Genuine Partnerships: How it Happens
Anna Morgan | Jan 23, 2015
"Praying Pelican Missions believes in investing in the local church. As a result, PPM does not seek to "build a base" in any of the countries in which we serve. Our base is the local church. Each of our teams is partnered with a local church with the goal of encouraging and assisting them in their ministry. PPM partnership churches truly care for our teams and are dedicated to seeing successful ministry happen — all through genuine partnership."
This is a quote on our website. Over the past few weeks our Praying Pelican Missions Staff have been traveling to all of our locations in which we serve to meet with our partners in efforts to live this out: Genuine Partnerships.
Costa Rica is where I serve, Costa Rica is what I know, so Costa Rica is what I'll share about.
Our Costa Rica team just got back from a week-long adventure of meeting with pastors all over the country. The week consisted of 40+ hours of driving, a different bed each night, hours of conversation, lots of delicious meals, and meetings with 14 different pastors! Each meeting was intentional, hours long, filled with prayer, and called for listening ears on our part. The staff would gather around a table, most of the time with yummy eats and coffee in the middle, and discuss the dreams, desires, and needs of each pastor.
Pastor Adolfo in Zuriel, Liberia, discussed his heart for his community and the calling he knows God has placed on his life. Pastor Adolfo is a long-time friend of PPM and welcomes our teams to his church each year. He shared with our team the struggles his church has experienced financially and spiritually in the last year. Tears streamed down his face as he spoke from the heart. He is the most grateful and faithful man, and when hardships come, the cries are heartfelt and sincere. Our team was able to listen, cry with him, and pray that God would bless and keep this man of faith. We assured him another team would be coming which means another group of people willing to pray for him and his church, love on his family and community, and share Jesus with more and more individuals in the surrounding area.
Pastor Fidel in Filadelfia expressed his genuine excitement regarding a team coming to his church this summer. Pastor Fidel has had PPM teams come to do several work projects before and knows the impact that a short-term mission group has on his community. He shared all that his church is doing that our team could partner in as they serve - the feeding program on Sundays, the ministry to single mothers in a nearby community, the outreach to the youth in danger of falling into trouble with drugs, the leadership training his church is teaching, and so much more. His joy was evident as our staff told them about the groups that would be there in a few months and the effort they would do to continue carrying out his ministry dreams. One team is even comprised of talented artists that will be able to paint a mural on one of the church's walls to display how amazing and faithful our God is!
Pastor Daniel in Colas de Gallo, Nicoya, was overflowing with excitement as he talked with our staff about the plans for his church. He is a new partner we are working with for the first time this year. He served our staff delicious baked goods and proceeded to tell them that the dream of the church was to have a bakery adjoined with the church building that would be additional ministry income. Our team coming just next month will be working alongside Pastor Daniel to build this bakery and make it a reality. Leadership training and revival services, things this area is yearning for, will also be offered when our team visits. Pastor Daniel concluded the meeting by showing our staff the only place on his property where he can get cell phone service. He climbed into a nearby tree, somewhat like Zacchaeus in the Bible, seated himself on a high limb, and showed them how he had to make calls from there. We love that laughter and intentional conversation happen in all of our meetings.
These are just a few snapshots of what it looks like to develop and nurture Genuine Partnerships. The impact of these face-to-face meetings, and meetings taking place all over the globe, allow us to be the bridge between our teams coming to serve and the communities in which they will be serving.
No matter where these hundreds of meetings take place, our prayer is that each meeting, each itinerary, and each conversation would be done with wisdom and discernment. That the goals would be seeking and saving the lost, empowering the community to continue their ministries successfully, and that everything would be done for the glory of God.