Phelps News - 2014 Preview

2014 Preview
-------------------

January (Ok! So this is the review part! Where did it go?)
------------
2014 started with a bang as OM Africa hosted 4 events in Pretoria.
It started with our regional leaders meetings for two days. It is always a privilege to spend time with our country leaders and to hear what God is doing in their ministries.
We then went into training for the senior leaders. I enjoyed leading sessions relating to mentoring and developing younger leaders.

Some of the leaders left and other people cam and then we did 5 days of financial development. A team of international fund raising specialists came to help with setting up fund raising systems within our fields to see funding raised within Africa. A last minute cancellation by one of the trainers meant I was called in at last minute to help with some of the training.

There was then a two day break before we started a ten day Muslim Church Planting training. This was done by a number of trainers who between them had about 70 years of experience of ministering to in Muslim countries.

I spent a total of 19 days in the classroom and was responsible for most of the logistics such as training requirements, transport and accommodation for delegates, as well as participating and training. It was an intense month but very worthwhile. The feedback from the different participants was encouraging and action plans when implemented could see significant results in our fields.

Grietjie and the kids got back into the homeschooling and while there have been the usual issues they are progressing well.
 
February
------------
A quieter month which is focussed on doing some training locally, writing training material, catching up with admin and confirming planning for the remainder of the year.

March
--------
March starts out with a group of middle leadership candidates coming down to Pretoria from all over Africa for five days of leadership input which starts a 12 month process of studies and mentoring. I am busy working on the final details of the curriculum at present.

In March I have been invited to participate in two meetings in Belgium. The first is a consultation where leadership development specialists from around the OM world to evaluate how we are doing organisationally in terms of developing leaders and what we can do to improve.

I then go into a three day workgroup meeting to specifically review our foundational level leadership course.

April
------
April see me travel to Zimbabwe to train a group of missions candidates, meet with the OM Zimbabwe team and travel up to Siabuwa to do training with the pastors, specifically in how to use the "Knowing and Doing" theological introduction that they have translated.

There is also a chance that Grietjie will travel up to Zambia to do some entrepreneurial training with a group of sports ministry specialists.

May
-----
I was hoping to be able to organise a training indaba for the training specialist in the area at the beginning of May but for practical reasons it is looking unlikely. 

We are hoping as a family to be travelling up through Zimbabwe to Zambia for an extended period of ministry at the base in Zambia as well as visiting some of the ministries in Zambia.

June
-------
I will be doing my 11th trip to Ghana in June to do leadership training, support raising training and some ministry to pastors.

At the end of June we will be participating in OM South Africa's GO Challenge in Mamelodi. If you are interested in participating in this exciting opportunity simply go to http://www.omsouthafrica.org/go-challenge for more information.

July
-----
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a good excuse to travel in July (YET!!) Somewhere warm would be nice :-)

August
----------
In August I travel up to Zambia again for our Love Africa conference as well as a variety of other training events.

Grietjie and the kids will not be going this year as they are participating in a musical production of "The Sound of Music" in Johannesburg, We'll let you know details closer to the time.

September
----------------
The Leadership Matters Course that I have now trained 5 times have invited me to the Netherlands for further training and to talk about my further involvement.

***NB*** A big prayer request here is that I would like to take Caroline with me to give her some international exposure. We have not planned the details yet but the idea would be for her to join me and then we would spend 10 days or so possibly going to Paris, London etc. Caroline is very excited and we are looking to God for his plan.

At the end of September I am planning to go up to Namibia to work with our team their. If we are able we will do it as a family road trip and make it part of our annual leave.

October
-----------

If things work out we will then drive from Namibia to Cape Town for the remainder of our leave to see my family. While in Cape Town we will also participate in a Freedom Climb event as well as presenting a Mentoring Clinic for our team in Cape Town.

November
--------------
We are hoping to have a Leadership Matters Course in Zambia and that will mean my third trip to Zambia for 2014.

December
--------------
At this point December is hopefully a quieter month of catching our breaths and get ready for 2015!

Overall
----------
I'm exhausted thinking about this and this is only the big events. In between trips there is always a heap of admin, planning and preparation. I am also available for preaching and training in SA when I am in the country.

Grietjie and the kids obviously continue throughout with the home schooling and other life activities.

Please do pray for these activities.

Pray for the 

Colin for the family

Phelps News - 2013 in Review

January
-------
2013 started out with many uncertainties. There were significant organisational financial challenges and we were not sure what the year would hold? Was I going to be able to visit fields and help develop training and trainers, or would I have to work primarily from Pretoria via email and Skype? God challenged us in the area of where we find our worth and satisfaction.

February-March
--------------
February was focussed on local training at our training base in Pretoria and for other organisations in the Gauteng region. Time was also spent on planning and producing training materials. The direction of the year still felt uncertain but there was certainly plenty to turn our hand to. March was concluded with our OM Africa Regional Leaders retreat. What a privilege to spend 5 days in retreat, fellowship and meetings with our regional leaders. This was a key time in communicating training values and philosophy with our country and ministry leaders. It has been gratifying to see changes in alignment and practice in many of our fields.

April
-----
In April Grietjie and I saw a long-term dream fulfilled as we travelled to Zambia together to do training. We were invited to participate in a Sports ministry specialist school. Colin got to teach Leadership, How to Study the Bible and Designing Training and Grietjie did basic entrepreneurial skills.

Colin then helped a colleague move to Zambia by a truck up with their furniture on it. Three days at the Livingstone border post waiting for customs put a whole new slant on patience development!

May
---
May saw us take a camping holiday out at Bela-bela before Colin went off to Belgium for three weeks. Three weeks of great input and interaction at the OM Senior Leaders came at the price of only seeing the sun once or twice! The two week leadership course was followed by an international forum on personal support raising.

June
----
In what was a master piece of timing Colin got back from Belgium in time to say goodbye to Grietjie as she went up to Lake Tanganyika to do entrepreneurial training with our team there. She flew to Lusaka and then caught an 18 hour bus to get to Mpulungu where the training was done. The feedback was extremely positive and we are hearing reports of some small businesses that are helping support some of our workers.

June concluded with Colin going down to George to participate in the 3 day orientation conference, the GO Challenge, which prepared the 200 people who were going out on outreach. I did a two hour workshop on ministering cross-culturally and had great fun doing an interactive learning simulation game with all 200 participants.

July
----
The Daniel Initiative is a program aimed at helping leaders from the Global South succeed in the global leadership arena. Colin helped design the pilot program and participated in the week long training of 20 international leaders in Pretoria.

Later in July the family headed off on a road trip to Zimbabwe and Zambia. In Zimbabwe Colin spent time with the OM team in Harare and participated in the 2nd annual Siabuwa missions conference. It was encouraging to see the progress in the missions vision of the churches in this remote region of Zimbabwe.

August
------
We then drove up to Zambia for our annual Love Africa conference in Kabwe. We also participated in the regional leaders meetings, leadership training and training on ministering in Orality based cultures.

On our way home we got to spend to fantastic nights camping on the banks of Lake Kariba. The man-made lake is a fantastic natural show piece.

September
---------
In September Colin hosted his international colleagues from the various regions in OM in Pretoria for a five day training consultation.

A unique experience was flying up to Venda in a Cessna Caravan with Flying for Life (an MAF affiliate) to meet with community and church leaders to discuss possible leadership development interventions for the community of Makuya. Time will tell if there is further work to be done here.

October
-------
One trip, two countries, two fantastic opportunities! Colin attended the Leadersource Leadership Consultation. Two hundred leadership development practitioners from around the world, one hundred of whom were from mainland China gathered to be motivated and challenged to continue making leadership development a priority and to do it effectively.

Colin then went on to Pakistan to join three other trainers in training 20 Pakistani workers in how to be more effective trainers. What a privilege to spend ten days equipping workers who are spreading the Gospel in a country where there are less than 1% evangelical believers.

November
--------
The Leadership Matters Course in Zimbabwe would have seen Grietjie and the kids accompany Colin to Zimbabwe but circumstances changed and Colin had to go alone. The course went well but a third three week trip in the year was tough being away from the family.

December
--------
December's highlight were a surprise visit to Cape Town for Colin's Dad's 70 birthday and then a good long break at home. We ended the year rested and refreshed.

Overall
-------
Homeschooling has progressed well and Grietjie and the kids are deserving of medals for the hard work they've put in.
Financially we saw God do the miraculous and although our committed regular monthly giving is well short of what we need somehow we ended the year more or less in in budget.
Significant milestones were Caroline's 16th birthday and Colson's 14th!

GOD IS GOOD!

Colin for the family.