Early Milestones

Jan 1, 2023

Staying True To Our Calling

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MATT DURKEE 

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)

Last year, Friends In Action International celebrated its 30th anniversary by sharing a wealth of CHALLENGE-edition “God stories” demonstrating God’s love and faithfulness. Though I’m relatively new to the position of Executive Director (but not to FIA, having served on the field since 2009), these stories helped me truly appreciate how much we have grown from our first days.

Throughout our history as an organization, the activity (what we do as a mission) has grown, and how we’ve responded to our challenges has also evolved. Humble beginnings led us to provide project support in infrastructure and community development, health and hygiene services, and crisis response and relief services. It has been said that “a hungry heart has no ears”—by building relationships, investing in people, and meeting critical needs, opportunities are created for hearts to hear the truth.

Even as we have grown over the years, something that has never changed has been our why. We exist to provide the means and resources to support our Gospel partners in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ with a world dying apart from Him. For those of us who
know the truth of the Gospel, we are meant to wrestle with the question, “I have this hope, so what am I doing with it?” We have this hope, and it’s meant to be shared.

As a group of do-ers and go-getters, our response is ACTION. We may not be the ones doing the talking when we serve with our partners, but by supporting them, by God’s grace, He uses our actions and service to build bridges of peace into hard-to-reach places for the Gospel. Each work we partner with lays a foundation that shines Truth and Hope into the darkness.

Over the past 12 months, I have seen a surge of requests for partnership, from Friends, people, and organizations asking FRIENDS to help in the unique way God has equipped us to serve. With more than 20 trips planned in
2023 and exploring additional future ministry relationships, this growth is exciting and challenging. As the Lord increases our capacity to support others, I am convinced that we need to stay true to our why. To focus on the places that need us most and to be where help is hard to come by. To come alongside those without the means or ability to go the distance themselves.

This year, you are invited to better understand the why of the various ministries and projects of Friends In Action International through our CHALLENGE stories. Test us, our convictions; see what drives us to engage where we do and why. See that we are committed to serving as we’ve been called. My prayer is that the Lord will challenge and inspire you to consider how you can be part of the bigger picture of what God is doing through FIA at home and around the world. Whether you pray, give, or go, be part of our Savior’s plan to make Christ known to the last, lost, and least, wherever He calls us, until all have heard. Be a Friend In Action.

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