Africa (MNN) — In January, Mark Luckey became the International Director of Every Child Ministries.
We spoke with him to hear more about his mission background and how he plans to lead ECM.
Luckey has worked with ECM since 2011. Before that, he worked with Africa Inland Mission for 12 years in Africa. He and his family returned to the States while their oldest children went through college.
From 2011 to 2014, Luckey worked with the Afayo Project in Naigobya, Uganda. Afayo is an educational training project. Teachers are trained, the community learns effective practices of agriculture, and other community development initiatives are enacted.
In 2014, the Luckeys had to return to the United States due to their daughter’s health. It was at this time that John and Lorella Rouster, former International Directors of ECM, announced they would be retiring soon.
As Luckey adjusts to this transition, he can point out some of his favorite aspects of serving on the field in the past.
For starters, it allowed the family to have a wider understanding of the world: “In general, one of our favorite parts of being on the field is: we really love raising our kids on the field. Our kids grew up in various countries with different cultures, meeting different people, and we really enjoyed raising our kids in that kind of environment.”
Luckey also highlights the Afayo Project as one of his favorite memories from the field. In this remote village, through the church and school, he saw the Gospel work. This time cemented his understanding of what missions is all about.
He says, “We’ve got a great message to bring to people with the Gospel. And how we present that is really important. To come in and partner with people, to work with them side by side, hand in hand, to help meet their needs along the way, to me, is just the greatest way to present the Gospel. Once you do that and you have that relationship, then there’s a tremendous openness to hearing about the good news of Jesus and what God has for each one of us.”
Following the Rouster’s footsteps, Luckey says, “Our primary goal is to partner with nationals to do projects to help children.” Luckey recognizes that their responsibility is to bring what they have to the table that will support nationals in their ministry. Sometimes, he says, this does include missionaries.
Luckey has taken on many roles during his time in the field. Over the years, he’s worked with churches and schools and communities in village settings. Through these experiences, he’s understood the real needs of people and how ECM can meet those needs.
“Now that I sit, so to speak, in this chair, on this side of the ocean,” he says, “looking at it from a different perspective, to me it’s really exciting to look at all the different work going on and know I can have an impact on all those different roles that people are playing.”
At this time, Luckey is looking into ways to improve the function of ECM. He says the transition is going well, but he would appreciate prayer for God’s guidance as they move forward. “Continue to pray that the transition will really be strong enough to take ECM wherever God wants it to go.”
Luckey saw great things take place in Uganda through the Afayo Project. And you can too! If you would like to get involved in ECM on a short-term mission trip, here’s an exciting opportunity to do so this summer:
Are you a teacher (current or retired) who is looking for a way to serve this summer? Or do you know a teacher who you think might be interested? ECM is organizing a team of educators to visit Uganda this summer (June 11-25), and we would love to have you join us! We will be providing training and mentoring for teachers at St. Paul Primary School, part of the ECM Afayo Project. Time will be spent demonstrating teaching techniques, mentoring in the classroom, and building relationships with teachers and children.
(Visit www.afayo.org for more information about the school and the project.) We will spend time in Jinja as well as the village of Naigobya, where the school is located. Estimated cost is $2,580 (estimated cost from Chicago. May be more or less depending on point of departure).
If you are interested, let us get to know you better. Please contact Sandi Enyeart at [email protected] if you are interested in our no-obligation get-acquainted form which is the first step in the application process.