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Blog – Renita

  • A Tribute to Bob's Mom, Lucille Cain Reed Mosher

    As I travelled home from Cameroon on Sunday and Monday, I received a text message that Bob's mom, my mother-in-law of 29 years, was not expected to live long.  She had been given two weeks to live before I left for West Africa, and my prayer had been that she would last until I got home.  I got home on Monday night and on Tuesday morning drove through the snow/ice of a winter storm to Cadillac to see her.  I had the priviledge to sit by her side until she passed on Wednesday at noon.  It was an honor to sit with her, sing to her, read to her, pray for her, massage her feet, and wet her lips.  She was unconscious the whole time but I was told she could still hear.  In some ways it felt like a divine appointment that I was able to get back in time to have that precious time with her.

    As the family has decided to just have a visitation service for her, I wanted to share my thoughts about this woman and decided that since this blog has been like a journal for me, I would share it here.  Maybe someday my grandchildren will want to know about their great-grandmother.
    I met Lucille in 1990, the year Bob and I started dating and married.  At that time, Lucille was married to her third husband, Keith.  Her first husband, Bob's dad, died in a house fire when Bob was three.  They had four children together.  Her second husband was Bob's uncle and they had two children together.  Her marriage to Keith lasted more than 25 years.
    Lucille was a bit of an enigma to me.  She was a very giving person - always making pies and cookies for people, helping to rake their yards, mow their lawns, shovel their snow.  She loved garage sales and was always picking things up for her kids and grandkids, or for neighbors and friends.  It was Bob's belief that because she had received so much after the house fire and her husband's death, that she wanted to give back.   I think it was just also a part of who she was and it helped define her.  But despite her love to help, she was not your stereotypical loving, giving person - not one for much flowery emotion or sentimental conversation.  She was a very no-nonsense, direct woman (if you knew Bob, that's where he probably got it from), and absolutely disliked talking about deep issues or emotions (and if you knew Bob, you knew that drove him nuts).  Her favorite response when asked about her thoughts or feelings on things was "I don't care."

    Often, if we pushed subjects to deep issues, she would quickly begin crying.  Bob believed that was because she kept burying emotions without processing, and so it didn't take much prodding to get to the underlying emotions that were there.  I was privileged to do an interview with her when I was working on my MSW and I learned things about her that Bob had no idea about.  For a few minutes, I was able to lift that curtain to see the complex woman underneath.
    Her faith was also a subject of debate between Bob and I.  She certainly was not a fan of "institutional religion" but Bob thought that she might have a private faith.  She acknowledged a belief in God but didn't go much further from what we could see.  Again, as she wouldn't entertain discussions of a deeper nature, it was difficult to have a good understanding of where she stood.
    When Bob died, I wanted to do for his mom and stepdad what he would do if he was still alive.  And, even though I was in Africa much of the time, I tried my best to help out and visit as much as I could.  When I spoke to her on Tuesday, I shared what I thought Bob would say if he was there.  As I did, a tear came out of her eye.  I would love to think that she has now met up with Bob in heaven and that they are doing some catching up together.

    Hannah and Noah lost their grandmother on Wednesday.  I hope they haven't lost their connection with their dad's side of the family.  Please keep them in your prayers as they process this loss in and of itself, along with the possible complications.

    Keith, Lucille, and Bob - maybe all three in heaven, catching up together.
    Lucille with five of her six children (2005).  Her daughter Brenda had passed away the year before (2004), and Bob died five years later (2010).  She is survived by four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
  • Frustrated Eagerness

    "I want to tell you how this has changed me.  You need to hear the details."  She said this to me with an urgency, while sitting on the edge of her chair.  "The message that my work can be worship has been startling and invigorating at the same time.  I have taken it to my staff and they too are changing.  We had never even thought about the environmental bottom line before and now all of us are involved in caring for the environment.  But more than that, I want to teach churches about how to do better with their administration and finance.  They measure eve rything by the Great Commission, but do they not think that they will be held accountable for how they handled the money of the church?  They have not been trained in this and there is no accountability or responsible planning.  Can I use your materials to help train churches in my city?"

    She went on for about forty-five minutes with her ideas and her excitement.  She had been has been involved with Discipling Marketplace Leaders since July of last year but her understanding and her commitment to the message is deepening.

    She asked, "Are you okay with DML being used in this way?"  I answered, "This is not material that belongs to DML.  This is a Biblical truth from Genesis 1 and 2.  We don't own this.  This is for all of us, from our Heavenly Father to all of His children.  You should use this in the way that you feel called."

    She is the owner of a microfinance bank in Cameroon, with four branches in large cities.  She told me the story of the almost $50,000 she had to pay to be registered with the central bank, having to submit and resubmit documents over and over for whatever reason they could find to reject her applications, until she finally had to hire someone to do it for her.  She has no receipts for the $50,000 that she has paid.  But she can now do the work that she believes God has given her, to be salt and light to a people who are hurting and struggling in a difficult environment.

    Her home is in a city that has been closed due to a strike and she cannot return home until February 15.  All businesses have been forced to be closed for these two weeks.  She told me about the army trucks heading into her hometown while she and many others left prior to the strike starting.  News of shootings and killings trickled back to her each day while we were in trainings last week.  The stress of what is happening is just under the surface of the passion she feels in wanting to move forward with her calling.  Friday morning, news came to us that there were many arrests of Anglophones in Yaounde (where we were) as the trial of one of the separatists was getting under way at the courthouse.  Tension rose in the group, but especially with her.  She wants peace but also resolution.

    The tension of the "now, but not yet."  We see the potential to live out an aspect of the Lord's prayer, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," but we have to continue to deal with the fallen will of people around us.  We get excited to do our work as an act of worship, and then we are frustrated by those who prevent us from even going to work.

    Romans 8:21-23  ...With eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.

    Here is a video that was put out last week about the struggle in Cameroon with the separatists.  It is a good video to watch to give an understanding of the challenges and how we can pray.  Thank you for reading and for praying.  We appreciate your support!

  • This Is Your Morning

    I have left Liberia and am now in Cameroon.  I am writing this on the road (Sunday morning) as we are traveling from Douala, the business capital, to Yaoundé, which is the official capital.  After conversations for the first couple of hours, I spent the rest of the trip going through my notes from Nigeria, Liberia, and Cameroon, and making the updates, changes, and reminders from workshops and presentations.  This is a regular must-do after each trip as we debrief and make suggestions for how to have continuous improvement to this message that God has entrusted to us.

    I read a comment that I had noted from someone in Nigeria at the end of a two-day workshop.  He said, “The Igbos (a tribe in Nigeria) have a saying that the time when you wake up is your morning.”  He continued, “I wish I had met DML before now, but now that I have woken up, this is my morning."It is a joy to continue to see the lightbulbs going off for pastors, church leaders, and businessmen and businesswomen.  The most common phrase we hear is, “How did I miss this?”  I love that this is a forgotten truth from God, our Creator, and not something that we made up or discovered. 

    In Cameroon, we held a microbusiness training in Douala.  It was supposed to be in Limbe, but the civil crisis has continued and it was declared that all people in the Northwest and Southwest of Cameroon were to strike from February 1-15 – that means no one should leave their homes, or they could come under attack (the map highlights in red the parts of Cameroon considered to be unsafe.  The goal from the Ambazonians is to take out the French leadership in those two areas.  They quickly changed the venue from Limbe to Douala, which is bigger and tends to be more peaceful, and then we were thankful to hear that they postponed the strike until February 5.  This allowed us to get out of Douala and into Yaoundé before the strike started.

    The microbusiness training is designed for members of churches where the pastors have already done the Thirty Days in the Marketplace, but about half of the group were also pastors.  During our introductions I heard a new theme which must have come from our Cameroonian trainers:  The Church focuses on the 10% of members money and not on the 90%.  We need to train our members not only on how to use the 90% but also how to use their time and talent to obtain the 90%.  
    In Liberia, I was delighted to meet my namesake whom we cared for during the first fourteen months of her life.  She is now 11 years old and a beautiful girl.  Below is a picture of Baby Renita and I in 2008, and then a picture that we took last week.

  • Man Started By Resting

    On Saturday we left Nigeria and are now in Liberia, where we will do a DML workshop before I go to Cameroon and Dr. Walker goes to Egypt.  The Harmattan winds were thick in Nigeria as dust hung in the air, while the humidity in Liberia hangs thickly in the air.  I haven't been in Liberia since 2012 and I forgot how useless it is to do anything with my hair while I'm here - it just goes curly in the humidity.  Dr. Walker has never seen me with curly hair, while Liberians have never seen me without.  There have certainly been many changes in this country of nearly five million people in the past seven years.

    While in Nigeria, we were blessed to be with many pastors and church leaders, engaging in theological discussions and debates about the theology of work and the role of the Church in discipling its members to do work as an act of worship.  We spent this last week working with an excellent team of trainers, who will help carry this work forward in Kaduna, Jos, and Abuja, as well as other parts of Nigeria.

    Our DML team in Nigeria is led by Dr. Abraham Gaga and Freeman Okuru.  Both have been serving the Church and mission field for many years and are truly excited about the capacity of what DML can do to reclaim the marketplace (defined as the systems of business, government, and education) for Christ.  Both are implementing DML in their own church, which is always a great indication of someone who has taken this to heart and is able to influence leaders.

    Dr. Gaga led in devotions regarding rest and, as I have felt a deeper weariness of late, I listened to this reminder with eager ears.  He spoke some truths that went deep into my soul.

    First, he pointed out that God made man on the sixth day and then rested on the seventh day - something we all know - but he pointed out that man started by resting.  He said that we don't rest FROM work - rather, we rest in order to do the work.  He further pointed out that when we work without resting and listening, we may well work in vain.

    It fits into what we teach in that Sunday is the first day of the week, rather than the end of the week.  Resting and listening in order to work, rather than resting as a result of the work.  It's a subtle but important shift.

    I hope you are resting today to be able to do your work tomorrow.  And when you do your work, may you do it as an act of worship unto the Lord!
  • Back To West Africa

    This Friday, I leave for West Africa.  It feels like we just left there (end of November).  Christmas was such a busy time with family and the days just flew by!

    We will start this trip working with the Baptist Seminary in Lagos, where over 300 pastors and church leaders will attend our workshop.  We will then spend a day with the faculty and staff of the Baptist Seminary to explore how the Church can begin to shift from defining itself by its wall on Sundays to the people on Mondays.  We will then move to Kaduna, where we will have a similar discussion and workshop with the pastors and church leaders from the ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All) Church.  Finally we will move into a Training of Trainers for the DML Nigeria team to train both pastors as well as business people.  We are praying that this will allow this work to go on in our absence.

    From Nigeria, we will move to Liberia.  It will be my first time back to Liberia in six years.  I'm sure many things will have changed.  I will only be there for a few days to do a two-day workshop with pastors and church leaders through REAP (Restoration of Education Advancement Programs), so there won't be a lot of time for visiting.  We squeezed this trip in following the two people from Liberia who joined the training in Ghana in October and are anxious to get this moving.

    From Liberia, I will be heading to Cameroon, while my colleague, Dr. Walker, heads to Egypt.  I will be starting my time in Cameroon in the city of Limbe, on the western coast of Cameroon, where we will be holding a two-day microbusiness training.  From there, I will move to Yaounde, where we will hold another two-day microbusiness training, followed by a Training of Trainers to help support the work of DML Cameroon throughout the country.

    Things seem to have settled down a bit in Cameroon in all but the Anglophone areas yet.  The Anglophone separatists have declared they are not Cameroonian but Ambazonian and have declared a new currency with for that area.  The President of Cameroon appointed a new Prime Minister yesterday and we will wait and see whether this will be a good thing or not.  Please continue to pray for this region and its ongoing struggles.

    During this trip I will miss my son's birthday (he lives in Washington DC so I wouldn't normally see him anyway) and also my husband's birthday.  This will be the second year I miss his birthday and it may be a pattern.  I've asked him to change the date but up until now he has not acted on it.  🙂  Additionally, I leave while my 90-year-old mother-in-law (Bob's mom) is having a significant increase in dementia and medical issues; additionally, my 89-year-old father, who has been on a locked floor for eight years with frontal lobe dementia, is also experiencing further deterioration.

    I will return on February 11 and hope to catch up with everyone at that time. Thank you for your prayers, ongoing support, and encouragement. Our continued prayer is that the Global Church continue to discover how to be relevant to the world on a day-to-day basis with all members recognizing that work can be their act of worship.
  • Status of Global Christianity, 2018

    This is the time when many of us look at statistics from the past year, personal, national, or international. In my study, I have been reading statistics about the status of Global Christianity, especially from 1900-2050, and thought I would share some of these with you.

    Here are some facts from a report from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary:

    • Christianity is projected to hold its own in terms of percentage of the world.  In 1900 it was 34.4%.  In 2050, it is expected to be 35.3%.  Not much change in terms of percentage but the overall number has gone from 500 million to 2.5 billion today.
    • The number of congregations will have increased from 400,000 in 1900 to 9,000,000 in 2050.
    • The number of denominations will have increased from 1,600 in 1900 to 70,000 in 2050.
    • One number my husband might like:  Book titles about Christianity will have increased from 300,000 in the year 1900, to 14,500,000 book titles in 2050.
    • Personal income of Christians was $270 billion in 1900 and will increase to $200,000 billion in 2050.  This year, 2018, it is $57,000 billion. 

    The history of giving as it relates to churches and Christians is also interesting.  Giving to Christian causes was at $8 billion in the year 1900.  It is now at $960 billion and is expected to go up to $3,300 billion in the year 2050. The Christian community has been very generous and faith-based organizations actually account for nearly 60% of US-based foreign aid organizations. 

    What do churches give to?  Evangelism is definitely #1, with church planting right behind.  The charton the right shows the breakdown of average giving for churches.  For my particular study, it is telling that creation care is at the bottom of the list, while business as mission fares a bit better.

    One surprising statistic in the middle of all the numbers was this:

    Ecclesiastical crime:  in 1900, it was $300,000.  In 1970, it was $5,000,000.  In 2000, $19 billion.  In 2018, $63 billion.  In 2025, $80 billion.  In 2050, $250 billion.  The footnote to this statistic says, "Amounts embezzled by top custodians of Christian monies (US dollar equivalents, per year)."  Wow.  This seems to be about 7-8% of the giving received.

    A startling statistic to read.  
    So the Global Christian Church is giving at about 1.6% and of that amount, we are losing 10% to ecclesiastical crime. This is very sad as we know that the impact of this number is far beyond simply a loss of money.  It goes to the reputation of the Church and is a poor reflection on Jesus. [It makes the class that I teach in seminaries on Integrity and Finance so important, but also a definite sense of swimming upstream.  How I wish all seminaries would include a class like this in their curriculum!]

    It tells us the capacity that we could have if we could unify ourselves better, commit to giving, and have better transparency and accountability in the Church.  We certainly have our work cut out for us in 2019 and beyond!

    Let's continue to pray for wisdom for the days in front of us, as well as discernment and courage to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit!

    We wish you all a blessed New Year in 2019, and pray that we may continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

    [To see the full report on the status of Global Christianity, click here.]
  • Turning 50 Ain't So Bad

    Yes, it looks like I'm sticking out my tongue.I remember when my dad turned fifty years old.  He was a pastor at a church in Toronto, and the Council brought over a very large Abraham made out of fruit.  I was 11 years old and it made perfect sense to me to bring over an Abraham, as Abraham had become an old man and 50 seemed really old to me.  Looking back at it now, I wonder what they were thinking?  As they were all in that same age range, surely 50 did not seem THAT old to them!

    It's amazing how perceptions of age change with age.  I now hear of someone dying at the age of 75 and say, "That's so young!"  Maybe it's because my parents are in their 80s and I know of a number of friends have parents who are in their 90s.

    Today I turn 50.  Many people lament it.  For some reason, it's not bothering me.  Turning 40 bothered me more.  It may be because I'm the youngest of five children, and I watched all my siblings break into this decade long before me.  It may be because Bob, who was fourteen years older than me, broke the 50 decade in 2004 (he would be 64 today!).  It may be because Michael broke the 50 decade a few years ago.

    But, for what it's worth, I'm ready and I'm okay.
    My family
    In fact, I'm more than okay.  I have much to celebrate.  I feel I have lived several lives in these fifty years.  I have been privileged to see the world go through significant and positive changes in these fifty years. I have been able to watch my children grow and mature into adulthood.  That is not a privilege that Bob had and I am daily aware of that.

    Not only that, but I also get to do work that I love.  Recently, I heard someone ask the question, "If you won one million dollars today, would you be at work tomorrow?"

    I believe that I am one of the privileged who would answer that with a hearty, "YES!"  It's a privilege to work.  It's an even greater privilege to LOVE what you do. (Okay, I might take one day off to figure out what to do with the million dollars but THEN I'd be right back at work.)  Many of you may think, "It's easy for you, Renita - you get to travel to cool places."  But make no mistake that every work has its challenges - the grass is almost always greener on the other side of the fence.  But I do love my work.  And I know that is not the case for many.  What do we do in those circumstances?  Do we stay and try to find joy?  Do we change jobs?  Do we keep plugging along?  How does work become worship?

    What about you?  If you won one million dollars today, would you be at work tomorrow?  For my birthday, if you would take a minute and respond to this with a "yes" or "no" and maybe a brief reason as to why, I would appreciate it!
    My dad on his 50th birthday.  He turned 89 last month.I love this picture of me with my sister Yvonne.  I was such a cute kid.  And I know my brother is thinking (RIGHT NOW - yes, you, Henry), "What happened?!"
    I close with this prayer on my birthday, "Bless What Eludes My Grasp," from my favorite prayer book, Guerillas of Grace:

    Lord, so many things skitter through my mindand I give chase to gather themand hold them up in a bunch to you.
    But they go this way and that,while I go that way and this...
    So gather me up insteadand bless what eludes my grasp but not yours
    Trees and bees, fireflies and butterfliesroses and barbeques, and people.
    Lord, the people...bless the people.
    Birthday people, giving birth people,being born people,conformed people;
    Dying people, dead people, hostaged people, banged up people, held down people;
    Leader people, lonely people, limping people;
    Hungry people, surfeited people, indifferent people;
    First world people,second world people,third world people;
    One world people,your people,all people.
    Bless them, Lord.Bless what eludes my grasp, but not yours.
  • Creation As Both Temple and Choir

    I have finished my courseload for my PhD (Woo-hoo!  Let me say it again even louder:  WOO-HOO!  So happy and thankful!) and have started working on my dissertation proposal.  While the title is yet a work in process, the essence of the dissertation will be looking at justice in the Global Christian Church as it relates to the economy and the earth.  The requirements for the literature review for the dissertation is one hundred and fifty writings from different authors.  That is a HUGE amount of reading to do.  Thankfully, Michael let me check some books out of his library - he says there are no late fees which is a good deal for me!  At this time, I'm about 1/6th of the way through the 150 readings.

    This past week, I read two books:  one by Jonathan Wilson called, God's Good World:  Reclaiming the Doctrine of Creation, and the other by Edward Brown called, Our Father's World:  Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation.  There were a number of "aha" and "amen" moments as I read these books.  One phrase that particularly caught my attention is that creation is both a temple and a choir.  I love this phrasing.  I had to put the book down for a while and just think about the implication of those words.  Creation is a temple.  It is a worship space that is sacred, where we meet God and He meets all members of creation to be in relationship with them.  Hear this from Psalm 148:7-13:

    Praise the Lord from the earth,you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,wild animals and all cattle, small animals and flying birds,kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
    Creation is also to be a choir, a participant in the worship of God.  We are to join in leading the choir to worship the one true God.  We help the plants, animals, and all the resources that we use from creation be able to worship God. We are to help fix creation - to restore it to how God intended.  God gives many instructions for how we are to care for the earth in the Old Testament.  But Brown laments that, despite the hymn that says, "This is My Father's World, O let me ne'er forget...", we have indeed forgotten.  We have allowed consuption and convenience to trump our care for this creation.  We are afflicted with "affluenza" in many parts of the world.  He goes on to say that nothing is more important than the care of the environment, because without a healthy environment, almost nothing else matters.  People, animals, plants, and relationships all suffer.

    None of us are able to play our instruments correctly in this choir and orchestra except through Christ.  Creation groans and is unharmonious (Romans 8:22).  We need a lot of practice in order to play well.  And the place where this practice can happen is in the church.

    Wilson writes that Christian theology began to abandon the doctrine of creation about 250 years ago when science began to come up with answers that the Church could not compete with.  Theologians began to recast Christian convictions in terms of our inner life or about "the heart."  He goes on to say that the doctrine of creation is primarily about the nature of the God who creates.  The God who creates cannot be known apart from the God who redeems.  Moreover, he says, the doctrine of cration is primarily not about the origin but about the end. Yes!

    He says, "One of the greatest tragedies of theology's neglect of creation has been the church's complicity in the destruction of the natural world and thus also of conditions that contribue to the flourishing of life.  An even greater tragedy or an even greater sin has been the voices in the church that have resisted and mocked the passion for life that leads to care of creation."

    I love this!  To find theologians who back what I have been saying and thinking is thrilling.  And they put it so much more articulately than me.

    Our reason to love creation is not about the current crisis (that we may or may not believe exists), but rather because of God and our love for what He has created for us.  The environmental problems that we face are essentially a result of sin.  And if it is a result of sin, then it is a spiritual problem.  An if it is a spiritual problem, then the Church must be involved.  The Church continues to be the institution that can best deal with the complexity of this problem.

    Theologian Christopher Wright wrote that, "It is not so much that God has a mission for his church in the world, but that God has a church for his mission in the world...mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission - God's mission."

    And so some of my questions for my dissertation have to do with why the Church comes to this table so late with significant divisions, and why the Church does not speak more loudly on how to be a harmonious contributor to this choir? Why do we continue to not respect or affirm those who contribute to the economy in terms of their work being an act of worship?  How we find a way forward, joining the voice of the Church (the highest populated religion in the world) to the efforts of 170 nations who have committed together to protect the dignity and flourishing of human life, as well as the protection of the earth?

    Thomas Aquinas said, "Any error about creation also leads to an error about God."

    Thankfully, for me, this is a topic I'm passionate about and it is something that Discipling Marketplace Leaders is passionate about.  That makes the reading and the research much more enjoyable!  If you have any books or articles that you think would be good for me to read, please feel free to refer them to me at
  • An Expanding DML Team

    We are excited to announce that the Discipling Marketplace Leaders team is growing.  Our goal as a ministry is to stay as organizationally flat as possible, partnering with existing ministries in our partner countries.  This helps keep this ministry owned by nationals who know and understand the context the best, as well as keeping organizational overhead costs low.

    But as we grow, there is a need for some expansion.  Dr. Walker and I have been doing most of the work for DML, and we are beginning to find the work a bit much for the two of us.  We are very thankful to make a few additions to our team to help share the work.  What's even more exciting is that each of the three additions has come on their own - not that we were looking for specific people.

    The first person is Paul Soper, a CPA from Grand Rapids, who has been providing healthcare consulting services to hospitals in the US for the past 22 years.  Prior to becoming a healthcare consultant, Paul was an auditor for an international public accounting firm and a financial executive for two nonprofit organizations.  Paul and his wife Sue have been married for 26 years and have three adult children.  Due to the sale of Paul's company in December 2017, he is now able to devote himself fulltime to working with a variety of Christian non-profit organizations.  As a businessperson, Paul has been drawn to serving God through organizations that focus on Business as Mission.  He especially appreciates how DML provides Business as Mission through the church and has been greatly impressed with how God is blessing the work of DML in Africa.  He looks very much forward to being part of the DML team!

    The second is Emeline B. Nde from Cameroon.  In 2011, Emeline wrote her Masters thesis on the need for the Church to become involved with discipling business people. (This was before 
    DML was born.)  God had laid this on her heart and then He orchestrated us meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.

    Emeline has been working as a missionary for the last eighteen years as a church-planter, cross-cultural mission's coordinator and as a translator.  For the last twelve years, she has been working with Development Associates International (DAI) as the Administrator and MA Coordinator for Nigeria, International Facilitator in Uganda, a member of the DAI International Leadership Team, a graduate lecturer for the DAI MA program, and the director for DAI's work in Cameroon.

    Emeline has a teaching ministry that has taken her to university classrooms and conference centers in different parts of the world including India, Egypt, Rwanda, Sweden, and the USA.  As a lecturer and a seminar facilitator, she teaches servant leadership to Christian leaders in the Church and marketplace.  She is an author,  an associate pastor at Omega Gospel Mission in Washington DC,  as well as a doctoral student at Regent University in Virginia.  She has a passion to see Christians in different sectors of society equipped and empowered to do their work as ministry/worship unto the Lord.

    The third person is Steve Kennedy from the United Kingdom. Steve has been a Christian for over forty years and is active in his local church where he is licensed to minister.  He received the call to missions in the latter part of 2015 when he acted on an invitation to go overseas and visit the West African country of Sierra Leone.  This was the first of several visits there.  Steve retired from British education in December 2017 and began to do more visits to other nations in January 2018.  He has since been to Eastern Europe and the African continent to support and serve churches and other missionaries.  For over thirty years Steve has been happily married to Dawn and they are the proud parents of two grown daughters, Abigail and Naomi.  Steve has a special interest in intercessory prayer; he founded and ran a school of intercessory prayer for over ten years.

    Steve Kennedy got to know Dr. Walker many years ago when they served together for a period of time in Israel. They recently met up again, and last year Steve felt led to start International Christian Ministries in the United Kingdom.  Steve has accompanied us on a number of trips and is especially passionate about Discipling Marketplace Leaders. He has a passion for prayer and prophetic ministry and will join us as the DML Prayer Team Coordinator, helping each of our teams to be covered in prayer, and uniting us regularly to pray together.

    Please welcome these three to the DML team and keep them in your prayers as they seek to serve the Lord by helping the local Church to Reclaim the Redeemed Marketplace!
  • Discipleship Makes Her Feet Dance!

    I had to start teaching just hours after the long trip from Grand Rapids to Accra, Ghana.  I felt pretty good, but I knew it was a stretch to be my best.  It turned out well and after teaching we were to go to dinner (although I was ready to go to bed).  God’s timing does not wait for my rest!  During the dinner, a key business lady began to share her excitement about the DML message and work.  It is always nice to hear from busy people that the message is appreciated.  But my eyes (beginning to droop) snapped open when she told us that she had shared about the message and upcoming workshop of DML with another Christian business leader; she told her how work is worship and God’s plan is to disciple every member of the congregation to be disciple makers in every corner of the community.  She then really got my attention when she said this important, successful business person got up and danced at the news!  Really, I asked, they danced?  She said yes because it affirms business as a calling through which the message of making disciples is to flow. 
    At the heart of DML is discipleship. While business training is critical to our mission, discipleship is critical to God’s desire of developing ambassadors of the Good News. To make effective business people without making effective disciples is to major on the minor part.  We are all called in a variety of occupations, but also called to be disciples who make disciples. DML is first about making disciples and second about making good business practitioners. It is what makes our feet dance and our hearts sing. We love business and making disciples, and we will not do one without the other.Discipleship in the Local Church Fuels the Ministry By the end of 2018, we will have formally introduced DML in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana, with initial discussions in Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Togo.  Our focus has been on understanding the best way to introduce DML so that it is both effective and sustainable. 

    The holistic approach of integrating faith and work is becoming a major concern for churches and denominations in Africa.  Africa will double in population by 2050 and then double again by 2100 (if current projections hold true).  Economically the African economy is expected to grow 10-fold, from 1 trillion dollars now, to over 10 trillion dollars in the next 30 years. 

    The African Church understands that it cannot hide behind the walls of a building if African Christianity wants to impact the continent and world.  African church leaders have seen a correlation between church decline and increased prosperity in Europe and America.  Leaders do not want to follow the same path.  They want to move their model of church from a place to gather to a place from which to scatter.  Discipling Marketplace Leaders (DML) provides a solid Biblical basis for seeing work as a God-given directive (Gen. 1:28, 2:15).  This affirming of work as a holy calling has begun to give leaders hope that the church has relevance in a growing economy.  The rising generation wants a faith that is relevant to every area of life. DML connects the Sunday service with life lived out the other six days of the week.

    Our “official” date of launching Discipling Marketplace Leaders was 2016.  Starting with a few dozen participants in 2016 we have seen over 20,000 leaders attend one or more of our trainings in 2018.  We are now being approached by Christian leaders who want to implement the vision and ministry across their denominations.  One denomination has 10,000 churches and over 10 million members.  Another has over 5,500 churches and a million members.  Another wants to field test it in one diocese and then roll it out in other dioceses across their country.

    We have the message, we have the delivery, and we are building the structures to help implement this ministry across Africa.  But to do business training without discipleship is to take away from the church its greatest resource for sharing the love of Jesus in every community.  We desire to see every local congregation discipling every member to be released as light, salt, and leaven in every community.  Discipleship Leads to Amazing Growth (i.e. God is Good!!)The following table shows the expansion of DML over the past two years.  The cost per person per training is kept low as DML partners with other ministries rather than setting up its own organization in a country.  We also require participants to provide a portion of the training costs.  This keeps the training cost per person to under $10 per event.

    Activity 2017 (12 months)(five countries) 2018 (Jan-Sept)(seven countries) Introductory meetings/attendance for pastors and church leaders
    Not measured 231 meetings with 570 people Awareness Creation meetings/attendance (more formal 2-hour or 4-hour meetings) 8 meetingsWith 444 people 73 events with 16,404 people Two-day events/attendance for Pastors and Church Leaders 18 events With 694 people 16 events with 1,298 people Seminary Classes/students trained around the theme of DML 4 classes with43 students 9 classes with 206 students Churches using “Thirty Days in the Marketplace” 53 churches With 1694 members 36 churches with 6,383 members Total number of business people trained in one of our three training programs 558 businesses  860 businesses Business events/participants involved in advocacy 18 events with 539 participants 33 events with 1,375 participants Cities/Countries where DML is active 24 cities in five countries 47 cities in seven countries Denominations where DML is active 32 48 As you review this report, we ask you to try and look beyond the numbers to the faces of men and women who are beginning to understand the role they play in God’s economy.  They are moving out of the shadows and into the light of understanding their call to be God’s chosen ambassadors whose parish is the auto shop, corner kiosk, small market garden and hundreds of other small businesses.  It is in these places where they are in touch with thousands of vendors and customers in need of the love of Christ. The starter gun has sounded, and we have a strong surge out of the blocks.  But we know and understand that we are in a marathon race to see the local church reenergized to move from the four walls of a building to be the Church in the four corners of the community.  Your prayers and support are part of the foundation that makes this ministry possible.  On behalf of the global DML team, thank you for joining us as we seek to disciple the next generation to be God’s light in the marketplace.If you would like to support this ministry as it expands and grows in 2019, please go to and follow the prompts to give to DML, or to and select "Missionaries-Africa" and then my name (Renita Reed-Thomson).  If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to ICM and mail it to PO Box 129, Monument CO 80132, and add the code 609045 on the memo line. We thank you in advance for your prayerful consideration!