Monday, July 28, 2008

Living Up to Our Name: The Internationalization of ACTION

At the 2006 International Council held in Mount Vernon, Washington, it was resolved that ACTION become a multinational missionary sending agency. We decided to view every ACTION country as potentially both a sending and receiving field. We began to seriously entertain membership applications from Christian workers in non-ACTION countries. Two years after adopting this new emphasis, I would like to comment on some of the ways God has led us.

• The 2008 International Council officially recognized every country where ACTION has workers, as ACTION fields.

• Ingo Abraham, ACTION United Kingdom Executive Director and Europe Coordinator, has forged ahead with expansion of the mission onto the Continent. Harry & Catherine Bryans, working in Belgium, merged their children’s ministry into ACTION and gave us a toehold in the Francophone world.

• Seni & Lose Finau of Tonga were accepted for service in the Philippines. Our International Director, L. Nelson Reed, started formation of an ACTION council there to facilitate the sending process.

• Dr. Wayne Whitbourne, Canada Director & South Asia Coordinator, joined the Christian Leadership Alliance.

• Nelson Reed is undertaking a worldwide itinerary to visit the ACTION fields. In 2008 his schedule has included Mexico, India, the Philippines, New Zealand, Tonga, Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, and England.

• While in New Zealand, Nelson strengthened ties with our partner agency, the International Resource Network, directed by Rob Purdue. Half of the donations sent to ACTION for relief work in Myanmar following the May cyclone will be administered by ACTION New Zealand.

• Nelson Reed in consultation with an attorney who has expertise in international law and business is studying the ACTION Fellowship model. The present constitution actually has no legal basis. It was set up when the Philippines was the only field and the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom were the only sending countries. Since ACTION now ministers in 25 countries, an updated agreement linking the various branches of the mission will be proposed.

• Our single women members are internationalizing the mission as they marry Christian workers native to their countries of service. Ruth Barry of New Zealand has married Brazilian Pastor Samuel Oliveira. Julie Kacena of USA has married a deacon of her church in Brazil, Elías Madeira. Merlyn “Lika” Braun, a Brazilian raised in Ecuador, is engaged to a director of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Brazil, Mário Milhomem de Castro Júnior, and American Nita Evans, raised in Paraguay and serving in Ecuador, has married Ecuadorean Pastor Francisco Vargas.

• ACTION USA is in the midst of adopting new software designed by LightSys, a mission to missions, which will enable our organization to serve our members with real-time information (up-to-the-minute reports on donations and expenses) and cope more efficiently with growth and the multinational character of the society.

• Mark Royce Summers was named Director of ACTION Ecuador. Under consideration is the establishment of a receipting office so that workers accepted in the mission there can accept support donations from Ecuadorean Christians, and eventually be sent to other countries.

• The USA Board of Trustees is directing establishment of metrics and forecasting to enable more careful stewardship of mission resources.

• ACTION India is incorporating and ACTION Spain is registering.

• Founder Doug Nichols is spearheading an expansion of our Pastoral Leadership Development division.

In conclusion, let me state what an exciting time this is in the development of our agency. Please join us in prayer for the LORD’s guidance and blessing, His provision for existing ministries and expansion, for more workers from all corners of the globe, and for direction and strength for Nelson Reed in his task of leadership and mentorship for the whole mission. Thank you for your part, dear reader, whether as a member, donor, friend, or prayer warrior. Fulfilling God’s calling requires us all to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission.

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes (Isaiah 54:2, KJV).

These are exciting days for ACTION. May our LORD continue to favor us with leadership, recruits, and resources to fulfill the Great Commission.

Yours in Christ,
Rex Lee Carlaw, USA Director, Latin America Coordinator
and International Council Chairman

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