International (MNN) — What are the essentials of church-planting? Faith, perseverance, trust in God, hope, love, neighborliness: all of these things and more could make the list. But as Bruce Allen of FMI points out, church-planters need practical resources, too.
That’s why their 2020 plans focus on equipping believers around the globe with Scripture and other resources, especially in hard-to-reach places.
Take Indonesia. In 2019, Mission Network News followed changes in the country, including the decision to move Indonesia’s capital and the demographic challenges facing the country’s many islands. This year, FMI’s Bruce Allen says they are “looking to continue expansion across Indonesia, adding additional church planters, and perhaps even beginning to develop partnerships on a new island, the island of Sumatra.”
Although there is some Christian activity on Sumatra, many villages have no churches. The Bible has been translated into the local language, so the tools are available, “but we need to facilitate and mobilize church workers to do that.”
FMI is also looking at expansion into Turkey, Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other countries. They’re also planning on focusing on equipping church-planters.
“In 2019, we had a goal of supporting 20 new churches. Well, by August of this year, we had already started working 25 new ministry sites…. For 2020, our goal is 25 new churches across our fields of partnership.”
One of the best ways FMI can help is by providing Bibles. Thanks to literacy issues and security concerns, FMI has helped developed creative ways to provide believers around the world with the Gospel. “We use things like a solar powered audio devices, or micro SD cards about the size of a thumbnail,” Allen explains.
“The hunger for God’s word is palpable across all these fields that I’ve seen in the last few years, even though they’re what we consider some of the darkest areas spiritually in the world, or governments appear closed to the gospel.”
In 2019, FMI’s goal was to get a Bible into the hands of 2,000 people. Instead, they reached almost 9,000. According to Allen, “every time we send funds for them to procure Bibles, they distribute them so quickly that I get requests within a month or two of ‘Brother Bruce, we need more funds. The people here are so hungry for Bibles.’”
Want to support FMI? Spend 2020 praying for church-planters and believers around the world trying to establish practical support for God’s Kingdom. If you want to donate, you can contribute to a “bread and butter” account that provides tangible resources for pastors and church-planters, including Bibles, income, and transportation.
Stick with Mission Network News to hear an announcement about FMI’s 2020 plans in the next few months.
Header photo courtesy of Pixabay