On My Way to Africa

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I was asked to join a special opportunity with Encompass ( the pic above was drawn by Katja) in the country of Chad. I’m actually at the airport in LA getting ready to depart!

I will have the chance to visit our strong work in the Southern region of Chad with Africa Director Frank Puhl. Also I’ll get to visit a training center, Bible Institute, a hospital as well as the President of the Chadian Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches ( with 250+ churches! More than the USA!).

After that we will be scouting the capital city of N’Djamena for a few days with a team from Akron, Ohio. Please pray for Jesus to show us what He wants to do in advancing His work in that great city.

I’m thankful for the Lord’s guidance and direction for this trip as it will be my first to Africa. From the time I was a little boy, I’ve prayed for Africa, and now I get to go.

I’d appreciate your prayers for me on the trip and for Mindi and the rest of the family at home.

A Video About Chad from Encompass World Partners

http://www.encompassworldpartners.org/pray-news/item/4473-windows-to-the-world-chad.html

Coalitions: A Model for Meaningful Engagement

The task of mobilizing churches and leaders for the sake of Jesus to our world is huge! Yet it is simpler today than in other eras because of: 1) globalization – the world is smaller (via technology, travel and social networking) and 2) collaboration – the atmosphere of work is in teams and groups together.

EncompassIn my role with Encompass World Partners, we want to leverage a new model of engaging our world. We want to see leaders, churches and ministries working together to get the Gospel to the least-reached on our globe. Below is a brief outline of what we are calling coalitions.

Coalitions:
A model for meaningful engagement

Definition
A coalition is covenant group of churches, leaders or ministries
cooperating in joint action together for a common purpose.

Values

1. Focus on Collaborative Mission
Coalitions are created to meet needs, whether spiritual or material. Members of coalitions understand that they are a joining an action group that shares a common commitment to pool resources to achieve a specific purpose. While reflection and discussion are an important element in developing appropriate responses to needs, members understand that they are working together to do ministry in viable and meaningful ways.

2. Submit to the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
Above all, Coalitions recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the vital role of the Holy Spirit. Toward that end, the members of Coalitions commit to prayer that leads to vision that leads to risk-taking faith. Coalitions must be birthed in prayer, their goals must be forged in the crucible of prayer, their members must be selected as a result of prayer, and their actions must arise from an ongoing commitment to prayer.

3. Build upon Mutual Trust
“Can two walk together if they are not in agreement?” asked the prophet Amos. Teamwork is essential to any meaningful spiritual endeavor, and building the trust needed for effective teamwork requires a ongoing commitment to walk in the Spirit, to listen to our brothers and sisters, and to submit to one another out of love for Christ. Members of Coalitions are willing to invest the relational time required to develop mutual trust.

4. Organize around Gifts and Experience
When Christ places us in his body, we acknowledge that he is our head, and that we flourish in an interdependent relationship in which unity and diversity are encouraged and valued. In the same way, Coalitions embrace the fact that their members come to the table with a variety of gifts and ministry experiences. Coalitions should define the roles of leaders and members in such a way as to value experience and provide opportunities to exercise spiritual gifts.

5. Commit to Sound Missiology and Cross-cultural Sensitivity
In the crucible of its successes and failures, the modern missions movement is creating a wealth of principles and practical resources. Coalitions should build upon this reservoir of knowledge and experience to ensure that their efforts reflect ‘best practices’ in the mission world and sensitivity to local cultures. Since most Coalitions will consist of partners from more than one cultural context, it is essential that members avoid superimposing their cultural values on others.

 

Here is a fuller document for download:  Coalitions: Definition & Values (PDF)

God Encounter

GodEncounter

I just got off of a conference call with men and women from Philly to Florida to Indiana to Ohio to Canada to California to Alaska! This group from all parts of our continent called in to PRAY for our Fellowship!

In what Tom Julien and Roger Peugh have dubbed a “God Encounter,” this humble and regular time of praying together via a conference call is a potent piece of our Fellowship. I’m thankful for this opportunity and I trust that many more will carve out one hour each month to participate in corporate or “conference” praying.

These regular times of prayer were spawned by the insightful and inspiring times of prayer at our National Conference in Atlanta in 2013.  Early each morning our mentor, Tom Julien shared about prayer…and got us into the work and joy of praying! We thought it was worth continuing– via a monthly conference call.

If you are interested in participating in these God Encounters, please email Tom Julien to get the information to call into these special times of prayer.

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