On June 16, 2018, the Girls Rescue Center (GRC) of Kenya celebrated its 10th anniversary. This wonderful facility continues to be a place of safety and hope for girls rescued from FGM and forced marriage practices. To date, 84 girls and young women have been a part of the GRC. It was a great time to see the power of God at work in the lives of these girls, many now young women doing well. Network Beyond is pleased to continue our support of this work. Thank you for your partnership!
As we met with our ITI leaders from across Latin America, we met someone new and became better informed about a tragic global situation. Venezuela is a nation mired in pain. Inflation makes buying life necessities a challenge. Many flee the country in hopes of relief. Pastors and churches remain to care for people with limited resources. Gerardo (pictured right) is one such pastor.
Juvenal and Katty, our Latin American leaders, felt impressed to travel to Venezuela to meet with leaders there. They desired to help and found large numbers of pastors desiring to be better equipped to bring Jesus to their nation. They also brought Gerardo back with them to Peru.
In two months, a Latin America ITI team will travel to provide the first International Training Institute to dozens of Venezuelan leaders. Multiplication!
A couple weeks ago, a ministry team worked north of Lima, Peru. We encouraged flexibility as opportunities occur unexpectedly. Doug and Tom were invited to speak at a local high school. The school director was an agnostic and provided only a brief time for them to speak on values, but not religion.
During the talk, the teacher appreciated the explanation of intrinsic and extrinsic values and asked the team to continue beyond their time limit. Then came the questions … “Could we come to the church? The sports camp? The clinic?” A game of soccer, music, and testimonies deepened relationships. Everyone enjoyed new friendships. And everyone heard the Good News of Jesus and stories of how He changes lives.
It’s a fascinating global experience occurring every 4 years … the World Cup. Teams from many countries gather to play for the coveted title of being the world’s best national team on the soccer field. (Sorry, Team USA missed the cut on this one.) I noticed groups of people who didn’t know each other, coming from different nations, gathered around smart phones in airports or televisions in restaurants to cheer their favorites or mourn a painful loss. But what really amazed me was how this single event brought people together with their interests, opinions, and even passions. I thought of something similar, yet more significant that is happening among God’s people.
We’re coming out of an amazing two month season of travel as teams have trained leaders in 8 countries through 13 International Training Institutes, as well as ministry teams at work in Kenya, Uganda, and Peru. Whew! There have been great stories of God at work, God arranged connections, and changed lives. However, my attention focused on the passion evident in teams of men and women coming together to advance the work of God’s Kingdom. At Network Beyond, we are proud to call them friends and partners and happy to share their stories.
These partners come from various nations, including our own … like the 21 ITI leaders (pictured above) from across Latin America who joined us for two days of training, prayer, and encouragement. They expand training into Latin America to develop other leaders.
Or, like the courageous hearing impaired leaders who overcame fears to teach other deaf leaders for the first time. They did well.
Or, like our Uganda and Peruvian initiative leaders who devote vacation time to serve others. Their passion to serve Jesus inspires. Some risk taking the Good News as they move into North Africa or a troubled Venezuela.
Another example is Kelly, who directs the work in Uganda. She traveled to almost every corner of that nation over past weeks teaching and implementing multiplication and spiritual movement thinking within ministries. We are especially interested in seeing these movements of disciple-making develop.
A new development in Uganda focused on the remarkable growth of health care workers who integrate their love for Jesus with a desire to elevate the health of people and communities. With 380 workers already trained and nearly that number involved in 2018 trainings, we are encouraged and supportive. These workers practice medicine in ways that address the needs of the whole person … they work together with passion!
This is Wai Lin with his wife and two beautiful children. While only 37 years old, Wai Lin leads the major association of churches in the southeast area of Myanmar. In this strongly Buddhist and animistic nation, Wai Lin oversees 47 churches with nearly 6,000 members. Network Beyond works alongside Wai Lin in his desire to develop mature leaders to advance the gospel in his nation where Christians are a small minority. He is also a great translator, helping to bring ITI materials into the Burmese language. Pray for this family and God’s blessing on the work.
Thanks for your prayers. Last month, we shared several requests. God was faithful in His answers.
Trainings continue to expand, such as the youthful Cuban team pictured here. Separate ITI trainings occurred on both ends of the island with 99 leaders present. A week later, sixty Costa Ricans participated and left with great excitement. It is a delight to work alongside leaders from multiple nations. Intercessory teams worked hard, investing significant times in prayer over each leader. Intercessors and teachers are needed as God gives opportunities. Let us know if you’d like to explore what this might look like!
Hours on airplanes are a mixed bag--planes typically jammed with people, all of us with arms full of carry-ons, and disappearing leg room as the seat ahead reclines (you know what I mean). But my recent flight home had the unusual blessing of an empty seat next to mine, an excellent bag of peanuts to go with my water, and a few hours to reflect on my recent week. It was wonderful.
I thought of my particular class, “Leadership,” with the exceptional group of men and women in this photo. They were engaged, asked questions, expressed an unusual degree of vulnerability, each desiring to be a better leader.
What lies ahead for the work God has given us? Only God knows, yet I was encouraged. I wrote as my flight progressed on its journey home—thoughts turned to what I learned, a week packed with experiences both humorous and serious, and what God might have in future months and years. The future is a curious thing, I thought. As my journal pages began to fill, my heart quickened with the majestic sounds of worship music in my ears. I felt these truths were for me, though I hope you may enjoy this collection of thoughts on God’s faithfulness and your own future: “In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song … From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.” … “I know who goes before me; I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.” … “Who can stop the Lord Almighty?”
I’m filled with hope when I think of the future and the God who directs it all!
Please pray with us--
We are now well into the most adventurous era of our history as an organization and ministry. We’re humbled to realize God exceeded our dreams and requests. Through you, the Network Beyond family, ministry occurs in 15 nations this year. Training opportunities sustain movements, spreading the Gospel ever outward through vital partnerships. Many works flourish; others face opposition as Christians face suffering and persecution. Some works exist within limited windows of opportunity that will not always remain open.
I recently read Erwin McManus’ book, The Last Arrow, based on the story of the dying prophet Elisha and his instructions to the king of Israel. It’s a book about courage and raising the bar of faith, sacrifice,
and expectations of what God desires to do.
McManus speaks of Christians sometimes living as if our arrows are too valuable to shoot. We tend to organize and preserve what we have, forgetting that arrows’ real value lies in their being released. Don’t quit, or as the author says, "Don’t die with your quiver full.”
Part of Network Beyond’s DNA includes these same values—a willingness to do whatever God desires,
go wherever He leads, and to do so with great faith. In this update, we’d like to present an overview of
the work and where we believe God is leading. We hope it encourages, and we hope it will increase both
your faith and prayers...right down to the last arrow.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.