Scattered Africa: Leaving in a Week!

A week from today I will be in East Africa for several days of surveying, learning and consulting with our ( ministry leaders in Ethiopia and Uganda who have founded some truly incredible ministries that the Lord is using in significant ways.

Goh Bright Future is our ministry in Ethiopia.  It is based in Addis Ababa and led by Talargie Tafesse who has been serving as part of our team for several years.  The heart of GBF is a focus on rescuing a generation of children who are growing up in extreme poverty often as HIV/AIDS orphans.  GBF has developed a holistic school in the slum that is providing education, nutrition and other basic needs.  Born out of this development ministry is a vision to multiply churches throughout Ethiopia.  GBF has begun church planting efforts with an initial group of 20 indigenous planters who have been trained and deployed to various parts of the country.

While in Ethiopia, my primary goal will be to survey the ministry first-hand and meet the team of local leaders who are running the ministry.  Additionally, I will be making logistical preparations for a more extensive trip in 2014 which we hope will include a training event for up to 300 church planters as well as opportunities to create some awareness films.  Also during next week's trip to Ethiopia, I will be evaluating the needs of the ministry and opportunities for creating more sustainable revenue streams for the ongoing work.  In particular, plans are being developed now to start a second school soon.

In Uganda, our work is led by Gloria Katusiime and is known a Endiro Coffee.  On the surface, Endiro looks like a trendy and popular coffee house in the heart of Kampala.  Dig deeper however, and you discover that it is actually an innovative effort to fund development and discipleship efforts among child-headed households in Uganda.  Cappuccinos and caramel lattes are being used by the Lord to meet educational and other felt needs of a generation largely orphaned by the HIV/AIDs epidemic.  As Endiro looks to the future, the aim is to not only start additional coffee houses, but also to plant churches throughout the country and even to engage diaspora peoples with the gospel.

As in Ethiopia, my primary goal in Uganda next week will be to survey the work first-hand and to prepare for a 2014 trip.  I am also eager to consult with Gloria on how to take steps towards engaging diaspora Hindus in Kampala and to consider ways to expand the funding base for the ministry by introducing Endiro Coffee to an American market.  A new location is scheduled to be opening during my trip, so I hope to learn a lot about the process.  As a bonus, I'm bringing several bottles of pumpkin spice syrup with me so that Kampala can enjoy some pumpkin spice lattes this Christmas.  And, if they'll let me, I'll slip into the Endiro kitchen and see if I can teach them a few tricks from my Waffle House days.

From a bigger picture perspective, we are seeking to develop a strong link between Goh Bright Future and Endiro Coffee.  The ministries are in separate countries, but are in the same region of the world and have very similar visions.  I believe they have much to share with each other in areas of business as mission, church planting and development.  TIBM is their common link and I pray that the Lord will cause the relationship to blossom.

For prayer:

1. Pray for a safe trip without complications.  Also pray that I would not get any health problems.

2. Pray that God will bless me with great fellowship during this week of travel.  I need it.

3. Pray that I will be able to hear clear direction and instruction from the Lord that will help me as a leader and helper in relationship to these ministries.

4. Pray for the ministries of Goh Bright Future and Endiro Coffee.  Pray for their leaders.  Ask God to deepen and expand their impact to bless more children, plant more churches, and engage more people in diaspora with the gospel.

Financial Support Welcome:

For the most part, I'm out-of-pocket on the expenses for this trip.  That is mostly due to being too busy in Chicagoland ministry to take time out for fundraising.  However, I could really use some support.  My expenses for the trip will come out to between $2000-$2300.  If you can give a gift of support of $10 or more, please visit our support site and make a tax-deductible gift right now.  Thanks so much!

[Cover photo by Brian Wolfe]

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