Project 24 started several years ago with the intention of building 24 rescue centers (boarding schools) for orphans and children at risk. The Project 24 leaders back in the States would make the funds available for construction and the partners would choose the sites and manage and operate the centers. The intention was that they would be close to a local congregation of the ELCK and cared for by them. Along the way 1001 Orphans, an organization out of Pennsylvania offered orphan and child support.
As time went on issues began to develop that changed the mission and the ministry and brought into question the viability of the entire concept as well as the partnerships involved. Well meaning folks choose sites that were beautiful but could not be used for a school. Well meaning folks built sites that were to far away from schools. A variety of issues including Muslim hostility in some places caused “issues”.
Project 24 construction was put on hold and the dispersal of money was as well. Some of our donors were told that Project 24 was defunct. Over the last year a great deal of effort has been put in by the LCMS Mission Team in East Africa, the Director of Church Relations for the LCMS, Al Collver, Shauen Trump the area director for Eastern and Southern Africa. Project 24 will now have a project manager from the LCMS.
I have not been blogging about this for a while because the issues that our partners face day to day, the problems that develop with any partnership whatever it may be, questions about where to go and what to do, and the entire process was too complicated for my feeble communications skills. I have simply said that troubles and difficulties are par for the course on the “rough edge of the churches mercy work”. Rather than trying to blame anyone for the problems a rather complex set of partnerships is trying to work the problem and get back to the basics. The Project 24 guys back in the States will still be asking for support and we pray that it is indeed a “new day”.
Please check out the International blog from the LCMS at http://intlblog.lcms.org/2015/01/14/the-beginning-of-the-day-hour-1-of-project-24/.