Once again, we take time to reflect on the work of the Mustard Seed Foundation during the past year and to report to our grantees and other stakeholders. Each year we try to give a public accounting for our stewardship of the Foundation’s resources, in order to remain transparent and accountable as a Christ-centered organization. We continue to be thankful for God’s abundant mercy and faithfulness to the Mustard Seed Foundation year after year.
The Foundation’s annual budget and giving priorities have been fairly consistent over the past few years. In 2018, our total annual operations were just over $2.6 million, with nearly $2 million granted in our three giving areas: church-based granting, the Harvey Fellows Program, and the Theology of Work grants program. We awarded 218 grants to churches and other ministries in 59 countries worldwide, with our average grant size remaining $6,100. Our seasoned staff members continue to travel to visit prior and prospective grantees, often conducting workshops for leaders from small churches to help them learn how to write a grant proposal. We are encouraged by increased levels of granting in the Middle East, India and Western Europe. We also continue to identify strong ministries in Central and South America.
In 2018 we supported 38 Christian graduate students through the Harvey Fellows Program, providing $356,000 in fellowship stipends. We selected nine new Fellows in February, who will receive a $16,000 stipend each year for one, two or three years depending on the amount of time remaining in their program of study. In June we hosted our biannual Summer Institute, ably led by Jerry and Jeannie Herbert and alumni Fellows Olivia Mather and Caleb Spencer. The Summer Institute is a key component of the HF experience, allowing Fellows to form lasting relationships with others and to explore more fully the integration of faith into their studies, vocations, and lives.
The 2018 Theology of Work grants, totaling $202,000 were made to support 25 Theology of Work courses worldwide. Lowell Bakke, who administers the grant program, and a growing team of TOW teachers have increased their efforts to offer curricula and materials via the TOW website, to identify colleges and seminaries that want to teach TOW as a core part of their curriculum, and to identify and train new TOW teachers to facilitate the program even more broadly in the future. It is gratifying to witness how transformative an understanding of God’s view of our work can be in a variety of cultures.
Over the 35 years of Mustard Seed’s existence, we have relied largely on the talent, wisdom and dedication of three generations of family members to guide MSF. We want to highlight two family members with gratitude in this letter. Brantley Harvey, Eileen’s father, went home to heaven in December at the age of 88. Brantley helped incorporate MSF in 1983 and served on the Board since its inception. He contributed constant good will, fiscal realism, and abounding faith throughout his tenure on the Board. We all miss his gentlemanly voice, his warm smile, and his twinkling blue eyes. Scott Bakke, who came to work at the Foundation in early 1999, left employment at MSF at the end of 2018. Scott, who kept our technology and data base operational, was also in many ways the Foundation’s historian. Thank you, Scott, for 20 years of service.
We also want to thank Daniel Thompson for five years of service as he rotates off the Board. Daniel participated vigorously in reading Harvey Fellows applications and in the selection process. We welcome Laura Harvey onto the Board to fill this five-year position.
The longer we walk with Jesus Christ, in many respects the simpler it becomes. We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This command encompasses a whole world of faith, prayer, priorities, and action. Please pray for us as we attempt, by God’s grace, to live this out in our work and relationships. We also pray this will be true for you.
Eileen Harvey Bakke
Dennis W. Bakke