Friday, September 20, 2013

Innovative Organizations

Organizations and websites that are on my radar.

Operation Blessing is a huge relief organization based out of Virginia Beach, VA, with various socially oriented programs in Mexico, including the distribution of (almost) free wheelchairs, water purification systems and very economic anti-parasite medicine for rural areas. If you go to this site during these days you'll see a video from Scott Hill on the relief efforts going on in Mexico as a result of the flooding. I've embedded the video below. I met Scott at a Certification Course for wheelchair distribution several months ago at OB's headquarters in Mexico.

Moody Bible Institute. If you are serious about missions, this is one school that consistently shines. Many of our summer interns have come from Moody, and their current president is all about continuing a strong, priority focus for world missions. Every year between 300 and 400 MBI students do cross-cultural internships. That number dwarfs all other schools. I'm excited about possibly being involved in some sort of ongoing writing capacity...we'll see how that goes.

Niel Cole. I've read most of what he's written, including his classic books Organic Church, Organic Leadership and Church 3.0. Now, apparently, he's turning his attention a bit towards the way we do missions. This should be fun! Check out his recent blog entries on his blog Cole-Slaw. He is beginning a new organization called Starling Initiatives.

Adventures in Life Ministry. David Miller and his host of dedicated border-crossers are re-writing how missions can be done effectively via short term experiences and solid Mexican partnerships. His desire to immerse himself in the culture and really listen to the indigenous population enables him to be involved in a plethora of projects for the advancement of the church in Oaxaca, Jalisco and
Baja California. Dave is unconventional, polemic and a true catalyst among the people and groups he hangs with. He just sent me about $385 to purchase 20 wheelchairs to send to Oaxaca. Some of his other farms, rabbit farms, family greenhouses and more.

Commission to Every Nation. Whereas most missions are extremely administrative, and not terribly committed to pastoral care and field visits, CTEN has found ways to eliminate overhead and facilitate rather than supervise. They also have a strong commitment to the sending nature of the local church. Uruguayan friends Agusto y Valeria Aniano are serving with CTEN.

Río Grande Bible Institute. With a nice campus near McAllen, TX, this institute prepares students from all over Latin America for Spanish-speaking ministry. Several good friends with Camino Global work there. FAM Mexico, the small mission that I’m a part of, had the opportunity to participate in their missions conference last year, and we’re planning to be there is coming January as well. RGBI is strategic as a training gateway to the Latin world.

Tim Conrad and Uncharted Waters Sports Ministry. I met Tim a couple of years ago, and we immediately clicked. Whenever we talk we go on and on about networking and new ideas and mobilizing for ministry and missions. Not sure how we will end up working together in the future, but I'm sure we'll keep thinking about it! UW has come to Ixtapaluca on four separate occasions. Most recently, UW missionary Mike Contreras (ok, he's actually with CTEN) did a sports club for kids in April.

Influence Lab and The Tribe. I know next to nothing about these groups/websites, but they look cool, and express their vision well!

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