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

 


Sep 26 2013

“Get in the Game!” Rings Through the Bush

Guys love skits; meet Potiphar & flirty 'wife!We are exhaustedly exhilarated after our first two days of the Brothers For Life camp. Just stunning to see these 36 young guys begin to light up and really begin to break free of the bondages, histories, and pressures present in their lives.
The Brothers for Life Camp is being run on the YWAM 10,000 Homes base outside White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa, set deep in a forest of eucalyptus trees. Running from 6:30 a.m. until 9::30 p.m., the camp unites the guys through recreation, psycho-social, and spiritual activities. Serious work and serious fun.
Yesterday’s theme was on the reality of a loving, constant,and personal God. Today’s focus was on developing integrity and strength, and walking with Jesus.At day’s end, seven young guys chose to accept Jesus as Lord for the first time and some twenty re-committed their life to walking with him. It was amazing to see throughout the day how the “ambient culture” of the group grew stronger, more supportive, and more light-hearted. A lightness of heart soaked through the whole camp after team member Seamon Rice encouraged all the young men to “Get Back In The Game”


Dec 22 2012

The November African Trip – Having Impact, Being Impacted

Such a great trip… so much more than we’d expected!
We were ‘on mission’ and it was rich… but we also ‘were the mission’ and God was so good to us all!

Here’s an overview of what we did:

Young Orphans Have a Special Day

Young Orphans Have a Special Day

Direct involvement with children, orphans, widows, the under-served and the under-resourced:

“Brothers for Life”- forty young gang members (age 16-26 yr.) looking to leave the street life. Mentoring, Bible studies, Prayer ministry, participated in their worship, discipling, built friendships & trust, counseled, small group ministry, spoke into their lives.
Litsemba Leadership Development Camp – twenty-five young men training for leadership in upcoming weeklong camp for primary school aged OVC ‘s.
“Girls Who Say No”- thirty primary & middle school aged girls addressing life challenges around issues of sexual integrity and character development. Providing women mentors who instill practical, spiritual truths, re-affirming to each child that they are precious, of great value, and hugely important to God. “We shared from our own lives and life lessons, speaking of Jesus’ goodness, love, and healing presence. We spent time with the girls, listening to the girls’ stories and praying with them. It was wonderful; it was powerful.”
“Outside the Box” Christmas Party – a day-long Christmas field day celebration provided to 100 OVC’s from Daanjtie. These children are participants in an ongoing feeding and discipleship program.                                      • Masoyi ‘Grannies’- grandmother caretakers for grandchildren. Learned of their stories, prayed with women, trained in income generation (scarf making). “This is the other side of the OVC story, viewing through the eyes of mothers who have lost their children to AIDS and are now raising their grandchildren. These are amazing women.”

· “Project Purpose” – coming alongside Katie Magill in her seasoned ministry to the ‘street princesses’ and their children in Maputo, Mozambique. Learning of the great work in the city and helping at the ‘safe zone’ home for children in the outlying Matolo area. Spending three days at the Project’s center; helping the staff, playing with the seventeen children living there, and bringing in needed clothes. It was powerful to see the impact of a ‘healthy touch’, ‘healthy men’, and loving prayer on these children.

The team also was able to help in providing tools and ministry in spiritual and psycho-social restoration and healing; hosting workshops on Children & Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, Issues in Trauma, Caring for Wounded Caregivers, Building Resilience, and Vicarious Traumatization. These seminars were provided by our great Canadian members, Sandra Robinson and Stewart Wakeman, both seasoned psychiatric and family counseling professionals well experienced in the African context. This couple also offered individual counseling services to traumatized children living in small group orphan homes.

The Litsemba Center Really Does Impart HOPE into the community

The Litsemba Center Really Does Impart HOPE into the community

Times of prayer, preaching, worship, teaching, and building friendships with groups and churches: “Working on Fire” fire-fighter training school, Surprise Sithole’s Nelspruit church, Kamagugu School for the Disabled, and Betor House.

Hammer and nail actions: renovation and rebuilding of the kitchen at the Litsemba Center in Daantjie.

Fostering the presence and mission of Jesus in our midst…
*It is great to have an impact, to have a sense of missional accomplishment. We had, we believe, such an experience.  *It is great to be impacted, to be aware that God has also used our trip to minister to us, to build us up as His mission field and as His ministers.    *In the coming days we will strive to be increasingly effective in our work in Africa –in aid, development and discipleship.   *We also seek to be increasingly faithful stewards of the fire and gifts that the Lord imparts to team members to bring back to our home ‘mission field’.  *We are so excited to see team members radically impacted by their short-term experience in Africa, and we will continue to hone this dimension of our work at MeniscusInc., ‘Equipping People for The Work of The Ministry; Serving, Equipping, Transforming’

The Power of the Testimony… A link to hearing three people; Eric, Jenn, and Ben share of their experiences in
The Power of Partnership… Links to like-minded friends and partners in ministry: www.reachout2africa.org, www.theHeart.us, www.Mamkhulu.org, www.Emoyeni.org, www.globeintl.org/missionaries/magill-katie, www.project-handsofgrace.webs.com, www.project-handsofgrace.webs.com


Apr 23 2012

Meniscus Monday… Young Men Jump Into Ministry School

Dear Friends,
Hope you are having a great spring. Until today -it is snowing as I write-we’ve had a beautiful and warm season in Banner Elk, NC. As we transition from spring to summer in America, Africa is moving into it’s winter. You’d be surprised at how cold winter can be in southern Africa, especially since very few homes have any kind of heat source.
We wanted to give you an update on Daniel and Banele, two of the young men that were part of the Discovery Bible Study groups in the township of Daantjie in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province.  We, along with our African partners, saw in both of these young men faithfulness over a long period of time. They were faithful to attend meetings, help others, be part of a one-on-one mentoring process, along with having hearts for God. Both have had to overcome big obstacles in life. Neither have the benefit of being raised by a father. Daniel was an orphan and Benele could not live with his mother because of the issues of poverty. As one of the family’s oldest children, he had to be ‘farmed out’ to other homes where he worked for his room and board as food became scarce at home.
We see developing wisdom in both young men and because of that we felt that it was time to invest in them in a more directional and intentional way. We hope that you are in agreement and can be in prayer for these guys and the work in South Africa, as Meniscus provides these two young men in ministry training.
The Lowveld-Vineyard School of Supernatural Ministry started in February 2012. The focus of the school which meets at Betor House in Nelspruit, RSA  is:  Knowing the Heart of Our Father God, the “Agape Road”, Worship and the Prophetic, the Vineyard Bible Institute Curriculum, Idenity in Christ, Walking in Our Giftings, Evangelism, and planting/establishing Simple Churches. Meniscus is funding Benele and Daniel for this two year school. They live and work in the township then take a bus into Nelspruit two days a week. They are able to spend the night at the home of Mamkhulu (the ministry of another partner, Heather Stevens, see http://www.mamkhulu.org/LitsembaCentre.) It’s a lot of effort on their part but they are thriving in the Ministry school atmosphere and they are full of thanksgiving and joy at this opportunity.
The Daniel’s and the Benele’s of the township communities, as they fulfill their call and destiny, are the ones who – through Jesus Christ -will help bring restoration and transformation to their communities and to southern Africa. Thanks for your investment in these young men. They can do what we cannot in advancing the Kingdom of God, bringing enduring change and eternal hope to broken cultures.

“To the King and to His Kingdom”

Scott and Becky Lycan
MeniscusInc.com
Meniscushome@gmail.com
USA cell 828-260-9313

Meniscus;a culture of equipping,releasing & support across the barriers that separate us from one another & God.

Meniscus;a culture of equipping,releasing & support across the barriers that separate us from one another & God.


Oct 16 2010

“Ministry Outside the Box” starts for Orphans at Litsemba Ctr.

     Last Saturday was an exciting day at the Litsemba Center in Daantijie.  Thirty six orphans and OVCs (orphans & vulnerable children) were so excited about the first community outreach, they showed up at the center two hours early.  The Lowveld Vineyard Church team arrived at 10:30 with a picnic lunch for all, guitars, a keyboard, cold juice, A Christian DVD about sharing, goodie bags for the kids to take home, and lots of love.

     Enoch Mbatsane, Sam Nkabule, and Sidwell Phiri, residents or staff at the center, welcomed the children, registered them, and had them sit in the shade -it was a scorchingly hot day- where they patiently waited for the Jesus party to begin.  Sam and Enoch have become quite familiar to the children over the last four months.  These children were some of the 900 children and teens that participated in the July World Cup area soccer camps in the schools that are within walking distance of the Litsemba Center. The camps were hosted by ReachOut to Africa, Mamkhulu.org, and MeniscusInc.   Sam and Enoch have been visiting the homes where the children stay, assessing their situations and needs, and delivering new school uniforms when needed. Each week the children and their care-givers stop by the Litsemba Center for a bag of beans, (9,000 pounds of beans were miraculously donated to us last July) and paap, the corn meal staple food in southern Africa. These children are the “least of the least”, orphan kids that don’t even have to access to public assistance, lacking birth certificates, ID papers, or  their parents’ death certificates. These are the ‘fall between the cracks’ kids in a culture swamped with needs.

      Ministering to the children in the most difficult township in the area is a big step out of the comfort zone for churches that are located in Nelspruit.  The Vineyard team didn’t exactly know what it would be like but they felt that God had called them to do this and they knew it was going to be a blessing.  They came with the humble attitude of servants, deferring to the residential team and loving on the children.  All the locals from Daantjie recognized the heart of Jesus in those ministering throughout the day.It’s an honor for us to see the Kingdom of God advancing in Nelspruit and Daantjie as different church groups begin to take a monthly Saturday rotation of ministry;  sharing food, Jesus, and love with the very least and the last, the orphans.  It’s awesome to see that no one church desires to claim the ministry as their own but all want to contribute what they have, in what is growing as a joint effort to meet the needs of the children.   Already, the Vineyard team has infected their entire church with a desire to not only feed the hungry but to also clothe them.  Plans are underway for distributing good shoes and clothing to the kids.  Enoch and Sam will facilitate these efforts in a systematic and organized way so that no child will go without proper clothing, blankets, pillows, etc.

 

First time that most of these children have been with kinds of another color 

     Thanks to each of you for your prayers and financial help.  After 14 months of tedious renovation the Litsemba Resource Center is open.  Five young men are living there.  The five men take care of the facilities and hold various jobs for which they earn a salary.  The ” Options Center”-dealing with pregnancy, abortion, HIV-AIDS, sexual integrity, and marriage- has gotten off to a good start with office hours from 9-4 every Tuesday and Thursday.  The food distribution for orphans takes place on Wednesdays.  The weekly Discovery Bible Study, led by Litsemba residents, takes place every Friday afternoon at 3:30.  Some of the local fruit venders and a number of folks living in the surrounding community join in the Bible Study. Bi-weekly DBS leaders training strengthens area DBS groups. Saturday’s from 10:30-2:00 are times for the children’s ministry teams from Nelspruit. 

     In this next week a beading shop will be set up in the center.  One of the residents is a well known bead craftsman who will be training and employing local young people to make keychains, Christmas ornaments, zebras, and geckos, from very small to very large.  These items are easily sold on the tourist market.  A model vegetable garden  is to be planted this month, tended by the residents. What is left over will be sold in the local market or donated to the needy.

  We are so excited to see how folks around the area are ‘hearing the sound’ that is rising out the the Litsemba “Hope” Center; it really is a Kingdom of God thing. It is a thrill to be involved and we hope you are encouraged by your involvement. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and emails and funds and friendship.

 

 
 

 

 


Dec 26 2009

Holiday Word; “Ride the Horse What Brung Ya’”

Becky and I are back stateside for a short time, snuggled into our little cabin in the North Carolina mountains. Wrestling with the questions we all face in these days, ”Lord, what is going on here?”, I have come to a profound (that may be a bit too self-aggrandizing) conclusion, a word I must share with you in this Christmas/New Year season in which so much seems to be shaking. The advice, to use a mountain term, is to“Ride the horse what brung ya’.”
Now track with me on this. MeniscusInc, Becky and I are working in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, for one reason; we are ‘riding the horse what brung us’. In a time of much uncertainty, we remember that our ‘sending’ was powered by the story of Jesus’ sending out seventy-two of his followers found in Luke 10, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask th Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves… When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’… Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’… The seventy-two returned with joy and said,”Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Those of us engaged in MeniscusInc need to remind ourselves that Jesus has been faithful in doing the same thing in our midst in Africa as he did with his disciples in Judea and Galilee. This is the ‘horse what brung us’ to the teeming townships of Mpumalanga. We are just following Him. As we have stepped out in faith God has done miraculous and amazing things.
We want to declare to you, and encourage you, that God is good, God is active, and God is working to extend his “Peace” and his “Kingdom” in all our lives, as we are willing to follow him.

Take a few minutes today to read Luke’s amazing account here; deeply spiritual and intensely practical. Your own ‘sentness’ may not involve Africa, but it surely does involve wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Regardless of your economics, education, or personal particulars, one sure way to find your footing in these days is to walk in His ways in ministering the “Peace” and “The kingdom is near” right where you live and work. Step out this season and“Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added.” These words, spoken by Jesus and recorded in Luke 12, are applicable to those who’ve been following Jesus for years and also for those just now seeking the Truth in troubled and uncertain times. True truth then and true truth now.

After all, on the first Christmas, in the greatest story of all time, isn’t this the just what happened writ large? And Mary said to the Angel of the Lord, “Here is your servant, may it be unto me according to your purposes.” And she, in faith and pregnant with Jesus, rode on a donkey to Bethlehem. She just rode the ‘horse what brung her’ to Bethlehem, into her destiny and role in God’s great, good plans.
As we all face a new year of challenges, may we all remember and be strengthened in our Father’s faithfulness, love and purposes, made manifest in Jesus’ coming, and present with us now by the Holy Spirit. May you come to “ride on that horse” with joy and confidence. Have truly joyous Christmas and an overcoming 2010.

Scott & Becky Lycan for Meniscus Inc. www.MeniscusInc.com
meniscushome@gmail.com

The Year in Review
Meniscus, Inc. works from the conviction that social, ethical and personal reformation depend upon spiritual transformation and the establishment of supportive communities. Toward that end we have been engaged in southern Africa nations since 2006, helping link community development efforts with the facilitation of self-sustaining indigenous discipleship growth.

In the second half of 2009, we have helped establish South African partnerships and efforts that:
*Glean from farmers’ fields and poultry farms, averaging 400-600 pounds of fresh produce and nearly 500 eggs per week.
*Gathered food is distributed by Swati and Zulu disciples within their neighborhood communities to those in the greatest need, typically widows and orphans.
*Meet weekly with self-replicating discipleship groups in the teeming informal township communities. As strategy coordinators our goal is to establish 200 communities of disciple-making groups or churches in two years time. We seek to help indigenous African disciples make disciple-making disciples who transform their communities in deeply spiritual and imminently practical ways. In the last six months we have helped establish five discipleship communities established in the Daanjte, Msogwaba, and Masoyi townships.
*Established a Memorandum of Understanding with a Swati tribal trust and two South African charitable works to open the Lithemba (Swati for “Hope”) Center, with the plan to provide key community development services; feeding programs for vulnerable populations, housing for young adult orphans, after-school tutoring, small business training and micro-financing, and life-skills training in sexual integrity, pre-natal pregnancy care, marriage preparation, and basic decision-making skills. The Lithemba Center will also serve as a training center for indigenous leadership development, house-based church development and basic discipleship. The Center is now undergoing renovation, available for occupancy in January.
*Serve as training partners to two South African church fellowships and an international ministry in their plans to establish disciple-making movements and church-planting bible studies.
*Continue partnership with “Hands of Grace”, a South African charitable work, in the work of growing a women’s sewing guild providing sustainable income growth, and providing an ongoing discipleship training group. The guild has been working since August, 2008, providing needed income for over one hundred people in the Masoyi township community.
*Provide training opportunity for five ministry interns in conjunction with Iris Africa and three other South African and Mozambican ministries.

Social indicators – Mpumalanga Province and South Africa

Poverty and Employment.
•Nearly 5 out of 10 South Africans still live in poverty, over 22 million people.
•One is considered ‘poor’ if one earns less than $100 USD per month, a family of four with income less than $440USD. A loaf of bread costs about $1, a gallon of gasoline costs about $3.85, the cost of most staple groceries, produce, meat, and dairy are comparable to US costs.
•Current unemployment nationwide is currently 26%, and estimated at 70% in the informal township communities.

Crime.
•South Africa is reported to have the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world.
•A woman is raped every 23 seconds in South Africa. Reliable sources estimate that over 1 in every 4 women will experience a rape, 5 times greater than the USA rate.
•One in four children will be sexually abused before they are 18 years old.
•Conservative estimates place spouse abuse rates at 25%.
•Johannesburg, SAis the “car-jacking” capital of the world, and the country has one of the highest levels of violent crime in the world.

Health and HIV/Aids
•Mpumalanga HIV rates are now estimated at 40% of those over the age of 18 years, second highest provincial statistics in the country.
•Mpumalanga adjoins Mozambique and Swaziland, with the highest AIDs rate in the world.
•Over 5.4 million AIDs cases are in South Africa, more than any country.

We encourage your involvement in the work of Meniscus, Inc., and we are in very real need of your support in prayer, finances, and friendship. Any contribution in any area will be greatly appreciated and applied efficiently. Meniscus Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. All donations are tax-deductible.
Contact us at www.meniscusinc.com, or by mail at P.O.Box 5626, Cary, NC 27512 USA , and by e-mail at meniscushome@gmail.com

scott-becky-richard-wilson-photo-b-w-10-2009-websize100_1313-closeup-dbs-vickies-3-guys-holy-shoes-websize

Street side view, Daanjke and Msogwaba, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Street side view, Daanjke and Msogwaba, Mpumalanga, South Africa


Jun 20 2009

Update from Africa

June16, 2009

Aren’t people funny creatures? Don’t you just crack yourself up sometimes? It is amazing how our Father manages to put up with our silliness and pettiness and short-sightedness, and still loves us so purely and wholly and strong and selflessly.

We’ve been in Africa about ten days now. We have made the first functioning steps toward settling into the city of Nelspruit, district of Mbombella, province of Mpumalanga (“Land of the Rising Sun”, the former NE Transvaal). Check out your maps, look along the highway from inland Johannesburg to coastal Maputo.
Becky and I have landed in a tiny and sweet one bedroom flat, purchased a bed and a refrigerator, and finally got some borrowed curtains up in our windows. For the last four days our every move and our six plastic storage boxes have been open for all the neighbors to see, as our flat has more windows than wall space. Only our bathroom offers any privacy (thank you, Lord, for that!). To top off the week, we’ve just today taken possession of a great vehicle. Ah, what could bring release and relief to an American like a set of wheels,- how vital is our mobility to us?! In this case, we found a well-maintained ten year-old Toyota Hi-Lux double cab truck with a re-built diesel engine and a solid chassis. Not pretty, but very functional, durable, and at a great price. A real God-send; good vehicle, good timing, great price… a rare combination in Africa.

Odd, how such little things, like mobility, can so affect our moods and feelings and resolve. But God is working on us, and in us, growing us in the area of “be content in all things… rejoice in all things, again, I say rejoice.” Thank God he is not going to quit on us, eh?

And so now we feel like things are beginning to move forward in our work here. Mobility helps. There’s a meeting tomorrow with some key ministry leaders in the area who have for over fifteen years been very effective in compassion ministries and in raising up young leaders in the informal township communities. We have already met with two South African couples -friends and co-workers – we’ve all been through the same indigenous discipleship training course but on different continents. Our next meeting will be with a dozen others who are actively impacting the needy in their communities, sowing discipleship seeds, with a vision to train up and encourage “disciple-making disciples.”

Please pray for good partnerships and encouraging friendships. Pray for the youth of the townships – protection, provision, hope, and divine appointments. Pray for a country and a region “on the edge”. We can see a growing fear, weariness, and despair gnawing at the culture as crime and violence continue to grow in every community. Pray for the open doors for us to work wisely and with supernatural impact in the township communities. Pray for our safety and for a real Kingdom of God movement in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. And please keep our fellow Meniscus co-worker, Susan Heineman, in prayer as she spends the next month in south central Mozambique’s Manica Province working with Tracy Evans and the Africa 180 missions team. Susan will be engaged in discipleship training, evangelism, HIV/Aids and sexual integrity education, and “One Love” healthy marriage equipping. Pray for her and the team as she raises up and trains key ministry leaders from Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

We know your prayers are effective; they are what got us back to Africa. We love ya’ll. Please keep those emails and blog responses flowing! They are a real lifeline to the States and an encouragement to us.

Blessings,
Scott and Becky Lycan