We are so excited to be serving in Malawi. We invite you to take this journey with us. Keep the beautiful people of Malawi in your prayers, and us too.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sports Friends International Leadership Training - Ethiopia

Sports Friends Leadership from around the world
Just a few days ago, we arrived home in Blantyre after an amazing 3-week training in Ethiopia with Sports Friends. It was an intensive International Leadership Training with leaders from Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, Senegal, USA, England, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Thailand, Peru, India, and Kenya.  The training was a wonderful time of fellowship, fun, and learning with these brothers and sisters from around the world. 
Fostance came with us!
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Fostance came with us and had no trouble getting into Ethiopia!  Praise God for that!    On September 29 when we arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It was a joyous night of praising Jesus with our fellow Sports Friends national leaders from all around the world as they came in that night. 

Southern Ethiopian village
After a day in the city, we packed our bags again and jammed into a few minibuses and headed south 4 hours to Camp Langano for our International Leadership Training seminar.  We arrived to huge monkeys and baboons swinging in the trees. Camp Langano is a Sports Friends & SIM camp that God is using in awesome ways to bring many people to Himself.  It is an amazing place where the love of Christ reigns.

Baboons kept us awake some nights
Another praise point is that Becca’s mom Chris Reed was able to join us on this trip so Becca could be freed up to attend this training with Fostance and I (Luke).  Lyzee LOVES her Nana and they had a grand time painting faces, playing with the kids from the village, and just running around in God’s beautiful creation.  Thanks so much Nana!

Lyzee with her buddy Moses
Nana came to watch Lyzee!
The training began on Monday October 1 and ended on Friday October 19th.   Through this training we have been equipped with the knowledge and wisdom from leaders who are effectively doing sports ministry throughout Africa and the world.   For the first time, churches are seeing that they need to reach out to their youth in relevant ways with the Gospel and disciple the next generation into biblical maturity.   The first week was spent learning from each other in open discussion about what is going on in each of our countries.  We discussed and prayed over the struggles that we are facing, encouragements God has given and much more.  Then we learned about how we can strategically and effectively cast this impacting vision of church-based sports ministry within the churches in Malawi. 

Sunday School in the village
All 3 Sundays we were in Ethiopia, we had the privilege of worshipping with the vibrant Ethiopian churches.  Churches that have been planted in an all Muslim village through the Sports Friends work.  It was a beautiful picture of the impact of this ministry. 

The second and third weeks of our time in Ethiopia was full of learning from the past and planning for the future, how to most effectively follow-up and disciple those we’ve already trained, and then learning how to run Sports Friends in Malawi for the glory of Christ.  We will never forget these weeks.  

Beautiful Camp Langano
All this to say, we are convinced, more than ever, that this is the ministry God has called us to.  Please pray for us as we have many key meetings with mission and church leaders in the next few months to try to make big strides with God moving forward for His fame in Malawi.  We cannot do this without you on your knees.  Jesus delights in the prayers of His people, who He’s bought with His blood.  Will you please pray that He’ll call out more leaders from the church in Malawi who are passionate about Christ and sports ministry?  We are so dependent on God and nothing can happen apart from Him choosing to step into Malawi and shake it like never before.  Pray that He will shake weary souls out of their slumber and into a spiritual awakening and revival that will have no end.  Christ is our fountain. Pray that we’ll be able to put all that we’ve learned into practice in this culture but not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of leading this ministry that we forget where our strength comes from.  In John 7:37-38 Jesus says, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”  May we all continue to seek His face more than the day before and be filled with His streams of Living Water!

For His Fame,

Luke, Becca & Lyzee (who turns 3 this week!) 

one of our favorite photos ever

Meeting hall where we gathered every day
village life
gorgeous view from the lake

volleyball fun
the road to Camp Langano

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