Thursday, December 26, 2019

Happy New Year!

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

*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.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

November Updates

'Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.' Psalm 95:2-3

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, observed during the last week of November. It celebrates the harvest time before the cold winter sets in and reminds us of our blessings and reasons to give thanks during the past year. We celebrate with visits from family coming from far away and have a big feast, which resembles the harvest feast in 1621 shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag (Native American) people. We typically eat turkey, potatoes, cranberries, and bread. It is not celebrated by everyone as a religious holiday, but Christians will use this time specifically to thank God for all of his provisions and blessings.

Image result for cartoon cranberry

While the holiday does not extend much outside of North America, it is good for all people and countries to give Thanksgiving to the Lord for his goodness! Not just this week, but all year long. For where would we be without His mercy and grace?

As the holidays come around again this year, we have so much to celebrate and thank God for here at MOPS Africa! Here is what has been happening this month:

At the beginning of the month, Uganda MOPS Coach Penlope Muhindo and Ambassador Alison Kasiringi returned from a trip to visit all 31 MOPS groups in their region of Western, Uganda. They came home with a great report. These groups range in age from eight years old to newly established just two months ago! We have some groups getting trained for the first time through the Leadership Handbook and Global Curriculum, and others who have just received their 'To The Full' globalized curriculum. I am so proud of what this area of MOPS is accomplishing. Here are just a few of the photos from their travels.


Coach Penlope (below) and leaders happy to receive their new curriculum
MOPS Nigeria started a new group at mentor Chioma's place of work this month with eight moms. They will be meeting during a MOPS lunch-hour fellowship, twice a month. Welcome to the global MOPS community, ladies!

Newest MOPS group in Nigeria

MOPS Rwanda also started a monthly prayer-meeting called 'Saturday for Christ'. This month, they prayed and shared stories and testimonies how Jesus changed moms' lives through MOPS, and they look forward to this prayer meeting once a month at Hope Haven. Stephanie says "MOPS surely came at the right time in Rwanda!"

First Saturday prayer meeting

And finally, I want to introduce these two awesome women who have stepped into the role of MOPS Advocate over the last few months:

Haley Strong lives in Oregon with her husband, Matt, of nine years. They have four beautiful children together. Haley has been helping with our MOPS sisterhood partnerships here in the US and is working to get more MOPS connections! She has been to Africa before - a trip to Ethiopia for hospital work, where she helped to deliver a baby! - and she is looking forward to her next trip. 

Here are a few interesting things about Haley:

Favorite food: Tacos
Favorite bible verse: Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Favorite color: Teal
Favorite place traveled: Sweden
Fun fact: Her favorite band is an American group called Hanson - She has seen them in concert 60 times (and is at their most recent show tonight!).

Kimberly King lives in Maryland with her husband, Jim, of 18 years. They have two beautiful children and two cats.  She has been helping with group communication, leadership support, and administrative guidance. She has also been to Africa before - to several countries including Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and Ghana. Interestingly, she also helped deliver babies (on her Zambia trip)! 

Here are a few interesting things about Kimberly:

Favorite food: Brownies (dense chocolate cake) and warm chocolate-chip cookies.
Favorite bible verse: Ephesians 4:29 - "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen"
Favorite color: Green
Favorite place traveled: Safari trip to Kenya/Tanzania
Fun fact: She has run an 80km ultra-marathon race.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Updates

There are oh-so-many fun things to say about our MOPS Africa groups this month.

Tomorrow (Friday, November 1), we are hosting a 24-hour prayer day. For an entire 24 hours, we have lined up people around the globe to be praying and fasting for our leaders in MOPS Africa - 48 people in 16 different countries coming together to pray the following:
  • Psalm 115:1 - For God's glory to shine through this MOPS ministry. May we be ever striving to glorify our Lord as we serve Him in MOPS.
  • Mark 16:15 - To reach more moms in our current MOPS communities that don't know Jesus. That we may not only change the lives of these women, but their whole families. May the next generation of Africa be changed because of this good work.
  • 1 Tim 2:1-4 - For all of our MOPS leadership, both in our country and through MOPS Africa. May the Lord keep them safe, focused, and may He raise up committed, honesty, servant leadership to fulfill this big task ahead of us.
  • Phil 4:19 - For the provision of resources needed to accomplish the work set before us.
  • James 1:5 - For wisdom to lead our MOPS groups well
  • Psalm 51:10 - For our leaders to have a pure heart and personal relationship with Jesus by regularly studying his word and being in prayer
I am so excited to see what comes as a result of these petitions to God on behalf of MOPS Africa. And for those who are not on our official signup sheet, we still covet your prayers alongside ours on this day! Join in, knowing that at that same moment, you are joining a MOPS sister in prayer on the other side of the world on behalf of MOPS Africa.

Since Favour's and my visit to Kigali in June, 17 MOPS groups have started in the beautiful country of Rwanda, hosting over 650 moms!! We have Stephanie Birundi to thank for this incredible growth - who we also just welcomed as our newest MOPS Coach! MOPS Rwanda had a beautiful leadership conference this month, and we are just so excited for the growth and excitement for MOPS in Rwanda.

Leadership conference
Stephanie, our newest MOPS Africa coach

In Malawi, our devoted brother in Christ, Sky, is working very hard overseeing our MOPS Leadership handbook and Global Curriculum translation into the Chichewa language, so women around the country will be able to access our materials in a language they can understand. The process is slow, but full of love. First, the documents are translated by hand into a journal. The handwritten notes are then typed one page at a time on a hired computer at an internet cafe, saved on a usb flash disc, and then transferred to email. Finally, they are compiled back into the original document format again.

Getting started

Hand written
Off to the internet cafe for transcription

Final Product!

Here's a peek into a few of our MOPS meetings that happened in October:

Githunguchu, Kenya MOPS

Juba, South Sudan MOPS

Tiko, Cameroon MOPS - Making fish cakes together!

Nakuru Kenya MOPS

Jinja, Uganda MOPS

And last but not least, here is an update on our MOPS Leadership Certification Training - We have had 31 new MOPS leaders, moms, and pastors complete this important training in September and October! That makes 48 Leadership Certified MOPS leaders in Africa. Way to go!

Pastor Blaise (representing Cameroon)
Harriet Livingstone (Ghana)
Pastor James (representing Ivory Coast)
Ruth Aduvagah (Kenya)
Janet Kimitios (Kenya) 
Janet Wafula (Kenya) 
Janet Ngeywo (Kenya) 
Eunice Mwende (Kenya) 
Jackline Wanyoyi (Kenya) 
Dorren Mandu (Kenya) 
Josphine Moraa (Kenya) 
Shallom Dorcas (Kenya) 
Mercy Chemtai (Kenya) 
Lena Too (Kenya) 
Lilian Situma (Kenya)
Carolyn Omeri (Kenya)
Sylvia Kiberenge (Kenya)
Violet Cherop (Kenya)
Pamela Mirikau (Kenya)
Eunice Alawnya (Kenya)
Rebecca Ochola (Kenya)
Cherry Tay (Kenya)
Pastor Sammy (Kenya)
Mary Khisa (Kenya)
Grace Ayienda (Kenya)
Pastor Richard (Kenya)
Jacklyn Motondi (Kenya)
Sky (Malawi)
Gertrude (Malawi)
Miriam Nanyonjo (Uganda)
Sylvia Nazziwa (Uganda)

Monday, September 30, 2019

September Updates

It's always fun to look back on the month and see how much has happened in just a few short weeks! What a blessing it is to share what is happening around MOPS Africa with you all.

We have had big movement in Uganda this month. We are welcoming our newest MOPS coach and first Uganda coach - Penlope Muhindo. We are so grateful for your willingness to serve in this ministry, Penlope! I know God will use your mightily to reach moms all over the Kasese region.

Penlope and her two children

Penlope serves with Pastor Alison, and just this month we have opened up 16 new MOPS groups in their region. That makes 31 MOPS groups in Kasese and a total of 37 groups in Uganda as a whole!

Speaking of new groups, we also just started groups in two new countries since the last post: Malawi and Côte d'Ivoire. We are now in 16 countries in Africa, totaling 105 groups, reaching over 2,000 mothers! The way God is moving throughout this continent is amazing.

Where we are now in MOPS Africa

Coach Sylvia Nyameche of MOPS Kenya traveled this month to see several of her area groups. We are thankful for her commitment to MOPS and for her encouragement to her groups around her region. 

Syliva visiting our Kaijado MOPS group in the Maasai region

One of our Kenyan groups in Kisii is doing amazing things right now regarding table banking. This group has slowly grown over the last four years, and is now reaching 130 mothers! They meet twice a month to study MOPS curriculum, but also every week for what is known as table banking. The mothers bring what they have saved for the week, and this amount is individually recorded in their group ledger. Women are then eligible to take our small loans from the community savings, for small businesses or family needs, which they must return to the group within a set amount of time with 10% interest. This interest is applied directly back to the community savings, and at the end of the year is distributed to the group or pooled for community projects like chicken rearing. The mother's original savings account continues. Groups like this are common in sub-saharan Africa where banks are either too hard to reach or not trusted enough. These table banking groups already naturally form in communities, especially within circles of women who might not have the means of using a bank. And MOPS is a great way to support these mothers who are already coming together in community anyway! We applaud this group's initiative of teaching important financial skills like savings while at the same time teaching the skills that will encourage them to be better mothers for their own children.
Table banking records

This photo also just came through this evening - a brand new group in Kenya just started meeting north of Nairobi- and they sent this cute photo of their first meeting together.

And finally, here is a short summary of MOMcon 2019:

The conference was held this year in Orlando, Florida on September 5-7.We had a close call with a hurricane, and there was some travel disruption for many global and U.S. leaders. But in the end, God was very faithful, and we had a great conference! Favour Mwaba from Zambia joined again this year, and I also got to meet several U.S. partners at the conference who have connected over the past year with some of our African groups. I was given an amazing opportunity to speak at the volunteer training the day before the conference kicked off - and I shared what the global piece of MOPS International is doing around the world! Our Global leaders did some big praying and planning for our upcoming year. We also laughed, shared together, and became a more united team in important ways. I was grateful for the time with each of the leaders.

Favour playing games with other global leaders- from France, Guatamela, Albania, and Austria in the background
Kimberly, Favour, and I. Kimberly just joined MOPS Africa as an Advocate - we welcome her graciously to our team!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

August Updates

I wanted to post a few quick updates from the airport before I head off to MOMcon! Please pray for safe travels for Favour Mwaba and for all of the other leaders coming from around the US and the world.

First of all, we had a big initiative for our Leadership Training certification for MOPS this month. We really want at least one leader from each MOPS group around the world to be trained in our leadership program. And this month, we had 17 leaders complete the training. And another 10 are currently working on completing it. Many leaders could not complete the videos online so they diligently read through all of the transcripts to get it done! Congratulations to the following leaders for completing it!!

Bukola (Nigeria)
Chioma (Nigeria)
Stephanie (Rwanda)
Pastor Alison (Uganda)
Sylvia (Uganda)
Penlope (Uganda)
Aisha (Uganda)
Jackline (Uganda)
Sylvia (Kenya)
Favour (Zambia)
Harriet (Zambia)
Sonja (South Africa)
Cecile (South Africa)
Liezl (South Africa)
Lise (South Africa)
Eleanor (South Africa)
Ernadise (South Africa)

In other great news this month:

Meble is the leader of our first African special needs MOPS group and is doing an amazing job. These moms are often times restricted to their home to take care of all of the needs of their children alone, because there are no resources for special needs children in the schools or community. These moms have a deep desire for community, and a real need to develop a relationship with Jesus. Their society hates them. Most of the mothers are unaware of their children's condition or how to help support them. They believe it is due to witchcraft and visit many witch doctors looking for a way of changing their child's condition. Please pray for this group who has a difficult time meeting because bringing their children into the meeting is difficult! Please pray for the leader, Meble, to have the strength to do this big and important job of reaching these mothers in her community.


This is Cathy. She is starting up our first MOPS groups in Mali, Africa. This country is less than 1% Christian and in deep need of a ministry like MOPS. It's ranked a level 4 (the highest!) on the US state department for safety. This group could use many prayers as they begin to meet.

Just yesterday MOPS Zambia had a delightful fundraising breakfast where they ate, played, prayed, and encouraged each other. They also raised funds for their soap and pad making initiative for the Chipata Clinic maternity ward, women's prisons, and the community at large. It looks like a great time for all. Prayers that they meet the funding they need to continue their projects that will make a big impact in their community.

Two of our Kampala MOPS groups are working together sewing multiuse bags, machine sewn, made of sacks. The funds they make from these bags will help support the school fees for the children. Nice work ladies!!

Here is a photo update from our Moshi, Tanzania MOPS group. 

And from one of our new groups meeting in Kampala, Uganda. Love the colors, ladies!

And hello to our MOPS group in Kisii, Kenya, too!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July Updates

The big news this month is a big congratulations for our South Africa team on a successful MOMCon. The event was held on July 29 at Vredelust Gemeente Church in Cape Town, with over 100 moms in attendance. Included in that number were 40 moms who aren't yet a part of MOPS. And from the specific interest in MOPS at the conference, we are confident that MOPS in South Africa will be growing. There were also six representatives from outside of the Cape Town area, looking to increase their understanding and leadership training, as well as network with other global leaders:

Three MOPS group leaders from Uganda - Jackline, Miriam, and Aisha
Two MOPS leaders from Zambia - Jane and Vidah
One MOPS leaders from a different region of South Africa - Rene

What a fun opportunity for these leaders to get to attend an international conference. They learned a lot to take back home with them to their MOPS communities. Thank you for taking the time away from your families to focus on MOPS!

At the all-day conference, there was worship, training, several panel discussions, and in Sonja's words - There was very good vision casting for MOPS!

Sonja - Front left, with some MOPS SA leadership and some international visitors from Zambia and Uganda

Panel discussions
MOPS Uganda, finding their fire!

Additionally, some of our newest MOPS groups have begun to meet in Rwanda. So far we have seven new groups registered from our visit to Hope Haven, and more on the way. Look at this sweet picture of one group's first meeting!

And last but not least, here is a photo from the most recent MOPS meeting in South Sudan, with their pastor holding up the Find your Fire curriculum they are working through.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

June updates

June has been great! Here are the updates from MOPS Africa:

Our only group in Ghana (located in Accra) had its first meeting earlier this month! How wonderful to see moms from a new country getting together in beautiful fellowship. Praise God for this awesome news.
MOPS Ghana's first meeting
Here are a few updates on my trip to Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda earlier this month, which I took with another MOPS USA leader - 

Kenya MOPS Coach Sylvia and I (and Lisa!) traveled to a church that I have connections with, just north of Nairobi. We presented MOPS as an good opportunity for the church to work with the moms in their community. We are following up with these leaders, and pray they are ready to start a group soon. We love meeting moms all over Africa, and truly believe that every mom needs Jesus. So, we will reach out to these communities, one church at a time, until we make that a reality!

Sylvia (top left) and I introducing MOPS in Githunguchu, Kenya
In Tanzania, I met up with the coordinator and pastor of the Moshi Tanzania MOPS group, to share with them the new curriculum and offer encouragement and love from their sister group from Colorado! 

Rosemary (right), coordinator of MOPS Moshi
And finally, Coach Favour and I traveled to Kigali, Rwanda to help introduce MOPS to group of moms through a connection we have made with Hope Haven Rwanda - an amazing school reaching the local community in powerful ways! We had 135 women attend a MOPS meeting, where we shared the Gospel message, did a photo icebreaker, spoke about finding One Word to keep focused, and did a craft! It was a lot of fun. The following day we invited the women back who were interested in hearing about leading a leadership team at MOPS. We covered the MOPS Leader Guide and the Global Curriculum. We had 70 women come back the second day, and had 12 leaders teams set up who are very interested in starting new groups. We are now praying for these groups to begin the processes of signing a ministry agreement form and kicking off their meetings!

Mom showing off her craft in the MOPS introduction meeting at Hope Haven in Kigali
Favour Mwaba sharing her experiences of being a leader in MOPS Africa
I also met with the leader of our ex-pat group in Kigali, comprised of American, British, and Australian moms. How great it was to hear what this group has been up to the past year. It is not easy being so far from 'home', and we pray these moms are able to find community and support through MOPS during this part of there time overseas.

In other beautiful news, MOPS Ambassador Amy traveled with a group to Kampala Uganda to attend a sewing school graduation for many of the moms in the MOPS group that she is partnered with. This relationship the group has with Amy is a beautiful thing to see.

And just this week, Kenya Coach Sylvia has also helped lead a MOPS training with another MOPS leader from the USA. One of our mentor moms (Jodi!) came to Nairobi with her church mission team, who comes annually to help with an organization, Missions of Hope International. She decided last year to do an Introduction to MOPS training with this group they partner with, and this year worked together with Sylvia to do another training to kick off a group here in the Mathare Valley. Well done ladies! It was a big success and the moms are very excited to start.


MOPS training at Mathare Valley with Jodi and Sylvia

Please pray for MOPS South Africa. They are holding their second annual MOMcon next month in Cape Town, and we can't wait to hear all about it!

And..... because videos are so fun - MOPS Cameroon had a great meeting this month! Take a look at the group going through Global Curriculum, Devotion #6: Joy:

Finally, our MOPS group in Lagos sent in this photo of their group learning how to make a food called shawarma at their most recent MOPS meeting. They had a new mom join this month, who later thanked the leader for a great time in fellowship with the other moms in the group.