news around the world
Free Will Baptist International Missions serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America
so unreached peoples can know the joy of a
relationship with the living God.
To find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit www.fwbgo.com.
Tokyo, Japan—The Good News Chapel in Tokyo added five adults to the church membership roll on Sunday, May 25. These converts accepted Christ some time ago, but recently decided it was time to commit themselves to serving and supporting the outreach of the church.
Campinas, Brazil—Approximately 100 people attended a church retreat sponsored by the São José FWB Church in Campinas on May 21. Josete, pastor Elizeu’s wife, from Araras spoke on the Christian family. The day ended with various activities, a barbeque, and great fellowship.
Karako, Côte d’Ivoire—The Gouméré Community Health Evangelism (CHE) team evaluated 100 boys and 100 girls in Karako March 11-12. Several children were found to be malnourished, and most were diagnosed with malaria. On May 22, the Muslim chief invited Verlin Anderson to openly share the medical findings in the context of God’s desire to change them by obedience to His Word.
Svishtov, Bulgaria—The Good News FWB Church in Svishtov held a men’s retreat May 16-18. Seven men attended; four were not yet believers. Tim Awtrey led a seminar on “You, Your Wife, and Oher Women,” to help the men learn how to relate to other women. As a follow-up to the retreat, a movie night was held Friday, May 30, for all the men in the community.
Tokyo, Japan—The Iriso Christ Church, Good News Chapel, and Kamifukuoka Christ Church in Tokyo participated in the third annual Friendship Festival, Sunday, April 27. This festival is a great opportunity for the three churches to come together for fellowship and outreach to the community. Several people from the neighborhood stopped by—some for the first time—to join in the fun.
Campinas, Brazil—A new district association of Free Will Baptist churches was born, Saturday, April 17.The cities of Campinas and Araras are only 50 miles apart and have eight Free Will Baptists churches. The new association unites these churches in fellowship and cooperation. Plans are being made to start another church plant in Campinas through the support of these churches.
Mission Office Reorganizes
Antioch, TN—Free Will Baptist International Missions recently announced a management reorganization. “As we move toward 2010 and the launch of a new funding system, the Mission needs to operate with more efficiency,” stated James Forlines, general director. “To achieve this end, we are significantly changing the reporting structure and reallocating human and financial resources by appointing two deputy directors.”
During its April meeting, the Board of International Missions approved the naming of two deputy directors who will oversee the Mission’s operations. Mark McPeak (left) has assumed the role of Deputy Director of Stateside Operations. Jeff Turnbough (right) has been named Deputy Director for Field Operations.
Current Director of Field Operations Steve Lytle will leave his post at the Mission office on July 31. His wife Judy will continue in the office as recruitment coordinator until the end of the year.
Steve and Judy (pictured, right) anticipate a move to the field in 2009. Utilizing Panama as a base of operations they will assist our Latin America missionary force through preaching, teaching, discipleship ministries, and leadership training. “Steve and Judy have proven to be faithful and productive servants in their 33-year career with IM,” said James Forlines. “I really expect their ministry to enhance the current work in Cuba, Brazil, Panama, and Uruguay.”
In addition to their work as missionaries, Steve will tackle a special assignment with the missions committee of the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptists.
Dr. Jeff Turnbough has served as a missionary in Spain for 27 years. In 2006, he assumed the role of Regional Director for Europe and Russia. “Jeff’s contribution to International Missions as a church planter, regional director, and leader of the team in Spain has been invaluable. He will provide us with solid experience and strong strategic leadership as we move into a promising future,” Forlines said. All field operations and personnel will report to Turnbough. Jeff and his wife Susan will continue to reside in the Madrid area of Spain.
McPeak joined International Missions in May of 2005. “In his role as director of communications, Mark has shown strong leadership and has contributed significantly to the overall strategy and success of the Mission,” said Forlines. “I believe he will help us improve what we are doing stateside, so we operate with professionalism as we continue to grow.”
The deputy director of stateside operations will be responsible for all operations and personnel related to communications, member care, mobilization, recruiting, and development.
International Fellowship Missions Committee Meets
Miami, Florida—During the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptists (IFOFWB) in October 2007, a committee was formed to discuss proposals on how Free Will Baptists outside North America can serve as missionaries. The committee met at the Ebenezer Free Will Baptist Church in Miami May 1-3.
Committee members include: José Manuel Parrón (Europe); Steve Lytle (North America); Elizeu Ardeli Cantelmo (South America); Nathan Snow (Asia); and Omar Alfaro (proxy for Ramón Sanchez, Central America).
The following mission statement was adopted:
This Missions Committee exists to serve Free Will Baptist entities across the world that are in fellowship with the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptists and who desire to carry the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.
The committee set April 20-26, 2009, as a time for Free Will Baptists internationally to focus on prayer and fasting concerning this matter.
Various organizational models were discussed, and a decision was made for committee members to present their initial findings in 2010 at the next IFOFWB meeting and seek input from Free Will Baptists around the world.
Leadership Matters Course
San José, Costa Rica—Jeff and Susan Turnbough taught a Leadership Matters Course May 4-18 in Costa Rica. For the first time, Jeff served as lead trainer and Susan led the relationships building track. The venue was smaller, permitting 21 leaders and nine trainers to attend. Participants represented six mission organizations with workers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, St. Vincent, and Uruguay.
An added blessing of the course was the opportunity to network with leaders of other evangelical mission organizations working in Central and South America. In an unexpected move, participants invited the LMC team to return to South America and set the following training dates: Panama City, Panama, June 2009 and Quito, Ecuador, August 2009.