Blog – Renita

Turning The Tide

... until ICM's Annual Banquet & Fundraiser

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  • Business, Babies, and Birds

    Two years ago, when DML first started working in South Asia, I met a young couple who was having some challenges in their business, which was also having a negative impact on their marriage.  They were able to receive some counseling, made some changes and adjustments, and last year when I met them, it was clear that they were doing much better.  I visited their business and saw that there were still some important areas of improvement needed, which we discussed.  Before we left, they showed me the small apartment that they had behind their shop - essentially two rooms - and the wife pulled me aside and asked me very earnestly whether I thought it was time for them to start trying to have children.

    In my experience, this is not a typical question, and I was a little surprised!  But of course, I answered that I would be happy to pray for them and if they feel ready and it is God's will, He will provide.  So we prayed together. [I later learned that the husband is an orphan, and the wife is from a different religion who has essentially cut her off as she married for love (not an arranged marriage) and left their religion for Christianity.  So they seek advice from brothers and sisters in the Lord who are now their new family!]

    Three months later, I learned she was pregnant, and she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at the end of November.  

    And to my absolute surprise and delight, they had the baby dedication service last week and I was asked to give the message and the prayer after the dedication.  What an honor!  What a joy!
    I spoke about being "born on purpose and for a purpose," but mostly spoke to the parents about their call to be dedicated as stewards of this gift.  They have been given a gift, but it is not for them alone.  They are raising God's daughter (Deuteronomy 6).  In this country, gender reveals are not allowed as too many will terminate a pregnancy if it is a girl (despite abortion being illegal).  This is so sad so affirming a message of "on purpose, for purpose" for a female baby was near and dear to my heart!

    During the service, the baby was fussing.  Mom was bouncing her up and down to keep her quiet and had to leave the service several times to tend to the baby.  After the message, the pastor did the dedication, and then called me to take the baby and say the prayer.  I worried about whether she would be still or fuss and cry.  They laid the baby in my hands, I lifted her to the Lord, and said a long prayer.  And amazingly, the baby was quiet throughout.  Didn't move a muscle!

    What a joy to be part of the family of God, the body of Christ, which can extend across miles, nations, and continents!

    After the service, we went to a newly planted church in a community where there was none before.  So many trials and such persecution for this dear pastor and businessman, his wife, and their beautiful children.  This man had been in the training of trainers the previous week, where we were training people to teach basic business skills.  He had stated that one of his economic goals was to grow his number of chickens from 2 to 50 by August 2024.  He said that on a Thursday, and three days later, when we came to visit, he said he had already seen an increase his chickens by 8 to a new total of 10!  Eight new chicks had hatched, and he was thrilled!  He told me very confidently that he was sure he would reach 50 by August!

    These are the little joyful moments that I get to be a part of and as partners in this ministry, it's a joy to share this with you as well!  Please continue to pray that perspectives may change to see work as a joy and an act of worship, and that churches may see that the purpose of Sunday is Monday!

  • Lausanne Congress 4: Seoul Journey

    Today (Monday) I leave for South Asia where I will be until March 1st.  This is the first of a number of trips planned for 2024 and I'm excited to get going!  I will have the opportunity to speak in four different cities, do business trainings as well as other workshops and speaking events, including a keynote address at a business university on "Globalization, Capitalism, and Flourishing."  
    While this is my first trip in 2024, our DML team has preceded me in missionary journeys, with a combined DML team from Burkina Faso and Ghana making their way to Togo to spread the DML message there.  We thank God for how the DML Global team is growing and moving!
    I'm now excited to share with you about a very special opportunity in September of this year.  The Lausanne Movement is meeting for their fourth congress in Seoul, South Korea and I have been invited to participate.  This is a special honor as you cannot apply to be part of this congress - you must be nominated.  There will be 5,000 people from almost every nation in the world joining for this congress!
    If you aren't familiar with the Lausanne Movement, let me offer some information.  The Lausanne Movement is a global movement that seeks to accelerate global mission by providing a shared platform that is collaborative, biblical, and catalytic for a four-fold vision:  1.  The gospel for every person.  2.  Disciple-making churches for every people and place. 3.  Christlike leaders for every church and sector.  4. Kingdom impact in every sphere of society.
    In 1974, Billy Graham felt a prompting to bring the global church together to address issues pertaining to the Global Church.  Each Congress and its ensuing documents offer a vision for how these issues can be addressed.  The first Congress in 1974 brought together 2,700 evangelical leaders in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Lausanne Covenant was written (mostly by well-known theologian John Stott).  In 1989, the second Congress met with 3,000 people from 170 countries, and the Manila Manifesto was formed. In 2010 the third Congress was held with 4,200 people from 198 countries and the Cape Town Commitment created.  In between the Congresses, subgroups met and continue the work; networking and partnerships grow and develop.  For example, in 2004 Business as Mission was discussed and formed the recommendations that DML has adopted for our work. We also often refer to the Cape town Commitment for its important contribution for the global church's responsibility to creation care.  So DML have benefitted and now we get to give back.  To learn more about the Lausanne Movement, especially the fourth Congress, watch this video.
    My nomination and selection were based on my work in the intersection of the church and the workplace, and that is what I will participate in specifically during the Lausanne Congress in September.
    There are a number of things that are happening in preparation for this Congress.  A document called the "State of the Global Commission" will be released, as well as a number of other important papers/research relating to the global church.  
    On a more personal level, I've given monthly reading assignments and videos to watch, small group meetings to join, prayer calls to join, and more.  They are making sure that those attending are prepared and moving together in thinking in one accord in order to hear the voice of the Lord in September.  Many important issues affecting the global church will be addressed and the opportunity for us to work in unity and harmony, across denominations and cultures, calls for earnest prayer and commitment!
    Each person invited to attend in person is asked to pay a conference fee on a sliding basis based on income and other factors.  It is a significant fee for those of us in the West, as the funds will be used to help those coming from countries who can't afford the hotel/airfare. I need to raise $5,000 in total for this (conference fee, airfare, and hotel) and this is where I am asking for partnership from the body of Christ.  
    God has given every person three key resources - time, treasure, and talent.  I will use my time, talent, and treasure for the Congress and the preparations entailed, but I know that I'm not going alone. I will be representing DML as a ministry with its many denominations and businesspeople -- who long to be seen as contributing to the flourishing of this world through their work.  I also will be representing my church, my family, my community, and my nation.
    Therefore, I would ask you to prayerfully consider joining me on this journey with your time, talent or treasure.  I would love for you to join me in prayer for this congress as it will be looking to address the state of the Church in 2050.  I also need financial support to be able to join this congress.  The financial support will make it possible for people from every nation to attend.
    If you would like to join me in this opportunity and would like more information, you can read more about the Lausanne 4 Seoul Congress here and read a letter from me here which provides the details for donations.  

    While the percent of worldwide Christians has remained the same for the last 150 years (about 33%), there is a real opportunity for that to change.  The goals of the gospel for every person and Kingdom impact in every sphere of society need a global effort. Please join us as we join the Global Church!
    [If you do feel led to contribute to this, I respectfully ask that this does not take away from any gifts that you would normally give to DML, as the work of DML continues in sixteen countries and needs the ongoing support that allows us to reach more and more people with its message!]
  • No Shadow of Turning: The Transformative Power of Personal Confession in Teams

    A couple of weeks ago, I shared that our DML Global team gathers three days a week for prayer, following the ACTS format (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). In those sessions, I discovered a profound aspect of our team dynamics: the power of personal confession.

    While prayer sessions typically involve acknowledging our collective shortcomings, we've found that confessing our own sins, individually, has been remarkably transformative. It's a vulnerable experience, looking in the mirror before our colleagues. Doing it once a week is one thing, but engaging in this practice three days a week has allowed us to truly understand one another. We've become familiar with each other's persistent struggles, or as we refer to them, our "thorns in the flesh."

    During one of these confession sessions, I had an enlightening moment. I realized that we were often confessing our own "shadow." What does that mean exactly? Let me explain.I believe every person is endowed with unique gifts and talents that, when combined with their network, culture, and community, create a distinctive contribution to the world. However, I also believe that every gift has a shadow—a potential for both light and darkness.For instance, my strong inclination towards organization is a gift, but when it's projected onto others or interferes with other values, it starts casting a shadow. This, I believe, is true for most, if not all, gifts. How many of us have experienced a trait we once loved in someone becoming a source of frustration?My revelation was realizing that the confessions I was hearing were part of the gifting in that person—a dimension I value. For example, a passionate team member often confessed struggles with anger, which is understandable given their passionate nature. Another person, appreciated for their logical approach to life, confessed a lack of sensitivity to their loved ones—a trait expected from someone with a cerebral approach.The profound realization was that the more I get caught up in my gifting, the longer that shadow becomes. However, when Christ is central in my life, directly overhead, there is no shadow. I use my gift for Him, read the room, and recognize the place of my gift in relation to others.My goal is to have no shadow, keeping my eyes focused on Him and not on myself. This brings us back to the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness," acknowledging that "there is no shadow of turning with thee; Thou changest not; thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever will be."Steady. No shadow of turning. Faithful. God overhead. My talent/gifting for His glory. May God help me!
  • Christian Businesswomen and Sustainability

    Last fall, I was invited to contribute a chapter to a book relating to women and sustainability.  I was given some freedom regarding the direction of the chapter, and I elected to write on impact of Christian women on global sustainability.  There was some pushback on this topic as most people have an idea that there should be a separation between faith and these topics.  But I like to argue the opposite.  We need to see faith not simply as proselytizing but as a lifestyle.  We need to re-embrace or redefine how we see religion - not something to shy away from in fear, but a lifestyle of values and behaviors that generally contribute to the flourishing of the world.  

    This is true across most religions, but since Christianity is the largest social demographic in the world, the importance of the contribution of flourishing through Christians should not be overlooked.  In fact, it should be celebrated and promoted, by both believers and non-believers.

    In the chapter, there are a number of facts shared, including that 85% of the world's eight billion people identify with a religion; of that number, 2.38 billion are Christian, 1.91 billion are Muslim, and the next largest religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and then others.  

    Also, women tend to be more religious than men, often by wide margins.  For Christianity, 51.6% are women.  This translates to a number of 1,228,080,000 Christian women in the world.  This is not a small number!

    Having established that, we now look at women and their influence/contribution to business/economics/workforce.

    As it relates to business, nearly one in three entrepreneurs are women and women are more likely to be solopreneurs (1.47 women solopreneurs for every man).  Women make up 43% of the global agricultural work force, with that number rising to 60% in parts of Asia and Africa.  Women are more likely to offer innovative new products and services in lower and middle-income countries.  

    Women also tend to consider social and environmental sustainability more than men and prioritize sustainability over economic goals.  This usually means increased flourishing of employees and the flourishing of the creation.  (For references to these statistics, send me an email and I'll be happy to send them to you!)

    So what does this mean?  We need to be encouraging Christian women in business. We need to help equip and empower them for the flourishing of creation, employees, individuals, communities, and families!  Let's not leave them out of the mix!  Let's not overlook the contribution of Christian women in the flourishing of this world through business.  God is a working God and is the God of business, as can be seen throughout Scripture.  The gifts of our faith reach beyond the building to the public square.

    The church, when gathered, can and should equip the church, when scattered, to do business to the glory of God. 

    As Gerd Miller, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, writes,

    Religion plays an integral part in all societies and is the most important source of values for many people.  Any development policy that respects people as individuals must also respect their individual world views.  For most people, this world view is fundamentally shaped by their religion.

     Author Edward Brown, in his book, Our Father’s World, says,

    “Whatever the source of the problem is, religion has to be part of the solution…My conviction about the role of the church in this [environmental] crisis comes from a belief that environmental problems are sin problems. We have a spiritual problem, and we need a spiritual solution. Solving spiritual problems is what the church is all about, and that’s what we can bring to the table in this crisis. (Brown, 2018, p. 18)

  • Losing the right to say, "It's okay!"

    In late December, while taking our two five-month-old puppies for a walk, a German Shepherd in a back yard a house a few blocks away, scaled the six-foot chain link fence and attacked us.  Thankfully there were no physical injuries, but there are some emotional injuries that will take some time to heal.  The response of the alpha puppy, Pepper (right in the picture), is very different than the more emotional puppy, Ginger.  Pepper, we believe, has fully bounced back, while Ginger shows more fear.  (As for me?  Well, let's just say I'm not walking by that house again! Oh, and my son Noah quickly bought me pepper spray to put on the leash should it ever happen again.)

    Since that time, when I walk them and they show some fear at the loud snowplow or a big dog barking, I do what I normally do, which is to say, "It's okay. You're okay."  Recently when I say those words, I see Ginger glance back at me, as if to say, "You've said that before and it wasn't!"  Now, her response may be my imagination, but as soon as my reassuring words leave my mouth, I'm very quickly aware they might sound hypocritical.  I wasn't able to protect them that day and it wasn't okay.  

    And feeling brings me back to a much more significant time in my life where I also lost the right to say, "It's okay," or "It'll be okay."  That time, of course, is when my husband Bob died, thirteen years ago. I lost the right to say that to my children. And ever since then, whenever I have left on any international trip, especially to some more risky countries, and I want to reassure anyone, especially my children, I always have to stop myself from saying, "It'll be okay." 

    Of course, I know that I was not responsible for either of these events.  But protecting and comforting those we love is instinctual.  It's how we were made, especially for those whom we are primarily responsible.  

    And so daily, again, I'm reminded of my inability to guarantee safety and security.

    As I've been processing that, I realize that this is the case for millions of parents/caretakers around the world, who are exposed to much worse.  How threatening, scary, and humbling it is to not be able to say those words.  But those living in war zones, in conflict, in poverty, dealing with racism, sexism, and so much more are also unable to promise that "it'll be okay."  Bad things happen. 

    Letting go of control with loved ones is something we all go through.   It increases my faith in God, reminding myself that He does not have grandchildren, only children.  And the same instinct we have to love and protect our children comes from God, who does the same.  

    He doesn't do it in the same way as us, as His perspective and long-view are much broader, but that He loves us is undisputable as seen in the gift of His own son, who endured mocking, bullying, torture, and ultimately a terrible public death.  

    In the end, it was more than okay.  

    PS - In case you are wondering, the dogs are from a shelter, and are half Red Heeler (Australian cattle dogs), 1/4 doodle, and 1/4 something else.

    PPS - I didn't really want puppies.  I feel like there is enough to do in this world without taking care of the daily need of dogs.  But the dogs are what I call my "DML tax."  In order for my generous husband to allow me to travel as much as he does, he needs company for those long months when I am gone.  So in some ways, these are DML dogs!  

  • Fearfully Adorable

    Our DML Global team continues to meet for prayer every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for one hour each day.  We spend the first thirty minutes going through ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication), and the next thirty minutes going through a text and how it applies to us personally, to our local ministries, and to the global church or DML Global.

    We have grown in love and in community by using this format, which began when COVID broke out in March 2020.  We are going on four years now with this!  And not only have we grown in intimacy as a team, but I have learned so much from my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Recently, Pastor Theo Pare from Burkina Faso was leading our prayers and he thanked God for being "fearfully adorable."  Now, a few months earlier, Pastor Rogers Fovo from Tanzania had described God as "adorable" during our adoration time.  I remember smiling at that word, as my image of "adorable" is a baby...a stuffed animal...a little puppy.  To describe God in this way, seemed funny to me.  But then I remembered that we are giving adoration to of course He must be adorable!  And so I began to embrace that my definition for adorable had been narrowed by my culture, but it is much bigger and can be used for God!

    And then I heard God described as "fearfully adorable."  Sounds like an oxymoron to me.  It does not sound like two words that belong together!  

    Yet how appropriate.  These two words display the incredible complexity of who God is, so far beyond our understanding.  He is a God who is worthy of our awe, reverence, and even fear in light of His majesty.  Yet at the same time, He is a God completely deserving of our adoration.  

    He is:

    • a God who is a God of justice BUT also merciful. 
    • a God who never slumbers or sleeps.
    • a God who knows us by name, pursues us, and desires for us to participate with Him in His work, DESPITE our daily failings. 
    • a God who oversees universes AND also atoms.
    And I could go on and on.
    God is fearfully adorable.  And I desire to both fear Him (with reverence) and adore Him.

  • Tackling the Enigma of Miracles

    I grew up in the Christian Reformed Church.  We didn't talk a lot about miracles, although we appreciated the reported miracles during Jesus' time on earth.  While we prayed for healing and maybe some prayed for miracles in that regard, I don't remember a feeling of expectation that it would actually happen.  I also don't remember recognition of a miracle taking place if healing did happen.  People would thank God, but not say it was a miracle.  

    At least, that was my recollection.  Miracles were not a big part of our theology.  But admittedly, I don't have the best memory in the world, so I could be recalling things incorrectly.

    Living and working in Africa, I encountered more charismatic Christians who prayed for and expected miracles regularly.  They saw God being much more active in day-to-day life, and over time I grew to appreciate that.  One could say that the pendulum swung from one side to the other for me.

    But now I believe I'm getting closer to the middle of those two extremes.  As I mentioned in last week's blog, I believe that "Christ IS come" means that He is with us today, and we are His hands and feet - we continue to bring the gift of Christ to the world through our time, talent, and treasure.  Being His hands and feet, and being made in His image, means that we need to problem solve most issues ourselves.  That would be the norm.  So if someone has cancer, the miracle is that there are people that are discovering new treatments, medicines, and providing care that can cure it!  If someone's car breaks down, there are people who know how to fix it!  If there is an emergency across the country, we can get on a plane and fly there - or we can send instant messages or have video calls!  People end up being the miracle that God intended and created them to be!

    So what is the purpose of miracles?  I don't have any solid answers - I'm just wrestling with this and struggling through how to fit this into my current paradigm of God at work in us, to work with Him, in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.  But here are some thoughts.

    I believe miracles are the exception, not the rule.

    I believe that the purpose of miracles is for God to show His glory - to be a witness to those who do not know Him.  When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he said, "Father, thank you for hearing me.  You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me" (John 11:41b-42).  God desires to draw all people to Himself.  

    A miracle is something that is done that people observing would say it could "only be God."  Miracles often break the laws of science.  The goal is that it would lead people to a belief in God.  Evidence of miracles would be in the presence of witnesses.

    So then, are miracles a result of faith?  What is God's process in deciding a miracle?  Certainly He would choose to do miracles that would draw the biggest amount of people or have a big impact, as opposed to one sick person in a private hospital room, no?  

    Maybe what I'm really struggling with is how we pray.  I am finding that my prayers are often met with God saying, "I concur.  Go do it!  I've equipped you!  I am with you! You are blessed to be a blessing!"  There is an affirmation, an encouragement, an accompaniment of God.  Yet I hear in many prayers, that there is an expectation that God alone will do it.  That the answer will come through miracles.

    When I teach, I often tell the story of the man who died and went to heaven and lamented to God that he never saw a miracle, yet he had prayed for them his whole life.  God said to him, "Do you remember that tree outside your kitchen window?"  The man replied, "Yes."  God said, "That's a miracle."  The man said, "How is that a miracle?  That's just a tree!"  God said, "Let's see you make one out of nothing.  And also, you liked looking in the mirror every day."  The man said, "Well, yes, that is important for being respectable."  God said, "What you saw in the mirror as well is a miracle."  

    The point is that we are surrounded by miracles.  Most of these miracles follow the laws of science and nature, which God put in place.  Those are the norms which are still incredible!  Thanks be to God!

  • Is Christmas the Appetizer?

    I've been struggling with my Christmas spirit, or lack thereof, so far this season.  

    But the truth is that this is not unusual for me- I often struggle with Christmas.  Don't get me wrong - the birth of Jesus is the greatest gift ever!  I love the family time as well!  But I often struggle with the incongruity between the "now" and the "not yet."  

    In essence, this has been my struggle: In the Christmas season, we sing the classic hymn, "Joy to the world, the Lord is come."  But to be honest, it feels fake to sing this amidst so much turmoil in the world.  And there is so much turmoil.  So, so much.  

    Much of the world does not know or feel joy, both Christians and non-Christians alike.

    The song goes on to say, "No more let sin and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground, He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found."  Yet the curse continues to be found everywhere.  There does not seem to be a flowing of blessings.  There is war, death, famine, sickness, poverty, persecution, and so much more.  

    So to help with this paradox, Christians spend time during Christmas talking Christ's return, when all things will be made right.  We celebrate His birth, but we focus on His coming again as the next best thing.  The problem is that there is a lot of time in between these two events which feels quite joyless and very painful.

    But a closer look at the lyrics of the hymn states, "Joy to the world, the Lord IS come."  "IS" is present tense.  "IS" is now.  Many have changed the words of this song to "the Lord HAS come."  But that change puts the presence of Christ in the past and that creates a serious challenge for us today!  If we are celebrating something that happened 2,000 years ago, which gives me a ticket to go to heaven when I die, what does that mean for today?  Not much.  And that is just not the case.  The Lord IS come.  He IS here.  

    We are not a people simply waiting.  We are to continue the work that Christ started.  Christ is with us today in the 2.3 billion people who call themselves Christians! We are in a time of waiting for Christ's return, but we are not only in waiting mode.  Waiting is a time of inactivity.  Waiting is a time of looking and longing.  Waiting is focused on the future and not on the present.  

    We are not just to be waiting for Christ's return.  We are the hands and feet of Christ every day until He returns.  We are agents of reconciliation.  The gift that came so long ago continues to be with us.  As we lament war and conflict and death, we get to be part of the solution.  

    I think Christmas is a dark and lonely time for many because there is such a disconnect between the joy of the birth of Jesus and the present suffering that we are in.  And when our answer to this is that "one day He will come again," we miss out on the hugely important presence of Christ with us today.  

    Christ's birth was not the appetizer with the full meal coming at His return.  The work for the restoration of this world is not for God alone to do.  We are not simply waiting for Him to act...and wondering why He tarries...and questioning His goodness while the world languishes in darkness, and death, and despair.  We join Him.  He calls...equips...and blesses us to be a blessing.

    Christ in us...Christ IS come...we continue to live out and with the gift that came long ago.  

    But what about all the pain and suffering in the world? It's true that I can't end the conflicts in the Ukraine, Middle East, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, or elsewhere.  But I can be an agent of reconciliation in my own sphere of influence.  I can love my neighbor as myself.  I can speak the truth in love.  I can do all my work as an act of worship for the King.  I can care for creation so that it will flourish.  I can be a steward of my time, talent, and treasure to make this world a better place.  I can be salt, light, and leaven.  I can be prophet, priest, ambassador, saint, king.  

    And I can pray.  I can encourage others to have compassion, capacity, competence and courage in their spheres of influence.  I can support agents of reconciliation in those places that I can't personally reach.  And together, we can make the world a better place.  We bring the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, a little bit of time, being faithful UNTIL He comes again.

    I can because of Christ in me.  What a gift that would be if I do it well!  A gift that keeps on giving to the glory of God, in gratefulness to the Son, and only because of the Holy Spirit!

    That is a message that gives me hope.  That is a message that can make me feel good about celebrating Christmas.  I'm thankful that the Lord IS come!

  • Transformation and Job Creation: Meet Joseph!

    There's a difference between activities and impacts.  Activities are the things we do in the hopes that it will bring about impact.  Some of our activities are workshops for pastors, church leaders, and businesspersons.  Some of our activities are mentoring, training, and advocacy.  Our partners regularly report on their activities.  But we are very aware that activities do not lead to transformation.  Education without application is just information.  But information plus application leads to transformation.  So, every October, each of our partners hires an enumerator to do a randomized survey of 50 businesspersons and ten pastors who have gone through DML to assess impacts.  

    Our impact survey results from 2023 closely align with the results from 2022, which makes us happy!  For every business trained, two new jobs are created (of course, we know this is an average - some create zero, some create ten, but two new jobs for each business is the average).  More than 1000 jobs were created just by our sample of 550 businesses in this past year - yet we have trained almost 18,000 businesspeople so far in 2023! [I'll let you do the math!] Business profit has increased by 20% and household income has also increased by 20% (this is down from 25% in 2022, mostly due to inflation and instability in some partner countries).  94% of churches reported increased attendance, giving, and spiritual growth in their members.  We thank God for these reports of impacts!

    The story below shows the impact of one man in Ghana who attended the DML training in 2020:

    Mr. Joseph Osman, owner of Joseph Farms in Sanga-Tamale metropolis, Ghana, is a young and talented entrepreneur who worships at a Baptist church in his small community. Joseph Farms, specializing in pepper and maize farming, is just two years old.

    In his quest to become a successful businessman and acquire essential knowledge, Joseph eagerly attended the DML business training in 2020, despite having to travel a significant distance. The training had a profound impact on him, shifting his perception of business from a secular endeavor to a platform for spreading the message of Christ. He learned valuable skills, such as customer satisfaction, business boundary setting, and pricing.

    After the training, Joseph faced the challenge of choosing a specific business venture. With guidance from DML partner Hopeline Institute, he decided to venture into farming and secured one-acre plots for maize (corn) and pepper cultivation.

    Joseph also has aspirations to become a journalist and is actively saving around 60% of his crop farming proceeds to fund his education. In addition, he plans to diversify his income by raising goats and sheep, recognizing the importance of a solid business foundation and clear boundaries.

    In closing, Joseph expressed his gratitude to DML Hopeline Institute for the insightful training and the loan that kickstarted his business. His ultimate goal is to use his business as a means to spread the Good News of Christ to others.

    These impacts could not happen without the work of partners, prayers, and supporters around the world.  Thank you for partnering and praying for DML!  

    We still have a matching challenge grant for new recurring givers until we reach $25,000.  If you would like to give a monthly gift, for $5/month and up, our donor will match your giving for the first year.  Please prayerfully consider helping us reach our goal for 2023 by going here.

  • Translation as Mission: Impact Spreading!

    We talk a lot about "business as mission" and even more so lately about "work as worship" which can be done in any workplace.

    I received an email a week ago from our DML leader with the Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) in West Africa, Pastor Theo Pare, who has been asked to bring the "work as worship" message to the CMA in several West African nations.  This email showed me the potential of "translation as mission" - another workplace where unique opportunities (coupled with obedience) opened doors to the work as worship message.  Pastor Theo gave me permission to share his email with you:

    Dear Renita,

    I hope this message finds you well in God's grace. This month, I unexpectedly attended an international Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) conference in Monrovia, representing DML at President Job's request. Surprisingly, I was chosen as the translator for the event, translating between English and French for eight days. This unplanned role turned out to be a blessing for DML, significantly increasing its visibility.

    During the conference, missionaries shared impactful stories of integrating business and mission. When I presented DML, it resonated strongly with the audience. The Congo Church and Guinea Church expressed eagerness to adopt DML, with the Congo Church, known for its extensive medical centers and schools, enthusiastic about implementation. Guinea is considering sending a representative to Mali for DML training.

    Burkina Faso and Mali, celebrating their 100 years CMA anniversary until year-end, propose holding the DML training after the celebration, around the beginning of the new year. This unexpected turn of events showcases God's divine planning.

    I appreciate your prayers and support, and I wanted to share the incredible impact of this trip. It was a testament to divine circumstances leading the way.

    God bless you abundantly!

    Pastor Theo

    Isn't that amazing?  Pastor Theo is working fulltime with the Christian Missionary Alliance in Burkina Faso to equip every local church with this message.  This position was created in part because there was increasing demand for this message from other West African nations and the President of CMA in Burkina Faso wanted to respond to that.  Please pray for him, these open doors, and the opportunity for the flourishing of many as we begin to do our work as an act of worship, for the flourishing of all creation!

    We can't do this without the partners who help to support this work through denominations and churches across Africa and Asia!  Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, and we hope to meet our year end goal of raising $80,000 in order to meet our 2023 budget and move into our 2024 goals with strength.  Please prayerfully consider joining us - go to Donate - Discipling Marketplace Leaders for more information!