Staff and Student Retreat
This weekend we retreated from the city for a student leader and staff training time in the mountains west of Mexico City. Almost all of our staff are new to our teams, and it's critical for them to understand their role in launching movements on campuses and coaching leaders, and what that looks like. Not including my leadership team of four, we have five teams working with Mexico City campuses in the North, West, East, and UNAM (the largest campus in the world), and another team is focused on serving the city.
It's the rainy season here, and on most afternoons it rains. The result of all this rain was seeing the mountains and hills outside Mexico City covered with flowers. Emily and Kathryn were jumping for joy!
Kamp Ed and Panhanding
On Wednesday near of the University of Minnesota campus we passed by a guy who for the donation of a buck or two you could sign his bear. Rather than panhandle with a sign, this guy hands people a Sharpie and lets people sign a bear. That's genius marketing. If you follow the arrow below you'll see that Kamp Ed has made it's mark on this community.
Divine Appointment on a Campus in Minnesota
On Wednesday afternoon along with four staff from Minnesota/Wisconsin we drove out to a technical/community college campus of 10,000 students that was 30-45 minutes away from the downtown area of Minnesota. I had never before head of this campus. We went there to spend the afternoon believing God for a divine appointment, or a person of peace who would open door on campus to seeing a movement launched that would reach other college students.
We had just prayed for a person of peace (similar to the Woman at the Well who encountered Jesus at the well, and went to her town to open the door to others to know Jesus). And a moment later I see a guy walking toward me that I recognized (photo below). I had not seen Nate since 1994 when he was a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and was involved in the fraternity for semester that I advised. Forteen years later and hundreds of miles from from Nebraska here was Nate, older and wiser, but the same guy I knew 14 years ago. On this campus Nate seemed to be connected with every sector of the campus. He knew the kid who leads a Christian fellowship club on campus, and made connections to the leaders of the student government. A staff guy in MN will follow up with these connections and I've asked Nate to help him navigate through the process to get a group started.
But it does not end there. Later that evening we gathered with the other staff from Minnesota to debrif and have dinner. The restaurant was 1/2 hour from the college, and our waitress had just returned from a 5-month project with WYAM, and is freshman at this college where we spent the day. She wants to be to be involved. How crazy is that. Maybe she will be the leader that we need to get the group going.
Movement Launching Training in Minneapolis
To be honest, I'd rather be the guy sitting in the back of the room evaluating and debating the ideas of others. My ideas are just my ideas. Many of these ideas work for the staff and students surrounding me on the projects and teams in my circle of influence. But I have no idea if my ideas will work for others.
On Wednesday I had the opportunity to speak for an hour, and respond to questions for an hour with the Minnesota staff, and via internet to the gatherings of staff in other parts of the Region. Apparently staff were tuned from 30 locations around the US, France, East Asia, Mexico, Latvia and maybe more countries. That's pretty crazy.
However the great part of the day was going out and spending six hours on new campuses in the 5-state region. We had an amazing experience in Minneapolis. One of the Regional Directors sent the following from the the day:
From the Grand Rapids location, we couldn’t have been more excited about what we saw the Lord do. He completely exceeded our expectations and clearly went before us. Not only are we going to see movements launched from our time yesterday, but we also saw students *make decisions for* Christ with our staff and interns on the various campuses. I’ll share more tomorrow at the RD meeting. Big Win!
Enfoque Training in Minneapolis
Tomorrow morning I am flying to Minneapolis. On Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 I'm sharing ideas on movement launching for two hours with the Minnesota staff. At the same time the staff from Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota will be gathered on that day together in each state to watch via an internet connection. Then, at 11:00 the staff from this 5-state region will head out to campuses to believe God for launching movements. They are calling this day "Enfoque Training"----the name we chose for our ministry in Mexico City. How awesome is that.
Until this morning I did not make the connection between Hurricane Ike that pounded the Houston area, and the fact that my flight tomorrow from Mexico City to Minneapolis is going through Houston. The airport is reopening tomorrow after being closed for 3 days and thousands of people are stranded and trying to get out of Houston----and I'm flying into a city that will have millions of poeple without power for 1-2 weeks. Today I used some of my funds to purchase a ticket tomorrow to fly to Minneapolis that does not stop in Houston. This is too great of an opportunity to imact the Kingdom to miss by being stuck in the Houston airport all week.
If you want to watch the Enfoque Training on Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., here is the link: https://www.mogulus.com/ccc_uppermidwest
Eric Swanson on Vision
Eric Swanson is my fromer Regional Director. He's big deal around the world in training leaders now---but to me he's the guy who first brought me to Mexico City 13 years ago. Eric writes a blog that is so packed with gems, that I'm constantly refering leaders to it.
This week Eric knocked it out of the park with this thoughts on vision. I carry a Blackberry in Mexico City that is wired to the internet----so whenever traffic comes to a halt, or I'm in a meeting with gaps in the content, this week I've clicked on Eric blog no less than 15 times to ponder his toughts on vision. Here it is:
Last week at the Missional Renaissance Leadership Community, *I asked* each city team to describe their BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that would help carry them into the future. This is what drives this Leadership Community. Here are three tests Reggie *McNeil* and I put before the group to test whether the vision was right for them:
1. Passion. Do you wake up thinking about this? Is it what you think about as you drift off to sleep? Does the vision pepper your conversations throughout the day?
2. Attraction. When other folks hear the vision, the response is, “Wow! Don’t leave me out! What role can I play. The attraction test fits very well with the idea that everyone wants to change the world but few people are given the opportunity to do so. A compelling vision invites others–even outside the church to take part. The leaders of every domain of a community could see how they could play a part.
3. Direction. Is the vision specific enough that it informs you “what to do next” or “what I need to do today” to get closer to the vision’s fulfillment. Vision is like the “North Star” in that it gives direction more than a destiny but the right vision also contains a “North Pole” element also…which is an actual destination. Direction allows goals to be set and progress to be measured.
Two Years of Enfoque Mexico
It started two years ago today. The U.S. Regional Directors for WSN and Bridges---the sending arm of our ministry held their annual vertical meetings in Mexico City. Two years ago today we equipped these leaders with some basic training on launching movements, maps, and sent them out to believe god for surfacing leaders on campuses.
That was day one that launched us into the two amazing years we've had. On that day leaders were identified and raised up, and movements were launched as a result that continue to bear fruit today.
Today we have movements on 46 campuses, with the vision to expand to 100-150 more campuses during this school year.
Passion Mexico City is Sold Out
Over 18,000 tickets have been "sold" to college students in Mexico for the Passion Mexico City event on October 3-4th. We are sold out.
I'm exited about Passion, and how this event will impact Mexico City. The logistics for this event are massive. I'm moving into the hotel for a week where the 65 people associated with Passion will be staying. On our end we are coordinating the transportation, hosts and drivers. Over 17 vehicles have been rented with drives, and hosts are being lined up to be with each vehicle. This is an exciting event that we are believing God for impacting the lives of college students in Mexico City.
2008 Fall Enfoque Mexico Staff
Today we held a day of movement launching training for our Enfoque Mexico staff. Holy cow! We've got amazing staff. Except for Joe, Emily, and myself----all of our staff are new to our team. And they are all-stars. I have no doubt these amazing staff are going to step into believing God for amazing things----and we will see movements launched on campuses all over this city.
Missing from this picture are three of our staff. One of our staff contracted Hepititus A before coming to Mexico and the symptoms showed up after arriving so she had to return home. Two other staff came out of two weeks of language school with stomach problems----and it makes me wonder if that's such a good idea to send our staff to language school in Cuernavaca for two weeks right after they arrive because getting sick from the food is not the norm.
The Start of the Fall Semester in Mexico City
I am back in Mexico City to start the fall semester----one that I believe will be historic and incredible. I arrived here in Mexico City two years ago to start the amazing journey this has been, and still today I cannot believe what I get to be a part of here in believing God for not impacting the lives of a million college students.
Labor Day Weekend at Kamp Ed
This weekend at Kamp Ed has been a blast. I've had non-stop friends here all weekend, and we've consumed a massive amount of Salmon.
Shannon and Dusty----what an awesome joy to spend time with these guys. They drove all the way from Denver, and I enjoyed every second of connecting with them from Friday to Sunday.
Caleb and Jo came from Kansas City, and Marshall drove in from western Nebraska for the weekend. I think the world of these guys. Caleb has been to Alaska with me four times, and directed the Delta Project. Marshall has been to Alaska with me three times, and was the student director on the Bravo Project.
On Sunday afternoon Lauren Brown brought out four of her friends to celebrate her birthday. These are not your typical 6th graders. They are crazy. Reid and Lisa, the boys, and their grandparents all had a great time hanging out too----but without the mud.
On Sunday-Monday, Erik and Wes came from Kearney. Both are Juniors at UNK, and PKA members. What a blast hanging out with these guys while sorting out life-----and they were willing to stay hearing stories from Mexico. How great is that.
On Monday evening I held my 3rd annual Salmon Bake for friends of mine around the lake. This year we cooked the Salmon on a cedar plank, and it was a big hit and a great time of hanging out.