FaithWorks! takes Gospel worldwide
May 16, 2006
RAYTOWN – FaithWorks! Ministries Inc., a missions ministry at www.fwinc.org founded by former Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Staffer Scott Brawner, is cooperating alongside the MBC as both participate in an on-going partnership to reach Romania with the Gospel.
Energized by a tour in February and March that featured 12 youth ministers and pastors from Missouri and Texas who went to Romania with FaithWorks! Vice President Brandon Jackley, the organization is planning another trip to Romania in July. The goal is to build a $1,000 house for a Gypsy family in Cold Valley, Romania, as well as to spend time ministering to children in a Gypsy camp during the day.
“By doing something like that, you gain their respect, and by gaining their respect you’re able to sit down with them and share with them technically why you’re there,” Jackley said. “Our students go home just so overwhelmed with the need, and fulfilled, because they’ve really been able to minister to the poor.”
Jackley came to his position with FaithWorks! in September 2004 after serving for about four years as the youth pastor of Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City. He described the trip to Romania earlier this year as one where orphanages, an unwed pregnancy center and a Christian camp were visited. About 30 Romanian youth ministers were trained in “The Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry” program, Jackley said.
The philosophy at the heart of FaithWorks! is that missions changes more lives than anything else in youth ministry. A focus to go deeper, not wider, in terms of the scope of ministry is something that Brawner and Jackley have seen bear fruit. A geographical picture that might describe this pioneering type of ministry is a map of Chile, which could be seen as narrow and deep, as opposed to a map of China, which could be seen as broad and shallow. Brawner and Jackley have chosen the Chilean pathway.
“Scott and I pride ourselves so much in our training,” he said.
The new Fusion program, which is releasing a generation of students to a lifetime of leadership and service, is finishing its first year with 14 students participating through the vehicle of it being an accredited program at Midwestern Baptist College, a Southern Baptist Convention entity in Kansas City that Brawner serves as dean of students. The first semester was for training those young missionaries, and the second semester, which runs from January through May, is for the hands-on experience.
“They’re overseas working with International Mission Board missionaries on the field,” Jackley said. “For instance, our guys are in a certain area that we can’t disclose (perhaps a Muslim country somewhere in North Africa, the Middle East or Asia), but their platform is rock climbing, rappelling and hiking. They’re using that platform to literally hike from village to village, marking points so they can develop demographics for the missionaries who live there so they can develop a strategy to reach those people groups. Our guys right now are going into areas that missionaries have never been to in the world.
“Our girls are in another area. Their platform is a women’s university. They’ve been teaching English and also taking language classes, developing relationships with these women.”
Thanks largely to the expertise of Brawner, a former Army Ranger, FaithWorks! has produced survival manuals for deserts, jungles and mountains. Jackley has also written material for evangelism and missions that has been used to train more than 300 Missouri Baptist teens in how to effectively share the Gospel.
“We have a huge passion for Missouri Baptist churches,” Jackley said.