This is probably old news for many of you, but maybe not for all. We have been overseas with limited internet connections, so this is being sent almost a month after many of these facts have surfaced. As of 2 September, 2011, Evangelical Baptist Missions has officially closed its doors. It was sudden for most of us missionaries, although we had been in prayer for the home office for some time. We received the official announcement 5 minutes before we had to board our overseas connection from Washington Dulles International Airport. Since then, we have been teaching for almost a month, traveling throughout Uganda, Western Kenya, & Tanzania. We did have an idea that there were major problems for EBM, as funds were frozen before our departure, but we were very surprised and sadden by the final 23 August announcement by our board.
EBM has had a wonderful commitment to the local Church throughout the world, and we have served with many outstanding servants of the LORD over the years. It saddens us to think that the fellowship we had through our annual conferences and travels, is now disrupted as missionaries are scrambling to find agencies or Churches to represent them Stateside. From our limited communications received, it seems many have found adequate arrangements to continue their ministries, Praise the LORD!
Our Tri-M Director, Dr. David Haag has worked to find options for Tri-M missionaries as a group. He has communicated to us that he desires for us to continue together as a team, while also giving each Tri-M family the freedom to choose our support base, or mission agency. Because our trip was already set before any of these details were released, and Africans had already invested time and money in preparing for our coming, Cheryl & I decided that we needed to continue with our teaching plans overseas, and deal with the details of our support and future upon our return 23 September. We are scheduled to meet with our Sending Church, Springville Baptist Church, Pennsylvania, one week after our return to discuss the direction we can take for our future. We are also hoping to be in touch with our supporting Churches to discuss with them any future plans and receive any of their input before being locked into any official arrangement. Of course, we are also facing balancing this with a need for receiving funds as soon as possible, in that we are without any personal funds for living expenses since August and ministry funds since July. This last trip was financed by our personal savings due to the EBM freeze of funds. Please understand that we say this only to communicate the urgency of our situation. We are content and trusting the Lord that it was what He would have desired. Many of you have communicated your concern and understanding about this issue, as well as the assurance of your prayers. Thank you. We will seek to keep you informed about our situation as soon as we know any more details.
There is another item I wish I did not have to address, but feel compelled to let you know about. Since the July EBM freeze of funds, all the designed funds given for things like Bibles and Pastors’ Seed fund were lost to us. As far as we know, we cannot recover that money for the purpose it was given, as it will be tied up in courts. This greatly grieves us to inform you of this, but we must share there is nothing we can do about it. I cannot imagine how you might feel at having sacrificed so much to give for a specific purpose, only to have it lost in this way– with so little information on why or how. If we could, we would seek to make that up personally. However, all our funds are simply gone, and we are just beginning to get a handle on how much was lost in this unexpected turn of events. Many of you have received our last minute plea to hold any support or special gifts, the day of our departure. We will be letting you know where you can send those funds as soon as we can secure a reasonable way to protect your giving. Thank you for understanding. We thank God for each of you and continue to feel honored to be part of your missions family.
Striving to Serve Christ, Doug & Cheryl Boisvert, TRI-M Eastern & Central African Directors