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 February 2023 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 briefly on the CIM annual conference in early January. This was the first in-person gathering of the group since January 2020.
At the end of January, Joe, Mike, Jerry, and Isaac visited the four Rosedale Network churches in Daviess County, IN, in hopes of strengthening RI’s relationship with them. They attended a Saturday leadership team breakfast, an evening youth gathering, and each shared in one of the churches on Sunday morning.
Joe then discussed RI’s freshly stated vision, mission, and values, which came out of participation in a Center for Serving Leaders cohort. RI’s new vision/tagline is: Jesus to the World. The World to Jesus; the new mission statement is: Nurturing, equipping, and sending disciple-makers of Jesus among the least-reached. The team is still working to finalize the statement of values.
Plans are moving forward for a mission leaders’ summit in Bangkok, Thailand, approximately October 5-12. The annual meeting of International Missions Association (IMA) will be held in Indonesia following the summit.
Tom (Asia Regional Director) shared that some students at the school where he teaches approached him about starting a discipleship group. An 11th grade student is leading the studies with Tom’s encouragement and mentorship. Tom shared a testimony from a student, and noted the importance of a long-term commitment to this ministry.
The 58:12 United Team has increased their community ministry through kids’ clubs, home visits, weekly Bible studies, and partnering with a local church. Tom reminded the board that the team will end their formal partnership with RI by the end of 2023. They will be fully overseen by their sending church.
The southeastern team has been very active. In the last few months, they hosted several holiday outreaches, visited several villages, and began a soccer ministry. According to the records they kept during 2022, they shared the gospel with several hundred people during their trips, and 71 people were baptized! The hostel ministry is continuing to make in-roads for evangelism in the students’ home villages.
RI’s partner team in the south completed their series of Christmas celebrations, and distributed blankets for those in need during the cold season. The girls’ and boys’ hostels are open for the new school year.
Kevin (Mediterranean Regional Director) reported that RI workers in the Mediterranean are developing relationships with their neighbors through teaching English, leading workshops, studying language, and developing business in their local communities. The Spain team is five people larger, with a new family recently transferring to RI.
Jerry (VP of Finance) reported that RI ended 2022 with a $256k loss in its operating account and a $102.5k loss in its consolidated accounts. In a summary of the financial year, he highlighted four key points: 1) RI had a very strong December, allowing the agency to finish the year with a reasonable cash balance in Operating; 2) special projects income and expense both soared in large part due to relief offerings for Ukraine and eastern Kentucky; 3) smaller REACH classes continued to be a drag on Operating income; and 4) estate gifts soared from $22k in 2021 to $228k in 2022.
Jerry then moved to a discussion on projects at the RIC, and received confirmation from the board for RI to move forward with a budget of $3.0 million for 2023.
Mike (Director of Partner Development) shared a quick update about RI’s Giving Tuesday ask, which was well-received and raised awareness for the needs of RI and RI’s workers. He believes that Brian & Noelia as well as Angel & Sydney were able to reach full funding as a result.
He then shared about his and Jerry’s recent visit to New York, where they attended and spoke at a winter Bible school. They each spoke in a church on Sunday morning, and led the five area churches in a study on missional living. This was a fruitful week of relationship-building.
Finally, Mike concluded with an overview of Missions 101, RI’s new fundraising initiative for churches, to be rolled out this spring
Colleen (HR Director) began by sharing plans for a retreat for workers in the Mediterranean Region.
40 people (including 16 children and a REACH team) are expected to attend. Many overseas workers will be in the US on home assignment over the summer. HR was able to schedule a group debriefing in June with the hope of reducing stress and busyness for RI staff.
There has been much transition on the field in recent months. In the Mediterranean, a worker completed her term as a childcare assistant; another resigned due to family responsibilities; a family is in the process of being appointed to serve with RI. Brian & Noelia transitioned to RI from another agency and returned to Burgos, Spain in December. Al has decided not to return to Brazil for another term.
In the office, HR faces a challenging hiring situation—several essential positions are or will be unfilled by the end of May, and Colleen is aware of two or three other positions that may be open by the end of 2023. She asked the board to be in prayer for this situation.
Isaac (Short-Term Programs Director) opened with an update on the 2022-23 REACH teams. They made it safely to their overseas locations, and have been doing a great job at engaging with the local ministries. STP has also seen transition in Columbus, with the 2022 interns finishing their term in December and the 2023 interns arriving in January. Isaac expressed excitement about the purpose with which this new group of interns is approaching life at the RIC.
He then moved to an overview of the upcoming City Challenge season—which is fully booked. This year’s theme is Anchored: Adventures Aboard the RI Sea Challenger.
Isaac concluded by sharing with the board that he will step down from his role at the end of July. While he has loved working with STP, he has also recognized how draining the last several years have been, and sees the importance of taking a break to rest, heal, and regain peace and focus.
Larry & Dot (RBG Directors) reflected on their time in Nicaragua. They attended the Assembly of the Nicaragua Mennonite Conference and were able to be in the country during the Café Diego coffee harvest and processing.
Larry talked about the repressive measures being implemented by the Nicaraguan government, and described the discussions had during the Assembly about how to meet them.
Larry & Dot (LAMP Coordinators) updated the board on Dave and Mayela’s recent trip to Spain. They spent time with the Quiros family, who were recently approved for citizenship in the country!
At the beginning of February, LAMP held a missions consultation in Talamanca, Costa Rica. It was attended by 25-30 people who expressed a heart for Thailand. Some are looking for ways to return to Thailand themselves or to send workers there.
- May 1, 2023: RIC, Columbus, OH
- July 27, 2023: Castorland, NY
- November 6, 2023: RIC, Columbus, OH
- February 19, 2024: Dayton, VA