Monday, June 3, 2013

3rd Commissioning...and Going Home

Commissioning Prayer
Yesterday, Sunday, June 2, found us in the third commissioning service with 44 business graduates at the Friends (Quakers) Church of Kitale.  This was the site of the pilot project, and these business owners received the full 36 hour training, as well as other components of Marketplace Ministry.  I have to say that I have never had a class work as hard as this one at getting all their homework assignments in and requesting review and make-up classes.  It was such a great class and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of them.  There are a number of strong business owners in the group and I believe they will do well with the new knowledge they have obtained.  They also have deeply grasped the idea of being Marketplace Ministers and have spent the last month praying for their business neighbors.  We continue to hear exciting stories of how the Holy Spirit is working through those prayers.

Kitale Friends Graduating Class
With the last of the trainings and services behind me, I will now be returning to Grand Rapids to spend the summer with my children, meet friends and family again, and work on a number of things relating to ICM and the ongoing work in Kenya.  Last night (Sunday), I boarded a bus for Nairobi and drove through the night in order to make my flight to Grand Rapids on Monday evening.  I will arrive home on Tuesday evening.  I have arranged with ICM to work from Michigan during the summer when my children are home from college.  They have been out of Calvin for about two weeks now and I look forward to joining them again.  I will return to Kenya at the beginning of September.

There are a few tasks before me this summer.  I need to do some serious fundraising as my funds for this ministry are very, very low, such that I am unsure of receiving my salary in June and have not been reimbursed for about two months of ministry expenses..  There is a lot of interest in this work and the impact that it is having, and that needs to translate into financial support as well to allow it to go forward.  So I will spend time speaking to churches and individuals who may have interest in this work to see if they are willing to join it.  This is not my favorite thing to do, but a necessary component, which keeps me cognizant of how the body of Christ works together.
A dear sister in Christ, Teresa, had this dress sewn for me - I was spoiled with gifts by the students.
I am also happy to announce that I have been appointed as a partner missionary with the Christian Reformed World Missions.  I will attend their orientation in July and will begin working more closely with them.  This is also helpful in terms of support, as many of my supporters are Christian Reformed and like being able to give through the CRCNA.  There is a lot of synergy between CRWM and the work of ICM.

I also started working on my Masters in Business Administration in Sustainable Development and have been taking classes, with lots of readings and paper writing.  I hope to work hard in these classes this summer, and gain more knowledge and education to apply to the development work that I have already been doing.

Selina's maize farm...can't argue with the view!
Additionally, there is work to be done on the trainings that I have created, with opportunities to get them online for a wider range of access.  There will be some traveling this summer, but nothing outside of North America.

One event I'm looking forward to is Dr. Walker (founder and head of ICM USA) and Rev. Stephen Mairori (International Director of ICM, Kenya Country Director of ICM) will be coming to Grand Rapids to speak at Madison Square Church on Sunday, August 4 during the evening service and then having a chance to share about our work with ICM after the service with dessert.  Hope you will be able to join us!