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Retaining Our Roots, Planting More Seeds

Selling part of our long-time home would accelerate our global efforts

By Francis Patt, General Director of Frontier Ventures, and Kevin Higgins, President of William Carey International University (WCIU)

 

The same vision that birthed our kingdom work at what was then known as the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, California, just over 40 years ago, is fueling a major operational change as we prepare ourselves for the next 40.

While each is still locked on the challenge of the unreached—seeing the gospel take root in the far corners of the world where many still have yet to hear the good news of Jesus—we are letting go of some of the ways we have worked toward that goal, with the potential sale of part of our long-time respective properties in California.

This prayerfully and carefully considered move is being pursued as we recognize how, while our goals have remained unchanged through the years, the ways in which we are able to work toward them has.

Globalization, mobile technologies, and the rise of sending movements in the Global South have all lessened the need for the kind of Western-based hub from which we have functioned. We are now able to work much more closely to some of the very parts of the world we have long been focused on.

However, to invest the resources needed into building ministry presence in multiple locations, we need to review and revise the way we steward the assets available—hence the intent to let go of some of our property.

Though doing so marks the end of an era, in some ways, it does not mark a change in direction.

Both Frontier Ventures and WCIU will retain a presence in Pasadena, while pursuing greater kingdom effectiveness possible in a less-centralized future. We’re not digging up our roots, but we will each be planting seeds in other places.

Frontier Ventures will retain a presence in Pasadena focused on training and collaboration with other Christian organizations, while looking to develop other locations in the U.S. and around the world. The organization will also maintain an ongoing focus on bringing Kingdom insights to the work of the harvest, to help produce greater fruitfulness, through publications such as Mission Frontiers and the Int’l Journal for Frontier Missiology.

WCIU will also continue to have a presence in Pasadena, with plans to develop locations in other parts of the world. It hopes to grow the number of students and agencies it serves, increase the faculty, scholar-practitioners and alumni involved in the WCI Society, and eventually offer its programs in a dozen major languages globally.

We entered into discussions with a number of potential buyers and then agreed to a non-binding period in which we continued exclusive discussions with one of those.

This party is still one of our potential buyers, but we have elected to re-open our conversations with other potential buyers again.  The reason for this is very simple: more time is needed to work through the specifics of the arrangement with them, and the timeframe for the original non-binding period has lapsed.

We will explore whether any new potential buyers may have entered the picture and which of the previous parties are still interested. The door is still open as well to renew a non-binding agreement again with the same party.

Our over-arching question is, how can we continue to use what we have been given to best serve the purposes God has given us? The same vision that inspired so many people to invest in our efforts 40 years ago continues to drive us as we look ahead.

Updates on the sale process can be found at www.wciu.edu/news-events and www.frontierventures.org/blog/news.


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