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Category: coMISSION

Dr. David Hasz Appointed President and CEO of Bethany International

Leadership Torch Passed at Minnesota-based Missions Training and Sending Organization

BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota-September 6, 2022-Bethany International, a mission-driven organization dedicated to sharing the Gospel around the world, is excited to announce Dr. David Hasz as the next President & CEO. He will lead the non-profit into a new season while continuing to serve as Bethany Global University (BGU) President.

“It is with a grateful heart and energetic faith that I look forward to the future for Bethany. The worldwide team of Bethany has a passion for Jesus to be glorified-from freshmen entering college to those serving around the world. It’s an honor and privilege to serve and lead this team,” Dr. Hasz said.

Dr. Hasz will be responsible for providing leadership to all ministries within Bethany. He will oversee operations for the university, missionary fielding, global partnerships, and fundraising.

Before coming to Bethany, Hasz served as the Executive Vice President of Teen Mania Ministries and was the Director of the Honor Academy from 1995-2012. He has a B.S. in Education from Oral Roberts University, an M.A. in Intercultural Leadership, and a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership.

“We’re very excited to see David move into this role and anticipate that he will bring fresh, new thinking to us regarding the organization and our model moving forward. We are also grateful to Dan Brokke for his outstanding leadership and spiritual wisdom during his tenure,” said Bill Couey, Bethany Board of Trustees Chairman.

The transition comes as current Bethany President & CEO Dan Brokke retires from his position after 16 years. Brokke will continue to serve on staff with Bethany, working in donor and ministry relations.

“Whether it’s ministry programs or business development, operational and financial management, or spiritual and organizational culture leadership, David has the skills, experience, and character to lead our Bethany team into the future,” Brokke said.

Dan Brokke recommended to the Board of Trustees that Dr. Hasz take the helm as Bethany’s next leader. He began serving with Bethany as a board member in 2006 and joined senior leadership in 2013, the Board unanimously voted and set a transition date of September 6, 2022. Hasz will officially be installed on October 3, 2022.

About Bethany:

Based in Bloomington, MN, Bethany International is an interdenominational non-profit that has been training and sending missionaries to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world for more than 75 years. With partnerships in approximately 100 countries, our mission is “Taking the Church to Where it’s Not.” Our ministries include:

  • Bethany Global University-Offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs focused on equipping students for a career in missions as well as leading interculturally.
  • Bethany Gateways-Sends missionaries internationally and nationally for long term service.
  • Bethany Partners-Provides training and support to national ministries across the globe.

Bethany is Ready for the Next Generation of Disciple Leaders

By: Dan Brokke, Bethany President & CEO

We are pleased to introduce an all-new Bethany brand design that better reflects the spirit of our Gospel-focused mission. For over 75 years, the people of Bethany have remained faithful in their efforts of taking the church to where it’s not. What started with five families pooling their resources to fund missions, still burns bright through three unified ministries:

Bethany Global University, Bethany Gateways, and Bethany Partners. 

Our new, clean, and modern look is a fresh and exciting reflection of the Bethany mission.

The circle in our new logo represents the world and our efforts to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The double arrows indicate our urgency to see exponential, forward movement (like a fast forward play button) and partnership with others to get the job done.

 So why the change? We often hear: “Bethany is a best-kept secret.” It’s time for us to elevate our brand design and better tell the story of what God is doing in today’s highly visual world.

We know we can’t accomplish our mission without the generous support of others committed to this cause. We want to invite many more people – prospective students, donors, future staff, missionaries, and mission partners – to join in taking the church to where it’s not.

In the coming days and months as you receive communications, visit our website, or stop by our campus, you’ll see more expressions of our new brand design coming to life. We are excited to propel our mission forward and invite you to continue sharing with us on the journey. Your prayers and financial support are the backbones of what we can accomplish together.

One cause. One Gospel. One Bethany.

The World Says Stop

By: Alison Goldhor, Bethany Partners

When Rhakho made the decision to follow Jesus and become a missionary, he knew the road ahead would not be easy. Despite experiencing persecution and opposition, the Bethany Partner from northeastern India does not let challenge deter his obedience to go.

His goal in life remains the same: to bring as many people as possible to the saving knowledge of Jesus.

However, a new challenge in the form of a global pandemic brought unimaginable tragedy. In the span of just a few months, 15 of his closest supporters, friends and family members died from the virus. Faced with grief and uncertainty, Rhakho said it was difficult to see how his ministry would move forward. But rather than slow down, he pressed on with strength he testifies only God could provide.

“Our time is short, so I don’t want to stay back and mourn,” Rhakho said.

For nearly 20 years, Rhakho has dedicated his life’s work to training disciples. In 2003 he founded Harvest School of Missions in Nagaland. Close to the border of Myanmar and home to many colorful tribes, it is a strategic place from which to send missionaries into places where people have never heard of Jesus. More than 300 students have graduated since then, and Rhakho’s missionaries have planted churches among 34 unreached people groups. Some of these churches are now sending out their own missionaries to reach remote peoples inaccessible to outsiders.

Realizing the pandemic offered opportunities as well as challenges, Rhakho and his trainees began reaching more people with the Good News than ever before. When COVID restrictions brought severe economic hardship, Rhakho mobilized relief teams to villages worst affected, distributing rice and other supplies. They discovered that out of desperation, some parents had even had to sell a child to keep the rest of the family from starving.

Seeing how hungry people were for God, Rhakho’s trainees began to invite him to put on conferences in remote mountain areas. People would gather from villages all around, and many responded to the Gospel. At the beginning of 2021, Rhakho’s prayer was to see 100 souls saved. By the end of the year, he had seen more than 2,000 come into God’s Kingdom.
“In these three years, especially during the pandemic time, we’ve trained more people, we’ve brought more disciples into the kingdom, we’ve planted more churches,” Rhakho said. “When I look back, the Lord gave us more open doors
to reach people.”

Rhakho said this success is a direct result of Bethany’s Exponential Disciple-Making seminar (EDM) that he took in early 2020 just before the pandemic. The seminar equips teams to make disciples that make new disciples, multiplying the impact of the Gospel among the unreached. Despite all of the COVID barriers, Rhakho was able to lead a total of 17 seminars, both in-person and online. Just one seminar brought in as many as 400 people.

“Praise God, because I know the Lord called me. I praise God not because of what I can do, but because of who is praying for us and praying for our work,” he said.

Rhakho’s calling to the mission field came early in life. He grew up in a Christian home where he was encouraged by his family to pray often for persecuted nations. Now as he faces the same challenges as those he prayed for, God is opening doors no one else could.

Reach All Nations

By: Dan Germo, Bethany Gateways International Director

The Gambia, a small nation in western Africa, is often overlooked. Aside from a short coastal strip, it forms just a sliver in the side of Senegal, the country surrounding it. A taxi driver there told me while I was on a recent visit, “The Gambia is the tongue inside the mouth that is Senegal!”

While it is a place many might disregard, it is on Bethany’s radar. The Gambia is considered one of the least developed countries in the continent, with many people living in poverty. More than 90 percent of the nation is Muslim, also making it a spiritually dark place.

That’s why Bethany Gateways, the ministry I lead to place Missionaries across the globe, sent a long-term team to serve the people of The Gambia. Bethany Missionaries Jon and Vee Gowin are leading this charge. This nation of just over 2 million people is home for the couple and their two children. Jon grew up in The Gambia to missionary parents. “As a boy I sensed God calling me to foreign missions. That’s why I attended Bethany Global University,” Jon told me.

After training to be a career missionary, he studied agriculture and returned to work in The Gambia. For many years his ministry focused on working the soil and teaching local people how to farm in a sustainable way. While serving, he met Vee in a nearby city. Shortly after they met, she came to Christ. She too became passionate about her newfound relationship with Jesus and was determined to share this message with her own people. Several years later, Jon and Vee married and started a family. When their first child was four years old, they moved to the U.S. so Vee could also study at Bethany Global University.

After spending nearly 7 years in the states, the Gowin family moved back to The Gambia in 2021 with a strong and persistent determination to reach the unreached. During their time away, a political shift in the nation created an environment of religious freedom. This new atmosphere created many open doors, which they were determined to use for the sake of the Gospel.

In partnership with a local believer, who is a former Muslim, they began preparing local evangelists to go throughout the small country. Last year, they equipped 10 disciples with Jesus Film backpacks and motorcycles to bring the loving story of Jesus into the remote villages. During my recent trip to see Jon and Vee, they took me to visit one of these evangelists. While sitting on the floor of his house, over a delicious meal of monkey (yes, monkey, and it was surprisingly tender), this evangelist shared with us his passion to see his neighbors and family come to know Jesus.

Each week he would spend considerable time in prayer, interceding on behalf of the lost around him. Then at certain times each week, he would take the Jesus Film backpack, get on his motorcycle, and travel into the villages sharing the love of Jesus. It touched my heart to see this man’s motivation to truly serve others, rather than himself.

The Gowins, and their ministry partners, are committed to see the Gospel go forth, and for the Church to be established among all the tribes throughout The Gambia. Join me in praying for Jon and Vee as they continue to serve with the desire to see disciples made, who become disciple-makers themselves, among all the tribes within this little nation God has certainly not overlooked.

Engaging People Groups with the Smallest Percentage of Bible-believing Christians

By: Bethany Partners

Bethany and our international partners currently engage 542 Unreached People Groups (UPGs) with the Gospel across the globe. Nearly a third of the groups we focus on are 0.0% Christian. God has called us to shine a light in the hardest to reach places.

Many of the people we serve have little or no access to a Bible or Christian witness. Our ministries are dedicated to seeing the name of Jesus Christ known among every tribe, tongue, and nation.

The Unfinished Task

Bethany’s passion is to find unreached people groups and engage them until disciples and churches multiply among them. This is at the heart of who we are and what we do, until no unreached peoples remain. In May of 2020, with the help of our partners around the world, Bethany reached the goal of engaging 500 UPGs.

However, with billions of people still considered unreached, our work is far from over. God is calling us to engage exponentially. We do this by equipping new disciples to make more disciples. We are trusting God for 100 new movements to Christ by 2026. Whether it is training, sending, or mobilizing – we are all called to play a role in fulfilling the Great Commission.  

Saba Soccer Event

Bethany Global University Student Testimony: Saba’s Story

By: Caroline Duxter, Bethany Communications

BGU Class of 2022: Saba Levendusky

Age: 22 Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas

Internship: Hungary

Thousands of miles away from her home in Kansas City, Saba found herself on familiar turf in Hungary.

The 22-year-old, along with other members of her Bethany Global University (BGU) internship team, started regularly meeting to kick around a soccer ball — a game she’d played her whole life. It didn’t take long for it to become a ministry.

“We learned Hungarians loved soccer, and they are always on the field,” Saba said. “It’s a great way to connect with people without speaking the same language.”

Saba said soccer became a source of light and encouragement. “(We started) seeing people come to youth group who would have never thought they would see themselves at a church or in a religious setting,” Saba said.

But this transformation did not happen overnight. Before beginning BGU’s 16-month global internship program, Saba knew she wanted to be in ministry, but not necessarily overseas. Admittedly, she said she didn’t have an interest in going to Europe after also having her original location changed due to COVID.

“I would say the first eight months I had no desire to live in Hungary. I just didn’t feel like I fit in with the culture, and it was hard adjusting,” Saba said. “Once I broke that barrier, I was able to go deeper in my relationships.”

The experience changed her perspective and trajectory. “It’s very comforting to know I don’t have to know the future. I don’t have to even know the next year in front of me. God knows it, and He’s taking us one step at a time,” Saba said.

Everyday ministry, like playing soccer with Hungarian youth, is now something she cannot imagine her life without. Now, Saba’s prayer is to return as a long-term missionary and become an English teacher.


To read more student testimonies from the Spring 2022 issue of CoMISSION, click here.