Friends in Action, Intl. was birthed from a need to support missionaries and their efforts in remote locations. Since 1942, New Tribes Mission (NTM, now known as Ethnos 360) has commissioned and supported missionaries across the globe. In 1991, Jerry Smyth and five other men associated with NTM saw an ever-increasing need for construction projects to assist missionaries in areas lacking infrastructure. With NTM’s input, FRIENDS of NTM was created as a separate corporation and subsidiary of NTM in 1992, with the name changed to Friends in Action International in April of 2000.

From our inception to present day, Friends in Action is still partnering with missionaries to accelerate the spread of the Gospel. Currently at work on ten construction projects in six different countries, we are steadfast in our efforts to reach those who have never heard the Good News due to inaccessibility or limited infrastructure. We remain passionate about using construction projects as a platform to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those in the most remote parts of the globe.

FIA Timeline

FIA Timeline
1992
December

• When it all began

• When it all began
Friends of New Tribes Missions is officially established; Construction of first work project TAC hangars at McNeal, AZ.; First foreign project providing vehicles to Guinea Africa.
1993
November

• First headquarters established

• First headquarters established
Headquarters established at Mansfield, MO
1995
October

• Executive Director Appointed

• Executive Director Appointed
Tim Johnston joined Board of Directors and appointed Executive Director
1998
January

• Medical Missions Begins

• Medical Missions Begins
Medical Missions began by providing kits for missionaries; built Sepik Star barge to transport supplies and machinery and FIA missionaries placed in Papua New Guinea
1999
April
2000
April
2001
May
2002
January
2003
May
2004
March
2005
February

• Missionary homes in Bolivia

• Missionary homes in Bolivia
Missionary homes built and repaired in Bolivia.
2006
November
2007
April
2008
August

• Bolivia Mission Boat & Radio Tower • Vanuatu projects • Miskito relief homes • First Rama Cay believers

2009
October
2010
March
2011
January
2012
February
2013
March
June
2015
March
2016
January
2017
June

• Advancements in West Africa • Nicaragua • USA HQ

Second drill rig sent to West Africa, doubling wells drilled to 60 each year (30,000+ people received water); two water wells constructed, solar system, sawmill, freezer, and pump delivered, Bible conference hosted for Rama; jungle cabins completed and radio tower repaired from lightning strike in Bolivia; bathrooms added to church and missionary home and concrete floors to community homes for the Miskito people in Nicaragua; New racking added to HQ warehouse and all work completed by volunteers.
October

• Shannon Medich joins USA HQ Staff

• Shannon Medich joins USA HQ Staff
Shannon Medich came onboard as Communications Director.
2018
March

• Messiah College engineering partners • New Vanuatu leaders • USA HQ team expands • Rama community celebrations

Messiah College Engineering partnered with FIA to complete a foot-bridge, first water baptism by immersion, and first wedding in new community conducted for the Rama Cay Indians. Funds distributed to East and West New Britain Islands in Papua New Guinea for Bible teaching and discipling materials; Levi and Jenn Pitman join FIA to oversee Vanuatu ministries; Michelle Perez joins the HQ team as Graphic Designer/Webmaster; Kirby Umholtz serves as Interim Office Administrator to help with website design and work on financial reporting; El Misionero repainted and rewired; Work team made extensive repairs on equipment in Vanuatu and provided preliminary assessment for future base camp construction; Constructed missionary home in Vanuatu;