I can see clearly now -- the rain is gone! Some of you may remember those words from a song from long ago. In some ways that is how we feel -- at least about the big picture over the next couple or so months. When we last updated our blog, some things were a bit foggy - but the Lord has provided some clarity and for that we are grateful.
On April 28 we are flying to Minneapolis to join Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares Malawi to participate in the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Minneapolis. Over 1,000 people from across the USA will attend this event. Theresa, Karl and Amanda Cox of the Faith to Action Initiative will be doing a presentation at the Summit. They will be speaking on how churches in North America can partner with African churches in doing community-based orphan care. It is a tremendous opportunity to share what we have learned over the past 4+ years, as well as network with people across America. Pray the Lord will enable us to communicate effectively and have those Divine appointments we have been praying for.
Malawi and New Frontiers? -- May 15-28
On May 15 Karl flies to Malawi for two weeks. During his first week he will be helping to facilitate some research being done by the Faith to Action Initiative and UNICEF on the partnership between Somebody Cares, Visionledd and Mission Community Church in the Chikudzulire, Malawi. The research will lay the foundation for the possible inclusion and featuring of our partnership in a publication that will be distributed to churches, Bible colleges, seminaries and Christian conferences throughout the USA. The first printing of the publication will be in the 20,000 range!
While in Africa, Theresa Malila, Karl and one or two others may also be going to Zimbabwe. We have been invited to visit a Zimbabwean ministry in the city of Bulawayo that is currently caring for over 2,500 orphans and vulnerable children. We are still working out the logistics and details of the trip. The purpose of the visit would be to get to know this ministry, meet key leaders in the area and discern whether a partnership with Somebody Cares and Visionledd would be a possibility. Besides the on-the-ground challenges of visiting and traveling in Zimbabwe is the expense. Frankly, if this trip is going to happen, we will probably need about $2,000 to cover the costs for Theresa and Karl (that includes airfare, food, housing, transportation & ministry expenses). The other individuals going, will cover their own costs. We believe this is a strategic opportunity to potentially begin a long-term partnership that could make an impact on this nation. Let us know if you would like to help.
Donovan and Hyesun are Coming Home!
Hyesun received her immigration papers and Donovan and Hyesun are coming back to Phoenix on July 6. We are thrilled and looking forward to having them share our house until they get settled in, and sort things out. Donovan will be looking for at least part-time work as a web programmer as well as finishing his university degree. Hyesun will also be looking for a part-time job. So, if you know anybody who needs a great web programmer and a web designer, tell them to give us a call!
Debbie Returns to Malawi - July 13-31
One short week after Donovan and Hyesun get back home, Debbie is leading a team to work with Somebody Cares Malawi. The team members are all very gifted people -- teachers, pastors, chaplains. Somebody Cares now has over 550 Home-Base Care volunteers, and in addition to working with over 7,500 orphans and vulnerable children, hundreds of widows and people in HIV/AIDS support groups, is now starting on a Rape Crises Center and ministry. Debbie's team will be involved in all of these things -- sometimes training, sometimes providing pastoral support, sometimes just going out with staff and volunteers into community. It's all about "coming alongside" -- and that is what this team will do.
Can You Partner With Us?
We really need your prayer over these next few months. Obviously, we can't share everything that is happening, but we would ask that you pray for us -- asking God for wisdom, direction, protection and everything we need to be as effective for the Kingdom as possible. We know many of you pray for us, and for that we are very grateful.
We rarely ask for financial support, but if you feel the Lord leading you to give towards the work we are doing in Africa, we would ask that you consider a gift in the next few weeks -- especially for the possible trip to Zimbabwe, and for the work we are doing in Africa. There are 3 ways in which you can give.
1. Write a check to "Visionledd", designate it for us and mail it to:
PO Box 20158
Mesa, AZ 85277
2. You can use the Bill Pay feature of your bank.
3. You can use your credit card by giving through our partner Network for Good, by clicking HERE.
Thank you so much for your friendship, prayer, and support.