Project 2013—Back to the Future
Before Joshua took the children of Israel into the Promised Land they were to erect a pile of memorial stones, which would serve as a reminder in the future of what God had done in their past. Project 2013: Back to the Future, using God’s activity in the past as a backdrop, describes how we, as Fellowship churches across this nation, can partner with Him in completing our mission.
Then and Now
INDIA—Training National Leaders
Paul and Mary Kerr left for India in 1963, the first missionaries appointed under the fledgling overseas arm of our Fellowship. When visa restrictions forced our missionaries to leave the country, Fellowship International would not return to India for another forty years. Then it would be Jack Chen, one of Paul’s former students in India, who would return to pick up the reins.
Today, Raj and Kim Vannadil are preparing to carry on the teaching and training tradition once established in India. Most Indian pastors have little or no formal theological training. They are unable to leave the churches they are already pastoring. The Vannadils will be working with LeadersFor, a tested and proven program that uses BILD materials to provide theological training for pastors and ministry leaders without taking them out of their church context.
Project Goal: $59,000
COLOMBIA—From Receivers to Senders
A phone call from Don Whiteside in Colombia, South America opened up a new era for Fellowship International. By 1972, out of those first few churches that Don and others had established, an Association of Baptist Churches in Colombia, had been formed.
Today healthy Colombian congregations are ready to begin their own missionary movement. One of the leaders of the Colombia church is Diego Cardona, son of one of the first men who came to know Christ under the ministry of Don Whiteside. Diego is a highly respected leader of men, a preacher, writer, capable church planter, an associate missionary with Fellowship International. Project 2013: Back To The Future will be used as seed money to launch this Colombian-grown missionary sending movement.
Project Goal: $59,000
FRANCE—Spreading the Message Through the Media
Europe, once the heart of the Reformation, was hard ground in the 1980s when Richard and Brenda Flemming opened up Fellowship International’s ministry in France.
Today the tradition of breaking down barriers continues in men like Guy Leduc. Guy, an engineer by education, an apologist, archeologist and expert in the areas of science and creation, has become highly respected in intellectual circles and among non-Christians, and is a much sought-after speaker, lecturing everywhere from universities to cafés. Guy is reproducing his lectures in video form. The use of modern media will provide the church in France with the opportunity to effectively and convincingly take the message of the Gospel out into the multi-cultural European community.
Funding from Back to the Future will help prepare, translate into various languages and distribute Guy’s presentations.
Project Goal: $66,000
JAPAN—The Impact of a Visible Presence
When the Fellowship became Canada-wide in 1965, Fellowship International inherited a blooming ministry in Japan as a legacy from our British Columbian churches. Those first pioneer missionaries birthed a new generation of workers represented by Carl and Wilma DeBoer, who poured their lives into establishing churches in western Japan.
In the 90s, Fellowship International shifted its focus to the more highly-populated areas of the eastern side of the country. One of the recent church plants is the Tsukuba Baptist Church, led by Paul and Jennifer Sadler. Project funds from Back to the Future will help equip their new building and landscape the property. Project 2013 funds will also be used to provide funding for some new church-planting projects made necessary by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of the northeastern part of the country in 2011.
Project Goal: $81,000
D.R. Congo—Promoting the Missionary Movement Through Financial Independence
FAIR, The Fellowship Agency for International Relief, came into being in 1974. Originally designed to respond to emergency situations, FAIR has begun to take a more proactive role in longer-term projects and in development during the 2000s, in areas where our missionaries are working. Since their arrival in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Richard and Brenda Flemming have been impacted by the crushing poverty and hopelessness of the people they have come into contact with on their training missions. Most farmers work at a subsistence level and have few tools, next to no equipment, and no resources.
Through FAIR, Project 2013: Back to the Future will provide funding to purchase cattle, land and a farm vehicle. These will provide the opportunity for the local church association to partner with their churches in improving the lives of their congregations and enabling their members to fulfill their mission of sending their own missionaries to reach the rest of francophone Africa.
Project Goal: $35,000
Who could have known fifty years ago what God would do through the churches of The Fellowship and the missionaries who have come from those churches? Does He chuckle at our surprise when He does what we least expect? Certainly He smiles on His people as they put their hands in His and allow Him to take them where He wants to go. And certainly He smiles as we commit our resources into the redemptive mission in the world that defines His heart. We encourage you to partner with Him and with our Fellowship through Project 2013: Back to the Future. Visit the Fellowship website for more information on how you can participate.