January 2017 - Snapshot for Stakeholders

Snapshot For Stakeholders

January 2017

Dear Friend,

Our final international trip for 2016 was to Ethiopia December 5-16. I travelled with John Blausey, FTL’s new Program Facilitator, to continue work with two cohorts of Ethiopian leaders. Those days were filled with reminders of the reason FTL is committed to unleashing potential through story, symbol, and song among under-resourced leaders. Over the years God has been transforming these brothers and sisters, and blessing the people they lead. John and I heard story after story of the impact of the gospel as these faithful servants apply the Christ-centered leadership principles they have learned.

Here are just three examples from our participants last month:

Testimony 1 (from Dida, Chelkeba, and Gelane):

A person was into witchcraft in the area where we began teaching the principles of Christ-centered leadership. Previously no one was willing to confront this person. One day our place of worship was burned by this man. So one of the leaders we trained approached him. The man asked, “Why did you come to me?”
The leader said, “I came because I love you.” 

A relationship was developed between the leader and the man. Later the man’s son was very sick and went to the hospital. The son was healed by power of Christ. The son told his father that Jesus is greater than the devil. The man who had practiced witchcraft surrendered to Christ. He shared his experience with 38 other people who were practicing witchcraft. All 38 people are now followers of Christ. 

Testimony 2 (from Selam): 

I want to give my own testimony. During the module on Leading Change, I have seen that my leadership has hurt many people in the past. But God has given me another chance. I am working with 22 younger leaders. They are evangelists. After they took the training, they have done much more than I have done. Each individual has worked with three people to mentor. After the training, one brother went to people who had been thrown out of church and brought them back to the church. The training seems simple, but it is very effective. We are working with people rather than condemning them. Everyone is excited about this program. 

Testimony 3 (from Eliyase):

I live in a strong Muslim area.  My family members are still Muslims. I have a great burden for these people, but I was frustrated very much in the past. The Garden Project has strengthened me again to work in these areas. It has opened doors for me. For example, recently there were ten sheikhs in the mosque who have accepted Christ. I learned how to approach these people. In turn I trained our church elders, deacons, and youth leaders. A movement has also begun in the church. Several believers were disciplined by the church. They were forced to stop being part of the church. They confessed and returned to the church, but the church did not accept them. After I gave the training, everyone began to confess. We realized that we had condemned these guys. The church leaders realized that we are a problem too. Now the relationships are healed, and these guys are serving in the church. 
Thanks so much for your interceding requests to the Lord on our behalf during these trips. We sense the Lord’s presence in unusual ways, and are blessed to participate in what He is doing in leaders’ lives. 

 Matching Gift Campaign

We sent out an end-of-year appeal letter in December to announce a matching gift opportunity.  

And the final tally was $32,000! 

We are so grateful for the generosity of people who have a vision for the work that God is doing among under-resourced leaders in South Asia and Africa.

Thanks to all of you who contributed!
Photo by Doug Anthony

2017 From 30,000 Feet

Opportunities to cultivate ministry leaders continue to expand.  In addition to the 2000+ leaders we are currently working with in South Asia and Africa, here are a few potential opportunities projected for 2017:
  • We are advising our India/Nepali partners as they establish an “Oral University of Leadership” that grants an accredited degree to oral-based leaders. The Garden Project will become the core curriculum for this entity. They are also working on a series of courses that teach a deeper level of biblical literacy. And the entire curriculum will be delivered through stories, images, and music.
  • FTL has been requested to expand The Garden Project into 6-8 additional East Africa countries in 2017. An exploratory trip is scheduled for early February to discuss these opportunities with our national partners.
  • FTL has been requested to expand our work into additional countries in French-speaking Africa in 2017. We are discussing these opportunities with our national partners.
  • A major denomination has requested FTL to train their leaders throughout Africa with The Garden Project. We are currently in discussions with them to determine the logistics of this initiative. 
Would you please pray for courage, discernment, and faith to garner the necessary people and financial resources in order to provide leadership development to these deserving storycentric communicators?
I look forward to continue bringing good news each month as the Lord produces lasting fruit. Thank you for your continued interest in the ministry of Freedom to Lead around the world.

Until All Have Heard,

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