March 2009

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Megan and Hilliary, two blond college girls with wild dreams of changing a few lives, have in fact done just that! Last summer, the two of them went to Rwanda as interns with Breakthrough Partners. Life hasn’t been the same since they returned.

 

Boys with Josiane and ChantalThough they are both in school, their time has been filled with planning, praying, emailing and speaking on behalf of eleven street boys that they met in Rwanda. These boys captured their hearts. Over the past months, Megan and Hilliary have raised funds, hired staff, rented a house, drawn up long-term plans, partnered with local Rwandans, and now have officially rescued ten street boys from jail!

 

To quote from their latest update, “These efforts are promoting the self-sufficiency and local community involvement we are aiming for!” Indeed, this is what Breakthrough Partners is aiming for as well – building young leaders who will see the possibilities that can be accomplished when we are opened to God’s leading and His purposes! Great job, Megan and Hilliary!

 

For more information about this remarkable new ministry, or to help and encourage them, please check out their website, www.hopeforlifeministry.org.


Guest blogger, Kari Fordice

key-to-stewardshipRecessions force us to do what we should have done in boom times. We scrutinize budgets, cut excess spending and eliminate redundant staff.  All of this invites questions about stewardship. 

 

Though stewardship is a word generally relegated to the vocabulary of the church, its’ roots are far more pedestrian. A few centuries ago, a land baron would hire a steward to manage his staff, his money and his resources. Today we might think of a steward as the CEO or COO of a privately held company and come close to the genesis of the term. 

 

So, how does the board steward the pastor? How does the church steward the staff? Collectively, the staff and board are called to steward the leadership of the church as well as the rank and file members of the congregation. Is it possible that lack of funding is symptomatic of more significant issues?  

 

Perhaps the time is ripe for Rethinking Stewardship: Good News for Pastor and People.  Our message is one of celebrating abundance and not scarcity. To get from where we are to where we need to be, someone needs to be the voice crying in the wilderness:

1)      Steward your pastor and staff. Protect them to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.

2)      Steward church boards and leadership types. Call them to balance and focus. Give them permission to step down from committees and projects that render them ineffective.

3)      Steward the congregation. Call all believers to find their ministries and equip them to serve. All gifts are vital for a healthy Christian community.

4)      Steward financial resources. This is a matter of thinking differently about money. Gift donors with knowledge on ways to navigate through difficult financial times.  If you do, saints know what to do with the excess.

Are there enough resources for the church to thrive in recessionary cycles?  Absolutely!  Will the church moving forward look like it did in times of financial abundance?  Hopefully not.  Without question, the church has every resource necessary to do that to which we have been called. Where there appears to be scarcity, look more closely. There is a stewardship problem of our own making.

 

For the full article, click here.

 

Guest Blogger: Randall E. Davey, President, accruWealth (www.accruWealth.com)

 

 


Let’s talk about financial responsibility, that scourge of our day, with the stock market in freefall, the housing crisis and rumors of bank failures. Wait! Don’t click the delete button yet. I wanted to share an email that I received from a friend in Rwanda.


Theo Mushinzimana of Rwanda Partners wrote that when we taught last May in Bugesera, Rwanda, he was helped by three phrases:

Theo Mushinzimana

Theo Mushinzimana

1.       Gain all you can.

2.       Save all you can.

3.       Give all you can.


We challenged the people of Rwanda, through these thoughts from John Wesley, to take full and personal responsibility for their own development and not to look to others to bring the change. With that challenge, we asked those who daily live in extreme poverty to rise and be the agents of hope in their own communities.

 

Today, Theo reports that as a result of these words of challenge, he and his partners are weekly visiting and helping those in the hospital, assisting an orphan to cultivate his inherited land, and receiving training to manage their own financial affairs more wisely. When truth is brought with love, lives are changed.

 

It makes me wonder how the world would be changed if we all followed John Wesley’s advice.

 

Gary Edmonds