As Scott Olson (the president of International Teams) was sharing with us the vision of ITeams, the following visual aid and approach really grabbed me. I decided it was certainly worth sharing!
We characterize people in this world as the poor, the slave, and the blind. These are meant to be both literal and abstract. The goal is to bring food, freedom, and forgiveness to these individuals that we are ministering to.
Part of what Scott shared with us is their vision for the year 2020. Let me explain with more drawings:
A missionary may be living in a country and this is what their walk looks like in the morning. They live in their house and walk to their 'ministry site' every day. Let's say it's a refugee ministry at the building on the righthand side of the drawing.
The problem is that every day they walk by people in need on their way to work. But their ministry is to the refugees and they are already stretched thin in that ministry alone.
The 2020 vision is to identify 50 communities like this-- where needs exist-- and to develop a fully-integrated ministry where no one is invisible. We want to ensure that all of the needs are being met and that food, freedom, and forgiveness are readily being given and are available to everyone that is in that community.
In these communities, the missionary is still doing his ministry, but ministry is taking place for the other groups in need additionally. This might come about because additional workers have been called to the field, or there are partnerships with local churches, businesses, or other missional organizations-- but IT missionaries will be involved in the work and in bringing those people together to help the oppressed.
Pretty exciting stuff, right!? It's much more captivating when Scott delivers it.... but I thought it's worth sharing. This is who we are and will be part of what we're doing. I hope you can catch a glimpse of why we've been enjoying the training here at the IT ministry center!
I pray the Lord has been blessing you and your communities,