A Taste of Bangladesh was executed on August 21 with great class and excellence thanks to the leadership of Lisa McGee and outstanding volunteers. I think we had 200 attendance including 30 new contacts for our newsletters. I believe a stronger publicity/recruitment plan could have brought our total to 250 which we could have easily handled because we had plenty of space and excess entertainment capacity, although we would have needed more food. Although this was not a fundraiser, we spent $3649.29 and collected $8179 for a net of $4529.71. Kudos to Bill Wolf leading the Development committee and Lisa leading the Events committee. (Our evaluation document is 12 pages and counting if anyone wants to share their input!)
25th Anniversary Dinner
Our initial list of 100 invitees we targeted had MANY important people missing, I discovered a few days ago. We would like to expand the invitations to 215 addresses with the goal of increasing our attendance from 75 to 120 people in attendance. This increase of 45 people will come at an overall cost of an additional $2700, Lisa tells me.
Ministry in Bangladesh
At the moment, as of this morning, we count 5600 students even. We ended last year at 5020. The first seven months of the year everything was at a standstill. We just tried to not lose anyone. This is tremendous growth in August-September. We are comfortable to take on this growth because God has blessed us with new staff (30% more than last year). Using the support that we are sending to the greatest effect, Matthew now has 47 employed, including himself. (SEE ATTACHMENT A) They have been diligently training them in the fundamentals.
Plans for Bangladesh visit
According to our strategic plan (see * below and attachment B), we added five districts in the last two years (Naogoan, Giabandha, Habiganj, Cox’s Bazar, Madaripur). The excitement of a graduation is integral to our ministry strategy, so we are planning to bring four teams to Bangladesh to encourage the ministry through these celebrations. The two graduation weekends will be January 14-15 and 21-22, with a mini-camp in between. The leave and return dates are Jan. 9 and 24. There will be 17 graduations conducted. The following year there are plans to add four more districts (Sunamganj, Bandarban, Satkhira, Rangpur). Because of the traditional enthusiasm for education, our model should stay popular and we need to have a “full stable” of experienced BD visitors to rotate through year after year. The final list of visiting team and expenses will be ready for a zoom-call Board meeting in October to get final approval
Three weeks ago Thomas and I restarted the OT Survey course with the top 22 staff over video conference. We expect to be able to finish by Christmas. We expect to teach NT Survey next year remotely as we are doing now. We also expect that our top leaders will start to teach the junior staff the first course from 2020 (Hermeneutics).
House Church training
I have been using the book “More Disciples” by Doug Lucas to train our top leaders in how to run a house church. Some of them are already putting it into practice in their own areas. I expect the training to go at least another 4 months.
We have three Wings: GR N; GR S; Holland/Zeeland which meet quarterly and see 5-10 each time. For a while they were all zoom. Now they are in-person and on zoom and we usually have a Bangladesh staff to speak with and sometimes pray with over the internet. Our Prayer page is now being updated from a different section of Bangladesh every week.
*From strategic plan of November 2019: