The vision for this project is close to our hearts and we hope you understand our purpose behind this blog. However, we also want you to understand the nitty-gritty of our philosophy and approach as we go about our day-to-day work. So herein lies our strategy for ministry as we strive to share the stories of how God is at work in lives around the world:
Start with investing: In each location we visit, we desire to begin ministry by putting our hands to work, practically and tangibly coming alongside the team wherever their needs are greatest. We want to serve on a ground level and invest in the work and the lives of those already in action.
Sharing the stories: As a result of that investment and out of an experiential knowledge of the lives and ministries we visit, we desire to use writing and photography to share the stories of God at work in lives and communities around the world. There are three types that we intend to share:
- Ministry profiles: how God is at work on a structural level, and the vision of each ministry as they move forward
- Personal profiles: how God is at work in individual lives, and the stories of transformation therein
- Anecdotes and perspectives: stories and lessons learned as we reflect on our daily experiences abroad, and their deeper significance
The goal: We desire for the stories we write and the photos we take to be both a source of encouragement and advocacy on two fronts:
1) For the workers:
- To be a new set of eyes that offer a fresh perspective of how God is alive and moving in the ministry, with the hope of encouraging the workers as they look ahead.
- To speak up for the ministry and the team, raising awareness of their work and their needs, and to encourage others to come alongside them.
2) For those they serve:
- To encourage and invest in those served by the ministry in order that they may have a voice and know that their story matters.
- To be an advocate for their spiritual and physical needs, striving to connect their story to a network of those who can help
The result: Our ultimate purpose in sharing these stories is that people around the world would be both encouraged in their faith, knowing that they serve a God who is alive and active in the farthest corners of the earth, and challenged to become a very real part of that redemptive work. These stories are an introduction to that work, and a call to action through prayer, giving, and serving the lives and ministries introduced here. (see “Your Part” section at end)
Our Core Ministry Principles:
1) Stories as a result of investment: We are committed to writing stories as a result of personal investment in the lives of others. We are not interested in journalism that values the story over the human beings involved. We believe that the true value lies in the individual and what the Lord is doing in their life. Therefore, we are committed to spending time serving, encouraging, and listening before we ever touch a camera or a keyboard.
2) Journalistic ethics: We commit to pursuing the goals we have laid forth with journalistic integrity. That means the following: that express consent has been given prior to all feature profiles, personal pictures, and the details therein. Requests of anonymity from featured individuals are honored and the resulting pseudonyms will be marked as such with an asterisk and an explanation. Whenever possible, we strive to allow the featured individual or leader of the featured ministry to view stories prior to publication.
3) Rejecting sensationalism: Too often, journalists turn to sensationalism in order to solicit readers. However that is a strategy we reject. We strive to honestly and accurately tell the stories of God at work around the world. Those stories will often portray very real physical, emotional, or spiritual suffering, which we believe is vital for readers to understand. But that is not our goal. Our aim is never to make any individual a poster child for suffering or sympathy. Rather, we strive to honestly share those needs with you, while focusing on the beautiful hope of Christ at work in the midst of that struggle.
We encourage you to join us on this journey in the hope that you will take action in some if not all of the following ways:
1) Be a prayer warrior: We believe that prayer is real. Prayer is active. And prayer is powerful. There is a very practical and meaningful difference between the prayers of one or two people and the prayers of 200 people. We want to share these stories in the hope of seeing a growing number of people on their knees. We serve a glorious and powerful God who tells us to come before him with faith and we hope that these stories will encourage you to do just that.
2) Give: We aim to connect those with real needs to those with the resources and desire to help. Whether it is a story about a refugee, a child, a student, or a ministry as a whole, we ask you to consider what you can do to have a tangible impact. We are eager to put anyone who is interested in contact with International Teams, local ministries, churches, and individuals. At any time, please feel free to contact us at: RGilles24@gmail.com or Andrew.Nicodem@iteams.org
3) Serve: We serve a God who is alive, active, and calling us to join the redemptive work He is doing around the world. That starts in your own backyard, figuratively and literally, and extends to the furthest reaches of the globe. We hope these stories inspire you to use your interests, resources and talents for Christ wherever you may be. If there is a particular ministry featured on this site that resonates with you, please feel free to contact us about how you might be able to serve in some way. The ministries we work with are always eager to bring on full time workers and short-term teams. Maybe that could be you!
-Ryan and Andrew