I want to take time, as we come to a close for 2019, to share some highlights of MOPS Africa this year 🙌
*One year ago, MOPS Africa had 54 MOPS groups meeting in 11 different countries. Today, MOPS is in 120 groups across 16 countries. We are directly reaching over 2,500 moms and their families in Africa! All backed by MOPS International - an organization impacting 100,000 moms around the world. Better Moms Make a Better World! Find out more at www.mops.org/
*Our team of leaders is growing: We now have 2 MOPS country coordinators, 5 area MOPS coaches, 3 MOPS ambassadors, and 2 MOPS advocates for Africa! And we're hoping to have 3 more area coaches lined up within the next few weeks.
*Five countries hosted their own locally-run MOPS conferences this year: Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia, including over 600 moms in their communities.
*55 MOPS Africa leaders have become MOPS Leader Certified by taking a series of 4 courses on the vision of MOPS, how to incorporate our mission globally, and how to lead others well. None of this was particularly easy for these leaders, as most don't have enough internet access to watch the videos. But with transcripts prepared, these leaders got it done!
*Two US MOPS leaders went with me on two separate MOPS Africa trips: The first to Kitale, Kenya and Lusaka, Zambia in April, where we attended MOPS group meetings, presented at several MOPS leadership retreats, and supported the official government launch of Zambia MOPS. The second visit was in June to Nairobi, Kenya to launch a new MOPS group and then to meet up with Favour in Kigali, Rwanda and launched MOPS at a strategic school - and between these two launches, there are now 18 new MOPS groups reaching 650 new moms in Africa!
*We have 12 official U.S. partnerships to African MOPS groups.
If you haven't seen the other posts throughout the year, please take a look. There are so many beautiful updates to celebrate!
Welcoming our newest MOPS Coach this month - Sylvia Nantongo. Many know Sylvia as the amazing MOPS coordinator of our Teen MOPS group in Kampala, Uganda, working hard with Amy in Germany to establish sustainable living opportunities like sewing and soap making for her moms. She is now ready to be a coach for our 8 Eastern Uganda groups in the Kampala area, where she already serves helping many MOPS leaders.
And, here's a peek into all of our MOPS Africa Christmas celebrations this holiday season......
Ghana- On Christmas eve, one of the Accra MOPS groups visited a group of disabled women in their community, bringing them gifts of food. What a beautiful way to celebrate the holiday, by giving to others:
Zambia- Speaking of service, earlier in the month, Zambian leaders went to the local mall to reach out to new moms to tell them about joining a MOPS group:
Also, of special note - We started a conversation on our MOPS Africa Leaders WhatsApp group this month about Christmas traditions and specialty foods -by-country. And.... one of the food delicacies in Zambia is caterpillars and worms. I think my favorite part of the WhatsApp conversation was when no other African country could believe these were actually considered edible! 🤣 While I opted not to try these (pictured below) when they were offered on my visit this year, I have no doubt they were on many of our MOPS Zambia mom's tables this Christmas!
|They're bought dried in a bag from the market, rehydrated, and then cooked|
Nigeria- MOPS Lagos celebrated this month with a Christmas party with their children.
Cameroon- Our Tiko MOPS group celebrated on the 26th with several of their group moms and the pastor!
Tanzania- Moshi MOPS had a big Christmas celebration on the 25th, complete with good food, dancing, and kids caroling.
Rwanda- MOPS Kigali had their monthly prayer meeting this month and also worked on their basket-making skills. These baskets can take two days for the moms to make, and turned out beautifully!
Loss- And as we all know, amidst the celebrations, there is always the possibility of deep loss, felt even harder this time of the year. We had two of our MOPS moms pass on this month, both very suddenly - one in Cameroon and the other in Rwanda. They both left behind small children, and in the case of our Rwanda single mom, there is now an orphaned five-year-old boy. The MOPS leader will do what she can to provide for the little boy, praying that extended family is eventually able to come to care for him!
Additionally, one of our moms in Kenya lost her baby after an emergency c-section. Her MOPS group came to rally around her in the hospital as she grieved this deep loss.
We are praying for all of those involved in these terrible tragedies felt at the end of this year.
And we are all hopeful and excited about what is to come in MOPS Africa next year. We have BIG plans.