“One who has a genuine burden for reaching the unreached wants to be informed and equipped.” Bob Waymire, founder of GMI
Recently I found an interview that GMI’s founder, Bob Waymire, gave in 1984 to Bruce Graham, consulting editor of the IJFM. What a treasure trove for me as I assume this new role to get a glimpse into how Bob described the ministry of GMI almost 30 years ago.
As I read his answers and thought about what it must have been like to pioneer digital mapping for missions just as computers were coming on the scene, I was struck by his vision and innovative thinking. But more than Bob’s willingness to go out on a limb and use new tools, I was struck by the quote I shared above.
Leaders who are serious about the task of bringing in God’s Kingdom want to know the information that will help them be effective and intentional. They want intelligence that they can then take before the Lord and ask God for His Spirit’s leading.
Now that intelligence might be in the form of statistics and numbers. But it also might be in the form of case studies, ethnographic research or personal accounts from the field. The job of the leader is not to limit the intelligence that they consider but to use discernment to judge the value of what is presented to them.
The challenge that I and others at GMI have today is to help meet this crucial need. We must continually be finding ways to see Kingdom research progress and then be presented in relevant ways. Sometimes we will do that work, other times we will provide training and still other times our job is to be the cheerleader for others who are doing excellent work.
In fact, my hope is that GMI will more and more be an organization who is networking, facilitating and publishing for the many wonderful missions researchers who are at work in every corner of the world. The goal is to fuel leaders with the information they need to accomplish what God has put in front of them.
When Bob finished his interview back in 1984 he said, “To a significant degree this project (GMI) is for them, the “harvest force” of the future.” Today leaders around the world are benefiting from his passion to make information available for the Kingdom effort. He and Mike O’Rear carried that vision forward and I am privileged to continue leading GMI as it serves Kingdom leaders.