Merge Ministries Reworking Leadership Structure

Post a Comment » Written on December 3rd, 2003     
Filed under: News
MC ALLEN, TX (December 3, 2003)  – Covenant World Mission-sponsored Merge Ministries is developing a new leadership configuration that will ensure quality mission efforts in the future, according to the organization’s  executive director, Dale Lusk.

Merge – which has been in existence for 11 years under the  administrative umbrella of Covenant Mission Connection – will branch out  from its Latin American sphere to provide mission opportunities  throughout the world. In the past, Merge led trips primarily to Mexico,  Guatemala and Honduras, Lusk notes. Next year, however, Merge is taking mission groups to Jamaica and Costa Rica with hopes of organizing trips  to Spain and other sites in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Lusk says  numerous connections made with Nancy Reed, a representative for Covenant  World Mission and CIPE (Confraternidad de Iglesias del Pacto Evangelico)  are proving fruitful in expanding the mission trip opportunities.

Two new administrative additions and a third position that are in the  planning stage will help extend Merge’s reach in mission. Edith Cardenas  of Leon, Mexico, is serving as an assistant director for Merge. She  began her work in September. Cardenas’ cousin, Damaris Adame, is a  Christian Formation consultant for CIPE (which serves Latin American  Covenant churches) and is currently finishing studies at North Park  Theological Seminary in Chicago. Andrew Vanover from Thornapple Covenant  Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the other assistant director. Both  are based in Mexico, leading various mission trips throughout Central  America and the Caribbean.

Another potential administrator, Carlos Sosa, is currently raising  support for a new ministry with Merge – if successful, he would become  regional coordinator for Mexico and Central America. Lusk hopes that  Sosa can begin his duties next summer. He also hopes that a new  seven-member advisory board made up of Covenant pastors and other  experts from inside and outside the Covenant can further strengthen the  administrative structure.

“We’ll be able to increase our marketing and it would allow us to serve  teams better because there will be more communication with groups who  come down,” said Lusk of the expanded leadership paradigm. “Of course,  it would also allow us to have more teams in more areas. I think many  people think we only do trips to Mexico and we only do youth trips. But  we do intergenerational trips, we’ve done a veterinarian mission trip  (based out of Davis, California) and we have talked about having a group  from Minnehaha Academy take a trip. Students would live with host  families in Guatemala and work alongside families and learn more about  that culture.

“This is allowing us more flexibility instead of a cookie cutter  (mission) experience,” Lusk continued. “And it allows us to let God move  us in many directions without boundaries.”

In January, Lusk will attend the Covenant’s Youthworkers Connection in  Rosemont, Illinois, where he will have information available about  Merge. To contact Lusk, email him at

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