What Others Are Saying
Dr. Randall D. Smith – Great Commission Bible Institute
The Apostle Paul is remembered as one who started churches, but that isn’t all he did. He also built teams. He made partnerships in ministry to forge ahead. Some of them came from disagreement with specifics while there was unanimity of goal (like the falling out with Barnabas over John Mark). Others came from strategic partnering because of the need to expand the mission in many places at the same time (as with Titus). The New Testament record is replete with examples of partnerships in ministry. Those examples leave us with two impressions: First, we can do more together than any of our missions can do alone. Second, in the greater work, God is using many with special gifts that are different than ours, but complimentary to the Gospel.
That’s the theory, but there is much more to this. I have enjoyed the energy Dan O’Deens provides as he follows Jesus. Our work has been the benefactor of the wonderful students he has brought, through Breathe Partners, to our discipleship program. Our work is better because of their work. That is, in essence, the point of partnership in ministry…
One temptation of ministry is to get a call from the Lord to accomplish something, and too look around at your resources – without factoring a greater team that may be just outside your doorstep. With experience, we learn God has supplied many other gifted and talented people who are ready to build toward the common mission – but we have to look to find them. When Paul wrote to the Philippian church, he identified one of the great problems of ministry: How to assess where God is at work regardless of the look by quick glance. Partnerships increase our sight line. They help us broaden our perspectives and open up our strengths. They make us assess what we bring in gifts and calling to others, and how we can work with their gifts and calling to glorify our Savior.
I am thankful for the work we have together. It doesn’t belong to Breathe Partners, nor to GCBI, but to the Savior for whose glory we work. I am just thankful that in the long hours of labor, there are some delightful people to work beside! Team work is the legacy of the church as it was described in the Book of Acts, and Breathe Partners exemplifies it well.
Pastor E.Scott Feather – Gateway Church
At Gateway Church we believe in the power of partnership. We believe and strive for excellence in everything so God gets the credit. We believe in who Breathe Partners is and what they do. They have expertise and experience on the ground in Haiti and through leadership training that we do not have or are able to provide. Through our partnership we work together to move people forward as they seek to follow Jesus and lead others to do the same. We rely on Breathe Partners to not only coach us, but to empower and hold us accountable to the great commission mandate give to us by Jesus. We could not fulfill our mission as a church without our partnership with Breathe Partners.
Pastor Jeremy Wike – Community of Hope
If you come to our church service for more than a month, you are going to hear the name “Pastor Jackson” and “Haiti.” We pray for him regularly. We send teams to minister alongside him annually. We invest a considerable portion of our budget into his ministry because we believe in his calling from God to disciple Haitians. He is an amazing man who exemplifies faithfulness, perseverance, and Christlike love. Every team trip comes back with a new list of young leaders who are vital to the ministry of his work. He’s an incredible leader! And he’s our brother in Christ, partner in ministry, and friend.
Community of Hope isn’t the only church on the U.S. side who partners with Jackson. We share this privilege with Gateway Church in the Philadelphia area. They share our financial load, send their own teams, and pray for Jackson and the church’s ministry. They are becoming like family to us as well. In addition, I invited another pastor friend of mine in our county to join our partnership a couple years ago because he was interested in this church-to-church partnership model he heard me describing over lunch. Charter Oak Church has sent teams alongside ours for the past three years. Pastor Aaron Peer is dearly loves by the Haitians, in part because he’s done extensive teaching every time he travels with the team. Three American churches all partner with the same Haitian church because we believe we’re all mutually blessed by the opportunity. The Kingdom is advancing because we all choose to work together for the good of our Lord Jesus and His Kingdom vision to reach the nations with the gospel.
The glue holding these partnerships together is Breathe Partners. I remember the first time I spoke with Dano on the phone six years ago. He was describing a model that could facilitate a mutually beneficial model of missions. The church I serve wins. And we continue to see fruit from our partnership. The church in Haiti wins. And we continue to see God bless Pastor Jackson and his growing leadership team. Breathe Partners has helped us navigate numerous conundrums, opened pathways for reimagining a fully engaged local church, and facilitated the spiritual growth of several of our people because God called them to go to Haiti. We would not be where we are as a local church had it not been for the vision of Breathe Partners, the teamwork of Gateway and Charter Oak, or the godly contagion of Pastor Jackson in Haiti. You all are amazing partners in this calling from our Lord Jesus!
Pastor Drew Waggoner – Grace Fellowship Church
We’ve partnered with Breathe Partners for the past 6+ yrs in various capacities, but always maintaining a focus of local church planting and development as well as eternally investing in young leaders. In that time, we’ve seen hundreds of our own congregation grow in their passion for Jesus and the lost and some who have found Him for the first time! Our very first full-time missionary, Stephanie Taylor, was on our 2nd ever trip to Haiti and continues to serve in a leadership capacity with Breathe. The local church and pastor we help sponsor in the densely populated and largely displaced town of Canaan has continued to grow and seen disciples multiplied! One of the most significant ministries our church has benefited from and the Kingdom at large is the Compassion Corp Program. Now with the addition of being able to earn up to a Masters level degree, this training meets real-time ministry approach to leadership development is incredibly unique option for a young adult who is passionate about serving the Lord, but undecided in how that’s support to look.