BIMI serves our military communities!
The Military ministries with BIMI began in 1968. This was at the height of the Viet Nam War and there were tens of thousands of Americans stationed on the island of Okinawa. There were obviously no English speaking Bible-believing churches on the island. When a number of these military families begin to inquire about worship services in English, James Kennard, a missionary ministering to the Okinawan nationals, realized that a church was needed just to minister to the American military. So in September of 1968 the Maranatha Baptist Church was begun under the leadership of Missionary Bob Elzey.
Almost immediately God began to call men from the congregation into full-time Christian service with a burden to minister to the military in other places. Some went to mainland Japan, some to Germany, others to The Philippines, some to Puerto Rico and Panama. Others were called to go to Italy, England, The Azores and Spain as well as to other places. Many churches have now been started to minister to our troops in various parts of the world where our military personnel and their families are stationed.
BIMI strives to:
EVANGELIZE military communities utilizing Gospel literature & visitation ministries;
ESTABLISH local churches;
EQUIP service men and women through church training and biblical discipleship that provides them with strong foundations in the Lord and His Word;
ENRICH the lives of military personnel through Bible-centered programs;
ENCOURAGE GIs who struggle with loneliness by offering them an environment of Christian fellowship and love.
The United States is committed to improving the quality of military life in order to fill its ranks. The government has built everything from recreation facilities to theaters, from golf courses to nightclubs, in an effort to meet the physical and social needs of our troops. But the greatest need is neglected—that is, to introduce the service person to the source and essence of life, Jesus Christ. Without a personal relationship with Christ, everything else in life, no matter how satisfying it may seem, leaves one without hope.
Perhaps no segment of Americans is so forgotten or unattended in their spiritual needs as our servicemen and women. Many Christians have assumed that the military person is being reached adequately by present methods. Such is not the case. Thousands have never been touched with a simple presentation of the Gospel, though they have served lengthy careers in the Armed Forces. Scattered as they are in so many places far from home and friends and from those who care, our service men and women are desperately in need of missionaries who will lovingly show Christ to them.
BIMI, has seen the need and is acting in obedience to the Lord’s command to "preach the Gospel to every creature." This includes the more than two million men and women who are now serving in our armed forces, which is, indeed, A RIPENED FIELD. Our service personnel need the SAVIOR. Missionaries can effectively reach them for Christ and train them for His glory. While our government focuses on the physical fitness of our forces, we believe the church must concentrate its efforts on strengthening Christian military personnel with solid biblical instruction.
They need LOCAL CHURCHES. The best way to train servicemen and women in the ministry of the local church is to establish churches near their bases. This is the primary goal of BIMI’s military ministry. These churches reach both the single service person as well as families.
Our military people also need LOVE and CONCERN. The twin problems of loneliness and peer pressure lead many of our men and women in uniform into drugs, alcohol, and illicit sex. The love and compassion of a New Testament church nearby their base has been the means of salvation to many young men and women. Their testimonies tell how appreciative they are for Christian concern.
Finally, our military needs UNDERSTANDING. America must return to a strong patriotic position, and our service people need to know that they are esteemed for the valuable contribution they are making to our country. BIMI’s military work has demonstrated such respect for our GIs—a respect which has opened many doors to more effective ministry.
• More than 80 missionaries to the military serve with BIMI.
• Over 50 churches have been planted by BIMI missionaries among the military.
• Churches have been started in 16 strategic areas around the world: Germany, Spain, Italy, Sicily, Belgium, Azores, England, Scotland, Panama, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Japan, Okinawa, Hawaii, Mainland United States, and Norway.
The BIMI Military Ministry stands ready to help you in the following areas:
• Receive further information on the BIMI Military mission field.
• Schedule a seminar for your church.
• Encourage outreach to the military communities near you.
• Schedule a patriotic service or a special day to honor our military.
• Honor WW II, Korean and Viet Nam veterans with certificate and special recognition.
• Obtain addresses and other pertinent information of our military churches to recommend to your young men and women overseas.
• Recommend good Bible-believing churches near military bases stateside.