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PLI is devoted to empowering leaders for wider influence for the sake of the gospel in their communities and effective leadership in their ministries. Learn more about our vision and process here.


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We’re Celebrating 20 Years of PLI International!

To my detriment—and that of the good, godly people in our congregation—as a young pastor, I thought you were only supposed to celebrate “big deal” events. So in my early years, we didn’t celebrate a lot. Because big-deal events didn’t happen. Big-deal celebrations in most churches don’t happen most of the time! I did eventually learn that celebrating smaller, not-so-big-deal things can have big impact on a community and culture.

PLI has a celebration coming up, and it’s a Big Deal.

We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our international training!

Leaders in Paraguay completed Immersion 2 in late April.

It started 20 years ago with…

  • groups of pastors and spouses taking short term trips to South Korea, Ghana, Tanzania, and elsewhere.
  • partner churches wanting to know how they could participate in PLI’s biblical leadership training.
  • the PLI board cautiously expanding beyond the U.S. and asking Dr. Norb and Jackie Oesch, the Founders of PLI, to launch our international training when they “retired” from executive leadership.
  • just a relative few enthusiastic and deeply grateful leaders in just a few countries.

Dr. Scott Rische and Lori stepped into leadership for the second decade. PLI International continued with…

  • U.S. teams traveling great distances to teach for a week or occasionally two weeks.
  • one enthusiastic partner in the Philippines endorsing PLI to its partner countries. Over and over again in various places.
  • donor-partners eager to see pastors and spouses given leadership tools and invested with character and faith
  • regional team members in Latvia and Brazil and Tanzania.
  • Gail Ficken recommending to the PLI board that the highly collaborative silos of U.S. work and international work be combined into a global unit of collaboration.
  • wise entrepreneurial counsel that the next step forward would be to train indigenous trainers.
Leaders in Russia completed their training in early May. Three cohorts, including two leaders from Central Asia, are pictured here. Artis Eglitis, PLI’s Eurasia Development Leader, reported that it was an important and powerful time together as they are having to reconsider all the ways they go about mission and ministry.

And, then one day, with the compilation of all of these starts and continues, God chose to bless it with explosive growth!

  • 2020 – 677 trained in 8 countries
    • 2021 – 1,126 trained in 11 countries
    • 2022 – 2,245 trained in 16 countries
    • 2023 – expected to train 3,400 in 25 countries
    • 2024 – will add 20,000 new leaders to the total in Ethiopia Kale Heywet alone!

I use first person plural pronouns to describe our work together. But I add a simple disclaimer that I have mostly watched and prayed and celebrated and encouraged.

Leaders in Uruguay met for Immersion 1 in early May.

You are invited to join us on Tuesday, May 16!

Join us for a special webinar as we celebrate 20 years of PLI International, and learn why demand for PLI training has skyrocketed this year.

Please register for the webinar by May 14 to let us know that you’ll be celebrating with us. And forward this to a friend and invite them to join you.

You should sign up today for the webinar next week, if…

  1. You would like to digitally shake the hands of some of the most amazing church leaders literally around the world. 
  2. You would like to hear what God is doing in parts of Africa where the church is growing very fast OR in places of persecution where it still might be growing very fast.
  3. You would like to say thanks to humble PLI leaders and trainers like Scott and Lori and so many others.
  4. You would just like to be encouraged by testimonies of faith and courage that you’ll remember for years to come.
  5. You have been part of the story yourself. You’ve been one of our partner trainers. You’ve been one of our partner donors. And you would like to see a testimony to the fruit of your generosity of time and/or money.
  6. You want to bring friends and sign them up from your church to see and hear what you will see and hear.
  7. You would like to invest in a Kingdom-expanding enterprise and you want to explore if PLI might be it.

As you can tell, this is a Big Deal! Join us in saying thanks to God and join us in sharing the digital celebration!

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