Over the past few months, we have navigated through a number of changes at Global Church Partners (GCP) and we think it is important for you (our prayer partners, financial contributors, and supporters) to be made aware of this. As with all transitions, we have sought out a wide range of counsel and prayerfully considered each new step. We are thankful that this process identified some weaknesses in our organizational structure, and so we continue to work on these areas. One of the greatest weaknesses identified was a lack of independent accountancy and financial policies. We are deeply grateful to an anonymous donor, who in December 2014, volunteered to cover the cost of hiring an independent accountant who is an expert in non-profit financial accountability and who has greatly aided us in organizing our finances in a clearer and more effective manner.
In December 2014, three Board Members resigned from the GCP Board. Currently serving on the Board is Rob Honer, Bill Robertson and Chuck Edmunds. We have begun a process to invite additional board members to serve on the GCP Board, but this process will take time as we carefully consider those who we call to serve in this capacity.
This last December also concluded the donation commitment period from some of our primary supporters for the ministry to pastors. In all, this support helped us train and encourage over 1,000 pastors at over 23 different conferences from 2005 to 2014. As with all our ministry partners, we are exceedingly grateful for the time we served together.
Our VISION forward . . .
PASTORS :: An equipped and encouraged pastor and family remain our principal area of focus as we see the benefits multiply into the local church, and from the church, into the community. From now until September, we will focus on bringing mentoring, training and resources to small groups of pastors. Our Mexican leadership is also planning the next pastors conference for October.
CHILDREN :: The need for children's ministry resources in many churches is great. Thankfully, through the growing partnership with a church in San Diego, we have established an independent children's ministry, GameLife, here in Mexico which only costs each church $20/year for curriculum. This summer, we will travel with the first church trained in this material and they will train another church to implement the same ministry in their area. In addition, we also seek to encourage rural churches to reach out to local schools, which are greatly underserved.
MICRO-FARMS :: Most rural pastors and their spouses work full-time jobs in addition to pastoring their churches. Our goal is to help pastors set-up small chicken coops for egg production and/or meat, or other small animal farms which can be maintained behind their house. The production goal is to replace one person's full-time income. 80 chickens producing 60 eggs/day would net $12 profit/day, which is the equivalent of a rural income. This would enable at least one person to focus full-time on ministry. Currently, we have one chicken farm in active production, and we hope to start at least 3 more this year. We are also working with the local veterinary school and the Heifer Project to connect these educational resources to rural pastors and their communities to help them increase their yield.
WOMEN :: Our interactions with pastors and their churches have helped us to understand the critical need for churches to be equipped to help women who have suffered from violence and abuse. We have helped women receive counseling and begin to establish a support network in their churches to help them recover from significant past abuse. Discipleship simply cannot take place without healing. We hope to translate material that will equip churches to address this issue.