A couple of weeks ago Debbie and I had the opportunity to have breakfast with Dr. Hugo Gomez. Dr. Hugo is one of the foremost practitioners of CHE (Community Health Evangelism) in the world. He has been working with the rural poor in Guatemala and throughout Latin America for about 30 years, and has seen villages and communities transformed by the grace of God. Debbie and I have been friends and ministry partners with Dr. Hugo and his wife Miriam for about 10 years. You can read all about Dr. Hugo's ministry HERE.
One of the things we talked about was how God gives us "divine appointments" with those He wants us to have relationship with -- and partner with. We were amazed at the tapestry of relationships that God has woven into our lives over the past two years. One of the best examples is of how the Lord knit Debbie and Diane B. from Round Rock, Texas together. They met in Malawi in the summer of 2009, and when Debbie and I went to Minneapolis in April along with Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares to speak at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit, Diane joined us. There we discovered that Diane's daughter (a student at Baylor University) had a heart for Latin America. We encouraged her to get in touch with Dr. Hugo. and go to Guatemala for the summer. She did -- and as a result, this coming March, 20 Baylor medical students will be going to Guatemala to minister with Dr. Hugo. Not only that, but it turns out that one of Dr. Hugo's long-term supporters lives less than a 1/2 mile from Diane -- and they are friends! In the meantime, a partnership formed between Visionledd and Drops of Grace, the ministry that Diane and her husband lead. This past weekend, Debbie and I spoke at a banquet in Round Rock, Texas that was raising funds for Somebody Cares Malawi! Isn't God amazing!?
But that is only one example of several "divine appointments" that have formed the basis for our ministry this fall. In September Karl was in Washington DC for a meeting of the leadership team of the Faith to Action Initiative. Karl being on the leadership team was the result of a "divine appointment" at Baylor University in February of 2009. Next year a publication funded largely by UNICEF will be coming out highlighting the partnership between Visionledd, Somebody Cares and Mission Community Church in Gilbert, AZ. UNICEF personnel have said this is perhaps the best faith-based partnership they have ever seen!
In January of of this year, when Karl was in Dallas for a meeting of the US delegates to Capetown 2010, when he "accidentally" met Karole E. who is one of the leaders of the missions ministry of a large African-American church in the Washington DC area. At the end of October, Karole and a friend who is involved in a Hispanic church in New York City are traveling to Malawi with us to see if their churches should partner with Somebody Cares! Karole's friend Martha is also looking for wholistic ministry opportunites for her church in Latin America. Do you think we should tell her about Dr. Hugo?
Another "chance" meeting on a plane between Edmonton, Canada and Salt Lake City in the summer of 2009 has led to Merle S. a Christian leader and pastor in the Atlanta area going to Burkina Faso with Karl in November!
Isn't God amazing? Only He could weave together such a web of relationships and partnerships. The Kingdom of God really does grow organically!
SO, we ask you to pray for us this fall as we spend a significant amount of time in Africa. Pray that God would bring across our path, those He wants us to partner with and build relationship with as we seek to see "His Kingdom come and His will be done" on earth as it is in heaven. Pray for safety in travel, and for effective ministry.
Here is our schedule:
October 15 - 25 - Karl is in Cape Town, South Africa as a US delegate to the 3rd Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (Cape Town 2010). About 4,500 invited delegates from over 200 nations will meet to understand what God is doing in the world, pray and strategize together.
October 19 - November 13 - Debbie is in Malawi to work with Somebody Cares leaders, staff and volunteers doing ministry in the 17 communities Somebody Cares serves.
October 25 - November 5 - Karl will be in Malawi leading a Vision Trip with the two churches from Washington DC and New York City. PLUS -- he gets to be with Debbie!
November 19 - 30 - Karl is leading a team to Burkina Faso to be with Pastor Kouliga Nikiema and Vigilance Ministries.
We are excited about all that is possible this fall.
We are also grateful for God's provision in our daily life. One of the big answers to prayer is that our son Donovan now has a full-time job as a web programmer that will enable him to continue university as well! It's a bit of a miracle and we are so thankful.
Karl will try and keep you posted about what is happening at Cape Town 2010. You can follow Karl by becoming a member of Facebook and adding him as a friend. Or you can follow the work of Visionledd on Facebook. You don't have to be a member of Facebook to read the Visionledd updates. Just go to:
Visionledd Facebook Page
Thank you again for your friendship, prayer and support.
Karl and Debbie