Monday, April 9, 2018

What can I say?

What can I say at the end of a trip that spanned four countries for the DML team?

Workshop ready to start. TV cameras for the evangelical channel capture the event.
What can I say after teaching more than seventy hours in two different theological institutions, giving two two-day workshops, several shorter workshops, countless interviews and meetings across these four countries?

What can I say that can convey to you, the faithful blog reader, faithful prayer partner, faithful encourager and supporter of the Discipling Marketplace Leaders ministry, of the impact in dialogue and discussions that we had in this last trip?
Addressing the Environmental Bottom line.  

Some of these trip reports can begin to sound the same.  Pictures of people in a workshop.  Class pictures.  Pictures of people in their business.  It is so tough to capture and convey the work that this blog describes.

Fifty-six pastors and church leaders in Tanzania; 42 pastors and church leaders in Uganda; 105 pastors and church leaders in Kenya; 91 pastors and church leaders in Ethiopia. 

As we head home, we are weary.  But we are also blessed and encouraged.  The ongoing work of support, follow-up, and discipling continues in each place as God continues to call forth His people to lead this work. 

Yoseph (next to me) and his beautiful family.
In Ethiopia, we have Yoseph (pictured with his beautiful family) who is the Business as Mission Coordinator for the Kale Heywet Church, the largest evangelical church in Ethiopia.  With over 6000 churches and more than 10 million members, we were so privileged to have the Deputy Secretary for the Denomination join us for the two day workshop.  Additionally, we had key leaders who oversee over 1000 churches also in attendance, and who are now asking for us to come back and start the work of Discipling Marketplace Leaders in their region.  In fact, nine of the eleven regions of Ethiopia were represented in this workshop.

Let me share with you some of the feedback we heard this past week:

From the Deputy Secretary of the Kale Heywet Church: "This is where we need to be.  This is relevant for the Church of today."

From an SIM missionary, who was in marketing and advertising in the US for ten years:  "This is the most comprehensive storyboard of Business as Mission that I have heard yet."

From a pastor who oversees 1500 churches:  "The lights have come on.  I feel guilty for not having taught this in the church before.  This is so necessary for our people."

From a successful business man who had grown up in the church:  "I haven't been preached to until today.  You came for me to hear this message."

From a church leader who's husband is a business person: "I had told him that what he was doing was not godly, that he was spending too much time in his business.  I now realize that I need to support him in his ministry."

Amazing church leaders in this class at the Evangelical Theological College - such great debates, discussions, as well as laughter!
I had a number of key leaders from several denominations in my class, which lead to many debates about integrity and finance, as well as the role of the Church in these changing times.
God is good.  I'm sending this now from Amsterdam on a brief layover on my way home.  Looking forward to being home for a bit!