It brings us great joy to review the past year’s granting and other Foundation activity in preparation for our Annual Report. We marvel at the geographic and cultural diversity of our grantees. We admire the creative ministries birthed by congregations responding to unique needs and opportunities to share the love of Jesus Christ in their communities.
Our church-based granting in 2015 comprised about half of our $2.6 million operating budget. We awarded 262 grants to churches in 54 countries, with the grant sizes averaging $5,169, close to our historic average grant size. As with all of our grant requests, we seek to match up to 50% of each local church project, with our granting appropriately scaled so that the project is sustainable. With only three US staff responsible for granting worldwide, the Foundation relies on local networks of seminaries, past grantees, and other Christians who understand Mustard Seed’s granting priorities. We want to thank our friends throughout the world who assist us in identifying partnerships with Kingdom ministries led by bold, visionary individuals and churches.
In 2015 the Harvey Fellows Program awarded $312,000 in support of 32 Christian graduate students whose vocations are in traditionally secular fields, and who are poised to lead in their disciplines. The Harvey Fellows alumni remain integrally involved in the program by participating as application reviewers, serving on the Harvey Fellows Advisory Board, and informally mentoring current Fellows. We are grateful for the impact these 360 Harvey Fellows alumni are having in many arenas of society.
Our Theology of Work grants, in their eighth year, supported 32 grants for a total of $218,839. These programs were offered in 32 nations, equipping pastors, students, and businesspersons with an integrated view of their work as part of God’s Kingdom plan to redeem the world’s people and structures. We want to express our gratitude to Lowell Bakke, who administers the TOW grants. Lowell has empowered an international team of teachers whose courses continue to have influence beyond the scope of our initial granting.
In 2015 Emma Bakke and Andrew Harvey served as Co-chairs of the Mustard Seed Junior Board. Thank you for your leadership, Emma and Andrew! During the summer eight members of the Junior Board traveled to Toronto for an urban plunge, where they visited Mustard Seed grantees and experienced many rich expressions of Christian faith in this major urban center.
Our gratitude goes to Cathy Harvey, who rotated off the Board in 2015, for her passion for the persecuted church, as well as her support of our Junior Board. We welcome Lightsey Laffitte Jett as our newest Board member. Lightsey was a Junior Board member as a teen, and we look forward to her significant contributions as a Board member.
Despite the dark events of this year, especially the persecution of Christians and others by terrorist groups in the Middle East, we derive hope and courage from interacting with the believers who are featured on the pages of this Annual Report. We hope that you are similarly inspired by their stories.
Eileen Harvey Bakke
Dennis W. Bakke