Sunday, November 30, 2014

Churches Engaged!

These are all the pastors who took their time to be present with us!
New Marketplace Ministers
This past Sunday we had the graduation and commissioning of the third group of Marketplace Ministers from the Kitale Friends Church.  Let me clarify to say the host was the Kitale Friends Church, but there were a total of sixteen churches represented in this group of 36 Marketplace Ministers.  The Friends Church continues to push the Church-based Business as Mission throughout their denomination while at the same having open, welcoming arms to Christian business people of all denominations.  We are learning how to do this ministry with multiple churches, because the goal is not just to graduate and commission Marketplace Ministers, but to have the local churches of the Ministers be the sending church, to give ongoing support, discipleship, encouragement, and accountability.  The Friends Church saw with this third class that there was beginning to be some suspicion creeping in from other churches, who thought that they might be trying to steal their members.  They tried to meet with the pastors, but couldn't get them to turn out.  So they asked the Discipling Marketplace Leaders office to have the meeting.  We called, and eight of the sixteen pastors showed up.  But the room felt quite cold.  However by the end of the meeting, they understood what we are doing and that this is for all churches.  The Holy Spirit moved and by the end they too were excited about this ministry.  They all turned up for the commissioning, including the pastors who didn't come to our meeting, and they promised to do an affirmation and sending of their members from their church.  Praise God!

Alexie, on the right; her "sister" Grace next to her.
One of the graduates is Alexie.  She comes from Vihiga, which is 135 km from Kitale.  She is a member of the Friends Church and when she heard about this class, she just knew she had to come.  So each Friday for twelve weeks, she traveled three hours each way by public transport, spending $21 on transport each week, to attend the class.  After just a few classes she was sold, and when she heard there was going to be a Training of Trainers session coming up, she signed up.  She completed successfully, and despite her self-doubt in her accounting ability, received the highest exam score!  She organized 25 businesses people from her church and the surrounding area, and started a class three weeks ago.  This woman believes in moving!  She is such a dear, precious, godly woman.  I am so excited to see how God is going to use her in this ministry. 

Churches are engaged and it is spreading!  Last week I had two different trainers stop by to talk about areas where they want to start a training.  For both of them, I was able to pull up my trainers list (seventy strong now) and connect them with one or two trainers in the geographical area where they desired to go.  We connected them and now they can work together to organize business people in their areas!  I was also able to start spending time gathering data for the work that has been done in Western Kenya thus far.  I put a map together to show where our ToTs are so far, which was fun.  They come from six mainline denominations and 28 independent, and are spread across 23 different cities, in three major concentrations in Western Kenya.  Only God could do this in two years!   
Map of where Discipling Marketplace Leaders Trainers are located
Moffet Weru (center) is the Pastor of Faith Tabernacle International Ministries, Kitale.  He is a BA Theology student at ATS, a ToT for Church-based Business as Mission, and he brought eight members of his church to this training.  He is now going to launch a training with a couple of other churches in his area who also are Trainers.  This is about multiplication and we are seeing happen!  This will make the third location in Kitale alone!
We have one more commissioning before I leave on December 15 in Kakamega, and the Africa Gospel Church will have one shortly after I leave.

God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good...and that is His nature!