2022 Year-end reflection from our Founder

Christmas greetings from all of us at FDM as we celebrate the birth of Jesus together with our brothers and sisters in Christ from all around the world! As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child, let our hearts be filled with joy and our lips with thanksgiving to the Lord for the immense privilege of serving the church worldwide, the very Bride of Christ.

2022 has been one exciting year for me personally and for the FDM team. We had some great accomplishments and many awesome ministry opportunities where God’s Word and vision for discipleship was proclaimed. But this year was one of the most challenging for me in all my years in ministry both spiritually and physically.

The Lord guided us to work at accomplishing the following:

First was to finish the training of pastors in India, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to become part of a core team to train other pastors and to spread this vision for making disciples.

Our next goal was to have all our workbooks translated into Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Odia, Bengali, Swahili, and Lugandi. The books being translated are
1. Discipleship Takes Vision and Strategy
2. Christian Foundational Truths
3. The five-book marriage series
4. The four-book parenting series
There are 11 workbooks in total. This translation project is 90% completed.

Covers of some of our recently translated workbooks in various languages

 

We are also having these workbooks put into audiobooks in each of these languages. These audio workbooks will be put on a special thumb drive that can plug into any smart phone, iPad, laptop or computer; it will include the entire audio bible along with all the pdfs of each workbook. Many of the areas we are reaching in India, Bangladesh and Africa include people who cannot read or write and/or the cost to transport books or print them is cost-prohibitive.

Mockup of thumb drives containing audio bibles, audiobooks and pdfs of workbooks

 

Another part of this leading by God was to start an online school, FDM Institute. This school allows pastors and bible students to register and login for free to receive the training in each of these books. The school will provide certificates of completion and diplomas for those who complete the courses. Pastors that we have trained are currently instructors and conduct the courses in their own languages. As we finish the translation of workbooks in each language, all the workbooks will be free to download on our website and on the school platform.

FDMI instructors conducting their classes

 

As you can imagine, all this has been NO small undertaking. As I said, we faced many obstacles and challenges, but by God’s grace we have prevailed. After getting covid in March, then having two teeth pulled immediately after, then getting a bad jaw infection from the teeth being pulled, causing a heart condition called Afib and then having surgery for another issue, it’s been one heck of a year for me personally.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

I can tell you this, I asked God more than three times – What is up God, this is crazy, I need a break here!

His reply to me was – Do you trust Me, and will you stay faithful to complete this work when you are suffering?

I said “yes Lord” but I admit, I was doing some complaining and my awesome wife was the one who heard most of that. Praise the Lord that I am feeling better but the Afib remains.

I want to thank those of you who have been praying and supporting this work in 2022. I am asking for your prayers to continue and for your financial support in 2023. These translations, audiobooks, trained teachers, and the school platform have opened doors in many different countries, and we have hundreds of pastors asking for this training now. These tools that God has asked us to complete allows us to reach, train and provide ministry tools at a fraction of the cost of traveling and conducting conferences. Finishing these translations, providing some support to these teachers, producing the thumb drives and the online school has increased our annual budget substantially. Please pray about supporting this work financially by including FDM in your year-end giving plans. If you know of others or even foundations that would support this work, please make the introduction.

Craig Caster

 

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