Whar is the PEACE Plan?
The PEACE Plan focuses on restoring the Church’s role as the leader of global missions. Modeled after Jesus’s ministry, it’s about ordinary people, empowered by God, doing what Jesus did: loving their neighbors—wherever they are. The PEACE Plan was developed by Saddleback Church in California. Pastor Rick Warren explains the vision in the short video here.
What are we doing in Madagascar?
In February of 2018, Pastor Mike Laurence was invited to a pastors’ gathering in Kigali, Rwanda by Saddleback Church. There Pastor Mike met Pastor Dinah Ratsimbajaona from Madagascar. Pastor Dinah invited Pastor Mike to come to Madagascar to train the people of his country in the PEACE Plan. After prayer, consultation with Faith Community’s leaders, and Saddleback staff, Pastor Mike accepted that invitation. In January 2019, our first trip to Madagascar took place where we laid the groundwork for the PEACE Plan in Madagascar.
Churches need to be healthy to succeed at reclaiming their role as leaders of global outreach. The Healthy Church principles, focused on the five core purposes of the church, allow churches to sustainably grow and become stable foundations for reaching out to their communities. Therefore, training Malagasy pastors in these principles and how to apply them to their church is necessary, as very few have any formal pastoral training.
We also believe that Malagasy pastors can best be trained by other Malagasy pastors. They know the language, the culture, and are present in and near each other’s communities. Therefore, we are also training some pastors to become PEACE Plan trainers.
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Before the Covid-19 crisis, 80% of Malagasies lived on $5 per day or less; now it is $2 per day or less. To help them rise above these circumstances, we are implementing training programs in both business and practical skills. We are teaching courses in business startup and improvement, gardening, and basic banking skills and are in the process of developing literacy and health care programs in addition to the pastoral training courses. One result is that we have been blessed to hear stories of several businesses that have started and/ or grown as a result of the business training they have received. This means that more people and families have more economic resources than they developed within their own communities and without dependence on outside help.
The PEACE Plan takes a different approach to work cross-culturally:
SERVE THE LOCAL CHURCH
For many Christians, we’ve thought the best we can do to serve globally is pay for mission efforts, pray, and stay out of the way. However, we believe that when Jesus commanded us to go in Acts 1:8, he actually meant to go! We live in a unique time in history when it’s never been easier to serve in our neighborhood or around the globe. Every believer has something they can contribute to the body of Christ.
BRING OURSELVES NOT ‘STUFF’
We still do some trips to Madagascar. However, these trips are for evaluating the work, encouraging the pastors and leaders, face-to-face training, long-term planning, and relationship building; not for building physical buildings or bringing donations. The goal of the PEACE Plan is to address some of the core issues that keep a nation impoverished and help the people develop self-sufficiency. We do this in a way that gives the local church ownership of the results. Rather than go and directly meet what we perceive to be their needs, we listen and find out what their needs really are. We then help them to determine solutions that they can enact themselves with little to no outside support. This results in solutions that are uniquely theirs, are sustainable for the long term, and can be used almost anywhere in their country.
FOSTER LOCAL OWNERSHIP OF LOCAL PROBLEMS
Local believers are experts on their communities – and they will continue to live in that community long after cross-cultural visitors (us) leave. When we shift our focus on empowering local believers with tools and training, cross-cultural work becomes sustainable and reproducible. This also treats our friends with dignity, the local church is seen as the source of hope for that community, and God gets the glory. Our original 6 partner churches have done such a good job at this that they started out with less than 700 members total between them and, at our last check, their total had grown to over 2300 people! Furthermore, these hundreds of new believers are connected to a growing church from the very start of their journey of faith. This is a very successful ministry strategy.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO GO TO MADAGASCAR?
Ask anyone who has been on one of the past trips and they’ll tell you traveling to Madagascar is a unique and amazing experience! The country is beautiful, the pastors are passionate, and the work being done to advance God’s kingdom is incredible. Even more inspiring is the testimony of the spiritual growth and learning that happens when ordinary people, empowered by God, take a step of faith to travel across the world and advance His kingdom. Hear what the experience is like them directly in the short video below.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE OR GET INVOLVED?
We are happy to answer your questions and help you get involved. Contact us by email or we can meet with you one-on-one to discuss the PEACE Plan with you. Some of our current needs include:
- Prayer support! We are not capable of succeeding at any of this on our own; we are completely dependent on God, and therefore on prayer, for this ministry.
- Click Here to get the current monthly prayer letter and to be notified of our virtual monthly prayer meeting for the PEACE Plan ministry
- Pray for a particular pastor or mission leader in Madagascar regularly
- Be a prayer supporter and encourager for a pastor or mission leader in Madagascar
- Translation into Malagasy
- Writing, editing, and/ or illustrating training curriculum
- Online trainers
- People with experience in business, finance, or agriculture to serve as resources to guide our various programs
- People with experience in literacy training or basic health care (think hand washing and communicable disease prevention) to help us as we develop new programs
- Any other area of expertise that you think God could use in a developing country or technology expertise for managing virtual training? We don’t know where God where be leading us next and you could be the key to moving the PEACE Plan ahead in Madagascar!
We would love to talk to you more about the PEACE Plan and Madagascar. Please email Cathy Meister for more information or to get involved. Thank you so much for your interest in the PEACE Plan and the country of Madagascar.