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<span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1"> • Canada Board & Shipping Dept. established</span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Airstrip in PNG <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• New Name for FIA</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Rama Cay survey <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• First well drilled <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-3">• Missionary to Brazil resourced</span></span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Office in PNG <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• Research in Vanuatu & Ghana <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-3">• Orphanage in Nicaragua</span></span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Northern Ireland Board <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• Missionaries in Nicaragua <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-3">• Airstrip in Indonesia</span></span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• West Africa</span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Truck rebuild <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• Missionary home construction in Nicaragua</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• HQ moved to PA</span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Vanuatu projects <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• Miskito relief homes <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-3">• First Rama Cay believers</span></span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Moldova partnership</span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Vanuatu base camp <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• New well-drilling leaders</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Worker cabins in Vanuatu</span>
Missionary home completed in Nicaragua; Worker cabins constructed in Vanuatu
2012
February

• Road constructed in Vanuatu • Bolivian projects

• Road constructed in Vanuatu <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Bolivian projects</span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Rama Bible School <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• Miskito Church constructed</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Radio tower enhanced <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• New HQ ground-breaking</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Rama Cay advancements</span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Peru construction <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• Moldova teaching</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• Nicaragua <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• USA HQ</span></span>
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 <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-1">• New Vanuatu leaders <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-2">• USA HQ team expands <span class="pt_splitter pt_splitter-3">• Rama community celebrations</span></span></span>
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;