July 9, 2015

Outpost Centers International Impacts Big Cities, Remote Villages

 Adventist Review/ANN

Outpost Centers International (OCI), a nonprofit network, provides nurture and support to a family of some 100 lay-led, self-supporting health, education, and evangelism ministries worldwide. Their collective vision is to work from country settings to impact metropolitan centers. OCI provides leadership training, makes available practical resources, and facilitates ministries’ growth as they look for creative ways to introduce the gospel to their communities.

OCI began operation in 1983 under the leadership of Warren Wilson, a former president of Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital in Wildwood, Georgia. The growth of supporting ministries called for the formation of a new organization. Wilson’s goal for OCI was to serve as a “counselor and encourager” to many of these new institutions.

More than three decades later, the organization continues to execute its mission to help sustain existing self-supporting ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and establish new ones. These ministries include schools, assisted-living centers, orphanages, evangelistic training programs, agricultural development, vegetarian restaurants, and publishing houses, among others.

OCI is particularly committed to investing in the personal and spiritual lives of young leaders. That begins with support and training for young couples such as Chris and Amy Borcherding and connecting them with veteran workers. The Borcherdings accepted a call to serve at Peru Projects, located along the Amazon River, where Chris, a pilot, is director.

“It has been a blessing to meet with other leaders and hear of their struggles and how they’ve gotten past them,” the Borcherdings say. “[We] take courage that others have been here before, and God can use each of us.”

OCI president Steven Grabiner sees mentoring young families as an essential part of the organization’s ministry.

“It is vital that current leaders are constantly sharing their experiences to help prepare younger leaders,” Grabiner says.

Grabiner, who previously served as OCI vice president for 5 years and director of Riverside Farm Institute in Zambia for 10, was elected president in 2011.

To learn more about Outpost Centers International, visit booth C1163 in the exhibit hall, or go to http://www.outpostcenters.org.