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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Meeting of 6-06: 12-06

The Latest Meeting Update


The questions have been asked many times. When one returns from a work & witness team, something has somehow changed and sometimes there is the desire for involvement and connection. Is the church not, afterall, a body�somehow one though distance, language and culture at times tend to create some sense of separation. However, a work & witness trip many times changes something and somehow hearts are left with people whose language we don�t speak and whose culture we never dreamed we�d know. So the questions come to mind. The returned missionaries (and this is what they indeed are) will begin to wonder. How can I keep this experience with me? How can I continue to nourish this heart that was in so many ways planted with the people and the land that I visited once for a matter of weeks?
These questions came to mind this past weekend, the weekend of July 1st, as a group of partners congregated and discussed the future of ACP, the effects that it has on the field, and field needs for the future. Looking to the future is important and often effects the view of the present as well. What is being done on a day-to-day basis to communicate? This returns to the questions previously mentioned, because communication is the key in all situations to make them work. To continue to nourish and maintain a healthy field and a healthy heart for missions, it requires communications. This can potentially be a simple question to answer. Keep the vision, keep the memory in your sight. Several methods will be done to aid those connected in some way to the field, helping them to continue being connected. Monthly e-mails (e-mail me if you�re interested), regular updates, and MySpace blogs and frequent checks and updates are all in place to keep connections going and communication lines easy and open. So, the next question that comes to mind would be, what�s next? What does the open line create and what is the partnership really doing?
Much of this kind of communication is coming straight from the field. The needs are communicated at the meetings and through e-mail and personal reports that come from the missionaries and leaders who work in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. One such need that has been communicated has been the need for more of these trained leaders and for the resources to train these leaders. Such provisions could come by way of funds to support work on libraries and resources, sending books and resources, or through work & witness teams. Some of our work & witness teams have taken over vitamins. Some of our funds have been used towards the education of current graduates. This site is full of reports of all of the things that have been going on in the field as well as prayer requests and goals for the future of the field. If you are interested in knowing more about the goals of the partnership, I hope you will take the time to look at the website. However, we now also have the monthly e-mail list with specific and current goals, and if you would like to receive that, I hope you will e-mail me at adrake@olivet.edu with the subject: ACP Request. Communication is critical, and if you have connections to or a heart for Central Africa, I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities to stay connected and involved. Your prayers and support are appreciated.

Nazarene soccer team makes an impact halfway around the world: 12-06

Nazarene soccer team makes an impact halfway around the world
Mangochi, Malawi
Friday, June 16, 2006

"If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small." -- Pat Morley

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This week marked the first full week for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. However, while soccer/football teams such as Ecuador are having an impact on the world sports scene, there was another �side� making its mark on the lives of those in a small African country. This week also marked the completion of a high-impact sports evangelism and Love Works missions trip by the men�s soccer team from Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) to Malawi, Africa.
--NCN News, Daily Times, NYItoday.org

�NCN Sports
For the full article see
http://www.ncnnews.org/Article.aspx?id=2462

Friday, May 12, 2006

Latest 05-06

In the book of Luke, Jesus presents to the world what will later be titled the greatest commandment. When asked by an expert in the law what one must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus responds by quizzing him—26"What is written in the Law?" he [Jesus] replied. "How do you read it?"27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]" 28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"Jesus responds with the story of the Good Samaritan which is familiar to many of us. However, how deeply have we let this story sink in? This Samaritan was completely opposite the Israelite—the Israelite, to those listening, would in all other cases be the hero, the wise, the strong, the example. Yet in this parable the Samaritan is all of these—the Samaritan, who would in a story told by any other Israelite of the time, be the weakling in all frames of being—spiritually, mentally and perhaps even physically. There is something to be learned from this parable that is not often noted. We may and should be this Good Samaritan to all people—our neighbors in greatest need are at times local but are, at many other times, from “out of town.” As Christians, our community is much larger than we can imagine! We have brothers and sisters—neighbors on every continent. And we can have a relationship with them! However, what has not yet been said is that perhaps we are not the Good Samaritan. In fact, our situation as it would be currently puts most of us in the shoes of the Israelite hurting on the road. It is said by many who participate in missions trips that perhaps the people who are sent in the mindset of being the Good Samaritans discover that indeed they are at times more affected by the people they meet, and they soon discover, if they let the people participate in their lives as fellow neighbors, that these people are Good Samaritans as well. The church of God knows no ethnic boundaries, knows no economic or political boundaries and no boundaries of language. Each could find in himself an element of both the Israelite and the Samaritan and so perhaps it is best if we would all look at how Christ is here defining the word neighbor. One’s neighbor does not rely on one’s definition of Israelite or Samaritan, but on the openness of each and everyone together to contribute to the lives of one another and to allow others to contribute to our lives as well.

Last Update: April 24Especially check out the Field News site which has some major announcements effecting the partnership and the field.The NEXT MEETING will be JUNE 30-JULY 1.
Zimbabwe's situation is desperate. Your prayers and support are well-received. See the Prayer page. For more information and eyewitness photographs, see the Useful Links page as well as the Field News for new situations, developments and reports.
Where is the hope? Check out the developing success page. Oh how God works!
Interested in Helping the Partnership? Want to receive Partnership updates? Interested in becoming a friend of the Africa Central Partnership? See the Communications page under the "Committees" section.
NEW Updates: Keep the North family in your prayers as they move on to a new phase in their life. The next meeting will be our last with Rob North as he and his family are planning to move to Kansas City for work in the NMI Office there.See their Newsletter for more information!http://www.geocities.com/gottfaith/NorthernEasterNews20061.pdf
We can use your help! Any suggestions, updates, info, etc. you may have in regards to the partnership or the website would be appreciated. Just send comments to Amber Drake at adrake@olivet.edu
"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." -- John Stott
THE LATEST IN NEW ABOUT MALAWI Click here For more Africa articles, go to http://www.topix.net/world/south-africa

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Website Front Page 1

When one looks at the countries of Central Africa, sometimes all that is seen is starvation, poverty, the absolute and extreme suffering that occurs here. It is not hard to identify the suffering of people in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi with that of the biblical character of Job and say, “Where then is my hope? And, if I have hope, who will see [its fulfillment]? [My hope] shall go down to the bars of Sheol (the unseen state) when once there is rest in the dust (Job 17:15-16).” AIDS is rampant, governments corrupt, and nutrition at its minimum and, many who help often find themselves asking, “Why work here in a place with so much need that the only word to describe it is hopeless?” New York Times article by Celia W. Dugger talks about African nurses, specifically in Malawi, who are overworked and underpaid to the point that their ranks are dwindling severely. In the article, one nurse says, “My friends are telling me there’s work [in Britain], there’s money there. They’re telling me I’m wasting my time here.” Many nurses are packing up and shipping out, leaving the few remaining in a situation where one nurse looks after fifty people, one nurse to 26 six babies, 183 nurses to 830 beds. The issue? Hopelessness in Africa and hope in the “West.” A constant issue with education is that the quality education either is not available or it prompts a migration outside of the one place where it is needed most. Many who come to the U.S.A for their education may never return to their homeland. One goal of the Africa Central Partnership is to feed the field—nutritionally, emotionally, medically, and spiritually. In this aching and seemingly hopeless world, it’s hard to know exactly what to do. And when the question is asked, “Where can I help,” one needs only to look upward and inward. What gifts has God given you? What blessings overflowing do you have to offer? Are you gifted in teaching? Finances? Traveling? Construction? Where is your heart? It is there where you can help. Where is the hope for Africa? The hope is found in every small or large gift, every heart that is opened with the courage to care, every individual who is willing to say, “I will not turn my back just because the situation seems hopeless, but will follow to that place to which God calls me.” Does He call you to go? Perhaps. But perhaps He calls you to simply care, to share, or to open your home and heart. Wherever and to whatever He calls, however, it is important to remember that the situation is never hopeless with those who walk in the footsteps of the Father. Do not be discouraged, but “wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. (Psalm 27:14).”At this point, I was struck by some quotes sent along with an e-mail from the Tedders. As you go through the website and consider life in general, it is our wish that you would find hope in faith-- that which is eternal and beyond circumstance." In his mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope." ~ First Peter Chapter One, Verse Three."Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope." ~ Helen Keller.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/12/international/africa/12MALA.html?ex=1247371200&en=3f4ae56d7869d18e&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland