That is the main question I have been getting of late; an answer that I'm happy to report that God has been slowing revealing as He had prepared it for me way in advance! I continue to love Him and trust Him with all the twists and turns that my life takes.
I went into this summer knowing that those questions would need to get some serious answers. Some of those answers already began to show themselves last year when Dr. Phil Walker, the Founder and President of International Christian Ministries, challenged me to do an eighteen month pilot project on Church based Business as Mission, and then to write a report on the research to see whether this work could translate globally.
After many conversations, prayer time, and reflection, this looks to be the path ahead, knowing that our sight is often limited by our humanity, and wanting to remain open to His direction.
- I leave for Kenya on September 2.
- I hope to return for a ten day trip in late October for the Partners Worldwide International Conference with four Kenyans who have been implementing this work in Kenya, and will have opportunities to share about this ministry on their church and denomination.
- I will then move back to Grand Rapids toward the end of December, with the pilot project mostly under completion. Some of the final interviews (which must be done by someone other than me) will take place in January.
- Beginning in January, I will start looking at the results of our work and begin writing an extensive report on the work and on our findings. We are beginning to think that what may come out of this is a church program for Church based Business as Mission that can be applied across many contexts, denominations, and cultures. The development of that work will take priority for me in the first half of 2015.
- I will be back in Kenya for the month of March to teach at the seminary as well as follow up on the work there. I will also be working hard to finish my MBA in Sustainable Development in the first half of 2015.
- Beginning the second half of 2015, assuming that the research results look as we suspect and I am able to write comprehensively on the subject, I will begin to roll this work out globally, starting with two countries. It is too soon to tell, but the countries that we keep talking about are Egypt, Nigeria, or Ghana. We would like to try this work in a country that is not "Christian" which is why we are thinking of Egypt (plus ICM and Christian Reformed World Missions have partners there already), and also under consideration are Nigeria and Ghana as they have some excellent foundations already which could be built on. So I plan on spending some time in each of the two countries selected in the second half of 2015.
- I will travel back to Kenya at least once or twice more in 2015 (for a total of 2-3 months)