Monday, August 22, 2016

Discipling Marketplacer Leaders Update

It's time for a bit of an update as it relates to the actual work of Discipling Marketplace Leaders (DML).  The past six weeks have involved a lot of meetings and networking Stateside for me and now the time is approaching for me to get back out on the field again.

There are a couple new surprise additions to the countries where DML will be implemented.  The first is Guatemala, ICM's first non-African country, as well as my first time going to Central
America.  This came out of a relationship with a member of one of my supporting churches, working with a Partners Worldwide affiliate.  We will travel there during the third week of September, and materials are being rapidly translated into Spanish as I write.  Additionally, we hope to have two prospective team members from the US who hope to help us with our training join us for this trip.  God is building His team!

Additionally, this week we interviewed candidates for a DML staff position in Ghana, and during the course of the conversation with Fanny, the director of our implementing partner Hopeline Institute, I learned that the two day training we are planning to do in Ghana in November will have at least fifty pastors and church leaders from neighboring countries Niger and Chad, who have heard about DML and wish to join!  This is because of our good friend and partner Rev. Johnson, who I wrote about earlier, and the work he is doing in Northern Ghana as it relates to business as mission.  These are all heavily Muslim areas that have had some significant struggles, so if we can equip business people to be Marketplace Ministers, we believe that the Marketplace can be reclaimed for Christ!

As for Ghana, there are eleven churches who are implementing "30 Days in the Marketplace" in which there are four weeks of preaching and teaching by the senior pastor as it relates to faith and work, which will then be followed by training of the business members.  This is very exciting!

Kenya continues to be moving forward, with the annual prayer walk approaching on August 27.  This will take place across four different cities, with Marketplace Ministers traveling two by two, praying for businesses, government buildings, and the city in general.  Please pray with us for a good turn-out, for God to hear the prayers of His people, and that the Marketplace Ministers may also continue to have their hearts turned toward the city as their active parish.

I spent time this past week training a missionary to Ethiopia to be a trainer for DML.  We met him in Addis Ababa several months ago and found that he was doing business development already but needed a stronger curriculum.  When we introduced the idea of doing this through the church, he immediately saw the potential for where he is in north-west Ethiopia.  Ethiopia has been having some challenges however and continues to need our prayers.
Egypt continues to move slowly, but at least it is moving.  We have struggled to find the right churches with whom to partner.  Unfortunately, churches there apparently expect to be paid for doing ministry, rather than owning the ministry for themselves.  This has been brought about through unhealthy development practices where people are paid to come to workshops, etc.  But we continue to hear loudly the need and desire for it, especially by business people, and so we are trusting that with patience, the right church will be found.

This fall we will also make our first presentation in Nigeria.  So that means that from September to November, I will be in Guatemala, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.  I will be back in Egypt in January, then Kenya and Ethiopia in March, and so on.

Please continue to pray with us.  We want to join God in where He is working, and we want to see His church built, with His will done on earth "as it is in Heaven."  Thanks to all of you who join us in prayer, in encouragement, through volunteering your time, or through financial support!  God is building His church by using His church!