Sustainable, amazing community transformation in Southeast Asia

One of the DNA’s seven core truths is that the ministry of the church must be wholistic. God is the Lord over all, and his sacrifice on the cross is meant to reconcile all things to himself (Col. 1:19-20). Just as Christ in his ministry addressed physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs, so must the church. The DNA exists to help local churches recognize and live out this calling.

In Southeast Asia, God is transforming individuals, families and whole communities through local believers applying biblical truth to their everyday lives. The results are stunning and long-lasting; this truly is transformation that only God could do. Here is one such report from our friends at Reconciled World, who closely worked with 30 churches in a certain rural area and returned to the region two years later to see the results.

While we have always believed that what God has started in these areas will continue, we didn’t have experience of what would happen. We were amazed to discover how much the areas have changed. Today, more than 95 percent of houses are made of concrete, whereas when we started, 95 percent were made of mud.

The community has made incredible strides in education. Only a few years ago, no one here continued school past grade nine. But during our visit, a pastor showed us a list of all the students from the area now attending university. Fifteen students (10 from the churches we worked with)  were granted scholarships by the government–a prize typically awarded to students in urban areas where there are better teachers. This is an astonishing accomplishment!

The groups were continuing to build roads opening up even more farm area. One pastor was acting as a buyer for most people in the area ensuring that everyone got fair prices. The communities were now investing in machinery to process their crops, further increasing their income.

Perhaps most startling was the news that six families now have cars! Cars are extremely expensive in this country. This is an incredible step up in a place where, only seven years ago, bicycles were considered a luxury. Families are using their vehicles to meet the community’s needs like transporting sick or injured people to the hospital.

God never ceases to amaze us with his ability to transform hearts and minds. May he receive all the glory for this wonderful work!

Reconciled World logo

To learn more Reconciled World’s ideas, approach and programs, visit Read more of their stories of transformation here!

Upcoming conference: Raising up the next generation of Christian leaders in México

This announcement comes from our partners at Proyecto Amistad:

Please, consider joining us this Sept 24-26 in Guadalajara, México. Rev. José Luis Montecillos Chipres, author and historian, and Darrow Miller of Disciple Nations Alliance will be our main speakers. This is sure to be an important and very enjoyable time for the friends of Proyecto Amistad and other ministries to create new relationships, learn, and work together for transformative Christian education in México. Click here for updated information and full schedule. Translation will be available at all conference netsFor information, you can call or e-mail the “Conference Location” or contact Chris at: U.S. Cell: (830) 719-5812, or

‘Christianity Today’ magazine features special report on the Church in Japan

This month’s issue of Christianity Today includes a special report from long-time friend of the DNA Soohwan Park who has been closely involved with the recovery efforts following Japan’s massive series of disasters in March 2011.

Redeeming Disaster

Click here to read the full story

As an associate with the Marketplace Institute at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, and in collaboration with the DNA (including DNA Korea) , Friends with the Voiceless (Japan), Food for the Hungry Canada and Food for the Hungry Intl., Soohwan completed extensive field research in Fukushima, Japan’s prefecture now famous for its nuclear disaster following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Her story in Christianity Today, titled “Redeeming Disaster,” takes a sober look at emergency-relief efforts and their tendency to overlook three vital aspects: spirituality, story and sustainability. She recounts how many local churches made great sacrifices to meet deep, invisible needs in Fukushima.

“Disaster relief is complex,” Soohwan says. “Theologically, it involves restoration of all things that were broken and all relationships that are in need of reconciliation in order for a community to flourish (Col. 1:15-20). Fundamentally, this is not the work of a professional agency but of ordinary people in a local church loving their neighbors out of love for Christ. Christian relief work happens only when the local church realizes its mission to serve the world, giving themselves for others and restoring the fabric of a broken society.”

Soohwan’s report reflects many of the DNA’s Seven Core Truths, particularly #4: The local church is God’s principle agent in his primary agenda of advancing his kingdom.

This story will appear in Christianity Today – Korea this September.

Click here to read the full story and gain a better picture of how God is at work in Japan.

Follow Soohwan's blog at

Follow Soohwan’s blog at

Vision Conference coming up in South Sudan, May 2013. Join us!

All are invited to a DNA Vision Conference to be held in Rumbek, South Sudan at the end of May. These conferences have a history of sparking life-changing vision, new ideas and partnerships. Please join us and pass this on to anyone who might be interested!

South Sudan became an independent nation on July 9, 2011.

The Republic of South Sudan became an independent nation on July 9, 2011.

Contact Karobia Njogu (
with any questions.

Announcing a new partnership with PovertyCure

We are so excited about our new partnership with PovertyCure, a new initiative that champions the creative potential of the person and seeks to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that fills the developing world.

The core values and principles of the DNA are closely intertwined with those of PovertyCure. One common value is the dignity and God-given potential of all humans, even children born into the poorest of societies.

We often ask, “What causes poverty?” But the real question is, “What causes wealth?”

PovertyCure seeks to shift the emphasis:

  • From aid to enterprise
  • From poverty alleviation to wealth creation
  • From paternalism to partnerships

PovertyCure is about re-thinking our assumptions. We are an international network of individuals and more than 100 organizations committed to a vision that recognizes the dignity and capacity of people to create value and prosperity for their families and communities.

Check out PovertyCure’s Voices section, which features short videos of entrepreneurs, political and religious leaders, and development experts like Paul Collier, Marcela Escobari, Michael Fairbanks, Hernando de Soto, and George Ayittey.

Visit the blog, and contribute to the discussion on Facebook and Twitter!

We’ve joined the PovertyCure network to help champion these ideas, and we encourage your organization, church, or non-profit to do the same!

Video: A wholistic education leads to a wholistic, missional life

“When it comes to school, there’s no shortage of what to learn. The shortage is, Why?”

Here is an innovative video from our friend Christian Overman at Worldview Matters. DNA co-founder Darrow Miller said this is “one of the clearest explanations of the sacred/secular dichotomy that I have seen.”

Worldview Maters

Worldview Matters exists to help followers of Christ recover from secularized thought, instead revealing God’s plan for Christians in the marketplace to shape culture and transform society every day of the week–not just on Sunday.

Worldview Matters also helps Christian educators create lesson plans that directly, relevantly connect to God’s “bigger picture,” filling students at all levels with a biblical worldview.

Contact Christian Overman at

Fukushima, Japan: being restored from the inside out

When you have just a bird’s-eye view of the catastrophes that laid siege to Japan about 16 months ago — earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster — it could seem impossible to find a loving, restorative God in the midst of it all. But if you get up close, on the inside, you will find incredible power and renewal — you will see Him working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Even in such destruction, He uses the local church to heal, restore, and build His Kingdom. Over the past year, DNA national organization Friends with the Voiceless, Intl. (FVI) has been instrumental in this work.

(From left) Midori and Eisuke from FVI spent time in Fukushima relief shelters, comforting the residents who left their homes behind. (photo from DNA partner Soohwan Park)

A 2006 Gallup poll found that Christianity is the fastest-growing faith among Japanese youth. Japan is thirsty for the gospel, and FVI is helping pave the way for its people to receive it.

As many doctors, nurses and pastors fled the district of Fukishima, the area most damaged by the nuclear disaster, a few stayed — one pastor explaining that he dreamed he saw Jesus walking with His cross toward the power plant.

Aside from physical destruction, in Fukushima, families have been torn apart as many husbands have gone to find work elsewhere. Divorce has skyrocketed. In this country where 29 percent of youth describe themselves as “very lonely” and suicide rates are high, FVI helps unite and equip the Church to bear the hope of Christ.

Since the nuclear disaster, FVI staff members have made 15 trips to the province, conducting “Fukushima Future Forums” with dozens of pastors in attendance. In March 2012, one of these Forums geared for young Japanese Christian leaders had 50 attendees — half from Fukushima. At these events, Christian leaders are invited to recommit their lives to the Lord and commit to rebuilding Fukushima from a biblical worldview.

The first Fukushima Future Forum ended with husbands washing their wives’ feet: a biblical but counter-cultural act in Japan. (photo from DNA partner Soohwan Park)

As a result, while many people continued to flee the province, one Forum participant moved in and planted a church. Another started an out-of-the box “listening ministry,” and a network of young participants formed to practically serve Fukushima residents.

Also at the Forum last March was a pastor from Ukraine who ministered to survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. He offered great encouragement and invited Fukushima pastors to come to Ukraine and meet other Christian leaders with similar experience. That visit is planned for October 2012.

(From left) Eisuke Kanda and Shun Jinnai co-lead Friends with the Voiceless, the DNA national network in Japan. To contact them, e-mail

A Right Turn to Aquascalientes

It started when David Roberts read LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day.

David, a missionary with Evangelical Mission Ministries based in Pharr, Texas, has distributed books in Mexico for 22 years, including some of Darrow Miller’s titles. David is also involved with a Christian school. Given that, he picked up on a name in Darrow’s book.

“I read about Elizabeth Youmans from LifeWork, a book that impacted me much,” David said. “We had been involved with our Christian school for 15 years, but felt we needed to improve the Christian philosophy behind our education.”

David contacted Elizabeth and eventually corresponded with Rick Lane, an AMO board member who is deeply involved in Christian education in Mexico. (AMO is a principle-based curriculum for children published by Chrysalis International, Inc. Go here to read more about this outstanding program.)

When Rick learned about David’s interest, he was happy to do whatever he could to accommodate David’s desire to bring training to his school. David was “well prepared to receive AMO training,” Rick said.

To David’s delight, Elizabeth and Rick modified their schedule of training sessions, moving the session scheduled for Ciudad Acuña to Aguascalientes, David’s city of over 800,000 in population in the center of Mexico.

Chrysalis sent trainers Jacqi Gough and Cristina Inchaustegui to give the course, entitled “The Rudiments of Christian Education.” Among the topics discussed were: the Biblical view of the child, educating the heart not just the mind, the AMO program, and Wellspring of Wonders.

Thirty- seven people attended, representing four Christian schools, two orphanages, a seminary, a church denomination and several individual churches. 

“I believe that all were impressed with the difference between a truly Christian education and the typical government planned education,” David reports.

DNA and ReachGlobal Collaborate in Africa

Here’s a moving testimony from ReachGlobal Africa Director Kevin Kompelien on the exciting ways that DNA and ReachGlobal (The Evangelical Free Church of America International Mission) have collaborated in Africa. This video was shot at the DNA 2011 Global Forum in South Africa.

New Wholistic Ministry Network in Thailand

Arjan Wirachai shares with the group

The Mercy Center in Pattaya, Thailand was the venue for a July 30 networking conference which became the genesis for an “initiative to form a regional alliance of like-minded ministries.”

The conference was birthed when Robin Steen, a staff member of Harvest and DNA trainer in Thailand and Myanmar, was asked by church leaders last February to “bring together churches and Christian organizations that are active in wholistic ways in Pattaya.” Local leaders sensed there were a number of churches and organizations with common interests who didn’t have a “functioning network.”

In fact, the regional discussion sparked a broader, national conversation.

“I could see an interest in what we were thinking of doing in Pattaya,” Robin noted, “but more than that, interest also for Bangkok and on a national level. It became obvious that this idea of networking churches and organizations involved in wholistic ministry might be of interest for the Thailand Evangelical Committee (TEC).”

Sanya Ladaphongpattana

When  TEC’s Mercy Track director, Sanya Ladaphongpattana, showed interest, organizers decided to add a second purpose to the original goal. Besides networking Christian non-government organizations and churches in Pattaya, they also invited other interested parties from around the country to observe and to discuss a National Network of Regional Alliances.

Fourteen organizations presented their work and shared contact information. One presenter—the San Jai Network—actually represents some 70 organizations involved with women and children at risk.

The other presenters represented the following organizations:

  • Disciple Nations Alliance/Harvest
  • Thailand Food For the Hungry
  • World Concern
  • Compassion International
  • Christian Foundation for the Blind
  • Mercy Center of Pattaya
  • Upland Holistic Development Project
  • International Justice Mission
  • World Vision
  • Compassion of Christ Mission Foundation (AOG)
  • Step Ahead
  • Think Small
  • Boy’s Brigade in Thailand

Breakout group discusses national network concept

Following these morning presentations was an afternoon spent in two break-out groups. The Pattaya regional group discussed ways of connecting local churches and Christian organizations. The conversation led to the birth of the Integral Mission Network as a subset of an existing consortium of pastors. Leadership will be provided to the IM by the consortium.

Steen noted that leaders agreed to “continue discussing and forming the network at their next monthly meeting” and invite others who were not in attendance.

The other break-out session was comprised of those from outside Pattaya. This group agreed to hold forums on networking in Bangkok and Chiangmai at the end of November. Between now and then, steering committee members will prepare and distribute questionnaires to pastors and Christian NGOs to assemble information about who is doing wholistic ministry. Organizers hope to develop one or more directories, one means of encouraging the development of regional alliances throughout Thailand.