Out of the Black Shadows

Out of the Black Shadows, a book review by Jim “Konedog” Koenig

Stephen Lungu has written a gripping biography of his violent young gang life from the slums of Rhodesia to the missionary pulpits all over the world – this is the remarkable story of Stephan Lungu.

A black boy orphaned by his mother to life on the streets at age 4, Stephen learned to do little more than survive. Taken in for awhile by a relative of his mother, Stephen left home and joined a gang by age 12. The gang, The Black Shadows, committed all sorts of violence, generally on the more wealthy white ruling class, robbing them at knife or club point of their money and possessions. People were stabbed to death, clubbed, and suffered all sorts of violence.

Stephen and his group were about to fire-bomb a missionary tent with thousands of worshipers, when Stephen was transformed by the born-again message of a recent woman, and then was convicted of his sinful state by the preacher. That night was the turning point of his life. He stopped his gang activities and began preaching the life-saving message of Jesus to anyone who would listen, especially on public buses, where he led many people to a knowledge of Christ.

Later taken in by a white missionary, the previous subject of his racial hatred, Stephen learned to read, write, and become a member of civilized society and the family of God. It took him over a decade of study, but soon he was ready to bring his message of transformation to greater Africa, and then later the world. Today, Mr. Lungu is a world-renown missionairy.

Stephen Lungu’s story is one of the power of God to transform even the vilest sinner into a loving child of God. It’s message is heart-warming and inspiring to all. Truly, no one is too far gone to respond to the message of God.

I was encouraged and inspired by Stephen’s story, and how God can powerfully transform even the worst sinner.

Buy this book and share it with a friend.

Jim “Konedog” Koenig

In North Carolina


It was a wonderful four day drive. Yes, I know I said we’d do it in three days, but so many people expressed concern for our insanity, that we decide to do it in four days instead. We listened to a few books on CD. “Animal Farm”, great political satire. “The Associate”, John Grishom, black mail, murder, and intrigue. “The Challenge for Africa”, Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Laureate, great explanation about some of the challenges facing Africa. We didn’t finish it, so I don’t know if it has some suggestions for helping. But, it sounded very interesting. Got to Jody and Caleb’s home on a hill. Fantastic views!!!!! Unloaded the truck, took a hike in Montrete, went and toured Billy Graham’s, “The Cove” and walked around Asheville down town, it was cold…. Stopped at a local coffee shop and warmed up. No, we didn’t do all of this in one day. Now we are looking at return flights for Saturday. $75.00 for both Judy and I to fly from Asheville to Phoenix. Its good having a son work in the airlines.

March 2010

Thank You!
From the bottom of our socks! (Bottom of the heart just didn’t seem deep enough ) We couldn’t do any of this without your help.

Ordinary People
1 Corinthians 1:26 (NKJV) “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” Or Jim’s paraphrase…. “Isn’t it amazing how God calls ordinary people, like Judy and Jim, to serve Him in the Global work.” We are so humbled to be part of a team of ordinary people that God miraculously empowers to do extraordinary things, like Bible translation!

New News!
Jim is now assigned as manager to the Wycliffe Mt. Vista Elder Care Facility in Tucson, AZ. In this new position he will make sure the Wycliffe retirees living there are well taken care of, that bills are paid and all of the grounds and facilities are maintained. In the winter months he will have “Snow Bird” volunteers to help will all the labor. The remaining months of the year, Jim will provide most of the labor or contract it out.

So why is Jim starting this new job?
We’re glad you asked. For the past two years, God has been keeping the country of Chad in north central Africa on our minds. Last fall Wycliffe Chad contacted us to see if we might be interested in coming to serve with them in a big maintenance manager need. Boy, did we get excited! Jordan (our last child at home) has recently moved out and is on his own; we felt like the timing was right…… But then God put the brakes on and said, “Yes, I want you to go, but not just yet”. That’s when the job as Elder Care Facilities Manager came up. The picture started getting clearer. By doing this facilities maintenance job, I’ll be getting current in my maintenance abilities (Preparing me to serve in Chad), we’ll have time to get our French language back up to par, plus we also need some Arabic language and culture training. So God willing, we hope to be leaving for Chad in the spring of 2012.

The Challenge!
Wycliffe policy says, a member will not be allowed to start a new job until they have reached 100% of their required monthly funding. We are currently at 77%. Please pray with us that those percentage points multiply.

Judy’s View on Recruitment
Last fall was a tough time for me. It seemed all the Wycliffe recruits I was coaching were going different directions. I was discouraged to say the least. So I began praying Matt. 9:37 twice a day. (I programmed an alarm on my cell phone.) In January the Lord brought two new gals to my attention. One is a teacher and the other a linguistic major at the U (short for University of Arizona). That was such an encouragement and reminder that God, is really the one calling people to join the Kingdom’s work, not me. I just get to have the privilege of mentoring and guiding them. Thanks for praying for those that God is calling.
Praise God! Five of my recruits are building their partnership teams in preparation for serving in Cameroon, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. Pray for them: Mark and Jessica Spangler, Jason and Kari Diller, and Amy Evers.

God brings the Nations to our doorstep
New refugee families arrive weekly in Tucson. This last year over 1,000 came and this year approximately 900 more will come. These dear people are forced from their homeland because of war and persecution. Many have lived for years in refugee camps before arriving here.
This Christmas we adopted a Congolese family of 10 who had arrived in August. We met them at their apartment on a Sunday afternoon and had them out to our house for dinner the next week. They have struggled to find work with their limited English. Judy visits them about once a week to take them shopping for food, pick up applications for work, and practice English. (She also gets to practice her French). It is a highlight of her week.
God has blessed us to be a blessing to the nations. Check out the refugee ministry in your town and share the blessing. Here’s the one in ours:
http://www.tucsonrefugeeministry.com

Partnership Development
Its that season again for the McCabe’s. We are looking to God to work through you, as our advocates, to help us find the few missing team members we need to complete 100% of our funding. As our advocates you play an important role in connecting us to your churches, Sunday schools, small groups and friends. You simply introduce us and ask if it would be OK for us to come and speak about world missions and our part in it. Or better yet invite a few friends to your home for a pot luck and allow us to give a short presentation on world missions and the McCabe’s part in it. We’d be happy to send you or anyone you recommend an information folder containing all sorts of info about us, Wycliffe and the ministry God has called us to.

Join us in prayer
Item 5 on the front is prayer for vehicle and medical expenses. Our trusty 1995 Jeep with its 300,000 miles has the need for a new transmission. We just put a new clutch in our 2000 Dodge Neon. We’ve had several unexpected doctor visits above and beyond insurance coverage. All of this just last month. Also, last month our income was $2,000 under funded. Pray with us for God’s provision.

Thanks for all you do for us !! Jim & Judy

The world of Islam


On Tuesday nights Judy and I are taking a college level class called “Perspective on the World Christian Movement”, or in AZ its called “Pathways to Global Understanding”. I’ve explained it in depth several Blogs back.
Last Tuesday we had an interesting class. We normally meet in a class room of a church, men and women altogether. But this time they separated men from women. Men went in one door and the ladies went in another. The men’s door was labeled, “You are now entering the Muslim world, please remove your shoes”. The women entered a door to the same room, but there was a partition between the men and them, with only a five foot wide curtain of opaque material. Their lights were turned off as well. I entered the men’s door and saw a Muslim Holy Man, in full robes, standing in front. In English he asked us to stand in a row side by side facing the front and that he was asked to go through some Islamic religious culture for us. He demonstrated the prayer and practice of the “five times a day prayer”. Then had us all sit down on the floor, no chairs in the room, for a question and answer time. He said the women were not allowed to speak, but could write notes and pass them to the men to read on their behalf. One of our men asked, “Why the separation, why can’t the women speak?” The Muslim teacher answered and said that “the woman’s voice is too tempting for men to hear when they are trying to worship and learn the things of god. Also to have a women doing the bowing and kneeling in front of men would be very distracting to men.

We all have a “World View”, a way of looking at and understanding the world around us. we are not born with it, we learn it as we grow. Each of us are taught our “World View”, by our families, our neighbors, our schools, churches, media, (TV, Newspapers, Radio). As we mature, hopefully we realise that not everyone thinks the same way we do. Some people have differing points of view. Not necessarily wrong, just different. When we come to that realization and are willing or even want to learn others world view, then we have a chance of learning to communicate cross culturally.

I really enjoy viewing the world through other peoples eyes. Its kind of like the old adage, “Walking a mile in another mans shoes”, and getting an idea as to why one acts and reacts the ways they do. To be able to speak to people using their own language and culture is a gift. We must take it seriously. We must be willing to step out of our comfort zone and learn of other people and their ways. The Muslim world is upon us. We need to know how to speak with them, so they can really understand us and learn of the relationship that God wants to have with them.

The two main takeaways I got that night:
(1) We followers of Christ make the statement that “Jesus is the Son of God”. A true statement. But to a Muslims ears that is perverted. To a Muslim that statement says God came down in some human form and had physical sex with Mary in order to have a son. To a Muslim that is a sick belief system of Christians, that we would so humanize God in that way. What Muslims believe is that God spoke Holy words that entered Mary and miraculously formed the baby Jesus.
What we have here is a “failure to communicate”.
(2) They have received some Sacred Scriptures in the Islamic world. We need to learn how to communicate the rest of Gods Words in such as way that they can understand it and embrace it as their own.

Way too busy.


This partnership developement takes a lot of time. Just finished the newest Newsletter. If I can figure out how to post it here, I will. Planning a trip out east. We’ll be leaving Thursday, March 11. Take three days and two night to get to Ashville, NC, to visit our daughter, Jody and her husband Caleb and Josh as well. We’ll be taking Jody and Caleb’s storage unit full of stuff. It’ll be a great trip! We’re deciding what books on CD to take with us. They really make the time go by. I love driving cross country. The USA has soooo much great seanery.

Grace and contentment


We all have challenges in our lives. At times we all find ourselves in circumstances not of our choosing. Difficulties are a part of life. I know when I take the time to actually choose contentment in the midst of my trials, I almost always receive a certain level of peace. I’m glad Paul talked about this. My natural reactions would not to be content, it goes against my grain.

Get Motivated


I went to this yesterday in Phoenix. It was held at the US Airways Arena. Plus 3 other satellite venues. 30 -50 thousand people attending. It was incredible.
The GET MOTIVATED Seminar is an action-packed, fun-filled, explosive, exciting, inspiring, skill-building business event that is world famous for its mega-watt superstar speakers and spectacular stage production. This blockbuster one-day seminar will give you proven strategies to sharpen your business skills, ignite your motivation, accelerate your effectiveness and increase your income!

Its a covert Christian event. The Gospel is clearly presented, several times, by world famous business people / Christians. Its a great event. I’ve been five times in the last 15 years. Somebody always gives me a free ticket. They are out there. But even if you have to pay, its well worth it.