The first official transatlantic H.E.A.T. Exchange training took place in Wassa East, Ghana in July providing long-term theology and leadership training to 18 local church leaders, with the vision of helping them better serve the spiritual needs of their communities.
The purpose of the H.E.A.T. Exchange, which stands for Health, Education, Aptitudes and Theology, is to engage the local church in the mission of Water4 by pairing US churches with churches in the districts where Water4 has a presence, working together through a cohort over a 3-5 year period to develop local leaders.
Theology was chosen as the first H.E.A.T. Exchange focal point with Wassa East being the pilot location. Water4 has a strong presence in Wassa East, which makes it an ideal place to launch the program. Water4 partner Access Development – Ghana is working hard to provide access to safe water throughout the entire district and provided support to Exchange participants.
Leading up to last month’s launch, two interview sessions took place in Ghana where 48 church leaders from the community came together for the selection process. A total of 18 were chosen for the program, which is meant to be an exchange of teaching and training for participants on both sides of the ocean. On the US side, 39 people from 7 different churches met monthly to develop a curriculum and be trained in cross-cultural facilitation for leading the program in Ghana. Last month, five people from the US made the trip, and many more are committed to participating over the next three years.
The H.E.A.T. Exchange will meet in Ghana again this November and three times in 2020. It will continue from there as Water4 and H.E.A.T. Exchange participants develop relationships, grow in their knowledge of the gospel and share what they have learned by intentionally discipling others. Because the Exchange curriculum is rooted in Biblical storytelling, Water4 is hopeful the process will be easily replicated in all countries where our partners have a presence, moving through all four areas of focus over time.
The future of the H.E.A.T. Exchange is exciting and we hope you will join us in prayer for the participants on both sides of the ocean – prayers for relationships to be built, disciples to be made, and lives to be transformed.