The Year in Review
I think it’s fair to say that 2016 was a year filled with a lot of “what the heck is going on?” An emotional rollercoaster ride of sorts. There was a lot of, “that was so fun but oh, wait, now I need to be sick.” The CUBS broke the 108 year old curse and won the World Series amidst a political campaign that gave the whole world a headache; both ended with nail biting finishes.
Bringing it home a little; Africa Revolution almost merged into a larger organization. At the last moment, the rollercoaster took a sharp right and now we are off to climb another mountain. A year ago our first grader son thought all girls had cooties and now can’t decide which one he wants to marry?!?! Our 5yr old daughter, whom I swear was in diapers this time last year, tosses her hair and uses the phrase “that’s so fashion”. This roller coaster needs to slow down. I can’t take it anymore! Don’t let our calm faces pictured in our prayer-card fool you. Which btw, you need to make sure is up in a place of great prominence in your home the next time we visit 😉 I think the word for our family this year has been “survival”. We know much of this is par for the course of being a family with littles, but honestly; I can’t take it anymore. It’s all going too fast.
The Family Update
Judah – 7: The compassion of Jude the Dude is unreal; including occasional willingness to take on his sister’s punishments (which she receives mainly for bullying him). He is constantly astounding us with what kindness and generosity should look like. Just last week his teacher stopped me and said, “did you know he carries the backpacks for other students without being asked?!” While both Annie and I would like to take credit for this, we know this is not a trait either of us possess yet.
Skylah – 5: The girl is a ninja princess. She had her first gymnastics opportunity this year and has not stopped climbing and bouncing. She is so tough when her brothers wrestle rough with her, but still melts into a puddle if she doesn’t get the lip gloss that she so “desperately needs”. I love my warrior princess.
Micah – 2: This kid is nuts. He loves testing the limits of everything; authority, gravity, velocity and every other “ity” out there.
“MyMy” as he is affectionately nicknamed, is entering his terrible twos. He seems to be going rogue on us and I wouldn’t be surprised if this time next year he is on some sort of government watch list. At the same time, he is the cuddliest of our kids… which might be some backwards mind games he’s playing; but for now, we will just enjoy those snuggles.
Analisa – Forever 21:
Annie is doing really well… between 2-6am and if everyone’s asleep. Haha. She’s doing fine. She is in the process of exploring the idea of going back to school for Counselling. She has been a blessing to so many, being used by the Lord to bring guidance to people in tough relationships, circumstances etc. Her Jedi mind tricks are strong (but they don’t work on me, because I already know everything). Seriously, she has been the balance to my crazy, and I really think her pursuing counselling would be very life giving to others and to herself. Please pray that the Lord make a way for this.
Allan – 40:
As you can tell from much of this, I have felt stretched thin trying to learn the art of juggling. Juggling family responsibilities, AR leadership, church ministry, loving my neighbors, and life in general. I typically have a high capacity for life, but I have a growing desire for “less”, with greater intentionality rather than “more”, spread too thin. This postmodern life is refusing to cooperate! And…I turn 40 this year. “What, no way” you say. I know, I don’t look a day over 29. How kind of you. (turn over to continue)
That’s us in a nutshell. Thank God for His faithfulness to our family. Somehow in the midst of all this we see glimpses of God and hear Him gently calling us to follow after Him. We see Him in our kids smiles, feel Him on bike rides through the woods, and hear Him in the pages of scripture.
We have seen beautiful fruit in our grassroots efforts this year. We have seen street kids loved and discipled, orphans fed, cared for and brought to health, widows have been empowered and young people mentored into leadership. The Church has been blessed by the work of our staff and the Gospel has been proclaimed in word and deed.
We have also come through a painful season having to ask one of our most valued team members to step down from leadership due to unchecked patterns of sin in his life. We continue to walk with him in restoration. Yes, ministry is messy, yes it often feels like two steps forward and one step back, but we press on ahead.
“We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity. Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the pressing urgencies of the great cause of freedom…..a time like this demands great leaders.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Ministry Update –
As we have matured over time, we are constantly being forced to adapt. One of the root problems we have recognized in and outside of the Church is the lack of humble servant leadership that the people need. We believe in servant leadership, as modeled in the life and death of Christ. Oftentimes, in the Church this results in a lack of desire to do the work of compassion and discipleship. Compassion work requires humility and discipleship requires patience as you nurture the other. Of course, this assessment is a general statement and in reality, it is far more complex. However complex these issues are, they have been enough of a frustration that we see our next chapter to be one that intentionally grows African servant leaders to do the very things that we believe in (and see Christ model in his word). So, in 2017 we are focusing our efforts on growing servant leaders. Our small efforts need to be duplicated and sustainable to make a deeper impact. We are directing our focus to better equipping, empowering and encouraging young Africans in the work of compassion and discipleship and therefore developing those servant leaders the continent so desperately needs. Our Vision Year program is being reworked to grow young African leaders rather than us spending much of our efforts on trying to recruit western volunteers. For the first time, ever, we will be hosting a conference in Africa for young adults. The Salt & Light Conference will be aimed at passing on our DNA to a broader group of young leaders. This practical conference will also be a recruiting tool for our more intensive year-long Vision Year program. We of course will continue in the work of grassroots relational compassion as our staff and teams live missionally among the urban poor in Africa.
Follow closely as some exciting opportunities to dive deeper with us are going to start popping up! Who knows what the Lord has in store, perhaps you might find yourself in an African city with us this year!
Would you seriously consider financially supporting our family this year? We are looking for monthly supporters to help us come out from being underfunded. We need to reach our financial goal that enables us to continue to do this important work. www.africarevolution.org/donate/ Please let us know if you can or cannot support us in this way. The financial piece of this work seems to make or break our efforts. Pray for this additional provision so we can thrive in this next chapter. We truly are grateful and lifted by your partnership in the Gospel.
We would love to hear from you.
Much love from the Greigs; Annie, Judah, Skylah, Micah, Rizzo the Bunny, and Allan