Lloyd Cheshire is the executive pastor of Potter’s Wheel Church. He has been serving in Swaziland as an Elim Missionary for the last 5 years alongside his wife, Joanne and their 3 children. His role has recently developed to include being the Facilitator of the ICBC Vision within Challenge Ministries. He is actively involved in mentoring and pastoring the ICBC Pastors as well as meeting with men of God and sharing the vision of ICBCs with them to find those men of God who are willing to partner with God’s vision for ICBCs in Swaziland.
He had this to say about ICBCs “An ICBC stands for in community by community. It is local people in the community serving their community, transforming their community.
Our model of an ICBC has a church pastor; first and foremost we are looking for a man of God in their community who Love Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, who wants to impact his community. When we find that man of God, who may already be meeting under a tree or in a home, we will come with our resources and assist in helping that man of God to setup an ICBC (in Community by Community) church project.
The difference between an ICBC and a simple church plant, very simply is that an ICBC will have people within its community working within its community, not just coming on a Sunday, but working day in, day out within its community. Working with the local church pastor and its staff and family and impacting the local community. Often what we find with a church plant is people will come to church on a Sunday and possibly attend a mid-week meeting but go back home without impacting their church or local community. We want people to be impacting their local community day in, day out, 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Our vision moving forward is simply that we want to impact the Nation of Swaziland. We want to have maximum impact as we work with local people in transforming their communities, one life at a time. Currently we have 10 ICBC’s, by the end of 2017 we would like to have 12 and then over the next few years we have a vision for 60 ICBC’s throughout the nation of Swaziland.
It is vital for every member of the ICBC church to be impacting their community. It is the very fundamentals of what an ICBC is. Without its congregations involvement it no longer remains an ICBC. It is fundamental to the development of the ICBC vision to have to have the people of God transforming the community by offering child care, helping with sustainability projects within the community, to be preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and offering hope “litsemba” to the people within its community.
I have many stories of how ICBCs are impacting their community. One of the stories that stands out the most is working with Pr Vusi in Engcamini where we were taking water into the community that had been donated by one of our donors in the United Kingdom. We approached a homestead where an elderly gentleman had just been sent home from the hospital. He had been sent home with no medication. The hospital did not know what to do with him. All they told him to do was to drink water. Unfortunately this was the time where the nation was suffering a severe drought and so there was no way he could find safe drinking water or even be able to go out and get it, if there had been. But praise God within half an hour of him getting home, we arrived with a team led by pastor Vusi into his homestead each carrying 5 litre bottles of fresh Bulembu water. We were able to leave him with 20 of these 5 litre bottles of water. So he could have a chance to recover from his illness. We prayed for him and blessed him before we left. Pastor Vusi continued to visit him and later brought the Challenge Ministries health team, led by Nurse Clair. Nurse Clair came with her team of health workers and she prayed with the elderly gentleman and she felt the Lord had led her to pray a prayer of salvation with the elderly gentleman. At the moment of her praying with the gentleman the heavens opened and the thunder began to roar. She prayed for the gentleman and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. The thunderstorms continued to roar. But Praise God he gave his life to the Lord Jesus. That is not the end of the story, that in itself would be an amazing transformation. The story goes on, as Clair and her team left, Pastor Vusi asked her if she knew that the elderly gentleman was the local witchdoctor. Hence the reason the storms rose up. So what happened thereafter is that Pastor Vusi and his church began the whole process of discipling this gentleman. One year on that gentleman is now walking to church every week, he is part of the ICBC and he is now leading other witchdoctors to Jesus. That for me is the vision for ICBC. Being hope, sharing the good news of Jesus and seeing lives transformed. So a nation can be transformed one life at a time.
People outside of Swaziland can get involved in many ways, one of these is by coming and visiting our ICBC communities. We have a Mission Impact program whereby people can come and visit for short term mission opportunities. Secondly you can give financially to the work of as we go out around the nation allowing the Lord to transform communities through the ICBC vision. Thirdly you can be praying for us, as we as a team take this vision of ICBCs across the nation of Swaziland, continuing to see the Lord transforming communities.
Fundamentally I believe that one of the things the Lord has called me to do is to pastor the local Pastors, so that is one of the things I am focusing on. We will be looking for new areas that the Lord is directing us to plant a church, as we take the vision of planting 60 ICBCs across Swaziland. We need to develop the vision of ICBC and seek His will for where He wants these 60 ICBCs to be started. We will be trusting the Lord will direct us to men of God in areas that most need an ICBC project. In this way we can continue expanding the vision, right across the nation of Swaziland, having maximum impact, to see this nation being transformed for Jesus one life at a time. I am very excited about what the Lord is doing and what He is going to do through our local Pastors and through ICBCs.”