By Mike Duff || Medical Plan Manager
The Mission Office maintains a self-funded Medical Plan for all Career and Retired Missionaries. The Medical Plan is administered by International Medical Group (IMG) and covers our missionaries stateside or on any mission eld around the world. Over the past three years, IMG has processed a yearly average of $3.68 million in medical claims for our missionaries.
The current plan has a $750 deductible and an 80/20 co-insurance for the rst $5,000 in services. There are two deductibles and co-insurances applied per family. The maximum family out of pocket for contracted services is $3,500 per year. For treatment received outside the United States the $750 deductible is not applied.
For stateside coverage, the Medical Plan works with First Health Network as a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Last year through contracted and negotiated discounts, First Health saved the Medical Plan over $1,200,000.
The monthly deduction also includes Emergency Medical Evacuations managed through Intana. International medical evacuations are incredibly complex and can cost over $150,000. With our plan, Intana can execute an evacuation from almost any country in the world at no additional cost to the missionary. Intana’s services protect our missionaries physically and financially.
If a missionary experiences critical or chronic health issues, IMG o ers Large Case Management. This service assigns a Case Manager (doctor/RN) to the missionary to monitor all claims and treatments and is available for consultation, if needed. Our missionaries have noted this service to be very bene cial. One was quoted to say, “They really cared about me.”
The monthly Medical Plan deduction also includes a basic life insurance policy through Standard Life.
Over the last nine years wherein we have worked with IMG, they have done an incredible job of caring for our missionaries around the world.
By Jill Wolf || Project Manager
In order to support and strengthen the well- being of the missionary family as a whole, and foster their success in ministry, the Mission Office MK Team works to:
- initiate an encouraging relationship with MKs through a welcome gift at the onset of Missionary Approvals
- connect and nurture our BBFI MKs with an established identity
- tutor parents on tips for parenting MKs
- train and deepen bonds during the Annual Missionary Reunion
As teens, MKs may begin to look toward transitioning to the United States. We provide educational materials that address college selection and preparation, managing nances, nding employment, choosing a church, establishing residency, and understanding US culture. This year we also assisted incoming college freshmen by providing them with a workbook and mentorship, gift cards to help with expenses, and we have connected with them on multiple college campuses through personal visits and social media.
An adult MK has a great deal to offer mission efforts, faith organizations, international businesses, government, diplomacy, and education. We encourage you to financially partner with us to assist them in successfully navigating their many transitions and reach their full potential.
By Mike Duff || Mailroom Manager
The Mission Office mail room is a conduit between the States and the mission eld for mail from family, churches, and businesses.
Each morning we receive several sacks of mail and packages to sort, looking for envelopes containing contributions and “request to catch items” from missionaries.
A mail file is maintained for each missionary family. Their mail is placed in the le and sent to them twice a month. The average cost of providing this service to our missionaries each year is over $30,000.
The Mission Office absorbs the cost of sending rst class mail such as letters and cards. Each missionary has a bulk mail form on file to indicate any magazines or catalogs they would like forwarded to them at their own expense.
We also mail packages (at their cost) to the field for our missionaries. Most missionaries can access the internet to order supplies from companies like Amazon, but often these companies will not ship overseas or will greatly upcharge to do so. Through our business relationship with FedEx, we can get legal documents or packages anywhere in the world in 1-3 days at discounted prices.
The cost of mailing prayer letters from the eld has increased dramatically. One missionary was paying over $4.00 each to mail prayer letters from the eld. We encourage missionaries to box their letters each month and ship them to the Mission O ce where we can process them for $0.46 each. A dramatic savings when you are talking about 100 letters.
The Mail Room also processes and ships orders for Faith Promise materials and mails 4,000 – 6,000 contribution receipts each month.
The yearly cost of providing these services (and more) exceeds $150,000.
By Kena Mann || IT Manager
Web security contains many layers and when one is forgotten, it leaves a catastrophic hole into which attackers gain access to internal network information. Protecting a website against a denial of service attack, locking down user data or restricting parts of your website to authorized access are only a few steps
to take. Web security also includes guarding public assets with rewalls, educating employees, implementing strong policies, data encryption, and so much more.
The Mission Office has devices in place that perform the security functions listed and more. Internal systems can be monitored down to the driver level with network device reports and logs reviewed daily. External network scanning is also performed with the ndings remediated as quickly as possible. Our top goal is to stay ahead of the threat landscape.
While no company is free from attacks, we take the securing of our assets as a serious responsibility.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
By T. Long || Associate Director
Our missionary candidates come from a variety of backgrounds, so the development of quali cations in Bible, doctrine, and ministry made at the local church level are key prerequisites. Candidate School is two intensive one-week segments designed to prepare new missionary candidates for the many areas of ministry they will encounter. During this time, the Mission Office sta evaluates the candidates to determine if there are any gaps in preparations before moving forward in the application process.
Topics range from personal spiritual development to Mission Office procedures to deputation challenges. A large portion
of time is spent explaining how the Mission Office helps missionaries with nances and the reporting process. Candidate School classes focus on challenges such as learning a new language, children’s education on the field, and handling security threats and assessments. We believe these practical helps better prepare our missionaries for the journey ahead of them.
As the world has changed, so have the challenges for missionaries as they travel. The Mission Office offers safety and security training for foreign travel as one more way of preparing and protecting our missionaries.
When it comes to continuing education, many missionaries can now do courses online through colleges. Similarly, the Mission Office is currently considering ways to provide practical continued education for our missionaries. For example, governmental and banking changes in the States and abroad take place on a continual basis. With each change, missionaries need to be updated and educated.
It is common practice in many professions for individuals to continue their studies in order to stay up to date and be the best at what they do. Should any less be expected of God’s servants who carry the greatest message of divine hope to the nations? The Mission Office desires to be a valuable tool in preparation and continued development for BBFI missionaries and churches.
BBFI REGIONAL ASIA RETREAT
By Steve Bender || Associate Director
Thirteen years after the world witnessed a landscape of tsunami destruction in Phuket, Thailand, the beautifully rebuilt destination became the location for the second BBFI missionary regional retreat, September 25-29, 2017. Thirty-two missionaries from six countries gathered for a week of encouragement, inspiration, and relaxation. Thanks to churches and individuals who contributed to the Missionary Care Offering, the only cost to the missionaries was their travel to Phuket. All their other expenses for the retreat were covered.
“This retreat was a huge encouragement to us! We really feel that this retreat came at the exact right time for us.”
By keeping the attendance for this week smaller, Jenell and I, along with pastor Carl Hughes and his wife, Melanie, were able to interact with the missionaries on a more personal level. While we ministered to the adults, Sydney Bender, Lyndsey Jones, and Javier and Ti any Hidalgo ministered to their children.
We spent time studying God’s Word, hearing testimonies, in prayer and, of course, ample amounts of relaxing, shopping, and beach activities. Because of the generous investment of a few churches and individuals, we could give “fun money” to each missionary to spend as wisely or frivolously as they desired. Our missionaries were so appreciative of all who gave to make this time meaningful for them and their families.
Those who invest in the Missionary Care Offering and those who responded to my special request to nance the “Recreation Fund” enabled the Mission Office and me to invest in the lives of these fellow servants as a part of missionary care. Who knows, your investment may have just saved a marriage, a family, or a ministry. Thank you for expressing your care in a tangible way by giving to the Missionary Care Offering.