Daniel and Jalia admitted that they had never eaten crab when we went out to dinner together. Where do you find crab in Kampala, Uganda? At a Chinese restaurant, of course! Several months ago they traveled to China on business and hopefully their new found tastes served them well.
When you think about the term "vocational ministry" do you think of it in a Western context? How about in an African context? Two of the most entrepreneurial business people I've met are Daniel and Jalia. They are also committed to making their business glorify God and serve the local church.
They met in college. They came to Christ in college. They started their own art business right out of college. Today they employ over 80 Ugandans in a Fair Trade jewelry business. They hold daily Bible studies for their employees (who are not forced to attend -- but many do). They take their employees to church on Sunday, picking them up and taking them home.
Over a dozen of their employees have accepted Christ over the last several years, some of them from animistic and Muslim backgrounds. Daniel and Jalia attribute the conversions to their work place environment. There was a contagious sense of joy among their employees when I visited the factory.
Now they want to start an egg business. There are no eggs in Uganda with yellow yolks. Hens need to eat yellow corn feed if they are going to produce eggs with yellow yolks. Yellow corn is a scarcity in Uganda. So there are no eggs with yellow yolks.
Foreign businessmen and business women complain about the lack of yellow-yolked eggs. So do tourists. Daniel and Jalia have purchased land with buildings that will house enough chickens to create a fair sized production line. Who knows?! It might actually work.
Pray for Daniel and Jalia. Pray for their business ventures. Pray for their employees, that many more would come to know Christ.
(As an aside, I shot a video of a young woman describing her vocational ministry in Uganda with Daniel and Jalia. You can view it on the 18.26 Network site, where I posted it some time ago. Click on the button below. If you view it, please let me know what you think.)
It feels a little strange to be posting so much information about our ministry. It is cathartic. Does it seem to you like we have lived in the "shadows" of ministry news-sharing for a long time -- 20 years?! It seems like that to me.
Now that we have changed roles and are involved in a open, global ministry we are catching up with folks who have followed us -- albeit quietly -- for most of our ministry in "secure" areas. Last month I spoke in a church and the pastor used my last name. That felt strange.
Pray for us as we share opportunities with more and more folks who are interested in vocational ministry globally. Pray that we will make the connections that God wants us to make. Pray that gain wisdom and experience in playing a more public role in missions promotion.
Thank you in advance for those prayers.
This is a young woman that Jan mentored last year at Cross-Cultural Ministry Internship in Belgium.
The beginning of November I sent a letter to all my Enterprise women announcing that I will transition out of Enterprise beginning January 2017 and will work with Jud in global ministry. This also means I will not lead the Enterprise Women’s Ministry (EWM) as of January but will focus on developing an international women’s ministry under Jud’s global ministry focus.
It is a bittersweet transition as I’ve loved getting to know and to care for the women who work in the Muslim world. There are over 60 women whom I’ve prayed for regularly and have shared in their struggles and joys over the past 10 years. I’ve also had the privilege to visit many of them in the countries where they serve.
However, I am excited to be working with Jud again and to use the many things that I’ve learned in leading the EWM to develop a new international women’s ministry. In January I will travel to London to work on final EWM transition logistics with my colleague. We will also discuss ways that I can develop my new ministry.
In the next few months I want to take time to reflect on the past 10 years of my work with the EWM and take some time to write about that particular journey and how the Lord has grown me through it.
Another of aspect of global ministry is related to developing leadership on the field. This can entail moving responsibility from Atlanta-run ministries to field leadership or helping fields develop innovative ministry in global collaboration with other local ministries. This last year children's ministry in Haiti and church-planting in Cherokee, North Carolina were two such areas where our global ministry was effective. The set of photos below were taken in Haiti.
Two years ago, this coming February, Rod Mays, the executive pastor at Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC asked me to do something special. Mitchell Road is a supporting church and we were at their annual missions conference. Rod had heard that my MTW role would entail new global models of missions deployment.
So what did Rod ask me to do? He asked me to internationalize The Fellows Initiative (TFI). TFI is a vocational ministry internship that about 30 churches in the US use to develop recent college graduates in the context of the local church. About half of the churches that use TFI are PCA and about half are Anglican. A good article to read about Fellows can be found here: G
Fellows Initiative -- By Faith article
Since that time I have been working to create opportunities for TFI to expand in key global cities around the world. I have contacted ministry partners in: Cape Town, South Africa; Bangalore, India; Brussels/Gent, Belgium; Kampala, Uganda; Istanbul, Turkey; Panama City, Panama; and, Monterrey, Mexico. Of those sites, I have visited Brussels/Gent, Cape Town, Istanbul, Kampala and Monterrey.
Presently sites in Mexico and Belgium seem to be the most ready to start a Fellows program. Last April I hosted a group of leaders from Monterrey and Brussels at a TFI conference in McLean, Virginia. I had visited both sites several times since that conference and I am hosting a second TFI vision conference in Monterrey this December.
Who will attend this conference? Belgian leaders will attend. Leaders from four different mission agencies will be there. Mexican and Peruvian leaders will be there. Missionaries from Panama City, Prague, London and Gent will be there. It will be a cross-agency, international event.
Next year we would expect to see at least one international program get underway with several others in the early formation stage. Please pray for this conference (December 9-11)!
Jud and Jan Lamos have been in global ministry for over 40 years -- not combined years -- but 40 sequential years together. They have lived in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas and now travel extensively to globalize Mission to the World's vision, values and goals. These blogs add special insight into their lives of service.