Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monte Christo Miqlat's Annual Strategic Planning Retreat

Amidst several 38 degree+ (100+ Fahrenheit) days in a row, January 22nd arrived with some early morning rain. It was only appropriate, as board members and the leadership team of Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM) came together at the large meeting hall at Schoongezicht Restaurant and Conference Center. We began our strategic planning day in worship singing "Let it reign," and the Good Lord saw to it that it did rain! And thanks to Riel Malan (who led that worship time) and Deon Blackburn (who brought a message after our worship), we were blessed to begin the day's sessions honoring the One we all serve. Shortly thereafter, it was awesome to go around the room and have each board and leadership team member introduce themselves and share their area of expertise as well as their personal history and experience with MCM. We were all blessed to consider how many amazing people God has brought together in this ministry. Then began the hard work of re-examining our Vision and Mission Statements. Gary Helling, who facilitated the strategic session this day, told the team that if we accomplished nothing else, agreeing on the Vision and Mission for the new consolidated ministry would be a good day. After brainstorming together, and offering various phrases that were recorded on flip charts we broke into 4 different teams and came up with various vision and mission statement options. Through these sessions, and some additional e-mails that were exchanged the following week, the team unanimously agreed on the following new Vision and Mission for the ministry:

Vision: "Living and experiencing God’s kingdom of heaven through a life of faith in action."

Mission Statement: “In obedience to Christ, our mission is to sustainably help and empower those in our community who are in need. We and our partners will work together tirelessly to address the root of poverty in our communities, assisting the needy to experience healthy, fulfilling lives, both physically and spiritually.”

Once this part was done, it was time to address our high level goals and objectives - when all was done, the collective group presented the Board with 16 possible options to consider. This next week, the Board will agree on 5 major goals for the year! Please pray for wisdom and that our God would provide for the ministry in many ways!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Christmas for Bowy House kids

For the fourth year in a row Michael and Pamela Hudson, friends of Monte Christo Miqlat, planned a 'Christmas' braai (a South African barbeque) at Bowy House for the children that were there during the holidays. Although several of our Bowy House children were able to spend Christmas with their families, 6 of our kids remained in our care during the entire holiday time. Before the eating began, though, the children were thrilled to be visited by a local family who blessed each one of them with an outfit and a toy. Several of us helped to assemble some of the toys...the big hit that day was the grocery store trolley that they wheeled around the courtyard. Oh, did the kids have fun with that one! After the 'gift giving' and playing, the rest of the 'party team,' which included Gary and Marnelle Helling and Bruce (friend of Michael and Pamela's) as well as the house parents, David and Juleen Adams, got the braai ready and cooked a full array of wonderful meats. Additionally, there were several delicious salads, Michael's cream corn (which was a BIG hit) and Juleen's delicious cheesecake for dessert! WOW...what an amazing Christmas feast! We always find it precious when these young ones will bow their heads (before they touch their plates) and pray for their meals. We wish you could hear their sweet voices as they pour out their humble little thanksgivings. We know that it is music to our good Lord's ears! And then the REAL feasting began. The kids just loved everything, and most of them finished their plates before they went off to their afternoon naps. The adults then had an opportunity to enjoy the feast as well, and we all agreed that there was nowhere else in the world that we would rather have been then right there with those 6 kids. What a Merry Christmas it was!!! (if you would like to see more pictures of Christmas day, find us on Facebook under the name MCM Miqlat and 'Like' our page)