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