A Message from Eric
Exciting news: Kurt and I are taking a team to Burkina Faso in late July!! Our team includes Mark Downs, Clay Hume, and Marie Kuster—three DC grads. After our trips to northern Ghana in 2015 and 2016, we’ll be working again with Francis & Pamela Bukachi’s ministry, Hope Alive Initiatives (HAI). Kurt & I met Francis five years ago in Louisville. HAI's focus is empowering people to minister in many arenas—from schools to business, from dental to vision, from starting new churches to making disciple-makers. And that's why we're so excited to partner with them! (You can read my accounts of our first two trips on my blog: http://schansblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/taking-dc-to-ghana-2015-observations.html and http://schansblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/ghana-2016.html.)
HAI ministers to churches which are blessed with many converts. But most of the leaders are newer believers—and need to be strengthened in their faith, the Scriptures, and the disciple-making model of Jesus. They have relatively little in terms of Biblical worldview, Christian theology, and the ability to disciple others effectively. As such, our training and the DC28:20—Getting Equipped curriculum (the lighter, 36-week version) are a great fit for helping them build up believers, equip Kingdom workers, and fulfill Ephesians 4:11-16 and all of the Great Commission.
Francis is led to work in areas where Muslims are the majority. In northern Ghana and Burkina Faso, the Muslims and Christians get along well at present—with Muslims even attending Christian schools. We pray that these relationships would develop further. The leaders in Ghana have led the trainings in Burkina Faso—part of that multiplication we seek!
As we go to a new country, we again look forward to equipping Christians to more effectively share the love and grace of God with their neighbors. One new challenge: Burkina Faso is a former French colony and French is the dominant European language. Francis’ team has already had DC28:20 translated into French. Marie is a native French speaker; Mark and I will get to dust off our years of high school French; and well, you probably just need to pray for Clay and Kurt!
We will get to train dozens of leaders for 4-5 days, replicating what we’ve done in previous years: Identity in Christ, Spiritual Warfare, a “Freedom Appointment”, an Intro to Hermeneutics, teaching on Genesis 3, and small-group simulations. (They will prepare two weeks of material before we get there—on leadership and managing conflict—and we’ll “run” two sessions of DC with them.) In small groups, we’ll also use DC material to talk about marriage and personal finance/stewardship.
If you’re interesting in financially supporting the trip, you can send a check to SECC Missions (920 Blankenbaker Pkwy; Louisville, KY 40243), designating it for me and Burkina Faso—or give on-line (secc.servicereef.com/events/southeast-christian/burkino-faso-dc/participants/ZSchansberg). Our first deadline for financial support is May 3rd for the first half (and July 11th for the remainder).
Beyond your financial support, we crave your prayers. We’ll work hard to make our plans, but we’ll need to be flexible and rely intensely on the Spirit for guidance. We’ll do what we can, but we need the Lord to go before us to open ears, clear minds, and soften hearts. We’ll train leaders, but we’ll also have a number of divine appointments—from adults as we travel to children in the street. We’ll teach, but we’ll surely be taught much as well. Pray that we’re open to the Spirit; pray for God’s hand of protection on our health and strength; and pray that His will would be done in the Church in Burkina Faso. Thanks for your love, your prayers, and your support!
Grace and peace, eric