Saturday, April 14, 2018

Making NGM Successful

TEAM NGM - March 2018
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, famously contended, "we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with."

Although his opinion is normally applied to the business community, it may hold enough truth that it could be applied to nearly any individual in any context.

The Bible seems to indicate we are like or will become like those we spend time with.  One New Testament passage warns, "bad company corrupts good character."  Solomon, in his Book of Wisdom, stated, "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."

I would like to pause for reflection on the people that I have been spending the most time with.

On a recent and rare day off work for a movie & lunch together
Because of my focus in this blog, I am going to exclude the two most important people in my life with whom I spend the most time:  Jesus Christ and my wife Pam.

Employed people figure they spend the majority of every week with the people with whom they work.  Others may argue that interaction with those people is minimal compared to the family and friends they hang out with over weekends.

My circumstances are not normal.  My family and friends live 10,000 miles from me ... literally on the other side of the world.  It is only my wife whom I stay with ... and we have already excluded her in this reflection.

So, it is true that the five people I am surrounded by are the people with whom I work.

Recently added staff
Full time Medical Manager & Sponsorship Coordinator
Over the past 13 years, Next Generation Ministries has undergone some radical transitions.  Love motivated Pam and me to leave the comfortable and mostly predictable confines of life in the beautiful state of Oregon and come to live among the people of Uganda.  We didn't have a template or blueprint to follow.  We had a God-given love and came to love the people of Uganda on behalf of Jesus Christ.

Relationships were ... and are ... the foundation and driving force of Next Generation Ministries.  Over the 13 years of our existence, some of those relationships resulted in increased responsibilities and eventually projects that demanded shared effort.  Hosting short term mission teams required hiring a cook, housekeeper and gardener.  The simple life of a mom and pop ministry began to surrender to a more complex and structured organization.

2017 was a year of advancement for NGM.  A strong push to comply with all laws of Uganda, as this Third World Nation pushed for development, resulted in a structured organization with specific procedure and protocol.  In order to carry out its responsibilities, hired staff had to be employed.  The official and highly engaged Uganda Board of Directors held multiple meetings and took over the responsibility of hiring staff to direct and fulfill the vision of Next Generation Ministries:  Changing Uganda One Person At A Time.

Lunch at last month's staff meeting
Four weeks ago, the NGM staff began meeting everyday at 8 AM in the larger office NGM acquired. The time spent together sharing Jesus with each other, coordinating responsibilities, encouraging one another, and expressing our dependence on the Lord has become a treasured beginning of each work day.  Monthly I am called on to lead a staff meeting where I cast the vision and core values of Next Generation Ministries.  Each staff member is motivated to examine how they can express the vision and values throughout their daily endeavors.

NGM is not a business.  It does not produce goods or services that yield revenue.  NGM is a part of God's eternal mission.  God's mission is to create us, call us, save us, and bless us to spread His grace, glory, and goodness to all peoples.  Next Generation Ministries is committed to God's eternal mission.

The team the Lord has assembled for the work of NGM is impressive.  The working staff in Uganda is a small portion of TEAM NGM.  The majority of the team resides in America.  There is a board of Directors on that side of the ocean.  NGM has a bookkeeper and office girl in Oregon.  Most of the team members are those who make financial contributions for this endeavor in Uganda. The staff in Uganda depends on the generous donations of the team members in the West.

Pam and I believe in what we are doing in Uganda.  We have given our lives for this work.  The sacrifice we make in terms of our relationship with our family is proof of that.  The fact that Pam and I have no motivation to retire is proof of that.  Would you be willing to make some sacrifices to help us be effective?  We are asking the Lord to increase our financial base in order to fulfill the increasing responsibilities here in Uganda.  We believe we are being faithful and making an impact.  We want your investment to produce results that will last for eternity.

Recently I was reading about the history of one of the most productive global businesses of the past several centuries.  One of the founding father's spiritual influences was John Wesley who
"preached both the virtues and responsibilities of wealth. 'We must exhort all Christians to gain all they can and save all they can; that is, in effect to grow rich,' Wesley insisted ... to allow Christian man to 'give all he can to those in need.'"  (Mansfield, The Search for God and Guinness, p63)
Our media manager will produce short video stories from this year to share what NGM is accomplishing.  We invite you to be a part of the team.  If you are already a monthly contributor, would you consider increasing that amount by ten or twenty dollars?  Would you consider recruiting donors to join you and us for this work? We believe that those investments will yield a great return ... here and in Heaven.

Please enjoy this short video as a way of meeting the people who are directing the work of Next Generation Ministries on a daily basis in Uganda.  Pray for them.  Pray for their individual and collective impact on the people they connect with each day.  Pray that God will show NGM favor in increasing our financial base as we move in a direction that we believe will produce a wider and deeper impact for the grace and glory of God.  These are the people that I work with on a daily basis and I couldn't be more proud of who they are and what they do.

In the upper right hand corner of this blog you will find an orange box with the words DONATE NOW.  Would you consider making a donation of any size right now?  Would you be willing to share the opportunity to join TEAM NGM with others?  Would you prayerfully consider organizing or becoming a part of a short term mission to Uganda to partner with NGM?

Together we will make NGM successful.

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