Travel Diary 5: EXPANSION COMING SOON

Dear ITEM Friends and Family,

As you are probably aware of, ITEM is in a two-year transition to new leadership and with the new leadership will be an aggressive agenda of expansion. I met today with my great friend and ITEM Director of Mentoring and Special Assistant, Nathan Chiroma to discuss both. It was a valuable time. On another note, I am heading to the Dem Rep of the Congo on Wed with a little bit of uncertainty.

This coming November, at our annual banquet, we will be officially introducing the person who will be stepping into my role at the banquet in 2023. A part of this transition process will be introducing this person to all of our teams.

MEETING OF COORDINATORS

Nathan and I met today to discuss getting all of our country coordinators together early next year to introduce this person and discuss key themes within the ministry and areas into which we plan to expand.

Youth and Women

Two primary areas of expansion that we are focusing on is youth and women. We are in the process of identifying an African who can be our liaison here in Africa. He will serve with youth leaders the way Nathan has been serving with church leaders. In regard to ITEM’s women’s ministry, the current director, Karen Dunkin, is no longer able to travel to Africa so we will be looking to transition women’s ministry leadership in the next two years as well.

Coordinators

In the same way, some of the country coordinators will be handing over leadership in the next few years as well. 

Right now, it appears that we will have three regional meetings. Two will be conducted in English. The third in French. There will be more information coming on these in time. 

UNCERTAINTY IN THE DRC

I leave Kenya on Wednesday. I’ll spend two days in the Dem Rep of the Congo and will return to Kenya on Friday. I arrive Wednesday and meet with the ITEM team on Thursday. But it is the “in between” time that is causing me pause.   

Get this: I will be tested for Covid (again) tomorrow, Monday. Assuming it will be negative like all of the others so far, I’ll arrive with that report in hand but I must, still, be tested at the airport and Nathan believes I will be escorted to a holding facility (hotel?) and will self-quarantine until my result comes back. Assuming it will be negative, I will be released. They say “within 24 hours.” But it is 24 hours later I am supposed to meet with the team.

So, I have a thousand questions. Will I even see the ITEM coordinator at the airport before I am taken to some government approved place to self-quarantine? Will I be able to contact them? Will tmondayhey know where I am at? Is it certain that my results will come back (negative) in time for me to be released and meet with the team? 

One of my personality traits, for better or worse, is that I like to know what to expect in advance. So far, this is not the case regarding my stop in the DRC. 

MONDAY

There are three events on my calendar for Monday. Maybe four. The Kenya ITEM Coordinator is supposed to stop by early to pick up a laptop I brought from the US for someone he knows. Then I will be taken to the University here locally where I taught as adjunct from 1998-2003. I am donating much of my library to the school and they want to document the initiation of that transfer of books. I have the first box of books with me. Then Nathan will take me to get tested for Covid. The day will end with a Zoom call in the evening to discuss an Apologetics Certificate program that I will be participating in long distance using video conferencing.

Please be in PRAYER about all of these and certainly about what awaits in the DRC, that I’ll test negative and be able to meet with the ITEM team as planned. Thanks.

By His grace and for His glory,

Steve

HERE IS PICTURE LINK. One new picture.

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