October 1 was our birthday. Reconciled World celebrates being three years old. Each year has been marked by a theme. The first year was a year of stability—we celebrated that we had come into existence and survived. The second year was growth—we added a bunch of new countries. I travelled to every continent but Antarctica that year. This past year was systems—we worked hard on a rebranding effort which will be revealed in the months to come, all new tools, a fantastic story book. We also added staff in Africa, redesigned the leadership team and a bunch more stuff. Since I’m an overachiever I thought I would also take on the task of writing a booklet helping people to apply the lessons God has taught us in the last 15-plus years. That booklet is already 20,000 words and is not finished!
This was originally posted on October 14, 2013, but we wanted to share it with you again.
Jesus: Our model for loving others
How should my life (words, actions and decisions) reflect my relationship and pursuit of Christ?
If a person is walking with God on the inside, then their life (words, decisions, and actions done out of obedience to God) should reflect a distinct character on the outside.
It started with saying, “yes.”
For a couple of years, people from various countries and organizations had been contacting us, asking for our help in doing Truth Centered Transformation (TCT) in their own contexts. Everytime we spoke at a conference or with a group of practitioners, we were flooded with more requests for help.
To which we said, “Sorry, we can’t help you.”
We were a tiny leadership team (back then, just two people), trying to launch our own organization and figure out who we are and what we are about. There was no way we could galavant around the globe launching TCT projects willy-nilly.
This blog was originally posted on October 30, 2014, but we love it so much that we wanted to share it again.
Have you ever walked into a movie late? What was that experience like?
After shuffling through the theatre’s darkness, you sit down with a sigh of relief, and dive into the action on the screen.
If you’re not too late, you get most of the story but can’t shake the feeling of being robbed of something good. But if the traffic really held you up, the storyline may just not fully make sense. In fact, chances are, without seeing the beginning of the movie, there are crucial things about the film that to this day you may never realize you have completely missed out on.
Growth is a difficult thing. It almost always involves being stretched outside your comfort zone and doing things that at first seem impossible. Have you noticed that?
Thankfully, when God asks us to grow, He brings people alongside us to fill in our gaps and complement our abilities. It’s that Body of Christ, iron-sharpening-iron thing. That’s why we are so excited about the people that God has recently called to join Reconciled World’s US team–Doug Glynn and Heather Hicks. We asked them to share a bit about their journeys so that you can celebrate them with us!
Is it possible to change a whole industry? How about a multi-billion dollar industry? That’s the question that The Great Exchange is asking. Can we change the world of Microfinance?
Now, most people think of Microfinance as being an industry that isn’t really in need of change. It’s long been touted as the perfect solution to the problem of poverty. You give someone a loan to buy something like a sewing machine, from which they can make a profit and pay back the loan using the extra money they earn. Lives changed, stories and photos published.
This year, God has been teaching and reminding the Reconciled World team to depend on Him no matter our circumstances. Over and over again, we’ve heard our program directors say that they are being reminded to depend on God and that He is faithful.
Take Create Commission, for instance. It has been a season of dynamic change for the team. Anthony and his family arrived in 2015, and have been doing the hard work of transitioning to a new culture and city. At the same time, Anthony has stepped in to teach workshops and develop curriculum. The founder and director of Create Commission began a leave of absence to pursue an MFA in visual art. Another member of the team has stepped up to provide leadership over the next two years. He says, “Stepping into this role is good and stretching at the same time. [I’m learning about] depending on God and abiding in Him. He is all we need–be it wisdom, direction, clarity, provision…everything.”
I’ll be honest, the first time I met with Rahham and heard what they were doing, I was a little confused. It didn’t really fit with anything that I imagined Reconciled World being involved with. However, I was struck by two things. 1) the incredible testimony and humility of the leader and 2) an unshakable sense that God was doing something quite unbelievable and it was worth taking the time to find out if God was calling us to partner together. Six months into the process, I can tell you that we are sure that God has lead Rahham to us as a partner and we are excited to have them onboard.
We are two years old. It’s hard to really take in how time has flown.
This last year has been all about growth. We added two new Reconciled World partners and seven new TCT projects. We’ve expanded beyond Asia and now have partners in Uganda and DR Congo. We have also been involved in training in Republic of Congo (a whole different country from DR Congo) and in South Sudan.
With all this growth, the big question has become, “Who are we?”
Have you ever made cookies with a preschooler? I have. A lot. My daughters love to “help” me make cookies. They spend most of the time jostling each other off the chair they’re standing on, spilling ingredients and licking things. Let’s just say it takes twice as long to make the cookies and four times as long to clean up with my “helpers” with me. At the end, they present the cookies “they made” to [whomever] with immense pride. Meanwhile, I stand behind them exhausted, praying the oven was hot enough to kill all the germs, and wishing mythical elves would clean the kitchen for me.
This is how I feel about being involved in God’s work—like I am the child who thinks I’m helping make cookies. Obviously, God doesn’t need my efforts, good ideas or money to accomplish His work. He spoke the universe into existence, for heaven’s sake. In fact, I imagine I mess up as often as I get anything right and that I hold God back as often as I get anything done. Yet God delights in our “help.” He invites us to be part of what He is doing in the world, because He loves us and wants us to share in the joy.