A Globalized Gospel for Latin America

Kenneth Eagleton

A Globalized Gospel for Latin America

IM invested personnel and resources over several decades to start a network of Free Will Baptist churches in Panama. With the work firmly established, IM no longer maintains resident missionaries in country. Local believers carry on the work, united by an Association of Free Will Baptist churches. Besides the churches, they also operate a Bible institute to train local leaders for various church ministries, including pastors. We have facilitated a partnership between the Seminary and Welch College to give their teachers advanced training.

This year, the association voted to sponsor three new church-plant projects. A number of people are involved in these efforts.

The Chitré church also sponsors a church-plant in Venezuela. A Venezuelan refugee who s attended the church in Chitré felt a real burden to return to his country to preach the gospel and start a church. The church in Chitré sponsors this new work, already in its second year. Several people have been saved and are ready for baptism. Despite the economic and political crisis the country is experiencing, the gospel continues to be announced, giving hope to the hopeless.

Earlier this year, while I was in Panama, I got to interview Emiliano and Carolaine, a couple from the Betania FWB Church in Panama City. Last year, they told me about spending 14 months in Nicaragua to complete an MBA program. While there, they initiated an on-campus Bible study with post-grad students from several Latin American countries. Many, who previously considered themselves agnostic, became very interested in Christianity. Others heard a clear presentation of the gospel for the first time and were saved. Several nominal Christians started growing in their faith.

In my interview, I asked them how they have kept in contact with these students since their return to Panama. This couple holds weekly Bible studies by Skype (an internet communications platform) with students from the countries of Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras and Venezuela (this student lives in Argentina). They have even restarted the series of studies with a new generation of students. How many Bible students do they teach in this manner? About 30! Two of these students, who are in Bolivia, made a profession of faith and later traveled to Panama City specifically to be baptized in the Betania FWB Church.

Several months ago, they initiated another Bible study with two unsaved couples in the home of a family in Panama City. God is using this educated couple to globalize the gospel, starting from home and spreading throughout Latin America.

At IM, we are glad to partner with the Association of FWB Churches in Panama to fulfill the Great Commission.

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Aka’s Story

Kenneth Eagleton

Aka’s Story

While I was in Tiassalé, Ivory Coast, I ate lunch with one of the men in the church, Mr. Aka. After the Sunday morning service, both I and one of the pastors accompanying me, asked questions about his spiritual journey. Prior to becoming a Christian, he was a follower of Mahikari, a Japanese religious sect. His mother, a follower of that religion, influenced her children to become involved as well. About 20 years ago, he began living with a woman with an evangelical background. She, too, became involved in the sect.

Ten years ago, the couple moved to Tiassalé. Mahikari doesn’t have a following there. So, they just quit attending any kind of religious service. Eventually, feeling the need to reconnect with God, Mr. Aka’s companion decided to return to an evangelical church. She started attending the Free Will Baptist church. Liking what she heard, she invited her husband to attend with her. He had many questions about Jesus and spent long periods of time talking to Pastor Emmanuel of the FWB church. Mr. Aka became convinced of the truth about Jesus and salvation found only in Him.

The problem was, he was scared. Three family members left the sect at different times; each one met with unfortunate situations. One family member even died a sudden death. Mr. Aka was afraid of what might happen to him. However, his conviction about his need for Christ continued to grow. It became so strong, he stepped out in faith and became a Christ-follower. He said, contrary to what happened to his other family members, he received immediate peace and happiness. He married his companion of nearly 20 years and both were baptized this past January.

IM’s partnership with the Association of FWB churches in Ivory Coast allows us to plant churches like this one that are reaching the lost. The Bible Institute we help support in Ivory Coast trains pastors like Emmanuel who was able to answer Aka’s many questions. The Tiassalé FWB church is in a building project. The walls are up, but they don’t have money to put a roof on. The Ivory Coast partnership is providing the funds so they will have a place to worship (they are currently worshiping under a makeshift shelter).

The Association of FWB Churches now has 134 churches and more than 10,300 people in attendance. Our continued partnership allows them to do more and do it quicker.

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Partnering in Cuba

Kenneth Eagleton

Partnering in Cuba

Free Will Baptists first sent missionaries to Cuba in 1941, with Tom (Pop) and Mabel Willey. In 1943, the Willeys purchased property in Pinar del Río, the most western of the provinces. This became the major center from which Free Will Baptists spread to nearly all of the 15 provinces. They began a Bible institute early on, to train local believers in the Bible and give them the tools to become leaders in the churches. The Communist Revolution took over Cuba in 1959, forcing all missionaries to leave the country.

Throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, Free Will Baptists in Cuba underwent severe persecution with extremely limited contact with believers outside the country. After initial trips by IM representatives, a greater level of contact and cooperation emerged in the 1990s. In 2015, a formal partnership agreement was drawn up between the National Association of FWB Churches in Cuba and IM.

The Cuban National Association has 146 churches and mission churches. Many congregations meet in houses since they are not allowed to build worship centers. We partner with the Cuban church, helping them buy houses in places a new church is being planted so they have a place to meet. Fourteen of the 15 provinces in Cuba have at least one FWB church.

The Cuban seminary (Bible College) Pop Willey started in the 1940s is located on the western side of the island and has over 250 students preparing for ministry in their various programs on- and off-campus. IM believes in the importance of this training for the present and future of the work and invests in it financially as well as sending teachers on short-term assignments. Recently, another training location was added 560 miles away, on the eastern side of the island.

Our cooperation with Cuba also extends to helping in areas such as church camps for various ages, retreats, leadership training workshops, and assistance with the association’s nursing home. Each year E-TEAM sends a group down to work alongside Cuban youth for evangelistic outreach and to encourage the church youth.

While preaching in Cuba earlier this year, I had the privilege of seeing two people come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate objective of laboring with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.

 

Photo: Cedars of Lebanon seminary in Pinar del Rio, Cuba; Credit: Clint Morgan

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United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 5

Clint Morgan

United in Prayer and Fasting: Day 5

Prayer Focus

Pray for every partner of IM.

 

Bible Study—Esther 4:16

 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

The story of Esther has been told thousands, if not millions, of times. A God-fearing young woman goes before a godless king and makes a request that easily could have brought about her death. Without her high-stake request, the Jews would have been exterminated from the kingdom of Ahasuerus. One man, Haman, proposed this genocide because he felt Mordecai failed to show him proper respect. Out of revenge, Haman wanted to strike down hundreds of thousands of people.

Read Esther 4:16 and discover anew the challenges, courage, and commitment of this courageous woman. She told her Uncle Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” She determined the cause was worth her life.

What causes around the world stir you to prayer? Hunger? Disease? Immigration? Social injustice? Sex trafficking? Genocide? Persecution? What role does God want you to play in addressing one or more of the issues which move you?

Let’s follow Esther’s example and make bold requests of God. Why not write your own list of big, audacious, daring requests of God that pose great risk to you. Your risks may not include death…but it might. Go to Him with the spirit and determination of Esther, then wait on Him to act.

 

Informing Our Prayer

Several years ago, the IM leadership and board made an intentional decision to pursue interdependence as a core value. This commitment manifested itself in developing partnerships with agencies, individuals, and churches who share our vision of “laboring together to fulfill the Great Commission.”

It has been amazing to see God’s hand at work in bringing partners to IM. We know these partnerships offer us avenues of ministry we could not undertake without spreading ourselves very thin.

Let’s spend an enormous amount of time today praying for IM’s partners. Our partners can be classified in two categories: agencies and national churches.

AGENCY PARTNERS

  • Resourcing Christian Education (RCE) serves international Christian schools and educational ministries by assisting them in finding qualified teachers and staff. Three Free Will Baptist couples presently serve with this partner agency.
  • 1040i teams are devoted to giving life through water, health, and education in Morocco and Ivory Coast. This agency has provided hundreds of free surgeries for underprivileged people, constructed a bilingual school in Ivory Coast, and done much more to minister to the needs of suffering people.
  • Friends of India’s (FOI) major objective is to promote and preserve the ministry God has developed among Free Will Baptists in India. They provide funding for the work in India to build churches, purchase motorcycles and bicycles for pastors and evangelists, and other special projects.
  • Bridge Builders for Christ (BBFC) is a non-profit founded by a Free Will Baptist layman in Oklahoma. BBFC teams provide humanitarian aid while applying and sharing the teachings of the Bible. They have come alongside FWB ministries in Cuba, Mexico, India, Ivory Coast, and multiple other places.
  • Bible Mission Global (BMG) has partnered with IM since 2002. It has offices in several countries and is committed to winning people to Christ by serving with, for, and through local, Biblebelieving churches in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They recently committed to placing Bibles in 100,000 Muslim homes over a period of five years.
  • Jungle Kids for Christ (JKFC) is passionate about empowering children in the jungle of Ecuador to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. In turn, these children share a message of transformation with others. They presently minister to 161 children at their school in the jungle area of Ecuador. This agency is backed by FWB businessmen and the school has several Free Will Baptist couples teaching there.
  • Village of Hope (VOH) in Uganda rescues former child soldiers, sex slaves, and their younger siblings orphaned by war. They provide a safe haven for healing and hope for a future. This agency was founded by a graduate of Welch College and IM is in process of providing a “missionary maintenance” man for the team.
  • International Training Alliance (ITA) exists to train and multiply leaders on mission globally. Dr. Jeff Turnbough is now serving as CEO of this organization. We have a two-year agreement with them to substantially help fund the CEO position as they seek to secure funding to finance their operations. Over the past few years, they have trained over 2,000 leaders from more than 100 countries.
  • English Language Institute of China/DBA Pinnacle is the agency we have partnered with for the longest period of time. They offer amazing opportunities for English speakers to teach in Asia and the Middle East. They have classes in some of the most prestigious universities of these creative access countries.
  • American Dream Center is one of our newest partners. The founder is a former Free Will Baptist missionary who served in Central Asia and Ivory Coast. The organization aids immigrants and refugees as they settle here in the U.S. They help people acquire necessary documents, learn how to do banking, go grocery shopping, etc. in their newly adopted country.

 

NATIONAL CHURCHES

  • SPAIN—A Spanish couple serves with our Malaga THP team. They are subsidized from this fund.
  • COTE D’IVOIRE (Ivory Coast)—Our main focus in Côte d’Ivoire is the Bible Institute at Bouna as well as church planting efforts by national believers. We do not pay pastors of local churches, but some of the funds do go to help church planting efforts. In particular, we also help put roofs on new churches after the national church has put up the walls. We presently have no IM missionary presence in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • BRAZIL— Only one IM couple serves in Brazil, Dr. Kenneth and Rejane Eagleton. The partnership funds in Brazil are primarily directed to leadership training efforts. Several Bible institutes and other training programs in the country need partnership funds to keep them functioning.
  • BULGARIA —Our team in Bulgaria consists of four couples. One of these is Bulgarian: Trif and Vanya Trifonov. They are recognized by the IM board as members of the team. They cannot raise money among the evangelical churches in Bulgaria. Our FWB churches there cannot provide adequate funding for them. Therefore, in collaboration with the team, we use partnership funds to cover the Trifinovs’ salary and outreach ministries.
  • PANAMA—For 50 years we had a strong missionary presence in Panama. In 2012, the national church announced it was ready to take charge of evangelizing the country. The transfer of all properties and ministries was officially made in January 2013. The departure of the missionaries did not diminish our commitment to seeing these works go forward. A main ministry focus is the Bible institute in Chame. The students cannot afford to pay the full tuition costs necessary to sustain the institute. We willingly offer financial assistance to the wonderful leaders as they continue to train other leaders and plant new churches.
  • RUSSIA—Over the past few years, at the advice of our colleagues and liaisons to ministry in Russia we have greatly diminished our financial contributions. It was felt the national church was capable of taking on more and more responsibility for outreach, youth camps, and other ministries. Therefore, our commitment at this point is to the ongoing success of the two Bible institutes in Russia. We praise the Lord the national church is capable of funding most of the ministries and programs.
  • CUBA—Our history in Cuba goes back to time of Pop and Mom Willey in the late 1930s. Their passion was winning souls, establishing churches, and training leaders. That ardent desire was passed on to those who followed. A strong emphasis on these three elements has kept the church alive and growing. We work directly through the directiva (executive committee) of the Cuban national church. The funds we send mainly assist the local church in running the Bible seminary as well as church planting efforts. We send the funds to the directiva and they are charged with determining where the funds can be used in leadership development and church planting.
  • INDIA—India, our first mission field, followed the establishment of Free Will Baptists as a denomination in 1935. Through the humble beginnings of Miss Laura Belle Barnard and the exceedingly long and fruitful ministry of Brother Carlisle Hanna, the work in India continues to expand. The needs there are great but so is the harvest. Over 17,000 FWB believers gather each Sunday to worship. For these ministries to continue, funding must be available for the church planters, the ministry costs, and leadership training. Brother Carlisle is the only IM missionary serving there and his account cannot bear the full responsibility for all the ministry needs in the country. Therefore, we must come alongside the Indian brothers and sisters and keep the church moving closer and closer to Christ.
  • CENTRAL ASIA —This relationship began in 2002 with a visit by several IM personnel to four Central Asian countries. We have a two-pronged involvement in this area. One is through Bible Mission Global and the other through the Baptist Union which is formed by local churches. The lion’s share of the budgeted funds go to the Bible institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A smaller portion is directed toward church planting efforts throughout the region.
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Resourcing Partnerships

Kenneth Eagleton

Resourcing Partnerships

I hope last week’s post helped you better understand partnerships. Now, let’s focus on how we provide resources for partnerships.

Providing monetary funding, though an important resource, is not the only way we assist our partners in ministry.

We provide short-term personnel. Bible institutes and Bible colleges may need specialized courses or professors to assist students in their quest for well-rounded, effective learning. Medical professionals provide medical treatment in the jungle of Ecuador and continuing education at the medical facilities in Doropo, Africa. Partners in Central Asia need construction workers to help provide Hope Centers for the needy. A dormitory in Cuba, Christian schools in Ecuador and Ivory Coast, and new patient rooms in our hospital in Ivory Coast have benefited from short-term construction workers from the U.S. When needed, we provide speakers for special events such as conferences, pastor’s retreats, and other important gatherings.

IM works to identify needs, coordinate projects, and provide personnel for short-term medical, construction, and educational needs. Often, our partner organization The Hanna Project plays the primary role in this effort.

We provide supplies. The hospital in Doropo needs updated equipment, basic medicines, and other supplies. IM seeks resources and ships these to Côte d’Ivoire. We’ve also sent playground equipment to Central Asia, provided eyeglasses and exams in multiple countries, and paid for Bibles in heart languages. Sometimes, the best use of resources is to simply provide supplies and allow the local leaders to distribute or use them in the way they deem best.

We provide financial assistance. Just as it is sometimes more beneficial to provide supplies and let others distribute or use them it may be more feasible to subsidize the salary of a church-planter starting a new work than to send a missionary to a country rejecting missionary efforts. It may make more sense to pay local workers to complete a project than send a team to do it. We provide financial assistance to Bible colleges and Bible institutes in Brazil, Panama, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Central Asia, and Russia so national leaders can train other local leaders for ministry responsibilities. We also assist with some of the expenses related to summer camps, retreats, and conferences in some countries.

You can participate. Many people (both in our churches as well as IM workers) volunteer their time, experience, and expertise to cooperate in the various ministry projects we have with our partners. If you’d like to join them, contact us for current opportunities or ways you can help.

The World Missions Offering (WMO) is our principal source of partnership funding. Giving to the WMO during the emphasis month of April, or at any other time of the year, ensures our partners are able to evangelize, disciple and train believers; plant churches; meet medical and educational needs; and so much more. If you, or your church, are interested in supporting our IM partnerships, please contribute to the WMO.

Not all of our partnerships receive funds. But those that do, need you to give so their work can continue.

The long-term solution for funding our partnerships is engaging individuals and churches in ongoing involvement with at least one partnership. As you pray for the projects being carried out and make trips to get to know them personally, you can also designate a regular (preferably monthly) contribution to the partnership account of your choice. Designated-giving donors are key to maintaining and expanding what we do in collaboration with our partners.

Your financial engagement makes a tremendous difference as we work with our partners to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth, disciple new believers, equip the saints for the work of the ministry, and bring “help, hope, and healing” to those who are needy and broken.

Note: Besides contributing to the funding of IM partnerships, the WMO also helps missionaries whose accounts are in the deficit or struggling, as well as providing part of the general fund income.

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Understanding Partnerships

Kenneth Eagleton

Understanding Partnerships

At our national convention in Louisville, Kentucky, in July 2017, a gentleman told me he had been praying daily for partnerships. He paused and added, “…but I don’t know what they are.” He’s not the only one. Since then, several other people have said similar things.

In IM’s context, a partnership is cooperation between IM and other organizations working internationally. When compared to many international organizations, we are small. We have personnel and financial limitations. We don’t have workers in every country around the world, nor do we provide all the types of missionary ministries available. But we are able to expand our capabilities and scope of work when we work with others in a cooperative way—a partnership.

You only have a partnership when all those cooperating “bring something to the table” to accomplish a common goal. They don’t all necessarily bring the same thing or in the same quantity. At a potluck dinner, one person may bring meat while another contributes a vegetable dish or drinks. Some don’t bring food but help cook, set up tables, or clean up after the meal. In our partnerships, some of our common contributions are personnel, finances, expertise, labor, and materials.

We use the following principles for partnerships.

All participate. As I mentioned above, everyone contributes something. A partnership is not a handout. Partners work together. The type or level of participation might not be the same, but everyone contributes what they have to offer. For example, the seminary in Cuba needed the women’s dorm renovated and the second floor finished. IM put together a project, FWB Foundation provided funds, and Cuba and The Hanna Project (THP) provided labor.

Interdependence. In Western culture (especially North America and Europe), people are taught independence. Each individual is expected to become autonomous and as self-sufficient as possible. Though bearing some merit, when pushed too far, autonomy doesn’t resemble biblical teaching. The New Testament persistently admonishes Christians to a life of mutuality (see the “one another” passages) and community. This biblical principle promotes interdependence rather than independence. Partnerships allow us to practice this principle.

Empower national believers. As we work with believers from other countries and people groups, we want to empower them and enhance the national church’s effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship, church planting, training, and missions. We aren’t looking to control others but work as partners in ministry.

Avoid dependency. As we work in partnerships and empower believers in other countries, our goal is to increase their capabilities without creating dependency. Doing things for others they should be doing for themselves does not help. To the contrary, it hinders their ability to develop and grow.

Work through national associations. Many of our partnership projects are with Free Will Baptist works in other countries. Over several decades, through IM, FWBs have sent missionaries to pioneer evangelistic work, plant churches, disciple new believers, and train leaders. In places like Brazil, Panama, Cuba, Ivory Coast, India, and South Korea, we have mature churches with mature leaders. They have formed national associations, making our continued presence unnecessary in most of these countries. We want to respect those associations and strengthen the work as a whole. When we partner with a national association in another country, we sit down with the national leadership to determine together what is most beneficial for the work as a whole.

We believe approaching partnerships in this manner not only empowers local leadership but also advances God’s Kingdom.

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Why a DFP?

Kenneth Eagleton

Why a DFP?

Today, International Missions (IM) has fewer North American missionaries on the field than a decade ago. But our world outreach and its effects are greater. This is mostly due to our partnerships with other organizations working internationally. The national associations of Free Will Baptist churches in other countries, as well as other local and specialized organizations, make us more effective and flexible.

In July 2017, IM reorganized its administration of field operations. Instead of dividing responsibilities into five geographical regions (Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Creative Access Countries) with regional directors, the new structure features a Director of Field Ministry Personnel (the DFMP, who supervises the missionaries) and a Director of Field Partnerships (DFP). Some of the tasks of the DFP are:

IM representative. The DFP is IM’s representative in the collaborative efforts with our partnerships and the evaluation and recommendation of new ones. Each year the DFP meets with other representatives of the partnerships to evaluate projects. Adjustments are made, including discontinuing some projects and starting new ones. When meeting with executive committee members of national associations, activities of the association are reviewed and areas needing help are considered. The DFP represents IM at the Annual Conventions of these associations. This requires extensive international travel.

Consultant. With more than eight decades of cross-cultural ministry, the Mission frequently receives requests for advice, opinions, and training. The DFP serves as a consultant to our national churches in other countries as well as an encourager and trainer.

Facilitator. The DFP serves as a facilitator in the interaction of our partners amongst themselves and with our supporters in the United States. Many times this involves helping them cross language and cultural barriers. The DFP also aids in collecting statistics from our fields of work.

Communications. The DFP is the communications link between what is happening on the fields and our constituents stateside. News of the work, stories about what God is doing in people’s lives, reports, statistics, and accountability from the projects need to be communicated stateside through various news release channels. Donors of the partnerships and projects are tracked and letters of appreciation are sent.

Please pray for me as I try to fulfill this strategically important role. Help me pray for wisdom from on high, spiritual discernment, and sensitivity to the needs of others.

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Funding Partnerships

Kenneth Eagleton

Funding Partnerships

In previous posts, we explored different aspects of the various partnerships International Missions (IM) has with other organizations working internationally. Now, we focus on funding these partnerships.

Many people (both constituents in our churches as well as IM workers) volunteer their time, experience, and expertise to cooperate in the various ministry projects we have with our partners. Money is not the only resource, but it is an important one.

Missionaries involved in ministry projects on their fields are the natural fundraisers for them. IM has traditionally relied on this method. However, we do not currently have IM missionaries assigned to most of our partnerships and, therefore, do not have these natural fundraisers. This creates a challenge for raising the necessary resources.

The current solution is to use the World Missions Offering (WMO) as our principal source of partnership funding[1]. (Note: not all of our approximately 18 partnerships receive funds.) If you, or your church, are interested in supporting our IM partnerships, please contribute to the WMO. You may give during the main emphasis month of April or at any other time of the year.

The long-term solution for funding our partnerships is engaging individuals and churches in ongoing involvement with at least one partnership. As you pray for the projects being carried out and make trips to get to know them personally, you can also designate a regular (preferably monthly) contribution to the partnership account of your choice. Designated giving donors are key to maintaining and expanding what we do in collaboration with our partners.

Your financial engagement makes a tremendous difference as we work with our partners to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth, disciple new believers, equip the saints for the work of the ministry, and bring “help, hope, and healing” to those who are needy and broken.

[1] Besides contributing to the funding of IM partnerships, the WMO also helps missionaries whose accounts are in the deficit or struggling, as well as providing part of the general fund income.

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Partnership Projects

Kenneth Eagleton

Partnership Projects

In previous blog posts, we discussed partnerships in the International Missions (IM) context, looked at some of the principles guiding our cooperative efforts, and briefly reviewed the types of partnerships. Today, we will focus on different projects or activities that we cooperate in with our partners.

Church-planting. In Brazil, Cuba, and India we cooperate with the national church in sending church-planters into new areas where they do evangelism and discipleship of new believers, bringing them together in fellowship to form new churches.

Cross-cultural missions. IM comes alongside our national churches in Brazil, Cuba, and Ivory Coast to cooperate in sending missionaries from those countries to Uruguay, Turkey, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. In the near future, missionaries from former mission fields will be sent to even more countries.

Leadership training. We are helping support the efforts of our partners in training their spiritual leaders in countries like Brazil, Panama, Cuba, Ivory Coast, India, Korea, Russia, and Central Asia. We believe this is an essential component to secure the sustainability of a mature and doctrinally sound movement of churches.

Christian schools. Projects with partners support the creation and functioning of Christian schools in Ecuador and Ivory Coast.

Construction projects. We have worked with our partners in several construction projects, including churches, a camp dormitory, hospital, and Christian schools.

Humanitarian projects. Recent projects in cooperation with our partners include short-term medical teams, community health projects, adult literacy classes, schools staffed by volunteers, support of Hope Centers, and micro-loans for those needing to set up an economic activity to support their families.

All these opportunities give our Free Will Baptist people and churches avenues for direct involvement in a greater variety of ministries around the world.

Our next blog will look at funding for our partnerships.

 

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Types of Partnerships

Kenneth Eagleton

Types of Partnerships

In previous blogs, we established that partnerships in the International Missions (IM) context are cooperative efforts with organizations working internationally, and we looked at some of the principles that guide our cooperative efforts. Today we will focus on the different types of partnerships.

Partnerships with National Churches. Most of our partnerships are with national associations of Free Will Baptist churches on fields where we no longer have resident missionaries (with a couple of exceptions). IM has a high investment of personnel and finances over a period of several decades in these fields resulting in mature churches, mature spiritual leaders, church growth momentum, and FWB institutions (such as Bible institutes or seminaries). We cannot and should not walk away from them. We must do all we can to cultivate our interdependence, maintain relationships, empower them to continue to effectively evangelize and disciple their country, and facilitate their involvement in an international network of Free Will Baptists. Some of the partnerships in Brazil, Panama, Cuba, Ivory Coast, India, and South Korea have formal agreements of cooperation while in some countries our agreement is informal.

Local Kingdom Organizations. In Uganda, Africa, we partner with Village of Hope, an organization providing shelter, restoration, and training for children caught up in the country’s recent civil war. In Ecuador, we partner with Jungle Kids for Christ (JKC) which takes Christian education into the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle. They not only have a Christian school and a children’s hostel but are also planting a church.

Specialized Kingdom agencies. We partner with an agency that provides opportunities for teaching English in creative access countries (as a means of ministry). Another partner, Bible Missions, works in evangelism, church planting, and leadership training in five countries of Central Asia. Our cooperation with BERACA in Ivory Coast, Africa, provides for medical needs, adult literacy, AIDS prevention initiatives, and micro-loans for those needing to start an economic activity to support their families.

Other FWB organizations. IM also partners with other FWB organizations stateside and overseas for the benefit of our international works. Some of our projects have received the collaboration of WNAC, NAM, the FWB Foundation, Welch College, Randall University, Randall House, our own The Hanna Project (THP), and others.

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