Carrying out the Great Commission is central to the identity of Calvary Community Church. Because of that, Calvary dedicates a sizable percentage of its income to mission work. About half of our missions budget goes to Ban San Faan, a children's home in Thailand, and the other half is allocated to missionaries and organizations serving locally and around the world.
"A Christ-centered children's home where orphaned and other homeless children can be nurtured physically, emotionally, and spiritually" - this is the vision not only of our Ban San Faan Mission Board, but of the entire church. By the grace of God, Calvary has seen it become a reality over the last fifteen years.
The vision for a children's home in Thailand started in 2001. After many months of planning, the home - called Ban San Faan, meaning "house of fulfilled dreams" - opened in 2003 in a rented building in Chiang Mai, a city of 150,000 in northern Thailand. In mid-2004 the home reached its limit of 15 children.
The church then voted to use reserve funds and member pledges for Ban San Faan to purchase property and build a home of its own. The home was dedicated in 2007. The next phase was a new school built by a non-profit organization started by one of Calvary's members. Opened in 2010 on land adjacent to the home, it is a Christian school where the children learn English as well as Thai. It is also an opportunity to reach Thai students and their parents with the Word of God. A boys dormitory opened in 2014.
Ban San Faan's preschool children are taught in the home. K-6 students attend the adjacent school. Older students attend four schools in Chiang Mai.
We now have more than 20 children and a loving staff who provide a Christian home. Each child has a Calvary sponsor and, in 2016, our first two children graduated from high school.
Ban San Faan has done more than provide a Christian home in a non-Christian country. It has also directly engaged our congregation in the mission field. Sponsors, the pastoral staff, youth groups, couples - all of these and more have served at Ban San Faan. Some stay for a couple weeks, while others have invested years of their lives.
The Missions Committee has set these goals for carrying out Calvary's missions objectives:
- Missions should be a definite, visible, and ongoing commitment of the church.
- Activities of Calvary's missionaries should be effectively communicated to the congregation.
- Missions can take a variety of forms -- evangelistic, aid-based, disaster relief, short-term, long-term, missionary residing in foreign country, missionary traveling to a foreign country to train leaders.
- Calvary's missions should reflect a balance between foreign and local.
- Short-term missions activities should be evaluated for effectiveness of follow-up.
- Youth should be encouraged to consider whether God is calling them to missions work.
- Calvary should support its members who are called to long-term or short-term missions.
This year our support is allocated among 17 missionaries or mission organizations, and has the following balance:
National (outside Washington) 2
Foreign -- living outside the US 6
Foreign -- living in US & traveling 2