By Brooke Miller, Content Creator at GACX
I remember when my parents built their current home. Besides their stricter budget (including having our fridge consist primarily of frozen pizza), the biggest dread: moving.
Blood, sweat, and tears go into moving: figuring out what was in what box, rearranging the couch fifteen times, and then sleeping on the floor for the first few days. However, one specific thing put a smile on my face.
Instead of carrying a box of books alone, my sister, mom, or dad would pick up the other side, lightening the load. Then the couch. Then the bean-bag chair. Helping each other with heavy items seems obvious. But as we continued to move, we ended up helping each other with each load, even the light ones. We were simply enjoying each other’s company, working as a team, and being effective. And we then rewarded ourselves with a frozen pizza cooked in our new oven.
Similarly, New Covenant Missions and Biglife, two GACX members, “carry the couch” together when working in Africa.
New Covenant Missions recruits, equips, and sends indigenous church planters to share the Gospel. Their primary focus is on unengaged and unreached people groups in Africa. Their goal is a church in every community. They manage church planters while creating strategies and raising project funding. New Covenant has five-hundred and thirteen African team members working in twenty-eight countries.
Biglife is a disciple-making ministry, empowering local believers to reach and disciple local people. Biglife serves in one hundred sixty-one countries – ranging from undercover work in the Middle East and South Asia to above-ground work in South and Central America. Biglife offers free training to organizations and individuals worldwide who want to grow as disciple-makers.
New Covenant Missions reached out to Biglife in early 2021 after connecting at a GACX Forum. New Covenant wanted to speak to Biglife about DMM (Disciple Making Movement) training in Africa and their dream to see the Gospel spread to Africa, specifically among unreached groups. Soon after, the two organizations started working together in Ethiopia to train people in DMM and CPM (Church Planting Movement).
Their efforts in Ethiopia paved the way for Biglife and New Covenant to partner with Africa Inland Mission, another GACX member, in another country, securely named: Operation Maureen.
“It’s beautiful when ministries work together and not against each other.” reflects Erik Laursen, CEO of New Covenant. Biglife’s Africa Coordinator, Kenny Fong, reiterates, “It’s an amazing synergy because Jesus is at the center, and everything else flows out of the relationship.”
Biglife led training in Senegal and invited New Covenant to encourage local church planters to work with Operation Maureen to see more engagement there. Together, they built a practical and intentional strategy focused on the basics of DMM. Within Operation Maureen, the three GACX organizations have already reported people coming to faith and new small groups starting amidst the significant challenges of working in a high-security context. Biglife and New Covenant just finished similar training in Niger and are going to Mali soon.
“These trainings became kingdom collaboration without any agenda other than just the agenda of Jesus. There’s an impact in terms of the whole culture of collaboration from resources to relationships.” Kenny states.
Last year, New Covenant and Biglife successfully planted 436 churches. With that growth, the number of people entering the discipleship process has multiplied substantially.
John Heerema, CEO of Biglife, reflects, “We continue to see the Lord bringing ministries together. The greatest thing about ministry in the last five to seven years is people wanting to work together instead of having silos.”
It is not enjoyable carrying a box of books on your own. And it’s impossible to carry a couch alone. If you work in Africa and need connections or are searching for free training as an organization, don’t try to do it alone. Reach out to New Covenant Missions and Biglife. They are willing to “carry the couch” with you.