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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 



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