Several exciting developments in our international ministries have occurred in the past few weeks:
- A funding commitment for the Integrated Development training program in Kenya
- A major grant commitment for expansion of Mission Training and Training of Trainer Schools in Asia
- Several foundations, ministries and churches have come together to fund a Bible printing vision in Cambodia
Support and Marketplace Ministries
Bethany Press International installed a new digital roll press that serves the short run (500 to 1500 books) niche in the market; there has been a rapid shift in the market toward using digital production. This will allow BPI to keep more than 600 jobs each year in-house and provide an expanded range of services.
Association for Biblical Higher Education – Accreditation
An ABHE Accreditation Commission team visit is planned for October 2011. It is the next step in the process for consideration as an accreditation candidate. Our prayer is that we will achieve candidate status by February 2012. At that time students are able to receive Title 4 funds and support. Between now and that visit we are working through a list of several dozen areas of improvement. The self-study assessment was filed with ABHE on November 15, 2010. This self-study provides the framework for improvement and continued assessment.
This week sophomores are studying “Hermeneutics and Exegetical Skills” with Tom Shetler and freshmen are wrapping up their “Biblical Worldview” course with Steve Eliason.
Prospective BCOM Students “Visit Day”
Those interested in Bethany College of Missions are invited to “BCOM Preview” March 24-25th.
We are trusting the Lord for 40-50 young people to attend this event.
GO100 Consultant, Herbert B. is traveling in Africa and Europe. He spent two weeks in Ghana before traveling to Accra where he met with two Bethany missionaries. This week he is in Uganda working on a special project. From there he travels to Cornwall and Kent, England where he will deliver a series of seminars.
Tim F. is in Brazil giving a series of devotionals on Bethany’s history, core values, and future direction to the staff and missionaries of Bethany Evangelical Mission during their annual meeting. This is the 48th year of relationship between Bethany U.S. and Brazilian staff since the field was opened as BIM’s first mission field in 1963! Tim is in discussions with Bethany’s missionary sending agency, JUMIB, about opportunities for partnership in service, as well as discussing partnering options such as jointly developing a GAP site in Brazil (GAP = Global Access Partnerships). Another opportunity for partnership entails the possibility of co-developing missions courses in both English and Portuguese for use in on-line training programs. In addition, the leaders in Brazil plan to send a series of couples to Minneapolis for a year at a time to work at Bethany, develop stronger relationships between the two organizations, and to provide an opportunity to learn English to their younger staff members.
The Leader’s Call (Short Term Missions Leadership Conference) will be held April 14-16.
As well, on Saturday afternoon the 16th, Bethany hosts Commission 2011 – “Taking the Church to Where It is Not,” a half day missions conference immediately following the STEM conference. Loren Cunningham will be the keynote speaker at this event to mobilize people for missions. There will be worship and intercession throughout the day, workshops on where the church is not, unreached peoples, and critical spiritual needs and ministry opportunities in areas such as human trafficking, refugee and immigrant populations and the urban “underbelly.” There will also be a meeting with church mission leaders in the afternoon. In the evening there will be a mission’s rally and challenge to engage to take the church where it is not.
The STEM outreach team from Biola University had a wonderful two weeks of ministry in the Dominican Republic. Before they had even arrived, they had led one person to the Lord on their overnight flight from the West Coast! While in the DR they saw another 22 people pray to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. They visited at least 41 homes with invitations to a children’s program and general public meetings, and used these opportunities to share the gospel and pray for people’s needs. Via children’s after-school programs and Sunday School programs and other church services, they gave a clear gospel message to an estimated 544 people. The team also helped out with a number of construction projects. They built forms, prepped walls, tied re-rod, moved tons (literally) of sand, gravel, and cement to be mixed totally by hand, then poured concrete to make a staircase. Two of the interpreters experienced a significant work of the Spirit in their lives as a result of their interaction with the team.