It is safe to say that members of the Mustard Seed Foundation staff and board join with many around the world who are grateful to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. It was an unforgettable year of grief, fear, and isolation. This level of national and global suffering revealed both despair as well as tremendous courage, compassion and self-sacrifice. We will be learning pandemic lessons for years to come.
Like many organizations, MSF was forced to alter our operations and plans for 2020. We rely on extensive staff international travel to visit current grantees and develop new grants. All travel came to a sudden standstill in March and has not yet resumed. Our resilient staff quickly found new ways to reach out to grantees, and relied on long developed relationships internationally to continue our granting patterns. In addition, the Board approved initiating COVID-related relief grants to churches around the globe that are responding to the material needs of their congregations and communities. We approved 30 COVID relief grants in 22 countries totaling $104,300.
Overall our granting in 2020 remained steady. The Foundation's total giving was $1.9 million from a $2.6 million annual operating budget. We awarded and paid 201 church-based grants in 52 countries for a total granting of $1.36 million.
Our granting this past year helped launch a ministry to encourage, network and disciple pastors' wives in Japan and enabled a Pentecostal church to establish a sewing workshop and micro-loan outreach initiative within the Ezbet el-Nakhl community of greater Cairo, Egypt. We also continued support of multi-year church planting efforts among an Urdu speaking, refugee community in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Russian-speaking community in Alanya, Turkey. In Athens, Greece we helped Kypseli Church hire a music director who is writing and producing distinctly Greek contemporary worship music for use in churches across Greece. In Africa we partnered with Voice of the Lord Evangelical Church in Accra to help them assist former psychiatric patients reintegrate into Ghanaian society. In Latin America we helped a healing ministry for married couples that cannot have their own children in GuatemalaCity and equipped 45 small congregations to create holistic ministries in the slums of Mexico City. In the US we helped create a residential ministry in Washington, DC for men coming out of prison and partnered with various congregations reaching out to youth living on the South and West Side of the city of Chicago.
Our Theology of Work program weathered 2020 and continues to reach students worldwide. Many of the typically in-person courses either were postponed or moved to online courses, sometimes with smaller pods of students gathering to access the teaching. We awarded 32 TOW grants in 2020, totaling $245,500, offering courses that reached 8,000 students.
Last year the Foundation selected ten new Harvey Fellows, outstanding students entering fields underrepresented by Christian leaders,to receive graduate stipends. We awarded $275,000 to 28 new and current Fellows. Regretfully, we had to cancelour 2020 Summer Institute due to COVID restrictions. In large part due to a robust e-newsletter and Facebook page, relationships remain strong among Harvey Fellow alumni.Roughly 450Harvey Fellow alumni continue to read and evaluate new applications, serve on the selection committee, volunteer as mentors and prayer partners, and give financially to the Fellows program.
In 2020 we welcomed Whit Harvey to the MSF Board. Whit led our Junior Board as a teen, and will add to our "next generation" perspective and energy on the Board.
From our observation in reviewing hundreds of grants last year, the global Church found new ways to minister, worship and have meaningful fellowship. Many churches also launched or expanded outreach to help those in need in their communities. We pray that Christ's people will befilled with new strength, gratitude and purpose as a result of the pandemic.
Eileen Harvey Bakke
Dennis W. Bakke