A missions agency based in Woodlake for 25 years has moved to Fresno.
Christians in Action Missions International, one of the only full-service missionary agencies in the central San Joaquin Valley, now has headquarters on East Shaw Avenue.
"We wanted to be closer to churches to better empower them to fulfill the Great Commission," says ministry president Gordon Donoho, adding the agency is launching an anti-human trafficking organization, Project Restoration.
"We will provide safe housing and after-care programs for women and children caught in sexual exploitation in the Central Valley."
The Bee recently caught up with Donoho to learn more about the ministry.
Question: What is your ministry's purpose, and when did your ministry get started?
Answer: We exist to empower people to fulfill their purpose in missions. We do this through recruiting, training and sending missionaries into our 22 countries of ministry.
Our focus has been church planting, but now we are also focusing on empowering individuals and churches, both locally and globally, to accomplish their God-intended purpose. We are providing additional resources to provide our indigenous leadership with increased ministry capacity.
We got started in 1957, but are currently going through a rebirth, where we empower and care for missionaries in a new, dynamic way.
As the person in charge, what is your ministerial background?
God has blessed me with amazing experiences over my 47 years of ministry. I spent 21 years in pastoral ministry in the United States and four years in Mexico City as the lead pastor. For nine years, I served as assistant director at ESA Love INC, which gave me a whole city experience. During those years at ESA, I developed the Pastor Clusters, was co-founder of No Name Fellowship and Care Fresno.
Your ministry works with other mission agencies in major areas — Mexico, South America, the Philippines, Japan, Africa and others. What do these major areas have in common?
They're all focused on raising up indigenous leaders to serve in their own communities.
Your ministry trains short-term mission teams. What is the key to an effective short-term missionary?
Prayer and planning: The Holy Spirit prepares the way and we need to be prepared to follow. Prayer and planning is so important, along with debriefing and follow-up of each short-term participant. What is God saying to you must continually be asked. Otherwise, the short-term experience will quickly fade away with the busyness of life.
Why should others care about your ministry?
We are dedicated to training and caring for the people and plans of God. We have the experience and expertise to do the best job possible. We are dedicated to working locally to see the love of God shine in our Central Valley. We are local, and we know this community. We can help your church be the very best in local and global missions.
When is your ministry's next big event?
We currently have a team of 85 medical professionals in the Philippines, and they will treat and share the Gospel with thousands. We are also working hard to launch Project Restoration on its own.
Ryan Penir came on board in 2012 as our missions coordinator, and he is responsible for creating Project Restoration and recruiting and training missionaries.
In June, we will have our first medical and dental outreach into Medellin, Colombia, and in September, we will return to Cambodia to do our 10th annual medical outreach. We have teams going into the Baja region of Mexico on a regular basis.
What is your ministry's biggest need or concern?
We need creative volunteers to get God's vision out to those that need it. We need additional prayer and financial support to continue to expand our global and local ministry to meet the ever-increasing opportunities.
How can others get involved?
We're always in need of professionals willing to travel abroad and train our leaders around the world as well as creative people locally to help further the vision.
Best ways to reach your ministry?
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304, firstname.lastname@example.org or @ronorozco_bee on Twitter.