Note: This Impact Report is a bit different than others we’ve written. Rather than reporting a story of the impact that God brought about in someone’s life through JFA, we are sharing a sort of “big picture” view of JFA’s impact through names of people with whom we interacted. Each of the names, and each of the conversations associated with them, points to the “one person at a time” we’re so passionate about training Christians to reach. We love the person in front of us for the same reason we love the unborn child and her parents: each of these human beings has intrinsic, enduring value as someone made in the image of God. Thank you for supporting JFA financially and for praying along with us for each individual story represented by the names in this report. - Steve Wagner, Executive Director
This year we wanted to see how many conversations the JFA community could create, so we counted. We’re excited to report that we logged more than 2,017 conversations in 2017. More important than the number of conversations, though, is what’s at the center of each one: a person.
I just read through the reflections of one of our dedicated volunteers who participated in JFA events in Colorado, Indiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma this year. His name is Mark. Some of the 120 people with whom Mark spoke changed their minds and decided unborn children should be protected from abortion. Others seemed unmoved from their pro-choice positions. Yet Mark is not discouraged. He made a list of names and intends to continue to pray for each person with whom he spoke, believing that although good reasons and dialogue are important to helping people change, God is the one who moves in the heart of the person and causes the seeds Mark planted to take root.
Our staff and volunteers (including Mark) worked together to compile the names of many of these people with whom we were privileged to interact this year. Some were pro-choice. Some were pro-life. Some were undecided or confused or searching prior to the conversation.
Please place your trust in God along with us, asking Him to grow in each of these people a strong and active love for those who are often forgotten—for the smallest humans on earth (unborn children), for women and men in distress (related to unplanned pregnancy or sexual assault), and for those whose appearance or worldview makes them difficult to love (such as pro-choice advocates). Pray that each person we talked to this year will take a next step to love the forgotten in the coming months.
Make Your Own Impact with a Year-End Gift
As you consider your year-end giving, please consider giving generously to JFA to help us train more Christians to create more conversations in 2018. You can give online or send your gift using the instructions at our Donate page. Your gift will help JFA plan more events, hire more staff, and reach more people. Here are just two examples: David Rodriguez and Susanna Buckley served as interns during the fall of 2017, and they have both committed to serve as interns during the spring of 2018. Your gift to the Training Program Fund will pay for their travel to and from outreach events, and it will help us continue to provide a place in the Wichita office where they can grow as dialogue artists and mentors of others. Your gift to the Intern Scholarship Fund will fund paychecks for them or other interns like them. Your gift to the Staff Support Fund or to support a specific staff missionary will fund the salaries of those who mentor these interns. Last month, we shared one beautiful story in which this mentoring made a difference ("Three Miracles in One Conversation"). Our “Invest in JFA” page gives you more detailed information on these and other ways you can make an impact with your gift to JFA. Feel free to use our Contact page to contact me directly to discuss JFA’s vision, strategy, and needs for 2018. Thanks for partnering with JFA!
What I Said on Giving Tuesday Might Surprise You
In case you missed it, please read my Giving Tuesday message to all of JFA's readers who serve behind the scenes by praying, supporting financially, providing homes and meals for our traveling team, volunteering during outreach events, creating conversations in everyday life, and supporting JFA in other ways. This message provides important context to my request for year-end gifts above.