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
Haiti is nearly synonymous with “aid.” For decades it has been crippled by the influx of international relief funds, resources, and services. As the first nation in western hemisphere to gain independence from its colonizers, Haiti’s rich history of strength and determination has been maligned by news headlines that tell a story of aid dependency, corruption and crippling natural disasters.
What the Life In Abundance team sees is different from the stories told by the news headlines. Our local church partners in Jacmel have dozens of people determined to break the cycle of dependency and poverty, working hard with what little they have to build a sustainable future for themselves and their families.
Haiti’s first introduction to Life In Abundance was through our primary health clinic (PHC), located in the Beaudouin community – a largely secluded informal settlement of vulnerable people displaced by the traumatic earthquake of 2010. Most of the homes are either small wooden boxes built by a relief group, or a collection of USAID tarps strategically strung together to provide just enough shelter. Some residents have been able to find work outside of the community, but the majority have very limited access to reliable income. It is in the very center of the Bedouin community that the LIA PHC team carries out their amazing work.
In Beaudouin, many young women become pregnant between the ages of 15 and 17. Because of a lack of education and, in some cases, a lack of family support, many of these young women have no idea how to care for themselves in the pre- and antenatal stages. The clinic welcomes these women into their care, providing the necessary check ups for a healthy pregnancy as well as emotional and spiritual support.
One of these young women, Marah, is especially grateful for the clinic. She moved to Beaudouin after the earthquake, and a few years later she got married and became pregnant. To maximize the health of her child, Marah wanted to make sure the baby was well monitored. She went to the LIA clinic for her initial tests because it was so close to her house. A week later she went to a government clinic to compare services. Marah said that one visit was all it took to convince her that LIA was the right clinic for her. She noted that all of the tests at the government clinic were the same ones that LIA used. Marah also felt encouraged by the morning devotions lead by local pastors, the friendliness of the nurse and doctor, and the follow up prayer that everyone offered her. She knew that there was no need to go elsewhere.
Marah had a healthy pregnancy and headed to the government hospital to give birth because the LIA clinic does not yet have funding for a proper birthing center or OB-GYN. A few weeks after returning to her small housing unit with her baby girl, Letchnaica, the little one fell ill. Marah immediately brought her baby to the clinic. There tests, care, and proper prescriptions were provided. Within a few weeks Letchnaica was back to being a healthy bundle of joy. Marah often tells her neighbors about visiting the clinic and remains friends with the staff and local pastors.
LIA Country Representative, Auguste Zephyrin, has noticed a marked change in the dependency mindset throughout Jacmel based on the community’s loyalty to the clinic as well as other church partner programs. He looks forward to strengthening bonds with our current church partners to try and eliminate that crippling way of thought. “My vision is to see the community developed, not to wait for help. Through LIA, Jacmel can be transformed and I know the model can be a good one for the community to develop.”
Despite a lack of funding for Haiti, Christ has repeatedly shown the LIA Haiti team that his grace is sufficient for our work, and his power is made perfect in our weakness. We look forward to witnessing the Lord’s expansion of the local church and his transformational plan for the region of Jacmel and the country of Haiti.
If you would like to partner with LIA to serve the most vulnerable around the world, consider joining our Spring Pledge Drive.
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.”
ADDIS ABABA (ETHIOPIA) – Life in Abundance (LIA) believes that every child should have an opportunity to rise to their God given potential in life. Unfortunately, many of the 60,000 to 100,000 children living on the streets of Addis Ababa miss that chance.
This is precisely why LIA launched the Merkato Integrated Street Children Prevention and Rehabilitation Project in 2007. The three-year program, recently completed, serving 150 at-risk children ages three to seven and thirty-seven former street children ages fourteen to eighteen in the Merkato District of Addis Ababa.
Nazareth Emmanuel United Church Community: Nazaret, Ethiopia
This church has been encouragingly aggressive in implementing wholistic ministry activities. In combination with the initiatives in micro-enterprise, house renovations and construction, the church remains connected with the community by way of home visits, supplementary feeding and other tasks for addressing community needs.
The church works in harmony with the local government bodies to establish a strong reputation and gain an advantage that will better allow it to address the felt needs of the very disadvantaged groups of the community. The church is also successful in not only disseminating the message of the gospel but also planting churches in its intervention areas.
Selected beneficiaries were taught about adaptive mushroom production as a means to combat the threats of famine that often plagues the community. The training taught the community about the development of a stable food source, specifically mushrooms which offer nutritional value. Other forms of entrepreneurial empowerment include gravel sales and distribution, sheep and calf fattening, and various other petty trading businesses.
Like many of the other churches described, Nazareth Emmanuel United Church has constructed programs that work to renovate both community houses and facilities for the members of the community. This aides in sanitation and overall safety. Medical services have also been put in place to offer free assistance to those that cannot afford such care.
This community has experienced undeniable growth and the early stages of transformation by way of this church!