LISTEN TO THE FIELD.
Several years ago I was invited to sit with several African and Latin nationals at a conference. During this time, our dear brothers related, “what we want is for our American brothers to come and listen.” This has started a turn in my life as a
life-long missionary. Our goal at MissionConnect is to listen to the needs of the field, seek and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and after good counsel – act!
Last year, while training ministry leaders in several countries, we continued to hear questions like, “how can you help us keep our young pastors from leaving the country?” and, “what can we do to create long-term sustainability for the needs of our pastors?”
It is our earnest desire to answer those questions by learning to hear the need from the people we intend to serve.
Our quest after hearing from the field led us into earnest and deep prayer. After a time, God began answering by surrounding us with experienced and disciplined spiritual guides, businessmen, churches, and donor relationships
Upon meeting with the several of these, our board of directors agreed that we wait and move slowly as we await a clear answer from God.
God, in His sovereignty, responded miraculously. Through a series of suggestions and responses, He has opened the door to begin a conversation with several concerned organizations to form the “Burundi Initiative.” This effort will provide for a business-as-mission (BAM) complex (see photos to right) with a ministry training center at the heart. Conversely, this center will act as the host for church planting activities for the long term.
Working under a collaborative movement allows for increased accountability of the available resources. It spreads the weight of responsibility and creates the best model for our intended trainees.
Ultimately, we are bringing a gospel end through holistic training and sustainable support, as internationals take the lead in making disciples of their respective countrymen.
Currently, four mission-focused organizations and personnel have consented to seeking the necessary funding and on-field development necessary for success. We are continuing to work with the national pastors who are driving the need in this divinely located region.
Next, we need to make a trip (as God allows), meet with local businessmen in Bujumbura (capital city), and form a strategic plan with commitments from profitable businesses and the local churches in tandem.
Upon a return to the US, we must then seek contractual commitment and begin to schedule the implementation of our structures.
When completed, this ministry center will impact the 14 countries of the East African Conference (EAC), training national ministry people across denominational and socio-economic lines to reach a new generation with the gospel of Jesus! All of this, supported by way of business related profits in the local area.
The Burundi Initiative is just one of the many ways God continues to answer. We are now helping to sustain training offices in Peru and Mexico as well! We follow by faith as God reveals His plans for our ministry.