Josh Reidinger had the American Dream: a good job, a wife and two beautiful daughters. He was just a regular guy, but he thought he pretty much had all he wanted — or at least needed. But when Josh met David Johnson, Executive Director of Doulos Partners, everything changed.
Well, sort of.
When Josh and David met, Josh says he was intrigued by David’s story and the creation of Doulos Partners, but it was mostly because David had been to Cuba — a place not easy or necessarily safe to travel to. He was intrigued enough to keep up with what Doulos was doing, but Josh admits he wasn’t really ever engaged.
Then, God ruined him in all the best ways.
Josh wasn’t planning on going to Honduras until he ran into a friend at a fundraiser in October of 2008. This friend was involved in Forgotten Children Ministries (FCM) and had been to Honduras before with FCM. So, Josh — in small talk — asked him how it was going in Honduras and when he’d be going back. His friend, Chad, answered they were going back to Honduras on January 24th.
“That’s cool. Who all is going?”
“We’re going,” said Chad.
“Yeah, so who’s all going?” Josh asked again to clarify.
“Me and you. We’re going!” Chad announced.
You can imagine the conversation later that night when Josh’s wife Whitney asked him what he and Chad had talked about.
So, in January of 2009, Josh went to Honduras. He had never been on a foreign mission trip before. It was there Josh came face-to-face with orphans and violence and poverty and drug use. Extreme hopelessness.
Josh had a radical shift of perspective.
“It’s an important thing to get yourself untethered to this mess that we’re in,” said Josh. “I really try to get out of my context … and God turned my life upside down.”
When Josh saw the Honduran street kids — some just two or three years old living on the streets — his eyes were opened to the orphans.
It was a confrontation he couldn’t shake.
Four months later, Josh and Whitney were in Rwanda with Compassion International, meeting kids who needed sponsors. Since that first trip to Honduras in 2009, Josh has been to Africa three times and twice to Cuba, each with different organizations, including Compassion International and Children’s Hope Chest.
But wait, you thought this story was about Doulos Partners, right? It is — hang tight.
“Find out where God is working and join Him there.” That’s the goal Doulos Partners began with in 2008, and that’s the goal they still have today.
Doulos Partners is a nonprofit organization out of Birmingham, Alabama, that partners with ministries around the world to plant churches and make disciples. Doulos Partners provides financial assistance in a variety of ways to accomplish their vision and mission “to spread the Gospel and win souls for Christ through mission work all over the globe.”
Since 2008, Doulos has helped plant over 14,000 churches and has seen over 2.7 million people meet Jesus through ministry partners like Big Life Ministries, World Link Ministries and Reaching Souls International. Doulos Partners reaches 28 countries, including Cuba, India, Iran, Afghanistan (and eight other middle-eastern countries) and nine African countries.
But here’s the thing — Doulos Partners doesn’t get any money. All the funds given to and through Doulos Partners goes directly to the field. Doulos’ administrative costs are paid for by the Doulos Board of Directors. Nothing is held back.
The Church Plant Heartbeat
Here’s something you don’t know about Josh yet. Josh and Whitney are part of a small church plant in Birmingham that began in 2013. Josh is a CPA and president of an investment advisory firm in Birmingham, so while he’s not a pastor or church planter by title, his heart beats for church planting. He knows what it takes to make a new church happen.
Josh is an elder at Haven Field Community Church, and Whitney is on staff as administrative and organizational ministry support.
And that is where Josh Reidinger and Doulos Partners collide.
“Christ was clear: Go make disciples,” said Josh. “That’s where the rubber meets the road.”
Josh says what he loves most about Doulos is its three-fold mission: evangelism, church planting and disciple-making. He says many organizations can do one or two of those well, but Doulos Partners does all three. Doulos Partners works with the church planting organizations to train the people in country to not only evangelize the nationals, but also make disciples and plant more indigenous churches.
Rubber, meet road.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Cuba, India, Tanzania or Birmingham, Alabama — there are people everywhere. Potential disciples are everywhere.
People ARE everywhere, and there’s no shortage of opportunities for giving. Josh says they have become more and more intentional about giving. So instead of giving some to a several different organizations, they have narrowed their focus to become more intentional — asking, “Where do we see God really at work, and where can we get on board with that?”
Interesting. That’s the same question Doulos Partners asks.
It’s Not About Josh
One more thing.
Josh and Whitney don’t give to Doulos Partners to show how much they donate or to create a philanthropic name for themselves or have their story shared in a magazine like AUTHENTIK.
And they don’t give because they have to or because they feel like they should.
In fact, it has nothing to do with them at all, and they’re the first ones to say that.
It’s about the Gospel and being faithful.
“We just really felt convicted that we needed to be contributing time and money, efforts, prayers to places that we felt were really being consistent with the Gospel — not just giving to the church because that’s what you’re supposed to do … But what God has put on our hearts is to just be faithful. Everything God has given us is His.”
And that’s how God ruined Josh Reidinger.
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