The Middle East has endured decades of war and suffering. Recently our Syrian national leader, Dani, came to share the remarkable stories of how courageous leaders continue to share Jesus with others. For example, several of Dani’s leaders led 40 people to faith in Christ during the week he was here with us. We are presently in discussion to reignite leadership training in two Middle Eastern countries. Please join us in praying for God’s leading and provision to pursue this need. When Dani was here, I asked him, “What is the greatest need you face in Syria?” Without hesitation, he replied, “We lost many leaders through the years of fighting. Now we must raise up and train the next generation of leaders.”
High in the Andes, ITI graduates led their first training for Peruvian pastors and leaders. Only a dozen years ago, this region was a center for terrorism and drug trafficking. At that time, a joint U.S./Peruvian team shared the gospel in the area around the city of Huanuco with several thousand responding. Churches formed. The work now continues to expand to and develop the next generation.
As you may know, the world of leadership training has taken us many places. To date, over 7,500 leaders have been a part of the International Training Institute (ITI) in two dozen countries. Sometimes we’ve been privileged to work with Christians within people groups largely disconnected from traditional forms of Christian ministry. One of those groups has been the hearing impaired people of East Africa. The challenges of communication have limited ministry, meaning many people do not know Jesus, and many leaders have no opportunity to receive training as they lead churches and ministries. Presently, ITI graduates from the hearing impaired community are teaching and training others. What does this look like? Click the button below for a fascinating two-minute look at these leaders in action.
A young woman probably in her early 30’s, came to my group for listening prayer in March. We shared with her what we felt God was saying and then after we prayed for her, she started crying. She said, “I know that God is asking me to do something in particular. I am tired [as a ministry leader and a wife/mother], and I just don’t want to do it. But this prayer time has confirmed that this is what God wants me to do. I have taken the Nehemiah course on leadership before, and I am taking it again this time. And I will take it again next time because I know that God is wanting to develop me as a leader, and I want to be obedient.”
Network Beyond supports the training of almost sixty health professionals and students in Western Uganda. This team works to provide quality care and the hope of Jesus to people they serve. Nearly all are young (in their 20’s) with a commitment to Jesus, each other, and expanding the work of Christ’s Kingdom. In addition, Kelly--our initiative director--is freeing up her schedule to move into ministry full-time. Pray for Kelly in this big step she takes.
Zoe’s Café in Greeley, Colorado, is a great place. Behind quality coffee and an inviting place to meet is a story. A Peruvian Network Beyond partner not only leads a church in the beauty of South America’s vast jungle and teaches with our ITI team, but he also grows coffee which is roasted and sold in Colorado. Profits are poured back into the work. A team of volunteer Zoe’s Café baristas will soon travel to meet and work with Benjamin and Anita in Villa Rica, Peru. They will get a hands-on feel for what’s behind a cup of coffee, and they will experience lives being impacted through the coffee they prepare and sell.
These have been interesting days for the Network Beyond family. Thanks for your part. I am encouraged by this biblical word in Isaiah 43 which follows a recounting of the amazing things God had been doing for His people: “But forget all that. It is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new...Do you not see it?”
Life brings many seasons. Presently, Network Beyond is restructuring how we operate to better accomplish ministry and address future opportunities. We have a ways to go, but we welcome new board members, as well as the formation of a Collaborative Leadership Team to move the work forward. So many volunteers make up the NB team. We have much to be thankful for. There is a sense of newness to the work as we learn together. As always, we welcome your input.
We wanted to report to you operational and ministry stories. The diagram at the top of the page provides a quick look. We were pleased to invest $735,926 last year (2018) in the lives of people around the world. We attempted to keep administrative and fundraising expenses low, resulting in 96% of all funds going toward Compassion & Justice, Expanding Networks, and Leadership Development.
We look forward to what lies ahead.
Following Jesus often means involvement in places of great need. Men and women serve at great personal risk in places like Syria and Myanmar. This year, teams will begin work in El Salvador, Paraguay, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Invitations have come to train leaders in both Iraq and Nepal. All of this is daunting and calls for God’s leading and discernment. As this year is still young, will you join our team and pray?
Venezuela--a mineral-rich, once prosperous South American nation that now stands as an international tragedy. The story fills our news and breaks our hearts. Nearly 3 million Venezuelans fled the country. Health services are disappearing, food is scarce … and expensive. Imagine an inflation rate of over 60,000%. But also imagine this: our Peruvian, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Costa Rican partners traveling to this politically unstable country to encourage and train pastors and leaders! They bring money from their churches, along with basic life necessities for their brothers and sisters living through this pain. Some 93 leaders of the church in Venezuela turned out for their second ITI training week, despite the risk. God was present as well. Joy filled the gathering. The contrast amazes me, yet it’s how the gospel works—into darkness, God enters with light and hope. Pray for these leaders who will bring the transforming power of the Gospel to Venezuela.
Over 3 billion people are identified as part of an Unreached People Group, meaning people with little or no access to the Gospel. Within our network, we support wonderful leaders serving and now living among people who have been extremely difficult to connect with. One particular work has literally been years in the making, complete with setbacks and extreme danger, located in the heart of Islamic extremism. We’re encouraged to know we are strategically placed in this area of opportunity. Pray for four workers who visit homes, provide health awareness, build relationships, and bring Jesus to where He is needed.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.