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.
Dr. Florence Muindi
Life in Abundance International
The forecast had called for clear skies and bright Nairobi sunshine for the second annual GMHC: Africa. Instead, the first day was ushered in by gloomy clouds and drizzling rain. However, as people started to file in through the registration hall, shaking off their umbrellas, their moods were clearly not dampened.
GMHC:Africa 2014 was held at Nairobi’s All Saints Cathedral, a quite enclave just outside the bustling city center, from September 4th-6th. The main conference was held on the 4th and the 5th, with about 350 delegates, from healthcare and development professions, from across Africa and around the world in attendance. The theme of the conference was “Shared Learning for Local Impact,” and there was no shortage of phenomenal individuals to learn from. The stain glass windows of the Cathedral and the imposing stone structure reminiscent of a medieval castle, with beautiful hanging chandeliers and the sky painted ceilings set the mood for an intimate time of learning and fellowship that all the delegates were excited to be a part of.
As attendees began arriving for registration, warm smiles could be seen all around and yelps of excitement heard from one corner to the next, as friends who hadn’t seen each other in some time were catching up and getting reacquainted. The beautiful Cathedral quickly became a beehive of activity.
Dr. Jo Lusi, an orthopedic surgeon who serves in the war torn region of Eastern Congo, where has successfully pioneered a holistic healing program through his ministry – HEAL Africa, opened the conference as the first plenary speaker. Having served as a Senator, Dr. Lusi has used both his testimony as a Christian and the credibility of his vocation to advocate for the needs of women children and handicapped.
GMHC, he says, “not only serves as an opportunity for people with shared objectives to network and exchange ideas, it also allows us to come together and remember, as doctors, we are not only meant to treat the body but treat the soul”. For to do otherwise, he says, makes you the same or no more than a witch doctor.
Many breakout sessions, times of worship, and meals were shared over the two days of the conference, and a great deal of meaningful connection and learning took place. Especially timely, and helpful, was a session taught by an Ebola specialist about the disease and how the doctors and students in attendance could prepare to treat the disease.
September 6th was the student’s emphasis day, where medical students from all over Kenya, and as far and Tanzania, came together to explore the idea of committing one’s self in service of the Lord through occupation. There were breakout sessions lead by Pastor Simon Mbevi (popularly known as Pastor S) discussing the purpose of life, and Dr. Carol Spears discussing the attributes of a Christian doctor, among others. So much meaningful and deep discussion had taken place during these sessions, that when Jason Epperson, a pastor at South East Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky, closed the day by making an alter call for the students who would like to commit themselves to medical missions, almost every seat in the sanctuary was emptied.
“This is what we do it for” says Dr. Florence, founder and president of LIA International. “This is why we have conferences like this. To empower and commission the next generation to take their place in development, and in the medical field, to make Africa what Christ intends it to be.”
Plans for future Global Health Missions Conferences and related events can be seen on MedicalMissions.com, and are announced on LIA’s website.
Do you want to share LIA with you friends, family, small group or school?
We’ve created a new tool that will allow you do just that! This quick, 10-minute video shares about LIA’s mission, history, transformational development model, and success. It’s a simple way to help people understand more about a ministry that you love. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it for yourself!
It highlights interviews with Dr. Florence Muindi, LIA’s founding president and CEO, Tom Kemner, LIA’s partnerships director and others on the LIA leadership team. It also highlights interviews and stories from some of the people directly impacted by LIA – our local church partners and members of the community.
Better yet, we’ve created a short discussion guide that will allow you to talk with people in your community about God’s call for the poor and LIA’s transformational development model.
Download the video and discussion guide here
We’d love to know what other tools we can create to help you share this Kingdom work. Send us your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Late last month, 200 people gathered at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, KY, for LIA’s annual benefit reception. It was such a blessing to spend time in celebration and worship of what God is doing to restore life to the world’s most vulnerable people through the local church. It was a truly special evening as we were able to share memories with long-time supporters of the ministry and introduce lots of new faces to the work God is doing.
This year, as we shared the future vision of LIA, we focused our attention toward LIA’s efforts to serve the most vulnerable, orphans and vulnerable children, in Kenya.
Thanks to the generous contributions of individuals, organizations and churches in the Louisville community, more than $134,000 was raised to support those goals!
We are grateful to everyone who joined us for the event. Below are a few pictures from the evening. A special thanks to all of the volunteers, sponsors and program participants who helped make it possible.
If you weren’t able to attend, it’s not too late to join us in this Kingdom work! If you are interested in making a contribution, visit our donate page for details. Your gift will have a lasting impact.
Left to right: Jesse DeYoung of Flatirons Community Church; LIA Founder/CEO, Dr. Florence Muindi; LIA Director, Partnerships, Tom Kemner
Are you LIA’s next Mi2 Intern? Do you know of a college-age student who might be interested?
Every summer, a team of Mi2 interns serve with our staff in Kenya for three months. The Mi2 interns have the opportunity to serve in the field and explore their calling.
Mi2s will gain valuable experience in both their area of interest, as well as many other study areas.
Read more about the program (including schedule and costs) and access the application here. If you have questions about the program, contact Will Rogers at email@example.com.
Note: the 2013 internship application deadline is fast approaching – Feb. 15, 2013!
There are few things more inspiring than seeing the Global Church coming together to serve the greater Kingdom.
As many of you know (and possibly attended), LIA hosted two benefit dinners over the last several months – one in the Kansas City area (July 14) and one in Louisville, Kentucky (Sept. 27). Both nights combined resulted in nearly 600 people united by the work of the Lord through LIA, as well as more than $170,000 dedicated to bringing life to the world’s youngest country!
What a beautiful sight to see followers of Jesus rallying together to Wake the Giant and empowering the local church to bring life to the most vulnerable in South Sudan and elsewhere.
Next up – the Winter Benefit Dinner in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Nov. 17. If you live in the area, it will be an evening you won’t want to miss!
Here are few great photos from our time with the LIA family at both dinners:
The LIA 2012 Summer Benefit Dinner in Overland Park, Kansas (July 14th)
An interview with Brian Wright, senior pastor of Cedar Ridge Christian Church (left); and Dr. Florence Muindi, LIA founding president/CEO; conducted by Doug Hansen of the LIA U.S. Advisory Council (right).
Dr. Muindi casting the future vision of LIA.
Dave Stone, senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church, emceed the evening in Kentucky (Sept. 27).
Attendees listen to Dave as he shares his heart for the ministry at the KY Fall Benefit Dinner.
Last month, the Christian Center of Park City, Utah, hosted Hike for Hunger with more than 300 people who participated. Organizations, churches and families alike came together to rally against hunger and support people locally and globally who go hungry every day.
LIA was chosen as one of the global benefiting partners, with a portion of the day’s proceeds going to support our long-term food security initiatives in the Horn of Africa.
“We love this concept – a community coming together in action to stand against hunger. That’s the very definition of Waking the Giant,” said Justin Narducci, LIA’s vice president of operations. “We are honored and humbled to have been a part of the event.”
Images courtesy of Christian Center of Park City
See more of Hike for Hunger photos on the Christian Center of Park City’s Facebook page.
It was 5 am. I opened my eyes and looked up from my resting position, which just so happened to be the floor under the LIA merch table at St. Timothy’s Catholic Community. I sat up to see fifty youth hustle into the conference room. This group of groggy teens had gotten less sleep than I had. While I wimped out and chose to sleep on the floor inside, these fifty junior high and high school students chose to sleep outside on the cold pavement of the church’s parking lot. After taking their seats and warming up a bit, Saint Timothy’s youth pastor Kate Hursh took the stage and simply asked, “What did you learn?”
Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
I ask you to join me in prayer this week as I am given the opportunity to represent LIA as we take up the cause of the fatherless at the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ Global Summit – hosted at Southeast Christian Church, May 12-13.
The driving mission behind the summit weighs heavy on my heart. Statistics tell us every 15 seconds another child in Africa becomes an orphan due to AIDS, and Ethiopia has the largest population of orphans in the world (estimated 4.6 million). These statistics portray a grave reality that there are children who are suffering and there are issues which must be addressed to end the perpetuation of these trends. As professionals from around the world are united at this Summit for the common cause of strategically planning how to combat the issues linked to these disheartening numbers, I am praying for the Lord’s presence and guiding hand through the entirety of our time together.
Please join me this week in praying for the Summit. Pray that God would be glorified in our conversations, workshops, and future planning as we seek to serve the least of these, and as we seek to end the cycles, which bring about such situations for precious children.
Most importantly, I ask you to join me in praying for the children who have lost one or both of their parents – some forced to sleep on the cold streets at night, lacking the protection or love from a parent or guardian figure. May we not forget why we tirelessly work to see impact and strides being made to combat these realities.
It is our honor and privilege to invite your participation in our first ever Life in Abundance (LIA) International Good Samaritan Pledge Drive!
During the month of May, every dollar given or pledged to be given on a monthly basis will be doubled as part of this campaign, up to $60,000! This is an extraordinary opportunity for LIA, but we need your help!
Learn more about the details of the pledge drive here.
To make a contribution to the pledge drive check out www.lifeinabundance.org/donate.