2021 Overview

Dear Friends,

We begin with giving all glory to God for his loving faithfulness to our families, and to the Mustard Seed Foundation in its 38th year of operation. In the midst of challenges and loss, God's mercy and grace carry each of us.

Again in 2021, the COVID pandemic severely limited the Mustard Seed Foundation staff's ability to travel and to meet in person with grant applicants and recent grantees. We are thankful for technology that allowed staff to stay in touch while not able to travel. We are also thankful for many longstanding relationships with trusted churches and partners, enabling us to continue robust granting, including continuing COVID relief granting.

Mustard Seed's operating budget for 2021 was $2.8 million. Of that amount, just over $2 million was given in grants and scholarships. Last year the Foundation awarded 192 grants totaling nearly $1.5 million. We awarded grants in 52 countries worldwide, including grants in the United States. Our granting award amounts vary significantly depending on the size of the project, the church's budget, and the cost of living in the granting region. Our average grant size for the year was $7,594.

Our granting in the Americas included the support of an outreach in the garbage dump community in Guatemala City's Zone Three and an evangelistic workshop teaching hydroponics and aquaponics to youth in Houston, TX. In Egypt, we supported the establishment, expansion and/or renewal of 19 local church-based preschool ministries. We joined Japanese churches in continued support of a ministry to encourage, equip and support pastors' wives throughout Japan, and we helped a church in Taipei, Taiwan launch a virtual church and online outreach ministry platform. In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe we helped establish a church focused on reaching students at the National University of Science & Technology. We partnered with Rustaveli Church in Tblisi, Georgia to establish an evangelistic summer youth camping program. These are only a handful of the inspiring projects launched by churches we are privileged to partner with globally.

In 2021, we selected nine new Harvey Fellows and funded $335,000 to support 27 Fellows in their graduate studies. We also held a Summer Institute where current Fellows gathered to deepen their vocational vision and to encourage one another in their walk with Jesus Christ.

In this 28th year of the Harvey Fellows Program, we selected our last class of Fellows. The Harvey Fellows alumni worked closely with MSF to create a new nonprofit entity, The 28twelve Foundation, to assume selection and funding of new Harvey Fellows beginning in 2022. It is hoped that this new organization will carry on the ministry of the Harvey Fellows Program and that hundreds of alumni are able to sustain the vision beyond the Foundation.

The Theology of Work program continued to fund both formal and non-formal courses in 16 countries, granting $265,000 to 39 courses that reached over 10,000 students. Due to the ongoing restrictions in travel and granting, many of these courses were offered online or in smaller gatherings of students. Theology of Work organizers and teachers look forward to resuming more in-person courses in the year ahead.

The Mustard Seed Foundation Board, comprised of members of the extended Brantley Harvey and Tollef Bakke families, has made it a priority to invite the young adult family members to serve as rotating Board members. We are grateful to Lightsey Jett, as she rotates off the Board, for her extended service on the Board. Lightsey modeled for all of us close reading of new grant requests, along with wise questions and judgements about those giving opportunities. The Board invited Andrew Harvey and Emma Bakke to join the Board in 2021. Both Andrew and Emma served as Chairs of our Junior Board, so they are quite seasoned granters for their young ages! Emma Bakke has the distinction, as Tollef Bakke's great-granddaughter, of being the first fourth generation family member to serve on the Board.

Early in 2022, the MSF Board and staff experienced the loss of our brother and Board member Ray Bakke. Ray, the eldest of the four Tollef Bakke offspring, was a founding Board member who was instrumental in shaping Mustard Seed in the early years. An incredibly wise writer and teacher of Biblical and Church history, urban sociology, and current events, Ray gave each of us a broader view of the world and of God's Kingdom. We grieve his death, while rejoicing that he is at home with his Lord.

In Christ,

Eileen Harvey Bakke signature
Eileen Harvey Bakke

Dennis W. Bakke signature
Dennis W. Bakke