International (MNN) – FMI, which stood for Forgotten Missionaries International, has officially made its initials its legal *name.
A Name Change
FMI’s Bruce Allen explains this change has been in the making for the last two years. With the legal name change comes the potential to reduce a lot of barriers FMI has faced in the past with its mission work.
Last year, FMI’s board approved to move forward with the name change and sorted things out with the IRS, banks, overseas partners, etc. Now the mission agency is in the process of alerting **donors about the change.
However, part of the name change was to simply send a more accurate message to donors and ministry partners.
“It was very difficult to actually attract donors to support workers overseas when we had just said they had been forgetting [about them],” Allen explains reffering to FMI’s original name.
“[Another] incongruity was when I would visit… our partners overseas and I’d relate greetings to them from our supporters…I’d have church planters coming up to me asking, ‘Why are we called the forgotten missionaries if people are remembering us?’ And it was very true.”
The simple truth is these overseas partners aren’t forgotten anymore and FMI no longer wants to emphasize the ‘forgotten’ part of its previous name. Instead, the ministry wants to emphasize the support these partners have from their overseas brothers and sisters.
Part of doing this includes having FMI stand, not for Forgotten Missionaries International, but to have the initials represent the terms Facilitate, Mobilize, and Inspire. Allen says “In essence, that has been our ministry all along for the past three decades.”
The new name also keeps FMI’s history and heritage.
Still, did you know the mission agency is currently in its fourth decade of serving national workers overseas? Here are some of the challenges FMI has faced over the years.
“We’re operating in the three largest Muslim-dominant countries. So, the U.S. has really led the charge on the war terror, but one of the ways we combat that is by putting restrictions on the transfer of funds between countries,” Allen shares.
“We’re looking at how terrorism gets funded. Well, a lot of that funding of terrorism is under the guise of Muslim missionaries, people who set up radical madrassas in some of these countries, such as Pakistan. And the funding for those madrassas comes from outside, foreign sources.”
Taking the term, ‘missionaries’ out of the name eliminates a lot of these barriers. In case you didn’t know, sending money is an important part of FMI’s ministry. The mission agency helps support national church planters and pastors in closed countries where foreigners can’t really bring the Gospel. However, those who’ve been born and raised in these countries can.
These indigenous missionaries already know the language, they understand the culture, they eat the food. Furthermore, they can’t be kicked out of a country or have a visa denied. Yet, a lot of the time these Gospel workers don’t have enough support coming in for their ministries. FMI helps supplement financial needs to keep these individuals doing what they do — sharing the Gospel.
How to Help
Will you join FMI in supporting national mission workers in closed countries? You can help in a couple of ways!
For one, pray. Please pray for FMI’s ministry, pray for funds to go where they are needed, and for the protection of these workers serving in their home countries. Pray as well for God’s provision and for the national workers to be mobilized and inspired.
Another way to help is by giving a financial gift in support of these national missionaries. To donate, click here!
*FMI’s website will remain as forgottenmissionaries.org
**Any checks sent to Forgotten Missionaries International now need to be written/payable to FMI.