2013 Kingdom Advancement Grants

Trinity Church joyfully announces the recipients of the 2013 Kingdom Advancement Grants. Our Lansing-based faith community is committed to making a tangible, global difference focusing on the priorities of evangelism among less-reached peoples, strategic intervention on behalf of the marginalized, increased availability of Scripture, and contextualized leadership training and development. 

We are pleased to award grants to the following 18 finalists for a total allocation of $161,790. These grants are intended to stimulate the ministry of Trinity missionaries, associates and strategic partners.  

$10,000Completion of Mazatec Translation Oaxaca, Mexico 

Submitted by Trinity associate missionaries Terry and Judy Schram of Wycliffe Bible Translators, this grant provides the remaining monies needed to complete the Mazatec translation.  

The final phase involves a revision of the translation by a native speaker, its publication, and the training of leaders to use the Scripture in their heart language. The dubbing of a Luke and Acts video into Mazatec is also anticipated.  

Trinity has long been part of this translation effort that dates back to 1976. We look forward to a moment in 2013 when the Mazatec New Testament will be published, and are grateful for the invitation to be part of the public presentation ceremony to the Mazatec community.    

$25,000Expanding Leadership/Pastoral Training Wayuu DistrictColombia 

Submitted by Trinity missionary Ubaldo Restan (Latin America Mission) of the Colombian Pastoral Institute, this proposal expands the highly successful 2011 and 2012 training for Wayuu church leaders and young people.  

 “At present, 92 leaders are studying the basic ministerial level courses; more than 100 are on a waiting list. By December 2014, we hope to have 100 pastors complete the basic eight course theological and ministerial program.” 

Trinity celebrates the concrete results from this strategic investment among the Wayuu in North East Colombia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only training of Wayuu Christian leadership among this less-reached and resistant people group. 

 $7,000Soccer Ministry Expansion Bogota, Colombia 

Submitted by Trinity missionaries Luis Miguel and Loida Huertas (OMS International), senior pastors of Unicentro Christian Fellowship Church, this grant strengthens the vision of youth leaders Juan Jimenez and Sebastian Rodriquez who began this outreach to kids and teenagers in 2011. 

The soccer ministry is currently funded primarily through missions monies from Unicentro. This grant provides for the purchase of needed materials (nets, balls, goals, duffel bags, etc.) and the training of leaders in sports discipleship. Unicentro’s young adult leadership team has extended an open invitation to Trinity to participate and partner in this fast-developing ministry to Colombian kids and teenagers in Bogota.  

An additional $2,000 is included in this grant to help initiate a partnership between a group of younger people from Trinity with the young adults of Unicentro. 

$9,000— Language Acquisition School Santa Cruz, Bolivia 

Submitted by Trinity Mission Resource Team member and South America Mission’s (SAM) International Ministries Director Dave Broucek, this grant continues our commitment to SAM’s efforts to develop church planters and leaders beyond Latin America, in places like the 10/40 Window. SAM’s mission is to “train national missionaries in the fundamentals of learning a foreign language to expedite their acquisition of that language as they go to new countries and cultures.” 

 Part of this grant will fund an English-based language acquisition school in July 2013 that will train 25 national missionaries in the latest language-acquisition techniques. Trinity is excited about this strategic first step to mobilize national missionaries for global missions, and is grateful for the invitation to send a team of conversational partners for the 2013 event. 

 An additional $2,000 is included to help scholarship a group of Trinity ESL tutors to be part of this training event. 

$5,000 Pastoral Equip Program Tala, Kenya 

Submitted by Trinity members and MSU international scholars Ruth and Julius Okello, this grant will help repeat another four seminars to “equip and train pastors in two large rural districts, Matungulu and Kangundo,” east of Nairobi. 

 One pastor writes, “You have taken us to a new and higher level. I honestly believe that the bad qualities that hindered good leadership are now behind us. We leave here as new leaders rightly equipped.”  

 This grant is intended to support the development of a training curriculum, recruit quality trainers, and offer core workshops and seminars before substantial investment in infrastructure. We anticipate working with the leadership of the Lansing-based 501(c)3 TM Rural Community Development Organization to develop a feasibility study on the need for a permanent location for ongoing training and equipping in that region. 

 $5,000Mobile Libraries for Children Matungulu, Kenya 

Submitted by Trinity members and MSU international scholars Ruth and Julius Okello, this grant attempts to address the lack of reading materials in rural Kenya. TM Rural Community Development Organization currently runs one of the very few community libraries in Kenya, and the only one in all of Kangundo and Matungulu. 

The innovative program “Your Classroom Library in a Bag” envisions making books accessible to schools twice a month. Trinity’s grant for $5,000 allows for the purchase of age-appropriate and culturally acceptable books. Part of the grant covers the projected costs of hiring a motorcyclist to deliver these books twice a month. 

 Trinity celebrates the commitment of TM Ministries to initiate collaboration with school teachers to launch reading clubs and maximize the educational power of books.  

 $12,000 Enhancing Food Security Kawangware, Kenya 

Submitted by Trinity missionary David Kitonga, this grant attempts to reduce the high cost of food at Huduma School in Kenya. Initial attempts to farm the 12-hectare property have not been successful. MSU scientist and Trinity member Dr. Alvin Smucker has agreed to help develop the existing farm outside of Nairobi as a consultant. The goal of this project is to feed 1,500 children with a hot meal every day by the end of 2014. 

 The grant helps provide the necessary infrastructure, training, tools, seeds, well, and fencing to develop this project and become self-sustaining by 2014. The grant is being given in two parts: $8,000 as an outright gift, and $4,000 in matching funds. Trinity attendees will have the opportunity to participate with members of Huduma Church in the various stages of this project’s development.  

$5,000 — Ministry ExpansionDanang, Vietnam

Submitted by Trinity associate missionary Ross Beach (TEAM), this grant helps Mandate (formerly DCI) respond quickly to the opportunity to enter Vietnam in 2013. Mandate places Christian professionals as Kingdom witnesses in difficult-to-access and unreached areas. 

The grant funds Mandate’s 2013 effort to place qualified ESL teachers in a Vietnamese school to be a legitimate witness in this socialist country. Groundwork has been laid over the past years to enter Vietnam, and Mandate leadership believes that now is the time. 

An additional $2,000 is included in this grant. It is being made available for a qualified instructor and Trinity attendee interested in exploring this teaching opportunity. 

$9,000Microloans for Women Entrepreneurs KawangwareKenya 

Submitted by Trinity Strategic Partner David Kitonga, this grant builds into the Women Self-Help and Discipleship Project led by Margaret Ndinda. This amount will help the ministry provide 14 women with loans of $500 each to launch their own businesses, while another $2,000 is designated toward training and start-up expenses. 

David writes, “Women bear the greatest burden as they raise children in the very poor Kawangware community where there are no jobs to earn income. Most of the women are single mothers or widows, and without income they turn themselves or their children over to prostitution.” 

 The Women Self-Help program will help these women gain skill-training that will lead to income generation and a better chance that they and their kids will be able to break out of the grip of poverty, all within the context of Christian community and discipleship. 

 An additional $2,000 is included in this grant. It is being made available to help initiate a partnership between Margaret and a group of women business leaders from Trinity 

$6,450Vesicovaginal Fistula Project Jos, Nigeria 

Submitted by Trinity missionaries Steven and Kari Jo Shephard (SIM), this grant will help replace surgical equipment that is broken or poorly functioning from years of overuse as well as purchase post-surgery clothing (wrappers) to help 720 women over the next two years. 

 Steven writes, “VVF is a complication of prolonged obstructed labor. As a result, the baby dies and an opening (fistula) forms between the birth canal and the bladder, rectum or both, such that the women will leak urine, feces or both. These women are frequently considered untouchables in their community due to their stench, dirtiness and infertility, commonly resulting in being abandoned by their husbands and families. At our center, we provide free evaluation, surgical treatment and rehabilitation programs to show these modern-day lepers the love of Christ in a tangible way.”  

 Last year, roughly 600 women were evaluated in the VVF clinic, more than 300 were surgically repaired, and 240 chose to become followers of Christ.  

 Steven adds, “We hope that Trinity will send a delegation to Jos in the near future, if possible the second week of March where women who have been treated come for a week-long celebration. Care packages for these women would be highly appreciated.”  

$25,000Completing Farm Project Harare, Zimbabwe 

Submitted by Trinity’s Zimbabwe Strategic Partnership Team, this grant helps complete the development of a 15-acre farm that will generate income for the church to continue its missional outreach in its community. Maranatha Church has already significantly contributed to this project through the purchase of the farmland, investment in seed, and “sweat equity” in planning, labor, and learning how to grow crops. Trinity has tremendous confidence in Pastor Farai Katsande and his leadership team to leverage this investment for regional Kingdom influence. 

 Included in the grant amount is $15,000 toward the purchase of a brick-making machine to help the church generate additional income. We trust this machine will also help the congregation with their dream of building a permanent structure to replace their current tent. 

 With an unemployment rate of more than 75 percent and with inflation out of control, we believe that this grant will place Maranatha Church on a steady footing for ongoing growth and faithful witness in Harare and beyond. 

$7,000Kato International Training Academy (KITA), Nigeria 

Submitted by Trinity members Paul and Gwen Kato, this grant celebrates their ongoing efforts to make a difference in the lives of young Nigerians. The 2011 KAG helped establish the Kano Resource Center where young boys come to read, attend soccer clinics and seminars, and learn basic computer skills. 

Last year’s grant helped KITA enter the second phase of development in Kano and establish a second resource center in Kaduna. We celebrate the successful establishment of soccer clubs in these two cities and their growing sports partnership with Nike Rush USA. 

 This year’s grant focuses on training and curriculum development. These funds will enhance the training footprint in the two established centers in the area of Muslim outreach, and leadership development.   

$7,500Discipleship and Training Center Lijian, China 

Submitted by Trinity missionary Susan (pseudonym; OMF) from a remote part of this creative-access nation, this grant pays for an additional two years of rent (see 2011 KAG) as she continues the development of a center for Tibetan Buddhist-background believers from two unreached people groups, the Pumi and the Mosuo. 

 Susan says, “Our church stands apart in the Tibetan Buddhist (TB) world in China as one of the first healthy indigenous churches in the past 1,200 years of evangelism to TBs. The miraculous planting of the Pumi church that exists today can be directly attributed to the last three years of intentional communal living. Our greatest challenge here is lack of privacy, as traditional houses share walls and every room opens to the outside … our need is a place where we can talk, pray and worship without fear of being heard by our neighbors.”  

 This grant also includes monies to help Susan evaluate the need for a more permanent location. 

$2,140Pre-literacy Project Phu Thai area, NE Thailand 

Submitted by Trinity missionaries Mike and Sandy Lynch (NTM), this project provides the necessary finances to prepare and test materials for a literacy kick-off. 

Mike and Sandy explain: “We have been developing a working orthography and a writing system for the Phu Thai language. In preparation for an upcoming literacy kick-off, we would like to test the literacy materials in different Phu Thai villages. We will have some comprehension and spelling activities as well.” 

“The knowledge we gain through these visits will enable us to make changes to the writing system, see possible problems in the teaching of Phu Thai literacy, build relationships for potential future outreaches, and generate excitement about reading in their heart language.” 

The literacy kick-off will be scheduled at a later date in conjunction with Trinity missionaries Ric and Sharon Bruce after they move into the village and start their Phu Thai language and culture study. There is a possible opportunity for a small group of two to four people coming from Trinity to participate in a Phu Thai homestay. 

$7,700Outreach to Phu Thai and Eastern Bru Peoples  Laos 

Submitted by Trinity associate missionaries Panz and Nancy Alvarez (Story Runners), this grant underwrites the fourth translation project/visit to Laos designed to train Christian national workers to learn Oral Bible Storying as an evangelistic, discipleship and church planting strategy. 

The goal is to have a Bible Story Set (consisting of 41 Bible stories starting with creation and ending with the formation of the Church) translated and recorded into Phu Thai and Eastern Bru. These two languages represent two of the most unreached people groups in South East Asia.  

We are particularly excited by the Alvarez’ goal to see house churches planted among this people group by December 2013. Similar work by the Lynches and the Bruces across the border in Thailand promises to make this grant doubly strategic, especially for the Phu Thai people in South East Asia. 

A small group of four to six people is invited to be part of the Alvarez trip to Laos in 2013 to assist in Oral Bible Story training. 

$4,000 Outreach to Gypsy Community Transylvania, Romania 

Submitted through Trinity’s Hungary Strategic Partnership with Rose-Garden Baptist Church (RBC) in Budapest Hungary, this grant seeks to advance RBC’s multi-faceted approach in reaching the marginalized gypsy community across the Hungarian border in Romania.  

The challenges to reach this predominantly illiterate, shockingly poor, and unskilled people are numerous. We celebrate the identification of a person of peace in Pastor Zsolt Novak who has already planted three Hungarian and two gypsy churches in the basin of Gyergyo. 

This grant is specifically meant for a teacher to build reading and job skills into the Romanian gypsies as RBC continues to love and serve this unreached group; to be released once the teacher is identified and contracted. 

Co-led by Trinity members, the Raders and the Bjarkis, Trinity’s Hungary Strategic Partnership seeks to expand its partnership focus from the annual summer outreach to unchurched teens in Budapest to this new missional outreach through partnership with the young adults from RBC and Trinity. 

$10,000Neighborhood Ministry to the Poor Galway, Ireland 

Submitted by Paul Cullen, pastor of Discovery Church and co-leader of our Strategic Partnership in Ireland, this grant is the fourth to supplement their church’s ongoing efforts to minister to those in need, especially the homeless and the hungry.  

Initial funding helped secure a food trailer. Two years ago the church chose an area to focus on and began the journey of being a tangible presence in that neighborhood. Last year, KAG funds helped the church reach 42 homes through practical expressions of love and care. 

This year the grant is being awarded to supplement internal church resources as Discovery Church continues to faithfully serve the poor during financially challenging times, and in the midst of their ongoing building acquisition efforts. 

In 2013, Trinity looks forward to sending short-term teams to partner with Discovery, learning and serving with them as they reach out to their neighbors consistently, faithfully and tangibly. 

$5,000Paris Summer Outreach Paris, France 

Submitted by Trinity missionaries Tom and Linda Panci (YWAM), this grant underwrites the cost for literature and new sound system speakers for their 2013 summer street evangelism effort. 

Paris Je t’Aime is a two week time of evangelism in the city of Paris. The outreach consists of worship, evangelism training, and prayer every morning, as well as evangelistic outreaches in the afternoons to various groups including the homeless, prostitutes, Muslims, and children.  In the evening, open-air meetings take place, reaching larger groups through mime, dance, song, testimonies and sharing. Currently, 100 international participants join 70 locals in this summer outreach. 

An additional $2,000 is included for a group of young people from Trinity to be part of the 2013 Paris Je t’Aime. 

Special Note 

In November, an anonymous Trinity donor gave $28,865 to fund a much-needed resource center in Kochland, Kenya. Partnering with Compassion International, these funds will provide a safe and clean environment for study, reading and training as well as books, computers and the needed furniture to create a learning environment second to none in that area. 


Praise God for the faithful giving of Trinity attendees and members that make possible our collective effort to strengthen Christ’s Church and expand His Kingdom around the world. 

In November 2012, our congregation generously gave more than $100,000 to the KAG fundraiser. This doubled the number of recipients and the total amount awarded this year. Beyond added finances, we celebrate the growing engagement of our 2,500-member congregation in global missions through prayer, friendship, service, hospitality, coaching and participation. 

Soli Deo Gloria