We've hosted a couple of great weeks worth of trainings here in Nairobi AND I managed to squeeze in an unexpected quick work trip to Arkansas and California in between all of the fun.
It all started with 27 ministry workers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and China who gathered for a week to participate in our first ever Support Raising Solutions class held internationally. This is one of CMM's core ministries training many thousands of missionaries in the U.S. in how to build and maintain their partnership team. One of the biggest struggles for indigenous missionaries is remaining funded locally and not relying on the dollars of the Western Church. This first pilot class will allow us to work through contextualizing this course for use in East Africa and (soon to be) China as SRS begins to grow globally as one of our primary strategies for the future of Mobilization.
As you read this we are hosting our Field Staff Training program. We have 31 Americans, Chinese and Kenyans spending 15 days learning and practicing how to be "The Spark of Mobilization" together. Our new staff are studying theory and methodology during the day then going out in the afternoon/evening to put into practice. These missionaries will become change agents. Pray with us as they prepare to go out and join our different teams globally and find their most strategic role in God's Kingdom work.
Testimony from an Ethiopian Mobilizer: "I am Dagmawi Tadesse a mobilizer of Aksum campus. I join CMM training last Ethiopian summer the training changed my mind. In that training I took the Kairos training, on this course I got passion for unreached people group, as I took the course the following questions come to my mind, how to preach the gospel to this people group? Since they are many in number and culture, how to reach them? But Xplore and Go Mobilize studies provide me an answer for my questions so that, I decide to be full time mobilizer to mobilize at least for one year in one of the campuses to mobilize Christian student to Gods global purpose. So that I went to Askum university, this area is where one of unreached people group in Ethiopia is located, when I start to do mobilization students are encouraged to preach the gospel to this people group. We focused on this people group b/c in our campus 70% of student and workers are from this people group b/c of this the student have access to show love of Christ for those individuals who are from that people group. Students are studying Xplore, Window and Nvision in different small groups as result they start to pray for nation to be saved. Mobilization has changed my mind."
Some family and fun
Lillian's crew in Spain for her Spanish 3 cultural field study. Ashley doing some quality control coaching for Nisolo.
I'm surprised it did not make international headlines but Ella Jade turned a sweet 16. She reminded many times early and often :) It was a sweet celebration.
Oh yea, have I ever mentioned what a bad dad I am? Apparently while I was traveling Lillian and some of her 11th grade crew spent a week out in the bush building a "sand dam" (Google the concept) to help a community with water security as a result of the long standing drought in kenya. Like this was totally new news to me. I totally missed this and the oportunity to honor her heart and hard work. Some of you remember that we were first brought to the mission field with Living Water to help facilitate water projects. I was quite tearful and proud when I caught-up to my oldest daughter's life. Wake up call here - Tune in dad!
Kenya sightings....Top Row - This is our neighborhood, the drought that has raged here has been terribly hard on the general population. This forced herders to seek grass wherever they could far from the bush. We are very grateful for His deliverance from this drought with the recent beautiful rains.....however as the water pipes begin to fill up, this is what our household water looked like. Bottom Row - How else would you deliver a new living room set? Motorbikes are the only way to go. Kenya Department of Immigration....I spent 6 hours here trying to convince them of the fact that Ashley's Dependency Permit is wrong. It lists her as my daughter rather than my wife and hence we cannot properly register our Foreign Alien Status to stay legal in Kenya. Ashley should be honored as I failed to convince anyone of this reality....here's to staying young forever :)
Calling Baton Rouge! We hit the ground June 1st. We can't wait to see as many people as possible as we rest up, gear up and fund up for our 10th season of ministry!
Prayer & Praise
Please pray with us for a good number of dear friends that are facing very difficult health and emotional situations. It certainly feels like a season of attack on so many people we love. Pray with us also that our time in the USA is full of joyful reunions and fruitful conversations. 9 years is a long time to only have summers to renew relationships and we fear they get weaker each year we are away. At the same time we give praise for many who have experienced amazing and miraculous healing and received wonderful medical care. We also give praise for an incredible 9 years of full time field work with and for God. What a journey it has been.
Dear Ashley, We appreciate your part in sending us to the frontline of mission mobilization. It is a joy to share our family updates with you. Let us know how we can, in turn, be praying for you! "I always thank God for you, remembering you in my prayers..." - Ashley, Lillian, Ella Jade, Duncan and MacGregor
Transforming the mission field into a mission force