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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

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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 Jordan McGuire; LIA’s new Teams Coordinator

December 10th, 2015 | Posted by | LIA News | USA

Jordan McGuire joins LIA as our new Teams Coordinator and we asked her a few questions so that you may get to know a little more about what drew her to serve with LIA.

Mr. and Mrs. McGuire Jordan with her husband Matt

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

I grew up in the church and when I was in high school, I knew God was calling me to partner with Him in ministry. When I got married, ministry meant investing in the lives of middle schoolers alongside my husband as he was a Middle School pastor. It was during this time, that I went on a mission trip to the Czech Republic and I realized that God was calling me beyond the church walls and to be on mission with Him in reaching those who do not know Him. Because of that trip, I began working with the more vulnerable people in our city. It was through this time that my heart became drawn to helping the poor in a holistic way.

What drew you to LIA?

My husband had been on a few trips with LIA and he would come home and tell me about how much he had enjoyed them. It was when he returned from his training in Jamaica that I really came to love this ministry. I loved hearing about what he had learned because it had confirmed in my heart what the Lord was teaching me about community transformation and empowerment. This past February, we had the opportunity to lead a short-term trip to Kenya where we spent time in the Mathare slum. It was amazing to see the model of LIA implemented in such a poor area and how it was working to empower that community. I think one thing I love the most about Life in Abundance is that their model can be applied all over the world and I can even use it in my every day life as I engage with people in my own city.

image3Jordan at LIA’s Mathare Project in Nairobi, Kenya

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

 I am looking forward to partnering with churches as they get to experience our model and vision implemented on the field. It is my prayer that these trips are more than just a visit, but that it will impact how they live their every day lives as they engage their own context. I am excited to see teams return home and process through their trips, allowing the Spirit to transform their approaches to missions and to reaching the poor and vulnerable.

What do you do other than lead operations for LIA? 

My husband, Matt, and I are in Louisville, KY where we attend Southeast Christian Church. We are very involved in our community and have a heart for our city. We love getting to spend time with refugees and helping them assimilate into a new culture. We also spend time investing in the lives of students and adults at our church as we move forward on mission to love our neighbors and communities in the name of Jesus.



Q&A with Dr. Girma Begashaw – LIA’s new Chief of Operations

August 19th, 2015 | Posted by | Home Page | Leadership

Dr. Girma

Dr. Girma Begashaw joins LIA as the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Dr. Begashaw has over 35 years of work experience with International Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs), serving in senior leadership, organizational development and technical training roles. With a technical background in Civil Engineering, Dr. Begashaw also holds a Masters and Doctorate degree in Leadership Development.  He is a married, a proud grandfather and currently lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We asked him a few questions to get to know him a little better.

Tell us about your calling and conviction to serve the Kingdom?

First of all my calling and conviction starts with Jesus Christ. He saved me. He gave me salvation. He is my Lord, He is my shepherd, He is my hope. He gave me purpose, He answered my questions, He transformed my life and I am indebted to Him for life. That is why I also want to share with others the blessing of the wholistic life that I have received. Because he transformed me physically, socially, economically and mentally. It is because of that transformation that I feel obliged to to take part in the great commission. That is my purpose and calling in life.

What drew you to LIA?

I have been involved in Christian ministry through the NGO set up for over 35 years. I have also been an active member of my local church in addition to various initiatives within Christian ministry circles. So all this prepared me to serve as Chairman of the LIA International Board for a season and now I feel called to play a more active role in this ministry. A ministry that focuses on declaring the gospel through words, deeds and lifestyle. LIA’s vision and mission is aligned with my passion and it inspires me daily to work in service of that.

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

There are two important expectations I have for myself. First, is to play my part as a member of the leadership in LIA and shape what LIA looks like going forward as it advances into the next phase of development. Second, I want to build our efficiency as we work to put in place the right systems and the right people to carry us forward. All while being committed to building our capacity, encouraging one another and developing a leadership team that is both empowered and skilled enough to take LIA to the next level. My expectation is that LIA will expand in depth and width. Meaning that we need to ensure that as LIA grows in geographical width it will also grow deeper in the impact it is having when implementing its model.

What will be your role as the Chief Operations Officer?  

LIA has a three person leadership team. There is Dr. Muindi (CEO), Carley Buckingham (Executive Director) and myself. We will be the ones setting the direction and leading LIA International. More specifically my role will be to oversee LIA’s program operations and venturing into promoting and developing local in country recourse mobilization.



New Beginnings: Rwanda [Video]

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by | Home Page | General | Rwanda

“Like Leontius, the young Athenian in Plato, I presume that you are reading this because you desire a closer look, and that you, too, are properly disturbed by your curiosity. Perhaps, in examining this extremity with me, you hope for some understanding, some insight, some flicker of self-knowledge – a moral, or a lesson, or a clue about how to behave in this world: some such information.”

I pause, and look up from Philip Gourevitch’s book; We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families. The road winds and bends over rolling hills and through the valleys and the rain forest that so neatly carpets the land. This is Rwanda; a country that prior to 1994 was hardly visible to the world.

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It’s about a six-hour drive from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda to Cyangugu where LIA will be holding their first ever envisioning seminar in this region. Cyangugu town sits on the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hugging the banks of the beautiful lake Kivu. As we drive into town the sun is setting over the horizon you can see the fishermen setting out for the night. They’ll be back in the morning singing loud and rowing strong as they’re bringing in the night’s catch. The next morning however there would also be another chorus of singing coming from a different part of town.

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As church leaders from Cyangugu and across the border in DRC gathered together the next day, it was clear from the strong handshakes and enthusiastic hugs going around that it had been quite some time since they last gathered together. The agenda for this gathering was to learn about transformational development. Over forty churches were represented and as the session started Dr. Muindi took to the front of the room to answer the question; what is LIA’s call in Rwanda?

“When I first came to Rwanda a year ago I visited Cyangugu. That visit clarified our call to this region. Every Monday, LIA as an organization takes time to pray for the nations and for some time now we have felt God calling us to the Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Uganda) and we did not know how or when but we knew He would open a way and make things clear, so we just kept that in prayer.”

Dr. Muindi pauses to let Obadias, the LIA Regional Coordinator, translate. The room is silent with everyone’s eyes jumping back and forth between Obadias and Dr. Muindi.

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“There was another training taking place here in Cyangugu and I attended with my husband, not to serve but just to be an observer. So one morning as I sat down with my husband and another friend for breakfast a beautiful Rwandese woman decided to join us at our table. She was a student at the ongoing training.

She couldn’t speak English or Swahili so we didn’t have much of a conversation beyond good morning.

As one of the servers was coming around to our table, they accidentally tripped and dropped their serving tray on the floor. It slapped the floor with a loud bang, almost like someone had dropped a hard object. Immediately the lady sitting at our table shot up from her seat and started having a panic attack. Though we couldn’t really talk to her we did our best to try and calm her down .

When she eventually controlled the shaking and tears; we were able to understand by way of a translator what was wrong. Her name was Sarah and she, like so many other Rwandese, lived through the horrors of the 1994 genocide. As the tray slapped the floor it brought back painful memories of the day she lost her husband and her children; taken by machete welding neighbors.

That incident with Sarah weighed on me heavily. As I sought some more understanding from the pastors attending the training, I realized what I saw was extremely common. I realized a felt but unmet need. As ‘coincidence’ would have it that same day, I got word from one of LIA’s partners, all the way in America whose inquiry could not come at a better moment. He asked me, “Florence when are you going to start doing work in Rwanda?” He had no idea I was in Rwanda and had just witnessed a great need.

A few days later as I took my seat on the plane headed back home to Kenya I sat next to a woman who was a missionary in the neighboring country of Burundi. In our conversation, she told me of a curriculum her team had just finalized, prepared to facilitate inner healing to victims of trauma through the local church. Yet another ‘coincidence’.

As we parted ways, I shared my email contact and requested her to share the curriculum with me. By the time I arrived home from the airport, the curriculum was in my inbox. I was in awe of God’s leading. It could not have been clearer. He indeed wants to facilitate healing through the church in this region. That is why we are here.”

Back to Philip Gourevitch; “I don’t discount the possibility, but when it comes to genocide, you already know right from wrong. The best reason I have come up with for looking closely into Rwanda’s stories is that ignoring them makes me even more uncomfortable about existence and my place in it. The horror, the horror, interests me only insofar as a precise memory of the offense is necessary to understand its legacy.” 

Maybe the legacy of such darkness is the light of God and the church healing a nation that the devil meant to steal kill and destroy.

– by @LIASojourner 

 



Welcome: Rev Mutinda Musyimi – Director of Training

July 23rd, 2015 | Posted by | Home Page | Home Page | Leadership

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Rev Mutinda Musyimi joins the LIA team as the Director of Training at the LIA Center, Kenya.

As the Director of Training Rev Mutinda will be responsible for establishing a dynamic training function in line with LIA’s vision and mission as well as coordinating all training activities in the various Country Offices.

Rev Mutinda Musyimi is an ordained Church Minister and in addition to pastoring several churches Rev Mutinda has previously been a High School teacher and a University lecturer.  He taught communications at Daystar University in Athi River, Kenya where he also served as a University Chaplain for four years. Rev Mutinda is married to Jennifer and they are blessed with three children.

We asked Rev Mutinda to share a little more about himself so you might get to know him a bit more:

What drew you to LIA?

A number of things but the bottom line is that it was an opportunity to serve God. That’s the main one, but specifically it was the kind of holistic approach that is here at LIA. I have seen many churches and organizations whose main focus is only the preaching of the word but as far as I’m concerned the approach that Jesus Christ took was very holistic. He fed the poor, he healed the sick, he was there to give guidance and equip those around him for greater things.

I come from a very humble background and I have gone through several struggles in life. Those struggles have given me a very soft spot for those who are less privileged. It gives me such joy to see someone who is less privileged empowered because though I am not a rich man I am a different person from what I was and it is because I was empowered. So I might even say I have a selfish agenda in being here because it gives me so much joy to see someone empowered in this life!

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

Seeing people trained, because information is power. I am looking forward to seeing as many people – both rich and poor – trained and empowered to break the shackles of poverty and retrogressive traditions.

I also hope to create a great pool of professionals who will not only come and train people but also be inspired to continue to be agents of change in their spheres of influence.

Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing the new LIA Center in Kenya become a beehive of activity. Not just busy to be busy, but busy with the Kingdom work. I would like to see the LIA Center become a place to retreat for many people. A haven where they can get away to learn, be inspired and draw closer to the lord and the kingdom work.

What do you do other than oversee training and the LIA Center?

As part of the Senior Leadership Team I am responsible for helping lead and guide this organization both here at the HQ and in the country offices. I will also be using my gifts of preaching and teaching. That is what I have done most of my life and that is what I hope to continue doing in varying capacities.



Exodus from North Sudan / Returning Home

March 30th, 2011 | Posted by | Home Page | Sudan | Sudan Blog | North Sudan | Home Page | Pray | Sudan | Sudan Blog | Rumbek | Sudan | Sudan Blog

I write to you having just returned from a sweet but emotional time in Khartoum, Sudan.

Many years ago, God commissioned LIA to serve the displaced people in the north by showing us their destitute status as they camped in mass on the outskirts of Khartoum with no means to meet basic needs. Now, several years later, our ministry has matured and we have graduated several communities. We are also joyfully seeing the chance for these people to return home.

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