Dec 19 2015

Immanuel – God with Us. What does that look like today?

“Immanuel” – God With Us!  What Does That Look Like Today?
“For to us a child is born… and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace

there will be not end.”  

Isaiah 9: 

6-7.  The prophet Isaiah spoke this truth across 700 years of troubled history, pointing to Christmas and the birth of Jesus, the fullness of Immanuel. God is now with us!
  The questions in our day are;
  • “What will Immanuel -God with us- look like for this young man and his generation?
  • “What does ‘Of the increase of his government and peace’ look like today, and what is our role, that ‘there will be no end’?

At Meniscus, we are committed to walking with this young generation – in Africa and the Appalachians- into the fullness of forgiveness, restoration, and overcoming that Jesus paid the price for over two thousand years ago.

 

For us that has two nodes of focus; the new Mvumbi Project of holistic discipleship in South Africa, and the Appalachian School of Ministry and Missions in Boone NC. Both are built upon our decade of experience with great partners in Southern Africa and our nearly three decades of public ministry.

 

We hope you are encouraged in your walk with Jesus today, for every follower is a minister and every place is a mission field. We’d love to have you join in our work.

   Immanuel is present here and now. 2100 years after the first Christmas, Immanuel is still with us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God with us.
Hoping you have a rich Christmas with Him

 


Jun 1 2012

Life “Licks” learned from guitar legend Doc Watson. A little story…

Doc Watson died this week at the ripe age of 89 years. Considered one of the five most influential American guitarists of the lastdocwatson-thumbcentury and winner of 7 Grammys, Doc was an amazing, kind-hearted and gracious man who lived his whole life here in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Doc was also a Jesus-follower. Doc had also been blind from his early youth.

It may strike you as odd that a Meniscus Inc post is  devoted to guitar legend Doc Watson, but hang in there, OK?

Several years ago, I heard Doc tell a fascinating story, one worth sharing and significant to all of us engaged with Menicus’ service. Before his teen years, Doc’s family heard that a faith-healer was preaching at a camp meeting s down off the mountain in Lenoir, NC. Doc was blind, and his father was ailing, so the family loaded up their wagon and made the day-long trip to the meeting. At the gathering the revivalist-healer prayed for Doc’s dad and he experienced immediate freedom from his affliction. Coming next to little Doc, she hesitated. Instead of praying for the restoration of the young boy’s sight, she said shared something like, “Doc, though he has the power to do so, the Lord’s not going to heal your sight today. To do so would keep you from accomplishing the greater things he has for you.” The young Doc went away puzzled.

Doc went on to help support his family by playing his guitar on the street corners, at hoe-downs, and parties, becoming one of the greatest guitarists and musicians this nation has produced; an amazing artist in country, gospel, bluegrass, and what he liked to call ‘traditional plus’. Sharing with us at the age of 85 years, Doc’s concluded his story with something akin to, “I’d never become the musician I’ve become if I weren’t blind. God made a way for me to provide for my family and to travel the world. He’s had something so much better for me than my eyesight.  I give all the glory and all of the honor for my talent and life to Jesus Christ, who has walked with me through every hardship and joy.”

An amazing testimony of God’s goodness, giving praise for blindness. What a perspective. And what insight into the wellspring that served as the source of Doc’s music.

So why place this story as a centerpiece of our Meniscus Inc e-letter?  Here are a couple ‘life lessons’ that Doc Watson’s life reminds me of, lessons worth applying in Meniscus’ service to the under-served:

· A life invested is much different that a life spent.

· God’s in the middle of it, and it’s meant for good.  Our attitude and approach and posture do determine whether we can see God’s hand at work.

· Keeping the main thing the main thing. There’s much Doc couldn’t do, being blind is a huge hindrance, but it didn’t keep him from focusing on what he was able to do… and doing it with joy and humor.

· God’s not forgotten us, He keeps pouring out. The music doesn’t stop.

· Some things just get better with age. Not everything, but so many of the important things. With experience should come wisdom.  In musical terms; we learn our ‘licks’ in our youth, we gain our ‘soul’ through our experiences.

Maforga Mozambique, kids in a wash tub

Maforga Mozambique, kids in a wash tub

So, for Meniscus… *We want to invest in people and communities, not just spend money on projects. We seek to equip and empower locals to transform their own cultures.

*We need to continually be avoiding the ‘white knuckle syndrome’ of doing  God’s work for him; instead, to be constantly looking and listening to what God is doing even as we work hard alongside.

*We need to be candidly assessing if we are keeping the main thing before us – making Jesus Christ known, and his redeeming, healing, and restoring presence a practical truth in the midst of broken lives, communities, and cultures. Transformational community development pushes back the darkness – it is wholly spiritual and wholly practical.

*We must be walking in the Holy Spirit and walking with the Holy Spirit. He is not silent.

*We must encourage people to “lift up your heads”. Everyone-regardless of age- has talents and gifts and experiences that can benefit others. Humility -not pride or false humility- can break down strongholds.

For more great words and music from Doc, check out this three minute clip from the 2011 Merlefest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F8EYjDXqP4

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MeniscusInc… serving, equipping, releasing. Building partnerships, facilitating growth. Making Christ known, advancing the Kingdom of God.


Dec 29 2011

Go Against the Flow! Have an impact in 2011

There's a difference between 'pretty' and 'effective'!

There's a big difference between "pretty" and "effective"! We may not be pretty, but we're pretty effective.

December 29,2011

USA Today headlines today… “Large charities see donations surge up 5% this year… though small charities see a decline..”

Buck the Trend.  You can have a direct and measurable impact at a grass-roots effort. You can impact poverty, need, and darkness, still in 2011. It’s not too late to give toward charitable work that has a lasting impact.

Check out the online catalog and year-end report, esp. page 7. You determine exactly where you want your giving to go! We’ll keep you informed on an individual & relational level.  You can know just what impact you’re donations are having!

http://www.issuu.com/jjellicorse/docs/catalog……. link to the online catalog; then flip to page 7.

Thanks for your consideration, and have a great 2012.
Scott & the Meniscus team

link to the USA Today article…http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-28/charity-holiday-giving/52253398/1


Jul 5 2011

July 5, 2011… Moving forward

We open with a story from Darryl-Mather Pike, a great friend and African partner (see www.emoyeni.org); a story that gives insight into the gritty life in the townships of southern Africa. Facts convey matters of magnitude, but human stories tell the truth.

dsc04233lil-girl-with-dreadies-close-up-bw“We will share this story with you – but know it is one of many. This family lives with their grandfather who is an alcoholic. They are afraid of him as he beats them and forces the 9 year old boy to go with him to the shabeen (local illegal drinking house). Although we don’t know why, we suspect the worse for the boy. These children have not seen their mother for over a year. An Auntie came to their rescue but was recently chased away by the grandfather – we think perhaps he feels exposed by our involvement! The children see their grandmother once a month when she collects the government grant (welfare) money, but they receive no benefit, as she uses it for her own needs. We started counseling the children but now the grandmother wants to take them away. One night, the Auntie went to find food for the children, but she was gang raped by 3 young guys who held her hostage for the night with a knife. Since then she has given her heart to Jesus and we have seen a beautiful change in her. She is painfully working through forgiveness issues and genuinely wants truth and freedom! This is a family in great need of prayer – please pray for them.”

We are so thankful to have found favor within the townships of Mpumalanga, and so grateful for our great partners. Please pray for Africa. “Lord, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth (southern Africa) as it is in heaven.” Please pray for the upcoming Meniscus team efforts into the townships.

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Ministry Team to Africa this September…

dscf0744momgirl-water-bottle-moz-websizeOn September 17-30, we’re sending a team to Mpumalanga, South Africa to work at the Litsemba Resource Center. Current plans are to provide aid, training and skills development in the following areas:

· medical & dental services

· trauma counseling

· healthy family life skills

· psycho-social & spiritual restoration

· pregnancy & neo-natal care

· substance abuse

· HIV/AIDS & sexual integrity skills

· tutoring & basic education

· micro-enterprise business development

· leadership & ministry training

· basic discipleship & mentoring

· orphan & vulnerable child care & feeding

Most of the programs will strengthen the ongoing work at the Center, providing additional training and developing the capacity to reach more of the underserved people of the struggling township communities.

If you are interested in serving on the September trip, please us an email immediately. As a faith-based work joined with tribal and community leadership, Litsemba Center provides aids to hundreds of locals in the Daanjtie & Msogwaba communities. Services are always provided to all in need on a no-fee basis. Because of the nature of Meniscus’ work, our core values and faith play a key role. We ask that all MeniscusInc volunteers be already serving within their local community and be committed to a Jesus-following life. All serving will work through an online training course prior to departure. Time will be set aside for sight-seeing, including wildlife viewing at the huge Kruger Park. Current plans are to also travel into nearby Mozambique and Swaziland. Estimated cost, including lodging, food, transport, and airfare from New York or Washington, DC: $2200-$2500.

If you’re unable to go, would you consider participating by praying for the team and the community, and by supporting the work we are doing with a financial gift? Send us an e-mail to Meniscushome@gmail.com and we’ll update you on prayer needs, and go online to www.Meniscusinc.com to make a donation. Thanks in advance for your support.

dscf0818masoyi-sewing-w-becky-table-matls-websize New School opens at Litsemba -Ministry & Leadership Training where it’s needed!

The timing of the trip coincides with the opening of the new South Africa School of Ministry and Missions (SASMM) leadership and ministry training school opening at the Litsemba Center. Since 2007, SASMM has been based in Nelspruit, South Africa; meeting the first two years at 85 Ehmke St, then extending work in 2009 into Manica Provice, Mozambique. We’re excited to now be able to offer ministry/discipleship/simple church planting training for the local community in the local community. While the training will have a solid, proven academic/theological grounding; it is joined to a strong emphasis on practical servant leadership. Students will be engaged in grass-roots level community engagement and development on a daily basis. Meniscus Inc. is thrilled to be able to partner in SASMM with our African friends; Darryl Mather-Pike of Emoyeni, Cathy Crooks of International Accelerated Missions (IAM), the and the Litsemba Center board and staff.

………………………………………………………………………..            Find us on Facebook’s ‘Causes’ page: Meniscus,Inc.

MeniscusInc wants to help foster and go beyond;dsc08770prayer-dbs-bw-docsize1

  • provision of the resources needed to survive. That’s charity – a good thing.
  • training, tools, & skills impartation to locals. That’s empowerment – a great thing.
  • and into sustaining of these things, and nurturing the spiritual restoration and community that provides ongoing strength, identity, and peace with God. Those are seeds of cultural transformation – an amazing thing.

Meniscus… serving, equipping, transforming

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A drink of water in a thirsty land… In the midst of a whole boatload of troubles; with earlier words of promise and potential unfulfilled, losing his whole family into bondage, unwelcomed by his own people, finding the only sanctuary in the enemy’s service, with a rabble of rough and unsavory characters for supporters, with all his belongings stolen, his home burned down, and his disgruntled compatriots speaking openly of killing him; David was at the end of himself. He had only one place to turn; he “strengthened himself in the Lord.” 1Samuel 30:6. The only real course open to a man of many troubles. In these days of continued uncertainty, may you find encouragement and guidance from David’s example. May his last resort be your first reaction in this season.

“But seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.” Luke 12:31

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Scott & Becky Lycan with friend Khanisele

Directors Scott & Becky Lycan with friend Khanisele

MeniscusInc could use your support. Since 2007 over 95% of all funds went directly to field expenses, serving the under-served. All donations are considered tax deductible according to the IRS rulings as MeniscusInc is a 501c3 charitable corporation. Visit us at www.MeniscusInc.com. We thank you in advance for your generosity and your support. Please send us your thoughts at meniscushome@gmail.com.