Celebrating 35 Years of Ministry
I’m sure you are familiar with the great hymn of the faith, “Great is Thy Faithfulness!” The last verse starts off with these words:
Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
As I look back over the past 35 years of global ministry, these words ring true. Our Father’s mercies are new every morning and HE alone has provided all that was needed to sustain this ministry of encouragement. Take a short walk with me back to the beginning… when the original seed was planted for Barnabas International.
In the spring of 1986, our founders Lareau and Evie Lindquist had a two-week assignment visiting missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Colombia, South America. They were unexpectedly detained in a remote area of the jungle, Cona Colorado. As they walked the small airstrip, reflecting on the needs of missionaries and praying late into the night, the concept of Barnabas International was born. Lareau and Evie had served together in many ministries through the years, but the Lord was moving in their hearts to consider a new ministry of encouragement to God's servants overseas.
After much prayer, Barnabas International became a reality on July 7, 1986. With the help of a supportive Board of Directors, the ministry of encouragement, enrichment and edification began, primarily targeting missionaries and national church leaders serving overseas. Barnabas International was started as a "Ma and Pa" ministry with no intention of being more than that, but the Lord has allowed it to expand and mature. Yet, throughout this growth, the organization has stayed focused on providing pastoral care for global servants, national church leaders and their families.
Today with the Lord’s help and blessing, our staff count is nearly 100 and serves over 150 different mission organizations, personnel and movements in well over 50 countries around the world. “Great is THY faithfulness!”
The Work of Our Hands
Often in missions work, I’m asked the question, “What does Barnabas International do?” My short answer is this– “We shepherd global workers and train global shepherds.” I follow this statement with the explanation that we are a pastoral care ministry to missionaries and national church leaders serving on the front lines of gospel ministry.
Some may ask, “How do you know when you are successful as a mission organization?” The success of Barnabas International is relative to how we faithfully reflect the following core efforts:
GROWING by intentionally pursuing strong organizational health and staff vibrancy.
FOCUSING our provisional care toward workers with lesser care resources, living amongst peoples/regions on the fringes of Gospel exposure/access.
EQUIPPING emerging national member care leaders and movements primarily amongst peoples/regions of the fringes of Gospel exposure/access, while remaining open toward opportunities in other regions.
MULTIPLYING applied shepherding theology and practices via consulting, training, and coaching to sending agencies, sending churches, global networks, and movement.
We call our ministry strategy the “Work of Our Hands” taken from Psalm 90:16-17. “Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor or the Lord our God be upon us, as establish the work of our hands; yes, establish the work of our hands.”
This strategy is accomplished through loving and deep relationships, first with our Heavenly Father and then through caring and collaborative teams. Over the past few years, the Lord has been inviting us to a more collaborative, purposeful focus in how as an organization we shepherd global workers. In the past 18 months we have been able to develop the following working teams:
- Organizational Consulting
- MuKappa (MK/TCK Ministry)
- Shepherd’s Apprentice
- Clinical Counseling
- Security and Safety
- MENA Region (Middle East/North Africa)
Each ministry team has a team leader that helps to facilitate ministry direction and initiatives in conversation with our Executive Leadership Team. This shared model of leadership is serving us well as we move into the future. We would ask for your prayers as we continue to live out the “work of our hand.”
A New Milestone & Journey Forward
We want to sincerely thank you for your continued support through the years to the Barnabas International Ministry. Through God’s faithful provisions and blessing, we have made powerful strides in fulfilling the ever-growing need of pastoral care to those on the front lines of gospel ministry.
In honor of our 35-Year Milestone and our continued journey forward, we are asking those that feel led to consider contributing to our "2021 Working Team Campaign" that will fund Barnabas International's new working teams. Each of these working teams is vital to our ministry strategy as we look to address the needs of global workers around the world. By the end of 2021, our goal is to raise and support each team, bringing the fund goal to a total of $35,000.
To support this next chapter, please click the link below: