We’re excited to announce the newest DNA Local Network, located in the Caribbean and led by Joan Purcell of the Agape Foundation in Grenada.
Joan served in public office in Grenada for more than 25 years, following a career in community development. A Christian for about the last 40 years, she often struggled to integrate her faith with her work.
“For all of my working life,” Joan says, “I have sought to makes sense of my faith and my work: How do they hold together with integrity? My church community was of little help. While I deeply believed that I had been called to serve in the political arena, I received little support from the Evangelical Christian community that saw politics as corrupt.
“I instinctively thought the sacred-secular dichotomy taught by the Church was wrong but did not have the biblical framework for correcting it. DNA largely provided that framework.
“I am so thankful that the Lord led me to the work of DNA and the books of Darrow L. Miller and his team. My understanding of the imperative of a worldview–and a biblical worldview, in particular–has revolutionized my Christian life. My understanding of God and His plan for His beloved world is so much bigger, deeper and greater.
“I entirely agree with Os Guinness and John Beckett [featured in Lesson 1 of Coram Deo: Monday Church]; this ugly sacred-secular separation has impoverished our spiritual walk, disempowered our life of faith, and left the Church irrelevant and compromising.
“May God forgive us and call us to a fresh understanding of His lordship over all of life as so powerfully set out in the Book of Colossians.”
Joan has agreed to serve as the volunteer leader of the new DNA Local Network in Grenada, with the help of a few co-laborers. This position is a natural fit, given that she already has been ‘spreading the DNA virus’ for some time. Joan has built up a library of DNA books for others to access, became a certified facilitator of the Coram Deo: Basics course, and took it upon herself to develop a similar training module specifically for people in her region unable to access the online program.
About the Caribbean
The Caribbean region comprises several small, independent nation states coming out of British, French and Spanish colonization. The population is a mixture of African, East Indian, Asian and Western people groups who live in relative harmony. Being so close to North America and with former ties to Great Britain, this region is both Westernized and Christianized, Joan says.
Some of the major issues facing this unique region are economic underdevelopment, dependency and poverty, loose family structures, tribalistic politics, a culture shaped by a mixture of Christian, animistic and secular worldviews, and a largely youthful population that increasingly sees the Church as irrelevant and hypocritical.
In 2007, Joan established the Agape Foundation with the mission “to promote and facilitate a biblically-based process of change through spiritual discipleship and formation, socio-cultural activism and action, and literature dissemination” in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, and the wider Caribbean.
To carry out this mission, the Agape Foundation hosts live training events, produces books, papers and audio/visual media, participates in social action and advocacy, mentors young leaders, and even uses the performing arts as a form of discipleship.
“The work of DNA has considerably helped to shape my biblical worldview,” Joan says, “to clarify issues with which I had struggled for most of my Christian life of close to 40 years, and to strengthen my commitment to expanding God’s Kingdom here on earth in all spheres of influence, through acts of servant-hood, stewardship and discipleship, even as I look forward to Jesus’ imminent return.
“To God be the glory! Coram Deo!”
So interested in reading your story-
My husband and I are currently visiting Nevis-
We love this island and are considering purchasing property here-
Do you have any contacts on this island?
We are supporters of Chrysalis International and Dr.Elizabeth Youmans’ “AMO” Program-
Are you familiar with that work/ministry?
The Lord’s richest blessings on you-
Hi Christi, what a coincidence that you’re reading this story in Nevis! No, we don’t have any contacts there specifically, but you may wish to contact Joan Purcell (email address at the end of the story) to get her advice. Yes, we’re quite familiar with Dr. Youmans and her colleagues at Chrysalis/AMO. She recently co-wrote this book with our president, Scott Allen, and we feature Chrysalis/AMO materials on our website. God is up to a lot of great things, and it’s a privilege to be part of it!