Saturday, March 8, 2014

Off To Africa!

In this post you will hear some exciting news from my bride Carla on our families next journey in Christ and how you can help.
Isaiah 58:8-12
Dear Friend,                                                        
When I was a child I would see the bloated African children on TV and the injustice would rise up in the pit of my being. I would turn to my mom and say, “someday I will help them and build my own clinic.” I had no idea how this would all happen as we were barely getting by some days on our own with my mom’s small income, but I carried this in my memory and heart. I still carry it as I type this letter to you. When Ian and I were courting and would walk around the campus at Grand Canyon University, I shared my dreams of a place where we would care for orphans, those in prison, the sick, the starving and the dying……not just those dying physically but spiritually. My dreams became our dreams. We would love people right where they were and live life alongside them, embrace them as they died and yes even play soccer with them.

As we journey into our 15th year of marriage the Lord has brought us to this moment. Along this journey we have had 2 losses through miscarriage, Aidan and Malachi. We have been blessed with 3 amazing sons…Tobiah, Jaidan and Gideon. We have experienced in a very deep way the loss of both my parents to cancer within 2 years of each other.  As a family, we cared for my mom the last 6 weeks of her life. We have been blessed with many friends, great jobs that have provided financially along with health insurance and children that are sick only once a year. We have had so much fun, so many laughs. Through this we have wrestled with our faith, with our emotions, and with our purpose as a family on mission in this world. We have taken the path of homeschooling our children not to protect them but to allow them to thrive in their gifting and strengths. As God leads us into this moment, I find myself looking up and saying……”Mom, my someday has come.” BUT GOD has given me such a beautiful gift as I am not alone and it is no longer just my “someday”. We are all in! Ian, Carla, Tobiah, Jaidan and Gideon! And God is leading us…..Where you ask?


-The life expectancy rate is 50 years old.

-There are 74.63 fetal deaths/1,000 live births and 490 maternal deaths/100,000 live births.

-18.3% children under the age of 5 years old are underweight.

-0.03 physicians available/1,000 people

-27% unemployment rate (the US is at 7%)

-1.2 years is the mean years of schooling (of adults)

-Ranked 185/186 on the UNDP Human Development Index (the US is 3/186)

-Mozambique has the higher Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) value because it has the highest intensity of deprivation. This looks at the overlapping deprivation in health, education and standard of living.

We know the risks that come with living in Mozambique, but as Ian said last week……we can stay where we are and risk being complacent and comfortable or we can risk being obedient and move when God calls us to. There are many of you reading this letter that have a different faith then us or maybe believe in no God at all but we all have the same desire to live a life bigger than ourselves, we all know we have purpose and we all desire to live it out. I meditated on the words of the song below this week as it tells of how Jesus only did what He did because of the Father. I share these words so you can catch a glimpse of our hearts and why we are choosing the risk of being obedient.


“Jesus only did what He saw You do; He would only say what He heard you speak…

He would only move when He felt You lead, following Your heart, following Your spirit…

How could I expect to walk without You, when every move that Jesus made was in surrender…

I will not begin to live without You, for You alone are worthy, You are always good, You are always good…”

Our hope is that you will embrace this risk of obedience with us. I will be traveling to Mozambique alone with Tracy Evans, the Founder of the organization we have chosen to partner with iReachAfrica. I leave 3/29/14 and return 4/18/14. During my time there I will meet the team that is currently working in the many areas such as the clinic, Recovery Center (hospice), preschool, prison ministry, leadership training, and education. I will work alongside the nurses and experience the day to day living routines such as what they eat, how they interact and will also see where we will be living….yes living! The goal of my trip is to establish relationships with those currently working in the community so that Ian and I along with the boys can prepare for our move as a family at the end of the year. We will be modeling a healthy family while immersing ourselves in the community, culture and language while using our giftings to serve the clinic, hospice, prisons, leadership training and discipleship programs.

We have prayed, fasted, sought counsel, talked with our boys, and most of all….we have sat in silence and heard His voice, His Spirit. We only move because we feel His lead. During this time we have outlined the details of our budget and we also have felt we should not sell our home in Phoenix but use it to provide for those in need here. We are working on the beginning stages of transforming it into a “safe house”, a place where those in need are able to transition for a few weeks or for those that need a longer respite.

We again ask that you think on or pray on how you can embrace this risk of obedience with us. We will be living out this mission on the full financial support of all those in our community of family, friends, peers, and leaders. Financially we are asking for $5000 per month. This will cover our food, shelter, security (especially since we have young children), passports, visas, vaccines, Malaria treatment (as ALL people get Malaria there, it is just a matter of when although we are praying now for strong health), mortgage, health/traveler’s insurance, life insurance, school curriculum, and emergency flight funds. We know that there are some of you that are not able to assist financially so we ask for your support through prayer, emails, care packages for the boys, and simply your emotional support as we live out the love you have imparted to us to the least of these in Mozambique. Financial support can be monthly or a onetime gift.

We would like to meet with any of you that would like more details or information, so please feel free to call one of us to set a time to connect. Ian can be reached at 602-703-0245 and Carla at 602-451-8957.

Thank you so much for your consideration in journeying with us in partnership.

 In His Hand,

The Gennaris- Ian, Carla, Tobiah, Jaidan, Gideon


Please select your support gift below or if you are receiving this electronically you can click on the link to contribute.

Checks should be written to: Hope Church (include in memo line Gennari Mission Fund). 

Send mail to: Hope Church,  2530 W. Happy Valley Rd, Suite 1273 Phoenix, Arizona 85085

Online:  click support hope link, click donate here, Gennari Mission Fund


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