Posted by: Aaron McCarter | July 17, 2007

Joska

Big news for me…BIG NEWS! The church that I pastor, the Maryville Vineyard (www.maryvillevineyard.com), has been struggling to find clear direction about world missions for over a year now. We’ve had some ideals in mind…some things that we’ve really been looking for, and until recently have been unable to find.

Africa’s been on my mind from day one. The needs there are so massive, it’s hard for me to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, that massive need feels overwhelming…where do you even begin? There are wonderful organizations out there that do lots and lots of good (i.e. World Vision), but that’s not who we felt like we should be partnering with. We wanted to be a part of something focused, specific, and intentional. Forget the shotgun approach. For months now, every conversation we’ve had about world missions has ended on the same note…we need to commit, long term, to one group of people…commit indefinitely…a ‘covenant’ relationship with a group of people in need, and walk with them until they are whole and able to help those around them. If we can do that in a few years…great! Or, if my grandkids are the first to see it happen…so be it! We loved the idea, but had no idea how to pull something like that off…we needed a partnership with a missions organization.

About a month ago my friends at the Trinity Vineyard in ATL (www.trinityvineyard.org) told me about an amazing missions organization called the 410 Bridge (www.410bridge.org). They’re doing just exactly what we’d been looking for! They’ve put their focus on Kenya, and specifically on towns/villages with great need, and in which they are able to build relationships with strong local leadership. Check out their website and see for yourself, they can communicate their vision far better than I could hope to (www.410bridge.org).

Through talking with the pastor of the Trinity Vineyard, Kris McDaniel (www.krismcdaniel.blogspot.com), we became convinced that God was leading us to connect with the 410 Bridge, to commit along with them to the nation of Kenya, and specifically to serve the village of Joska.  The video on the 410 Bridge website about Joska, is especially helpful (http://410bridge.org/location-joska.php).

There’s a lot more to be said…I’ll be posting more in the future about Joska, Kenya, and the 410 Bridge.  I’ll be going on a service trip to Joska in a couple of months…so I’ll have much more to say after that trip.  I’m as excited about this as I’ve been about anything else in the life of our church!  

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