As we start a new year, there are new friends and opportunities that we would like to share with you as well!
At the end of this week, we leave for West Africa where we continue our work in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Cote d’Ivoire, but we will also introduce Discipling Marketplace Leaders to a new country through Life Ministries Togo (Campus Crusade for Christ). Togo is a small country in West Africa, neighboring Ghana and Benin. Togo has a population of eight million, approximately 48% of whom are Christian, and the official language is French. [This means that this upcoming trip will be four French countries.] The economy in Togo depends mostly on agriculture, growing coffee, cocoa beans, and peanuts.
This year also sees some new members of the Discipling Marketplace Leaders team, whom I would like to introduce to you at this time.
Brenda DenHouten joins us as our Community Outreach Coordinator. She lives in Grand Rapids MI and has many years of experience in working with nonprofits in communications, program and staff development, and development. She worked for many years with Resonate Global Mission and also worked internationally with a nonprofit in South Africa. She is passionate about building the church and seeing the flourishing of people around the world. We are thankful that she has joined the US DML team!
Dr. Sublime and Rachel Mabiala join us as our Africa Team Coordinators. Sublime is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rachel is from Detroit, Michigan and they currently live in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. They met at Fuller Theological Seminary where both were studying Missiology and International Development. Sublime has his PhD in International Development and Rachel is finishing her Doctorate in Business Administration. Their passion in their mission was to bring economic development to the local church and then they learned about DML! We couldn’t ask for a couple that is more equipped to join in this ministry, bridging between theology and business!
Lastly, 2023 sees some new initiatives for Discipling Marketplace Leaders. We are excited to launch a new research project in Burundi, to study the impact of DML on youth over a five-year period. Secondly, we will be focused on digitizing DML in 2023, moving toward more social media and video spots instead of written documents. Lastly, while we focus on digitizing, we also want to focus on making sure that DML materials are available easier for oral learners.
Thanks to you, we were able to meet our challenge match at the end of last year and now we look forward to getting to work in 2023. Thank you for being part of this team!