leader, Providence, who is now my wife, planted 2 more house churches.
Amazing US Trials: But leading up to that amazing growth was two amazing trials for me in the USA. Jan 21, 07 I had my 3rd near death experience, since deciding to go to Africa. The first was a bicycle accident Sep 04 a few days before I was to travel to Burundi the first time which erased the memory of 2 days of my life. Then four days of intensive care for cerebral malaria in the USA Nov. 05. In January, 07 I hit a quite new parked police car with a mid-size new rental car at about 70 mph. completely destroying both vehicles & causing me to wake up in a different state (IN) than I last remember being, in a hospital with 12 stitches, a really sore hand & lower back, remembering nothing about the accident, which was probably on ice according to the towing company. I couldn’t use my cell phone which was getting all my business calls, so I wanted to release myself the first day, but they threatened to get a lawyer to commit me to the hospital, so I waited a day & got out the next morning. I hid the fact that I could only walk gritting my teeth from back pain & I checked out with my Dad picking me up an hour from my home. My back hurt so bad getting up & down that it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to get up in the morning from sleeping with my feet up on the back of my corner couch.
But I soon was back to work carefully getting up & down & two weeks later flew to a custody hearing for my youngest child whose stepfather had gotten emergency custody of her by saying I was “severely mentally ill” & other false statements which the judge obviously didn’t totally believe, since he awarded me to take her camping with me one weekend a month as I had done for years. Her mother had died 13 mos. Before. I decided to take her home with me, because I had sole custody of her & she had had a year for her & her brother to adjust to the death of their mother.
Since I had bought a ticket to leave for a five country African trip two days after the hearing, I didn’t have enough money for a lawyer so I represented myself. But my 1st wife told someone that I had a suspended license when I had the accident, which I didn’t know because I had a valid driver’s license in another state where I had done business. So in court they wanted to see my license, which was good, but they found a man the same license # & the same last name whose first name was my middle name which was on my license, who was wanted for a crime in Georgia. So two days before I was to fly to Africa, they handcuffed me & took me to jail, after that the judge told me that I couldn’t go anywhere with my daughter until I had a valid Indiana license & could prove that I was not a criminal.
It must have been the devil trying to stop my trip & my discipleship of my daughter, since I’ve never been charged with any crime & the bailiff was too careless to read the description which said the man was black & weighed 110 lbs more than me. He did put the description in my pocket, which I read in jail after they took the handcuffs off, but it took the jailers 9 hrs to get me released from jail at 2am, with no coat, luggage, or rental car & missing my flight back to Chicago from Charlotte, NC which was a two hr. drive from the hearing.
After a lot of trouble & expense, I got to my parked van in Chicago at 9pm the night before I needed to leave my home at 10 the next morning for Africa. But when I started my van it was 0 F, & the only belt came off the engine. After driving an hour with no heat, generator, or cooling system (I had rigged two batteries for camping) and driving up to 90 mph. & coasting to 40 mph, I finally found someone to repair my van at night, since it was too cold for me to work on it outside. So I finally got home from Chicago at 3 in the morning, slept 5 hrs, packed for 2 hrs & l made my trip to Africa with a still rather sore back.
New Growth in Africa: Within 3 weeks we had started house churches in 2 more countries, which 10 mos. later, in Jan 2008, had at least 125 house churches & many amazing testimonies.
After the first 2.5 wks in 3 countries Bienvenu went home, & I traveled to Tanzania (a two day bus ride) & I spent the next 3 weeks encouraging the churches in Tanzania & investing my life in David Saku, with whom I had only spent 1 wk the year before. Then I spent 3 wks in Nigeria visiting the Nigerian friend who planted African Christianity in my heart 30 years before, while I made new connections in Nigeria.
I did have the amazing problem in Tanzania of not being able to get money out of my account, because in the rush with the accident & jail, I forgot to bring the pin #s for my new bank cards, but once again, I got a big donation when I didn’t have enough money to leave the country & the donor sent, $1,100 which we used to buy a moto-taxi with about $400 directly to me, so I could afford the trip to Nigeria.
While I was in 3 East African countries Oct 07 getting married, trying to open a Rwanda Air-Conditioning business & traveling to teach, New Wave Ministry in Goma added 12 new churches under the leadership of people my wife had trained. Although they have almost no funds for ministry & when I wrote this in Jan 6, 08 she was actually hungry with tears because I couldn’t send her any money for food in Kigali, they added through evangelism 61 new believers & 14 house churches near or in Goma. She was there working in ministry & enjoying food in one of her parent’s homes just before this time.
As of November 09, we had lost & grown in Burundi, and have great testimonies of systematically reaching the 17 provinces, where with follow-up, the people are ripe to work hard for God. We lost many of the 1,000 churches gained in 08, but after time to regroup & from our 2010 visit, I estimate that we have over 5,000 house churches in Burundi, even though they don’t count them to avoid tempting pride. In July 2010 my wife and I visited one of his network leaders meetings and I went with him to one of his two personal outreach meetings of ex-criminals and addicts who meet with him on the lake beach. We have expanded to at least 14 house churches, but likely many more near Bukavu, DRCongo. As of 2010 we have multiple house churches that I know of in 3 DRCongo cities and at least two Rwanda cities, plus constant expansion in four other countries. At times, our Rwanda home has been filled with up to 5 house churches, daily training & prayer meetings and we really don’t know how many house churches have sprung up in or near our home town, because my wife is too busy to count, but we do have at least 2 networks of house churches in two Rwanda cities. David is doing successful crusades with the DVD projector we sent him.
I’m on my longest planned trip of 5 mos. from 30 Dec. through May, 2011, with an amazing story. Provi was due very early March for our first child. Unbeknownst to me she had a contagious terminal disease which caused her to get ill easily and often. On Feb 13, 1 week before my 53rd birthday, she was heard moaning by her younger brother, when I was visiting a new friend. He and our servant/friend, Mama Noella carried her to a taxi to go to the hospital. Before I got there, our baby was delivered by Caesarean-section to save our daughter and to try to save Provi. The doctors told me of her contagious illness a couple days later and tested me. Despite being married to her for over 3 years, I tested negative for the disease. Many people prayed for her, but she was only conscious for a few hours on two days & she thanked me for praying for her, but she died 11 days after our daughter Ashkenoz/Ashkey Isaaca Greg was born at 2.75 kg or 6 lbs. 1 oz. The amazing thing is that I have such peace, & such joy with my new daughter & I am getting stronger, despite this “momentary light affliction” which “works for us an eternal weight of glory. I’ve done interviews at three Universities for a good paying teaching job, so that I can return to teach the future government of Rwanda & get paid to live in Rwanda, where I want my daughter to be to learn Swahili and Kinyarwanda, when children learn so easily. Soon I will have a Rwanda passport & a US passport for Ashkey to travel with me by air for teaching in Uganda (2-3 wks) Kenya (2 weeks) & back to the USA to train my very good friend and partner to run my business when I’m back in Africa doing the love of my life, teaching.
Amazing Blessings & Answers to Prayer:
1. Bienv. & I prayed for heavenly ideas to expand New Wave Ministry. From that came the weekly meeting that set our planters on fire.
2. One of our poor Burundi ladies, when we had a dozen house churches, prayed that God would lead her to “a man of peace” who was ready so she could start more house churches. She found herself in the home a Muslim lady that week who shared about years of illness that had not been resolved. The boldness of God rose up in her & she said, “Jesus is going to heal you now!” & the lady was instantly healed. Her Moslem husband came home & responded, saying, “We must join them”. They decided to start a house church & the husband welcomed them, but apologized because he had to leave on business. She asked when he could meet. He said, “only 3pm on Sunday which is not good for my wife, but we can come to your meetings”. Our church planter boldly said, “No! We will continue the meeting for your wife & her friends, & we will start another church for you & your friends!” So our formerly discouraged house church leader got her prayer answered & started 2 house churches in one house & at least 3 of the Muslim lady’s friends received the Lord within 2 weeks of her prayer. Plus she started another house church by praying for an AIDs patient who was extremely ill, but came back to normal health after she prayed for him.
3. I prayed a long time ago that I would be strong in my old age & despite my 3 serious accidents & 1 critical illness I can do everything I could ever do except leg press a full 550 lbs. & can do many things that I couldn’t do at 20 & neither can most kids in their teens or 20s although I turned 52 Feb, 20, 2010. For example I regularly do 80 one-legged full squats on each leg, though my left leg couldn’t do even one after my last July, 07 accident. I can normally can run 3 miles faster than I could when I was running in my 20s & I have worked up to 3 reps of 17 standing-on-my-hands body presses, and shooting for 20.
4. When I had never thought about ministry in Africa, I prayed & wrote down a goal of helping to lead more than 100 churches. In less than a year I helped plant 2 house churches in Africa & in Nov 09 I help help lead a rapidly growing 800 house churches in Africa.
5. I prayed many years for a good wife & added to my prayers a long list of specific things I desired that would please the Lord. I have everything that I asked for in my long list & even more than I thought to ask. You can click on “Greg’s Happy Marriage Testimony” to read the details at our www.NewWaveMinistry.com website.
6. I prayed for an opportunity to raise 5 more children with a wife who didn’t oppose my fatherhood & now I have one healthy baby.
7. I prayed for God to provide the money I needed to travel Oct 8, 07, for ministry & marriage when I couldn’t see where it would come from & 3 weeks before leaving I discovered $4,300 in a bank account that I thought was closed & empty years before.
8. My wife & 2 New Wave leaders & I prayed for favor & success in dowry discussions with her parent’s relatives & they did what my partners had never seen in at least 8 African countries & they told us to get married with no dowry at all!
9. We prayed for money for a house in Kigali and a business women gave me $450 in francs the day I was supposed to be gone from the country, as I went to the bank for a air fare schedule change fee, so I had the money to give my wife, before I left the country, which is a good thing, since I was short on money for some time after that.
10. One of our young leaders prayed for God to lead him to a “man of peace” & he found himself sharing with a man who suddenly said, “I have demons. Will you ask Jesus to drive the demons out of me?” After casting out the demons during the night he planted his first house church the next morning in that man’s home.
Prophecy for the Future:
? To me, “God is going to spread you, like a man spreads his fingers all over Africa.”
? Through Bienv. “You will fill Burundi with house churches.” They have a much matured strategy to evangelize all of Burundi, now, with church networks in 5 of 17 provinces.
? In a dream of Bienv’s & confirmed by me he saw us traveling to 3 Asian countries in Ministry. Later it was revealed to me two of the countries that he couldn’t remember until I told him.
? Many have prophesied of blessings on our children, both my American children and our unborn children.
Prayer Requests & Vision for the Future:
1. Training centers, homes, business & internet service in every country where we work except for new or “under-the-radar” countries.
2. Hundreds of our children, grandchildren, nephews, & nieces who are passionate for God & working in the Great Harvest, for my wife & I.
3. An “…abundance for every good deed…” allowing training materials, communications, & transportation for national & international ministry, with no financial blocks.
4. Grace for our teams to help produce over 1 billion disciples who are passionate lovers of Jesus in the next 7 years.
Greg’s personal preparation:
? God blessed me with parents who always loved me, always told me I could do anything I wanted to do, & who never spoke a word of prejudice that I can remember.
? God has called me to do what few or none have done & I was prepared by choosing to submit to God without understanding the gospel, or believing the bible, or knowing any other Christians, just because I knew there was a God who created everything & I chose to obey that God, saying, “I want to do whatever you want me to do, even if it costs me my life” at the age of 11.
? I decided to start reading the Bible every day at the age of 11 & in time believed it.
? The Lord connected me with a brother who encouraged me to start memorizing scripture at age 15.
? Through new Christian friends I started reading great Christian books, got great charismatic teaching (really scripture based), & within a year or 2 started spending the first hour of my day in these things & prayer, & I began a “going to the cross” marriage at the age of 19.
? Started discipling (really house church) several other young men in my mid 20s for several years.
? I continued learning from other great ministries, like Bill Gothard, in my 20’s-30s, Mike Bickle, mostly in the 90’s, Rick Joyner since the late 80’s & still, & House2House after 2,001.
? I “accidentally” planted a house church in 1996 in Elkhart, IN by giving a friend, “The Final Quest” by Rick Joiner, resulting in many conversions mostly among Mexican immigrants.
? God advanced me to a higher level of the “School of Hard Knocks” by starting business in 1986 & at one time having more than 10 employees.
? I started studying & applying business training materials in the 90’s that were used to prepare & thrust me into international ministry, business, & international family? & have even now motivated me to start writing things such as this again.
Greg’s personal Conclusions:
? God is worthy of everything I have or am, & deserves my every breath to be for Him.
? THANK YOU JESUS! MERCI BOUCOUP JESUS! NASHUKURU SANA YESU! UROKOZE CANE YESU! GRACIAS JESU!
Naye Lia kwa Mapenzi na Furaha,…
He Who Weeps with Love & Joy, for the Beautiful African Bride of Christ
(Known in the past as Greg Cunningham)
Mail & donations to:
New Wave Ministry
29731 County Rd. 28
Elkhart, IN 46517, USA
Or credit card donation buttons and other stuff at www.NewWaveMinistry.com
(+ )1-574-295-9696, or 679-0011 Cunningham Air & Heat (working in IN, MI, & even ALL USA)
(+) 1-877-679-0011 Free from US phones for African visitors or if your free long-distance won’t work
Three New Waves:
??????Passionate Love————–From & for Jesus
??????Never-Ending Humility—To follow the King
??????Total Sacrifice ————–Living out His Love & Humility