RI’s Board is made up of nine business and church leaders. They meet four times a year, providing guidance for RI’s operation, programs, personnel, and policy. The board works with administrative staff to shape RI’s vision and provide accountability for fulfilling that vision.
Highlights from the July 2022 board meeting.
Toggle sections below to reveal the contents. Names changed for security purposes and last names are not used in some cases.
Joe (President) reflected on his recent trip to visit RI worker Al in Brazil. Joe was encouraged by Al’s strategic thinking and his vision to engage believers from the Amazon region in global missions. RI leadership are having further discussions about how we might be involved in this in the future.
Tom (Asia Regional Director) shared that he finished another year of teaching. Although it can be hard to see his impact on a day-to-day basis, Tom expressed a strong sense of peace that he is where God wants him to be. The Thailand team is two people larger, with a daughter born to Jacob and Dani, and a new worker planning to arrive mid-July.
The 58:12 United Team completed their transition away from the children’s home and are now focused on community outreach. They are involved in two communities on a weekly basis, and are hoping to add a third location by the end of the year.
The southeastern team continues to grow. They met in June for a retreat and spent time in prayer, Bible study, and discussion about goals and future ministry. Some team members, currently leading groups in their villages, are praying about installing other leaders and moving to new villages to restart the process. The hostels in the south are both continuing, although not without growing pains. Even so, the team is making connections through the students. They recently visited a new area and shared the gospel, leaving with an invitation to return.
Kevin (Mediterranean Regional Director) stated that RI workers in the Mediterranean are connecting with their neighbors, developing businesses in their local communities, and working toward acquiring long-term visas. He was grateful to have visited these workers recently and connect deeply with them. Even through the difficulties of the past few years, they are working diligently toward their goal of bringing the Kingdom.
Jerry (VP of Finance) reported that a pattern of strong giving continued in 2Q, with total tax-deductible giving to RI increasing by 30 percent. This result was driven by strong giving in a variety of areas, including donations toward RBG projects and Ukraine relief, as well as several large estate gifts. With operating income up by 28 percent and expenses by only 19 percent, RI ended the first half of the year in a solid financial position.
Jerry informed the board of some repair needs at the RIC. He sought approval to fix drainage issues and to resurface the driveway and parking lot; the board approved spending up to $60k.
Colleen (Director of Human Resources) shared an update on several RI workers. Courtney Geiser was appointed to a two-year internship in Thailand, and plans to deploy on July 21. Sydney Spires and her husband Angel were appointed as associated workers for a three-year assignment with the Shekinah Foundation. Another new worker is raising support for a three-year term in the Mediterranean.
RI continues to seek someone to assist with building and property maintenance at the Rosedale International Center.
Isaac (Director of Short-Term Programs) reflected on the last days of REACH 2021, which concluded on May 27th after a 10-day reentry at the RIC. This was a time of some emotionally draining conversations, but Isaac was grateful to hear stories of Jesus moving in each location.
Looking toward REACH 2022, STP plans to send two full teams. Isaac expressed frustration that cost of travel, increase in visa costs, and low number of applicants resulted in sending one less team than in 2021—rather than one more team as he had hoped. Still, he noted excitement that all outreach locations—Albania and Senegal—are overseas for the first time since 2019.
Isaac then moved to an overview of City Challenge. Over the course of four weeks, eight youth groups participated. He was grateful for Phil and Lexi’s leadership and encouraged by how well the interns and Summer Urban Volunteers engaged with the youth groups.
Larry and Dot (RBG Directors) reported that they hope to hire a part-time RBG administrative assistant, and are processing an application for this position. In addition, RBG is in conversation with a young family about the possibility of being RBG workers overseas. This could have some similarities to the VS placements of the ‘60s—‘80s.
Due to an unresolved situation with a pastor’s unpaid debt on an RBG loan, RBG has made the decision that new personal projects presented by any member of the Nicaraguan Mennonite Conference will not be considered. This was a difficult decision, but they hope that it will propel people into growing and moving away from destructive behaviors.
In June, RBG sent out a newsletter for the first time in ten years. It was well received, and they hope to send three or four newsletters per year.
Larry & Dot (LAMP Coordinators) highlighted the need for someone to walk alongside the church leadership in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Ecuador to model and build basic biblical practices of servant leadership, transparency, accountability, and integrity. This is not specific to RBG or LAMP, but a combination as both teams are involved in these countries.
They also shared the challenges Nicaraguan non-profits are facing due to government reviews that almost always claim to uncover fraud. Over 1,000 NGOs have been shut down in 2022, and Larry expects to receive a request for help from the Nicaraguan conference on how to address these issues.
They noted the recent resignation of Dion & Naty as LAMP representatives for Ecuador. Since the LAMP program is in a phase of evaluation and discernment regarding how best to move forward, they plan to take some time before filling the vacancy.
- November 7-8, 2022, RIC, Columbus, OH
- February 20, 2023, Apple Creek, OH
- May 1, 2023, RIC, Columbus, OH
- July 27, 2023, Castorland, NY