Saturday, October 25, 2014



   If you've decided to skip my instructions and keep reading, I will fill you in on what we talked about. First of all, I introduced our non-profit, named Venture Corps (often referred to as Venture or just VC). Venture is an organization that seeks to empower people to love the poor, marginalized, and neglected through acts of service in Jesus' name. This can look like providing financial support for today’s needs in our partners’ ministries while planning with them so they become self-sufficient for tomorrow. This is a very basic but robust understanding of who Venture is and what exactly we do. However, because I know you're wanting to invest in this blog I will go deeper into it. 

      Venture has several partners in East Africa, one of them being Springs of Hope located in Machakos, Kenya. Springs of Hope is a ministry that began as a safe haven for children who were in terrible situations, abandoned, or just in need of a home to stay. Over the last 8 years, many infants, young children, and teenagers have been ministered to through this children’s home. The ministry head is a woman from the area named Mary Musyoka and in telling her story she says that she has always had a heart for children, specifically those that she could minister to and help understand their relationship with Jesus as Savior. Her passion for those in need is unparalleled. We are thankful to have gotten to know her over the years, not only as our partner but as our friend. 
    Venture's relationship with Mary began when a member of our team, Julie Mitchell, and her son traveled to Machakos for a visit. Julie's son had previously worked with Mary and Springs of Hope so this was the initial interaction with our team. Venture’s personal connection went into play when Julie returned to the U.S. and we heard her stories about Mary and her ministry.  Mary’s mission and her stories captured our attention and the way she ministered encouraged us to become a part of what she was doing. Mary's picture is below:

This is all important background information to understanding our long-standing relationship with Mary!

 A part of Mary’s ministry at this point was fundraising money to run the home and care for the children —this is sponsorship.  We as Venture Corps have a strong emphasis in purpose and vision toward the sustainability of our partnerships, therefore our relationship with Mary has changed over the years as the needs of the ministry has changed. For example, whereas we started with individual child sponsorship, this year we have shifted to overall home sponsorship because Mary and her team do such a good job at finding adoptive homes for the kids of Springs of Hope. And as Venture Corps has focused more emphasis on self-sustainable initiatives, Mary has felt more open and encouraged to explore and discuss with us what these initiatives look like for SOH. Our partnership has evolved from solely monthly sponsorship (to meet short-term needs) to discussion and fundraising (long-term initiatives) that will help SOH become more and more self-sustainable in the future. This has already been seen in Mary’s newest aspect of her ministry — Bridgehead School.

The whole idea behind Venture Corps is that we want to empower people to create change. Bridgehead school is doing just that (and of course we feel equally if not more empowered by Mary and Bridgehead school!). The school is a beacon of hope for an otherwise daunting way of living, specifically for the women in the area. It is a means of building a more stable life; building a life that has a better financial direction. Not only that but the stability it brings to self-worth is amazing. Mary has updated that the school has created a mental/emotional shift within some of the girls who were previously stuck in a depression-filled place. What a beautiful image of Christ that Mary has been given to build! The school is based off of Christian materials as well. This is a huge step! Christian education has always been an aspect Mary has desired to be a part of her ministry, and if it can be income-generating as well, then it’s a win-win!! Right now she is building the infrastructure for the kids in SOH to go to Bridgehead, but they are aiming to invite the public to come. Their school fees, standard in East Africa, will cover not only the cost of the community’s kids AND SOH kids to attend, but a portion of each fee will also go to the Development Fund to further expand on the new land they have. Right now they are renting, but they want to build a new home, school, medical clinic, etc, on this land so that they can own and grow and all that good stuff. This is self-sustainability at its core!

Mary is an incredible person with an outstanding vision for ministry. Don’t miss this – she has seen well over 100 children pass through Springs of Hope and move into foster or adoptive homes or return to their families. From the beginning when her ministry involved taking care of infants, who in some occasions had just been dropped off at her ministry, to her creating an educational environment that fosters intelligence alongside a pursuit of God, Mary is building the Kingdom of God while serving in it. We are so thankful for our partnership in Springs of Hope and the relationship that has been crafted over the years! We are beyond excited to see how her ministry grows and the years of partnership ahead.

               We’re grateful to be serving Mary in any way possible. If you feel as if you would like to be a part of this ministry please visit our website – and contact us through email! This is something you will never regret!

Here’s to Springs of Hope!
Ethan Dean
Social Media Director

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Who is Venture Corps?

Welcome to the Venture Corps blog and thanks for taking a valuable few moments out of your day to read about us! 

My name is Ethan Dean, I am the Social Media Director of Venture Corps, a non-profit grown from a passion to empower people to love the poor, marginalized, and neglected through acts of service in Jesus' name.

Ok, I took that from our website main page, after all it is our slogan ( But this is exactly what Venture Corps stands for.

It all started from a group of young people who had traveled to Uganda with the intention to build relationships with people from another culture. Through the experience in Uganda, they realized they could not return to the United States and exchange what they had just lived for a privileged life. Living in and around Wheaton, IL. they realized that not only was there the opportunity to seek resources for people and ministries in Uganda, but the general church-filled city was a prime environment to stir up a movement of empowerment.

This group of late teen to twenty-somethings envisioned Venture Corps. With a heart to bring justice to communities Venture Corps is committed to listening first, and acting second. We are here to listen to the needs of the community and ask what we can do to provide the means that allow the community to be self-sustainable.

Since we gained 501(c)(3) status in 2012, Venture Corps has focused on a few specific ministries. Springs of Hope in Machakos, Kenya and Serve For Hope Uganda located in Kampala, Uganda. You will most definitely read about these ministries in upcoming posts. For now, know that both ministries are grassroots, community driven, and are changing lives. We look forward to the impact these relationships will have on our world!

Seeking shalom together.

Ethan Dean
Social Media Director

Friday, August 24, 2012

God's Heart for the Humbled (Part 4 - Canceling Debts)

(Here at Venture, we believe that God's heart is with the humbled.  He cares deeply for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.  There are two main reasons God's heart is with the humbled: (1) He is compassionate beyond understanding and (2) He wants to make it clear to the world that when He does something it is Him doing it, not people.  So, we are taking some time to tour the Bible and see God's heart for the humbled.  See all our  posts in this series here.)

The next stop in our tour of God's Heart for the Humbled is in Kadesh Barnea on the east side of the Jordan about 40 years after the Exodus.  God's nation, Israel, is about to enter the promise land and Moses is about to die.  But before they enter, Moses retells them God's law, reminding them of what God requires of them when they receive the land He gives to them.

In the 15th chapter of Deuteronomy we read this: 

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.  This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite.  The shall not require payment from anyone of their own people, because the time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. (Deut 15:1-2)

We see here that God instituted a system that would cut the length of time that debts could be held in Israel to seven years.  Debt was a dangerous thing that could easily ruin a life and often led to slavery.  It would have be easy for one person to have a bad harvest, go into debt, then have it hanging over them for the rest of their lives.  So, in order to free people from the oppressiveness of debt, God instituted a seven year statue of limitations.  But, there is more:

If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.  Rather be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.  Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing.  They may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. (Deut 15:7-9)

With a law that required the canceling of debts every seven years it would be easy for people to be generous in the first year and stingy in the seventh.  But God warns about this sort of greed.  Instead, He commands His people to give to the poor whatever and whenever they need.  And if they do not give then He will take up the case of the poor.  What a scary thought to be place in the hands of the living God for refusing to help the people with whom His heart is!

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you out your hand to.  There will always be poor people in the land.  Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.  (Deut 15:10-11)

This section ends with a command to be generous.  God understands how money can easily corrupt and the greed that many have.  So He warns them and shows His people that He cares more about people, especially the poor, than any material thing.  Are we the same?   Do we care more about the broken or our bank balance?  Would we rather help the poor or increase our prosperity?  When we see the need of the poor what wins, our greed or our generosity?

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain

Monday, August 6, 2012

How can we follow if we can't hear?

"The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice." (John 10:3-5)

This is an amazing passage.  Here Jesus is discussing how His sheep know His voice and can follow Him.  I want to be able to hear the voice of the shepherd.

Jesus’ listeners would have understood this immediately because shepherds were a part of their everyday lives.  They knew that the way shepherds would lead their sheep was by walking in front of them and calling them along.  Sheep could recognize their shepherds voices extremely well. In fact, when a few shepherds would come together to talk or hang out their sheep would intermingle.  To separate their sheep the shepherds would stand in different places and call to their sheep and the sheep would divide and each one would go to their receptive shepherds.  How amazing!

Sheep could follow their shepherd because they knew his voice.  And if we want to follow our shepherd then we must listen to His voice.  This causes us to ask a simple question:

How can we follow if we can’t hear?

If we are not listening to Jesus and becoming more intimate with Jesus then we will never be able to follow Jesus.  This idea is very similar to this post because our affections for God should drive our ambitions in the same way that our hearing leads to our following.

May our ambitions never be greater than our affections, and may our following always come from our hearing.

How can we follow if we can’t hear?

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ambition vs. Affection

"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." Philippians 3:4-8

In high school I went on a  youth retreat where David Platt preached on this passage.  He discussed how Paul is describing the five treasures of a wasted life.  Five things that, if we treasure above all else, will lead to a wasted life.   

   1.  Family Heritage - circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel
    2.  Social status - of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews
     3.  Biblical Knowledge -  in regard to the law, a Pharisee
     4.  Religious Fervor - as for zeal, persecuting the church
     5.  Moral Lifestyle - as for legalistic righteousness, faultless

Platt’s point was that if we treasure any of these more than knowing Christ (v.7) then our lives will be wasted.  The one that really hit me was "Biblical Knowledge".  That is something that I too often pride myself on and find identity in.  I then realized that Biblical knowledge is only as good as it brings me closer to Christ.

At Venture Corps, we need to hear about "Religious Fervor".  That if all we do is work for God then our lives will be wasted.  All of the stuff we do is only good in so far as it leads us and others deeper into Jesus.

A friend of mine is fond of saying that we should never let our ambition for God become greater than our affection for God.

We are in a generation that desires so much to change the world.  But, what the world needs most isn’t another NGO or non-profit.  It needs people who are deeply in love and intimate with Jesus and willing to share it.

So, let’s make sure that we are always falling more in love with Jesus.  May our ambition for God never become greater than our affection for God.

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain

Thursday, March 29, 2012

God's Heart for the Humbled (Part 3 - The Law in Exodus)

(Here at Venture, we believe that God's heart is with the humbled.  He cares deeply for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.  There are two main reasons God's heart is with the humbled: (1) He is compassionate beyond understanding and (2) He wants to make it clear to the world that when He does something it is Him doing it, not people.  So, we are taking some time to tour the Bible and see God's heart for the humbled. See all our  posts in this series here.)

As we continue our tour of God's heart for the humbled we come to Mount Sinai.  God's people, Israel, have just be rescued out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt.  And God brought them to this mountain, called the mountain of God, to give them the law.  Now, the law was not a list of rules they had to follow to be saved.  Because God had already saved them from Egypt, now they were His, nothing could have changed that.  The law was God outlining the proper response to His rescue.  Since God had acted on their behalf, this is how they were to act.  When God gave them the ten commandments (Ex 20) He bagan with, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."  He gave them these commands because He had already brought them out of Egypt.

And we don't have to read very far into the law before we see God's heart for the humbled.  This comes just two chapters after the ten commandments:

"Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.  If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.  My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless."  (Ex 22:22-24)

What we see here is God taking care of those who couldn't take care of themselves.  In ancient Israel the firstborn adult male was always the head of the household and had all of the power.  The land, cattle, flocks, and all the families possessions were his.  Without him, the family could not make or living or even live because everything was dependent on these adult males.  Widows pretty much had to remarry to live (and the law provided that they would be married to their husband's brother) and orphans had even fewer options.

So, God commands His people to not take advantage of those who can't protect themselves.  And, in a just irony, He declares that those who take advantage of the helpless will be made helpless.  He is serious about them being taken care of.  But, the He keeps going.

"If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.  If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, return in by sunset, because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has.  What else can they sleep in? When they cry our to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate."  (Ex 22:25-27) 

Here God commands that if you take collateral from a needy person, give it back to them when they need it.  Their needs are more important than your extra stuff.  And because He is compassionate, He will take care of them.

What about us?  Are we compassionate toward the poor?  Do we believe that their needs are more important than our extra stuff?  Will be defend the widows and fatherless?  God will, and so should we.  This is what He has saved us for.

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God's Heart for the Humbled (Part 2 – Israel in Egypt)

(Here at Venture, we believe that God's heart is with the humbled.  He cares deeply for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.  There are two main reasons God's heart is with the humbled: (1) He is compassionate beyond understanding and (2) He wants to make it clear to the world that when He does something it is Him doing it, not people.  So, we are taking some time to tour the Bible and see God's heart for the humbled.  See all our  posts in this series here.)

The next major time in Scripture that we see God’s heart for the humbled is in Exodus 3.  God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, were in slavery in Egypt.  For almost 400 years they were living under the whip and forced into hard labor.  But, as we know, God called Moses to go and rescue His people.  God commissioned Moses by telling him this:

 “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of they Egyptians.” (Ex 3:7-8)

I want to note a few things about what God says here.  First, He saw and heard His people.  The people of Israel had been in slavery for so long that they had begun to doubt that God cared for them or even knew about them.  But God assured Moses that He had indeed seen them.  No matter what, God knows His people, and He sees all suffering.  Sometimes it seems like God is indifferent to the problems of the world, but our omniscient God knows. 

Second, not only did God know about their suffering, but He also was concerned about them.  He did not simply see problems and turn aside, or leave them to deal with it on their own.  Because He loved them and had compassion on them He wanted to do something for them.  This is a clear example of God’s heart for the humbled.  Israel was humbled by their slavery, and God was concerned.  Let us never forget that God loves those who are broken and hurting with all His infinite self.

Third, God came down to rescue them.  We tend to love this until we see what He said to Moses next.  “I have come down to rescue them […] So now go. I am sending you.” (Ex 3:8,10)  This seems weird, if God came down to save them, why was He sending Moses?  Because, He wanted to use Moses and involve Moses in what He was doing.  He delights in bringing us into His plan and in using us for His glory.  He is a God who loves community with His people, and does not want to work in this world apart from His people (He is totally capable of working without us, but He wants to work with us).

God’s heart is for the humbled, people who have been enslaved.  And He sees their sufferings; He is concerned about their pain; and He wants to rescue them.  But He wants to do it through us.  He has come to send us to save them.  Are we going to go?

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain