Connecting is at the heart of all we do. Focus for the connection process, the ministry centers are located near military installations worldwide and led by a volunteer team of missionaries, active duty military, veterans or host country nationals. Part local church and part ‘Christian USO,’ ministry centers are operated under the aegis of Freedom Outreach International (FOI) to help connect the solider and his or her dependants with a local family of believers. These clusters of Christian community do more than merely assemble on Sundays to pray and sing songs of worship. They involve schedules designed to help members grow in their personal faith while also changing the world around them. Helping individuals connect with God through a caring fellowship is a mechanism to engage with others to discover and develop your God-given purpose.
In many respects, the centers are complementary to the military chapels on the military bases but with some distinct differences—primarily regarding continuity of vision and congregational focus. The chaplain must preach and teach in an ecumenical manner or from the perspective of his own denominational background. When rotating to a new assignment the chaplain will frequently be replaced by someone with a vastly different perspective or ministry focus. While we typically encourage chapel participation, when services are available, experience over time demonstrates that the focus and continuing programs offered by ministry centers are of great value to soldiers and families.
Ministry centers will vary greatly in emphasis from location to location but will all be driven by the same basic theological commitments and guided by the overall mission, vision values of FOI. The centers are designed to offer worship in the Pentecostal tradition to members of the military and their families, and to provide leadership training for future ministry leaders. The centers provide a family-style atmosphere that encourages and develops outreach opportunities for all members of the family. In this context they provide support through fellowship, training, discipleship and recreation all in a “home-away-from-home” environment. The center ministries are led by full-time missionaries who serve with exemplary commitment and sacrifice.