Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First howFar Celebration Banquet Huge Success

April 23, 2010 marked the first annual howFar Ministries and How Far Foundation Celebration Banquet. The event hosted one-hundred twenty of our mission and ministry partners and their guests.

Guests were welcomed by an original oil painting donated by local artist, Phil Bursi. The painting is of a village church the Maynard's visited in 2005. The hand built mud church sits in the palm covered hills of Rabi, Kenya. The area is one hour inland from Mombasa, the largest coastal port in Kenya.

Board Vice-Chairman, Scott Gates, welcomed the guests and shared some of his personal experiences from his mission with a howFar team in Myanmar.

An African themed buffet dinner of Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Groundnut Stew with Chicken and Beef, Rice and Sweet Roasted Plantains was enjoyed by all.

Several additional original oil paintings by Phil Bursi were offered in a Silent Auction. The auction raised $2,200.00 for How Far Foundation, Inc.

The Drummers of Burundi entertained the guests with Burundian folk music and dances. The group is comprised of several members who escaped the 1993 genocide and fled to the US as refugees. Of their music they say, "Africa is the continent of drums, but the drums of Burundi require extraordinary vigor, dexterity, agility and grace. Burundi drums sound like rolling thunderclaps. You don't listen to them with your ears; you listen with your heart."

Our guests were captivated by the sound of the Burundian drums.

After a moving video that captured images of churches, schools and our brothers and sisters in Sub Sahara, Africa howFar founder, Mark Maynard, shared the history and vision of howfar Ministries and How Far Foundation. "Our mission is to obediently take the gospel message to unreached and unengaged people groups and then to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ by offering humanitarian aid that will improve their quality of life".

He went on to explain that howFar plans to maintain its work with the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania and expand its work among the Batwa Pygmies in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and The DR Congo.

Additionally, he announced that howFar has committed its resources to reaching the unreached and unengaged Ngongo people group. The Ngongo inhabit the deepest forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With no roads leading into their remote villages, and Hutu rebels still active in the area, this will be howFar's most aggressive mission effort to date. No Bible or Jesus Film exisits in the Ngongo language.

Table covers, in African animal prints, were made by the Refugee Sewing Society of Clarkston, Georgia, Clarkston is one of the main entrance points for refugees entering the US. In fact, many of the people groups that we are engaging around the world have refugees living in Clarkston. Our desire is to engage them here as well as in their homeland.

Mark Maynard reminded the guests that everything that has been done through howFar should cause us to celebrate God's goodness, mercy and grace and that it is all for His glory.

Mark reminded the group of our mission question, "howFar will you go?" He asked two questions of the guests.

"First, for those of you who have worked with us and prayed for us and supported us over the years. Will you continue to 'go' with us? Will you go until all that God has chosen for Himself have come in?"

"And for those of you who have come as guest tonight. Maybe you have been moved by what you have seen and heard tonight. Will you consider joining us? Will you 'go' with us?"

"howFar will you go?"

After the Celebration Banquet the Drummers of Burundi mixed with our guests. They taught Burundian dance steps and let them play their drums.

The compelling question at howFar is this, "howFar will you go?" How far will any of us go to fulfill the Great Commission?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gihara Baptist Church & Crimson Academy Progress

Construction of Gihara Baptist Church and Crimson Academy continues outside of Kigali the capital of Rwanda. Our team will visit the site in mid-June to inspect the progress and make plans for the church and schools completion and opening.

Foundation began in January, 2010

The buildings completed roof. April 2010

The How Far Foundation will be recruiting four teachers and two aids to work at the Crimson Academy. The facility will also be home to Gihara Baptist Church whose members are mostly Batwa. The church will be lead by Pastor Vinesti.