Thursday, March 23, 2017

Preparing for Greater Things - March 2017

Preparing for Greater Things

 A season of transition in Moshi

As 2017 started, God gave us words that would serve as a theme for what to expect in this new year. God spoke "Growth" to Brandon and "Arise" to Melissa. We are expecting great things in this year for Kingdom Families and for us personally. We're excited to share some of those things with you in this newsletter, but wanted to first let you know how you can be praying for us personally.

We're leaning into God's faithfulness as we see big changes take place right before our eyes within our community of friends. Moshi has always been a transient community as far as westerners go, so this isn't too much of a surprise, but there are a number of friends and co-workers that are moving away from Kilimanjaro currently. Three young couples from within Global-Effect have either already left or are about to leave and that doesn't include our closest friends from the last few years who worked for another NGO. They moved to Texas earlier this month. The last time we saw an exodus of this type was mid-2012. We were actually a part of that transition when we were pregnant with Promise and left Treasures of Africa to live in California again for what became a 20 month period. Building meaningful friendships on the missions field is difficult. We are grateful for our Tanzanian friends and partners, but cultural differences can cause difficulties in friendship. We are also grateful for our western friends and partners too, but having people in and out of our lives also causes difficulties. Right now, we really are feeling that grief and we do ask for your prayers. Compared to goodbyes at other times this difficulty is exacerbated by seeing our kids also have to say goodbye to their friends. Please pray for our friends, the Loudermilk's, the Sherman's, the Conti's and the Batterson's as they all transition to new lives elsewhere.

Saying goodbye to our friends Brian and Mandee Loudermilk with their six children (baby boy in the womb)
as they move to Texas.

Kingdom Families Update

Advocacy

While we see our friends move onto other ventures, we continue to pour ourselves into the work of Kingdom Families as we advocate for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Kilimanjaro. Our advocacy campaigns in Tanzania which started as speaking in local churches of two dozen or so people are beginning to stretch to other regions through various mediums like newspaper articles, radio broadcasts and online materials.

The biggest venture that we're currently undertaking is an orphan care and adoption scripture commentary written for the East African context. Brandon is authoring it while partners from Kingdom Families/Global-Effect are helping translate. As we develop the material (which is over halfway done) local pastors from our network are offering their own insight to enhance the work. We hope to have the book finished and released by the middle of this year.

Brandon Stiver and Calvin Matowo of Kingdom Families doing edits on the scripture commentary with
Pastor Eli Kiwelu of EAGT Boma'ngombe

Kingdom Families Team

Kingdom Families is in the process of expansion as we are building a team that carries our unique vision and approach to orphan care. We've hired new staff in communications and are currently interviewing social workers to work with our child welfare initiatives. Please pray for God's favor as we want to hire the right person that God has ordained for this position. 

This summer we are also bringing on four wonderful young women to serve as Kingdom Families interns. Their work load will include children's ministry, mental health initiatives, administration and media generation. We'd love for you to head over to the Kingdom Families Website to learn more about Jackie, Edith, Tayler and Reya and what they'll be doing this summer. 


2017 Kingdom Families Interns: Clockwise from Top: Edith Weaver of San Francisco, CA ~ Reya Martinez of
Cedar Park, TX ~ Tayler Lennier of Tracy, CA ~ Jackie Jones of Martinez, CA
As the team grows, we're moving into new physical space too. Another significant venture over the last few months has been renovating our new Kingdom Families Headquarters in town as well as a guesthouse next to our home in Shanty Town for people that come to serve with Kingdom Families. We appreciate those of you that supported and followed along with our building process for the office back in January. In an upcoming newsletter, we'll take you for a look around Kingdom Families HQ.

Join Us

We would be remiss if we didn't take an opportunity to invite you to join us as financial partners in what God is doing through Kingdom Families. We see a tide turning in our country as the hearts of the parents turn to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents. Kingdom Families is a little ship in a big ocean of child welfare, but as the winds change we're excited to be pointed in the direction that sees the lonely set in families. We'd love for you to join us. You can donate towards a specific program like "Book Publishing" or "Local Staff" or just a general donation will go to where our biggest need is currently. 



Once again, we are grateful to have you on our team. We hope that this newsletter finds you well and we'd love for you to stay up with us on Facebook where we post more regularly. Thank you for standing with our family and the many families of Tanzania. 

In Christ,
Brandon, Melissa, Moses, Promise and Shepherd

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