Often, a charitable organization defines itself by 'what it does', rather than by 'who they are'. Both aspects, of course, are related, and important ... as the one directly links to the other. But, when it comes to "feet hitting the ground", usually it is the "WHO" that leads the "WHAT" .. and not the other way around. As a pastor friend (and supporter of the MMS) is fond of saying: "we are human beings ... and not human doings!"
To accurately describe 'What We Do' requires that we say a few words about 'Who We Are'1. Established nearly 25 years ago, the Malabar Mission Society — a registered, not-for-profit Canadian charity — is a 100% volunteer organization ... composed of retired pastors, businessmen, homemakers, blue & white collar professionals, working-class trades people, farmers, public servants, entrepreneurs ... basically, people from all walks of life and from diverse backgrounds of experience. We operate under a simple and uncomplicated structure: we have no headquarters building, no regional offices, no executive managers, no paid marketing staff, no national advertising campaign, and no mail solicitations. We accommodate a 'bare-bones' budget ... and we channel almost all of the income that we receive directly to gospel workers in India, and to approved [and budgeted] worker programs [ ... our only operating expenses are printing costs for our newsletter and travel costs when our Project Officer and/or Project Advisor meets with pastors and gospel workers in Malabar]. Our focus is on caring for people — not on "publicizing an image". We are directed by the words of the Gospel .... and driven by a passion to serve God. And, we're dedicated, in the greatest possible way, to helping those that need our help.
The values that we choose as 'priorities' for the MMS define both the focus of our work [ie. what 's important to us — our vision] and the direction of our efforts [ie. how we go about accomplishing 'the work' — our goals and strategies]. Our values encompass care & concern, generosity & self-sacrifice, compassion, humility, dedication, devotion, and commitment. Our values gather around individuals — both the people we are ... and the people we serve. It's not a program aimed at prestige, or self-recognition .... rather, it's a program based on relationships, on people, on caring.
As a 'best practice' of charity management, we strive to ensure constant dialogue — talking, discussing, planning and meeting .... with the 'people on the ground' in India: a program director who lives in Kerala, the members of the Malabar Mission Circle (a team of pastors and Evangelists who meet regularly to assess programs and prepare updates on progress or new needs), and our retired India Agent (who served in a leadership role in India for many, many years). Together, as an 'inter-nation' team, we collectively define mission objectives, priority projects, expected results, and — when required — improvements and new ideas .... to help us all work better, together.
Our fundraising defines what we can do, and accomplish, in a particular year. Although, not surprisingly, our project lists are almost endless.
Resources, however, are always a limitation — we can only do what we can afford. The funds that we receive from our generous donors are used to support programs that meet the most pressing and immediate needs. Whether providing gospel literature and reading materials in the local language of Malabar [Malayalam]; or providing motorcycles and bicycles for gospel workers to travel and meet with Muslim, Hindu and Christian families; or providing income stipends (when needed) to assist pastors and families who struggle with the basics of life [as many pastors and gospel workers live in daily poverty]; or providing English As A Second Language [ESL] learning programs. It's an aggressive and busy list of 'THINGS TO DO'. Needs continue to build ... and there is always more that we wish we could accomplish.
But, with prayerful support .. and caring donors, we continue to grow ... and we continue to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of families in India. It's an achievement that we are proud of .... and a commitment that we continue to follow.
And with God's help .... it will always remain WHAT we do!
1note: see also menu section 'WHO WE ARE' and the MMS "ViewBook": Your Entry to a World of Service'