Last year marked the 35th year of granting for the Mustard Seed Foundation. The world has changed in significant ways since 1984, yet the hunger to experience God's redemptive, healing love and to participate in the community of the body of Christ is as great as ever. We continue to be grateful for the many ways that local churches worldwide seek to love God and to love their neighbors as themselves. The Foundation is privileged to partner with churches and ministries as their members live out the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 2019 MSF awarded grants and scholarships totaling $1,960,000 out of a total operating budget of $2.7 million. We awarded 136 matching grants to churches and other Christian organizations in 56 countries, totaling close to $1.4 million. These small matching grants enable organizations to launch or expand ministries of evangelism, discipleship, education, worship, and community outreach. For example, in Accra, Ghana we partnered with the Jesus Glory Community Church to help two members of its congregation start auto mechanics and machinists businesses. In Athens, Greece we partnered with Exarcheia Church to help its congregation reach out to Syrian refugees. We supported the launching of ten educational outreach ministries among children in India, the planting of six new churches in the major urban centers of Japan, and the establishment of four church-based medical clinics in Egypt. In Latin America, we helped to establish an arts collaborative in the garbage dump community of Guatemala City and an outreach among pregnant teens in Buenos Aires. In the US we helped expand an outreach to the homeless in Long Beach and opened a residential recovery and discipleship home in Philadelphia.
The Harvey Fellows program continues to identify, fund and connect gifted Christian scholars and other leaders who are attending graduate school to prepare for strategic vocations. The alumni network continues to grow, with Harvey Fellow alumni participating actively in the selection of new Fellows, mentoring younger Fellows, and giving financially to the program. In 2019 we selected nine new Fellows, and awarded a total of $316,000 in stipends to 32 graduate students.
The Theology of Work program provides grants to support courses that explore the biblical worldview of vocation and work. We awarded $233,175 for 44 grants worldwide to equip 7,200 students to integrate faith and vocation in redemptive ways through those courses. We want to express our gratitude to the international team of TOW teachers, who travel extensively and now are equipping a new generation of TOW instructors.
In 2019 we welcomed Helen Harvey Laffitte to the Board. Helen has served previously on the MSF Board, and brings a deep faith and keen eye to reading and evaluating grant requests.
As we write this letter, the world is convulsed by the coronavirus pandemic. We do not yet know the full medical, financial, and spiritual impact globally, but we are confident that our loving, powerful Lord is with us and will redeem this terrible time. We join you in praying for protection, healing, and that many will experience Jesus in new ways during this season of suffering. We wait with great anticipation the many ways in which God will manifest himself through the ministry efforts of His people around the world in the year ahead.
Eileen Harvey Bakke
Dennis W. Bakke