The BGAV Venturer Program provides opportunities for long-term mission service. Venturers are individuals at least eighteen years of age who support the ministries of BGAV partners around the world for one month to two years. BGAV partners request Venturers for ongoing ministries as well as for specific needs.
Questions? Contact Craig Waddell..
To apply for the Venturers program, use this online form.
Emily has been a Venturer since August 2017 working with ProjektGemeinde, a multicultural church in the heart of Vienna, Austria. After graduating from Virginia Tech in May of 2017 with a BFA in Creative Technologies, she joined the Project:Vienna Bible school; a year long theological, social work and church internship program operated through ProjektGemeinde.
After finishing Project:Vienna she decided to stay and take over the position as Coordinator for the Bible School. In addition to being the Coordinator for the Bible school, she also works with ProjektGemeinde’s Refugee Integration Work as well as with the church’s Farsi, Spanish and German speaking congregations.
Will Cumbia is continuing on as a Venturer for a second year. He is a 2016 graduate from the College of William & Mary. Originally from Fredericksburg, Will enjoys connecting with people, reading, writing, and singing. He is so excited to continue to serve in Europe as a Venturer.
In his second year, Will will be acting as a liaison from the BGAV to European Baptist partners specifically with refugee work. He is thrilled to be a part of the BGAV’s new emphasis on refugee work throughout Europe and cannot wait to see the ways that God is moving in the world.
Olivia is a 2018 graduate from the University of Richmond who majored in English and minored in Film Studies. She was active in various music ensembles at the university through singing and playing flute, ukulele, and bass, and she enjoys being a part of musical worship. She spent her summers working with students as a worship ministry intern and as a member of summer staff with WorldChangers. These experiences helped her sense a call to ministry.
Through her involvement in campus ministries like BCM and InterVarsity, as well as her church and a service-learning group, Olivia has become passionate about proclaiming the kingdom of God through multi-ethnic, intentional communities that seek shalom and embody Christian hospitality with empathy and compassion. She hopes to find out more in Vienna about what this kind of community can look like.
Olivia was able to travel from her Virginia home to Vienna in May 2017 on a mission trip with the Kairos Mission Initiative. She is excited to return and learn more from this community, particularly through working with refugees. In this next year, she hopes to grow in her trust in God, in cross-cultural communication, and in cultivating a heart of openness and servanthood, while listening to God’s voice to determine her next steps.
Lauren is a 2017 graduate of McDaniel College where she received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry-Kinesiology. On campus, she was involved with the cultural organizations, InterVarsity, and League of United Latin American Citizens. She became involved with Manassas Baptist Church where she has built relationships and assisted on creating a missions partnership in Guatemala.
After graduating, she served two months in Vienna assisting the work of Projekt:Gemeinde and felt God’s call to return. Lauren is excited to go back to Vienna through the Venturer program.
As a first-time Venturer, I am so excited to be partnering with a church in Chorrera, Panama during their summer and spring seasons immediately after graduating from the University of Mary Washington in December 2018. This trip will encompass many of my passions including connecting with people, growing through new opportunities, learning about languages and cultures, working with children/youth, social dancing, hiking the outdoors, and experiencing and witnessing God’s amazing power, presence, mercy, and love.
While in Panama, I will have the opportunity to help with the community youth through their summer camps, school, and other various programs while also building relationships with the community and members of the church of Chorrera. For many years I have had the desire to learn the Spanish language fluently to better communicate with the Latino families in my local community. How exciting to learn the language with the support of Christian families and individuals while working with their church! I look forward to what God has planned, the growth in my relationship with Him, and the mutual blessings from the relationships I build in Panama as we come together to love others.
Judson will begin his Venturer service in fall 2019 in projekt:gemeinde, a multicultural church in the heart of Vienna, Austria. He will participate in Project:Vienna, a year-long practicum that includes serving in the local church, social work in the community, and supervised theological reflection.
Recently Judson worked nearly two years in a school in Denia, Spain, discerning a potential call to missions and ministry. In Vienna, he will work in various capacities with projekt:gemeinde, especially in refugee immigration and in the church’s Farsi, Spanish, and German-speaking congregations.
The basic provisions for all Venturers are:
- assistance in interpreting God’s call on the individual’s life and an appropriate response to that call;
- development of a position for service including job description and supervision;
- living arrangements;
- assistance with travel to and from the place of service;
- and a network for accountability, nurture, and council.
Funding for Venturers’ expenses takes four basic forms:
- Venturers who serve in positions that are closely aligned with mission partnerships and strategies of the BGAV may receive expenses and a small stipend from the BGAV
- Venturers may receive financial resources from the hosting ministry partner.
- Venturers may be asked to provide for their own expenses from fund-raising or from personal fixed income (i.e. retirement). Individuals who serve in positions that are to be self-funded will be offered assistance in training and accounting for fund-raising.
- Venturer placements may be funded by a combination of the three options listed above.
Qualifications for service as a Venturer are as follows:
- Demonstrate a lifestyle of faith in and commitment to Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and to the will of God as basic to all of life.
- Demonstrate a commitment to and involvement in a local church congregation. This church should be related to the Baptist General Association of Virginia or to one of its partnering unions of churches.
- Demonstrate a level of personal maturity and health—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—commensurate to service in the intended field of service.
- Demonstrate a willingness to live and serve for six (6) months to two (2) years as a volunteer independent contractor related to the BGAV, receiving only basic living needs and, in some cases, a modest stipend.
- Demonstrate a sense of appreciation and respect for the diversity of cultures with whom Virginia Baptists serve. Further, agree to follow a missiology that values the autonomy of ministry partners and the primacy of their visions for God-called mission.
- Agree to be accountable to a field supervisor and to the Coordinator of the Venturer Program, handling differences of opinion with openness, respect and professionalism.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
Virginia Baptists have long-term volunteers in church plants around the world! Patrick Clark was a Venturer for two years in Vienna. He served in the Austrian Baptist church, “project:gemeinde,” using his cello to help lead worship and as a way to share Christ. Patrick also made important contributions in the renovation efforts of this urban, international church. He will volunteer in “projekt:gemeinde” in these areas, as well as participate in the church leadership team.
Virginia Baptists have long-term volunteers in church plants around the world!
Patrick Clark was a Venturer for two years in Vienna. He served in the Austrian Baptist church, “project:gemeinde,” using his cello to help lead worship and as a way to share Christ. Patrick also made important contributions in the renovation efforts of this urban, international church. He will volunteer in “projekt:gemeinde” in these areas, as well as participate in the church leadership team.