How did Rally International Grow Up?

3/09/2015 06:46:00 AM sendtheroths 1 Comments

Rally International’s first conception was during Andrew Roth’s second year in college at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Andrew had a heart for adventure and justice along with a renewed passion for Jesus. He also had a background in technical off-roading and a fascination with Africa. He nearly idolized the Land Rover Camel Trophy, the most popular and difficult off-road competition of its time.

During his college years, he had an idea with a number of his college buddies. The organization was called To the Ends of the Earth Ministries - Rally Around Sub-Saharan Africa (TEOTEM-RASSA). The idea was to utilize Land Rovers for technical off-roading and fundraising across the continent of Africa. Similar to run-walk fundraiser, this drive-a-thon would raise money for worthy projects in geographically neglected regions across Africa. He had contacted Land Rover, World Vision and others to gauge interest.

But this idea eventually evolved into Andrew’s time with Overland Missions, which so happened to be founded by the Camel Trophy trainer. During his time there he met his wife Amethyst and they formulated a plan to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo where soon after being married, they left Overland Missions to pioneer a new work in the Congo as independent missionaries.

It was at this newlywed time in their lives that the idea of starting an international nonprofit organization began to resurface. They both decided on calling it “Rally” and use it as a vehicle by which to start the new ministry in Congo. The Roth’s spent two weeks in the fall of 2009 writing governance, a vision statement and strategic plans for the new organization. They also bought website domain names and hosting.

But there was never a true sense of peace.

The vision, even after being written down, seemed incomplete and could not capture any other identity except for that the identity of the writers, which was something that they both didn’t want. The confidence and capability to start the organization wasn’t there. They were too new and lacked the base funding and contacts to really make the organization run well. So, the Roth’s stored their ideas on a hard drive and kept the domain name. They decided that while their decision to start an organization could be the Lord’s voice, the timing was a bit off.

The Roth’s continued to pioneer the work in Congo and eventually found other organizations to work with and channel funding through. All the while, pursuing graduate level education studies, networking and gaining more experience on the field.

During their fifth year of their service overseas, the Roths began brainstorming with foreign and local members of their team: some interns, staff, advisors and financial supporters. There was ongoing talk about forming an alliance between the relationships that were in formation, especially between independent or entrepreneurial ministries. There was also a good deal of talk with western short-term teams about creating options for long-term service in areas like eastern Congo.

After six years of service alone in the Congo, the network in and outside of Congo became particularly large and consisted of notable people. Covenant relationships became an ongoing conversation between the Roths and others who worked alongside them, both stateside and internationally.

One of the most notable relationships was a partnership with a Congolese pastor who had been co-laboring with the Roths for a number of years. But there were always blockages until the end of 2014. All the pieces were put together and the very prayer was, "God close the doors that need to be closed and open the ones that need to be opened."

In the end God did open the doors! He made a way that in less than one month Rally International was set up and registered as a 501C3 in the USA.

We are reminded about the truth in Nehemiah, "Though the vision may tarry, wait for the appointed time and it will surely come to pass."

1 comment :

  1. What a journey! Praise God keeping the vision!