This first week of 2011 is so much more than just the beginning of a new year. This week 15 new Bethany College of Missions January freshmen began orientation.
The Rivendell Sanctuary program (partner education Christian worldview Associate of Arts degree) launched with 25 students. Congratulations!!!
Wednesday we celebrated Reba Dahlen’s and Jim Pope’s 90th birthdays. Reba served from 1943 to 1984 as founder Ted Hegre’s secretary. She and her husband Cliff, children Jan and Jim and their families served Bethany in so many deep and wonderful ways. And today, Reba continues to be one of those prayer warriors for God’s work and people here and around the world. Happy Birthday, Reba!!
Jim Pope was introduced to Bethany early on. He knew that God was calling him to be involved. He met his wife Linnie here and they were married at the original Bethany House. Jim is a wonderful example of someone willing to serve wherever needed. He helped in construction, in the trailer shop, spent years in the camera room, and has served in the prison ministry in recent years. I love the fire and vision in Jim’s eyes-he has a gift for researching and dreaming about ways to creatively make an impact. God Bless you, Jim!!
STEM Mission Conference in April
Loren Cunningham has confirmed that he is able to speak at The Leader’s Call event (the Short-term Mission Leaders’ Conference) on April 14-16. A reduced fee for attending is being offered this year.
In addition, we are holding a youth missions conference on Saturday afternoon and evening, April 16. Loren will speak on Friday evening, Saturday morning, and again on Saturday evening. He shared that it has been his desire to come to Bethany again. Mark this on your calendar. This should be an exciting and challenging weekend.
Please pray for the team from Biola University that will serve in the Dominican Republic from January 7-22. They will divide their time between working for STEM’s partner ministry in the capital, Santo Domingo, and serving in a country church in the mountains.
From President Dan Brokke
During the past year our board has discussed our Bethany mission and purpose. One of the strong themes that kept occurring is our calling to “reach people everywhere” to “go where darkness reigns” and to see the “church go to where it is not.” The word “edge” kept coming through. It is easier to settle for going where there is need, but not necessarily where the “edges of the Kingdom” can be found. There are 1.7 billion people who do not have any access to the Gospel. They cannot find it on their own and there is no one engaging them for Jesus. That is where we must go. As the Bethany International Ministries team worked on this they expressed two distinct strategies:
1. Send people from the west to reach these places
2. Help the church in other nations to send workers to unreached peoples.
This fits our DNA. As we have pursued this in recent months, God is opening up new doors of opportunity.
Here is the mission statement that has become clearer and more compelling to us through the months. There are three versions of the mission – the first is our overarching mission statement, the second is for BCOM, and the third for Bethany International Ministries.
Bethany International Mission Statement: Train Strategically, Reach Strategically
Bethany International exists to take the Church to where it is not by recruiting, preparing, and fielding Christ-centered servant leaders who collaborate with global partners to transform people and communities, delighting God’s heart and extending His Kingdom.
Bethany College of Missions
Bethany College of Missions provides an intercultural educational experience that produces Christ-centered servant leaders, followers of Jesus who take the church to where it is not, transforming people and communities, delighting God’s heart and extending his kingdom.
Bethany International Ministries
Bethany International Ministries mobilizes and fields Christ-centered servant leaders who take the Church to where it is not and collaborate with global partners to transform people and communities, delighting God’s heart and extending His Kingdom.
Over the Christmas and New Year’s break my heart as been stirred to intercede and “contend” for greater breakthrough and an increase of workers to fulfill this calling that God has given to us. In 2011, we have an opportunity to step into our identity and our calling in a new way. I ask that you will each begin to pray into these, asking God to fill us with His thoughts to gain greater clarity in strategy and operate in greater anointing as we seek to partner with Him to “take the Church to where it is not.”
Happy New Year! May God fill you with great joy and strength.