2015 Kingdom Advancement Grants

Trinity Church joyfully announces the 2015 Kingdom Advancement Grants. Our Lansing-based faith community is committed to global partnerships that result in the Gospel being declared and demonstrated each year to those not yet in the Kingdom. Our priorities are evangelism among less-reached peoples, strategic intervention on behalf of the marginalized, increased availability of Scripture, and contextualized leadership training and development. 

 The KAG fund received $35,000 from the 2014 Christmas Eve offerings. Since the summer of last year, attendees have also had the opportunity to give at the weekend services. These amounts combined with existing KAG funds enabled us to give this year’s grants. Praise God for the faithful and generous giving of the Trinity family. 

 We are pleased to award the following 10 grants for a total of $100,100 which are intended to stimulate the ministry of Trinity missionaries, associates and strategic partners.    

$15,500  Expanding Leadership/Pastoral Training Wayuu Guajira, Colombia 

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

The Wayuu are the largest ethnic group in Colombia with 550,000 people. It is well known that this marginalized, less-reached, and resistant people group will listen only to their own! This unique pastoral program is the only training available to the Wayuu leaders. “Over the last 4 years more than 400 have received the basic course of Abundant Life and Biblical Overview.”  

Trinity celebrates the concrete results from this strategic investment among the Wayuu in northeast Colombia: “133 actively registered students from 24 denominations, a spiritual presence in 110 Wayuu rural areas, two regional coordinators – one in Colombia and the other in Venezuela, growing unity and coordinated ministry among the pastors and workers from the 24 denominations, 10 new congregations planted in the last 3 years, etc.” 

Currently, this partnership is led by the Global Outreach leadership team. We are looking for 2-3 LifeTogether Groups willing to own and develop this outreach as part of their mission. 

$5,000  Development Fund for Pastors  Matungulu, Kenya 

Submitted by Trinity Missionary Associates Ruth and Julius Okello (TM Rural Community Development Organization), this grant provides the financial corpus which “will give pastors an opportunity to borrow money to start, or improve their existing small enterprises with the hope of helping them meet their daily financial needs.” 

“Most pastors in the area, like the rest of the community they serve, have very little income or no income at all. They depend on small gardens, usually less than a hectare. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the area is semiarid with frequent and severe droughts.” The average monthly income is around $40. 

This grant will help upgrade the previously established Emergency Fund to allow for ‘sizeable’ loans to invest in micro-enterprises to meet the needs of their families. “The pastors are hoping to raise a total of $353 by the end of December, 2014. TM Ministries will raise $1,500, which will leave a balance of $4,350.” 

This grant includes additional monies to the requested amount to make accessible appropriate training and consultation in setting-up the micro-loan program. We trust “the 56 pastors currently registered in the loans program to borrow at least $115 each” will be blessed.  

If you have experience in micro-financing and are willing to share your expertise, please contact Deanne Beson at [email protected]. 

 $14,100  Church Plant  TatarszentgyorgyHungary 

Submitted by Trinity’s Strategic Partner in Budapest, Rose-Garden Baptist Church (RBC), this grant provides matching funds to help RBC respond to a unique invitation from the Mayor of Tatarszentgyorgy, “to plant a church here since the village is in deep poorness with social tension among the Gypsy and Hungarian populations.”  

The mayor’s wife, Zsuzsa, who became a Christ-follower two years ago at an RBC summer camp now directs the local Social Center. Reuben and Dia, missionaries from RBC, “are young workers without any degree, but they have the Holy Spirit and enthusiastic faith.” Led by Geza and Ildiko Kovacs this leadership core will use a portion of this grant to remodel and furnish an abandoned dental clinic converting it into a Youth Center. Monies have also been included to train and equip Reuben and Dia. 

This Gospel response led by RBC is also funded by the Budapest congregation and the local village council. Trinity anticipates the first church in this community, God willing, in 2015! 

Led by Glenda & George Rader and Courtney Bytwerk, Trinity’s Hungary Strategic Partnership celebrates the advance of the Kingdom in this part of the country, especially the opportunity for His Church to be agents of reconciliation. 

$8,000 Mazatec Scripture Use  Oaxaca, Mexico 

Submitted by Terry and Judy Schram of Wycliffe Bible Translators — recently retired Trinity missionaries and now part of our Legacy Team — this grant provides monies to make more widely available the recently completed Mazatec New Testament for people “to experience the power of God speaking to them personally by His Word in their language.”  

As a result of Scripture being now available, “people have begun to pray in their own language rather than trying to pray in Spanish, and are referring to Scripture portions using Mazatec expressions rather than Spanish loan words. Scripture has become real to them. Jesus as teacher has become real to them.”  

Specific activities anticipated by virtue of this grant include: “teaching people to read their own language in local churches, preparation of a Mazatec sound track for the Acts video, and relating to Spanish speaking pastors who do not (yet) recognize the importance of Scripture in the language of the people.” 

Trinity has been part of this translation effort since 1976. We recognize other non-Trinity donors who have also contributed to the 2015 target amount, allowing Trinity to cover the remaining one-third.   

$21,600  Leadership Development and Biblical Training  Harare, Zimbabwe 

Submitted by Trinity’s Zimbabwe Strategic Partner, Maranatha Family Worship Center, this grant envisions the training of 20 potential leaders as pastors who will be deployed to church plants throughout the country on completion of the two year program.  

 “Leadership development is fundamental to church growth, and it has fast become a major factor that holds back the development of the African church. While many churches are being planted, the rate of closure equals that.”  Inadequate leadership training is seen as a fundamental challenge. 

“The training will be conducted for 10 days every four months. A total of 60 days of training over 24 months, 480 hours of both contact and practical ministry.” Trinity has tremendous confidence in Pastor Farai Katsande and his leadership team to leverage this investment for regional Kingdom influence. 

With an unemployment rate of more than 75 percent and with inflation out of control, we believe that this grant will help Maranatha Church unleash “the growth potential of the church in Zimbabwe.” Scheduled to start on March 2, 2015 funds will be disbursed based on the number of registrants for the program. 

 If interested in being part of this leadership training effort, please contact Trinity’s Zimbabwe Strategic Partnership leaders Kerri Kuzera, Carl McHenry or Paul Rieke. 

$5,000  Enhancing Family Nutrition  Matungulu, Kenya 

Submitted by Trinity Missionary Associates Ruth and Julius Okello (TM Rural Community Development Organization), this grant provides monies required to “provide 8 dairy goats to four women groups, coordinate 3 animal husbandry workshops, engage a local veterinary, and coordinate with the government’s livestock production officer.” 

Over the last two years, TM Ministries has been encouraging women to grow traditional crops (cassava, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and sorghum). These crops grow relatively well in poor soils and little rainfall. However, the people need a sustainable source of protein. 

“The local groups of women will raise $1,202 to cover communication, goat-shed construction, and transportation costs. TM Ministries will take care of the $404 training costs, which leaves a balance of $3,320 – the actual price for 8 goats.” 

This grant includes additional monies to the requested amount so that sufficient funds are available to provide training, technical advice and to cover unexpected contingencies.  

If successful within the next six months, an additional $5,000 is being made available to repeat this strategic intervention. 

$7,500  Supplemental Funds for Discovery’s Community in Action  Galway, Ireland 

Submitted by Paul Cullen, pastor of Discovery Church this grant is the sixth and final one for Discovery’s Community in Action (CIA) ministry.  

“Discovery members bring food products every week to contribute to this ministry. We bring needy families to our homes and feed them ourselves. On occasion we house the homeless in our homes. We give people our time to work for free to repair their houses or help them. We have limited financial funds to contribute to this ministry as many of our own people are struggling with unemployment and poverty.” 

This grant will fund the purchase of substantive food for the Food Trailer, continue to assist the Mervue neighborhood with coal and briquettes for winter heating, help stock the Discovery Church Food Pantry, and allow for assistance with unexpected expenses for needy families.  

Less than 1% of the Irish are evangelical Christians. Less than 9% of the Christian leadership is in western Ireland. “As a church fully engaged in the largest city in the west of the nation, Discovery must continue to provide the Gospel both in word and deed.” 

There is an open invitation to minister alongside the CIA team. If interested, contact the leaders of Trinity’s Ireland Strategic Partnership Natalie & Ron Willmarth or Kelly & Alan Cullen. 

$7,000 — Literacy Project  Isaan Region, NE Thailand 

Submitted by Trinity missionaries Mike and Sandy Lynch (New Tribes Mission), in conjunction with Ric and Sharon Bruce, the primary focus of this grant is “to develop a curriculum of Bible lessons written in the Phu Thai language”.  

The Phu Thai are largely considered an unreached people group that number about 470,000 in Thailand, 187,000 in Laos, and 209,000 in Vietnam. The 2013 focus was developing and testing pre-literacy materials. In 2014, a primer was developed to teach people in this rural region how to read Phu Thai.  

Monies are also included “to provide scholarships and uniforms in the community’s elementary school for poorer students selected by the school officials.” 

The grant also helps facilitate the visit of a local church in Chiang Mai, reflecting a high value of Trinity missions that Western endeavors are gradually owned by local national leadership.  

Trinity gratefully acknowledges the leadership provided by Laura & Paul Beard and Sandy & Dennis Moore in keeping us connected with this part of the Kingdom. 

$6,400  Women Empowerment Conferences  Harare, Zimbabwe 

Submitted by Trinity’s Zimbabwe Strategic Partner, Maranatha Family Worship Center, this grant “is to help raise women to the same level of involvement as their male counterparts in the church” through a series of bi-annual conferences that started in May, 2013. The second conference in October, 2013 had 120 women. 

“Women in most poor communities of Zimbabwe are left out of school, vulnerable to poverty, and are often left to fend for themselves and their families in today’s difficult economic times. Women are still regarded as inferior, and opportunities for the girl-child are limited.” Maranatha’s Women’s Ministries led by Chipo Katsande believes that “a home is made by women – musha mukadzi – and God has a special place for women in the church.” They are convinced that “exposing women to the life-changing Word of God, and appropriate training, will help them achieve their God-given capacities in ministry, homes and communities.” 

Two-thirds of the Zimbabwean Church is women. Trinity is pleased to meet the financial needs of the two 2015 Women Empowerment Conferences.  

The next conference is April 16-19. If interested in being part of this empowerment effort as an attendee or trainer, please contact Trinity’s Zimbabwe Strategic Partnership leaders Kerri Kuzera, Carl McHenry or Paul Rieke. 

 $5,000  Literacy Program for Children  Matungulu, Kenya 

Submitted by Trinity Missionary Associates Ruth and Julius Okello, this third year grant will improve literacy skills in 20 schools (initially five) 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! 

“While promoting reading has gone relatively well, especially for brighter children, promoting early childhood Bible knowledge has not been very successful. This is partly because of the change in government policy banning afterschool sessions when reading and Bible knowledge programs were usually run.”  

TM Ministries plans to start Bible/reading clubs which will be independent of the schools. Pastors will help with Bible teaching; book reading will be coordinated by teachers who were trained during workshops in 2014.  

The first reading/Bible club will start in January 2015, as a pilot. The goal is to have 10 by the end of 2015.  

“A Kenyan partner has promised to pay for the necessary two part-time coordinators (for pastors and teachers), and a US-based donor has already contributed $276. The balance of monies needed will cover activity materials for the children and local transportation needs of volunteers.”  

Trinity celebrates the opportunity these children will have to improve their reading skills and grow in their knowledge of Scripture. 

Soli Deo Gloria