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Gennaro Family Aimsite Blog
April 24, 2017 3:06 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Reflections on my position as a Mobilizer one year in…

 (Photo Credit:  Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp)

In the greater missions community, we refer to the most remote, unreached places of the world as “the tip of the spear” and, though it is an intensely difficult, risky, and often long-suffering service to the Lord, it is the “place to be” if you have a burning desire to participate with God in taking the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.” One of the biggest adjustments to leaving the remote village of Molumong, Lesotho to serve in a support role at RVA after Chris went Home and THEN to return to the States and accept an assignment “on the home front” with the home office has been leaving a PERCEIVED “key role” in a village setting AMONG AFRICAN PEOPLE to be a part of the SAME TEAM far away from Africa. After a full year in this position, though, I can FINALLY see clearly how God is using me here as a key part of the GREATER mission. As partners with me, please read this knowing that YOU are also an important part of God’s kingdom plan! Here is how one of the RVA parents (serving in Northern Kenya) put it a couple of years ago for a Teacher Appreciation week:

My wife and I picture missions as an indivisible spear forged from one alloy.

This spear is not made up of two steel ends and a shaft like a typical Maasai spear.

This spear is one unbreakable, indivisible metal.  This spear is aimed by the Holy Spirt

on a trajectory of Apostolic Function – that is planting the church among unreached peoples.

            Within the missions family we have different roles that contribute to this trajectory, we are different parts of the spear.  If the Church Planting Team is the spear head, those who work at RVA are the united shaft. You work in Apostolic Partnership with those who pioneer the church among the unreached. If you did not lovingly care for our children we could not be where we are doing what we do.” 

I AM SEEING PEOPLE GO! One of the key roles of this position is to FIND (or respond to inquiries of) people whom God is raising up to serve in Africa, walk them through the application process all the way through appointment and “deploying,” and THEN to receive them and follow-up with them when they return either for Home Assignment or at the completion of their term of service. Since I’ve only been doing this a year, I’m JUST NOW seeing my first “wave” of people GO and it is SO exciting! We have a little phrase we like to focus on as a team, “WATCH GOD WORK.” What a thrill it is to get to see Him in action EVERY day! A lot of the time I won’t be able to publish where these workers are going, but I can tell you they have VERY diverse gifts, degrees, and talents to bring to their teams all over Africa (an entrepreneur, a nurse, a manager at Chik-Fil-A, a psychologist, a fitness coach).

I AM SEEING THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST UNITED FOR THE NATIONS! An important NEW focus we have as a Mobilizing Team is the “INITIATIVES” we develop and nurture with the goal to create genuine relationship and partnership, nurturing teamwork among the whole Body of Christ. It is so refreshing to work for an organization that is FULLY committed and invested in church planting among Unreached People Groups in Africa, submitted to the SOVEREIGNTY of God, and determined to work WITH others to achieve the same purpose. It’s messy and not easy at times, but WORTH IT. I am SURE we have more power TOGETHER and that God is glorified by it. It has been such a privilege to see the Holy Spirit pull together key players from mega churches, mission training organizations, discipleship schools, universities, ministries, and even business to accomplish the task. I have been saying lately that it feels like I’m chasing God at a break-neck pace most of the time. He continues to guide and direct me into places I don’t see on my own and make surprising connections.

ALLOWING GOD USE ME IN MY BROKENNESS CONTINUES TO BEAR FRUIT… This last week I had a super encouraging e-mail that affirmed a purpose given to me WAY back when Chris was in the hospital. I was praying specifically that, “God would prepare us for whatever testimony HE had for us.” When Chris died and I was left to serve solo, I knew I was the one who would be responsible for testifying. Later, God gave me a SPECIFIC word for that purpose: “I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I SPEAK of your faithfulness and your SAVING HELP. I do not conceal your LOVE and your FAITHFULNESS from the great assembly.” PSALM 40:9-10

            Here’s how the sequence of events went that led up to this recent affirmation… Because I am on the speaking “line-up” at Mexico Caravan Ministries, I have opportunity to live out that purpose frequently, even WEEKLY in the summers. One particular group from the high desert who heard me speak asked me to speak for a special missions emphasis night to over 400 youth. When opportunities like this are OUTSIDE of my job with AIM, I consider it my personal “ministry” and purpose and very willingly do it (as long as it possible with family and work responsibilities). There was a young woman I met that night who has completed the application process, been accepted to our GO program (a two-month discipleship program for young adults, facilitated by experienced missionaries and national leaders, that seeks to develop Christ-like character and instill basic skills for outreach among unreached people groups), and is about to have her first official training in Missions IN AFRICA. What an affirmation of the fact that God is USING ME HERE and that He is using BOTH my role as a Mobilizer with Africa Inland Mission AND my speaking ministry TOGETHER for His purposes!

So, to keep with the spear analogy, I guess I’m a TRAJECTORY for the WHOLE spear, being used by God to encourage, CHALLENGE, equip, and mobilize workers for the harvest. What a joy and privilege to still get to be a part of what HE is doing in Africa. I LOVE my job, I LOVE my team, I am HONORED to work for AIM, and I will continue to live out my CALL TO OBEDIENCE, going when He says GO and STAYING when He says stay. THANK YOU for partnering with me through EVERY ONE OF THESE different roles! I have been told and reminded how EXCEPTIONAL your support of me is! Please KNOW that it is still very much NEEDED and APPRECIATED. Again, I’d love to meet with you in person, answer any questions you have, and tell you some of the victory stories! Not to mention, my life could be a drama series… We’ll save the personal stuff for another time.

Please CONTINUE TO PRAY for each of my kids as they navigate transitions, adjustments, development, and one parent who is continually stretched to the max. A mom in menopause and four teenagers is more than anyone should have to handle WITHOUT all of the other stuff!

I’ve closed with this before, but it STILL perfectly applies, 3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…” Philippians 1: 3-5a

For HIS renown and glory,


February 24, 2017 12:10 pm
Published in: Israel 2017



 Today I did something I NEVER thought I would do.  I STOOD in the cave where Jesus was born.  The sites we saw leading UP to that made the impact of being in that place all the more powerful… this’ll take some words… stick with me for how it all came together for me and others in our group as we processed this later.

As we arrived at Masada, the awe-inspiring cliff-top fortress of Herod on a giant (look back over previous posts), intimidating Judean mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, our tour guide, Andre, mentioned the date that Jewish Zealots fled to the abandoned fortress… 70 AD.  Hmmm… That year rings a bell….

“Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifs dedicated to God.  But Jesus said, ‘As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.’” Luke 21:5-6

Herod built that fortress and never used it.  The people who DID use it were the Jewish people who fled Jerusalem after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD!!  I SAW the evidence of almost a thousand people who lived there AND the Roman “camps” at the base of the mountain where the soldiers lived while they methodically planned their attack on those people for TWO YEARS before they broke down the wall only to find that they had killed themselves rather than be taken as slaves of the Romans.  What did this have to do with the cave where Jesus was born?!  I had the actually SEEN the historical evidence of events that Jesus SAID would happen BEFORE THEY HAPPENED!

One of the next stops was Herodium…

This was one of EIGHT fortresses Herod built in the region.  He actually spent time in THIS one, though.  He also chose this one as the site of his future tomb for a couple of key reasons… 1) He knew the people of Jerusalem hated him and he knew they would destroy his tomb if it wasn’t well fortified and some distance from Jerrusalem.  2) He was prideful, power hungry, and evil enough to exert his power over them even in DEATH.  So, he build the mountain UP himself BEYOND the height it was naturally so that his magnificent tomb could be SEEN from Jerusalem!  The decadence and splendor of it can STILL be seen in the colorful frescos on the walls of the theater thousands of years later!  THIS is a man who did NOT want to be overthrown, whose power was intimidating, and who destroyed whomever threatened him.  As a matter of fact, he wanted to kill Jesus after he was born!

“When they had gone (the magi), an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.  ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.  Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  Matthew 2:13 (Keep reading to read of more of his evil ideas…)

If you look out toward Jerusalem from his tomb, you can see both Bethlehem AND Jerusalem.  And, you KNOW who was born in Bethlehem… Read the account AGAIN in Luke chapter 2:21.

It’s surreal that over the last week I’ve been in ALL of these places… Nazareth, Galilee, Judea, Bethlehem…  I first learned of the way homes were built at the time of Jesus’ birth in Nazareth when I visited the place of Mary’s home, the cave where it is believed she received the word that she would give birth to the son of God.  Homes were typically built on TOP OF caves that were used for the animals and/or for storage for food.  The same was true all over this rocky region and it was true in Bethlehem when Joseph pulled up with his pregnant wife on the donkey.  The city was crowded with people and, according to Luke 2:7, there wasn’t a guest room available to them.  So, Joseph and Mary went DOWN into the cave where it was sheltered and private, the same place where the animals ate, and Mary gave birth to our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the SON OF GOD.  Emmanuel, God with us, was born so humbly and simply, the King of Kings making a quiet entrance into the world.

As we stood in this cave, our tour guide, beautifully described the scene… Lowly shepherds who were normally not even allowed to worship in the temple led by GOD Himself to be the first to see Jesus.  He wasn’t the king people expected, you see the kings they were used to were like Herod – powerful, conquering, extravagant.  THIS king was lying in a place where the animals ate and was born to common people.  I was so struck by the ACCESS we all have to the Savior in this place.  “For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Fast forward a couple of thousand years to today.  WHO HAS THE VICTORY?!  Who is the one who has huge churches built over the cave where He was born and DROVES of people making pilgrimage to see it?!  Herod the Great?!  NO!  When we went to his tomb, we were the ONLY ONES THERE!!  There was nobody there worshipping HIM, no effort continuing two thousand years later to honor him!  The ornate churches and shrines built around the cave where Jesus was born didn’t even bother me, it CONFIRMED the REALITY of His presence and His VICTORY over this world!  He IS who He said He was!  It happened JUST as it was foretold, and Herod couldn’t prevent God’s plan from moving forward!

“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, and on earth PEACE to those on whom His favor rests.”  Luke 2:14





February 18, 2017 3:43 pm
Published in: Israel 2017

Written from Caesarea Maritima, Israel


You don’t know me, brothers and sisters.  As a matter of fact, you probably would have never dreamed of a day when someone living centuries after you would stand here and think of you, but I want you to know that today I did.  My feet stood where you may have stood and my skin felt the freshness of the salt air as the breeze lapped the same stones where people sat to cheer and mock you as you were persecuted, brutalized, and killed for your faith.  The beauty of the coastline couldn’t erase the image of your suffering in my mind.  So, I want you to know that you made a difference.  Your willingness to stand FIRM for what you believed in, even in the face of terrifying death has challenged and moved me.  I pray I’ll never forget.

I stood in the place where his palace rose from the rocky coastline, bathed in splendor and lavish riches.  Herod the Great, not good because of his legacy of kind acts, but for the enormity of the impact he made.  Surely you looked out over that scene and prayed for the future of those who would come after you.  It must have seemed like his rule would end a whole movement of Truth and stop it from growing.  Yet, your faithfulness gave us an example to follow, a challenge to live by, and the Gospel DID spread, even reaching my heart centuries later and continents away…

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”[f]

38 And,

“But my righteous[g] one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”[h]

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”  Hebrews 10:32-39

Oh, how I pray I won’t be one of those who “shrinks back” when my faith is challenged or questioned.  I wonder what I would do with a gun to my head, the  terrifying threat shot at me like a piercing blow to the core of my being, “Renounce Christ or die…”

My prayer is that I’d do what you did.  I’d persevere and remember that I have something better and eternal to hope in.

You were the take-away from the day today, a reminder to live my faith and stand firm without wavering, to continue to follow Jesus beyond my personal weaknesses and limitations — even if I don’t get my way.  In just a little while, He’s coming back and I’ll thank you face to face.  When you took your last glimpse of the ocean and breathed your last breath in this place, you left an indelible mark on this world. It wasn’t just magnificent beauty there, but a legacy of faith despite darkness.

February 3, 2017 6:31 pm
Published in: Mobilizing

Last year ended with new clarity and THIS year quite literally started out with a miracle! There are so many AMAZING details, so I’ve decided to revert back to my college journalism background and write this update in the format of a news article… I’ll start with the most recent, MAIN things and you can stop reading ANY time you choose… I love to tell the WHOLE story, so keep reading if you want it ALL!

I started the year with a burden and focused prayers for “PATIENT ENDURANCE” (see 2 Corinthians 6:3-10). My spiritual “goal” toward growth is to cease seeing this season as a “waiting period” and just EMBRACE all that God has for me NOW and on a DAILY basis despite my own perceived delay in God answering the prayers closest to my heart. I want to be focused on serving Him and be content with what He is doing in my life, persevering until the fullness of HIS time in providing a new season of companionship and joy. Because He is a GOOD Father, He decided to PROVE to me that I’m on the right track by literally dropping a dream in my lap unexpectedly… I’M GOING TO ISRAEL NEXT MONTH!

Immediately following church on January 1st, a friend approached me and asked me to accompany his mother on an apologetics and biblical trip to Israel. He had booked his mother’s lifelong dream trip, but overwhelming health issues and chronic back problems had worsened and it was becoming increasingly clear that he was NOT going to be able to travel with her. The way HE tells it, when I walked into church that Sunday (fashionably late AGAIN), the Holy Spirit CLEARLY told him that I was the one who was to go with his mom. I have since met Rachel a couple of times and we are indeed kindred spirits. They have BOTH said that it is clear to them that I am the one who is to travel with her. With all of my words, this honor renders me speechless.

You see, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Israel, even from the very BEGINNING of my spiritual journey with Jesus. Only a couple of people in my life have known just HOW badly I’ve wanted to go; one of them is in Heaven already. Besides, I hadn’t even ASKED or PRAYED for such an opportunity! Honestly, I’ve only been jealous and envious of those of you who HAVE had the chance to go! I HAD mentioned in a tongue-in-cheek way that the upcoming FOUR-YEAR anniversary of Chris’ death is a big mile stone, after all, I could have earned another degree in this time! I had pondered something big, but never DREAMED of THIS! So, imagine my surprise when it was my DREAM trip AND at no expense to me. This trip has God’s fingerprints all over it, but one of the coolest ways He has shown me that He SEES me and KNOWS my heart is that I didn’t PLAN this trip, yet the departure date is THE VERY DAY of the anniversary of Chris’ death. It has given me something very positive to focus on with Archeology lectures, Bible studies, tons of reading, preparation, and packing leading up to the trip.

Please pray for every aspect of this journey:

  • It will be intensely spiritual for me and, I’m sure, my dear traveling companion, Rachel. She is also a widow, her husband and love since the time she was 14 passed away 10 years ago. He himself had wanted to fulfill this dream for her. I have heard that Rachel is the oldest one on the tour of 54 people (she turns 80 in April) and I am the youngest. We’re both sure we’ll be perfect traveling companions, all the way down to our sparkly nails!
  • Pray for my friend, Dave, who is sending us on this trip of a lifetime. We’re pretty sure that God has used his pain to guide and direct him, but his HEALING would be a tremendous relief and reward for his generosity and obedience.
  • Pray for my KIDS who will be cared for by family and close friends here at home while I’m away. Feel free to spoil them if you run into ANY of them while I’m away!
  • Lastly, please pray for me as I go STRAIGHT to speak at http://www.wintersummit.org/ LITERALLY on the way home from Israel. I will fly directly into New York, sleep one night, and then be the main speaker for this event. The theme, even BEFORE the Israel trip came about, is “BEYOND.” God has TRULY set me up to testify that He is truly BEYOND all that we can ask or imagine!

MINISTRY DETAILS! Since transitioning back to U.S. soil in July 2015, I’ve been able to reconnect with a number of you…The “you” represents family, friends, and partners in ministry who represent BOTH of those “camps” and NEW friends whom I’ve met as I travel around from place to place. One partner lovingly asked me to clarify my role with Africa Inland Mission and he had a very VALID reason for doing so. He wanted to make sure that his resources are still being spent to reach the unreached peoples of Africa with the Gospel… specifically, does what I’m doing NOW still contribute to that END goal. My answer was longer in person, but I’ll review it briefly here. My current role with Africa Inland Mission IS a critical part of the greater AIM “team” whose mission is “Christ Centered Churches Among All African Peoples.”

While I am based here in San Diego, as the Southwest Mobilizer, my territory covers seven states right now: AZ, CA, CO, HI, NM, NV, and UT. What that means is that I am in charge of following up with any APPLICANTS who are pursuing serving in Africa through AIM. I have the privilege of walking them through the process all the way until they get on the plane for their final departure. I am also expected to follow-up with missionaries returning FROM the field after completion of their assignments or for Home Assignment. In addition to all of that, I am charged with developing and maintaining partnerships between AIM and churches, mission and ministry training programs in my region, and other organizations where people are being raised up to GO. God has been gracious to reveal to me that this is the BEST way for me to use my gifts AND “crash course experience” in Missions to further His Kingdom in Africa. I’m ONE 50-year-old woman with the whole burden of finishing the task of raising the rest of my children AND serving Him, so my time and energy is used much more efficiently in MOBILIZING and DEVELOPING MANY young people in GOING than just me serving in a support role in Africa. There are MANY days my heart is painfully THERE, but I’ve learned that’s what makes me so passionate about getting people to the mission field! If you live in one of these states, let’s get together and talk Missions!


You can still FOLLOW me at www.cmgennaro.aimsites.org, PRAY at https://aimint.org/us/pray/

GIVE at https://aimint.org/us/give/ or EVEN GO! https://aimint.org/us/pray/

Instagram:  meeshgennaro  Facebook:  Michelle Michaud Gennaro

December 22, 2016 2:33 pm
Published in: Mobilizing




These chapters are the perfect ones if your circumstances have ever led you to ask, “Pardon me, Lord, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (6:13)

As I reflected on these chapters this morning, I could relate to Gideon’s questions, hesitation, AND his need to ask God for signs in order to move forward with a plan that was WAAAAAAY beyond what he knew he could handle. I’m sharing my thoughts as I read through this passage this morning because I have been strongly LED to do so… someone must need these truths today like I did!

Just to start out with… in THIS case, the Israelites WERE doing evil in the sight of the Lord. Sometimes our actions have “natural consequences” to them that God allows and are pretty painful. Other times, we wrestle with God because we have NOT been “doing evil in His sight” and He STILL allows profound loss, trauma, annoyances, and other circumstances that are beyond our control into our lives. There are two BIG things God has shown me about that. One of them shows up right here in this passage in verse 6… 1) God’s desire, motive, intention, and will is that WE WOULD BE DRAWN TO HIM, come running to HIM, need HIM, and in this case, “cry out to HIM.” And 2) He made all things GOOD, but we live in a BROKEN world. It was that first Fall into sin that ruined it for the rest of us and brought death… God’s been with us bailing us out and making a way for us to be saved ever since… THAT is here in this passage too… “WHEN the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, He sent them a prophet.” (vs 7) As SOON as they cried out, He was right there to talk to them and He said (and I paraphrase),

“Look at all that I’ve done for you in the past… I brought you up, I rescued you, I delivered you, I drove your enemies away from you and I told you not to worship the “little g gods” of the other people, BUT YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO ME.” (8-10)

         STILL! When God sits down with Gideon as the “angel of the Lord,” He refers to Gideon as “mighty warrior!” Even on our darkest day, God doesn’t see us like WE do! So, I’ll repeat that here for YOU… place your name in the blank and read it aloud…


“_______________, the Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”


Gideon’s FIRST response to that is the one I STARTED with (super politely, though! lol) – and haven’t we ALL at least WANTED to say this to God?! – “Pardon me, Lord, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? You’ve abandoned us!”

Then, it’s as if God told Gideon (again, I’m paraphrasing), “I heard your prayers and your crying out and YOU are the answer to your OWN prayers.” (14) “Go in the strength you HAVE and save your people out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

THIS is where I completely relate to Gideon! He says, again politely, “Pardon me, Lord, but I can’t, I’m too weak…” (Moses said that to God too, by the way! Remember he said, “send someone else.” He said it politely too! See Exodus 4:13. Don’t laugh too hard…there’s a pattern with US here!)

God’s response, His character, and His faithfulness are what we need to see when the circumstances stink. What does He say here? “I will be with you.”

God also allowed Gideon to ask for a SIGN that he would be successful and that everything would come out ok. He didn’t HAVE to do that for Gideon, but He DID because He knew his heart and He LOVED him! God SHOWED HIMSELF to him when Gideon ASKED him to! And, when Gideon realized he had indeed SEEN GOD, the Lord said to him (and He says to US too!) in verse 23),




“So Gideon did as the Lord told him.” (27) THAT simple. Just a couple things to note from here, read of the victory yourself in chapter 7…

NOTE: At JUST the right time, the Spirit of the LORD came on Gideon and GAVE HIM STRENGTH. (34) He kept His promise to be with him and give him the strength to DO what he had been told to do.

Then, there’s the famous “FLEECE TEST…”

And THEN, AFTER God shows Gideon the sign that He WOULD indeed save Israel, He “thins out” the army – REMEMBER that Gideon had already pointed out their weakness to the Lord! J

Once Gideon and his tiny army, at the VERY end of themselves and realized they COULD NOT do what God had asked them to do ON THEIR OWN, GOD SHOWED UP in a way that was EXCEEDINGLY more glorious than it would have been if He would have just eliminated the annoying Midianites quietly. PLUS, remember that the Israelites had been doing evil in the eyes of the LORD! Yet, when they turned to Him, cried out to Him, and TRUSTED and OBEYED His seemingly impossible plan… GLORIOUS DELIVERANCE!

THE LORD IS PEACE. Walk in it boldly today, Mighty Warrior.

November 15, 2016 1:24 am
Published in: Uncategorized
"V" is on the far right...All of these young women are from Southern California and are headed to Africa!

“V” is on the far right…All of these young women are from Southern California and are headed to Africa!

“Then Jesus said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self.’” Luke 9:23-25

 Jesus used stories to get a point across…I thought a story would give you a good idea of what I’ve been up to lately…

Having been saved through a ministry of a local, large San Diego church, and with a desire to grow in her faith, “V” sought deeper spiritual growth through Impact 195, a local discipleship and ministry school. One morning, very unexpectedly, the direction of her life completely changed. There was a guest speaker in her class at Impact, a mobilizer from AIM who was teaching about the need for proclaimers of the Gospel in Africa, especially in “Creative Access” countries that don’t allow missionaries. He passionately described the way God is raising up people who are using the businesses and gifts they are experts in to go to these places and live among people groups who would otherwise never meet someone who follows Christ. As she sat listening, the nature of her career and life in fitness, Cross Fit, and Olympic lifting began to feel self-focused and seemed to lack the eternal purpose that God was placing on her heart.

In a silent and very personal process with the Lord, she LAID THAT LIFE DOWN. She literally told God that she wanted to serve Him and be used by Him, so in that moment she committed to give up the training and competing that consumed her life if it meant sharing the Gospel with others who had never heard. Even as she did so, the speaker began to describe a team that was being formed who would be opening a gym in East Africa in order to train up people to eventually open gyms in Creative Access countries to share faith through fitness. “V” broke down and couldn’t stop crying. She had surrendered her own plans and taken up God’s command to make disciples and He had chosen to give it back to her and use that very thing to build His kingdom.

“V” is a REAL person I have been working with as she prepares to go serve in Africa. As a Mission Mobilizer (AKA “Rep”) for Africa Inland Mission, I have seen so clearly that THIS position is the most fruitful way God can use my experience, testimony, gifts, and influence to send others to do what I cannot do in this season of life with the responsibilities I have. As a matter of fact, I just returned from AIM headquarters where four of these young women I have been working with were officially appointed as missionaries with AIM. As we finished the week and they received specific assignments to prayerfully consider in Africa, MOST of them have accepted positions on teams that will go into VERY hard to reach places. (This is why their faces aren’t pictured in the photo. “V” is on the far right.)

As you know, years ago in 2008, our family went through that same process of LETTING GO of our lives and futures in America and committing to serve God LONG-TERM in Africa. My own purpose was made even MORE clear even after Chris died and HIS job was done – to use my testimony to PROCLAIM God’s faithfulness AND His heart for bringing those who don’t yet know Him into saving faith AND to be a part of raising up workers who will do the same. While I THOUGHT all of that would happen in Africa, I have seen clearly that THIS is exactly where I need to be. It’s taken me awhile, but I can now honestly say that I am more and more willing to DENY my selfish desires and my own ideas and dreams for my life and TAKE UP my “cross,” the toughest part of my journey, and allow Him to USE IT wherever and however He chooses. This week has been a huge reminder of the peaceful reward that comes with that submission.

It’s no coincidence that Jesus added that word “daily” to this principle. It is my human tendency to want set aside that cross because my selfish and weak self wants comfort and a new season of blissful joy. In order to ABIDE in victorious peace, however, I now see that I have to go through the DAILY process of accessing the power available to me in the Holy Spirit, taking a deep breath, and picking back up the “cross” that has been entrusted to me by the One who knows me best.

Thank you for so faithfully walking WITH me on this journey I never would have written. I’m realizing it’s bigger than I ever dreamed. Please pray for me as I daily trust God with all of the personal details. He’s pretty good at doing more than I could ever ask or imagine. I’d also like to invite you to PRAISE God with me for the way He is redeeming the most broken parts of my life and using it for His glory AND encouraging His people. The picture of the card I received after Connect Week is shared with the permission of the couple who gave it to me. It’s a very special affirmation that God is using YOU too! I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today without your support.

Thanks for partnering with me to be ABLE to do this!

Thanks for partnering with me to be ABLE to do this!

September 24, 2016 8:19 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

PLEASE UPDATE MY E-MAIL TO: michelle.gennaro@aimint.org

The .net e-mail will be disappearing completely very soon!

I’m realizing that I’m both OVERDUE for an update and OVERFLOWING with words, which isn’t necessarily ALWAYS a great combination. I’ve had quite a few people recently ask me what I’m DOING now and, in going back over my last few updates, I realized I was pretty long-winded and many may not have caught the answer to that question! So, here’s my attempt at a shortER answer…not sure if I can give a SHORT one. lol

Recently, in one of my quiet times, God gave me a phrase that helped me make sense of my “role” here as I serve in the States. For those of you who spend a lot of time with me, you probably tire of me continually “processing” this transition. It has taken me a LONG time this time, despite seeing God’s direction, leading, provision, and BLESSING along the way. Most of my life is different than what I expected it to be when we left for Africa in 2011. I guess my kids and I could be poster children for Third Culture people in transition. Whole books and conferences are devoted to that topic, so I’ll leave that for another conversation. Feel free to ask me about it if you want to figure us out.

“I’m still a missionary. I’ve just gone from being a ‘cross-cultural missionary’ to a ‘counter-cultural missionary.’”




noun: missionary; plural noun: missionaries

  1. a person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country.

adjective: missionary

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a missionary or a religious mission.

“missionary work”

You see, I’m STILL a fully-supported, active member of Africa Inland Mission. I have been asked to serve as a Member Mobilizer (a role similar to a “rep” for other mission organizations) because my gifts, talents, experience on the field, testimony, and sphere of influence all work together to fill a need within our organization. My job description is a page long, but the bottom line is that I concurrently carry out three different purposes simultaneously:

  • I have “initiatives” that have been set forth by AIM to work toward our “Vision 2020” goals. See more about that here: http://us.aimint.org/about/vision2020/
  • These goals have me focusing on building and nurturing partnerships and working relationships with churches, organizations, mission training schools, and universities in order to facilitate sending new workers to Africa, even to the darkest of places.
  • Part of my job description involves recruiting, mentoring, and coming alongside people who are 1) applying to be missionaries with AIM, 2) preparing to go serve in Africa, or 3) returning from a term of service and either on Home Assignment or transitioning back to the States.
  • In addition to my full-time job and ministry with AIM, God continues to “increase my territory” and sphere of influence with my speaking. This somehow thrills me and stretches me at the same time. He ALWAYS speaks hard things to ME even as I am challenging others. It really is a perfect “pairing” with my position at AIM and the doors He opens for me always remind me that He is in control.

Why do I say “counter-cultural?” Well, I’ve noticed that I just don’t feel like I fit in most of the time. I feel foreign in my home country and I often can’t figure out why I just don’t “get” some of the things that go on here, in AND out of the church. Yet, God has spoken clearly to me that this is GOOD and, actually it’s quite biblical. I should LOOK different than our worldly culture and love people in a way that STANDS OUT and reflects Christ.

1 Peter 3:14-16New International Version (NIV)

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[a]; do not be frightened.”[b] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Lastly, because He is a good, good Father, God has given me a very SPECIFIC verse and task for this season of life (Psalm 40:9-10), “I PROCLAIM your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know. J I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I SPEAK of your faithfulness and your saving help.”

I cannot thank God enough for the MANY faithful friends and supporters who CONTINUE to sacrificially give in order to keep me serving. THIS is what I KNOW God’s purpose is for me AND that which I was MADE to do. Please know that what I am doing NOW is the greatest contribution I can make to reach the unreached in Africa with the Gospel. God has shown me that I am much more effective in THIS role in sending MANY to places I cannot go myself to do works that I cannot do in this season of life with this many responsibilities. This is His merciful way to provide for my kids and me AND still allow me the privilege of serving Him. I would love to meet with you personally to tell you all of the exciting details of what God has been doing in our lives through this crazy transition. I’m obviously also available to come and speak in your churches, small groups, organizations, teach about Africa in your classes, or generally to PROCLAIM and SPEAK of His faithfulness. (Below:  speaking at Mexico Caravan Ministries where I had the privilege of being on the speaking rotation this summer.)2016-06-16-20-01-52

AND! You can still PRAY and give too!   http://us.aimint.org/give/

July 19, 2016 11:59 am
Published in: Mobilizing

“Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11

 We have now been back in California for a YEAR and I can just NOW say that 1) we know where we LIVE, 2) I know what I DO, and 3) the “cup” my Father has given me is indeed refining me and making me whole.

 “People of (the Gennaro family), who (now) live in (San Diego), you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:19-21

        It’s important to note that there are OTHER verses from this chapter that apply to this time of my life AND that I’m not proud of the fact that the chapter title ALSO applies, “Woe to the Obstinate Nation.” Let’s just take a minute to look at the definition of “obstinate” and some of the synonyms:

ob·sti·nate; ˈäbstənət/adjective

  1. stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.
synonyms: stubbornunyieldinginflexibleunbendingintransigentintractable,obduratemulishbullheaded, stubborn as a mule, pigheadedself-willed,strong-willedheadstrongwillfulcontrary,

OUCH… I clearly recognize that God doesn’t waste a THING and that the HARDEST lessons are learned in the hardest ways. The “cup” He has given me often contains things that are hard to “swallow.” This particular season of transition, loneliness, grief, and trust is TEACHING me (note: I’m still learning) to BE STILL, to WAIT on the Lord, to LOOK and LISTEN for HIS direction, to BELIEVE that He has HEARD my cry and is IN THE PROCESS of answering, AND that it is ALL for my GOOD.

Here are the things God has revealed as I have “taken a long drink” from the “cup” my Father has given me this last year and the ways He has directed:

  • We now LIVE in San Diego, California, in a house that God MIRACULOUSLY provided for me to buy EVEN in this market and EVEN on my income. Friends and partners, He has clearly told me to share with you that He is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than we can ask or imagine! I don’t often tell you about the ways God provides BEYOND what I need because, honestly, I depend on the faithful giving of a LOT of people and I feel accountable to them to be a good steward AND to work for the Lord with fervor and excellence. When He provides abundance, I sometimes feel guilty about it. HOWEVER, you have to know that He takes what you faithfully give and MULTIPLIES IT for His glory! This house is beyond what I expected and more than I thought I would ever have again. Why? Because that’s just how He loves and THAT’S Him keeping His promises to me as a widow and to my children who needed the security of their OWN place.  I am learning that the verse that says, “the Lord is your husband” refers to THESE aspects of God; not just a loving Father, but a husband who PROVIDES and CHERISHES. This is the part of God that gives me “treats” that are beyond my need.
  • In the same way, as I’ve already shared with you, He has blessed me with a new assignment with Africa Inland Mission that is perfectly suited for me, allows me to be a mom (although I still need LOTS of prayer and help!), and uses our testimony and my gifts to MOBILIZE a new generation of people to GO to Africa. I have had to grieve AGAIN. Leaving Lesotho and then leaving Kenya grieved my heart. It wasn’t a relief to leave Africa, it was a drink that was like a bitter medicine, something I HAD to “power down.” It was a letting go of what I THOUGHT was God’s purpose for me and the people and a place that I deeply love. This isn’t the plan I had when we moved to Africa in 2011, but it IS a good plan and the RIGHT one for THIS season. This last weekend, a friend described my role as a mobilizer with AIM really well, “Why add when you can multiply?” I am ONE, but can now be a part of sending MANY.
  • Just this morning, I was reminded that the “cup of suffering” God has handed me is the “tool” He is using to make me WHOLE. In the words of the devotional writer, “TRUST Him and never push away the instrument He is using, or you will miss the result of His work in your life.” This is about to get deeply personal… The hardest thing I’ve had to drink from this cup has been my singleness and the loneliness that is present so much of the time. I didn’t CHOOSE this, I CHOSE to be married for life, but because the marriage commitment is until death, my marriage ended when Chris died. For a long time, I was ashamed of having a hard time being single, but I’ve realized that God MADE me the way I am, to desire and need a partner. My best friends tease me that I have so many “best friends!” Lisa says I have at least 57!  All of my “people” have ministered to me and been an amazing support to me through all of this, but I need a PERSON. Most recently, this most sour drink has shown me that it is the ingredient He has used to show me who I am, to reveal my new identity that is now more tied to HIM than ever before, to show me the “me” that stands alone and vulnerable before HIM. Even as I type this, I KNOW that my attitude needs to change. I still want to BEG Him to bring an end to the waiting, to let me HAVE what I want already! BUT, my moment-by-moment spiritual discipline is to just DRINK this cup He has given me, NOT in a guzzling mess with my nose plugged in avoidance of what He has given, but rather with a long, steady drink that allows me to taste it and glean all that He would have me learn from this time.  I’m trusting it IS just “for a time.” :0)

I know we ALL have a cup to drink from and that it’s not always full of sweetness and bubbles. He IS doing a new thing. That was His promise to me from Isaiah 43:18-19 way back in January of 2015. It’s been “springing up” ever since and this last year has been just the beginning. Cheers, friends. Let’s suck it up.


July 13, 2016 11:36 am
Published in: Uncategorized

A snapshot of my journey of faith over five years

GoodbyeSanDiego     I wasn’t quite ready to write a reflection and update a couple of days ago. There was too much simmering in my mind and so much to process after waking up to a Facebook memory that reminded me that it had been five years since we moved to Africa the first time. My post on July 11, 2011 read:

“This is the hardest stinkin’ thing I’ve ever had to do, but HE IS WORTHY! Remembering why we’re doing this…Jesus DIED for us and is worthy of praise from EVERY people, tongue, tribe and nation. Oh, that those we will soon meet will see His love for them and WORSHIP!”

Of course we had no idea what the next five years held for us. I have said many times that IF I would have known what was ahead, I never would have taken that step of faith. What I KNEW without a shadow of doubt, though, was that what we were doing was because Jesus was worthy of that obedience AND that we were stepping into a season where Chris would finally get to live his calling, passion, and dream to be a missionary and to use His gifts to build God’s kingdom.

As I look over that status and pick it apart, a lot of things stand out. One thing that highlights the fact that God answered that prayer is, “those we will soon meet.” There are now precious faces and names that quickly flood my mind as I remember living in Molumong. They became our neighbors, friends, and family as we did life together in that small place many people have never heard of. We loved them deeply and they received us well. So many of them loved us and generously shared their language, culture, families, and resources to help us live there. We were in it for the “long haul.” If you’re on Facebook, you can look back on my post from the other day and see that both of my Basotho sisters commented there. God knit us together tightly through some intense life circumstances.

There’s a whole book brewing in my mind. That’s probably why I don’t sleep very well. My brain has a hard time shutting down. Journal entries, notes, and scribbles fill numerous blank books that hold my intimate prayers and thoughts through the hardest, but most deeply spiritually rich days of my life. I’ll save the nail-biting stories and gory details for the book. J

What I want you to be left with here, is the bottom line. I’ve said it hundreds of times as I have shared our story. GOD.IS.REAL. The words from the Bible have become absolutely clear to me as His truths have gone from being words on a page that I have TRUSTED to be true, to clear promises and descriptions of the One True God that I have now SEEN with my own eyes and experienced in my daily life. Here are a few that are worth repeating over and over:

Psalm 139:16 – God is Sovereign and holds the number of days in His hand. He sees the whole, big picture from the beginning of time and into eternity.

Romans 8:28 – He works ALL things for the good for those who are called according to His purpose. That’s a hard one to wrap your brain around because losing your husband, father, son, friend isn’t good. But, God… There are Basotho people who told me that they hadn’t seen love like Chris loved, and that was Jesus’ presence in him. I have had to lean on God like I never have in my life and I’m closer to Him because of it. God DID heal Chris and He is WHOLE and Home. We prayed that he wouldn’t have to live in a broken body and that God would prepare us for whatever testimony He had for us. That testimony STILL leads people to Jesus AND is mobilizing people to the mission field. It doesn’t make the loss easy, but shows me that God hasn’t wasted any of it.

Isaiah 43 – Just go ahead and read ALL of this one… WHEN you pass through the waters, river, fire, ANY trial or storm, God promises that He will be with you, the waters won’t “sweep over you,” and that the fire will not “burn you or set you ablaze.” It doesn’t say, “IF,” friends. It’s WHEN. No level of sacrifice or obedience will “earn” you a ticket to easy street. You’ll go through hard times and God WILL help you through it if you know Him and receive His love, help, and gift of salvation.

There IS a happy ending… Revelation 12:10-11, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

The end is near. I feel like Paul when I say, “It’s not that I have attained all of this, but I press on toward the goal to win the prize…” I’m LEARNING more and more that I have to take every anxious, sad, weak, doubting thought captive and replace it with the TRUTH I know about God. Monday, in one of those perfectly timed devotional readings (Streams in the Desert), I read this quote –


“Unbelief looks at God through the circumstances, just as we often see the sun dimmed by clouds or smoke. FAITH puts God BETWEEN itself and its circumstances, and looks at them through HIM.”


I am moving forward by making the conscious choice to BELIEVE God at His Word. He is working behind the scenes on my behalf; He loves my children and me more than I can fathom; He sees and hears my most intimate needs and desires; and He CARES. He reveals His presence to me so faithfully daily as I SEEK Him. I’m always on the look out for Him in my days. He has provided so abundantly for us!

While I have a new assignment as a Mission Mobilizer with Africa Inland Mission and am based in San Diego, CA now, I STILL get to be about the business of TELLING people that Jesus is worthy of our praise AND sending a whole new generation of people to live out the love of Christ cross-culturally. It is a thrill to me to see God weave together a beautiful new life for us. While I still have very strong desires of the heart that I am waiting on the Lord for, He is weaving together a beautiful tapestry that will someday be complete, detailed, clear, and GOOD.

Put on your faith glasses and discover Him with me. The view is WAAAAY better when you look at your circumstances through the “filter of Truth,” from GOD’S perspective.


“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and ENJOY SAFE PASTURE. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; TRUST IN HIM and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. BE STILL BEFORE THE LORD AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM…” Psalm 37:3-7


Thank you to all of those who continue to support us through your prayers AND financial giving. I am still a fully supported missionary with Africa Inland Mission and am always grateful for new partners who are committed to reaching the unreached in Africa. Explore our website to see all that God is doing, get guidance for prayer, and/or give. us.aimint.org/give

Note my updated e-mail address! michelle.gennaro@aimint.org

AND follow me on Facebook (Michelle Michaud Gennaro) and Instagram (meeshgennaro).



May 19, 2016 4:25 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

change sign

Isaiah 30:20-22 New International Version (NIV)

20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

You all know I love a good story and THIS one is a good, long God-story. I’m not sure whether to take you the long way around or just cut to the chase. It’s been a long time since I’ve updated you. You see, God has been weaving together a perfect plan and all of the details had to be placed JUST so before the finished product could be revealed.

I’ll give you the punch line and then those of you who like the long story can read on so that you can see how God beautifully considered every detail.

I have made a three-year commitment to serve in a full-time capacity with Africa Inland Mission as a Mission Mobilizer. I will be based in San Diego, but the states I am responsible for will be CA, HI, and AZ. I will be looking for places God is already mobilizing people toward missions (training programs, discipleship and/or ministry schools, universities, small groups, campus ministries) and developing and nurturing relationships with those people in order to recruit and prepare new missionaries who desire to partner with God in reaching the unreached in Africa through AIM. AIM’s strategy is particularly focused on those people groups who have yet to have a gospel witness. I will also have the privilege of walking alongside these people as they are appointed, trained, raise support, and GO.

         There are a number of key threads in this tapestry that I don’t want you to miss, so I’ll just highlight those:

  • God used key people within the Body of Christ who were in positions of authority in my life to guide and direct me, beginning with the suggestion that I prayerfully consider a longer, one-year Home Assignment. That was the first whisper of direction that I heard.
  • The next guidance came through hardship. It became clear that we NEEDED to be here as a family in order to support each other, have some stability, and work through more transitions and grief.
  • Through all of this, God was opening doors to speak in many different contexts: churches, small groups, women’s retreats, mobilization ministries, events, etc. He was also using the comfort I have received to comfort others in helping relationships. Eventually, I realized he was actually USING me here and AIM leadership saw that same thing.

I have seen God’s hand so clearly in my life over the last year. First, “working in my heart to will and to act according to His purpose.” I doubted that for some months at the beginning of 2015. I couldn’t tell if it was MY desires or HIM working in my heart at first. In hindsight, I can see that He WAS stirring in me and preparing me for change. Way back in January as I was struggling through the transition of leaving Olivia in California and returning to Kenya without TWO of my kids, a very dear friend comforted me with these words, “God will bring all of your hearts to the same place at the right time and you’ll know what to do.”

That didn’t happen until the very end of March as we prepared to leave Kenya with our belongings. Two of the kids, at separate times, said to me, “Mom, I’m ready to go.”

We’re now back in San Diego and finalizing housing, learning the hard lesson that you should NEVER say “never.” The rental market is pretty bad here now, so I have had to prayerfully consider all of the houses that fit our needs whether they are for rent OR for sale. I am thankful for many friends and family who are well-suited to come alongside me and help me through these major decisions.

NOTE: I wrote THIS prayer request in April and am just proofreading it to send it out today… Please pray that God would reveal EXACTLY where He would have us live and the neighbors He would have us know.

I can’t wait to keep you updated as we continue to WATCH GOD WORK.

Thank you so much for your continued support through all of these transitions. I will remain fully supported in this new role, trusting God to provide for the added expense of living in Southern California. Please know how much I appreciate the sacrifices YOU make to keep me serving Him. There is a quote from John Piper on the wall of Mexico Caravan Ministries where I frequently speak that says, “Go, send, or disobey.” Thank you for being obedient to send me (even if it means HERE)! THIS is the purpose for which God has made me! I’ve never been so sure of it!