The Lausanne Standards Movement has selected 14 key international leaders to serve as the voice on the issue of the global church’s role in health and development. These leaders are representatives from America (4), Australia, Russia, Peru, Europe (2), Caribbean, Africa (3) and India. Dr. Florence Muindi, President/ CEO, has been chosen to serve in this network because of the exemplary work Life In Abundance International has been able to accomplish in the African and Caribbean nations through the local church.
The First International Congress on World Evangelization in 1974 was a landmark event in the history of the Church, resulting in the Lausanne Covenant, the Manila Manifesto and the Cape Town Commitment. The Lausanne Covenant “has helped to define evangelical theology and practice, and has set the stage for many new partnerships and alliances.” The Lausanne Movement’s distinct call is to connect influencers and ideas for global mission. Lausanne’s 36 active Issue Networks provide insight for challenges facing the global Church and allow members to share how those issues are being addressed and contextualized within their own regions.
One of the greatest challenges facing the Church is the lack of action to help people everywhere live lives of health and wholeness (Shalom). This was at the very heart of Jesus’ ministry on earth as demonstrated by His integration of His preaching, teaching, discipling, with works of deliverance and healing. This complete integration is rarely demonstrated in the activities of the global Church. Western attempts have been represented by what is commonly referred to as “medical missions” with a strong emphasis on curative care that relies mainly on sick people coming to healthcare facilities that have been built so that they can receive high quality treatment for their disease. This tends to cause those we seek to reach with the Gospel to praise the technology we depend, completely ignoring the spiritual aspect of the disease. On the other extreme—healing ministries of the Church that rely solely on prayer and perhaps anointing with oil to affect a healing of the diseased person deny that our current healthcare resources are God given and complementary to prayer and supplication. Beyond the Church, many Christians still seek the services of traditional healers who rely on satanic sources for treating those suffering from physical illnesses.
The newly activated Health and Development Issue Network aims to:
Connect Christian Global Health leaders and influencers to
Collaborate and share ideas and innovations about how to more fully and effectively integrate ministries of health, healing and wholeness into the work of the Church in order to
Contribute to making Christ known among ALL people.
LIA is honored to be selected as a voice in this global movement, and privileged to be among the 14 prestigious global leaders chosen.
Carley Buckingham joined the LIA team as the Director of Operations at the beginning of April.
She will be working closely with Tom Kemner. Carley is equipped with 15 years of finance, accounting, HR and leadership experience.
We asked Carley to share a bit about herself so you might get to know a bit more about her:
Tell us about your calling and conviction to serve the Kingdom. What were you doing before LIA? I desire no other path than to serve the Kingdom vocationally, pastorally, and as I go daily. I met Jesus in the local church (Southeast Christian Church) at the age of 15 – baptized in the Gulf of Mexico at 17 and began a relentless pursuit of the purest desire to (1) Align with the Trinity (2) Walk as Jesus walked (3) Advance His Kingdom. Given His grace poured out over my life, I have deep love for alignment with the Trinity as well as the local church.
I called Southeast Christian Church my church home for ten years before serving as HR Director at SECC. To call one place home for an extended time, to meet Jesus there, to advance His Kingdom and to tangibly see the beauty of “one another”—it was a pure joy and delight.
Southeast is also where I met Life In Abundance. This is another of the good gifts and strategic gifts I received from Him hands!
What drew you to LIA? While serving in HR at Southeast, I also provided oversight to our Internship Program. In 2008 we were in the process of reworking our internship experience, and wanted to add a missions component. I went to Ben Thornley who serves on the Missions team and simply confessed, “I know very little about missions, models, methods, etc., however the Leadership Team has been prayerful in overhauling the Internship experience and we would like to add a mission trip/mission experience to their year…” Within a matter of minutes Ben cast vision for a healthy missions model and recommended our Interns to see and experience the work of LIA boots-on-the-ground.
In February 2009 we embarked on our maiden voyage of inviting our interns annually to partner with the Lord and the work of LIA in Kenya – to date serving in 3 regions, Thika, Makueni and Kisumu.
The model the Lord has given Dr. Muindi is God-breathed. I’ve served on teams that entered communities that are new early in their transformational partnership with LIA, and I’ve served on teams where LIA is in the process of phasing out. I can testify to communities being transformed, hope being breathed, empowerment, sustainability, and the local church championed and Jesus reigning.
What are you most looking forward to in your role with LIA? Where do I begin and how do I choose? I look forward to so many things. Firstly, partnering with the Lord as He builds the US team and expands it’s capacity to serve the program staff. Secondly, telling the powerful and evolving story of LIA to those who have emotionally and spiritually invested in the ministry. Thirdly, casting vision and seeing the tent expand for LIA (Isaiah 54:2-3) in new terrain, partnerships, and communities transformed for His name and His renown. Finally, I am looking forward to being led and challenged in partnership by Dr. Muindi, our US Council and International Board – all striving diligently to carry out Christ’s mission to give life in abundance to the most vulnerable.
What do you do other than lead operations for LIA? Scott and I have just relocated to Jacksonville, FL. This move is what caused my transition from Southeast Christian Church and opened the door for the Lord to present this opportunity with LIA. With deep roots in Louisville, KY this upcoming season will be full of re-rooting in Jacksonville, FL as we call it home; connecting with family in the region, building community, finding a local church. The Lord opened 5,000 doors for Scott and I to make this move…now we’ll root and build!
Teddy is a Social Worker serving with LIA Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. Teddy has been with LIA for over five years, serving and training the poorest of the poor in the leprosy community of Korah. His goal is to empower them to live full lives with dignity and love.
One of the programs that LIA is rolling out in the impoverished fishing community of Kisumu, Kenya, is the guardian program. In this program guardians of at risk youth are identified and the local church – and in partnership with LIA – servers to not only support them but empower them to uplift the children that are in their care.
Ruth is one of these guardians. As the sole provider for her five grandchildren, four boys and precious baby girl, it is no surprise that every waking moment is devoted to her children. Ruth, who’s gray hairs betray the youth in her face, lives on the outskirts of Kisumu in a community called Nyawita. Nyawita is one of the poorer suburbs of Kisumu town.
When asked about her grandchildren its clear that her primary priority is that they go to school and do well. Many of the residents in Nyawita do not have much more than an 8th grade education, and as a result work low wage, unskilled jobs. Ruth is adamant that her grandchildren have a better future so that is why her local church in Nyawita felt it was important to stand with her for the sake of her children.
“Its bad luck to say your age” Ruth says “and I need luck because I want to be around to see my grand children become professors”. So in her old age –that will not be mentioned—Ruth was equipped with economic empowerment and resource mobilization training through her church’s TOT. Through this training Ruth confesses her eyes were opened as she discovered how to work smarter, not harder. This not only allowed her more time with her grandchildren children but also helped her to start saving, eventually joining a revolving fund set up by LIA in her local church.
The revolving fund group is made up of other guardians of at risk youth in the community of Nyawita and although the purpose of the group is resource mobilization, they also there to support each other through the challenges of trying to raise children in Nyawita.
“My ambition is that my grandchildren never need to worry about anything other than succeeding in school. I invest my energy in them because they are the future and they deserve a future.”