Monday, March 4, 2013

Changing of the guard

My ministry focus is in South Sudan but I live in Kenya.  Today is a big day.  

Today is a historic day in Kenya.  Presidential elections are being held and Kenyan's are voting for one of 8 candidates to assume leadership of Kenya.  Hopes are high that peace will prevail! Churches across Kenya yesterday prayed for a transparent and fair election process and acceptance of the results.  After post-election violence rocked Kenya 5 years ago some are holding their breath as scattered incidences of violence and threats have made their way into the headlines over the past few weeks.  

Pray for Kenya today as people are voting.  Pray for Kenya in the days ahead as the votes are tallied and announcements are made.  There may be the need for a run off election in April.  Pray for the man or woman who will become the 4th President of Kenya!

Another change in leadership has taken place in WGM in the Africa Region.  Long time friends and colleagues, Terry and Karen Duncan, left Nairobi last week to reposition themselves in the US. They will be missed!  From being in the operating room when their twin girls were born at Tenwek Hospital, to working with their son, Brent, in the Bible Distribution project in South Sudan, to traveling to West Pokot in northern Kenya with Karen to do immunization clinics I have a lot of memories with this family.  They came to Kenya in 1977!  Pray for this transition in their lives and ministry. 

On the way to the airport with Duncan's.  

Many people carry tissues, hand sanitizer, and lipstick in their hand bags.  Missionaries carry duct tape!   Terry and Karen have certainly gotten their money's worth out of these suitcases as they have traversed Africa and the Atlantic Ocean lots and lots of times.

You might be asking, who is taking their place?  Last week the new WGM Africa Regional Director and his wife returned to Africa after a short Homeland Ministry Assignment.  Jon and Vera Steury are settling in this week.  I also have a long history of friendship and work with Jon and Vera. We worked together with Tenwek Community Health and Development, have sat in many meetings together, and they have hosted me in Maasailand many, many times.  Pray for Jon and Vera as they ease into their new roles of overseeing all that WGM is doing in Africa.

Another changing of the guard will take place this week in Tonj.  WGM will be facilitating another Biblical Storytelling training.  Some of the men who will be helping lead sessions have been trained and mentored over the past few years by Billy Coppedge and are Trainers-in-Training.  It is our hope and prayer that a cadre of South Sudanese will soon have the ability to train other South Sudanese in the use of Biblical Storytelling.

The training team will fly from Arua, Uganda to Tonj tomorrow.  Training of up to 30 pastors will take place Wednesday through Friday, March 6 - 8.

I'd like to introduce our Biblical Storytelling training team who will be involved in this training.  Please pray for the team's safe travels, good health, ability to tolerate the heat, and clear communication with the pastors and trainers-in-training as they explore God's Word together.

Joanna and Billy Coppedge lead this team:  their 4 daughters will accompany them to Tonj this trip! 

Christine and Jeff Stanfield are part of WGM's Uganda leadership team

Adhanom Hidug, Mango Ministry staff member, focuses on Church & Community Empowerment through Community Health Evangelism and Biblical Storytelling

Whitney Smith, WGM VIA (Volunteer in Action) is doing CHE training and follow-up and is becoming a Biblical Storyteller as well

Please also pray for Sabet and Suzy Kuj and their family, founders of In Deed and Truth ministry.  They are hosting the Biblical Storytelling training as part of their Pastor's Training School.  Pray for them as they lead this vibrant ministry that is training pastors as well as operating a busy clinic.  Both ministries are bringing transformation to this part of South Sudan!

As I look at Mango Ministries and other ministries in Africa and around the world there are quite a few shoes to fill.  Are you the new guard?

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