This past year was a milestone year for the Mustard Seed Foundation, marking the 30th anniversary of our incorporation in 1983. In these 30 years, the world has changed and we have experienced many joys and challenges, both as families and as a Foundation. Through these years, we can say with confidence that God has remained the same – our loving Savior, Provider, Guide, and Redeemer.
The year 2013 also was a time of change. After nearly a decade with multiple offices located worldwide, the Foundation entered the year with only a single US office. Identifying and developing strong grassroots grants internationally has become more challenging without the benefit of international staff. Our five US staff members have been remarkably flexible, resourceful, and joyful in the midst of a major foundation restructuring. We want to thank Brian Bakke, Scott Bakke, Eric Hornberger, Lonni Jackson, and Jill Jensen, whose commitment to the mission of MSF has not wavered. We are profoundly grateful for the important work they do each day on behalf of the Foundation.
Mustard Seed continues to partner financially with churches, individuals, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to "make disciples" in all the nations of the world. In 2013 the Foundation had an operating budget of about $2.3 million. We awarded 238 grants totaling approximately $1.1 million. Our average grant size of $4,562 in 2013 is at the low end of our average grant size for most of the Foundation's history.
We celebrated the 20th year of the Harvey Fellows Program, our scholarship program that supports talented Christians who are attending top graduate programs and who God has called to be leaders and non-traditional missionaries in business, media, the arts, government, and academia. In 2013 we awarded funding to eight new Fellows. Altogether, MSF supported 39 graduate students with fellowships totaling $344,000.
Six years ago we initiated Theology of Work grants, awarded to seminaries and other organizations to develop and teach marketplace theology. In 2013 we awarded $200,000 in support of 35 Theology of Work courses, predominately outside of the United States. These courses continue to empower pastors and lay leaders to more effectively integrate their faith with their vocations and the culture at large.
Last summer, eight members of our Junior Board joined Brian Bakke, Jill Nauta, and Daniel Thompson for a weeklong Los Angeles urban plunge. The group visited a wide variety of churches and MSF grantees, interviewed several Harvey Fellows, and awarded grants after site visits. The Junior Board reported lots of pranks and fun, and also faith-building experiences and discussions. We want to thank Jr. Board Chair Emma Bakke for her continuing service and welcome Andrew Harvey as he joins her as Co-chair for this coming year.
We want to thank our daughter Margaret Bakke Canales, who rotated off the Senior Board, for her five years of service. Margaret spent more time than any board member (except Ray Bakke) with MSF staff in the field in Africa and India, giving her a tangible sense of the needs and aspirations of our grantees. We welcome Daniel Thompson to a five-year term of service on the board. He has experience in, and a heart for, Somalia, Ethiopia, and South Africa.
The apostle James admonished his brothers and sisters in Christ to "count it all joy" when they encountered trials, because as they learned to trust Christ in the midst of adversity, their faith would deepen and grow. When we count our joys over the 30 years of MSF, two things spring to mind. First, we experience joy every time we partner with Christians around the globe who desire to love God and to love their neighbors with the love of Jesus Christ. Second, we find tremendous joy in growing more deeply in our faith and in our relationships with family members on this journey of stewardship and faithfulness through the Foundation.
We pray that you will be encouraged by reading this report.
Eileen Harvey Bakke
Dennis W. Bakke