A New Chapter in Mexico

Last week I (Matt) had the opportunity to travel to Mexico City. While there I was a part of 2 different meetings where the Foundations Discipleship training was presented. The first meeting had 25 denominational and association leaders. The second meeting had 15 association leaders. The receptivity was amazing and it appears that we will be launching 4 new training centers in Mexico City (targeting April). In addition to these 4 training centers in Mexico City, we continue to work with Pastor Cirilo with Iglesia Nazaret on six new cities in Mexico that we have identified and hopefully will also be launching this Spring as well! This is amazing and exciting news. Pastor Cirilo, in addition to be a strategic partner with his local church in Mexico City, is also the head of the Evangelical Alliance in Mexico (CONEMEX).

While I have been in Mexico City I had the opportunity to meet Luis (on my right in the photo). Luis is planting a church in Mazatlan, Mexico in August. He would like for us to bring our pastor training to Mazatlan. His big question last week was this, “Do you do any pastor coaching?” The answer to this question is a resounding “YES!” Please pray for this new relationship with Luis that we will be able to encourage him personally and coach him well as he starts a new church in Mazatlan.

Matt, Andrew & Luis at dinner in Mexico City

Amazing Ministry In Veracruz with Pastor Cirilo

While in Mexico, I had the opportunity to preach at a gathering of rural churches in the state of Veracruz. The churches are a part of the association of churches that our ministry partner Pastor Cirilo is connected with. The ability to travel together for two days was both relationship building and also key to talking about future ministry partnership together. Please pray for continued growth in that relationship with Pastor Cirilo.

Matt & Bruce Training In Peru

Right now Bruce (one of the other Foundations trainers) and I are in Peru preparing to do seven different trainings, in five different cities in Peru. We will also be meeting with key leaders in the Peruvian church on Tuesday to discuss the future of our training in Peru. All the workshops will be on how that pastor/leader cares for their soul and manages their time. It is a very key workshop because many of these leaders struggle with living lives that have healthy margin. Please pray for the leaders as they evaluate how to implement this workshop in their personal lives.

Mark Your Calendars For Two March Events!

We would like to personally invite you to join us on March 7, 2019 at 6:30pm at Sun Valley Community Church, Tempe Campus for an evening celebrating all that God is doing through the ministry of Developing Workers. Developing Workers is new for Onalee and I in this season of ministry, but it has been an amazing ministry family to be a part of. Come hear stories of impact that have happened this year in all areas of Developing Workers. You know that we specifically focus on global pastor training, but Developing Workers also focuses on Medical Missions and local pastor/leader mentoring and coaching. So many lives have been impacted this past year and we can’t wait to celebrate with you that evening. A formal evite will be coming soon so please be on the lookout to RSVP. Dessert will be served.

And for those of you in Central California-please join us on Friday March 15th at 6:30-9:00pm for a dessert at the home of Bill & Karen Dufresne (2435 Oppelt Way Turlock, CA 95380). We will be sharing a ministry update as well as news about what exciting opportunities are opening up in the future for Onalee and I. Please RSVP to Onalee at (480) 329-0580.

We have been raising support now for 10 months and we are so thankful and excited to share that we are over 75% of our monthly support goal! God is so good-and we are aware that we couldn’t do this without all of the prayer and financial support that we receive!

Please join us in praying for:

  1. Bruce and I as we will be training pastors and leaders in Peru this next week. Pray specifically for the meeting we will have on Tuesday with strategic leaders about new opportunities in Peru.
  2. The new opportunities in Mexico! We are so excited about the new opportunities in Mexico City, and are praying about the new cities that we have identified as strategic cities to launch new training centers. In order to meet these opportunities, we need more trainers!
  3. Us to continue to reach our monthly support goal. We are so humbled at all that God has done. We continue to meet with people about joining our financial support team.
  4. The ministry of coaching and mentoring these leaders that we are developing relationships with. In every country we travel to, natural relationships are formed and these leaders are looking for ongoing coaching. Pray that we invest in and coach the right leaders who will continue to promote discipleship in their ministries and countries! Our vision and mission is to abolish global discipleship poverty and these leaders that we identify and coach are the key to this strategy!

A Developing Workers Update – January 2019

In the last year, God has blessed us with many things to celebrate. A few of the things that are at top of mind today include:

  • We have coached 37 pastors and missionaries
  • We have trained 1,435 pastors and leaders globally.
  • We sent one pastor to Scotland as a missionary
  • We placed one of our mentored pastors as a vocational pastor.
  • We saw one Grand Canyon University student placed as an intern.

We also celebrate the 4,345 patients seen in medical and the 110 people who came to trust in Jesus. God is good.

How Michael’s Example Leads Others in Mentoring

Even as God opens doors across the globe, our commitment to continuing to develop workers locally is as strong as it has ever been. One of our DW beneficiaries is Rich Redel, the Director of ASU Navigators.

Michael Parker has been mentoring Rich for over 5 years and recently shared his experience working through the Developing Workers mentorship process.

“I’ve been mentored by Michael for several years now. Lately, I’ve been noticing how his example has helped me mentor the young men in my ministry. As a mentor, I have lots of weakness, but Michael has helped me see that I need to speak the truth in love despite my own weaknesses. Of course, he helps me address those weaknesses and take them to the Lord. It’s not always easy to hear the truth, but I am so thankful for his willingness to address the hard issues, this makes me such a stronger leader. Same with these young men I meet with, it’s not always easy for them, but that’s the process of being sharpened by iron. I’ve been seeing some strong men emerge through my mentorship.” –Rich Redel, Director of ASU Navigators

Developing Workers Michael Parker with Director of ASU Navigators Rich Redel

Michael Parker with Rich Redel, the Director of ASU Navigators. Rich has been mentored through Developing Workers during 2018.

Serving Nigeria In Partnership with Equal As One

During August we traveled to Nigeria with Equal As One, a start-up non-profit based in the Greater Phoenix Metro area. The Equal As One mission to give communities in rural areas of low income a better life by providing primary health care and education is very much connected to our heart of meeting the physical needs of unreached and underserved people.

The theme of Nigeria can be defined as God meets needs.

The partnership in Nigeria reminded all of those involved that God’s love is great and He forgets nothing – he pays close attention to detail.

Here are a few comments from J.C. Nwobodo, Founder of Equal As One:

“When most other people were reluctant to join us in going to Nigeria on our first mission trip as an organization, the Developing Workers family jumped in. They helped us organize a mobile clinic to ensure that the community we served got a message to know that they’ve not been forgotten, which is contrary to what it seems they hear each day from the world around them and from the country they live in. DW helped us plan everything from medication procurement to logistics and in doing all of this, they were very mindful of the goals we needed to achieve on our first trip as an organization. Truly we couldn’t have done the work we did without them. We were blessed to have served God’s people with them.” –J.C. Nwobodo, Founder of Equal as One

The Growth, Expansion, and Impact to Expect In 2019

God is good, and we are excited by what He has called the ministry of Developing Workers to accomplish in 2019.

This year brings awe-inspiring opportunities to send medical teams to Kenya, Haiti, and Cambodia. We are also expanding our pastoral training into Brazil and Cambodia and releasing our discipleship material in Portuguese!

We plan to translate our discipleship curriculum into more languages too. It is our hope to provide audio Bibles in various languages to pastors who do not read, as well as provide Bibles in various languages to pastors in need.

We will train pastors and offer medical care globally in 2019.

Along with our international efforts, we plan to impact the lives of 40 pastors in the US by coming alongside them for encouragement and transformation.

There is so much to be grateful for, so much to anticipate, and so much joy.

Matt Swartz Goes Full Time with Developing Workers

Developing Workers continues to grow at a rapid rate and the growth is global. We are excited to add the Foundations Global movement, a movement started in a local Arizona church, into the fold of DW. Dave Shrein, DW Advisory Board Member, recently talked with Matt Swartz, Director of Foundations Global, about Developing Workers and what God has been doing the last several months, not only in the ministry, but in Matt’s life.

The Birth of Foundations Global and the Future In Developing Workers

For almost 30 years, Matt and his wife, Analie, have been serving in local churches in California, Wisconsin and Arizona. When they got to Sun Valley Church here in Arizona, Matt was asked to head up everything that was happening internationally. Matt began to see that globally, the pastors he was working with did not have access to the same training and growth opportunities that were available to United States pastors.

Foundations Global was born for the purpose of training these pastors. The majority of world pastors would say that only 1 in 10 pastors globally has any training.  You can’t have a ministry that’s feeding orphans without having someone as equipped and prepared to lead, not just the physical, but also the spiritual and emotional. Every area needs an equipped, trained leader to manage those programs. His team saw a need to start training pastors, and started developing training workshops for international pastors and leaders, training 1,000 pastors a year.

After Matt reconnected with Michael Parker, they talked about this issue of international pastor training. Developing Workers was starting a new chapter. Moving forward together, they are growing into what is now this amazing movement. The rest is history.

Watch This Video and Subscribe for Future News and Information

In this video, you’ll hear about the amazing journey of how God used a local church ministry to change Matt’s heart to have a passion for training pastors and leaders globally and to equip them to be more effective at what they do.

If you’d like to begin receiving news related to upcoming trips, opportunities to travel and serve, financial needs, and other information, click below to sign up for the Developing Workers newsletter.

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A Developing Workers Update- August 2018

Thank you for being a part of Developing Workers. As a result of the generosity of so many, people are being impacted all over the world. God is moving in the hearts of those who know Him, He is calling more to Him, and He is equipping more to lead others. It is such an exciting time! This summer we have had several groups out in the field doing amazing things.

Whitney Payne has a heart for missions and was dedicated to find a way to achieve her goals with the mobility limits she faces being in a wheelchair. Whitney decided to serve this summer as an intern. At first, her challenge was to figure out if each location she went to (Liverpool and Poland) would be conducive for her mobility. However, as time progressed she learned to trust that if God had called her to a location, He would provide a way. Whitney was able to serve in both Liverpool, England and Poznan, Poland. Whitney made immediate connections with kids and God has built confidence in her as she speaks to people about the gospel. She is such a blessing to everyone, the kids flocked to her, both because of her shining personality, and a chance to ride on her wheelchair. Developing Workers was blessed to help make her dreams to do ministry a reality.

We have seen God move in our summer trips and are so excited for what is ahead. Our fall trips are just around the corner! Our teams are in a need of a mini projector that can be taken along in a carry-on when traveling. The cost of this item will be $300, if you are interested in funding or donating towards to this specific gift please reach out to Michael. Our teams will be traveling to the following locations in the coming months and would love your prayer and support!

August- East Africa
September- India/Nepal
October- Mexico, Acapulco, South Africa, and Peru
November- Kenya

We are so excited for all the ways God will move in and through these trips. Please join us in prayer for the following:

  • Team members safety and health
  • Team members families while they are away
  • Team members heart and mind (prepared for the work!)
  • That we would multiply disciples
  • The details/logistics

A Note from Michael

The Parker family stayed busy through the summer! The whole family was back together as the college-bound kiddos returned to the nest. Swim lessons were in full effect, which makes for a fun summer full of smiling faces (mostly).

At the end of the summer, we were able to enjoy some time in Seattle and a cruise to Alaska with Chris’s parents and aunt Barb, who graciously provided the trip for the entire family!While on the cruise we were able to participate in an Escape Room which our exceedingly competitive crew actually won! Our family could not have been prouder! But the highlight of the trip for us was both joyful and somber, as we spent time in Skagway where Chris’s brother ashes had been spread years ago. We had a chance to share memories and pray together as we remembered his life. Even though some time has passed since his departure, it was a sweet time for the family. My father-in-law Jim accepted Christ years ago in response to watching his family deal with Mikey’s death with such hope. So we could think of no better way to honor Mikey than returning home from Alaska to baptize Jim. I had the privilege, alongside my mother-in-law Sue, to baptize my father-in-law in our family pool with Jim’s daughter and grandchildren. It was an amazing moment for our whole family, one that I know we cherish for years to come.

A Developing Workers Update from Matt Swartz

We have a new update from Matt Swartz, Director of Foundations Global at Developing Workers. This update was originally sent to Matt’s newsletter.

Matt Swartz Resigns from Sun Valley Community Church

When Foundations Global merged with Developing Workers it was only a matter of time before Matt Swartz would move to full-time Director of the work he founded in Foundations Global. That time recently came as Matt resigned his Sun Valley Community Church position of International Pastor after 19 years on staff.

Adding Matt full-time to Developing Workers means that we gain a gifted leader, trainer, recruiter, and developer of strategic partnerships. He has hit the ground running and we’re excited to share with you his recent work.

Training In Mexico, Liverpool, and Poland

Seeing God as a global God is a very big deal. Recently Matt traveled to Mexico City to work with 60 pastors and leaders, training them with the skills necessary to live a balanced Christian life. The work is not done as there will be a return visit during the fall of 2018 to pick up where the previous visit left off, teaching Workshop 4 from the Foundations Global training program.

Developing Workers currently has an active presence in Liverpool, England and Poznan, Poland. In June, Matt spent time training the workers present in these areas and in July returned to debrief them on what they had learned from and through the people that had been placed in their care. The workers in these cities are young adult interns from Sun Valley Community Church.

More Work In Florida and South Africa

In the coming months, Developing Workers is sending Matt to Florida and South Africa.

During his time in Florida, he will be meeting with Biblica, publisher of the NIV Bible, as well as working to translate our workshop material and curriculum into Portuguese. This will pave the way for Developing Workers to launch Foundation Global Workshops in the country of Brazil! YAY! The time with Biblica will also be a great opportunity to explore other ways to collaborate and partner together. We’ll see what God has planned!

And just when you thought the travel schedule was busy, Matt is traveling to South Africa to represent Developing Workers in partnership with Orchard: Africa to train pastors in the Foundations Global discipleship model.

Click here if you would like to financially support the work Matt Swartz is doing around the globe as well as Developing Workers as a whole

Hopefully, Matt will find time to breathe, spend time with his family and do some writing and long-distance running.

Raising Income to Support Full-Time Ministry Work and Prayer Requests

For the first time in 25 years of church ministry, Matt has stepped into raising his own financial support. So far, we thank God for already providing Matt with 55% of the funds required for his salary and travel expenses. As he continues to work hard training pastors and recruiting Kingdom supporters, you are invited to support Matt in the work God has already prepared for him to do.

Click here to become a Developing Workers partner and begin financially supporting Matt Swartz

We cannot do the work God has called us to without the financial support of our partners. In addition, we continue to covet prayer support as well. We believe that as finances fund the physical requirements of taking the Gospel global, prayer funds the spiritual needs to combat against the enemy.

For this reason, we would love to invite you to pray for Matt in the following ways:

  • For Matt as he meets with Biblica to discuss our partnership and outreach to Portuguese speaking people
  • For Matt as he prepares our launch in South Africa and partnership with Orchard: Africa
  • For our continued training in Mexico
  • That Matt will finish raising his support and lead Foundations Global well
  • For peace in Nicaragua, so we may resume training there
  • For our continued training in Panama and Peru
  • That our trainers can raise the support they need for traveling expenses
  • For pastors and leaders, we’ve trained to multiply disciples for Christ
  • For more trainers to reach more countries
  • For the Great Commission to be finished!

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A Developing Workers Update – June 2018

The Developing Workers story has been growing since 2009 and there is a lot to share about what’s been happening. For those who have participated in trips, been involved in mentoring programs and spent time with those who are connected to Developing Workers, they are all well aware of the opportunities that have opened up in recent years. They are also well aware of how Developing Workers has expanded by merging with other organizations and bringing a complete line of evangelism tools and discipleship training underneath the DW brand.

For those who have been casual onlookers, there is much to get caught up on.

In this interview between Dave Shrein, DW Advisory Board Member, and Michael Parker, Founder of Developing Workers, you’ll discover the mission behind Developing Workers, the recent impact Developing Workers has had through medical clinic trips and pastoral training classes, and the upcoming adventures that God has opened the door too.

If you’d like to begin receiving news related to upcoming trips, opportunities to travel and serve, financial needs, and other information, click below to sign up for the Developing Workers newsletter.

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