GI JANE AND THE DIVINE EXPEDITION
“GI” originally stood for “Galvanized Iron”, the primary material used to make military items like buckets. Over time the initials took on multiple meanings, including “Government Issue”, “General Issue”, and even “Ground Infantry”. For us and our Divine Expedition training, we are applying it to Jane Hawkins. GI Jane means, “God Inspired Jane.”
Jane, who we wrote about last month, was inspired to take the role (and I think we were inspired to ask her) of Connector and Communicator for the Divine Expedition training. She has followed up in the past several weeks with Zoom conversations with some of the key leaders that we have trained in Uganda, Brazil, and Nepal. Here are some tidbits from those conversations:
GI JANE ZOOMS WITH MOSES AND JEDEDIAH IN UGANDA
Phil Graf and I traveled seven times with Moses, Jedi, Michael, and Chris throughout Uganda, as they progressed to become Divine Expedition Master Trainers. Jane followed up with a Zoom call to Moses and Jedi and asked, how it has gone since the Covid pandemic hit Uganda? Here are some highlights from her conversation:
“It has been difficult but God is in control; that is the advantage of being born again. Churches are locked down for the second time since Covid. The first time they appealed the govt and restrictions were lifted to almost normal, but so far this time they must stay closed for 60 days–until October.
Even with Covid, Jedi and a team of 8-10 pastors go out on Sundays and preach in villages of 80-100 people for 30 minutes. While one is preaching, the others go door to door sharing Jesus. Then they go to the next village and by 4 pm, they will have gone to 10 locations. About 8 people in each place give their names and phone numbers for receiving Christ. Because people are also listening in their homes, many more become Christians. 1000 churches have been planted in 3-4 years since the Divine Expedition trainings.
Master Trainer Michael has started several churches and recently started one in an area of heavy witchcraft (sorceries, shrines). It has grown from 10 people to 30 people since they were locked down.
Since January we are training churches to become self-sustaining and for pastors to become community leaders. The churches are now reaching out to the community and teaching them to grow crops not only to sustain their families, but to sell and make money.
Uganda is a fertile country where anything can grow but people get caught up in alcohol and smoking and waste time. When a man accepts Jesus he leaves drinking and smoking behind. This frees up more money for the family. (Because alcohol is such a problem in Uganda Christians do not drink.) The churches teach them how to build healthy families, be good fathers, and learn to grow crops.
Pastors and churches become self-sufficient as they reach people for Jesus, foster communities, and transform households through farming and church teaching. People can now bring a tithe, bc they have something to bring. The pastor earns money and his kids can go to school.”
GI JANE ZOOMS WITH LITOS IN BRAZIL
Litos works closely with Sammy Diab, the Divine Expedition leader for Brazil. When we first began training in Brazil, Litos was present but seemed skeptical (or so it appeared to us). As he continued to interact with us a friendship and I think trust developed and Litos became a Master Trainer. He works closely with Sammy and now coordinates the Divine Expedition trainings all over Brazil. Litos recently became a new father. His wife Karina is also a Master Trainer. Here is part of Jane’s interview with Litos:
“He mostly wanted to talk about the DE Master Trainer team and how to create more unity around the vision and more motivation for them to move beyond just teaching the material to being able to lead and desiring to travel and take DE to other churches and cities.
The Estrela church led by Pastor Douglas is repeating the Divine Expedition because they have had so many new people join. Litos and Sammy did not go to Phase 1 because the training was done by other Master Trainers that have been raised up.
The urgent need is for a retreat for new Master Planners so they can meet Linus/Phil. The first generation of trainers was Linus, Phil, Sammy. The second generation was me (Litos), Vladi, and Abel. The next generation of Master Trainers have missed traveling with Linus and Phil and catching the fire of doing life and solving problems together.”
GI JANE ZOOMS WITH SUNIL IN NEPAL
Sunil (not his real name and not pictured for his safety) was especially impacted by the Divine Expedition Phase 2 training, “Aligning Your Heart with Father God’s Heart.” Sunil had been deeply wounded by his father and his grandfather but through the DE Phase 2, he was able to go deeper in forgiving his family members. Here are exerts of Jane’s interaction with him:
“Sunil is full of Jesus, passion, commitment to study, learn, and be used for God’s kingdom. Forgiving his grandfather has been a process started at DE but his feelings had to catch up w/his decision. He is almost at the end of completing the process and restoring the relationship.
He realized his grandfather had been negative to his (Sunil’s) wife; Sunil’s father was negative to his wife; and Sunil too was being negative to his wife. But God revealed to Sunil that sin passes down through generations, so he prayed to break this chain. He broke the chain of negativity by asking his wife to forgive him, also allowing her to go out of the house, finish her high school, and work, rather than the tradition of woman only staying in the home.
Sunil wants to do more DE trainings for Nepali pastors and leaders saying, ‘the material is burning in my heart because I learned so much.’ He wants to create a virtual overview of DE to share with other pastors.
Sunil says that the pandemic has expanded outreach, and they have even connected with Nepalis in Doha and Qatar. He adds that there are even more opportunities now that they don’t have to travel and can do virtual trainings and virtual church, which do not attract the attention of the government, resulting in less persecution.”
THANKS FOR YOUR GI (GOD INSPIRED) PRAYERS AND PARTNERSHIP
I was going to add a GI Jane Zoom with Richard Wallace who has been church planting in Spain and just relocated to his home country of England. Unfortunately, the internet where I am is super slow and I can’t download his photo. Suffice to say, we are excited that Richard and his Dutch wife Riekje have joined Global Training Network and the Divine Expedition team.
Thanks for your prayers and partnership. God is answering them though people like GI Jane, Richard and Riekje, Moses, Jedi, Sammy, Litos, Sunil and others in our mission to “equip leaders to multiply movements that reach people for Christ, make disciples, develop leaders, and start more churches.” Please pray for these leaders and the many more they are connecting with.
With much gratitude for you…and even more for God’s great grace in Jesus,
Linus, Sharon, and the Global Training Network Divine Expedition team