How we began

 

This undertaking of About-Face Missions came about through a series of events that can only be attributed to God. A chance Facebook connection between two Texas based Christians who each have a passion for missions resulted in an idea which one month later led to the formation of this group. David Shelton and I met in April of 2011 originally as co-volunteers for Global Media Outreach through Facebook and since we worked in the same city we met for lunch and a friendship began.  David had been volunteering as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach for a couple of years and God had connected him to an orphan teen in Uganda the previous year through the email ministry.  After seeing how Ronald really gave his life to Christ and was struggling to survive without family in that third world country, David and his wife felt led by the Lord to help extend the love of Christ to him by becoming surrogate parents and putting him through boarding school and mentoring him via Facebook and email. David mentioned that high school was expensive for Ugandans and that many of the children orphaned as a result of parents contracting and dying of HIV were forced to drop out past primary school. This touched me and I began praying about potentially helping should the Lord so lead. I soon became aware of a 19 year-old boy named Stanley who is friends with Ronald and had been forced to drop out of school. Both had been involved in a gang selling drugs to try to survive and to pay their school dues. Yet Ronald had an encounter with God and met Christ. Ronald dropped out of the gang in spite of the fact that it could cost him his life, and Stanley saw the change in his friend and soon followed.  He gave his life to Christ despite threats of murder from the gang leader. As a result of dropping out of the gang, Stanley was unable to continue school in 2010 as well, for lack of money.  All this said, I knew God had laid a burden on my heart and I was being called to help, but was unable to shoulder the cost of such an undertaking by myself. After some thought and prayer, God led me to post the situation on Facebook to see if friends would be interested in helping. In less than 3 days time, a dozen Facebook friends had joined hands with me, allowing Stanley to return back to high school less than two weeks later in May, 2011.

Shortly thereafter, God placed an idea in my heart. If He could orchestrate such a "miracle" for a youth in Uganda using Facebook in connecting people, why couldn't it be used to connect Christians to those doing God's work in real time? In short, God used this experience of helping Stanley to lead to the idea and formation of About-Face Missions. God also used the experience to amaze and bless Stanley along with his school administrator in Africa when he learned that a dozen Americans who had never met Stanley were committing to help him graduate! He too gave glory to God in seeing this!  

Shortly thereafter, God placed an idea in my heart. If He could orchestrate such a "miracle" for a youth in Uganda using Facebook in connecting people, why couldn't it be used to connect Christians to those doing God's work in real time? In short, God used this experience of helping Stanley to lead to the idea and formation of About-Face Missions. God also used the experience to amaze and bless Stanley along with his school administrator in Africa when he learned that a dozen Americans who had never met Stanley were committing to help him graduate! He too gave glory to God in seeing this!  - former AFM President, Missionary JRB

JRB  and David Shelton partnered together in early summer of 2011 to form a ministry based primarily from Facebook contacts and named the group About-Face Missions. The name came to them partly as play on words, since this began as a Facebook ministry. They felt strongly that God had called them into international mission work to share the gospel and demonstrate the love of Christ through helping the needy as able. Also they both had recently what  they called 'radical life-change' to give up life of living for sinful self, and to serve the Lord with all their heart.  So JRB and David will tell you that they both had 180 degree turns in their life directions...an about-face! This is a military term that means to turn around. So naturally it made sense to call this new ministry About-Face Missions.  As the work grew and built more relationships with pastors in less developed countries of the World, They were led to incorporate in May 2013 as a Texas Non-Profit and become a fully functioning 501c3 NGO founded on the principles of Christ as seen in the Bible.  Thus began AFM Ministry, Inc, doing business as About-Face Missions as recorded and filed in Dallas County, Texas USA.