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December 16, 2009

Year-end impact report

Merry Christmas from the Disciple Nations Alliance!

We are praising God for the work He has done through us in 2009. We are excited to share with you our 2009 Year End Impact Report. Click here to download the pdf.

This has been a difficult year for the DNA financially, please remember us if you have the opportunity to make a year end gift.

 

December 16, 2009

The Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill, 2009

The Disciple Nations Alliance has appeared in the news recently in relationship to our friend Stephen Langa and his involvement with Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Bill, 2009.  We first heard of this bill when a reporter contacted us to gain our opinion on the bill last Friday (December 11). We have since obtained a copy of the bill and are now examining it.

 We have been friends with Stephen for nearly ten years. We have tremendous respect for him, and for what we know of his work to strengthen families in Uganda.  Stephen is an elder at Watoto Church in Kampala, which we consider to be a model for other churches in its care for thousands of Ugandan children orphaned by HIV AIDS.  Watoto Church ministers to hundreds, if not thousands of people who are dying of AIDS and their surviving family members. It has been actively involved in AIDs education, encouraging young men and women to act in morally responsibly ways in order to avoid the ravages of sexually transmitted diseases. Seeing the profound devastation of families in Uganda, they are actively working to strengthen families.  

The Disciple Nations Alliance is a network of individuals and organizations in over 60 countries who share a common vision to see the global Church rise to her full potential as God’s agent for the healing, blessing and transformation of the nations. We share a common set of core beliefs and operating principles (see www.disciplenations.org/about).  While we have affiliates around the world, there are no legal or organizational ties between them; including Family Life Ministries and Transforming Nations Alliance that Stephen helps lead. Stephen’s opinions are his own. The governance and decision making of the Ugandan organizations he leads are independent of the Disciple Nations Alliance.

We believe that people who engage in same gender sexual activities are image bearers of God possessing profound, inherent and equal dignity. They have a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As human beings, they are to be treated with love and respect. Like all people, they are sinners and can be saved by the death of Christ on the cross.

Churches have a responsibility to love and engage with those who have chosen to live a homosexual life in the same way they would reach out and engage with any other person. The church is to call its members to personal and public purity, and to govern their lives in ways that comport with biblical standards of ethical behavior. Such internal self-government creates the framework for free nations. The church is also called to serve as the conscience of the nation by humbly, lovingly and prophetically addressing the wounds and moral failings of their society.

The state has a different, yet compatible role. It exists to defend and protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens. Its principle role is to suppress external evil such as murder, theft, and rape. It does this largely by creating and administering just laws and maintaining an active military.

With this in mind, we do not believe that engaging in consensual homosexual acts in the privacy of one’s own home, or failure to report such acts, should be criminalized.  However we are opposed to efforts to re-define marriage laws which are based on the historic and traditional understanding of marriage as the covenantal relationship of one man and one woman for life. We are likewise opposed to efforts to normalize homosexual activity through the use of books and curricula in public schools. We oppose these and other public advocacy efforts whose intent is to lead to a state sanction for something that is immoral, which will seriously undermine the family, and will eventually lead to the collapse of a society.  We endorse and support the recently released Manhattan Declaration (www.manhattandeclaration.org), and specifically its statement on marriage.

We believe that sexual crimes such as rape, incest, child prostitution or pedophilia should be appropriately prohibited and punished under the law regardless of whether victim or perpetrator practices same gender sexual activity or is heterosexual.   

 As the Uganda bill currently exists, we have some concerns: specifically the criminalizing of private, consensual homosexual practice, the severity some of the penalties, and the tone of the language. We recognize that this bill is in process and will reserve further comment until a final version is submitted to the Ugandan parliament.

We recognize that sovereign nations have the right to establish their own laws; at the same time, other nations, international bodies and individual citizens have the right and responsibility to challenge laws that are unjust. We would encourage Christians, as citizens of nations, to seek to engage as free citizens in the market place and Public Square. They should contribute to the challenging of unjust laws and the creating of just laws. Christians, like any citizen are to contribute to the building of their nations.

Scott Allen, Darrow Miller and Bob Moffitt

 

November 18, 2009

Affiliate spotlight: Transforming Nations Alliance

The Disciple Nations Alliance is a worldwide movement of individuals, organizations and networks united by a common conviction: The necessity of Biblical Truth, expressed through church-based wholistic ministry for social and cultural transformation.  DNA “Global Affiliates” are self-governing organizations that share a common purpose, and adhere to the same core beliefs and operational principles.  There are currently ten affiliates in Asia, Africa and the Americas.  The DNA affiliate in Uganda is called Transformation Nations Alliance.

The first DNA Vision Conference in Uganda occurred in 2000. It was facilitated by Bob Moffitt and Scott Allen, and several of the key leaders of the influential Kampala Pentecostal Church (now called Watoto Church) attended. The second conference held the following year (facilitated by Darrow Miller and Bob Moffitt) was hosted by a committee led by Watoto Church elder Stephen Langa. Today, Stephen is Director of Transformation Nations Alliance and Moses Mengwau is Head of Operations. 

Stephen Langa is a member of the Africa Working Group of Samaritan Strategy Africa, the network whose objective is to spread DNA training across the continent of Africa. In addition to serving as an Elder at Watoto Church, he also provides leadership to the Family Life Network, a pro-family advocacy organization. He also serves as Director of the Uganda Youth Forum, a youth ministry organization founded by the First Lady of Uganda in 2001.

The mission of Transformation Nations Alliance is to engage and disciple all sectors of society, through a biblical worldview centred, holistic approach to ministry, leading to the restoration of God’s original plan for creation. Towards this end, TNA has trained and mentored a team of certified Ugandan trainers who regularly facilitate Vision Conferences throughout the nation. Hundreds of Ugandan church leaders have been impacted. In addition, these trainers have been called upon to train the local staff of several large mission and development organizations, including World Vision and Compassion International.

Churches that have been impacted by TNA have gained a new vision for their role in society, and as a result, have begun to reach out and bring healing to their communities.

On October 3, 2008, a Ugandan ministry called Caring Hands was officially recognized by President Museveni for the work they were doing on behalf of the poor. Caring Hands was started by Milla and Hanu Happonen, missionaries to Uganda from Finland who live and work in Mbuya, a suburb of Kampala. Mbuya is characterized by both immense wealth and extreme poverty. 

After attending a TNA Vision conference at Kampala School of Theology where Hanu serves as Principal, Milla Happonen decided to demonstrate God’s love in the community by planning for a Christmas meal for the poor in the community. In their words:

There was no intention of starting the organization “Caring Hands”. It began by accident. There was no funding to start the organization. It was set in motion to meet an acute need that we were confronted with. It all began when we reached out to our community at Christmas 2005 with the “You give them something to eat” campaign. We ended up reaching 120 families (600 people) living in poverty. The original purpose of providing a nice Christmas meal ended up feeding these families for one month. The question soon arose: “What happens when the food runs out?” Caring Hands was created as a result, to address this challenge and the causes leading to it.

Lives have been transformed as a result of this demonstration of God’s Love to the community.  People should never give up on their dreams. One orphan dreamed of becoming a pilot. Others tried to discourage him away from his “illusion” until Caring Hands saw his potential and assisted him in having his dreams fulfilled. He is now a licensed pilot.

Another significant project of Caring Hands involves supporting impoverished women in the community by marketing jewellery they produce from refuse available in the community. They work from home and sell their products to Caring Hands who then markets the product to buyers worldwide. These jewellery-makers, who include single mothers, widows, grandmothers, people living with HIV, and people with disabilities, come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. The one common factor and “qualification” for anyone making products for Caring Hands is they are living in absolute poverty.

The intervention has transformed the community and the neighboring communities where by they have been able to build permanent houses, can afford school fees for their children as well ARVs for those with HIV.

The work of TNA envisions and empowers Christian leaders like Milla and Hanu Happonen to launch these kinds of transformational initiatives, and it catalyzing a movement of church-based transformation throughout the country of Uganda.

 

November 18, 2009

Model church profile: Watoto Church in Kampala, Uganda

Watoto Church (formerly Kampala Pentecostal Church) is an exuberant, English speaking cell based church in the heart of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. It is the home of Watoto, the internationally famous children’s choir and a program caring for some of the millions of orphaned children in Africa.

Launched on Easter Sunday April 22 1984, the church has grown to be not only one of the most influential institutions in Uganda, but in all of Africa, and even around the world. With a current membership of approximately 20,000 and unwavering commitment to bring healing to the city and the nation, the church’s vision has led to the birth of numerous ministries and programs that have improved communities.These include, among others, ongoing “seed projects” in the heart of the community – for the community and with the community. These ministries are life-giving, focused on transformation and always with the greater good of the city and nation at heart.

The first DNA Vision Conference in Uganda occurred in 2000, facilitated by Bob Moffitt and Scott Allen, several of the key leaders of Watoto Church attended. The second conference held the following year and facilitated by Darrow Miller and Bob Moffitt was actually organized by a planning team led by Watoto Church elder Stephen Langa. At that time, the membership of the church was approximately 6,000.

The DNA Vision Conference casts a vision for biblical worldview and wholistic ministry or a lifestyle of love in action—serving the needs of the whole person, in obedience to Christ’s command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. At the end of each conference, participants are introduced to an application exercise called “seed projects”—small wholistic ministry efforts that demonstrate God’s love in the community. These small efforts are accomplished with local resources, bathed in prayer, and led by the Holy Spirit. Seed projects can and often do lead to larger, ongoing projects.

The Holy Spirit had planted a desire in the leaders of Kampala Pentecostal Church to reach their city by demonstrating the love of God—as well as proclaiming it. When they attended the DNA Vision Conference, they immediately recognized that we had a practical strategy to mobilize their members for the vision they already had.

The senior pastor, Gary Skinner, equipped and challenged his people to carry out seed projects. To emphasize this effort, he asked every cell group to do at least two seed projects a year. He taught the cell leaders and members to look at their communities, identify the needs, and take ownership of the problems.

“The problems are not the communities’ problems—they’re our problems!” Pastor Skinner says. “They’re not the government’s problems. The government can’t fix the problems because—although it may have a little bit of money—it has no love. Money does not solve problems. Love does! And if the government does it, God does not get the glory. But when the church does it with love, God gets the glory.”

Pastor Skinner continues, “Our cell members find a problem, take ownership of the problem, engage in the community, and love their community. Whatever the community’s problems are, those are the problems for which we do seed projects. We fix and clean wells so that the water is good again. We replaced a roof on a house for poor people—where the roof was leaking so badly, the people were wet and cold and sick. We raise food for orphans. We are looking after thousands of orphans. Half of them live in homes we have built.”

Not only did the church embrace the concept of wholistic ministry and Seed Projects, they also focused on biblical worldview teaching. For an entire year, Pastor Skinner led the congregation through a teaching series aimed at helping members recognize and abandon false beliefs rooted in traditional African culture and replace them with biblical truth. The DNA helped Pastor Skinner realize that it is ultimately truth that transforms. Satan uses lies to entrap individuals and entire cultures in bondage to poverty and brokenness. For a church to be an agent of transformation in its community and nation, it needs to incarnate biblical truth in every area of life and society.

Shortly after the Vision Conferences in 2000 and 2001, the leadership of Watoto church challenged every cell group to take ownership of at least one family that has AIDS in the community. Pastor Skinner said that the cell groups began to meet family needs. They went into the homes, hugged the sick, and sat by their beds. Nearly every one of the AIDS patients came to faith in Christ. When the patient was too sick to leave home, the church cell group met right in their home. When the patient died, instead of the drunken orgy that commonly follows death; the group would hold a worship service with the family. Many family members came to faith in Christ because they experienced the demonstration of Christ’s love.

Imagine the impact that the thousands of Seed Projects done by the hundreds of Watoto Church cell groups are making on the city of Kampala! The communities within the city of Kampala are taking notice. Even the Ugandan government has recognized what is happening. Recently, the government named Kampala Pentecostal Church one of the country’s 10 most influential organizations in the war on AIDS.

Today, Watoto church leaders such as Stephen Langa and Pastor Franco Onaga are extending the influence of the church into the various spheres of Ugandan society, including government, family, and even training programs for the Kampala police force. Watoto is truly a model church that is bringing the light of Christ and the healing of His Kingdom to Uganda, Africa and the whole world.

For more on Watoto Church, visit their website:  www.watotochurch.com

 

November 18, 2009

Chuck Colson Center highlights DNA downloads

The Colson Center

In an earlier update, we shared how the DNA has joined in a partnership with many other organizations for the purpose of defending and supporting a Christian worldview. We have enjoyed seeing the launch of the hosting website and are now experiencing increased traffic on our own website due to the link from the eight free downloads that are posted on their site. You can view these downloads on their site through searching for Darrow Miller, Scott Allen, and Bob Moffitt. Beyond our materials, they have much more dealing with Christian worldview in spheres all across the board. Take some time to explore the spheres that are important to you! http://www.colsoncenter.org
 

 

November 12, 2009

“dnausa” now on Twitter!

Twitter has become a famous social networking tool in recent history and we have decided to make use of it to feature our regular current events, relevant articles around the web, blogs, and newsletters!

If you already have a Twitter account and don’t find time to check our home page that frequently, “follow” us and stay tuned in to the DNA USA office and biblical worldview and wholistic ministry resources that will empower you for Kingdom transformation!
 
 
Once you’ve started following, get your friends tuned in too!

 

November 5, 2009

Darrow shares about his teaching in Peru this last October

Nurturing the Nations Sessions
October 8-12, Lima, Peru

October 8-10- I had the privilege of being a plenary speaker at the first seminar of the Latin American Encounter with God – ALED for the Actualization of Women. I was invited by Pastor Javier Cortazar, the senior pastor of Monterrico Alliance Church in Lima, after he read Nurturing the Nations. Pastor Cortazar is a long time friend of Rosaura Mesones. I think he was at the first Vision Conference ever held. He has been very impacted by the DNA messages and has read and taught from Discipling Nations. I had breakfast with Pastor Cortazar when I was in Lima last year. Monterrico Church is a major church in the business district of Lima. Its members are largely drawn from the professional class. The church has a heart for the poor and has begun a church-based NGO to help bring ministry to poor communities in Peru. The church has a vision for engaging in all of society. The Alliance denomination is perhaps the largest Protestant group in the country and Pastor Cortazar’s church is one of the most influential. Because Monterrico is seeking to be a “Monday church” (with a focus on equipping their people to serve God everyday in their vocational calling) other Alliance churches are watching them to see what happens. Pastor Cortazar has a reputation in the Alliance movement and is well respected throughout South America. My sense is that the Disciple Nations Alliance (DNA) has, if not kindled his vision, at least supported an already existing vision.  After our last meeting I sent Javier about 8 books that I thought he would find helpful. I think this is a good way to support him. And he has taken a biblical worldview and wholistic ministry message for the local churches wherever he goes.

There were about 500 women from 5 or 6 different South American countries at the ALED conference. They were leaders from their churches (pastors’ wives, professional and lay leaders in the Alliance denomination). The subjects of the conference related to various issues that women deal with and that the church needs to address. I had the privilege of addressing them in 6 sessions and taught lessons from Nurturing the Nations. The material really touched a chord, as it has with both men and women from other countries. The power of the word of God never ceases to amaze me!

In the next week, at Pastor Cortazar’s invitation, I will be bringing the same messages to a group of pastors and pastors’ wives at the alliance seminary. I gave Pastor Cortazar a copy of LifeWork and he is already devouring it. He said it is critical for the church in Peru to help them have a vision and a theological framework for engaging Peruvian society. He is very anxious to see both books translated into Spanish.

There were people from Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia who made initial enquiries about bringing DNA and Nurturing the Nations messages to their countries. I pointed them to our website and the seminars tab.

I met Patricia Vergara from Verbo Vivo Publishing in Lima (www.edverbovivo.com and e-mail: edverbovivo@hotmail.com) at the conference. She has a small publishing house that has contacts throughout South America. She wants to publish Nurturing the Nations. She said that she could have it published within 3-4 months of getting an electronic copy of Rosaura’s translation. She knows Rosaura and is willing to work with us on this project. She said that she would print 2000 copies as a first edition. She seems very enthusiastic (having heard the materials). The question we will need to explore further is her ability to promote and distribute the book.

I checked with Javier and he said that her distribution in South America would be as strong as or better than YWAM in SA. He also said that he would be willing to work with Patricia to find someone who would translate LifeWork into Spanish for free. He was not saying it would be easy to do, but it can be done and he knows people who have translated books for free. Javier is VERY keen on getting these books out.

October 11- I preached this morning on The Transforming Story at Pastor Cortazar’s Monterrico Alliance Church. After the service the pastor and his wife Sarah took me to lunch. Pastor Cortazar mentioned that the gathering of Alliance pastors meets every four years. Next June there will be 500-600 pastors from 20 nations gathering in Ecuador. He is the chair of the program committee and asked if I would consider coming to address the pastors. I told him I want to support his efforts to move these messages on biblical worldview and wholistic ministry into the Alliance denomination in South America and would seriously consider an invitation if my dates were open. He will meet with his committee and let us know.

October 12- I met with Catalina Diaz, the woman from Colombia who has developed materials for adults (parents or church workers or R&D workers) to teach children about sexuality from a biblical paradigm. She has given me all of her materials on a disc. I will connect her with some of my friends that are working in Child Development Programs.

Lima, Peru
Oct. 11-17, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009 – I preached in Pastor Javier Cortazar’s church on the first part of “The Transforming Story.” Pastor Cortazar attended the first Vision Conference in Lima in 1997. Since then he has had a growing conviction of the importance of the kingdom of God and being a Monday Church. He wanted me to help increase the church’s vision for the Monday Church. The message was very well received. There were about 400 people in the service. This is an upper middle class church of mostly professionals. I returned on Tuesday night, to a smaller group (perhaps 50-60 people) and spoke on “The Gates of the City.” We had a good time of Q&A afterward. This had to be stopped after 30 minutes because of the lateness of the hour.

Tuesday and Wednesday (10/13-14) – At the invitation of Pastor Javier, I spoke at the Alliance seminary both mornings. There were between 150 and 200 Alliance pastors and pastors’ wives. I spoke from Nurturing the Nations. People were really engaged. On Tuesday noon, I had lunch with Pastor Cortazar and leaders of the Alliance churches. They are part of the planning team for the Alliance pastors’ conference that convenes every four years. In June 2010 it will be held in Quito, Ecuador and they expect 500 pastors representing every country on the continent. He wanted to introduce them to the possibility of me being the plenary speaker. They are talking about two sessions a day for three days. Please pray. This could be very significant.

On Wednesday, Bob met with some of the Harvest staff from Puerto Rico, Bolivia and Peru. Rosaura and I joined them in the afternoon. They each spent the day answering two questions: 1) What one thing has brought you joy recently? 2) How can we pray for you? It was a good time.

Rosaura and I also talked about DNA’s fundraising needs. She said she wanted to pray about some specific ways to help and that Pastor Cortazar might be persuaded to travel to speak on our behalf and share about the impact of DNA on the church in Peru. We will need to follow up in a few weeks with Rosaura.

October 15 – I have been encouraged and gratified by the numbers of people who have come up to me to say that they have read Discipling Nations or have attended a conference and about the impact that the school of thought has had on their lives. A pastor from the leading Alliance church in Ecuador told me that he had read the book ten years ago and that it changed his life and reshaped the focus of his church. I also met a businessman who said that he and his wife had attended the Nurturing the Nations workshop last year in Lima. Since then they have been team-teaching groups from the Nurturing the Nations materials. The wife teaches the materials to her students at a secular (perhaps a private) school. A graduate student in economics is using Discipling Nations as the foundation piece for a major paper that he is writing. One woman, who first heard me speak at a YWAM base in Switzerland, said that Discipling Nations has been an anchor to reality for her own life and was part of what God used to bring her back to Peru to contribute to the building of her nation. She teaches at the university level here in Lima and the book is part of what shaped her being a professor who teaches from a biblical, rather than a humanistic paradigm. She has been writing and lecturing in the area of a biblical framework for politics and governance.

I had maintained a periodic correspondence with her for perhaps six years – since she returned from Switzerland to Peru. Until I saw her in Peru yesterday, I could not put a face to her name and did not make the connection between the person that I met in Switzerland and the person who was writing to me.  When we saw each other yesterday, with profound emotion, she shared how important my correspondence had been to her life. She said that both the fact that I would take the time to write to her in the midst of my busy schedule and the advice that I gave to her profoundly touched her. They were like a lifeline for her during some of her more difficult days in these last six years. They helped her to stay the course that the Lord has her on. My perception of the correspondence was that of routine and common courtesy of simply responding to a personal correspondence. This encounter has reminded me of the importance of personal correspondence as a means to coach, encourage and walk with other younger leaders.

Another man came up to me at the Vision Conference. He is the leader of an organization that does evangelism and church planting among poor people in rural communities all over Peru. An American friend had given him a copy of Discipling Nations a year ago. He said that it had so blessed him and that it has refocused the ministry toward wholism and the planting of wholistic churches. He introduced me to one of the pastors he works with and said that his church is involved in helping the community have access to clean water and that his church provides a meal each day for poor children in the community.

All of this reinforces in me the power of books and speaking. It reinforces my desire to continue to write and helps me see that there is a need for us to be more proactive in getting our materials translated and published where there is a felt need for them.

Vision Conference
October 15-17 – Atilio Quintanilla organized a Vision Conference in Lima for pastors and leaders that he has contact with. He worked very hard to put the conference together. He was expecting 200-300 people, but only about 60-80 turned out. He was a little disappointed in the numbers, but from our point of view the group is very engaged and learning a lot. There are Food for the Hungry staff here from both Peru and Bolivia. Bob and I are having good conversations during breaks and at lunch.

One of the men here is a poet and an associate pastor. He had five years of theological training in Brazil. He was so very excited to hear me speak of the importance of the arts and artists in speaking prophetically to culture. He told me that he has a heart for the plight of women who are abused in Latin societies and that he has written a small book of poetry on the subject. I told him about the Nurturing the Nations conference and he asked if I would come back and lead the conference at his church.

I met a young woman from Ecuador that has a mutual friend. She asked if I would consider going to Quito and speaking before the Max Weber society. An evangelist and church planter in poor rural churches asked if I would consider coming to Peru next fall to speak at the annual gathering they have for about 500 pastors. He said this message is very relevant for them to understand the root of their poverty. I gave each of these people my card and told them if they really wanted to pursue invitations to go to the conference section of our website and send proposals to Cindy. There is potential, but we will need to see if any of these folks follow through.

My translator, Carla, is the same woman who translated for me last year at the women’s conference. Hector is a young bi-lingual Peruvian who is very bright and has a great heart. He has lived in Phoenix for, I think, three years. Both of them have expressed interest in helping with translation work. I told them we were looking for a translator for LifeWork.

I talked with both Carla and Hector Del Carpio about translating LifeWork on a voluntary basis. They know that it would be on a voluntary basis. I have asked them each to pray about it to sense how the Lord might want them to respond. It was agreed that we will see how Hector is led. If he is not led to work with us, then we are to contact Carla. 

Well, my time is finished in Lima! Bob teaches tomorrow morning at Atilio’s church and then we head over to Iquitos. I will finish this report from the jungle next week.

Sunday, October 18– Bob and I attended the church that our friend Atilio pastors. Bob brought the morning’s sermon on the theme of “Follow Me.” The simple way to disciple a nation and transform a society is to follow Christ and his pattern of life and ministry. Sunday night we flew over to Iquitos.

—————

Vision Conference
October 19-23, Iquitos, Peru

The Vision Conference began on Monday morning. There were 50-80 people in attendance depending on the time. We were in a building that was uncomfortably hot so it makes for a quite difficult teaching and learning environment. The group was comprised of pastors, students, some university professors and lay leaders. People seemed to be engaged despite the heat.

The idea for the conference came from a young lawyer named Mario Barrera. Mario had been given a copy of Discipling Nations in Spanish a few years ago and, like many of our friends in the DNA, he saw in it a message that answered questions that he had been struggling with. Mario ended up buying 500 copies of the book to use in the leadership training institute that he had founded and to give to pastors and other leaders in the Iquitos area. He has also had Stephen McDowell, founder of Providence Foundation and a friend of Elizabeth Youmans, do a two-day seminar in Iquitos. Mario is a bright young man on the caliber of some of our highest local leaders. He has a vision for seeing the church in the Amazon used by God to transform this region of the world.

In addition to Mario, other key players are: Daniel, Mario’s best friend who works with Mario at the leadership training institute; Pastor Elias, one of the leading evangelical pastors in Iquitos. He is responsible for bringing together an inter-denominational pastors’ working group. He is also personally involved in and supports missionary work to indigenous communities on the Amazon.  For a number of years he and his wife ran a home for about 60 teenagers who had been living on the streets. Obviously, he has been very active in ministry to the poor. He is a visionary leader here in the Peruvian Amazon basin and would love to see the DNA impacting the major cities of this part of the world (see below). Jose is our translator. He and his wife and 26-year-old daughter are missionaries on the river. They are out on the river for a month and then home in Iquitos for a few weeks. Jose is starting a pastors training college on the Amazon and wants to make the DNA/Harvest materials part of their curriculum.

Seeing the way that Mario has distributed and used Discipling Nations, I want to expose him to some of our other books. Mario’s e-mail address is barrera.mario1@gmail.com. I will look through our books and write him a note when I get back. We also need to add him to our mailing lists. 

I flew back to Lima on Thursday since Bob will teach the last day on his own. The conference has gone very well. We were told that to get more pastors, the conference would need to be 1-2 days. This is the rationale for what is being proposed for our next conference, which is detailed below. Both Mario and Pastor Elias think that this is the right time to bring these messages to the Amazon. In his remarks today to thank Bob and me for coming, Pastor Elias said that he thought this was a historic moment for the church in the Amazon. The things that we have shared have been so profound and so necessary to get the church to engage the community. He has a vision to see these materials spread throughout the Peruvian Amazon. Mario, Pastor Elias and our translator Jose are already planning a meeting to plan the follow-up and develop a strategy. Bob and I were quite humbled by the people’s response. Now we need to pray that they will apply what they have learned.

The Seed Projects planned on Friday were creative, but dealt mostly with seminars.

The key planners of the Vision Conference in Iquitos are very excited about what they are learning and want to expose more people in the Amazon to DNA. They have proposed a 1-week, three-city tour. The dates they are suggesting are the first week in March. Atilio will be the liaison for the details. This is simply a heads-up on the dates and the beginning of the planning process. The basic plan is that there would be a one-day conference that would last from 12-13 hours in each of three cities. The men that are proposing this will be working out a detailed schedule and sending it to you/us. They actually want to do two similar circuits, the first in the three major cities of the Peruvian Amazon and the second, perhaps 6 months later in the mountain cities near Cusco. They will get back to us with other dates, perhaps in the fall of 2010. This would be the current proposal for Spring of 2010:

2/26 – Fri – Travel to Peru
2/27 – Sat – Day of rest in Lima (no meetings)
2/28 – Sun – Fly to Pucallpa
3/1 – Mon – Pucallpa Conference
3/2 – Tues – Travel/Rest Tarapoto
3/3 – Wed – Tarapoto Conference
3/4 – Thurs – Travel/Rest – Iquitos
3/5 – Fri –  Iquitos Pastors Conference
3/6 – Sat – Iquitos Civic Leadership Conference
3/7 – Sun – Travel Home

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