Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Needing Bows For Our Arrows

Destiny is not a matter of chance.  It is matter of choice.
                                  -- William Jennings Bryan

From the Beginning human beings were trusted with the amazing power of choice. From small to huge choices, and every choice in between, every person has the ability to make life changing choices throughout their lifetime.

Some people live to increase the options of choice for those who are limited by their location and culture ... specifically in Third World Nations.

Mentoring is an extension of parenting ... which is the target of the commission of Jesus given to His followers ... to make disciples.

When I was a young father, more than 40 years ago, I was captured by a phrase out of a song penned by a songwriter who yielded the lyrics to his Jewish community which was sung by those people as they made their annual ascent to Jerusalem.  He wrote:

Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior's hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!

My passion over the past decade has been to find as many branches as possible and craft them into straight and true arrows and place them in the hands of Jesus so that they might live up to their God-given potential ... for His glory.

This pursuit has been carried out in the East African nation of Uganda.  The nation is filled with abandon, misused, neglected, and abused branches.  50% of the population of Uganda is 14 years or younger!  Behaviorized to believe their options are few, I have worked to counter that culture by attempting to build foundation stones in the lives of some so that they see the options available to them along with the courage to make good choices.

I recently sent a short email to my adopted African daughter that simply read, "Few things are more challenging or rewarding than being a parent."

10 Congolese men who recently spent 3 days & nights
in our home for intentional mentoring
After training three biological children who have given me 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild, and now 4 young adult African children, it would appear that this might be fulfilling enough for me.  Maybe it is time to start considering retirement.

Nothing could be farther from my heart and mind.  I fired off an email just recently from my office in Jinja, Uganda, to the Next Generation Ministries Board of Directors.  The subject of the email was LONG RANGE PLANNING and the email consisted of an open discussion about the next ten years of our pursuit of launching arrows for the Kingdom of God here in Uganda.

At the core of every motive, attitude, thought, and behavior, I want these young men and women to know who they are (IDENTITY), why they are here (PURPOSE), and where they are going (VISION).

God has the answers to each of those questions.  Without His applied answers, these arrows will not reach the target.  They will not have the ability to make choices that enable them to live out their destiny.

On September 19, 2016, our initial effort of mentoring, titled ONE STEP, will begin.  ONE STEP is a 12 week cross cultural course that is enrolling both Americans and Africans to experience a residential training that enables those registered to discover their identity, purpose, and vision.  Life's a journey, but it is taken one step at a time.  These 12 weeks provide an environment for taking one step with some amazing mentors, assisting those enrolled for the rest of their journey.

Once branches are gathered, they are honed, shaped, and prepared to inflict deadly wounds against an enemy.  Those with only a desire to survive in life will end up disappointed and full of regrets when they reach the end of their temporary existence on Earth.  Jesus said that He came to give LIFE and to give it to its fullest extent.   The passion of NGM is to help the next generation live their lives to the fullest by connecting them to Jesus.

Mark Batterson wrote, "Pursuing our passion is the key to living a fruitful and fulfilling life.  It is the thing that wakes us up early in the morning and that keeps us up late at night.  It is the thing that turns a career into a calling.  It is the thing that gives us goose bumps ... Wild Goose bumps. And nothing will bring you greater joy."

So many young adults in Uganda have grown without spiritual mentoring.  The ONE STEP effort is now going to offer what these young adults need.  God has chosen to work through relationships. The ONE STEP course provides an environment for healthy and nurturing relationships.  The old saying "More is caught than is taught" is true and those enrolled will be mentored largely through observation of some who live life well.

I want to provide you with a choice:  Please choose to join us in helping shape young arrows that will hit the target.  We need bows to help us launch some arrows.  We want to provide scholarships and subsidize the amount the Ugandan nationals will pay.  Would you become a part of this arrow launching team and contribute to the One Step Scholarship Fund?  I find it fascinating that Ezekiel wrote, "Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door."

Please help us to help the poor, needy, neglected, and abandoned be encouraged, equipped, and empowered through the ONE STEP course so that they have the option to be world changers.

Send a check or money order to Next Generation Ministries, 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton, OR 97017.  Please designate it for ONE STEP.  Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! I will be praying for for this new ministry!


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