Saturday, May 21, 2011

On The Road Again

"On The Road Again" -- these famous words from Willie Nelson have described much of our life these past 3+ months. It seems that we are always driving to or from the airport.

Since our last update Debbie and I have been on the road to:

  • Homes of Hope in Fiji to see what God is doing in this ministry that serve women and their children who have been victims of abuse, incest and trafficking. It was a great trip. One of the things we talked about with the leadership is a possible partnership between Homes of Hope and Somebody Cares Malawi. We are praying about an exploratory trip with key Homes of Hope leaders to Malawi this fall -- hoping to discover if the models and principles of ministry employed in Fiji can be adapted to Malawi. Interestingly, Fijians believe that their islands were settled by East Africans about 3,500 years ago -- and many Fijian Christians believe that they have a call to go back to their roots and bless Africa. Could we be part of this? That is our prayer.

  • Warehouse 727 -- a Visionledd partner church in St. Petersburgh, Florida. We had a wonderful time sharing about what God is doing in Malawi.

  • Orlando, Florida where we represented Visionledd at the Orlando 2010 meetings hosted by the Mission America Coalition and the Lausanne Movement. Over 700 Christian Leaders from across the USA came together for 3 days. This was also a follow-up to the Capetown 2010 Congress on World Evangelization that Karl was able to participate in last year.

  • Guatemala to reconnect with Dr. Hugo Gomez of Global CHE Enterprises. Karl is on the Board of Directors of Global CHE Enterprises -- but we went to help assess a possible partnership between Mission Community Church in Gilbert, AZ and Global CHE Enterprises. We hadn't been in Guatemala for 7 years -- and it was great to see what God is doing through this ministry.
Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit

From May 10-14 we were in Louisville, Kentucky for this gathering of about 1,500 Christians from across the USA. Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares Malawi and Karl spoke a couple of times and Visionledd had a booth in the exhibit hall. We literally talked to hundreds of people concerned for orphans and vulnerable children.
Journeys of Faith

The Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit also afforded the opportunity to debut Journeys of Faith: A Resource Guide for Orphan Care Ministries Helping Children in Africa & Beyond. This 60 page publication features the partnership between Mission Community Church in Gilbert, AZ, Someb
ody Cares Malawi and Visionledd. Karl and Steve Bowler also contributed material to the articles on Short-Term Missions and wrote much of the article on Principles of Partnership. You can check out the publication online by clicking on the picture below.

We have worked on this publication for almost two years, so it is wonderful to finally see it in print. Pray that the Lord will use it to connect North American churches to ministries in Africa doing community-based orphan care.

Malawi - Youth Leaders/Pastors Conference & Short-Term Teams

Karl is actually writing this blog from Detroit -- he is on his way to Lilongwe, Malawi. It's "a long way to Lilongwe". He is going to participate in a large youth leaders/pastors conference that is hosted by Somebody Cares. From May 25-27 over 1,500 leaders will be gathering to be challenged by Jim Cantelon (Founder of Visionledd), DJ McPhail (Liberty Church in Johannesburg, South Africa), Brian Campbell (Calvary Church, Atlanta), and several Christian leaders from Malawi. In the past 3 years these conferences have proven catalytic to the expansion of the work of Somebody Cares. Pray that will happen this year as well.

After the conference Karl will be visiting some of the communities that Visionledd and our partner churches are walking alongside. He gets home on June 3.

On June 10, Debbie leaves for 5+ weeks for Malawi. She will be helping to facilitate a large team of youth from Mission Community Church and then leading a Visionledd/Mission Community Church short-term team.

Pray for us as we spend much of the next two months in Africa.

Thank you for your friendship, prayer and support.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Phoenix, Fiji, Atlanta and More

Do you find it as hard to believe as we do, that the end of January has already come? We can't believe the first month of 2011 is history. It's been a very busy month, and February is filled with ministry and travel for both of us.

In January Karl, along with Bob Moffit of Harvest Foundation spoke at the East Valley Missions Consortium. They were able to share their experiences at Cape Town 2010. On January 30, Karl spoke about the work of Visionledd and Somebody Cares in Malawi at Echo Mountain Church in Phoenix. Echo Mountain has been supporting the Somebody Cares Home-Based Care Program for more than 18 months, and it was great to be with them.

In January Karl participated in a meeting of the Pathways to Global Understanding Board of Directors. Pathways classes are starting again in February throughout Arizona. This dynamic 13 week course explores God's worldwide agenda and the significant role each of us can play in seeing God's Kingdom purposes fulfilled. We believe this class should be taken by every Christian! If you haven't participated in a Pathways class, sign up!

The board of The Alliance for Transformational Ministry (ATM) also met in January. ATM is an alliance of ministries involved in Community Health Evangelism (CHE). It was exciting to here that CHE is now a ministry strategy employed by 390+ organizations in 105 nations of the world. God is doing some amazing things in transforming rural and urban communities around the globe. Through the ministry of Dr. Hugo Gomez and Global CHE Enterprises, we have been involved in CHE for more than 10 years.

In the middle of all of this, Karl has been busy doing all the things that non-profits in the USA have to do in order to keep in good standing with the IRS and State regulations. Not exciting, fun stuff, but all necessary.

Coming Up In February

February is going to be one busy month.

First on the agenda is completing a writing assignment for a new publication called Journeys of Faith. Published by the Faith to Action Initiative, Journeys of Faith will be a tool to help churches in North America partner with churches and ministries in Africa involved in community-based orphan care. Karl and
Steve Bowler, Visionledd's Africa Coordinator, are writing an article on partnership. In addition, the partnership between Somebody Cares, Visionledd and Mission Community Church in Gilbert, AZ will be show-cased in the publication. In May, Journeys of Faith will be debuted at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Louisville, Kentucky. Both of us will be at the Summit, and Karl and Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares will be speaking on partnership at this event that attracts over 1,000 people from across the USA.

February 4-13 both of us are going to Fiji! It's not for a holiday, rather it is to visit Homes of Hope, a ministry that provides a fresh start to young women and their children who were exploited through sex tr
afficking and forced sex. We are going there on behalf of Vision Abolition to spend a week with the leaders of Homes of Hope to learn more about their ministry, and to see how Vision Abolition could be part of an expansion of their work. Malawi is on their radar - so of course we are very interested.

February 25-28, Karl will be at Calvary Church in Atlanta with Jim Cantelon the founder of Visionledd. Jim is speaking at Calvary, and we'll be having a Visionledd USA Board of Directors meeting that weekend as well. Karl will also be connecting with some friends of Visionledd who live in the Atlanta area.

Experience Africa in 2011

Both of us have also been involved in preparing for short-term teams going to Africa this year. We've been working with churches and ministries planning on sending trips -- helping them with preparations, logistics and training.

Visionledd USA is also sponsoring 4 trips to Africa in 2011. We have teams going to Burkina Faso, Malawi and Zambia. Our teams focus not only on serving, but also learning. While each of us can make a difference through serving, our lives will be changed as we learn about sacrifice, thankfulness, worship and relationship with God from our African ministry partners. By serving and learning, God will change our lives and we will never be the same again!

Let us know if you are interested or would like more information. We'd love to have you join us. Send an email to for more information.

Thank you so much for your friendship, prayer and support.