“What are you doing today that will make a difference 100 years from now?"
It was Mark Batterson’s question that provided the perspective I needed and provoked the faith that was necessary to believe that God could use the Oregon Ministry Network to change the course of history across the Horn of Africa by providing discipleship and training materials in the three major heart languages of the people of Ethiopia: Amharic, Oromiffa, and Somali.
God dropped into my heart the thought that the Horn of Africa Translation Initiative is an enduring and transformative strategy that really will make a difference 100 years from now! Providing the Living the Truth discipleship course of study and the diploma-level Discovery Series training curriculum will endure for generations to come with the power to transform those predominately Muslim nations that make up the horn: South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia.
At first, the thought of raising the $720,000 to fund this translation initiative seemed out of reach for the 188 churches that comprise the Oregon Ministry Network. However, during the Summit missions service, something happened in the hearts of those in attendance. Even before the offering was received and commitments were made I sensed that God was speaking to us through the ministry of John Easter. And before Summit adjourned on Wednesday, a total of $673,000 had been given in cash and commitments to be paid over the next 24 months!
Our involvement in the initiative has taught me a valuable lesson. Often times we limit what God can and will do through us by being unwilling to take risks. Depending on your circumstances or the church you pastor, signing your name to a commitment of $1,000 or $50,000 can seem risky. I know that when we made the commitment to Africa’s Hope for $720,000, the thought of potential failure crossed my mind. And yet, I knew this was an opportunity for God to prove himself to our entire network family, which he has done.
In the first two months since Summit an additional $20,000 has been committed for the Initiative, which brings the total to nearly $700,000. And although we have 24 months to fulfill this commitment, we have already received $50,000 of the commitments made, which brings the total we have forwarded to Africa’s Hope to just over $200,000.
How many times have you heard the catchphrase, “We can do more together than we can do alone?” This Translation Initiative has demonstrated the value of working together. Through our combined efforts we are making an impact that will reverberate across the Horn of Africa and beyond for generations to come.
TOGETHER, we are Bending the Sending Edge of the OMN for the sake of the unreached and least reached!