NABLA Initiative (or simply NABLA) is the peer accountability group for Egypt and MENA. NABLA promotes accountability standards, biblical fundraising, and Christian generosity so that churches and ministries in Egypt and MENA have local sustained support.
Thanks to the gracious hand of God, GTP and NABLA have big news in two areas: Transformational Model and JOE Retreat. Over two weeks we did other trainings and seminars which went great, but we want to share about this replicable model and retreat format for possible application in other regions.
1. Transformational Model
To build a culture that values accountability standards, biblical fundraising, and Christian generosity in churches and ministries, NABLA will host three retreats over one year focused on those three topics. Adel refers to this format as the “NABLA Transformational Model.” After the first group of churches and ministries went through the model, 6 were accredited.
We have found that in many settings, helping stewards follow standards is a new way of thinking. This requires biblical instruction and practical templates implemented over time. By leading groups through three retreats, it gives them time and coaching to get the governance or administration of their church or ministry in order.
From 3-5 December 2020, NABLA launched the second round of the NABLA Transformational Model. This time 12 churches and ministries participated. GTP provided training on accountability to help attendees understand the standards, to give them tools and templates to aid them with compliance, and launched them on the path of getting accredited by the end of the year.
As smaller peer accountability groups (PAG) around the world struggle to build membership, this is a model they might wish to consider. When a PAG invites people on a multi-retreat journey that starts with forming faithful stewards who follow standards, it results in accreditation and ministry transformation. Contact us to learn more.
2. JOE Retreat
While there are many ways to deliver JOE, we think the most powerful method for shaping a country is the “JOE Retreat.” The group must be composed of mix of coaches, trainers, pastors, administrators, and other professionals who represent both the older and younger generation. Ereny and Gary tested this first in Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala, and this time in Arabic in Aswan, Egypt.
Over three days the group went through the four lessons of JOE and the TOT (Training of Trainers). In so doing, they received the training and tools they need to replicate it immediately. What we did not anticipate, however, was how deeply it would inspire and impact them in their contexts during the challenging COVID season.
For example, consider this comment from Fady Jacoub, an influential Coptic brother from Cairo. After the final activity during which each participant shared how they will pursue their passions as faithful stewards, he reminded everyone “to serve with passion and a willingness to suffer for what they love.” Fady plans to replicate JOE with Nancy Wassef. They have already met again to discuss guiding their youth leaders through JOE to impact the larger group of young people they serve.
JOE employs experiential learning activities during which participants learn together, so we learn as much from each other as we learn from the content from the facilitators. This touched Nancy Wassef deeply who described the the impact as “love seeds being sowed in Egypt.” She added that the sharing gave her hope. She concluded, “Whenever I wonder again ‘Why is there so much evil in this world?’ I will just pick one of our pictures, gaze at each one of you to remind myself with every story and every seed that is growing into a big tree where many lost birds can take shelter!”
In that sense the JOE Retreat is a model where seeds are planted by the facilitators in the lives of the influencers which spread hope and grow people into fruitful trees. To learn more about the JOE Retreat and doing one in your region, email us.
God is at work in MENA. Through the work of NABLA and GTP, God is helping ministries follow standards with peer accountability with the Transformational Model and multiplying faithful stewards to change their contexts in a country through the JOE Retreat.
Pray for God’s blessing on NABLA, their accredited members, and new ministries pursuing the standards to apply the teaching and templates they received. Pray also for the JOE Aswan participants as they share JOE with others in Alexandria, Cairo, Tanta, and in Upper Egypt to bring hope and help to the settings where God has them serving for His glory.