- 4 Ministry Countries visited (DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania)
- 3 Mobilization Countries visited (Germany, Netherlands, and England)
- 10 Team Members (representatives from USA, UK, Netherlands, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania)
- 27 Ministry CarePoints visited
- 140 Staff Members met with
- 2,000+ Children Impacted
- Training With the Staff: Reviewed global activities, strategic plan, program ideation, HR manual rollout, listening sessions with staff, Life Center Development, and other discussions, meetings, and planning in regards to overall ministry.
- Opportunities for growth: We spent a lot of time discussing the local vision for each country and ministry. We looked at the areas of growth, the need, how we can serve better, and smarter ways to do so. It was very encouraging to hear the visions and see the plans and ideas that our leadership team has developed. For example, they plan to grow the Ministry Center in Nairobi from 150 to 500 children in the next few years. In Uganda they are moving into a nearby slum area with a large population of people in extreme poverty. In doing so they will be able to reach 300 more children and expand our teen program (Life Center) to better prepare our teens vocationally, spiritually, and socially for adulthood.
- Highs: It was a blessing to re-engage with our staff and children face to face, hearing their testimonies (and singing!), and seeing our work through the impact it has in children’s lives. We interacted with and watched our amazing staff really love these children, showing them Jesus. There is a lot of joy, even through the challenges.
- Lows: We saw the many children who need help that we are not reaching yet, were reminded of the incredible poverty and struggles our children come from and experience, and met many children who have lived through traumatic life events (parent(s) and siblings deaths, neglect, and abandonment). I can’t lose sight of the complexity and messiness of this work. Also, a challenge was that I contracted COVID while in England, and spent time quarantining before I could return home.
The Biggest Blessing
We walked the child Becky and I sponsor home one day through a very rough slum. It was a long walk. People would stare/glare at us, but when I greeted them, I was encouraged by the sudden change in their countenance as they would smile and greet us back. When we met our child’s family- (many children!), the grandma who cares for the children shared about how thankful she was for her children being in our program and the change it brought to their family. As we chatted with the grandmother and she shared, she would laugh and her laugh was so contagious! I thought, “Here I am in this desperate ‘dangerous’ slum, with people I would think are so discouraged and down trodden and yet there is amazing laughter and life here, even in one of the most challenging places I’ve probably ever been.” God is moving. Children and families are being impacted.