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.
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, Somebody 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.