2015 State of Missions (FMI)
Foursquare Connection 2015 was packed with updates from Foursquare Missions International (FMI). From Connection Studio workshop sessions that connected pastors and leaders with cross-cultural ministries, video reports of works in Bahrain, the fabulous FMI Connection Center booth serving international coffee, it was only natural that missions was in the air as we focused on being “Sent.”
During the Tuesday morning main session, FMI Director Jim Scott and Associate Director Ted Vail outlined important global progress for Foursquare. Referencing the appointment of Sri Lankan National Leader Leslie Keegel as chair of the Foursquare Global Council, Ted Vail stated that we are “watching a global family, growing and reaching out to more” to be “on mission together throughout the nations.”
Jim Scott followed by praising the initiatives of the U.S. Foursquare leadership to disempower themselves in order to empower global leadership. This continues the great work of partnership between districts, pastors, teams and networks. Highlighting educational branches of missions, Jim reminded us of the heritage of cross-cultural ministry.
Foursquare founder Aimee Semple McPherson planted 63 Spanish-speaking churches while remaining entirely non-Spanish speaking herself. Those churches experienced renewal under the direction of Harold Helms and Raymundo Diaz, with the founding of Angelus Bible Institute. This institute, since 1986, has graduated 1,200 students into ministry with global impact as these graduates serve as missionaries, pastors and leaders in many nations. The institute not only has 20 U.S.-based extensions, but also 46 international extensions, including within Cuba.
A second educational partnership is a historic one between FMI and Life Pacific College (also known as Life Bible College). This new partnership provides a two-year, post-graduate apprenticeship program that will send students into the field with current missionaries, and, upon successful completion, will enable deployment as a career missionary somewhere around the world.
Ted Vail spotlighted the massive need and potential for reaching a largely unreached nation: India. Foursquare India is a great opportunity for partnerships similar to the ones experienced between the Gateway District and the nation of Bangladesh. As missions, training and planting resources are strategically focused, we can reach the nations together.
Not just looking forward, attendees celebrated the fruitful labors of Ted and Sou Olbrich, missionaries to Cambodia, as Life Pacific College President Jim Adams shared about the presentation of Ted and Sou with Life Pacific’s highest award: the conferral of the Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree.
Between the 2015 Foursquare cabinet meetings and Foursquare Connection 2015, the biggest update was in the funding of new workers to new nations in the Middle East. Jim Scott told convention attendees that a total of $224,000 is needed to sustain six years of work, and at Foursquare Connection 2015, nearly $70,000 of that funding was raised.
We also commissioned as a family as we prayed over new missionaries who are deploying, and strong networking was done between area missionaries, FMI deployment staff, and Foursquare ministers and members, who were being challenged to pray, give, partner and go.
Download the full FMI report to learn about work in the Philippines, Africa, relief work by Foursquare Disaster Relief and much more.