2024 News

The Power of Partnership

Wednesday, 3 July 2024

At the core of the Global Mission Partners model is the desire to partner well. 

In mid-June, I had the delight of meeting with our South Sudan partners, from LAFOSS and CMI. Sadly, the ongoing conflict in Sudan meant it was too unsafe for us to travel to meet with our partners in their home environment, and at the advice of our partners, we chose Kenya as the second-best and safest alternative. 

We met in the town of Kisumu, sitting on both the Equator and the shores of Lake Victoria (the start of the River Nile). It was a nice reunion for some of us, as we’d last connected at our Partnering Through Stronger Communities (PTSC) workshops last year in Thailand, but some of the parties were new to one another, so it was good to become acquainted over meals of chicken and rice. 

Typically, our visits involve meeting community members and hearing on-the-ground reports from beneficiaries of our partner's work (we document the findings as part of our monitoring and evaluation), so in the absence of being able to do this, we facilitated several key discussions, to allow both LAFOSS and CMI to provide some updates. 

Our first morning devotion allowed us to reflect on 1 Peter 3:8-18 and those gathered all shared in some way how not repaying evil with evil and pursuing peace is a challenge in a context where revenge and violence are a daily experience, and forgiveness is difficult after their civil war.

Each participant expressed the importance of putting this into practice as an example for others and that Jesus’ crucifixion is the example we ought to follow.

LAFOSS shared how the Peace Clubs they operate in about 25 schools are intended to help the next generation be peacemakers. Pursuing peace is still needed in South Sudan, and our partners are at the forefront of promoting this Christian mandate.

Santino (LAFOSS) and Paulino (CMI) shared how their current projects are progressing and their future plans and challenges. LAFOSS is preparing to launch a new project to serve the many refugees who have settled in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, many of whom have been escaping the conflict in Sudan, and to provide livelihood training.

CMI shared how their distribution of goats benefits local families and attracts more families to their network of schools, improving education in the Aweil area. Paulino shared that many students are now graduating and pursuing further studies at university.

In addition to hearing about the positive impact our partners are having, we also discussed governance models and financial planning and enjoyed sharing meals and deepening our connection - the important work of partnering well.

Profoundly, Monica (Finance Officer, CMI) shared a powerful African parable with us.

A man sat with a group of friends, held out his fist, and asked his friends to guess if the butterfly he was holding was alive or dead. He secretly planned that if they answered “alive”, he could crush the insect, and if they said “dead”, he could easily release it. They considered and debated this for a long time without a conclusion.

A madman from their village arrived, and the group explained the riddle. In frustration, the group dispersed one by one, leaving the man with the insect and the madman remaining.

Once alone, the madman answered, “The answer is easy. It doesn’t matter if what is in your hands is alive or dead, what matters most is that you have power in your hands.”

After we had listened to the despairing situation in South Sudan, this highlighted the point perfectly. Our partners have the power to help the most vulnerable. We have the power in our hands to help our partners.

Together, let’s continue to use our power to bring life.

John Lamerton,
Chief Executive Officer



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