Mexico, Spain, Tanzania & Christmas

When we look back on this year it will be remembered with many highs and lows. The constant for us will be this absolute awareness that God was present with us through everything and faithfully provided again and again. It was such an amazing year of ministry, and as we wrapped up the training for the year, we have to celebrate that we were able to train over 1,100 leaders globally in nine countries! God is so good! Here are some highlights from November…

My brother Tom and I with Pastor Gustavo and his wife Alejandra

We shared with you earlier this year that we met Pastor Gustavo in Madrid, and walked away knowing that he was the right pastor to partner with to see Spain launched. And so the weekend before Thanksgiving my brother Tom joined me as a new trainer with Developing Workers and we launched Workshop One with 60 leaders in attendance! The average age of the attendees was very young and added so much energy to the day. The highlight of the day was when we invited leaders to turn in a card committing to start discipling someone, 45 of them came forward with a card. It was an amazing moment. I was also asked to preach at Pastor Gustavo’s church on Sunday morning and an additional 15 people responded to begin a discipleship relationship with someone. We have been asked to come back and do Workshop Two in February. Please pray for God to work out the details to make this happen.

Expansion in Mexico

In June, Mike Fike and I launched a new training center in Mexico with the Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Pastor Fredis Conde has been an amazing partner and friend. I traveled to Mexico with a new trainer, Elijah Hernandez, who is also a student at Grand Canyon University to continue with Workshop Two. It was a great time training the 30 leaders in attendance on how to care for themselves spiritually, but what was even more exciting was to hear Pastor Fredis plan for expansion of our training to Puebla, Cancun, Oaxaca, Chiapas and throughout Southern Mexico! Stay tuned…

Pastor Wilson from Kenya Takes Training to Tanzania!

Michael Parker, Founder of Developing Workers, has been working for many years with Pastor Wilson in Kenya. When he asked if he could head to Tanzania to start Foundations Training, the answer was an easy Y-E-S!! Praise God for this visionary leadership that is opening the door to abolish discipleship poverty in Tanzania!

Year End $5K Update

We are so thankful to everyone that has already responded to our $5K Year-End Giving Challenge. We have already received $3,000 in one-time gifts that will help us finish the year strong financially. We are already looking at the ministry calendar for the Spring and it will be an amazing season of ministry, and your gift will help us start 2020 strong!

Merry Christmas! We are so grateful for all the prayer and financial support! Your investment in this ministry is transforming lives as we work together to Abolish Discipleship Poverty globally! When we think about all that God has accomplished this year, and what we believe that God will accomplish next year, it is only possible with our partnership. We thank God for each and every one of you! 🎄🎉

Bibles, Medicine & Miracles

A Chance to Give

In this giving season, we invite you to consider some very powerful ways to steward your generosity.

Put Bibles in the hands of pastors who have no access to them.  
Give the healing power of medicine to a person in need overseas.

Developing Workers opened the door for you to actively and directly get involved in our work through these specific ways to give. These sponsorships are reserved for the distribution of Bibles and medication during our trips to train church leadership and facilitate medical clinics in some of the 14 nations Developing Workers has access to globally.

Check it out today, and give while the need is great! 

Stories from Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a land of many colors, smells, and sounds. Stepping off the plane can often overwhelm the senses, but it is always the break through in individual lives that expands our limited realities and our understanding of God and His work. We go to be a blessing and return blessed beyond measure by His masterful hand.

On a recent trip, we had planned to address child safety issues through our Child Safety Initiative (CSI). We had followed God’s leading by designing and initiating a pathway for healing for those who had experienced trauma. Our team, both American and Southeast Asian, set out to identify local adults who were willing to partner with us and continue the work after we were gone.

With the plan in place, God led us to a faithful believer on the other side of the world.

Carrying a painful story of abuse and trauma they were willing to serve alongside us; ready and seeking to be used by God. It was the beautiful, intricate working of innumerable details by God, bringing His redeeming power to the life of a young believer a world away. 

This believer is now overseeing young people who have been identified as being at risk and needing extra love, care and especially the power of restorative discipleship. Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor; how amazing our God is!

“For to us, a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

Rakesh

God used CSI to expose 6-year-old Rakesh’s abuse to us. He lived in a hostel because home was too far from school. Other children lived there also and they were all cared for by a thirteen-year-old caregiver. Through the simple CSI questions, Rakesh shared with us that this 13-year-old would hit him and the other younger children when she became angry. Rakesh and other children were afraid of her, but he bravely told us her name. Our team asked the same CSI questions to this teen-aged caregiver. Her own story was one of neglect as a child which resulted in anger and abuse toward the younger children in her care. We were able to counsel her in alternatives to anger and connected her with someone to disciple her on her journey toward healing. In this situation, the use of CSI allowed us to intervene in an often seen cycle of  hurt people hurting others because of their pain. CSI was the catalyst toward bringing generational change to a cycle of abuse.

How wondrous to see our God, the God of restorative hope, healing, and freedom, use His perfect plan to impact lives across the globe from The United States to Asia and beyond. Won’t you join us on these journeys prayerfully, physically, financially? Come as we discover together how great our God of unfathomable details truly is. He invites us to join Him in His work. Listen to His leading and be ready to be blessed beyond all that you could ask or imagine!

“Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

Ephesians 3:20

Pastors, Hope, and Restoration

India Recap

Developing Workers-Mobilize returned last week from our most recent trip to India. It was an amazingly impactful trip with clear evidence of the movement of God’s Holy Spirit.

As part of  the medical camp Developing Workers led, 432 people confessed Jesus as their Savior and turned to Him for their salvation! Our team trained 62 local pastors in how to grow their church by making multiplying disciples. The Child Safety Initiative met with 64 young people who have been identified as being abused, and they now have hope of being discipled with a Child Champion in their local community.

Praise God as He pours out His love and ministry in the nation of India!

Hope and Restoration Highlight


“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82:3-4

It is the mission of Developing Workers Child Safety Initiative (CSI) to protect and develop those precious in God’s eyes, those unable to protect themselves, and to encourage their healthy development as future leaders in their communities. CSI is designed to screen and identify children at risk for social/emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

If children are to flourish, they must understand that they have great value – they are valuable to God and to their community. Our vision is to help children begin to know their value in God’s eyes. Developing Workers aspires to activate, train and equip community leaders to protect and develop these young people as emerging healthy adults and leaders in their communities around the world.

Right now, we are actively using 2 curriculums – “Hope” and “Restoration” – that our team formed to help guide young people in this pursuit. This curriculum  has been released and is being used as discipleship material where CSI is having an impact in the lives of young people who have been identified as being abused.

Pastors Training


In addition to the recent training in India, this month has been full of pastoral training opportunities. Matt just returned from a trip to Cambodia as Foundations partnered with Global Surge to train church planters. Using material focused on multiplying disciples and leaders by apprenticeship, 117 pastors were trained. What’s more, this month our Kenyan brother, Pastor Wilson, traveled to Tanzania and trained 148 leaders with the discipleship material he was also trained under through Developing Workers.

The first weeks of November, Michael will lead a team to return to Kenya to partner with churches there in pastors training conferences. Matt will continue his travels for Foundations and training in Mexico during that time as well.

Child Safety Initiative

CSI – The Child Safety Initiative Connecting with Kids Globally!


An important facet often included in Developing Workers trips abroad is the Child Safety Initiative. Child safety evaluations are used to help identify children who are caught in the throes of domestic violence or trafficking.

More recently, Developing Workers has grown this ministry to also include CSI training during our visits to local churches and pastors, providing curriculum of on-going counseling and support for children and teens that are struggling due to the exposure of abuse and wounding in their lives.

These tools are aimed at helping the children to see the value of who they are in Christ and to help them see themselves as valued and treasured. CSI helps connect each young person with a Child Champion who can be a safe person for them at any time.

What’s New with the Parkers?


The Parkers started this school year off with 3 kids at Grand Canyon University – a freshman, a junior, and a senior.

Jeremy is a life-leader, discipling other students. Charis is an RA and really giving great Christian leadership to her dorm, in addition to leadership overall. Kendra is a freshman and doing very well. Cassidy is a junior in high school at McClintock, flying solo as a Parker for the first time, doing well in her studies and is on the swim team. The twins Evan and Alexander are in second grade and have assimilated to school, receiving good behavior reports and are doing well in educational processes.

Please keep us in your prayers as we are a busy family. Also, will you pray for Kendra and Cassidy? They have been recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and in addition to that, Cassidy has a cardiac virus. We are in a learning curve of a gluten-free diet and understanding how to care for each of them.

Student Missions Outreach and Cambodia Missions

Student Missions Outreach

Recently, the Developing Workers team was represented at Grand Canyon University’s Missions Fair, exposing the students of GCU to different organizations and potential directions for their futures.

We connected with more than 240 students and have the ongoing opportunity to encourage them. After spending time talking, Kelly Ramsland sat with one lady and led her to the Lord on the spot. She saw the need and stepped in, and the Lord moved in her heart. Praise God!

Cambodia Missions

This past month, some former students were sent out to impact the world.

Michael and Chris went to Antioch Church in Chandler to send out a team to Cambodia. On the team were Steven Law and Garrit Kidd with their wives and families, now grown adults whom Michael poured into years ago during his time serving as the Pastor of Student Ministries at Grace Community Church in Tempe. This is a blessing to see and a great example of how investing in discipleship can bring about great fruit for God’s glory!

What’s more, this team will be in Cambodia indefinitely and Developing Workers will have the opportunity to meet them there next September, a little more than a year after they’ve hit the ground with language learning and ministry.  

We’ll look forward to partnering with them in ministry together.

Developing Workers Updates for India and Kenya

India – (October)


We’re returning to India with both a training and medical missions team. Our group of volunteer doctors and nurses will be in southern India where Developing Workers has been involved in the past.  

The opportunity to see people come to Christ is really exciting! We look forward to deepening connections next month, as we have been pouring into staff of One Child there and we will also meet with local pastors.

Working with Brave Global, our team will teach a discipleship curriculum based around girls and women being brave as well as boys and men being true. As they are discipled and encouraged to walk in their identity, may these girls and women find their courage to live a strong life, may these boys and men understand the Bible’s truth teaching them to be a man of God!  

On this trip, a couple of the team of Brave Global are joining to help expose their team to our ministry and do some training as we form more mutual integration. One of our goals is to learn more from Brave Global on discipleship specifically for girls who have been trafficked and are in abusive situations.

We truly believe that a restorative discipleship model will move to bring hope and restoration to a generation of youth where 1 out of 2 young people have experienced sexual abuse. 

Kenya – (November)


Michael, along with 3 other men, will set out for Nairobi. There the men will continue pastoral development through the teaching of 1 Peter, showing pastors how to study the Bible and live out discipleship in their communities.  

Michael will share a leadership piece everyday of the trip based on the lives of Peter and Jesus, emphasizing how to manage a church and also be a man of character. He’s really excited for this!  

Watch this video from a Pastor in Kenya sharing his experience with DW

This is a return trip after being active in Kenya a number of years and pouring into these relationships. There have been 21 churches planted so far as a result of the work there.

This trip will include praying for a new church plant and going to a new community, walking among that community, and asking the Lord to grow His church there.

Discipleship and Partnering with Global Surge

Discipleship

Discipleship is at the heart of all we do at Developing Workers. Our organization exists to see leaders walking in their full potential, that they may be discipled unto the discipleship of others. We see that discipleship is all about mimicking the life of someone else.

Dallas Willard explains it as, “…the process of becoming who Jesus would be if He were you.” Jesus sent His disciples out with a charge to make disciples of all nations, and we see that it was AFTER He spent time training them.

Thank you for making a way for the training, the coaching, the discipleship to happen through Developing Workers! We hope you as our supporters know how important, valued, and cared for you are. Your participation in this ministry is vital and an encouragement to us at all levels.

Expanding and Growing

Developing Workers has been expanding and growing. God is using Developing Workers around the world in incredible ways, encouraging and influencing pastors around the globe, sometimes even through our partnerships with other organizations too.

While much of the fruit sown remains to be watered by workers and grown by the Lord, some is already clearly measurable. And it’s so exciting!

We have invested in over 4,200 pastors’ lives. Just recently, through an event Developing Workers is connected to, 774 young people came to know Christ!

Partnership with Global Surge

We are partnering with Global Surge in Kenya, Cambodia, and the Philippians  to teach discipleship. We were with Global Surge in Nairobi at the Braveheart Conference to encourage and follow up with the new believers in discipleship.

Stories of People from Kenya, Cambodia and Spain

Sometimes we feel this deep sense of being overwhelmed at the doors God is opening for ministry. It is easy to rattle off countries that God is expanding the ministry to, but it feels like the stories of people that we meet can get lost. So here are three stories…

Matt Speaking at the S4 Conference in Nairobi
Matt Speaking at the S4 Conference in Nairobi

Pastor Dedan from Kenya

The opportunity to be on a panel about discipleship at the S4 Conference in Nairobi was so amazing. What was more amazing was the opportunity it created to meet a young Kenyan pastor named Dedan. When I was speaking, Dedan felt compelled to connect up with me to ask some questions about what I shared about disciple making. He spent all day trying to build up the nerve to talk to me-and finally at the end of the day he came up to me and said, “I know I am supposed to talk with you but I am afraid.” The conversation that ensued was one of the highlights of this trip. Not only was I able to encourage Dedan in that moment, but we have continued the conversation in WhatsApp since I got home.

Missionary Rasul in Cambodia

Many of you may remember a video that I shared last year about Rasul. Rasul is a Filipino missionary to Cambodia with Global Surge. I have known Rasul for a few years and love the opportunities to be with him every chance I get. Rasul was also a speaker at the S4 Conference in Nairobi and we had the opportunity to sit in a meeting together and plan and prepare for the launch of Foundations in Cambodia in partnership with Global Surge. Rasul’s heart for discipleship is part of the reason I am so excited to be working together. He lives out the principles that we share. He will be working on the ground to set up the two different training centers in Cambodia as well as preparing our material to be translated into Khmer!

Church Planter Gustavo in Spain

Gustavo is a church planter from Argentina. He successfully planted four churches there when God asked him to sell everything and move to Spain. That’s exactly what he and his family did. They thought God was moving them to Madrid to plant a new church; God has a different plan. He ended up taking over a dying church and began the process of revitalization. The church has now grown to 200 people and he was asking God to bring along a partner to help the church develop a heartbeat for discipleship. These were the circumstances when our ministry partner Rigoberto from Costa Rica asked Gustavo to meet with Onalee and I while we would be in Spain in July. We are so excited at how God has opened up the doors to launch a training center in Madrid in November!

The ministry God has called us to is not about the trainings, although I believe that our trainings are so helpful for pastors and leaders. Our ministry is about loving people, specifically pastors and leaders that wake up each day believing that God has more for them than what they are currently experiencing in their churches.

Another aspect of that love and support is providing materials in native languages for pastors and leaders to use as outreach. We have been so blessed to see many translations printed.

First Look @ Swahili

DW Translation into Swahili

While Michael Parker and I were in Nairobi for the S4 Conference we had the opportunity to see the Foundations Discipleship Material “Come” section for the first time in Swahili! The first section is being translated for the new trainings in Kenya that will take place in November. Please pray about an opportunity to also train in Tanzania as well because Swahili is also the main language in Tanzania.

Speaking of Languages…

DW French Translations

In this update alone, you’ve already read about the translation work into Khmer and Swahili. One of the best networking discussions in Kenya was about the possibilities that would open up in Africa if we translated our materials into French. This came with a very specific invitation to come to Burkina Faso and Togo to start training centers. Please pray for wisdom as we weigh this decision.

Wisdom is needed for every new adventure we face. This also includes personal adventures as our faith is never separate from our daily lives.

Welcome to a new chapter!

Grand Canyone University with Nicole-DW
Nicole Goes to Grand Canyon University!

On August 20th, Onalee and I (along with the help of Nate and Sarah…thanks guys!) took Nicole and dropped her off at Grand Canyon University! The last little eagle has flown the nest. It was an amazing day celebrating with Nicole the new chapter in her life, and for Onalee and I to sit at home that evening and realize that we also are entering a new chapter as the nest is now empty. We thank God for every season of parenting and are excited for our new adventure with adult kids!

Please continue to pray for wisdom for our family and ministry.

Your generosity in prayer and giving is changing lives. We partner together to serve local churches and pastors, and this ministry could never take place without your partnership. Thank you!

4,268 Pastors and Leaders Trained in 14 Countries

Foundations Global has been busy fulfilling God’s calling for 2019 by sending trainers throughout the world. We have been blessed to see 4,268 pastors and leaders trained in 14 countries. Here is a highlight from two of the countries served and a few prayer requests.

Peru

Bruce Ciotta and Bret Sizemore trained 124 pastors and leaders in 7 workshops in 5 cities in Peru. Five of the workshops were how to study the Bible and preach effective biblical sermons. Bruce and Bret taught two of the groups of pastors and leaders a review of our workshops that they had previously been taught.

Bruce and Bret met with Pastor Enrique to plan for future training centers in Peru. The plans below show multiple training centers in northern and southern Peru. Pastor Enrique coordinated previous training centers for our trainers.

Southern Peru Plans from Foundations Global
Workshop Plans for Southern Peru.
Northern Peru Plans with Foundations Global
Workshop Plans for Northern Peru.

Mexico City

Matt Swartz and Mike Fike trained 40 pastors and leaders from 10 Presbyterian churches in Mexico City how to make multiplying disciples using the Foundations Global discipleship material. We modeled how to lead a Foundations group and then coached them as they led groups.

Mexico City Foundations Global Workshops
Matt Swartz and Mike Fike trained 40 Pastors in Mexico City.

Matt and Mike also met with the president of the Presbyterian denomination in Mexico and several denominational leaders. They want us to train at least 4 pastors in each of 14 presbyteries (regions) who will then train other pastors. There are 69 presbyteries and 6,000 Presbyterian churches in Mexico. The plan is for us to go back to Mexico in November to start meeting with these pastors and present our ministry to them and develop a plan for training them with our workshops with the goal of finishing the Great Commission in Mexico. We will also train the pastors in Mexico City with Workshop 2, which is how to balance ministry and personal life.

Future Plans

  • Matt will be in Spain making presentations to key pastors to develop plans for us to train pastors and leaders there.
  • Training in multiple cities in Peru starting this fall.
  • Training in multiple cities in Mexico starting in November.
  • Our trainers will be in 2 Asian countries this fall training pastors how to make multiplying disciples.
  • Matt will be in Brazil in March training pastors how to make multiplying disciples
  • Possibility for training in Tanzania.
Founations Global Training Map
Please continue to pray for the countries we are reaching and new ones to come.

Please Pray

  • Thank God for the possibility of training pastors in new countries.
  • Thank God for the expansion in Mexico and Peru.
  • Thank God for the strategic partners and new trainers that Matt has recruited.
  • For the pastors and leaders we have trained to make multiplying disciples.
  • That our trainers can raise the support they need for their expenses.
  • For reliable translators.
  • For Spanish speaking trainers.
  • For more trainers to reach more countries.
  • For the Great Commission to be finished!

Your Partnership Is Making A Difference!

Foundations Global is under the umbrella of Developing Workers. To give to our trainers, click on the “Donate” button below. Then fill out the “Contribute Now” form.

Donate 

Foundations Global Ministry Update – Developing Workers

If you have known me for any length of time, you know that I have a deep heart for Mexico. My personal journey in pastoral training had its roots in Mexico with my friends/ministry partners Mike Fike and Enrique Medina. Never would I have imagined how frequently I would be traveling to Mexico in the journey of training pastors and leaders in how to make disciple-making ministries. I love the opportunities that God continues to open up for the Foundations training to continue to expand in Mexico!

Matt Swartz has been training pastors and leaders in Mexico teaching them how to make disciple-making ministries.

I realized in a conversation I had with one of our supporters this past month that I don’t do a good job of highlighting the other amazing impact that your investment is making: personal coaching and mentoring of leaders. In the past, it was difficult for me to invest energy into the follow up coaching and mentoring of leaders that we were training because Foundations was only a portion of my role at Sun Valley Community Church. But in this new chapter of ministry with Developing Workers, there is a space for me to invest more heavily into mentoring and coaching of leaders. Between local and international leaders, I am able to spend on average 15+ hours per week in this immensely fulfilling part of our ministry.

So as excited I am for the launching of a new training center in Mexico City in June with the Presbyterian Church of Mexico, I am also excited about the relationships that will be built with these leaders, and the opportunity we will have to help coach and mentor them as they strive to create multiplying, disciple-making ministries!

Did Someone Say “Yeah God!”?

We asked you to “Pray in May” with us and we wanted to let you know the amazing things that God is doing:

  • We are now at 87% of our monthly support goal! This is so exciting and we want to welcome all the new partners. Thanks for being a part of this amazing team.
  • We were able to surpass the $5,000 one-time gift challenge! This is a big deal because one-time gifts have helped us to continue the ministry while we are still trying to get to 100% support. When people say that they can, “…only give a one-time gift,” we have felt the impact that these gifts have on our ministry!
  • We will have training happening in both Mexico and Peru this month! The new training center in Mexico City will also include a meeting with key leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Mexico about the future of this partnership. Please pray for Mike Fike and I as we travel and train.
  • We were able to spend some great moments with our family. The business of the Spring gave way to a time to breathe and it allowed us to capture moments that have helped us through the grieving process. So many of you reached out to us after the loss of my mom to let us know you were praying for us. Thank you.

Summer Ministry in Europe

Matt Swartz and his wife Onalee will be traveling to Europe this Summer. Keep them in your prayers.

This summer, Onalee and I will be in Spain and Poland serving with ministry partners and preparing for new Foundations training centers. We are excited for the opportunity to travel and serve together. Please pray specifically for:

  1. Wisdom and discernment as we meet with partners. Please pray we will be an encouragement and also to embrace the opportunities to serve together with them.
  2. For God to prepare opportunities to meet with the right leaders as we look for open doors for Foundations.

Your Partnership Is Making A Difference!

Foundations Global is under the umbrella of Developing Workers. To give to our trainers, click on the “Donate” button below. Then fill out the “Contribute Now” form.

Donate