God has shown his faithfulness in remarkable ways to Global Outreach International in 2016. This video only scratches the surface; to really do justice to the trips, the leadership and human development, the missionary stories--that would take a couple of hours.
Here are some highlights that don't get enough air time in this video.
1. In 2016, for the first time, Global Outreach invested significant time into leadership and human development for other organizations.
All non-profits face the question of sustainability. For a variety of reasons, the past few years have seen a reduction in giving to the Home Office. Since we maintain a 100% pass-through policy (we take no percentage of funds given to missionaries), we need to raise administrative costs separately. The Lord has provided us with churches and Christian organizations like World Vision and Samaritan's Purse who are interested in hiring us for leadership and missions development work. We're helping them become better; they're helping us become more sustainable.
2. In 2016, we provided regional member care in unprecedented ways.
In addition to the three member care retreats highlighted here (Thailand, Costa Rica, Uganda), we appointed our first Regional Directors of Member Care for South and Central America, East Asia, Africa, and Europe. These are funded missionaries who believe in caring for and helping other missionaries and have taken on a formal, Home Office extension role. This helps us be much closer to our international missionaries and provide additional support.
Also, we've added Jerry and Carol Wooten to our missions family. Carol is a professionally licensed mental health counselor who's also licensed in distance counseling. Jerry is pastorally trained and both of them have a heart for helping missionaries stay healthy for the sake of long-term Kingdom fruitfulness. Charlene Garrett, whose coaching organization Aaron's Hands focuses on resilience and helping leaders stay where they're called, also joined our missions family.
3. In 2016, we began a long-term investment into working with Syrian refugees and Arabic-speaking peoples in Jordan.
Several families (undisclosed for security reasons) now live in Jordan to work with local believers and schools. We're incredibly excited about this. Speaking of Jordan, we're hosting a worldwide member care retreat in Jordan and Israel in March 2017. Contact us if you're interested to come along.
4. In 2016, we grew our Home Office staff without needing to grow our budget.
Several missionaries have decided that their mission needs to be done alongside and out of our Home Office in Tupelo. This includes Dr. Leanna Hollis (intercessory prayer), John and Emily Darnell (formerly in Ecuador, now in Tupelo), and Joy (a Muslim-background believer with a heart for discipleship and evangelism who relocated to Tupelo for a season). These friends have developed networks of investment partners (read: donors) who believe in what they're doing and support their Home Office-based ministries.
5. In 2016, we began telling our story better than ever before.
We've begun developing more videos and blog material, and in the future we expect to start partnering with churches to develop online courses on missions and Christian leadership.
We need your support to do what we do.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)
We don't charge any administrative fees to our missionaries. 100% of your gifts to them go to them. That's why your financial partnership is vital to Home Office. Without supporters like you, we can't keep offering administrative, financial, and member care support to our 215+ missionaries in 49 countries.
Our donations have been down for much of 2016, and we need to end the year strong so that 2017 can be even better. We're actively building out a brand new online experience for everyone--missionaries, readers, donors--and this process will finish in early 2017, but we need critical support as we cover those additional costs.
Consider joining us in our work to spread the Gospel all over the world however we can. Become a monthly Home Office partner today.