A few weeks ago, we shared about our new home in Virginia and quick statistics about our family. Technically this time of year with Christmas approaching should be calm, leisurely, sweet, melodious, with gatherings around the table over a meal, sitting together in front of a fire, opening cards from friends and family, taking long afternoon naps, yada, yada, yada.
WRONG! Not here with Global Mosaic International. We are all about business. There is no down time. We have things to do, projects to develop, plans to be made, trips to be traveled, people to be taught.
I apologize for the above unconventional opening for a ministry update. However, I did want to paint a picture of how crazy and far-flung the ministry of Global Mosaic International continues to be each year. Humor is, as you know, a valuable coping mechanism. This is how I deal with being partnered with Evelyn Biles the founder of Global Mosaic and my wife of now 47 years. Humor kept me sane during forty years of working as a registered nurse in critical care. (Ah, to be back there again.)
But I digress. Now for the serious talk.
It is always difficult to really explain in a way to be understood what exactly Global Mosaic International does. Our vision and mission is found on the website. But still not quite a full picture. I think I will use several anacronyms to give a summary of the different directions and projects currently being pursued, developed, or sustained.
GMI – Global Mosaic International.
Founded in 2001, GMI is the umbrella for all the work and ministry. I can’t give exact numbers but since 2002 there have been over 50 projects in over 30 different countries, involving more than 500 volunteers. Evelyn Biles is Founder and President. We have the assistance of a treasurer and a board of directors. No employees. Funding is either by donations or self-supporting volunteers who join a team project. I, Steve Biles, now retired from nursing, am the administrative assistant, communications person, bookkeeper, cook, launderer (not of money), and a term I have been teaching our friends here in Asia, “GoFer.” GMI has been based in Kuala Lumpur for a variety of reasons. It is centrally located to where most of the ministry reaches in south and southeast Asia and now once again in Africa. Kuala Lumpur is a world city, comfortable weather for Evelyn, great travel connections, and for us now a great community of friends and support. We do travel to our home in Virginia for medical needs and for family. I will be open. We will probably remain primarily in Kuala Lumpur until the time comes when we need continuing medical interventions for some reason. Our US-based Medicare is our health insurance.
AOIC – Alpha Omega International College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In 2007, Evelyn was instrumental in setting up a bachelor and master’s level school of pastoral counseling studies and served as the dean for over five years. Her goal always was to turn this work over to a Malaysian and this occurred in 2013. Many of the volunteers for GMI projects are graduates from this school. She continues to teach courses at AOIC.
SLC – School of Lay Counseling, Cheras, Malaysia
This is a very new undertaking for GMI. Evelyn was asked to develop a curriculum of courses toward a diploma. She is working with the founders of SLC to provide content. The teachers are creating digital formats for each course as well. These will help to sustain SLC in the future and serve a second purpose of making them available to remote areas in which GMI already has or plans a presence.
LWI – Life Walk Institute, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Global Mosaic is partnering with a dynamic and passionate young man here in Malaysia who shares GMI’s dream and vision to create access to learning in remote locations around the world. He is assisting us in this endeavor to provide content and learning structure. LWI is part of a dual outreach as the platform it occupies is www.psycholedu.com, a subscription-based learning site.
KCMCS – Kigumba, Uganda
We have shared the story of this project with most of you already. Kigumba Christian Mosaic Counseling School is where Evelyn is headed on December 27 with four volunteers from here to facilitate and lead a credit course for the students pursuing diploma and bachelor credentials. We will share about this project specifically in our next update. In that update I will also include the history of KCMCS.
RU – Regent University
This is really the oldest arm of GMI. Evelyn obtained two degrees at this Virginia Beach, VA university. She went on to be an adjunct professor with RU and now has been teaching with them for eighteen years. Just as with AOIC, several of the early volunteers joining GMI trips were Evelyn’s students at RU.
SCB – Stephen Christian Biles
Back to humor. This is an ongoing project for Evelyn. SCB is a slow learner and stubborn at times. It has been a growing experience to work together. A blessing.
Thank you for working through such a long update. Please check our GMI Instagram and Facebook for pics and stories from the upcoming time in Uganda.