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 August 2021 board meeting.
Toggle sections below to reveal contents. Names changed for security purposes and last names are not used in some cases.
Joe (President) reported that for the first time in over a year, RI staff are mostly working from the office rather than from home. It has been an adjustment, but a joy, to return to normal office rhythms.
He then highlighted RI’s work in various regions of the world. RI currently has 31 full-time workers on the field, as well as two workers through LAMP. That number will drop to 27 at the end of August with Pablo and Judi’s retirement and the official transition of a family who have been forced to become non-resident workers due to COVID-19.
Joe then transitioned to the topic of CMC church planting and expressed approval of the recent consensus that CMC, RI, and RBC should share ownership of this vision. He updated the board on recent developments in the Shepard neighborhood (where the RIC is located). In recent months, several Interns and staff have taken initiative to make disciples and hopefully plant a church in the neighborhood.
Tom (Asia Regional Director) shared that COVID-19 continues to slow ministry and directly impact the teams in Asia. The inability to secure visas is another roadblock for the Moon family, but they continue to build connections in their community despite this limitation.
The team in Southeast Asia has recently begun to travel again and is seeing positive developments in several villages. The South Asian team has also witnessed God moving. Recently, four young men came to the church that is led by a member of the South Asia team. They were a believer from a Hindu background, his two young Hindu classmates, and a young man from a Muslim background who has been open to the gospel. The two Hindu seekers are now reading the Bible, and the Muslim man has since been baptized and is eager to share the gospel.
Kevin (Mediterranean Regional Director) reported that although COVID-19 has presented many challenges to workers in the Mediterranean, he continues to be impressed with their tenacity and creativity as they continue to share the good news of Jesus. After rejected applications for year-long Visitor’s Visas, many workers continue to face frequent trips out of the country for visa renewal. Despite this, they are deeply engaged in their communities through education, counseling, agriculture, and creative giftings. Even through difficulty, each worker remains committed to long-term ministry.
Kevin then pivoted to Pablo and Judi’s retirement, and emphasized the impact of their work over the years. He believes the couple has been an excellent example of Christ’s love in their relationships with friends and neighbors.
Jerry (VP of Finances) presented the RI financial report for the second quarter of 2021. RI’s income has continued to be solid compared to budget, with total income and contributions increasing and expenses remaining essentially flat from 2020. However, expenses will begin to increase now that RI’s new hires have officially joined our staff, and he anticipates that balancing the 2022 budget will be more difficult.
Jerry shared that the RIC’s roof replacement was successfully completed at a total cost of $133,938. He then pivoted to a discussion about the inflationary pressures in the US economy, with a specific focus on wage inflation. He emphasized the importance of paying RI’s employees a living wage. The board supported his desire to enact a salary plan increase that is in line with the Social Security COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2022.
Colleen (HR Director) reported that although COVID-19 continues to complicate travel and visas, the lifting of restrictions in the States this summer allowed many workers to return on home assignment. June and July were busy with debriefing meetings for these workers. Dawn Showalter has fully transitioned into the role of Member Care Provider for the Mediterranean Region and has been doing an excellent job of connecting with workers.
Colleen also shared that RI is undergoing several staff transitions as Phil and Lexi, Short-Term Program Facilitators, and Mike, Director of Partner Development, join the team this summer. In the coming months, we will need to hire an Executive Assistant and an Assistant Director to Short-Term Programs. On the field, a new worker has been approved for a one-year assignment to North Africa.
Isaac (Director of Short-Term Programs) shared that although the past year was challenging, he feels encouraged as he anticipates REACH 2021. STP had some successes in recent months: they were able to hold City Challenge, and REACH 2020 successfully completed DTS and outreach. Looking forward, STP plans to hold a relatively normal REACH class for 2021. Isaac expressed excitement about the last-minute recruitment of a third team leader, which allows STP to send a team to Albania.
He was also very complementary of the current team of STP Interns. This has been a hard year, but they have worked diligently and supported each other through every new challenge.
Larry and Dot (RBG Directors) informed the board about the various projects that RBG has been involved with in recent months. Larry shared that the repayment of the Diego farm mortgage loan is going well, but that he is concerned by the line of credit loan. He expressed gratitude for the generous support of the tin roof project, which helped many Nicaraguans in need due to the recent hurricanes. Dot shared about “The Rock” school and RBG’s hope of finding donors and investors to sponsor the project.
Larry and Dot (LAMP Coordinators) expressed concern over the lack of vision for missions they’ve encountered in the Latin American churches. They cited instances in Nicaragua specifically, highlighting misuse of leadership and steps toward legalistic church rules.
- November 8, 2021, RIC, Columbus, OH
- February 14, 2022, Fairview Mennonite Church, Kalona, IA
- May 2, 2022, RIC, Columbus, OH
- July 21, 2022, Grantsville, MD