During Foursquare Connection 2011 in Columbus, Ohio, Foursquare pastors and leaders expressed a tangible commitment to Foursquare Missions International (FMI) by giving and pledging more than $1 million, of which $349,343 has been received through November 30, 2011.
In previous articles and updates, we outlined the projected priorities for putting the offering into immediate ministry use. These priorities include reaching unreached nations and people groups, developing global leadership and planting churches in world-class cities.
Now, we are pleased to announce the phase one allocations, and we give God thanks for His wisdom as these important decisions have been considered. Further, we appreciate your continued prayers for God’s anointing as these allocations begin to reach the field, and the lives of people are transformed.
One of our first investment priorities is for strategic evangelism, discipleship and church planting amongst the Hokumin, or “Northern People,” of Japan who were most affected by the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. There has not been a viable Christian witness amongst the majority of these Hokumin for at least 450 years, but the people there are now open to the gospel because of Christian relief and compassion efforts.
Also in North Asia, the Connection 2011 offering will provide ethnic leadership training and church multiplication efforts that will link together indigenous workers, minority people groups and the global Foursquare Church in creative access environments.
In French-speaking Africa, we plan to complete a medical clinic in a very needy part of a regional capital city where there are no such clinics. We believe this will be a highly effective strategy to reach children (over 50 percent of the population) and their mothers in the region.
We are also pleased to announce that this year’s Connection 2011 offering will allow us to open a new country in Central Africa to The Foursquare Church, in partnership with Foursquare Holland.
Additionally, we will purchase land and develop a world-class training center for missionaries to the unreached people groups and nations of West, Central and North Africa. Specific goals include equipping missionaries to unreached people groups in the region, focusing on major cities. We also plan to build bridges for potential workers from our Hispanic churches in the U.S. and Latin America to serve in Africa.
Foursquare leaders are starting churches among unreached villages in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The region represents 1.5 billion people; 97 percent of them do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Funds from the Connection 2011 offering will allow us to train 1,000 pastors and leaders in the region to impact the 10/40 Window.
Two different allocations are being made for Foursquare works in closed countries in Southeast Asia. One will provide church planting support for works already in progress, and the other will help initiate church planting in a closed country where we previously have not had a Foursquare work.
We already have open doors for reaching the nation of Nauru, but funds from the Connection 2011 offering will help us send our first missionary and officially register The Foursquare Church in Nauru.
In addition, the Foursquare work in Tonga is ready to expand into a stage-two church; we will host a pastoral training seminar there to aid in this process. Fiji is experiencing a dynamic move of God, and Connection 2011 funds will help us share what God is doing through evangelism events in Sigatoka, Suva, Tavua, and the Nadi areas of Vita Levu, Fiji.
Central and Eastern Europe
National leadership development in Foursquare Russia and Foursquare Ukraine will include training, mentoring and church planting initiatives, helping them become fully nationalized works. During the next 12 months, we plan to establish Foursquare ministries in the post-communist nations of Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic and Serbia.
We plan to partner with Foursquare Jamaica to plant a stage-one Foursquare church in Grand Cayman, opening this Caribbean country to The Foursquare Church.
Funding from the Connection 2011 offering will help expand the already successful church planting efforts of existing Foursquare missionaries in Baja California. Funds will also allow us to provide a strategic planning event for Foursquare Mexico leaders and FMI missionaries as we multiply our leadership development initiatives in the region.
International training and recruiting seminars will equip Foursquare pastors and leaders to reach followers of non-Christian religions in their nations. The events will also prepare workers for effective ministry to the most unreached people groups around the world; many of those are in countries closed to traditional American missionaries.
Thank you for your faith and partnership as you committed these funds, and for your faithful giving to FMI. Please pray with us that the eternal fruit that results from this seed will be millions of new disciples and new leaders, pastors, evangelists and missionaries—and transformed cities and nations!
By: James C. Scott Jr., vice president of Global Operations / director of Foursquare Missions International (FMI)