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Why I Support LIA – Jim & Jenny

September 11th, 2013 | Posted by | Home Page | Home Page | Leadership | Home Page | Pray | Home Page | Serve | USA

Since 2009, Jim and Jenny Headlee have generously donated their time, expertise and resources to advancing LIA’s ministry both in the field and among supporters. In 2012, Jim began serving on the LIA USA Advisory Council. He and Jenny are passionate about this Kingdom work.

When asked why they have chosen to walk with LIA, Jim shared these thoughts:

Several years ago, I heard a soft-spoken African woman, Dr. Florence Muindi, speak to an audience about her mission work with a quiet, yet passionate, resolve. Her ministry was not about “funding and fixing” the poor, but empowering local churches to break their community’s cycle of dependency and restore their dignity. That model was intriguing to my wife, Jenny, and me.

As a believer in Christ, and founder/CEO of an energy company operating worldwide with several hundred employees, I thought my leadership was effective, and as a Christian, mostly on target. But Dr. Muindi opened my eyes to leadership as a believer.

“What does it take to lead? Is it someone who develops an inspiring vision, formulates their strategy, mobilizes people with charisma, puts systems in place, and seeks funding?” she asks. “Do these leadership methods satisfy what God has planned for us?” She continues, “No. It is more. It takes a person who would partner with God in His purpose, search the mind of God and be willing to release his/her ambition and purpose to fully know His will and align with it.”

I certainly wasn’t thinking from quite that perspective. But as a believer, there was (truly) no reason to think differently, regardless of the organization you are leading.

Many times, we would like to bring our plans before God and seek His blessing. But Dr. Muindi reminded me it is the other way around: “God calls us to surrender our plans, then identify what He wants and sign up for that wholeheartedly.” Her humility, and consistent trust that God would invite her into His work, was something I found compelling.

Dr. Muindi and the Life In Abundance staff are walking and serving in God’s story to the poor. Across eight countries in Africa and now the Caribbean, hundreds of communities and thousands of families have been trained and empowered to break their cycle of dependency and poverty.

LIA has joined God in His work to heal emotions, share His message of redemption and affirm their dignity. This is why Jenny and I partner with LIA, and this is why we will continue to partner with LIA. I’m privileged to personally know and serve with Dr. Muindi and others on the LIA US Advisory Council and International Board.

Jim Headlee, Excited Donor and USA Council member of LIA

 



Guest post: A missions experience in Haiti

September 4th, 2013 | Posted by | Home Page | General | Haiti | Home Page | Health | Home Page | Home Page | Leadership

Ashton Curry is a LIA mission trip participant, having joined us in Haiti this summer. She shared a bit about her experience:

In May 2013, LIA sent its first mission team to Jacmel, Haiti. God blessed me with the opportunity to be the medical team’s student physical therapist.

Initially, I found a dependency and self-entitlement mindset to be common among the Haitian people and can’t help but wonder if the constant supply of free foreign aid provided as relief has facilitated this mindset. Three years after the earthquake, free handouts are still being given. In fact, local doctors are being run out of business due to free medical care. What happens when there are no medical teams or local doctors? People turn to voodoo for healing. This can’t be God’s idea of restoration.

During my time in Jacmel, I saw many broken and hurt people, but one Haitian lady opened my eyes to what God is doing in Haiti:

Before we opened the clinic each day, we hosted a lesson about common health issues the Haitian people encounter. Because many women carry heavy loads on their heads as a means of transportation, one day I demonstrated good lifting techniques to help prevent back injuries. After the demonstration, I asked if anyone had any questions or alternate ideas. An older woman raised her hand and asked, “Can someone else help you lift a heavy load?” Wow, what a simple yet profound idea that never crossed my mind! I told her she was very smart and had a fantastic idea. Her face lit up, and the Haitians started clapping for her. It was almost as if they had expected the educated American to have all the answers and that they didn’t think they could have great ideas. But that day, this lady realized her ideas were indeed great and she had something worthwhile to contribute.

Through encounters like this, I got to see how some Haitian churches are beginning to realize they can help transform their own community.

George Rono, LIA’s Haiti country director, was already connected with 42 churches in the Jacmel area, teaching them about how God wants them to live in restoration. I believe God is using LIA to transition the Haitians from a mindset of relief to restoration by equipping the local churches to make disciples and respond to community needs. Many pastors, church members and translators were active in our medical clinic by being eager to learn and serve. We even got to work alongside Haitian nurses. They are being empowered, and God is using LIA as that empowerment tool!