We are wrapping up our fourth year at Switchboard, and the growth from years past is thriving. What we planted multiplied exponentially – and it's now planting seeds on its own. For the first time, the church leadership in Lalogi, Uganda organized and conducted their own community revival. For the first time, the elders of the churches there asked us to invest in the women of their church, training and discipling them. For the first time, Switchboard stepped outside of Africa and initiated partnerships with churches in India and Portugal. All along the way, we encountered the constant protection and provision from God. Where there were obstacles and hurdles, God saw fertile soil and brought growth. It was quite a year, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
During the discipleship training conferences in 2014, several of the church leaders decided to organize a revival for their community. Having just been equipped with new skills on teaching and preaching, they wanted to immediately apply those tools to reach their villages. In January, over 500 people came together for a week of praise, worship, teaching and fellowship. Switchboard oversaw the event, which was entirely organized and orchestrated by local preachers and elders.
Over the summer Switchboard returned, working alongside the local church leaders for additional discipleship and instruction. In addition, the first-ever women’s discipleship training conference was held, equipping women leaders with practical tools on how to disciple and teach others. Switchboard also initiated work in a new region, Gem, distributing Bibles, teaming up with their local church leadership, and training over 130 pastors.
Switchboard progressed into the Mogotio region of Kenya in March. After connecting with the local government and collaborating with church leadership, the initial stages of discipleship training have begun. The process to lay the groundwork for future discipleship conferences in a new area is intensive and involves church, government, and community ownership. Training the local pastors, Switchboard is partnering with them and helping develop individualized plans for their communities.
Together with Ethos Church and Lipscomb University, Switchboard partnered with two churches in Basirhat and Gaborda. While there we connected with church leadership, working to empower, equip and encourage their church community. We also collaborated with them to plan and assess needs for discipleship training in 2016.
PARTNERSHIP WITH ONWARD
While the partnership is still in its infancy, Switchboard has joined with Onward Church Planting to advance the gospel together. Onward is an organization that is teaching and training church planters, and the collaboration with Switchboard became a natural and effortless one. In 2016, the two organizations will work together to teach, train, and disciple church leaders worldwide, and we look forward to being stronger together than we could be apart.
As you can see, it's been a full year. For all of the fruit we were fortunate enough to witness, we know we can’t take any credit for its growth. God brought forth the harvest, and you, our supporters, family and friends, were the ones who helped us plant, water, prune and fertilize.
As always, thank you for your generosity, love and support of this mission.