Friday, April 2, 2021

March Updates, COVID reflections

It's been one year since the world shut down from COVID. In some ways, little has happened for many of us this year. So many trips cancelled, so many plans thwarted, so much time at home with our families, and so much fellowship with others delayed until it was considered safer. 

But in other ways, when you look back on what has happened in the past year in MOPS Africa, so much has happened! God has shown up so big in many ways. Our MOPS cohort leaders and local coordinators could have pressed pause and stayed quiet until everything was back to 'normal'. But that wasn't the case, at all. There was determination to learn how to communicate virtually, to meet locally in between government shutdowns, to dream big, to translate materials, to start new groups, to hold training sessions, and to intentionally collaborate with each other around the continent. 

As we prepare to celebrate our risen Savior this weekend at Easter, let us remember that we serve a LIVING God. As the rest of the world was shut down, we rose strong, alive with the strength that only Jesus could provide. Over 25 new MOPS Africa groups were started in a year when we could barely leave our houses. Hundreds of new moms were welcomed into our MOPS community at a time when we all desperately needed hope and community. MOPS Global released a new curriculum and it was translated into seven African languages, and that curriculum and accompanying materials has been distributed all across the continent. There were absolutely difficult and low points in this year, but let us not forget how far we have come, either. "For he who is mighty has done great things for [us], and Holy is His name." Luke 1:49.

Some highlights this month -

Our Global Ministry Director for Canada, Mandy Dessureault is helping us in Africa by coaching many of our French speaking MOPS groups in West Africa (Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Mali). We have a separate WhatsApp space for these ladies and we are excited about being able to strengthen these groups now that we have a better way for them to connect in their local language. We also thank Pastor James in Ivory Coast for the instrumental work he is doing to spread the vision of MOPS! Let us not underestimate the role our pastors can play in helping us reach more moms for Christ.

We welcome a MOPS group in the country of Namibia, lead by Jamaica. This means MOPS is now in 18 countries in Africa. Praise Jesus. Only 36 more to go until we have a MOPS group in every country in the continent :)

This month, 135 MOPS Ghana mentors and leaders met together for training and fellowship for a Mentorship conference in Accra. 

MOPS Okota in Nigeria did their MOPS meeting at the beach! And while the beach part is not significant (but it is gorgeous, so I didn't want to leave that part out), Bukola noted that they went out of order in the curriculum to meet the needs of their moms at that time. And I love that - thinking creatively and using the curriculum not as a strict rule book, but to meet the moms in their group where they are in a culturally appropriate way. Well done!

And so many more wonderful things happened this month. Let us celebrate them all here:

Nairobi Believers Mission MOPS meeting in Kenya

Pastor James from Ivory Coast meeting with Helene from Mali about MOPS 

MOPS Zambia group meeting led by Margaret

Dominion MOPS in Zambia

Rwanda MOPS

Sylvia traveled out to Sarah in Mombasa, Kenya to share about MOPS

Blessed Moms MOPS in Nairobi, Kenya

Pure Word MOPS in Nigeria

MOPS Curriculum translated into Luganda, just off the printer in Kampala 

Ghana monthly leaders training - preparing the leaders for their MOPS meetings

MOPS Rwanda Leaders are so excited to finally be able to meet together after many months of lockdown to learn the new curriculum!

Brand new MOPS group started by Emmanuella in Nigeria

Githunguchu Kenya MOPS training led by Cohort Leader, Leah

Kitale Kenya MOPS

MOPS Ghana

MOPS Ghana

Monday, March 1, 2021

February updates

This month I want to focus on all the amazing energy around this year's new global curriculum, being distributed across the African continent. We have never had this much collective enthusiasm and success with our groups. It is the first time that we have curriculum translated into so many languages, with groups all over the continent receiving training, materials, and support they need from their area cohort leaders.

I have such gratitude for all of the work that each country and regional leader has dedicated to their regions to ensure that all MOPS moms have access to a loving group where they will learn practical mothering skills along with receiving encouragement and spiritual support. Thank you for the sacrifices these leaders have made to travel, buy materials, and train their region. I am also grateful to those, both inside and outside of MOPS, who helped with curriculum translations, formatting, and editing. And I'm so appreciative for everyone who has financially supported MOPS Africa to make efforts like this possible -  the sisterhood partnerships and the individuals who so generously give in order that we can implement these projects so well.

We are still working on getting all 200 MOPS Africa groups trained, as covid has slowed down travel in some areas, and other areas are remote and difficult to reach. But we are well on our way to completing this endeavor of getting all groups access to curriculum and materials. 

Here are some of the many beautiful pictures from our groups this month:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 

- Hebrews 10:23

Saturday, January 30, 2021

December/January Updates

Last month I took a break from my regular posting, as our year-end impact report gave a good update on everything there was to celebrate for the year.

This month, many Cohort Leaders have been busy getting the new MOPS curriculum out to their area groups. The translations for all seven languages have been complete, and it is time to print the curriculums and purchase materials. Some of our regions are still constrained because of Covid regulations, but those that can are doing a great job getting the word out and training their groups.

Here is a peek into how our Kitale, Kenya area groups are doing with their new curriculum training.

Janet, Area Cohort Leader, ready to hand out materials!

Leaders, going through everything

Happy to have translated curriculum

Practicing, of course!

Please also pray for Janet, the Kitale Cohort Leader. Her family, including our dear Pastor Sammy, was in a motorcycle accident this past week and they are still recovering from some significant injuries.

Another prayer request is for one of our leaders, Jackline, in the Kampala, Uganda area. She has been in the ICU for almost several weeks and is in great pain. Please lift her up for healing today!

I want to highlight MOPS Ghana this month. These groups are always so enthusiastic to spread this ministry across their country. They registered their first MOPS group in 2019, and in 2020 added 17 groups and over 600 moms to the ministry. The team is lead by Harriet Livingstone (country coordinator) and Fosua Asare (Cohort Leader) and these moms are on fire for Jesus! Prayers go out for their plans for a country-wide conference in May.

Training up a brand new group!

Rev Dorcas leads a disabled moms group in Amasaman, Ghana

A MOPS Christmas party for the MOPS kids in Kasoa, Ghana

Ghana leadership meeting to plan for the new year

And last but not least, here are many of our groups over these last two months:

MOPS Madagascar, led by Felana

Riverside and Waiyaki MOPS in Kenya, celebrating God's goodness!

Moshi MOPS in Tanzania, led by Rosemary

Our newest MOPS group near Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Blessed Mothers MOPS, in Nairobi, Kenya led by Carol

Waiyaki MOPS near Nairobi, Kenya, led by Leah

A MOPS Rwanda meeting, in between government shutdowns

One of our MOPS Zambia groups, led by Maureen

Divine Hands MOPS, in Tanzania, led by Imani

Nairobi Believers Missions MOPS, Kenya, led by Gail