I started the MASCE ( now integrated into the upgraded MATL) degree at the same time a group of us were launching a nonprofit organization in the Fall of 2013. The toolkit classes were divinely timed to occur at the precise moments the organization needed to learn about accounting, human resources, law, etc. I immediately applied and integrated new information as well as implemented new processes and procedures. However, the theology classes, Poverty Diversity and Social Justice, Cross Cultural Engagement and Servant Leadership, had the most profound impact.
We launched the nonprofit as an attempt at development. We started a business in the Guatemala City garbage dump in the hopes of transforming the opportunities of the people we hired. We didn’t know how much we didn’t know. The theology courses transformed my understanding and approach to ministry, and really all areas of my life.
I look back on the experience in this program in awe of God’s timing and direction. Over the years I led that nonprofit, we changed, slowly, our approach from a top down partnership led by a US based board to a bottom up partnership led by the indigenous leaders in Guatemala. In fact, God transitioned me out of that ministry when the true direction and leadership had moved to Guatemala.
God has now placed me in a leadership role in my church, directing missions and outreach. The revelation God gave through the MASCE continues to form my vision and strategy. I dream of an activated and equipped church body, living in true connection and relationship with Jesus in their neighborhoods, workplaces, schools. I dream of a church that appropriately engages the community, drawing the lost, hurt and broken to Jesus. I dream of a church that empowers missionaries locally and internationally in a true humility-based partnership as they draw people to Jesus. As I am now on the DTL journey, I have no doubt God will continue to reveal the how and what to the why He has given me.
(The picture on the front shows Annie Thurber current MATL student serving in Guatemala.)