Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Another trip to Africa - Mike Grainger

Tomorrow I leave for another trip to Africa. I will be gone about one month and traveling to three countries - Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Kenya. I will be going as part of a team focused on helping our African leadership become better equipped to reach their committees for Christ in the midst of incredible hardships.

I will be the point person for French speaking Africa on the team. We will invest a lot of our time at the outreach medical clinic in Burkina Faso, dealing with issues ranging from evangelism and follow-up to management and equipment maintenance. We are seeing people come to Christ but there are areas of the infrastructure that need to be shored up and strengthened.

In the Ivory Coast, we will be helping prepare the ground for the launch of several business initiatives. These initiatives are designed to enable key people in the ministry demonstrate the transforming power of the Gospel as productive members of their communities.

In Kenya, we will be meeting with ministries leaders from across the continent to look at linking our resources with the opportunities God is giving us to advance the Gospel in Africa.

Africa is incredibly blessed by abundant natural resources and no continent has been more responsive to the Gospel. Yet, nearly half its people live on less than $1 a day, what the World Bank terms ‘extreme poverty’. The devastation of AIDS is felt everywhere; tribal conflict shatters society; widespread corruption inhibits development…the challenges seem overwhelming. Why, in the midst of such wealth and spiritual interest, is so much of Africa haunted by tragedy?

While there are no simple answers, this highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive, holistic practice of discipleship: discipleship that roots the transforming power of the Gospel deep within the soul, resulting in a new way of life and a new worldview. Its fruit is liberating and includes reconciliation, forgiveness, a rejection of immorality, and a commitment to ethical practices and justice in society. Lives being transformed by the Gospel—lives “rooted and built up in Him” (Colossians 2:7)—radiate the power of Christ and are building blocks in the transformation of nations.

There is hope for Africa – Lives being transformed by the Gospel. I believe these meetings and interaction that my colleagues and I will be engaged in are very strategic to seeing this kind on transformation take place. However, nothing of eternal significance will be accomplished without God’s intervention. I feel very inadequate for this task and would covet your prayers. Here are some things that I am praying for this trip.

Prayer Guide

Ask God to give us unity of heart and mind and clear vision with out African brothers- John 17:21
Ask God to give us his mind as we seek to serve our African staff in these projects and provide appropriate leadership - Ps 32:8
Ask God for a spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, revelation, and knowledge and we work together (different languages, cultures, worldviews) Isaiah 11:1-3
Pray for Spirit led times that will serve to enhance our partnership in the advance of the Gospel – Ecc. 4:9-12
Pray for safety and good health
Pray that God would watch over Tammy and the kids and that his peace would guard their hearts and minds – Phil 4:6-7

Blessings, Michael


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