Frequently Asked Questions About HBI
What Services Does Hope Builders International Offer?
Hope Builders International (HBI) is a service agency connecting international Christian ministries with donors in the United States. We offer back office support for foreign ministries that have contacts in the United States and need a U.S. representative to act as their covering and communications link. HBI does that by receiving gifts from U.S. donors, providing tax deductible receipts to them, and then applying the receipted funds to designated ministry needs abroad or in the US. We send out mailings to the HBI donor base on behalf of the ministries and handle any issues that come up with donors regarding the status of their account. HBI maintains an internet website where stories about our partner ministries are posted and sends out occasional email letters with current news and reports to those in our database.
Hope Builders International staff also offer occasional US based training opportunities and works with other US organizations to facilitate ministry at home and overseas. When needed we travel overseas to visit our partner ministries to validate the work being done and, when appropriate, to provide ministry to the various partner groups. HBI is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (see below) and as such adheres to the highest standards of financial integrity. HBI typically applies 10% of gifts received for designated ministries to the cost of office support. A sliding scale is used for very large grants. Special ministry mailings also incur a small fee.
Ministry leaders who have contacts in the US and would benefit from US representation should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the dialogue process.
How do you choose the overseas ministries that you work with?
The ministries that we work with exhibit the following characteristics: They are evangelical in nature and true to Scripture. They have an established ministry which includes a substantial measure of pioneer gospel work among unreached people groups. They can provide accountability for how they handle finances. They are able to effectively communicate the challenges and activities of their work. They would continue to exist if no outside help were available. That is, they are not dependent on foreign sources of help for their survival.
How do you send gifts to the ministries?
In most cases, the ministries have bank accounts in their own countries where funds can be deposited or to which funds may be wired. In some countries where banking is more difficult, accounts may be opened for ministries in the US and the funds are deposited there. In some cases gifts are carried in cash and distributed directly to the ministries for project use. Hope Builders staff members have many years of experience in handling financial issues in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. We take careful precautions to make sure that funds sent are successfully received.
How do you pay for administrative costs?
As a general rule, Hope Builders applies 10% of gifts received for overseas projects toward the administrative costs of overseeing those projects. In some cases involving larger gifts, travel arrangements and foundation grants or in situations where increased work is done by the HBI staff; a sliding scale is used. Hope Builders also welcomes contributions specifically designated for staff support and general operating costs. Such gifts are tremendously helpful in enabling us to maintain current support levels. They also allow us to expand our advocacy for the ministries we work on behalf of thus increasing the work they are able to do.
How can you be sure funds are used appropriately?
The foundation of our relationship with overseas ministries is a deep trust based on first hand experience. We personally know the leaders that we work with. In most cases we have been in their homes and observed how they live. We have watched them handle funds and seen the results that have been produced. The leaders are ready for us to come and visit them at any time to inspect how things are going. When project funds are disbursed, timelines are set for program implementation. In certain cases large project amounts may be sent in installments so that funds are made available when the project is ready for them. Follow up reports are expected and provided. Photos of project activities are frequently available. We make clear exactly what the funds are for so the possibility of misunderstanding is minimized. Accountability procedures as a necessary part of all financial relationships are followed carefully.
What denominations do you work with?
Hope Builders works with Christian ministries from many denominations. Our primary criterion for working with a ministry is the strategic importance of their work in carrying out God’s eternal purpose to build up the body of Christ. Their statement of faith must be in line with ours.
Are the ministry leaders you work with well trained?
The Lord uses a variety of methods to train those who shepherd His people. Among those we work with there are those who have learned the deep things of God through imprisonment, persecution, suffering and years of service. There are those who have earned degrees from Bible colleges and seminaries, some of them here in the US. There are those who through self study and years of fellowship and mentoring have arrived at a place of leadership. Many have gone through a combination of the above. Yes, they are well trained. Just as important, is the call for service that is on their lives. All of the men and women we work with in leadership positions have demonstrated an anointing from God for leading His people. Without the training, the anointing is not fully released. Without the anointing, the training produces no fruit. On the other side of the coin is the vast need for training the army of believers who are willing to serve the Lord. The tremendous growth of the church through evangelism in Africa, for example, has produced an abundance of young believers who want to plant and pastor churches. It is crucial that we help those who are called of God and have been trained by Him to instruct these young disciples in the Scriptures and in the ways of God. Developing and sponsoring such training opportunities is very fruitful and thus a major priority for Hope Builders.
Do you support Americans working overseas?
Hope Builders staff includes both those who have served as indigenous missionaries and those who have lived overseas as tentmaker missionaries. We know the value of both. We understand that God calls some to leave their home country and serve Him where Christ is not yet known. In support of that calling, at the present time, Hope Builders International serves as a headquarters office for several Americans involved in overseas ministry. In looking at the big picture of world evangelism, we also see that ninety-five per cent of the world’s unreached people groups live in places where westerners cannot openly go as missionaries. The priority of Hope Builders is to have a part in reaching those unreached peoples through the strategic placement and equipping of indigenous missionaries. That being the case, our major focus is to advocate for and support national ministries who are engaged in that front-line work.
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