Understanding C&MA missions terminology
I often get blank looks from people when I start using some of the different terms to refer to missions inside the Christian & Missionary Alliance.
Great Commission Fund (GCF) ... CAMA Services ... IFAP. What are all these terms and why should you care?
These three terms all define different kind of Alliance missionaries (now called international workers). Here is how it works:
Great Commission Fund Worker - These are the more traditional missionaries who must get a Bible college education before going to the mission field. They don't go out and raise their own support, the Great Commission Fund is what supports both them and their new ministries. Around 75% of Alliance workers are GCF workers spread out all over the world.
You should care because its churches like ours that give money to the GCF to fund these workers. We have a number of workers from our own church that are supported through this fund like Mike & Sue Farho and Carolyn Thorson.
CAMA Services Worker - CAMA stands for Compassion and Mercy Associates. These workers are focused on relief and development efforts around the globe. For example, when there was a large earthquake in China last year, CAMA Services put people on the ground to provide relief and they are still there today helping them rebuild in the name of Jesus. About 5% of Alliance workers are with CAMA and these workers raise some of their own support.
You should care because its people like you and your giving that make these relief efforts possible. CCC has several workers who are involved with CAMA Services such as Stephen & Lori Albright who work at a hospital in Guinea, Africa.
IFAP Worker - IFAP is the tentmaking arm of the Alliance. As motivated and led by God, lay professionals (medical, engineering, business, ESL and other professions) seek secular employment overseas with the specific purpose of being an effective witness. Dusty and Julia Reynolds who are starting a T-shirt factory in Mali are with IFAP. About 20% of Alliance workers are now with IFAP and they must raise their own financial support.
You should care because IFAP is the fastest growing sector of Alliance missions and the key to reaching people in creative access countries where sharing the gospel is illegal. In fact, CCC is in the process of sending out Graham and Carrie Frank through IFAP to work as an engineer and nurse in India.