“Impact the World”

Written by Bill Westfall, Impact’s President

IMPACT THE WORLD is an initiative by ICM to mobilize college students in the USA for a special kind of service in the kingdom of God:  Challenging them to “champion” young children throughout the world who are living in extreme poverty.

Impact’s President, Bill Westfall, and his daughter Madison made a recent trip to Kenya and were honored to spend time with Madi’s “little sister”.

In 2011, my daughter, Madison, was able to meet, face-to-face, the young girl (Madi) that she has committed to “championing” (pictured together on the front).  Little Madi (the daughter of my good Turkana friend, Erus), was named after my own daughter.  Madison has wanted to travel to Kenya to meet Madi for several years, and the opportunity finally came.  On the day they met, Madison confirmed a commitment to walk through life with Madi–becoming her “champion”–even financially providing for her education! My daughter, Madison, has become the embodiment of my dream.

Educating a child is a vital key to combatting poverty, so this is the heart of the IMPACT THE WORLD project.  Education unleashes initiative and potential, it inspires dreams, and produces hope.  It ignites opportunity for a brighter future.  And this is all CONTAGIOUS!  An inspired child rubs off on her family, and community–leading others to also pursue their own dreams. Education plays a vital role in eliminating poverty and transforming lives.

But these children need more than an education–they need a champion–someone who will take on their cause, encourage them, and make the sacrifices necessary to provide opportunities for their future. THIS IS MY DREAM:  TO SEE COLLEGE STUDENTS RISE UP AND CHAMPION THE POOR–TO HELP INSPIRE THEM TOWARD A PROSPEROUS FUTURE!  Please pray for this vision to become a reality.  Pray that God would not only use ICM to impact the university with the Good News, but to also IMPACT THE WORLD!

Follow along as we develop this program by reading about some of the things we are discovering along the way (click HERE to read some of our blogs on the topic).

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UPDATE BELOW: February 2013

KENYA TRIP BUDGET AND ITINERARY FOR YOUR PRAYERS (May 19 – June 2, 2013)

In May, I’ll be leading a small group of Impact campus ministers and students to Kenya as one of the final steps in developing the “Impact the World” curriculum. You may donate to this project by clicking HERE (direct your gift to “Bill Westfall” and add a note “for the Impact the World” project). See the budget below.

The group will be “testing” the curriculum and helping me to put some final touches on it before we use it with a larger group of students in 2014. We will also be evaluating future partnerships with ministries in Kenya. Below are some additional thoughts about the trip, specifically, including an overall budget as well as an itinerary and prayer guide.

Thank you for helping us “Impact the World” with the love of God!

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BUDGET FOR THE TRIP TO KENYA

$4,500 (includes airfare to/from Nairobi, as well as an additional flight to/from Turkana; ground transportation, lodging/meals, and funds for a service project the group will be sponsoring)

BUDGET FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

$2,500 (includes the production of the final version of the curriculum for use in future programs, as well as a promotional budget for informing our students and alumnae about the program)

As of February 28, 2013, 35% of the funds have been committed.

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ITINERARY, AND PRAYER ITEMS

Prayer is essential as I work to finalize and test the “Impact the World” curriculum. As you pray for me, and for the vision team that is headed to Kenya in May, remember that this is a pilot group, developing a service-learning program for students that will hopefully be used by Impact for years to come. The program is designed to be a discipleship tool. It utilizes the benefits of high-intensity activities to capture the attention of students, taking advantage of a learning environment that is experiential in nature, and which also draws heavily on the benefits of community in the learning process. The group will at times reflect back on our own home culture while immersed in another culture. Ultimately, our hope is to help students see the world differently, with a bigger picture of reality. We want them to walk away knowing that they can use this new perspective to their advantage–they can implement long-term change in their lives that will help them more fully live out their faith in Jesus. We want to inspire them to serve Jesus actively and to realize that they can make a difference in the world.

This trip is designed to expose the “vision team” to many different types of ministries going on in Kenya. We will be evaluating, as a group, where we will be focusing our efforts in the future.

May 17: Depart from the USA. Our group of seven will all meet up together in Amsterdam, departing there together for an evening arrival in Nairobi on May 18.

May 18-23: In Nairobi, spending time with New Life Homes and Missions of Hope International (MOHI). NLH takes in abandoned HIV babies. MOHI works in the Nairobi slums, and is involved in operating schools and child sponsorships. They also have a very effective micro-finance program. MOHI is doing work combatting extreme poverty. We will spend our time considering the causes of poverty, as well as the difficulties of addressing poverty.

May 24-27: In northern Kenya, Turkana. This is where I used to live. MOHI has a brand new children’s education ministry in the town of Lodwar that is just ramping up. We will take a brief look at it, and then spend time with local pastors seeing how the churches are working to serve the Turkana people. Jackson Erus, my former ministry partner in Turkana, will lead us during this portion of the trip. During this time we will be introduced to CMF’s clean water projects, and the gardens that are associated with this program, as well as the ongoing work of church planting and leadership training in the area.

May 27-30: In Maasai, the town of Narok. This is also a rural setting, though somewhat different from Turkana. The Maasai are a very wealthy tribe in Kenya…the Turkana are a very poor tribe. We will see some big differences. During this phase of the trip, we will focus our time on learning about AIDS, and the devastating impact it has had on Africa. We will be connecting with a ministry of New Mission Systems International, AfricaHope.

May 30-31: Back in Nairobi, we will be doing some final debrief activities. There is a chance I will be staying in Kenya for a little extra time to wrap up the curriculum editing process, utilizing the input the vision team has given to me during this trip, but the group will be heading back home on the 1st of June.