Hello from Tennessee! I landed in the States on Friday evening and started a 4-week work commitment this morning. Since I'll be here for my 30th birthday, Tony is flying in on April 11th to celebrate! He'll also be doing some networking for Yebo Life while he's here, so if you'd like to connect with him regarding ministry, please send an email to email@example.com. We'll be leaving the country together on May 2nd.
Now, on to our 4th ministry component: project assistance! This is something we've been doing (rather informally) from the get-go, but since we're now a public benefit organization (PBO), we need a bit more structure. Here's what our project assistance component looks like:
1. Project Planning
2. Project Funding
3. Project Co-Management
Tony sits with all of our Ministry Partners on a regular basis, and part of what they discuss is what projects they have planned for the year and how Yebo Life can support them. Some Partners have ideas for building projects, while others host youth camps or provide school supplies to children, and our team gets involved as the Holy Spirit directs all of us—Partners included. We now have a brief planning process that involves gathering information, such as budgets, volunteer needs, and deadlines, in order to carryout a successful project. We ask questions like:
- Why are we doing the project? What is the issue?
- How will the project engage the issue at hand?
- What is the short-term and long-term impact for the community?
If Yebo Life takes on a project, we assume full funding responsibility for our agreed upon portion of it, and then, we go to work fundraising! To date, Yebo Life and its missions teams have raised funds for many projects like building renovations, garden projects, Bible distributions, school supply drives, and shoe distributions. With our Ministry Partners, we have hopes for many more projects—including some really BIG ones! (By the grace, power, and provision of God, we'll see them come to fruition.) Legally, funds cannot be transferred from Yebo Life to a Ministry Partner, so Yebo Life remains heavily involved throughout the entire project, which brings us to the next section: project co-management.
By no means do we claim to be the project managers or experts! We simply do not have the community expertise that our Ministry Partners have. Instead, we buy and gather needed supplies, then come alongside our Partners and ask, "OK, how do you do this here?" Fanus Spammer, "ace of all trades," is our main point of contact for project co-management. If there's a hands-on project to be completed, we can count on Fanus to not only bring practical ability to the table, but to also have open, teachable heart and to co-manage projects in a way that makes sense for the given community.
I want to take a moment and say that this can be a VERY difficult pill to swallow, especially for Westerners who truly buy into the notion that "my way is the best way... obviously." Yebo Life does not align with this belief system, and our team commits to making a humble effort to maintain a heart posture that is teachable and open to what God is doing in and through all cultures, even those that are different from our own. We are BEYOND thankful for our Ministry Partners—all beautiful people who've let us into their worlds and have, perhaps unknowingly, challenged us to really consider (then question) the imprints our cultures have left on us.
Friends, that's all for this blog series! Hopefully, we'll have some tidbits to share about our 5th and final ministry component (global church partnership) within the next year. If there's anything I've learned from Africa, it's this: Things take time... and that's OK! Rome wasn't built in a day, amen!
If you’d like to get involved with us financially, please click here. We have $2,015 in monthly support and are still in need of $985 in pledges to meet our $3,000 per month goal! (One-time donations are awesome too, as we can amortize an annual donation amount over the year!) All donations are tax-deductible, and Yebo Life receives 100% of the funds to pay for team salaries and other operating costs.