As we begin our fourth decade as a Christian family foundation, Mustard Seed Foundation continues to partner with churches and organizations around the world as they evangelize, disciple, serve, and encourage people in the communities where these ministries are located.
2014 was, thankfully, a year when we experienced stability and normalcy within our organization. The Foundation’s $2.5 million operating budget was slightly higher than the previous year. We awarded 215 grants to ministries in 39 nations. MSF grants, ranging in size from $200 to $30,000 with an average grant size in 2014 of about $5,000, represent the “mustard seeds” of faith and stewardship that we pray will be abundantly multiplied.
We continue to love the remarkable faces and stories of our grantees: from a church that participates in prison ministry to gang members and their families in Guatemala City, to a Cairo church that has established a nursing training center to equip Christian care-‐givers, to a Gospel music themed church in Paris. We are encouraged that there appears to be a rebirth of faith in Eastern and Western Europe, where small congregations fearlessly love their neighbors and replicate themselves throughout Europe. In many contexts in Asia and Africa, Christians reach out to serve their Muslim neighbors with pre-‐schools, job training programs and outreach to refugees.
The Harvey Fellows Program, now in its twenty‐first year, has matured as our alumni seek to be Christ’s witness in positions of leadership in higher education, the arts, government, and the marketplace. We celebrate the recent publication of Faithful is Successful, a collection of essays on the tensions inherent in integrating faith and vocation, written and edited by Harvey Fellows alumni. In February a selection committee comprised of the Harvey Fellows Alumni Board and several MSF Board members selected 14 new Fellows. Total funding in 2014 was $308,484 for 35 Fellows.
Last year we awarded 39 Theology of Work grants totaling $222,755. These grants enable churches and seminaries to conduct Theology of Work courses both for pastors and for laypersons worldwide. We note an exciting new development of a Theology of Work curriculum that is being piloted in Christian schools in the U.S. and internationally.
Lowell Bakke concluded his five‐year term on the Mustard Seed Board. We are grateful that Lowell will remain involved through his administration of the Theology of Work grants. We welcome Eric Bakke to the Board. Eric’s heart for teens and his musical gifts will greatly bless our work together.
Jill Jensen, who served on the MSF staff for close to ten years, departed in the fall to give more attention to her young children and growing family coffee business. Jill constantly amazed us with her organizational gifts and her capacity to learn anything new thrown her way. We miss her presence on our team. In a wonderful “Back to the Future” event, Nancy Gray returned to the Foundation staff nine years after she left to spend more time with her family. Welcome back, Nancy!
We are grateful to God for His continued abundant provision of the necessary financial resources to fund Mustard Seed Foundation. We also are thankful for the opportunities to participate in significant “mustard seed” ministries by partnering with faithful, courageous followers of Jesus Christ around the globe.
Eileen Harvey Bakke
Dennis W. Bakke