STORIES, INCUBATE

Finding My Next Steps at SENT 2019

NBA   |   December 17, 2019
Foster Frimpong and Pastor Yani Davis share a moment of prayer and reflection. Foster Frimpong and Pastor Yani Davis share a moment of prayer and reflection.

By Foster Frimpong

The NBA SENT Seminar equips Social ENTrepreneurs for leadership and change and is a primary component of our Incubate Initiative. The four-day seminar is designed for Disciples-affiliated leaders and leadership teams who are starting new health and social services ministries. SENT covers the basics of nonprofit ministry startups, as well as skills for leadership and innovation across inter-connected, cross-cultural, and faith-based communities. This year’s SENT Seminar took place in Scottsdale, Arizona, at The Casa Franciscan Renewal Center from September 11-14, 2019.

I am so thankful to God for the call upon my life, and the opportunity given to me this year to participate in the NBA SENT Seminar 2019. The goal of the NBA Incubate initiative is to support and empower new Disciples-related health and social services organizations, projects, and ministries-enterprises.

My project’s name is changing after what I've learned at the seminar, however the goal is still the same. My organization looks to provide support and free music and art lessons to the immigrants and refugee children in Lexington, Kentucky. This will help unearth the talents in them and help immigrants and refugee single parents during after school hours.

This was my first time in Arizona, and I enjoyed my flight, ride, and stay. We had a great welcoming dinner, and I enjoyed the time on the table. The seminar had great and passionate speakers who moved me into seeing the reality of what God was calling me to do and how to respond to the cry of God’s people. Their topics were inspiring and helpful for empowering and equipping me for a living project. This was a comprehensive seminar in a brief time and the impact on me was beyond my expectation.

We started with the “why” question of our gathering, and the Biblical basis of our projects. Rev. Darnell Fennell led this session. It was a brief introduction, but theologically powerful. Maria French helped me to understand the theological framework of engaging in social entrepreneurship as a Christian. This was so helpful to me because it changed my perspective of interpreting scriptures and reframing of the Biblical narratives to enable the Generation-Z to understand the Biblical stories.

Activism and Advocacy in Social Enterprise led by Rev. Dietra Wise Baker were very inspiring. It really made me focus on the core question “Why.” Through this session, I realized it was an extremely important question to answer, “why I want to engage in social entrepreneurship.”

Exactly as the vision is, NBA Sent Seminar 2019 was excellent in empowering and equipping me for social entrepreneurship in my community. They deeply listened to my story, gave me the necessary support, and challenged my perspective to the point where I was able to see the starting point. Before the seminar, I had so many ideas, but I could not touch on the most important aspect of what I wanted to do. However, after the sessions and a few one-on-one meetings with NBA staff, I was able to nail my project down to the core.

I am profoundly appreciative to NBA, the organizers and the facilitators for this marvelous seminar. They did a great job by creating the space for us to, not only, read the projects of our colleagues but also hear their stories. This motivated me and prepared me to articulate my ideas. I have acquired the confidence and the step-by-step process to move forward with my project.

Right after the seminar, I confidently contacted some organizations and resources in my community and having been trained to articulate my project convincingly in few minutes at the seminar, they have agreed to support my project with music teachers.  Right now, my next goal is to start working on my 501-c3 documentation.
Thank you so much!

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve "the least of these." Learn more at www.nbacares.org.

darnellfennell

Darnell Fennell

Director of Social Entrepreneurship
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