Having pulled the leaders of the Island Leadership Network (ILN) together from their respective regions of Lake Victoria, our few hours gathered around strategic planning for the coming year yielded great forward movement. Our great mission of “Coming together to build a church that will transform the islands” is steadily pushing forward with momentum from God. Here’s some of the high points from last week’s meeting:
- Our network has expanded to cover more than 120 churches in six regions of the lake. We have a called, anointed leader for each region that serves sacrificially to see all the goals of our network realized in their local setting.
- The compromise of various pastors in the area of immorality is being corrected as each leader marries his wife. This alone is bringing new health and strength to churches whose leaders have lived for years in a state of hypocrisy.
- In the past nine months we held five conferences and two major evangelistic missions, ministering to more than 1,000 people, strengthening churches, and pulling in pastors to our unified fellowship.
- Our union is stronger than ever. Because of past hurts and abuses the island leaders are suspicious of white “assistance” and are justifiably cautious to join their hearts with others within our fellowship. Now that we’ve been serving seven years on the islands and ILN has been officially operating for four, we are being joined by many who are now convinced of the benefits of coming together for the sake of God’s glory alone.
- The overwhelming logistical challenges that leaders face on the islands are being tackled one by one:
- Communication barriers are being erased as local telecoms construct cellular towers across the islands. Nearly all of our members have phone access and through inexpensive text messaging we are able to connect with otherwise isolated congregations on a continual basis.
- Our plan for reducing the burden of costly water transport is the purchase of regional mission boats. The ILN members of each region are in process of gathering funds for the boat itself while ILN will provide a reliable motor. We laid hands on our new boat engine, believing God for a breakthrough in locating and setting up our new boat for speedy ministry on the lake.
- 20% of this year’s financial expenditures were paid for by the island leaders themselves. We discussed a plan for bringing this figure closer to 100% in the next few years for a truly self-sustaining ministry that outlasts its founder and continues to propel the island Church forward for future generations.
- For the remainder of 2013 and into 2014, we’ve set dates for a monthly island event centered around leadership training and evangelism. These core gatherings will provide us the ability to connect with every leader spread accross the lake, while additional visits and other ministry will enable us to assist leaders with the challenges of ministry in their villages.
- We’ve planned exploration trips to outlying islands whose pastors have visited our conferences, begging us to allow them to join our fellowship and expand to their areas.
We’re looking forward to the next 12 months with great anticipation. We’ve made our plans, but are asking Jesus to direct our steps and empower us by His Spirit to produce fruit that remains. Please pray with us for the transformation of the islands as we work together to build His Church.