As you know the pilot project in Kenya is drawing to a close and the work is moving forward very well by nationals in several parts of Kenya. Our philosophy has always been to get out of the way once the work is strong enough to be continued by nationals, while giving support and encouragement as needed. That strategy worked well in both Liberia and Ghana where the work continues with strength and relationships continue. And now that time is drawing nigh in Kenya.
As I have also mentioned, the pilot project was leading us to see if Church-based Business as Mission is something that will work to develop business leaders spiritually and economically, as well as build the church numerically and financially. It is clear from the work in Kenya that the answer to this is an emphatic yes. The final surveys have not yet been done and they will give us the actual statistics but all observations and narrative reports are positively conclusive. Therefore the challenge now before us is to develop materials for the Global Church and begin to widen the work beyond Kenya.
|Rev. Philip Tutu (L) and Rev. Stephen Mairori (R)|
Egypt is not one of the formal ICM countries but ICM has been doing work in Egypt for a number of years, through the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC) and the Middle East Leadership Training Institute (MELTI). The Christian Reformed World Missions is also doing work in Egypt through ETSC. Egypt has been on my heart ever since the Business as Mission Congress in Thailand in which three Egyptian businessmen asked with earnestness for support and help in doing business as mission. Additionally, Egypt would be a context very different from Kenya, Liberia, and Ghana, all of which are considered Christian countries. This would test this program in a different way; additionally, it will require this work to be translated into Arabic.
The goal will be to develop this program, (book, manual, and possibly video series) during the first few months of 2015 and then launch Discipling Marketplace Leaders in both Egypt and Ghana beginning in June. I will continue to travel to Kenya as well, being there in both March and October of next year to teach at the seminary.
The big change is that no longer will I live in these countries for extended periods of time. This work has to grow beyond me if we want to reach the Global Church. It is not efficient for me to live for two-three years in each country. This is why it is important to develop materials that Church leaders can take and run with. I will be based in Grand Rapids and travel out to teach and train Church leaders in the respective areas.
Please continue to pray for this work moving forwards. Current funds are almost depleted and there are still a number of critical projects to complete this year. We also need to grow our resources so that we can begin in these two new countries next year. Please pray with us for God to send partners through the body of Christ who believe that reclaiming the marketplace is a valuable effort for building the Church and for poverty alleviation!