The definition of collaboration is “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something”. Collaboration is an important word in today’s world. Many businesses collaborate to produce a better product. In missions, collaboration is also very important. In order to reach more people for Christ around the world, mission organizations are working together more and more. New partnerships are forming. Agencies and churches are discovering each others’ gifts and strengths and are combining resources to become more effective in obeying the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20).
In our last prayer letter, I told you a bit about beginning to work with the Center for Intercultural Training, or CIT. CIT is a collaboration of many different mission organizations in order to train their missionaries in language learning and cultural adjustments before they go to the mission field. CIT was started several years ago by United World Mission (UWM), which is based here in Charlotte. UWM needed to prepare their missionaries for cross-cultural ministry, but had a great vision to partner with other organizations in order to be more effective at equipping them. Now, organizations like SIM, Camino-Global, Cross-World, Greater Europe Mission and many others send their candidates to CIT for two weeks of training on how to learn a language, and four weeks of cultural and spiritual preparation for transformational gospel sharing in another country. Exciting, right? Wait, there is more!
I have been invited by CIT to become the Interim Executive Director! It is “interim” because new partnerships among major mission organizations are being formed and it is better to get all organizations on board and in agreement before my role gets finalized. As Interim Executive Director of CIT, I will remain an OMS missionary but OMS will “second” or allow me to work with CIT. My responsibilities will be to oversee the residential training program–which already has a director–and also be responsible for overseeing the development of two new training programs. One is an online continuing education and follow-up platform for missionaries after they arrive in their country of service. The other will develop partnerships with mission agencies that are not based in the US in order to facilitate the formation of training programs for their missionaries who are sent cross-culturally. More and more missionaries are being sent from other countries now and they need language and culture training too. CIT will come alongside these groups so they will be effective in their outreach and mission service as well. Additionally, I will lead CIT in helping churches prepare short-term missionaries in cultural awareness and sensitivity, as well as work to form new partnerships with other mission organizations. As new partners join, CIT has the potential to become the largest missionary training center on the East Coast! How exciting is that?!?! Well, there is still more!
I have also been invited by the Lausanne Movement to coordinate a program called Classroom. Lausanne is a global evangelical mission umbrella organization started by Billy Graham and Leighton Ford back in the ‘70’s that gathers leaders, organizations, churches and Christians from around the world to equip them to better serve the body of Christ. Lausanne does this by sponsoring global consultations on many different topic areas that impact the church and society. For example, a consultation was recently held in Manila, Philippines on the global migration of peoples and the resulting Diaspora communities in nearly every country of the world. Another consultation will be held this month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the importance of research for the church. I will be going to Malaysia with a team to help produce a “Classroom” experience, which consists of a 45 minute documentary video episode plus additional learning experiences that will be placed online for churches, classes, small groups, seminaries, Bible colleges, etc., to use in learning about the various topics of the consultations. This additional role will open many doors to network globally for CIT. And, what I do with CIT will greatly inform and enhance what I do for Lausanne. I can hardly contain my excitement!
These new opportunities are a great answer to prayers we have prayed for a number of years. I can see God’s hand guiding me by providing life experiences, a good education, and talents and spiritual gifts in preparation for such a time as this. Kim will be right alongside supporting and encouraging me so I can be effective in these roles. She is truly a gift from God.
We will definitely need your prayers and support as I embark on this new venture. CIT and Lausanne are just like OMS; they are faith missions. No denomination or business pays a faith missionary’s salary. We rely solely on gifts to the Lord for our ministry from individuals, small groups, and churches who want to partner with us in doing his work around the world. In essence, God pays my salary through your gifts to OMS–I will just be working for CIT and Lausanne.
I would like to invite you to partner with me as I begin this vitally important role for the global cause of Christ, especially if you have never supported us, or did in the past but for some reason were unable to continue. Through your gifts you will facilitate the training of missionaries and equipping of Christian leaders around the world in many different organizations to do many different ministries! What an incredible, eternal investment with global impact! Please go to our page on the OMS website (click the red OMS) to give online. Or you can send a check made out to One Mission Society at P.O. Box A, Greenwood, IN 46142. Be sure to put “BURDICK 801752” on the memo line. Thank you for prayerfully considering this invitation, and for praying for me as I take on this exciting role. I would love to visit your church or group to share about all this. Please contact me at the email address or cell phone # on the side of this page.
FAMILY NEWS: Devri graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southern Wesleyan University on May 8 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education! She did her student teaching at Pendleton Elementary school in Pendleton, South Carolina this spring. Devri just got a job and will be teaching pre-school special needs students at Pendleton Elementary in the fall. Congratulations Devri!
Danya will be marching all over the US with the Spirit of Atlanta drum and Bugle Corps this summer. They will be performing a fabulous show in many cities in the Midwest, South, and Northeast. If you are interested in seeing a show, go to the DCI website at www.DCI.org and click the “schedule” tab for ticket information.
My sister Vicki has been home from the hospital now for a few weeks after brain tumor surgery. She is doing amazingly well and expects to go back to work in mid June or so! Thanks so much for praying! She still faces a lot of therapy, and it will take a year or so, but she expects some of the lingering effects to be gone within a year. Praise the Lord!
Kim is very busy with her ministry as a life group coordinator, counselor, and women’s ministry director at our church. She loves to visit our grand-daughter, Amelie. I do too! Do remember Drew and Jordyn, and Dawson as they witness for the Lord in their work places. We are so proud of our kids. They are a blessing from God.
Thank you for your partnership in the gospel. The Lord bless you!
Brent and Kim