Carmel Launch: An Amazing Success!
The last week has been filled with travel, fellowship, and sharing the mission of Christian Leadership Training International with friends in Carmel, Indiana and Smyrna, Tennessee. We are grateful to God for the new friendships we have made while at the same time furthering the ministry of CLTI.
The week began with a wonderful At-Home Gathering with Yah’s long-time Bible study group, the Tapestry Bible Study ladies, who came out in full force with 28 attending the event on September 7. The Tapestry Bible Study is a group of Christian sisters woven together by the Holy Spirit to study God’s Word. Yah was part of the Tapestry group for more than 10 years during our stay in Indiana. The group meets every Wednesday to study the Bible and pray for their families and friends. The group joyfully welcomed Yah back to the group, saying they were welcoming “one of their own!”
We are extremely grateful to YOU, Tapestry Bible Study, and our Lord, the Source of your generosity! We received generous contributions of $6,717.00 in support of the entrepreneurship programs and general operations of CLTI. Friends, your generosity allows Yah and me to provide “Seed Funds” to young Liberia women to develop small businesses and feed their children. It also allows us to provide sponsorships and create a steady flow of candidates (young Liberian high school students) to have access to college. And finally, it allows us to disciple these students and future leaders to follow Christ Jesus and become nation builders.
Special thanks to Margie Bartley who opened her beautiful home for our At-Home Gathering. The fellowship was great! And, special thanks to all the ladies that brought in food and fed all of us.
Yah took the stage and thanked her friends for their prayer, financial support and friendship over the years. Very importantly, she explained her new vision to help young Liberian women feed themselves and their children, and give them the opportunity for education, as every woman in their group would strive to do for their children here in America. Yah knitted her new passion to her past when she told of how someone back in the 80’s blessed her with seed funds during our time in Bible College. Through that small gift, she started a small vegetable business, and became a very strong provider in our home, allowing Sei to focus on his studies, and allowing our children to enjoy regular meals and focus on their early education.
CLTI Celebrates a New Partnership!
During that At-Home Gathering, we welcomed Mission Resource International and
founder and President, Dave Ketchum as our very first and new partner in the entrepreneurship programs. Mission Resource International exists to provide funding and training for Kingdom businesses in developing countries like Liberia. It also provides small loans for business development. In the past 13 years, MRI has funded 85 businesses and planted two churches in Ghana (www.missionresource.org).
Back in 2014, Dave and I connected, and have had lunches and discussed a potential partnership in entrepreneurship. So this was just a perfect time for the discussion to take on a concrete shape. It is the right time, because CLTI’s entrepreneurship program has commenced, and provides “seed funds” to underprivileged Liberian ladies to start or expand small Kingdom businesses. Mr. Ketchum presented a partnership check of $5,000 toward the support of CLTI’s entrepreneurship programs.
Beyond the generous gift from MRI, Dave Ketchup enriched our friendship and validated the need for our ministry as he shared his experience starting with his first visit to Ghana in 1984. Since that initial visit, Dave and his wife established the Mission Resource International and made tremendous impact in the communities they serve.
The event and celebration was climaxed with “Laying Hands and Bold Prayer”. The Tapestry friends rose to their feet, laid hands on me, Dave and Yah. The ladies also prayed bold prayers for the continuing success of the CLTI ministry, physical protection for our health, perseverance in our faith journey, courage to overcome challenges from enemies, and continued fruitful partnership with their team.
Smyrna, Tennessee: God Had a Better Plan!
After Carmel’s amazing successful event on September 7th, Yah and I drove five hours south the next day to Smyrna, Tennessee. We were ready for the third successful At-Home Gathering for the launch of CLTI. Our longtime Liberian friends, Solomon and Ethel Towouh graciously hosted the event in their home. Our relationship with Solomon and Ethel goes back more than 30 years, first in Liberia, then Chicago and now to Smyrna, Tennessee. They sent out invitations, made follow up calls to both American and Liberian friends, and prepared a delicious meal. The setting for this evening of fellowship was
Saturday at 6:30 pm. Saturday early morning showed signs of great promise—beautiful weather, a lovely sunrise, and the promise of warm sunshine heading into th
e afternoon. But by late afternoon the weather changed dramatically. The sky turned dark, heavy rain started, soon followed by a storm warning. Then our invitees called sending their regrets. At the appointed time, only three guests arrived: Scott Hord, Senior Pastor of Christ Life Church, and two others; James Lee and Getahn Ward. Later in the evening another guest, Peter Gailah, stopped by making the total of guests 4. Certainly, our hosts were disappointed as they had worked hard to put the event together, and really wanted their friends to listen to our story and partner with CLTI to change Liberia.
During the fellowship meal, Solomon politely asked the pastor for an opportunity to set up our display table in the church during the Sunday worship. Pastor Scott, being already excited about what he has seen and heard, agreed to the request. Then he added “I will call on Yah and Sei to share the ministry of CLTI with the entire congregation.” On Sunday, September 11th by 9:30 am, our team arrived at the Church prepared to set up the display table with CLTI’s materials: brochures, business cards, books, a slide-show power point, and some African crafts. Everyone that walked by stopped to say “Hi” and took a look at our display, smiled, shook hands and welcomed us. They took sponsorship cards or brochures and wrote their names on a list to receive our newsletter.
Then at the appropriate time, Pastor Scott invited Yah and me to the front of the congregation. After a brief introduction, he handed the microphone to me to explain CLTI’s mission in Liberia. I introduced the issues that Liberians are facing today,
especially the Liberian students mass failure to achieve a higher education in Liberian schools, and the powerlessness of young women to feed themselvesand their children. I proposed the three-fold solution to meeting the needs: education, discipleship and entrepreneurship. I told them that CLTI exists to draw men and women to surrender to Christ (take on His Personhood), provide financial assistance to underprivileged students in Liberia to complete their high school studies or access college education, and provide “seed funds” to women to start small businesses.
I concluded with an appeal for CLTI and Christ Life Church to develop an active partnership that will change Liberia by improving students’ academic proficiency, leading Liberians to Christ, and helping young women become contributing members to their home and society. A good example was told in the story of Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila who saw the need and formed a team in order to communicate more effectively the full gospel of Christ (Acts 18:24-27).
And finally. . .
Please keep an eye on our Facebook, LinkedIn and e-news via Mail Chimp!
We would very much appreciate an invitation from you for Yah and me to share this historic and exciting new vision for education, entrepreneurship, and discipleship training for the young people of Liberia. My email address is: email@example.com.
What can you do at home? Get involved! For the months of September and October, please earnestly join Yah and me in praying and seeking partnership of individuals and organizations for additional $10,000 for “seed funds” that would allow 25 ladies to start businesses with an average amount of $500 each in 2017. Would you pray and consider joining this partnership and make a big difference?
All contributions are tax deductible through the ministry of CLTI. You can make your check payable to CLTI and mail it to:
P.O. Box 1123
Carmel, IN 46082
OR give online via PayPal by visiting www.cltinternational.org.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support!
Sei and Yah Buor