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Active Territory – Rumbek, South Sudan

July 13th, 2017 | Posted by | Uncategorized

The Birth of CHEEM in South Sudan

When the Lord opened the door for us to enter Rumbek in 2012, we knew the work was going to be difficult, but could not have anticipated the challenges we would face through the years. Although we were working in a number of countries in various communities, seeing poverty in its many forms, this was one of the few places that we were called to serve where tribal war and political unrest would be such a stronghold to overcome.

Rumbek, a rural area within the state-lakes region of South Sudan, has suffered at the hands of tribal war now for over a decade. Young men from within the community turn to violence using cattle raiding, cattle theft, and revenge killing as the only way of solving their disputes, which causes instability and displacement within the villages.

Most NGO’s and humanitarian agencies are unable to work under such distressful conditions, causing them to only operate within the urban areas where security is available. Because of this, schools and health centers have become abandoned within the village. Nearly all families within the rural area live under the chronic poverty line and cannot afford urban school fees and health services—fracturing the very social fabric of the community that allows individuals to have their basic needs met.

South Sudanese women and children are the very ones that pay the highest price during this tribal chaos and are the ones who are most vulnerable to physical and emotional sickness, poverty, and premature death. Traumatized by the war, many of them suffer from lack of self-worth and feel hopeless by not having the capacity to bring change to their own lives and family.

As we met with local churches, we held a vision seminar for all who were interested in implementing our model. Through leader development, we equipped and trained the pastors and local leaders to conduct surveys within their community and strategize how they were going to meet the most felt needs of the surrounding community. It was clear that health service and education were the ways in which they were going to engage the community.

Five years later, 30 churches have been empowered and 250 local leaders have been trained to initiate church-based development. More than 15,000 sick people every year are served by two health posts and 405 vulnerable children are being provided with primary-level education.

We are now excited to share that the local leadership within Rumbek has birthed and registered Christian Health and Education Empowerment Ministry (CHEEM) on February 15, 2017 as the faith-based organization working with churches addressing the economic challenges in the area. This includes providing basic quality education and health care services to the poor and vulnerable families as a sustainability tool for transformation and empowerment to the community at large in Rumbek.

The partner churches—through the community committee along with the Training of Trainers (TOT) graduates have made encouraging steps towards self-reliance and ownership of the program in the midst of war and displacement. As we celebrate the birth and registration of CHEEM, we are calling all of our partners to pray for this sustainable initiative, as a lot still remains to be done for the work in Rumbek to be sustainable.

To read through our full 2016 Annual Report with additional stories like the CHEEM in Rumbek—CLICK HERE



Prove It!

October 28th, 2016 | Posted by | Uncategorized

 Dr. Florence

by Dr. Florence Muindi with Introduction by Tom Bassford

 Introduction

“Are we as good as our marketing?”  Are we really creating sustainable change or are we just simply wrapping new versions of relief and betterment in the language of “sustainable transformation” and selling that to donors to raise the next round of dollars?

One of the disappointing realities that I’ve faced being a part of the church world is that we don’t always live up to our own theology about truth and integrity when it comes to marketing what we’re trying to do.  It’s as if we have convinced ourselves that the end justifies the means and therefore we don’t need objective, evidence-based evaluation of our work.  Anecdotes are enough…all other inquiries are unwelcome.

But I would argue that both the moral integrity of the church as well as the good we seek to do are at stake.  We must not only open ourselves to the research and critical evaluation of outside entities as a way to validate both the success and shortcomings of our work but seek it out and embed it in the very DNA of what we do.  Sure, we may have to adjust some of our marketing, admit some failures and even tweak our models but no endeavor, no matter how worthy, moves forward for long that isn’t grounded in an evidence-based reality of truth.  Come on church!  After all we are the ones who preach, “The truth shall set you free.”  Let’s take our own advice and lead the way by adopting a more evidence-based approach to the good we are trying to do.

Dr. Florence Muindi spoke at this year’s SATtalks about the work they are doing through Life In Abundance and one of the things I was deeply impressed with was her example of engaging an outside organization to evaluate the effectiveness of their work.  I asked her to write a short article about the courage it took and here’s her story…

Tom Bassford

Life In Abundance – Measuring Impact

 “Joshua, be strong and brave! You must lead these people so they can take the land that I promised their fathers I would give them. Be strong and brave. Be sure to obey all the teachings my servant Moses gave you. If you follow them exactly, you will be successful in everything you do.”   –  Joshua 1:6-8

Many of us in the mission field can relate to this passage, whether we are standing alone or side by side with a brother, sister or spouse, we feel as if the Lord is charging us to be strong, brave and to obey the calling He has on our lives.

I remember walking through the streets of Ethiopia as a missionary some 20 years ago and feeling completely overwhelmed by the needs I saw everywhere.  The realization came over me how ill equipped I was and that I could not do this on my own.  There had to be a better way and I found myself opening up to the idea that God might want to do something new.  It was then I let go and allowed God to take hold of my ministry and breath life into it by refocusing our efforts.

Overnight the mission and vision of Life In Abundance became clear… we were to challenge the local church and empower her to become the agent of change within the community. Although the new direction came overnight it took years of hard work, courage and obedience to work out the model and see the long-term impact.

As we journeyed with the Lord, He counseled and realigned along the way.  The ministry grew and so did the need for council, new board members and greater accountability for outcomes and long-term planning purposes.

Stories of change and empowerment began to roll in from community to community and we could not have been happier. For 20 years we marched on into battle while doors continued to open for countries that we never imagined we would be serving. Communities were being transformed and they were able to sustain themselves without our involvement. It felt as though the Lord had shown us a promise land for this ministry and we had arrived.  Success! Good job, “well done good and faithful servant”; something we all long to hear from our Heavenly Father.

And yet God is forever at work, refining the good work that He has begun in our personal lives as well as our ministry.  So it was with Life in Abundance, He was not finished refining us and just like our early steps of faith into a new model this refinement process took courage and obedience.

In 2015 as we set around the table with our board and strategic partners we were given a challenge unlike any we had encountered to date.  These wise and invested leaders challenged us to open our model and our claims of success to an outside organization for evaluation and validation of our claims.  Here’s what they said:

We have walked with Life in Abundance, we know you, we believe in your mission & model – but for the longevity of Life in Abundance… if you are going to come to the table and talk “community transformation” and “sustainable impact”, you need more than anecdotal evidence of success.  We advise that you a have study done of your work – measure the impact…”

You can imagine our concern.  What if the report does not capture what we believe the work is doing?  And then a whole stream of questions coming from a place of fear and uncertainty…Why do we need to prove something that we know works? What was the purpose of the study? Was it for validation or exaltation? Is it our concern or purpose to know the full fruit of our labor? Will this study derail the work we are called to do?

My life’s work! 20 years of it now put under certain scrutiny and knowing full well that we would need to be prepared to make adjustments to the model if the results were less than our expectations.  But God is faithful and once again He affirmed original challenge… “Be strong and brave, and obey.”

So, in June and July of 2015, we invited the Institute for Urban Initiatives to embark on a focused study to examine the extent to which our model of development has a lasting impact on the communities we served.  We settled in our hearts that, whatever the outcome, we would take it as Word from the Lord and make the necessary changes.  We would not claim something to be true that could not stand the scrutiny of honest evaluation.  After all, we are a people who believe the truth will set us free!  It is important for us to say this because the world is looking at the church and it expects us to be true and transparent with our claims.

screen-shot-10-20-16-at-02-14-pm

When the results came back we were overjoyed, they exceeded our expectations! We could not have written a better story or shared a testimony that would have done what this report has done for us. For 20 years we had only anecdotal evidence that our work was successful and had long-term, sustainable impact. But now there is evidence; written, documented proof that the church can be the agent of lasting change in a community. (To read the full report Click Here)

This whole process not only shined a light on the impact of our model but it has taught us the value of measuring results and opening ourselves to the evaluation of an outside organization.  It took courage and obedience to take this step but in doing so it has given us an even greater zeal for the work we are doing.  It has also reminded us that if we obey and heed the words to be strong and brave, He will do the rest.

 

 

Watch Dr. Muindi’s 2016 SATtalk – “The Bride Is the Hero”

SAT Talks 2016 – Dr. Florence Muindi from Significant Matters on Vimeo.



A testimony for many in Kisumu, Kenya

May 12th, 2016 | Posted by | Kenya | Kenya | Kenya Blog | Kisumu

Norah

When Norah first visited the Gospel Revival Church in Kisumu, Kenya she could never have imagined she would find herself standing in a room full of women telling her story or how much her story would become a testimony for so many lives.

Originally from Uganda, Norah met her husband in Kenya and they moved to Kisumu to start their lives as a married couple. Together they opened up a thrift store and sold second hand shoes and clothes that provided an income that was more than enough for them to live comfortably.

Norah admits, “life was good then, we had all we needed and in the evening my husband and I would lay together and dream of our future, goals, and the family we hoped to grow.”

Before long, Norah gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby girl. They named her Mary, after her grandmother, and watched her grow as she spoke her first words and took her first steps.

It seemed as though their dreams were unfolding before them, but Norah’s husband suddenly fell ill. Unsure of the cause, they quickly determined, after running tests on him, that his immune system was severely depleted due to HIV Aids.

As is standard practice, the doctor requested that she get tested also. The results were in and she too had contracted HIV.

Soon after their diagnosis, her husband passed away forcing her to close up shop and move herself and her baby girl to a home that she could afford.

Somehow, Norah had to pull herself back together as a newly widowed mother with no family support. The pressure was too much and it sent her into deep depression causing her to develop stomach ulcers, which required surgical attention.

During this time her in-laws came to visit and decided she wasn’t fit to raise her baby girl, who thankfully had not contracted the HIV virus. They took Mary back with them along with most of her husband’s property, feeling that she was not entitled to it sense she was a foreigner.

Widow Support Group

It had been some time since she had stepped foot in a church. She never really felt the need to attend, but her circumstances were to grave to bear alone.

As she stood in front of the widow’s support group and told her story, Norah thought she would feel shame and guilt. However, as she continued to explain how she no longer gets to see her daughter, how God has brought her back to church, and by the grace of God she was now putting her life back together, she was gripped by the love and care the support group was wrapping around her.

Gospel Revival Center is one of LIA Kenya’s partner churches. We have held several transformational development trainings, all of which Norah has attended. She has now become a community spokesperson or what we call a TOT (Trainer of Trainers).

To everyone she meets, Norah continues to tell her story of transformation and empowerment and how through the Gospel Revival Center she has developed new skills which now allow her to support herself, members of her community, and even send some money to help support her daughter. More importantly, Norah says, “ not everything is perfect but I’ve learned that I’m not alone, I have found God and I have found a community that loves and cares for each other.”



Launching Phase 3

April 30th, 2016 | Posted by | LIA News | Events | Kenya | LIA News | Uncategorized

IMG_4866

“Walking this ground and knowing that in 60 weeks this project will be completed stands as a testament to the faithfulness of God” – Dr. Florence Muindi

On April 7th Life in Abundance broke ground on the 3rd and final phase of the LIA Center in Kenya. Dr. Florence Muindi, President and CEO of Life In Abundance International and Dr. Samuel Mwangi, Chairman of the Building Committee and a member of the LIA International Board had the honor launching the project.

Many years ago, Dr. Florence Muindi, LIA’s founding president/CEO took a prayer walk along Lake Langano in Ethiopia. During that time, God asked her to dip her hand in the sand and grab a fistful. HE then revealed to her, “As many as are the grains of sand in your hand, so will be the leaders who will be empowered through the work of Life in Abundance”.

Phase 3 Ground BreakingDr. Florence Muindi and Dr. Samuel Mwangi breaking ground on Phase 3 site

The LIA Centers in Kenya and Jamaica are the establishment of God’s words to Dr. Muindi at Lake Langano. LIA’s training centers serve to train churches, organizations and community leaders around the world in LIA’s community development model and how to implement it in their own communities.

Phase 3 of the LIA Center, Kenya will be the accommodation wing for the center, having 21 rooms with a few additional meeting rooms and lounges. It has been a wonderful journey of faith as we work to see the LIA Center building project completed.

Phase 3ALIA Center Kenya Phase 3

As we broke ground for Phase 3 of the LIA Center, Kenya on April 7th, we were humbled and in awe of how far we have come and how many communities and lives will be changed and transformed from this place.

IMG_4821Dr. Florence Muindi and James Gatere handing over building project to the contractor

LIACenterPhase 1 & 2 of LIA Center Kenya



When Faith Intersects with Development

April 20th, 2016 | Posted by | Uncategorized

Sustainable impact in the Community Work of Life in Abundance International
Nairobi, Kenya, January 12, 2016:

Lia Community Impact

LIA Community Impact
“The Overall conclusion is clear: the community work established by LIA continues to flourish even after LIA is no longer present.” In all the sites we visited, there is no question that the people are engaged in effective and transformative ways to bring change to their communities.” – Urban Initiatives.

During June and July of 2015, Life in Abundance International (LIA) reached out to Urban Initiatives to facilitate a focused study on the countries that have been impacted by the community work of LIA and to verify the long-term sustainable impact their “wholistic” model has had on the most vulnerable families and children within those communities. The results were astonishing and monumental, not only were the communities able to sustain the work LIA had partnered with in initiating, but had surpassed those efforts and continued to develop their own initiatives once LIA had passed the baton. Education, environmental transformation, social engagement and spiritual transformation were all areas that were positively affected and forever changed by the work LIA.

About LIA
Life in Abundance (LIA) is a non-government organization (NGO) whose mission is “to mobilize the local Church to restore health, renew hope, and inspire lasting transformation for the world’s most vulnerable children and families”. Life in Abundance currently works in Africa and the Caribbean, with a pilot program in the US. Since 2000, LIA has partnered with foundations, churches and individual donors to implement development projects that not only transform individuals, but also result in lasting change for their communities. To view the full report Click Here to download the PDF.



LIA Center, Kenya Groundbreaking – April 7th 2016

March 10th, 2016 | Posted by | LIA News | Events | Home Page | LIA News | Uncategorized
Proposed LIA Center, Kenya

Proposed LIA Center, Kenya

Many years ago, Dr. Florence Muindi, LIA’s founding president/CEO took a prayer walk along Lake Langano in Ethiopia. During that time, God asked her to dip her hand in the sand and grab a fistful. HE then revealed to her, “As many as are the grains of sand in your hand, so will be the leaders who will be empowered through the work of Life in Abundance”.

The LIA Centers in Kenya and Jamaica are the establishment of God’s words to Dr. Muindi at Lake Langano. LIA’s training centers serve to train churches, organizations and community leaders around the world with LIA’s community development model and how to implement it in their own communities. This is a model that has been implemented, refined, monitored, evaluated and replicated with hundreds of churches in twelve countries across Africa and the Caribbean.

Ground Breaking

Former LIA International Board Chairman Dr. Peter Okalet and Dr. Florence Muindi with members of the LIA Senior Leadership Team at the Phase 1 & Phase 2 groundbreaking ceremony on May 4th 2014.

We know first-hand that training is the key factor to empowering people to participate in and own the transformation of their community. This is why developing our training centers is central to the mission of LIA. It is our goal that through our training centers, ministries in various communities, countries and continents can be equipped to serve the poor and the vulnerable for the long term.

Clerk of Works, Nelson

Nelson, the Clerk of Works overseeing construction of Phase 1 & 2

On April 7th Life in Abundance will be breaking ground on the 3rd and final phase of the LIA Center in Kenya. Phase 3 will be the accommodation wing for the center, having 21 rooms with a few additional meeting rooms and lounges. It has been a wonderful journey of faith as we work to see the LIA Center building project completed and we continue to see the favor of God on this vision. We’re most grateful to the partners and friends of LIA who have believed in this vision and have come alongside us to cater for 45% of the building cost of Phase 3. This is no small miracle and we are so grateful.

We still have a long way to go and funding for the building project is still coming in. So please celebrate with us as we break ground on April 7th and pray for God’s hand to be on all aspects of this project: from the provision of funding, to the approval of plans, to the laying of bricks. Thank you for choosing to be a part of this journey with us.

LIA Center, Kenya

Life in Abundance Center, Kenya

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the project.

 

 

 



LIA-US Team Memo

February 23rd, 2016 | Posted by | Home Page | Leadership | LIA News | USA

We are overjoyed and humbled at what God has accomplished through the work of Life in Abundance (LIA) the past few decades. We have high hopes and eager expectations for what the Lord will bring to fruition as we continue to put our hand to the plow the coming seasons. As we deepen our impact within the countries we serve, strengthen and grow our partnerships and finish our 2014 – 2016 strategic plan, we approach the Father’s throne with boldness, confident that He will provide exceedingly and abundantly what we ask according to His will – to God be the glory.

As with any ministry, we have teams in place with talented and impassioned people that support the work that we are called to do. We are incredibly grateful for each sibling of the Kingdom that makes up our diverse and unified family.

We want to take this time to introduce our LIA-US Team, whose home base is established in Louisville, Kentucky. Our LIA-US Team holds a place near and dear to our heart and plays a critical role within the ministry of LIA. We took the time to interview each team member and asked them to explain their role within LIA, what aspect of the model and mission resonates most with them and what they look forward to in the days ahead.

Join us as we celebrate these family members and pray the Lord would bestow His favor and blessing on their families and give them clarity and vision in the roles they serve within Life in Abundance.

 

carley_feild

Carley Buckingham | Executive Director

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

Leading and shepherding our LIA-US team. Our role in serving the whole consist of walking with the partners the Lord has gifted us; individuals, Churches & Foundations, telling the real-time-story of LIA, advocating, walking with folks who say “Yes Lord” to partnering with us in Short Term Mission opportunities. It’s joy, pure joy to advance alongside our LIA-US team.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

I love the local church, I honor and hold high the way the Trinity imagined the local church to lead, shepherd, serve, restore, heal, encourage, enrich communities – LIA holds high this picture of the local church, her role in a community, believing we don’t need to reinvent systems and structures to restore communities – the Father has already designed it LIA simply chooses to partner with His original design. It’s beautiful, just stunning when you really see this at work for the first time – I remember walking the roads of Kisumu, Kenya when this “clicked” for me – I stopped in my tracks…”this works, this really works, this is His design…”

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

I’m excited about the deeper work. LIA has spent it’s initial 25 years establishing the work – in the years ahead it’s time to deepen the work, to lean into the countries/territories the Lord has gifted us and pick up the plow in new communities. For example, in one country we may be active in 3-5 communities, I dream of the days we’ll be active in 30-40 communities. In fact, we have communities who are “in waiting” who have learned of our work and have requested we come to their community and walk with them. As the Lord grows & strengthens partnerships, would we continue to steward well His resources and advance His work in the communities He calls us to.

 

amy_field

Amy Walker | Church & Missions Engagement Director

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

In this role, I have the honor of engaging with our church and para-church partners—cultivating & strengthening existing partnerships and cultivating new relationships.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

LIA has had a huge influence on my perspective of the local church’s role in the community regardless of where you are in the world. I love that every LIA project is implemented through the local church and this positions the church to be the light and hope in a community and promotes unity in the body of Christ.

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

First, I have the honor of spending the next few weeks traveling with Dr. Florence to visit different partners throughout the country.  I am excited to personally meet some of our church partners and to learn from Dr. Florence how to cultivate LIA’s relationships. Second, I love the people that the Lord has brought to the LIA-US team and I’m excited to see how He grows the capacity of the ministry.

 

Jay Muindi

Jay Muindi | Advancement Director

(1)What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

My role is to ensure that we do a good job stewarding the wonderful relationships and partnerships the Lord has brought our way. Part of my role is to strategically develop ways to engage with our foundation partners, donors or anyone interested in walking with us in service of the poor and vulnerable in the communities we serve.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

LIA works to ensure that communities are self sufficient through “wholistic” development. Meaning we not only work to address the physical/material needs of a person or community (food, water, shelter etc.), but we also seek to affect the spirit and the mind, meeting the needs of the whole person. For it is in the wholistic transformation of a person that we believe people truly find dignity and purpose. I see this as the embodiment of Isaiah 61, and that resonates with me.

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

I am most excited to see what relationships God brings our way this year as we work to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable around the world. Already, within the first two months, we have made amazing connections in Sicily as the LIA model is being used to address the refugee crisis and in Burundi, a country that is in a very difficult spot at the moment. In line with our 2014-2016 Strategic Plan, we will also be starting programs in Burundi, Uganda and DR Congo as well as expanding our partnership operations in Europe.

 

Jordan with orphans

Jordan McGuire | Short Term Missions Coordinator

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

I coordinate with our church and para-church partners to go on short-term trips to see and participate in our work on the field.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

I resonate the most with how the LIA model focuses on the whole person. To focus simply on the material aspect of development or to focus simply on the spiritual aspect of the person, I think it can miss the whole of the gospel.  God is restoring people to right relationships with Him, where they find their dignity in Him, and can serve His Kingdom through sustaining themselves and helping to bring restoration to others.

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

I am excited to see teams return from their trips and apply what they learned to their own contexts, communities and cities.

joy

 

Joy Peterson | Executive Assistant

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

I assist the US Executive Director with high-level projects as well as manage the daily tactical operations of the LIA-US Office.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

The transformational development model of LIA is a powerful framework for sustainable work rooted in the Gospel and empowered by the local church.  It is effective because it addresses the root causes of poverty while breaking cycles of dependency and restoring a person’s God-given dignity.

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

The hope of the Gospel is for all people. I’m excited to see this hope come to the refugees pouring into Sicily through pastors trained by LIA, and this same hope come to hard places like Rwanda and Bruindi as we move into the Lakes Region. Beyond all of this, I’m most excited to see prayer continue to be the foundation for all that we receive vision for and put our hand to.

 

WelFam-ready

Nicole Welty | Finance Manager

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

I am in charge of record keeping, reporting, and advising.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

I love that the model is set up to truly encourage growth. There is no plan to stay in a community long term, which helps the communities truly become self sufficient and real change to occur.

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

I am truly excited about the financial position of LIA. The new financial processes are healthy and I cannot wait to see how God will continue to bless LIA.

 

Steven and Amy

Steven Walker | Communications Director

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

I am commissioned to tell the story of God’s work through Life in Abundance. I oversee all communication pieces i.e. website, social media platforms, print and digital marketing materials.

 (2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

At the heart of sustainable transformational development is the testimony of God’s grace in my life. He is the God that sustains me (Psalm 54:4), transforms me (Romans 12:2) and equips me (Hebrews 13:21) to glorify His name and testify to His goodness. As we serve the poor and the vulnerable (Galatians 2:10), we declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. (Psalm 96:3). The model and mission of LIA is essentially the mission of Jesus. We are transformed from within and then disciple our neighbors while impacting the community around us. The model just works.

 (3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

I give God praise for allowing me to be a part of this ministry. He is beyond imagination. I look forward to the impact the training centers will have on leadership teams as they are equipped to bring sustainable transformation to their communities. I also look forward to visiting Africa and seeing the work of LIA first hand. It will be glorious! My prayer for this year would be, as it reads in 2 Corinthians 3:18, we with unveiled faces would contemplate the Lord’s glory and be transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.

 

yonas_family

Yonas Melesse | Grants & Compliance Manager

(1) What’s your role on the LIA-US team?

My role is proposing and managing grants from a variety of foundation, church and para-church organizations. I am responsible for researching grants, writing letters of intent, proposals and grant reports to donors.

(2) What about the mission and model do you most resonate with?

I have been inspired by LIA’s commitment and strategies in empowering the local church as a means to attain sustainable community transformation. When I was working as a Program Manager in LIA-Ethiopia Country Office, I noticed that the local churches that received training and support from LIA started community outreach activities that actually granted them acceptance and recognition in their communities, and of course opened doors for them to do evangelism freely – the core of their existence!

(3) As you look to the days ahead, what are you most excited about?

I am so excited that new partners are being added to our grant maker portfolio and LIA is currently strengthening its internal capacity to enhance fund-raising capabilities by improving its communications with partners and implementing impactful programs in countries where we operate.

 



President’s Annual Letter – Vision 2016

February 5th, 2016 | Posted by | Home Page | Events | Home Page | General | Home Page | LIA News

Dr. Florence

Dear Partners & Friends,

Since the birth of LIA in 1995, beginning our work among the Maasai in Kenya, establishing LIA-Ethiopia in 2000 and dedicating the LIA Training Center Kenya in 2015, our mission remains unchanged as we continue to serve the poor and the vulnerable. In faith, we travel this journey to fulfill this mission, and continue to partner with the Lord as He establishes His kingdom on earth.

The Lord has granted Life in Abundance a clear vision for 2016, which can be summed up into three assignments:

Deepening Our Impact

The Lord has been gracious to us and has allowed LIA to expand into ten countries across Africa and the Caribbean. This year our assignment is to grow in depth and fruitfulness as we deepen our impact in the current countries we serve.

In addition, we will focus our efforts on strengthening our training centers in Kenya and Jamaica.

We know first-hand that training is the key factor to empowering people to participate in and own the transformation of their community. This is why developing our training centers is central to the mission of LIA. It is our goal that through our training centers, ministries in various communities, countries and continents can be equipped to serve the poor and the vulnerable for the long term.

Growing our Partnerships

As we stand in awe of what God has accomplished through the work of LIA in 2015, we also give the Lord praise for connecting us with partners who share in our vision and work. With the Lord’s favor, we will focus on strengthening and growing our partnerships in the United States and Europe.

This spring and fall marks two seasons when we will visit and further cultivate relationships with our partners. This will be a time of intense travel for our leadership and the US team. Please pray for guidance and favor as we set schedules around these seasons, asking that God will open doors and lead us, for His glory.

Additionally, in September 2016, LIA will be hosting an event for all of our church partners. This will be a time of envisioning, networking, mutual encouragement and fellowship as we all gather around a single table. This will be a significant two-day event with great opportunity. Join us as we dedicate this event for kingdom purpose.

As the story of God’s work through Life in Abundance unfolds, our prayer for 2016 is that our partners will bare witness to lives sustainably transformed as we serve the poor and the vulnerable for His glory.

Completing the Strategy

In 2014, our Senior Leadership Team in partnership with our International Board formalized a three-year strategic plan. We have seen great accomplishments over the last two years, and our desire is to finish strong.

The major elements of the strategic plan yet to be accomplished are:

  • Completing Phase 3 of LIA Training Center, Kenya
  • Establishing Blue Wings Aviation
  • Implementing LIA’s model of transformative development in Uganda and Burundi

While there is much to be accomplished, we serve a God that is mighty and able, and we are ready to see the wonders God has in store for us.

As we look to 2016, our mission remains steadfast while we serve along side the poor and the vulnerable in the dominion the Lord has given us. We shall declare His glory and facilitate his marvelous deeds among his people. We shall see life come in fullness in our acreage. The Lord will establish His kingdom as we put our hands to our plow in 2016. Amen.

In Christ,

MuindiSignature-no background copy

Dr. Florence Muindi
President/CEO
Life in Abundance International



Q&A with Joy Peterson; LIA’s new Executive Assistant

December 17th, 2015 | Posted by | LIA News | Uncategorized | USA

Joy Peterson joins LIA’s USA team to serve as our new Executive Assistant. We are so thrilled to have Joy as part of our US team and we asked her a few questions so that you may get to know a little more about what drew her to LIA.

Tell us about your calling and conviction to serve the Kingdom.  What were you doing before LIA?
The beauty of the gospel is in the power that saves us and also sustains us. Daily I’m reminded of the grace on my life. In that covering, I am learning to lay down my life for others.

Personally, my calling has never been attached to a vocation or even to a specific ministry, but is an overflow of my heart. As I’m being discipled and refined by the Trinity, I’m able to serve and walk with others. My heart has been broken for women whose only hope is Jesus. I love seeing how the gospel shapes lives and gives hope to our brokenness.

Before joining LIA, I served at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY as the HR Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant to the Lead Team Pastor of Operations.

What drew you to LIA?
While working at Southeast, I observed LIA through the Missions Ministry. I began learning how the transformational development model of LIA is a powerful framework for sustainable work rooted in the Gospel and empowered by the local church. I was excited for the opportunity to join in with the work being accomplished and help advance the kingdom through tactical support with the US team.

What are you most looking forward to in your role with LIA?
It’s humbling to step into a ministry with a long history of prayer, sacrifice and steadfastness in the Lord. I’m excited to serve with brothers and sisters across cultures and countries all united under the name of Jesus.

Joy & family

What do you do other than work on the operation side for LIA?
I am married to Eric, and we have the amazing privilege of raising three girls, Alexa (14), Kiera (10) and Avery (9). This season of life is full of transporting kids that have a far more exciting social calendar than I do.

 



Q&A with Amy Walker; LIA’s Director of Church and Missions Engagement

December 10th, 2015 | Posted by | Uncategorized

Initially serving as LIA’s Teams Coordinator, Amy Walker, has now stepped into her new role as Director of Church and Missions Engagement. We’re excited to have Amy stepping into this new role and we thought to ask her a few questions so that you may get to know her a little better.

Kenya field pic

Amy during a mission trip to Kenya

Tell us about your calling and conviction to serve the Kingdom.  What were you doing before LIA.

    My calling and conviction to serve and advance the Kingdom started when I was baptized into Christ. When you come to the realization of his Kingdom and what it is about, what other response do you have other than give your life to advancing it? Honestly, I never thought I would be serving the Kingdom by serving and working for a ministry. Before coming to LIA, I worked at the corporate office of a local bank in their marketing department. I am humbled daily that the Lord has brought me into the LIA family.

What drew you to LIA?

    In 2010, I took my first mission trip to Kenya to serve alongside Life in Abundance. On that trip, I had the opportunity to not only hear about LIA’s model, but to see it in action. I took another short-term trip in 2011 and then participated in the Mi2 internship for the summer of 2012.

    My favorite aspect of LIA’s model is how we partner with and work through the local church. Experiencing this model of empowerment and community transformation was a game changer for me and has forever changed and shaped my perspective of how to engage in local and international missions.

What are you most looking forward to in your role with LIA?

    Before I began overseeing church and para-church partnerships with LIA, I served as the Teams Coordinator. In that role, I was able to begin developing relationships with the folks that work for our church partners. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to use my super relational personality to grow and strengthen those relationships and to do life with my brothers and sisters. Another aspect I’m looking forward to is developing new paths of engagement with our church and para-church partners.

 DSC_0056 3Amy with her husband Steve

What do you do other than oversee partnerships for LIA?

I just got married 8 months ago (yeah!!) so my husband, Steve, and I have been in a sweet season of being newlyweds. Steve and I have recently started attending a new church so we are building community and planting roots there. I love spending time in nature, cooking, reading, and drinking a great cup of coffee.