Landis Homes; Thick with Honor

Last night I experienced one of the greater privileges I have tasted in a long, long time. Our friend June Kauffman paved the way for us to visit Landis Homes (A Mennonite Retirement Community in Lancaster County, PA) where many retired saints live. We held an evening of missions sharing in their West Bethany Chapel and shared about our work and ministry in South Africa and other parts of Africa. Picture this chapel-- where there would have been saints ranging from ages 70-100+. Now, check this out...a large handful of the elderly friends in that room last night prepared the way for what we get to do today a continent away!! I met people who served in very the places we are serving (mainly East Africa) in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s...and there parents and family served in the 1930s and 1940s! They paved the way. They laid foundations in missions. They built trust. And they did it when it was even harder than it is now.

As the evening progressed, my eyes opened more and more to the privilege I was living out last night. That room was thick with honor. The cumulative total of the sacrifice, the generosity, the suffering for the gospel, the faith, the prayer power, the stories, the love for Jesus, the legacies....WOW!!! As the evening ended, I looked at Tricia and said, I consider speaking to these 40-50 people as more meaningful than speaking to 1,000 people.

I just feel grateful for the sacrifices of those that have gone before us in missions. Our open doors and fruit has very little to do with us, and much more to do with the road that has been paved by faithful servants of the past and the precious Holy Spirit preparing and germinating the soil.

JDx coming to Maryland!

Tricia and I are excited to announce that we will we be leading a JDx (Jesus Discipleship Experience) training at Capital Christian Fellowship in Lanham, Maryland on November 30 and December 1. Click on the image or PDF below for more info. Spread the word. Especially to church leaders you know (though it is for all people who want to make Disciples).

JDx at CCF Dec 2012

All Over The World

Today was amazing.  I spent 8 hours of this day with a group of Kenyan church leaders who are hungry and ready for a fresh move of God! It was one of those days that the Lord chose to speak loudly at get my attention, open my eyes and show me some things. The more I travel around, the more countries I visit, the more people I meet, the more conversations I have, I am realizing a few things that are giving me tons and tons of hope and joy!  My Kenyan brothers and sisters filled me with hope today! May I share it with you?

  • God is moving all over the world
  • God is preparing people all over the world. He is getting soil ready for a harvest!
  • There are people becoming sick and tired of ineffectiveness for the Lord all over the world.
  • There is a growing "holy frustration" all over the world.
  • People are hungry for a fresh move of God all over the world. 
  • People are feeling the same things growing in their hearts all over the world.
  • People all over the world are asking the same questions.
  • People all over the world are weary of the same churchy games.
  • People all around the world are hearing a new trumpet sound.
  • People all over the world are changing the direction of their trot.
  • All across the world, people are joining a structural revolution and reformation in the church.
  • All over the earth, God is raising up people and communities committed to being faithful disciple makers.
And the end of the story is that the glory of God will fill the earth and every knee will bow to the Christ, the son of the Living God!

I am coming to believe that we are reaching the tipping point. The party is starting.  And I don't think there is any stopping us now.

How about joining in?  Come on.

"The gospel of the good news will be preached in all nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14

East Africa Trip

Early tomorrow morning, me and two friends/fellow All Nations leaders (Archie Van Der Byl and Thomas Reber), head to East Africa for 17 days. We will be in the Nairobi, Kenya area for about 7 days.  We will do a JDx Training (Jesus Discipleship Experience) and explore future ministry options in Kenya.

Then, we will spend about 10 days in Addis Ababa and Awassa Ethiopia where we will lead another JDx and then attend the IMA Holy Spirit and Missions conference with leaders from around the world.

I hope to tweet and blog from the road when I can. We would value your prayers and prophetic words should the Lord give you something for us.

(This will be my last trip of the year before heading back to the US of A with the whole gang around November 15!)

Generosity, Faithfulness & A Farewell

20120604-160040.jpgYou can say what you want about Americans, but let me tell you one thing I deeply appreciate about this place and these people...they are radically generous!! And you can say what you want about God, but let me tell you one thing I know about Him...he is unbelievably faithful.

We came on this trip with three goals:

1. Strengthen Ministry Partnerships (check) 2. Strengthen Personal Partnerships (check) 3. Fundraising! (One time gifts, continued monthly donors, increasing monthly donors and new monthly donors.) (check)

Our need was to raise $25,000 in three weeks. This would allow us to stay on the field the rest of this term.

We raised....

Drumroll please....

Over $25,000!!!!

AND more is committed.

AND we gained a number of new long term partners.

AND a whole lot more amazing stuff happened.

I just wanted to post a blog before leaving let you know that GOD DID IT!

And farewell. Thanks to all of you who filled Davis and my heart with love and our bags with goodies for the girls.

Headed to Lancaster & Pittsburgh

Do you live in Pennsylvania near Lancaster or Pittsburgh?

If so, I would love to see you.

Let me invite you to two events....maybe one works for you:

  1. This Saturday, June 2nd I will be leading an all day training event about the counterintuitive values of disciple making and church planting that we are seeing fruit with in Africa and around the world. Let me say it this way: if you want to rethink how you make disciples and see churches multiply, COME! It is this Saturday from 9am until 3pm. Location: Vision Columbia located at 291 South 4th Street, Columbia, Pennsylvania.
  2. Then on this Sunday, June 3 I will be preaching in the Pittsburgh area at around 10am. Then, leading a round table discussion on simple church values at 2pm. Come! I would LOVE to see you at either event! Location: Crossway Community Church located at 109 Davis Road in Valencia, Pennsylvania

If I Were Starting My Ministry Again

Over the weekend, one of our EMM leaders gave me this little book called "If I were starting my ministry again."  It is written by a seasoned Mennonite writer and leader named John Drescher. It was so impressed at the way that this man oozes wisdom. In 100 pages, he cranked out proverbial knowledge like water flowing from a hose. He spits tweets as he writes! (I reckon that is an odd way to refer to an older Mennonite man.) ;-)

Here are a some of the statements of great wisdom that I thought were worth sharing:

  • The word that I am trying to impart must first become flesh in me.
  • The flesh still feels that it can through training, education, gifts, hard work, and other personal qualities do a spiritual work. Jesus says we cannot. We will attend seminar after seminar to sharpen our skills but spend little time in solitude in prayer to have God shape our wills.
  • We should be committed to reading God's word each day before we read anything else. And we should be committed to talking with God each day before we talk with anyone else. People that we are ministering to our able to sense if we know Jesus personally and if we came from his presence.
  • Pastors should ask their churches whether they want their feet or their heads. We cannot give you both. If you want my feet to do all the chores and run all the errands and attend all the committees, then you should not expect him to preach sermons or teach the Bible with any depth.
  • There is a major difference between teaching people the effects of the Gospel and teaching the gospel itself.
  • Most of us are too strong for God to use us. As long as we feel that we can do a spiritual or eternal work ourselves the Lord will let us keep trying... but the result will only be human.
  • If you have to be reasoned into Christianity, some wise fellow can reason you out of it!  But when the Holy Spirit brings inner illumination, no one can reason you out of it.
  • I would never wish to be judged by my worst moments, neither should I judge the church or any member by its worst performers.
  • Until congregations allow pastors to spend their time on training the spiritually well minority rather than serving the unmotivated and disobedient majority, people will not live and serve as Christ intends.
  • If my prayer life sags, my whole life sags with it. If my prayer life goes up my life as a whole goes up with it. To fail here is to fail all down the line; to succeed here is to succeed everywhere. Whenever there is a crisis in the church, it is always first a crisis of prayer
  • My work is not to change people. I am to love people and to accept people. It is the Holy Spirit's work to convince, convict, and convert.
  • We can only grow in long-suffering when one tests how long we can suffer; so it is for all the fruit.
  • No one is a sudden moral failure. Lust, like bitterness, is allowed to lodge in the heart and mind over time.
  • We must never get off the train when we are going through the tunnel. There are plenty of discouragements in ministry, but it is not good to make a major decision during a time of discouragement.
  • We must beware of letting complements build self-confidence in spiritual things. The compliments of others can be used for evil if we are not determined to give all glory to God. The more gifted the leader, the greater the temptation and thirst for praise.
  • Our insistence in proving that we are right is nearly always an indication that there has been some point of disobedience.
  • Do not take the adverse reaction of one person too seriously without checking such criticism with other trusted leaders who can advise with candor and love. I have suffered most in ministry for believing broad, sweeping criticism from one person who claim to be speaking for many, only to discover it was a very personal reaction, backed only by some personal prejudice or agenda, and not the opinion of others at all.
  • I would avoid envy like the plague. Envy is to feel sad when another is glad. It raises its ugly head when someone succeeds in the area I work or in the area I seek to be successful.
  • Pride and self-conceit is the sin we are most conscious of in others and which we are most blind to in ourselves.

I hope you enjoyed some of this depth as much as I did. I think you can but it HERE.

Off to Kenya

Tricia, Davis, Lily and I leave at 5am tomorrow for Kenya. I have to is pretty neat to be headed to Kenya and it not be a very long flight. If I lived in the USA and were flying to Kenya in the morning, it would be a huge flight and a huge deal. But, we live only about 6 hours away from Nairobi by air. Pretty cool. We fly to Nairobi where we will join in with the Eastern Mennonite Missions Annual retreat. We were not able to attend our first year on the Field, so it is good to go this year. We will be at the Mennonite Guest House in Nairobi for 3 days and on the coast in Mombasa for 4 days.  We are looking forward to the community of fellow workers and the dreaming we will do about collaboration for Jesus in Africa.

Pray that what we give and receive will be fruitful.

Will update if we can.

Our Missionary Support Team!


Our family is sent and backed by Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) in Salunga, Pennsylvania of the USA.  We are very, very thankful for EMM and it's missions history and missions heart.  We consider it an honor to be EMM missionaries. One of the things that Tricia and I are most thankful for is that EMM requires all missionaries to form a Missionary Support Team when they begin the journey of responding to God's call. The Missionary Support Team (MST) is a group of people with an interest in and love for the missionary, and they serve as a vital link between the missionary, the supporting home community, and EMM. The MST led and walked with us through the discerning, fund-raising and sending process. In addition, they continue to encourage, support and advise us while we are serving overseas. They also lead the fundraising and administrative responsibilties that keep us on the feild.

We cannot begin to tell you what a peace of mind we have knowing that there is a team of people back home that have our best interest at heart and are walking with our family each step of the way. 

Here is our team. Note that each play a specific role:

  1. June- Chair
  2. Ruth- Treasurer
  3. Barbara- Prayer Coordinator 
  4. Lia- Child Advocate 
  5. Abiola & Jaye- Church Communicators
  6. Lacreshia- Small Group Representative
  7. Glenn- Pastoral Rep and CCF Missions Overseer
  8. Pam & Joe- Family Representatives
  9. Harmony & Selah- Sisters, Fundraising Planners
  10. Tracy Wenzel- Friend Rep
  11. Paul- Local Pastor and Strategic Connections
The idea with this group aligns with the Ecclesiastes 4 concept that a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken. Here are the strands in this missions sending:
1. The Missionary (Noah, Tricia, Davis and Lily)
2. EMM (Missions Organization)
3. CCF (Spiritual Community)

The team meets bimonthly or as needed and responds to any issues that arise. They are now assisting me in preparing for my trip home in May.

Anyway, they are a major blessing and I share this for 3 reasons:
1. To share how we are being cared for as a family.
2. To express again my great thanks to EMM and our MST.
3. To inspire other missionaries to go form a team like this!

Coming to America!


Last week we sent this news to our partners and supporters. I thought we would go ahead and tell the rest of the world too. Exciting things! Here are some excerpts of the letter we sent out:

After hearing from the Lord on it as a family, seeking counsel from our leaders and our Missionary Support Team, we have decided that Noah and Davis will make a trip to America together in May!


Purpose of the trip: FUNDRAISING, meeting with Pastors and churches, speaking and sharing what we are learning, and strengthening the realtionship with our partners in ministry. And of course, it will be precious to see family and friends. Oh, and did I mention Fundraising (priority time and energy will go to current and potential donors)?


Dates of Trip: May 15 through June 4.


Why Davis? 1) Daddy does not prefer to travel alone, 2) Mommy does not prefer to keep two kids by herself when one of them is an infant, 3) There are a few people in America that would like some quality time with a certain 5 year old, and 4) after much prayer and waiting, Jesus paid for Davis's plane ticket through some special gifts!


Already looking forward to being with our home congregation, Capital Christian Fellowsip on Sunday, May 20th! It will be neat to be back home after 17 months on the feild!


While Tricia and Lily would love to come, we believe that it is right that they do not. Lord willing, we will be in the USA as a family in November and December as was originally planned.


With anticipation, 

Noah, Tricia, Davis and Lily

A year ago tonight...

It is hard to believe it, but we posted this video on YouTube one year ago tonight! One year ago tonight we were packing our final bags and preparing to depart for South Africa.  (Still thankful for my Sister, Joeley and Brother in Law, Eamon for letting us launch from their pad!)


Within this year, Jesus has opened our eyes, enlarged our hearts, changed our minds, grown our family and set new visions and dreams in our hearts for the future. There really are not words to say how thankful we are to be in the will of God serving here in South Africa. It has been a year where God has kept His promises and fulfilled his prophecies in our lives.


You can see the pain of sacrifice in our eyes in this video. It is not easy to follow Jesus when it hurts--when it means leaving people you love. But I am here to speak up as a testimony that the reward is far greater than the sacrifice.


And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29 // We have found this to be true in more ways than we would have thought.

Financial Support of our Work


Our family is sending you each the greatest holiday love and blessings that we can! We count it a high honor to serve Jesus here in Africa and the partnership of many people, families and churches make God's calling our reality.

It is hard to believe that we are wrapping up our first year in Africa. We both tend to think that God has done more IN us than THROUGH us, but we have deep gratitude for both.

As we wrap up 2011, we look back thrilled with what we have seen. As we head into 2012, we are sure that the future is bright with opportuinities to love people and make disciples.

The truth is this-- we cannot be here without financial partners.  Period. And we are stll in need of investors. $20 a month is a big deal to us! A one time gift of a few hundred dollars helps tremendously. As the end of the year approaches, might you consider one of two things:

1. Might you be willing to make a one time contribution to our missions work?  You can do so online with a debit/credit card by CLICKING HERE or by mailing a check to:

Eastern Mennonite Missions

PO Box 458

Salunga, PA 17538

(Be sure that "Kaye Support" is in the memo of the check.)

2. Might you be willing to make a monthly pledge for the coming year? If so, you can set that up online by clicking HERE or simply email me, message me or comment here and I will personally walk you through the process. 


It would be so encouraging if the Lord would lead you to act on this invitation to partner with us!  We trust the Lord for His continued provision through you.


"Every time we think of you, we give thanks to our God....for you have been partners in spreading the good news about Christ..."  Phil. 1:3-6

Meserete Kristos Church. Only God.


As you may know, Tricia and I are sent through Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) in PA, USA to serve with All Nations in Cape Town, South Africa. EMM has rich missions history dating back to the early 1900s. We came to All Nations with the hope of linking the to organizations together into richer Kingdom collaboration--relational and organizational networking leading to partnership in mission. This is the first such opportunity. (There is an initiative that I am partnering into called Project Engage.  I will be telling you more about Project Engage soon.  But, know that this trip is conencted to this as well.)


There is a very large Mennonite Church in Ethiopia called Meserete Kristos Church (MKC). EMM planted it 60 years ago (and turned it over to local leadership 10 years later). I have heard about the church and met some of the leaders over the last years. This is a massive and impressive church with a story that only God could have authored.


Brief MKC History: Planted 60 years ago by Mennonite Missionaries, Meserete Kristos Church (meaning "Church founded on Christ" in Amharic) is a church that has experienced major growth under major persecution. In 1971, a Marxist/Communist government forcefully came into power Ethiopia ("Derg"). The corrupt government tool all money and property from MKC and arrested many of their leaders. As a result, MKC went underground with about 5,000 members and 12 churches. At this point the congregations divided into cell groups/ Home churches. They were underground for almost 10 years. In that 10 years, God multiplied 10 fold and when they came above ground in 80s they were 50,000 people!! Due to cell life, real disciples emerged and people started knowing God personally and obeying him radically.


Today, this church has:

  • 401,100 members
  • 636 churches
  • 856 church planting centers
  • 27 Regional Lead teams
  • They are sending people out (Ethiopians) in mission like a machine (nationally and internationally).
  • And they are the largest Mennonite church in the world making up about a quarter of Mennonites worldwide (if I am reading the book accurately). 


What is further fascinating is that it is 100% Ethiopian led! No white leader works in the office or makes the decisions. This is a fairly unusual situation for Africa.


When I arrived the other day and met with the head leader of MKC, he gave me a gift-- a book tracing the history of the church. I hung on each word of the 280 pages and completed it an hour ago. Great story!! (Picture above.) There is nothing like reading this book ON THIS SOIL!! Where it all happened. Awesome!




Would you pray with us?


On this trip, I have met with their leaders about UUPG possibilities and gathered info that they are aware of. They are not only ready to assist in engagement of 2 people groups but, but have also helped me to see the massive potential on Ethiopia for reaching North Africa and the Middle East. Ethiopia has been defined as a Christian island in a Muslim Ocean (though there are still 34 of the 82 ethnic groups in Ethiopia unreached)!


Some exciting things are stirring for the future.  My heart is full. Pray for EMM, All Nations and MKC as we discern possible kingdom collaboration and synergistic undertakings led of the Lord. We need wisdom, ears attuned to the Spirit and the courage to obey.

A Tax Return for the Kingdom

It is the wonderful tax time back in America where some of my dear friends and family are freaking out that they owe money while others are dancing over their good refund. Last week, I got a note from someone that we paying their full years's missions support for us out of their tax refund.  And it got me thinking. What a great idea.  


We want to make you aware that our family has still not raised our full budget.  We are about $25,000 short and if we do not raise it, we will be coming home earlier then we feel we are supposed to.  


So, my question to you is simple: If you are getting a tax refund, might you consider clicking HERE and sharing some of it with our cause for missions? 


Thank you for considering us in your giving to the Lord. And if not us, than give to your home church or another Kingdom cause!  I think it is pretty cool to use some of your tax refund for the Kingdom.  We plan to do the same!