This is a picture that I took while in Nepal travelling with Partners International. It actually made the cover of their Christmas gift catalog a few years back!!
Today I start a new role with Partners International www.partnersinternational.ca as a "Development Representative' for southwestern Ontario. I had the opportunity to meet the team I will be working with and deeply respect on Tuesday. I had lunch with the president, Brent Mitchell and the director of development, Kevin MacKay. I listened to the projects that makes Partners' heart beat! I listened as team members shared what targets they are trusting for in raising funds and awareness. I listened as they continue to focus on a great opportunity for donors to give through the "Hope In Action" catalog. You can give online @ www.hopeinaction.ca
PI Canada empowers local organizations that have a vision for holistic Christian ministry that impacts all dimensions of life. They work in many areas of mission and development, but have focused on seven primary operating categories:
7 Focus Areas:
- Children at Risk
- Christian Witness
- Health & Wellness
- Justice Issues
- Women’s Issues
They develop long-term relationships and work through local Christian partners or indigenous ministries who bring the love of Jesus to thousands of vulnerable children, women and people groups. They are serving the physical and spiritual needs of poor people in some of the most remote communities in the world. The primary area of focus that they work in is the 10-40 window. You can read more about this part of the world at http://www.joshuaproject.net/10-40-window.php
Through their partners they share and demonstrate God’s love in the world’s difficult places, often in a context of poverty. They feed children, help women start small businesses, develop clean water programs, establish churches that will care for entire villages and fight social injustice and I have seen it first hand and wholeheartedly have been supporting and giving to this ministry since 2007. The crazy thing is that I had already been meeting with Kevin and Phil Dempster, a PI International Rep, who I knew from my church in Milton prior to leaving Grace. I had already committed to serving with this organization in some form or capacity before my trip to Lesotho and now it is official!
A 'Venture Capital-like' organization!
I will be meeting with church missions teams along with pastors to talk about being 'partners' to come alongside ministries that in many ways resemble a 'venture capital' opportunity.
Partners often is one of the first organizations into a new area ready to build the infrastructure before 'major' non-profit players come in and set up shop. They are on the ground in the early stages for many high potential growth start up ministries that are led by nationals with amazing personal vision and passion!
You can be a partner and don't underestimate what you can do with a simple gift that can rescue a young girl out of the sex trade industry in Moldova. You can free a modern slave out of generational debt in Pakstan. You can put a teacher in a classroom for an entire term in Nigeria. You can help support a national pastor as I do starting at $35- month in India. Don't underestimate what your gift can do in these amazing countries where God is working through men and women with amazing vision.
Here are just a few of the stories of people that I met and if you want to be part of a vision trip like this, don't hesitate to contact me!!
Partners In Kolkota, India
So, here here we are back in Kolkota after a whirlwind tour of ministry in West and North Bengal. On Saturday, we met Vivek at the airport who whisked us off to his ministry in the city. It was there we were able to minister in two services to children and youth. He personally runs a ministry that reaches 350 youth and children. Each week these street children come to their home, actually their rooftop to be ministered to! All of the children come from Hindu homes. So, we shared the gospel and to get the point across this time, I talked about our Father who gives good gifts. If we ask for bread, would our earthly fathers give us a stone…so I took some stones and put them in my mouth, that got a good reaction, but more importantly hopefully we left a vivid image. Phil left clothing and we were able to give candy out! One little girl did a traditional dance for us. She was a little beauty!!
Ministry on the Sunderband Islands, India
I travelled to the southern islands outside of Kolkata. It was quite an experience as we travelled 4.5 hrs by vehicle, then a 45 minute boat ride followed by a 30 minute ride on a bike to where we met up with the evangelists that minister in this remote village area. I actually took a turn riding the bike that pulled us on a rickshaw.
The children sang for us as we were crowded into a house and they also sang inside, outside, upside, downside happy all the time! These children are sponsored thanks to the generous giving of the sponsored children of Partners. One of the evangelists that work here is Biswanath Mondal who has one lame foot due to polio and another man who lost his arm in an accident while travelling on a city bus. It was a testimony to the fact that uses those who the world might consider the weak to do his mighty work! Phil and I shared with the children that we are all part of God's family because we are all adopted into it. For lunch with ate rice, lentil, fish, sweet tomatoes and rice balls filled with sugar!
Ultimate Frisbee In Satali, North Bengal
Today we arrived at the home and ministry of Nicholas Narjinary. They minister to people of the Boro people as well as the Garo people. The primary focus of Nicholas is over 67 cell/ church groups in North Bengal. They plant about 20 -30 churches amongst these tribes every year. Are you kidding me!! We arrived by train just after 8am, had breakfast and then we were ministered to by the children in the orphanage here. There are presently 86 children that Nicholas and his wife have taken in!! I had the opportunity to speak to the children about our ‘Abba Father’ and we had fun as I taught about trust by having a few children fall backwards off the podium into our arms. It is my subliminal way of teaching them how to body surf! They fed us so well and then in the afternoon Phil and I had time to be ‘jungle gyms’ for the kids. Thanks to Tarun, I was able to teach the kids ultimate Frisbee and they caught on real fast. It was a blast. We also took the opportunity to take the motorbikes for a spin. They were bought by Partners ‘Harvest Of Hope’ campaign to help the local evangelists in their ministry.
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Partners International Canada is part of a global alliance with offices in the UK, Japan, Australia, Singapore and the USA. Together we work in over 56 nations in partnership with over 120 indigenous Christian agencies. Our long experience in cross-cultural, cross-border partnerships has provided us with the expertise to provide the right resources at the right time to ensure Christian ministry growth while maintaining and ensuring our partner’s organizational health and long term viability.
Give me a shout @ 226-979-0676 to learn more about this amazing ministry. I would love to talk about it personally with you or come to your church to share about it for free, yes free indeed!