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November ’23 Update And Prayer Letter

November ’23 Update And Prayer Letter
GIFT has hit the ground running and we are so thankful for how God has guided us and overcome obstacles in our way so far! One of the first orders of business in the community where we currently are focusing our efforts was to start cultivating the land that we hold the rights to. This was a priority because the rainy season was nearing its end and hand-cultivation is more difficult when the ground is dry.
The land was christened as the community planted a small plot of yams. Cultivating the land was a multi-step process that required many hands from the community. Thickets were cleared, rows of dirt were created and yams were planted. It was encouraging seeing the community rally together and own the clearing and planting work. We pray this plot of land will be a source of nutritious food, help offset food costs for the community, be a source of income for them and for GIFT’s future work and provide cuts of yams to propagate crops during future growing seasons.
We pray this is the first shift in the snowbank at the top of a mountain that eventually results in an avalanche of health and dignity for the locals that helps clear away any resistance to the Gospel of Jesus. We pray that opportunities to discuss faith and growth in Christ will arise. The community prayed together at the close of planting, committing the results to God, but we do not know what the full depth of their understanding about Him is. Regardless, what a great example of hard work, giving God the glory and entrusting future results to Him. That is the posture we want to take moving forward as an organization. GIFT has been supporting this effort financially through donations from individuals (thank you if you are one of them!) as well as maintaining lines of communication. Bishen from our team is a missionary serving with The Navigators. The community is his hometown and he relates regularly with those on the ground.
On another front, we have taken a dive into plans for the future and we have developed the beginnings of necessary administrative documentation defining roles and outlining our vision as well as parts of our mission. Pray that God would guide the necessary volunteers and perhaps eventually paid staff to us so that these roles will be filled. Also pray that – at such a time as is necessary – we will have the wisdom and guidance from God to put other organizational structures in place to create a foundation for success. Additionally, we are in conversation with leadership at The Collaboratory, which is a campus organization at Messiah University in Pennsylvania that partners with NGO’s around the world to research sustainable ways of meeting humanitarian needs through engineering solutions.
They have a fantastic heartbeat and energetic student and academic staff involvement. We are investigating the possibility of them helping us develop land to prepare for building out a campus or design an irrigation system. Please pray for these conversations.
All these efforts will require a firmer financial footing. We’ve investigated applying for a USAID grant and have begun the process, but would benefit from someone who is more familiar with grant-writing. We’ve also sent the word out to other groups of believers and are waiting to hear back from them as to whether this is something they’d like to give toward. We’d love for this project to be “crowd-funded” by other believers in Jesus as it seems that would provide a prime opportunity for other believers to be encouraged and for God to be glorified by their participation and thanksgivings to God. If you would like to give, there are a few options listed at the end of this letter. If those do not work for you, feel free to reach out and we can figure out a way. Unfortunately we are unable to offer tax deductibility in the United States at this time.
Also, please pray for our team and for our hearts as we serve. We want to avoid the pitfall of waiting idly and the pitfall of forcing a way forward, both of which would result in others receiving an unhelpful agenda. We want to wait on the Lord while being willing to put ourselves out there. We want to walk alongside and provide opportunities for Nigerians facing financial hardship, sharing Jesus with them and embarking on new initiatives for their sake, all for God’s glory while maintaining a courageous and hopeful outlook.
Thank you for your prayers and support! Together we are planting our mustard seed in faith that God is able to do abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. He is the Lord of the harvest and only He knows in full what the results will be.
~ Great Innovators Foundation for Transformation (GIFT)
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Great Innovators Foundation For Transformation
Eco Bank Nigeria
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Paypal: itiowegrateful@gmail.com
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