Listen – seek God – act
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!
In 2018, 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.
After listening to the heart of the field workers, we embarked on a time of intense prayer. Shortly thereafter, God began surrounding us with a litany of experienced and disciplined spiritual guides, savvy businessmen, churches, and donor relationships. Upon gathering pertinent information, our board of directors agree we “wait upon the Lord” as we sought clarity from God.
In His perfect timing God responded surely and at times, miraculously. He began to open doors of opportunity and to reveal His will in funding the works He was about to initiate. Moreover, He helped bring unanimity among the board concerning our organizational mission plan.
Key mission terms were formed and defined, mission and vision statements ratified, and funding strategies were identified and instituted.
Ultimately, it was decided the best way to meet the needs of the countries crying out to us was to create collaborative business as mission (BAM) platforms to help the indigenous countries create funding from within their own borders and establish strong and culturally relevant generational movements. We decided we should focus on countries where we had strong relationships with regionally-focused leaders.
Utilizing strong relations with church leaders and partner organizations, we decided we needed to focus on four countries with the largest reach: It was unanimous our focus should be centered in: Burundi (Africa), Nepal (Asia), Mexico and the Caribbean (Central America), and Peru (South America).
Coupling ourselves with our partner training organization, Base Ministry Chicago, as well as other international mission-focused movements, MissionConnect gained traction toward a more collaborative “regional” approach to missions. Soon thereafter, we began to enact movements to activate 4 regional centers of training with the hopes of instituting BAM programs for sustainability. We have since seen training ministries in Peru and Mexico become a reality.
Additionally, God has now allowed us to begin our inaugural business-as-mission (BAM) center in Burundi (East Africa). This movement, called UMOJA Center Foundation, was initiated in April 2022 after MissionConnect offered its foundational training on BAM concepts and collaborative ministry in the capital city of Bujumbura. There, 24 local church and business leaders gathered and soon there was a core group of seven men who formed this legal organization.
Our work continues. Plans are currently in motion to offer the same training in Nepal and Peru in 2023. Eventually, we will finalize long-planned movements in Mexico to bring platforms for sustainability through our established training office.
Finally, it is important to remember people and their need for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Vision and platforms are nice, but ultimately, we want an explosion of evangelism, discipleship, church planting, and effective service to be at the core of all we do at MissionConnect.