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

• Airstrip and Well Drilling Projects • Canada Board & Shipping Dept. established

• Airstrip and Well Drilling Projects • Canada Board & Shipping Dept. established

Sorimi Airstrip constructed in Papua New Guinea; Well-drilling equipment positioned in Ivory Coast; Canada Board created; Shipping Department established at HQ.

2000
April

• Church in Bolivia • Airstrip in PNG • New Name for FIA

• Church in Bolivia • Airstrip in PNG • New Name for FIA

Construction on Santa Cruz Church in Bolivia and Hewa Airstrip in Papua New Guinea; Name changed to Friends in Action International

2001
May

• Woodshop in PNG • Rama Cay survey • First well drilled • Missionary to Brazil resourced

• Woodshop in PNG • Rama Cay survey • First well drilled • Missionary to Brazil resourced

Kimbe Woodshop Ministry in Papua New Guinea; Survey of Rama Cay in Nicaragua; First well drilled in Ivory Coast; Truck and laptop provided to missionary in Paccas Novas Brazil

2002
January

• Bolivian Radio Tower • Office in PNG • Research in Vanuatu & Ghana • Orphanage in Nicaragua

• Bolivian Radio Tower • Office in PNG • Research in Vanuatu & Ghana • Orphanage in Nicaragua

Guayaramerin Radio Tower constructed in Bolivia; Wewak base camp and missionary house/office construction Papua New Guinea; FIA researches work in Vanuatu and Ghana; Funding to Sandy Carter orphanage in Nicaragua;

2003
May

• Ghana well-drilling • Northern Ireland Board • Missionaries in Nicaragua • Airstrip in Indonesia

• Ghana well-drilling • Northern Ireland Board • Missionaries in Nicaragua • Airstrip in Indonesia

Well drilling moved to Ghana due to civil war in Ivory Coast; Northern Ireland Board developed; FIA national full-time missionaries approved in Nicaragua; Parobut Airstrip constructed for Sekadau people in Indonesia

2004
March

• Vehicle bridges in Guinea • West Africa

• Vehicle bridges in Guinea • West Africa

Two vehicle bridges constructed in Guinea West Africa

2005
February

• Missionary homes in Bolivia

• Missionary homes in Bolivia

Missionary homes built and repaired in Bolivia.

2006
November

• Well drilling in West Africa • Truck rebuild • Missionary home construction in Nicaragua

• Well drilling in West Africa • Truck rebuild • Missionary home construction in Nicaragua

Well drilling relocated to West Africa; Truck rebuild for Guinea West Africa; Missionary home constructed for Rama Cay

2007
April

• Clinic & church built in West Africa • HQ moved to PA

• Clinic & church built in West Africa • HQ moved to PA

Tanda clinic and church built in West Africa; HQ moved to Middletown, PA

2008
August

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

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

El Misionero Medical Mission boat constructed and launched in Bolivia; 24/7 transmission from Inspiracion radio began in Bolivia; Workshop built and Hospital painted in Vanuatu; Hurricane relief homes built for Miskito in Boom Sirpi, Nicaragua; First Rama Cay believers

2009
October

• Supplies sent to PNG • Moldova partnership

• Supplies sent to PNG • Moldova partnership

Container to Papua New Guinea for missionary supplies; partnership with The University of Divine Grace, Moldova;

2010
March

• Bolivian guest house • Vanuatu base camp • New well-drilling leaders

• Bolivian guest house • Vanuatu base camp • New well-drilling leaders

Bolivian mission guest house construction; I-Tec electrical work on base camp and renovations on missionary home in Vanuatu; New team leaders for well drilling

2011
January

• Missionary home in Nicaragua • Worker cabins in Vanuatu

• Missionary home in Nicaragua • Worker cabins in Vanuatu

Missionary home completed in Nicaragua; Worker cabins constructed in Vanuatu

2012
February

• Road constructed in Vanuatu • Bolivian projects

• Road constructed in Vanuatu • Bolivian projects

Construction of 6-kilometer road in Vanuatu; Guest house construction, teaching at Bible Institute, maintenance work, and Bible supplies in Bolivia

2013
March

• Moldova construction • Rama Bible School • Miskito Church constructed

• Moldova construction • Rama Bible School • Miskito Church constructed

University of Divine Grace (UDG) classroom, dorm, and auditorium construction; three Rama men begin Bible School; Church constructed in Boom Sirpe for Miskito people of Nicaragua

June

• Rama Cay block press • Radio tower enhanced • New HQ ground-breaking

• Rama Cay block press • Radio tower enhanced • New HQ ground-breaking

Rama Cay Indians taught how to use block press to build first six hurricane-resistant homes; Bolivian radio tower rebuilt with expanded broadcasting capabilities; Ground-breaking on new HQ

2015
March

• USA HQ complete • Rama Cay advancements

• USA HQ complete • Rama Cay advancements

USA HQ completed in Middletown, PA; Carpenter shop, guest cabins, generator shed built and Bible conference hosted for Rama Cay

2016
January

• Bolivian advancements • Peru construction • Moldova teaching

• Bolivian advancements • Peru construction • Moldova teaching

Orphanage support in Bolivia; Peru house construction for Ashenika people; Teaching at UDG; Bolivia Riverboat renovation and construction on Indigenous Training Center

2017
June

• Advancements in West Africa • Nicaragua • USA HQ

• 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 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;