I think the older we get the greater our desire to leave something behind that will outlive us. Perhaps this has something to do with the phrase from Ecclesiastes that we truly have “eternity written in our hearts.” We seem to intuitively know (or at least long) for something beyond our few short years on this earth. This seems to be a truism, regardless of how long or short our stay on planet earth.
From the pictures in the newsletter this quarter (and video if you subscribe to our YouTube channel – MCNet Intl), you will notice that I had the opportunity on my last trip to Dominican Republic to share with a Youth Academy that was initiated by Manny. He has been equipped through our leadership materials and continues to be mentored by Carlos. In the prime of his life, Manny is fulfilling his vision of investing in the young people of his nation.
It brings back memories of some twenty years ago when Nancy and I were living in Berlin. At the time we were developing the training materials now used by these leaders to mentor others (the Mentoring thru Intentional Relationships Guide). From our limited view at the time, I was just developing some notes to help a group of young leaders in one small German church. Little did we know that a couple decades later this would expand into several language and many countries and the first fruits of many other training manuals and leadership guides, from the early days in Russia/Ukraine and Africa, to now various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Manny is one of the many young leaders who we have had the privilege to mentor and who is now reproducing these values in another generation. Who know over his lifetime how many more lives this one man will touch in his country? It is really humbling to realize the full potential possible as we multiply the impact of one such life by the thousands of leaders that we have together with you had the privilege to touch around the world.
I also think of Valera and Narina in St. Petersburg who Nancy and I first met over 15 years ago and had the privilege of investing in their lives when they were still in their mid-thirties. Since then they have touched countless lives as they have mentored many young leaders. Many of these are now pastors and leaders in their community. Currently they are planting a new church in StP. Though I can’t personally travel to Russia now, the training carries on through our MCNet coaches and continues to bear fruit through their lives.
Over the years it has been such a blessing to have such meaningful relationships that God has granted us the privilege to know around the world. Sometimes I am not sure why they want to still listen to an old bearded balding guy, but we have truly been blessed with a life that has been filled with these friendship and ministry partnerships!
Now into our sixties (just!), we appreciate these relationships even more. Nancy and I also continue to be humbled by your partnership that enables us to continue to invest in these lives. We are looking forward with anticipation to the future as we together touch lives in these various countries. We know that our mutual efforts will bear eternal fruit. Thank you for sharing this vision and participating practically with your interest, prayers and giving.