Leadership Foundations (LF) works with leaders and organizations around the world focused on making cities better. We believe that unless we look at the City as a whole – its systems, structures, multi-sector realities, assets and flaws – we will miss achieving collective impact that is possible and instead end up working within our silos with limited results. The Urban Training Collaborative (UTC) was born out of this idea and with the recognition that we have a global network of experienced urban ministry practitioners with a willingness to share what they know. As a result, LF has partnered with Street Psalms and a number of our local leadership foundations to launch training hubs located in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean and the United States.
The UTC offers unique training opportunities that equip the “head, heart and hands” of these gifted leaders. This fall, leaders from all over the globe gathered in the name of social and spiritual renewal for our second and third UTC trainings, in Guatemala City, Guatemala and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The training in Guatemala was hosted in September by CMT Guatemala (CMT) and the gathering in Minneapolis was hosted earlier this month by Urban Ventures.
From September 15-19, 70 attendees (from major cities in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and the United States) came together to explore the processes, programs and infrastructure required to accomplish city-wide urban engagement. As well as diving into these topics, attendees explored Guatemala City and the specific work of CMT through guided tours, guest speakers and intensive conversation about peace making. Their time focused on reclaiming life in places victimized by war and poverty, specifically through visits to the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala and other sites around the city, but also by applying this theme to their respective cities.
Tita Evertz, a local of Guatemala City, shared her heart through her story of serving in La Limonada, the largest slum community in Central America where 60,000 plus live in a valley that once had a river running through the bottom. That river is now raw sewage and Tita has been serving this community with reckless abandon for the past 15 years of her life. She led a discussion of the practical elements and the great cost of tangibly sharing your heart and living out your theology. – Joel Van Dyke, Director de Redes de Transformación, Guatemala City.
From October 31-November 2, 75 urban ministry practitioners gathered in Minneapolis for ongoing training in areas specifically tailored to developing their own leadership and organizations. Workshops were built around two texts: Geography of Grace by Kris Rocke and Joel Van Dyke, and Cities: Playgrounds or Battlegrounds? by LF President, David Hillis.
LF, Street Psalms and our training hubs around the world are excited to build on the momentum of these events and to continue to develop capacity and curriculum to advance our mission through the global network. We are so grateful for this group of people coming together for our cities!