2016 “On Expedition” Ministry Highlights

“Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name.” — Psalm 18:49

ON “THE DIVINE EXPEDITION” IN 2016

Sharon and I have been “On Expedition” to rescue lost people for Christ and restore them to God’s design. Our vision to do this is to equip leaders to multiply viral, missional, church-planting movements (Matt. 28:16-20; 2 Tim. 2:2). We call our training “The Divine Expedition.” Here are some of the highlights from this past year:


UGANDA
Training Team in Uganda
Divine Expedition Team in Soroti, Uganda
  • We completed the four phase, four stage Divine Expedition training in the Ugandan cities of Ggaba (Kampala), Rukungiri, Gulu, and Soroti.
  • We graduated four Ugandan Master Trainers who completed each of the four phases four times progressing from Participants, to Contributors, to Co-Presenters, to Lead-Trainers, therefore becoming Master Trainers.
  • The Ugandan Master Trainers led Phases 1 and 2 in Entebbe, a Phase 1  in Kampala, and another Phase 1 in Mbarara. Indigenous Ugandan leaders are now training others who are training others, who are training others (2 Tim. 2:2).
  • Note: Phase 1 is “Romans as a Life and Mission Map”; Phase 2 is “Aligning Your Heart with Father God’s Heart”; Phase 3 is “Empowering Others for Multiplication”; and Phase 4 is “The Book of Acts and Multiplying Viral, Missional, Church-Planting Movements.”

BRAZIL
Divine Expedition Brazil
Divine Expedition Brazil
  • Brazilian Samir (wife Marcia) Diab has taken the role of Divine-Expedition National Leader for Brazil.
  • Brazilian Tony (wife Mariana) Ademo has taken the role of Divine-Expedition Director of Training for Brazil.
  • We completed the Divine Expedition Phase 4 training in the city of Bom Retiro do Sul (Sammy Diab’s home church), and are progressing in our sequence of training in three other cities also in the southern-most state of Brazil.
  • Ten Brazilians have now been trained and are qualified as Lead Trainers in Phases 1 and 2.
  • In the greater Sao Paulo State of Brazil, we completed Phase 3 in Jacarei, Phase 2 in Valinhos, and Phase 1 in Matao. We also completed Phases 2, and 3 in Recife (state of Pernambuco). Following is one of dozens of responses we received after our training in Jacarei,

“I was able to forgive those who had hurt me. Today I am free of that because I feel peace. Thank you Lord, for today a miracle happened. I was forgiven and I was able to forgive.”

Here is one of over 100 responses to our Phase 1 training in Matao:

“I liked the interaction of the team, the exercises (on posters), and putting it into practice, moving beyond theory to practicing evangelism on Saturday.”

Crazy for Jesus in Valinhos
Crazy for Jesus in Valinhos, Brazil
  • Along with Phil Graf (co-founder of the Divine Expedition training), we edited each phase of the Divine Expedition manuals multiple times to reflect the input of national leaders.
  • We are in the process of translating each phase’s training into Portuguese (Brazilians Marcia Diab and Tony Ademo).
  • In each of our Phase 1 trainings, participants led between 5 and 15 people to Christ during the outreach part of our training.
  • We have also seen dozens come to Christ in the church services where we spoke (9 people indicated decisions to follow Christ this past Sunday in a church where I spoke).

EUROPE
  • This was my fourth year as part of the Traction staff, a retreat led by Daniel Hahn for 50 at risk missionaries. Here is a testimony from one of those attending:

“I can honestly say that I am a changed man since Traction.  Or maybe I should say that for the first time in my walk with Christ, I have finally understood who I REALLY am in Christ and I’m choosing to live in that identity.  The changes have been radical and have left me and my wife in shock at the differences.”

  • I was privileged to speak at three churches in Europe that we were part of planting, connecting with a number of leaders and friends, including some who came to Christ during our church planting years in Europe.
Part of the 1,000 plus attending the Crossroads Amsterdam
Part of the 1,000+ attending the Crossroads Amsterdam (Pssst: I’m sure the blond haired woman wishes I had taken the photo when her eyes were open…don’t show it to her :-).

UNITED STATES
  • Sharon and I attended a great Global Training Network (GTN) leadership gathering in February. GTN has now grown to over 100 staff who are training in in 72 countries.
  • Sharon and I connected with churches, friends, and ministry partners in the Pacific Northwest in July.
  • I had the privilege of attending an Adventures of the Heart retreat led by friend Reese Bricken and son Linus Jr. in August.
  • When not traveling, I continue to meet with a great group of men and lead the NO BS BS. Our current them is “Big Issues that We Face Today.”
  • The goal of this study can be summed up in an E and 4 Cs: to Equip others to “Communicate and Contend for the Gospel in a Compelling and Compassionate way” (I send the notes out after each study). Some of the themes we have undertaken so far include:
    • “Does God Really Exist or Are We Just Making This Up?”
    • “If God Exists, What Is He Like?”
    • “Isn’t Chance Wonderful…We are Creatures of Chance, Aren’t We?” and currently,
    • “Where Did the Western World Turn Off from a Judaeo-Christian Worldview?”
NO BS BS art work
NO BS BS art work
BUSY, SOMETIMES INTENSE, BUT FRUITFUL

Reflecting back on the year, it has been a busy, sometimes intense (had typhoid fever in Uganda, just missed a car jacking in Brazil, and scarred off a burglary attempt at home) but fruitful year. Sharon and I joyously celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary, and saw our sixteenth grandchild enter our lives (9 grandsons, 7 granddaughters).

We are grateful for you—the churches, friends, and family members—that make our ministry possible. Thank you for being “On-Expedition” with us to rescue and restore others through the good news of our Savior-Redeemer Jesus—and sing his praises among the nations.

Linus and Sharon


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