How we got involved with ALARM?
ALARM is an indigenous ministry focused on helping central African nations grow in the areas of leadership and reconciliation. The Watermark elders had been looking for potential trusted partners for global ministry for a couple years, and in 2005 we began to hear many good things about an African ministry called ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries).
When we learned ALARM’s US headquarters were in Dallas, we met with ALARM leadership and were very encouraged. In early 2006, an exploratory trip was taken by 3 elders along with our families to teach leaders in Kenya and Uganda on leadership, marriage & conflict resolution. We were very encouraged by the ALARM team and the ministry opportunities. As a result, we sent another team to Africa for two weeks in October. Our primary focus was in Burundi, Northern Uganda, and Congo (DRC). The focus of the teaching was leadership and conflict resolution, which are core competencies of our body and core missional purposes of ALARM.
After a year of investigating and “testing” with ALARM, we decided to commit more resources (time, talent, treasures) into “learn and lead” discipleship/teaching trips in Central Africa with the potential that the partnership with ALARM could grow and last several years. Our rationale for expanding our partnership with ALARM is as follows.
- ALARM’s mission is centered on areas where Watermark is both strong and passionate. Specifically, we as a local body are fervent about leadership and conflict resolution.
- ALARM has godly, gifted, equipped people on the ground in these countries that we can partner with. This partnership is a win-win as we can use our core skills while building on ALARM’s network of relationships and influence. We also know ALARM staff is competent in following up with people after we leave thus increasing the likelihood that our impact is sustained, nurtured and maximized.
- It is a high leverage equipping opportunity for Watermark. We can help train leaders in these countries (pastors, government officials, women leaders) who can in turn train, impact, and influence the thousands of people under their leadership in areas of the world where the church is poorly resourced; ill-equipped; confronted with overwhelming poverty, death, corruption, and godless leadership; and being threatened by organized advances from competing worldviews and beliefs.
- It is a high synergy equipping opportunity for Watermark. Watermark can use this opportunity to equip/develop our own current and emerging leaders (members of the team) in addition to the leaders in these nations. Wherever these opportunities to “learn and lead” take place, we are confident that the impact will be even greater in those from Watermark participating than it will be on those being served. These leadership development opportunities are therefore effective in developing ‘fully devoted followers’ of Christ internally and externally.
- ALARM’s staff are good stewards, and we feel great about entrusting them with our time and treasure.