In the vast sea of missionaries and mission agencies and sending churches, there are many, many different groups, standards, doctrines and positions. Groups that were once known for their stand are now know for their compromise. Churches are sending out their own missionaries, but other churches know nothing about their doctrinal positions. This puts pastors in an awkward position. The phone rings, the missionary states their field and then the pastor must discern to which camp they belong.
This page has been developed with the purpose of providing a complete background of this ministry for pastors.
The primary goal of this ministry is to glorify God and to see these children saved, raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and eventually serving Him as adults, by helping local churches and missionaries start, strengthen and maintain ministries to the fatherless in whatever way possible.
This printable brochure will give more detailed information about these goals.
Is there really a need for such a ministry? Yes. The world's orphan population is approx.143,000,000. That is larger than the population of Russia, Mexico or the UK. In a 2009 survey of Independent Baptist churches, only 12.5% of responding churches had any kind of ministry to the fatherless and only 6% of their missionaries had such ministries. Yet the fatherless are in 100% of communities around the world.
We cannot put it off, hoping to reach them as adults. The average life-expectancy of an orphan is 30 years. Our time is limited. Read more here:
In early 1988, my family, USA missionaries with BIMI, took part in a missions conference as part of our deputation trail. On the last night of the meeting, at the age of twelve, I surrendered to a burden, a call to missions, that had long been growing. It was that night that the Lord first put orphan ministry in my heart. As the years passed, and I entered my high school years, there were things that distracted me from that call. But the summer after I graduated, the Lord used Ecclesiastes 5:5-7 to get my attention, “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed…”
That day I surrendered again to go wherever He wanted, to do whatever He wanted me to do. One year later, in the fall of 1995, I found myself on the way to Moscow for what I thought would be a nine-month missions trip. I had been there just over four months when the Lord made it clear that I should stay longer. The Lord extended that nine months into twenty-two, and for the next ten years He just kept taking me back. I was blessed to work with many different Russian Baptist churches, orphanages, and schools, as well as widow ministry and ministry among Afghan refugees.
In 2005, while on a furlough, the Lord made it clear that I was not to return to my former place of ministry due to changes in the ministry. At that point I began to prayerfully consider what the next step would be. My desire was to return to Russia as quickly as possible. Because I had gone to Russia right out of high school, I began looking into various Bible colleges. I had just chosen one, when we received a call that my grandmother was in the hospital and the family needed someone to care for my grandfather. It quickly became evident that my grandmother would no longer be able to care for the two of them. For the next 15 months the Lord blessed me with the opportunity of being their primary caregiver. During this time, I was active in the music and children’s ministries of my local church, (Victory Baptist Church, Pastor Ralph Johnson, Coshocton, OH).
The Lord also blessed with the opportunity to take part in two survey trips to Russia, Ukraine and China. Although, the Lord did not give clear direction to further pursue any of the ministries surveyed on these trips, both times were very eye-opening and gave a great deal of insight into areas of ministry that I had not considered before.
As the needs of my grandparents increased it became evident that I could no longer meet them sufficiently. I returned home to Montana at Christmas (2006) and it was agreed by all that I should not return to Ohio. So once again, it was time to consider the next step. My heart’s desire was still to return to Russia, still to work with the children that the Lord had placed on my heart, and to get back to that ministry as quickly as possible. At the encouragement of my Pastor (and Father) I enrolled in Mountain States Baptist College, Great Falls, MT a ministry of Fairview Baptist Church, Pastor Richard Dion.
The time at Mountain States was a great blessing, a time to learn and pursue studies that I had long desired to study. While there, I was blessed to participate in the choir as well as the children’s ministry. During this time the Lord opened a special door to work with a group of girls from our bus routes. The time spent with these girls and members of their families opened my eyes to the needs among the fatherless of America.
In May of 2008, I graduated with an Associates in Biblical Studies. In July, the Lord allowed me to take an extensive survey trip to work with an orphanage in Central Asia and to visit several ministries in Russia. During this trip, the burden that the Lord had begun to lay on my heart while in college only grew stronger. In each ministry there were very specific needs – in particular two needs were very prominent: the need for trained workers and the need for current workers to be trained.
It was out of the that trip and the experience of the years in Russia that "Forbid Them Not" was born. The burden of my heart is to help churches and missionaries start, strengthen and maintain ministries to the fatherless of their communities – ministries that are centered around Christ, His Word and the local church. The Lord has given the background and experience to assist in this work. Now I am praying that He will open the spiritual eyes and hearts of His people to this need, and that He will raise up others who would be willing to “visit the fatherless…in their affliction” – that they might come to know Him as Father.
Since returning from Central Asia in late 2008, one of my biggest challenges was to find out the needs of ministries to fatherless and how to approach meeting those needs. Forbid Them Not, was a by product of that process. In 2009, my pastor and I conducted a survey of Independent Baptist Churches and Mission Agencies to see what the general perception was toward this type of ministry. Once the survey had been complete, I needed a way to publish it. The internet seemed like the best tool, so we set up a website. And that website needed a name, since then this ministry has been called: Forbid Them Not Independent Baptist Ministries.
At the same time, I know that the greatest need that any missionary has is prayer. And so, I put together a prayer loop through which I try to communicate important prayer needs to others. This has been a great blessing!
Then the Lord brought along the Job 31 Project, which led to the 2010 Trip to Kenya. You can watch a short Video report of this project and trip at this link.
The Lord is working. We are currently working on establishing a ministry through our local church to reach the Children of Prisons. Please be praying for this. The Chaplain that we have been working with just resigned, so this could have major bearings on the future of this ministry.
I am currently in regular contact with several missionaries all around the world who need additional workers. This is one of the greatest needs in this ministry. One of my goals is to help bring missionaries and trained workers together.
Catch me on WordPress: http://forbidthemnot.wordpress.com/
Grace Baptist Church