2018 ANNUAL REPORT
Letter From the President Read insights from Venture President, Ryan Skoog, as he writes about ways we can meet the word's needs.
Hope in the Midst of Heaviness Special District 4 in Myanmar is home to many injustices. Yet, hope is breaking out for vulnerable children through our partnership with Solomon.
Rescued by God's Love Ryann Smith signed up for a Venture tour that brought her healing in ways she never expected. Now she is an intern at a local church bringing healing to others.
Where We Serve The majority of unreached people live in a relatively small part of the world, yet less than 1% of all Christian giving is invested in this region. Venture serves in the middle of this area.
Celebrating 25 Million Meals We have partnered with local church and village leaders to provide meals in refugee villages and internally displaced people camps on the border of Thailand and Myanmar.
Financials As we grow annually so does our ability to help people living in tough places. Read how we continue to run lean in this season of growth.
We do tough things. We run, hike, bike, walk, sacrificially give, and pray for others.
We help people in tough places. We serve in the least reached and least resourced areas through projects that bring sustainability and stability.
We partner with other nonprofits, national leaders, and churches. We believe the cause is greater than any one organization, including ours.
100% of all public donations go to the programs. We partner with businesses and private donors to cover all administrative costs, so all public donations go to programs.
All in response to the Gospel. The Gospel teaches that Jesus entered into our suffering, and invites us to do the same for others. Everything we do is a grateful, sacrificial response to Jesus.
THE GREATEST WAY TO MEET THE WORLD'S NEEDS A Letter from the President
The Venture community is filled with epic dreamers, contagious leaders, and passionate pray-ers who have collectively sacrificed to raise over $20 million. These funds help hurting children in some of the toughest places on earth and allow them see the love of Jesus.
Ryan Skoog President
“We remain convinced that the greatest way for us to meet the world’s needs is by allowing Christ to transform our hearts to be more like His.”
Year after year, God continually surprises me with how He chooses to use the Venture community to reveal His Kingdom. This past year was marked by incredible sacrifice, generosity, and innovation. We witnessed people live out God-inspired dreams of climbing mountains, running marathons, or rallying a thousand of their friends – all to respond to the greatest injustices with the love of Christ. We saw business professionals use their companies to fund Venture causes they care about. We partnered with organizations to serve more people. We had an urgency to respond to needs in a manner that allows people to see the beauty of Christ, His Church, and His Kingdom. This report is a celebration of the transformation of children who live in some of the most difficult places on earth. They are blossoming into powerful Christian leaders who unashamedly share the hope of Christ in their villages and beyond. It is also a celebration of the participants, the pray-ers, and the givers, who are instrumental in the level of impact the Venture community has had this year. As we move forward into next year, we have an opportunity for a greater impact than ever before. We remain convinced that the greatest way for us to meet the world’s needs is to allow Christ to transform our hearts to be more like His.
// LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
21,617 Lives Impacted in 2018*
International Program Highlights*
Received Care **
Meals Provided Daily
Indigenous Church Partners
Focus Areas*** Thailand
Nepal *Includes both direct and indirect impact through Venture partners, programs and projects in the USA and internationally. **Includes vulnerable children that are rescued, intercepted and/or provided safety. ***Venture also serves areas not mentioned on this page.
2018 IMPACT AT A GLANCE //
HOPE IN THE MIDST OF HEAVINESS By Ryan Skoog, President of Venture
“We can’t go over that hill, they will kill you on the spot,” said Solomon casually as we drove to the children's safe house. Solomon was born in Myanmar and is passionate about ministering in areas of danger and destitution. He lives by the words of CT Studd, “Some people want to live within the sound of a church bell, I would rather run a rescue mission on the border of hell.” When I first arrived in Myanmar, I remember looking around the villages and thinking, “Where are all the adults?” The answer was heart wrenching. They have been killed by war, land mines, drugs, and starvation. Left in the wake of this horror, are entire villages of
// HOPE IN THE MIDST OF HEAVINESS
vulnerable children. The United Nations documented 438 cases of children being used or recruited as soldiers, along with cases of rape, abuse, and the impairment of humanitarian relief efforts to internally displaced people in 2017. Over the past 15 years, Venture has partnered with Solomon and his team to respond to desperate needs in an area called Special District 4 of Northern Myanmar. In my most recent visit, we had an overwhelming sense that hope is breaking out in the midst of intense heaviness. We witnessed a children’s safe home that was an oasis of pas-
sionate worship in a desert of despair. As children worshiped and prayed together, I saw their joy, laughter, and smiles despite the horrors happening in the villages they left. I was reminded of Psalms 63, when David cried out saying, “My soul longs for you, my body aches for you, my flesh thirsts for you in a dry and weary land.” The children displayed the same passion and desperation as David as they sought God. Venture's vision is to help vulnerable children become future Christian leaders. Along with Solomon, when we look into the eyes of a child who has experienced injustices, we don't see a victim, but a leader with a beautiful future.
IMPACT In Partnership With Solomon & His Team in Myanmar
Children Living in Safe Houses
Farm & Church Programs
With that common belief, Venture partnered with Solomon's team on a training center to equip church planters. At this training center, we heard a young adult tell his story of being so violent before he met Christ that he even threatened his parents with a machete. He now exudes the hope and life he found in Jesus. He asked us to pray that he may reach his village for Christ and help other children like him. Another student recounted a time when he shared the Gospel with a drug warlord while two machine guns were pointed at his head. The warlord was so moved by the student's commitment to God that he decided to follow Christ and completely change his life. That warlord's son now attends the Bible
school lead by Solomon's team. Solomon's vision is to support 1,000 students in the safe homes and training center. As children come to the safe home, they immediately receive safety and shelter. Then, through the care of the staff, the children learn about Jesus. The end-goal is to train up church planters to reach those experiencing injustices and their oppressors – spreading the Gospel all over the region. We praise God for partners who support Solomon and his team through Venture. Because of their commitment, children are finding hope, and the gospel is prevailing in one of the toughest places we have ever been.
I remember looking around the village and thinking, ‘Where are all the adults?’
WATCH SOLOMON'S STORY
Scan the QR Code with your smart phone.
HOPE IN THE MIDST OF HEAVINESS //
BYGOD'S LOVE By Ryann Smith
“Why am I here?” I recalled a moment on the Ride for Nepal when I was ready to quit. God inspired the dream of riding my bike down the coast of California when I was a freshman in college. My professor was telling the class about how she biked across the country. I knew I had to do it almost instantaneously.
WATCH RYANN'S STORY
Scan the QR Code with your smart phone.
After some research, I found Venture. I was amazed to learn that they were using tours to not only rescue young girls from the horrors of human trafficking, but also to share the good news of Jesus. I was immediately drawn to the tangible ways they were putting action behind their love. I promised myself I would go on tour before I graduated college. Senior year came, and at the last minute I applied for a Venture tour that would span the coast of California. As a first step, I had to buy a bike. I was equally excited and terrified, but I started training.
continually surprised me in all the different ways they reflected Jesus. It became clear that they were not on this tour to do their jobs as pastors
There is something about being on a bike that makes you a better listener.
My first question for my tour leader was, “Who else is signed up to go?” From pictures of previous tours, I had concluded that participants on this tour would be predominantly female, but he proceeded to inform me that this year’s group was anchored by a group of male pastors from a church in California. This news overwhelmed me with fear.
My father, being a pastor as I was growing up, heavily affected the way I perceived the church and its leadership. Through a series of events I had been hurt, and I didn’t know how to trust people in the roles of pastor, father, or even Christian men. I had the opportunity to fulfill one of my life long dreams, but I had no desire to do it with this specific group of people. Even though I wanted to back out, I reminded myself of what God had shown me as a freshman. He told me that this would be a part of my story. He didn’t say it would be easy or comfortable, but I was sure He was directing me. I decided to be obedient and go for it. We began our 500-mile journey down the coast. It was very difficult for me mentally and physically. Through the discomfort, the men on the trip
– that was just who they were. They loved and cared for the team, and specifically me, so well. Their support was evident when we were cycling up a hill, changing a flat tire, eating lunch, or just hanging out as a team. This was truly a glimpse of the way God loves us. That love wrecked me. The second day was our most difficult. After really struggling to bike up a mountain, I asked God “Why am I here?” There is something about being on a bike that makes you a better listener. God clearly said to me, “To hang out with these guys.” All I could think was, “I’ve only known these people for three days!” Even though I thought it was extremely weird, I rode down the other side of that mountain with tears falling from my eyes. I knew in that moment God was up to something in my heart. He sent me across the country, on a bike, to heal a piece of my heart – to change me. God is so creative and He’s in every part of our story. Many times I wanted to back out from
RESCUED BY GOD'S LOVE //
2018 MILES HIGHLIGHTS
89,147 Total Miles Logged
Love Does Team 2018.
2,754 Participants in Tours & Local Campaigns
TOURS Love Does Tour Across America Mountain West Women For Women IJM Freedom Run Minnesota Duathalon
// RESCUED BY GOD'S LOVE
going on this tour. Fundraising is hard. Cycling 500 miles is hard. Spending that much time with strangers is hard. But I had to trust that God had me there for a purpose. He knew in 2014 when He placed this dream in my heart, that the 2018 me would need a group of men to redeem something broken in me. It was His way of caring for me. Today, I’m an intern at Rockharbor Church, the very church where those men are pastors. I’m still healing, and I’m still learning about our big God’s unfailing love. I’m so thankful for that. One of the ways that Venture lives out the Gospel is to participate in rescuing young girls from the evils of human trafficking, and to share the love and hope of Christ with them. I signed up for tour with the intention of being a part of that rescue, but what God intended was to rescue me in the process.
VM ADMAKE YOUR MILES MATTER FIGHT SEX TRAFFICKING PROVIDE CLEAN WATER SPREAD THE GOSPEL HELP REFUGEES FEED THE HUNGRY TRANSLATE SCRIPTURE RESPOND TO DISASTERS
LEARN MORE AT VENTUREMILES.ORG
For more information visit:
***Status of Global Christianity 2019, Gordon Conwell
We celebrate how the Gospel is changing lives in this part of the world.
// CELEBRATING 25 MILLION MEALS
“Where is it the worst?” That's the question that lead Venture to the refugee crisis in Burma (Myanmar) and was the genesis of the refugee feeding program that started in 2012. What started with a question, turned into Venture's first container of food (272,000 meals) being shipped to SE Asia in response to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time.
Hundreds of thousands of families have been displaced, their homes burned, with land mines buried around their villages to ensure they cannot return. This is all part of a strategic effort to rid Myanmar of many ethnic minorities, and maintain control over the opium and precious gem trade (billion dollar industries). As recently as 2017, Venture partners reported warplanes dropping military bombs on bamboo villages.
GREAT INJUSTICES ALONG THE BORDER OF THAILAND AND MYANMAR: The longest running civil conflict in modern times.
One of the highest number of child soldiers per capita on earth.
High concentration of human trafficking and crimes against humanity.
One of the least reached areas on earth with the gospel.
Large aid organizations have found it difficult to do work in Myanmar because of government and military restrictions. The result is both a refugee crisis and subsequent food and nutrition shortage. For the past 7 years, Venture has partnered with local church and village leaders to provide meals, both in refugee villages, as well as in internally displaced people camps in Myanmar. Since the program’s inception, Venture has delivered more than 25 million meals – currently providing more than 16,000 per day. This food program is part of a broader strategy to stabilize critical situations, and then offer structure and support through
CELEBRATING 25 MILLION MEALS //
Venture SE Asia Team from left to right: Erika New, Sa Soe Min Thein (Stephen), Wasanna Warasut, Krista Smith, Chris Roark, Naor Phandowtiem, Aaron Smith, Naw Mae Moe (Sky), Millicent Thweatt, Sonny Thweatt, Aung Seajiang, Yuvadee Hsuch.
education, vocational training, and a pathway to citizenship. The goal is to offer help and hope while reducing dependency. At the heart of this Refugee Feeding Program, is a couple who have given their lives in missional work, and are currently orchestrating the strategic distribution of the meals. Sonny and Millicent Thweatt have served with Venture for the past five years, and have served in Southeast Asia for more
VERIFIABLE: Each container (through our partnership with Feed My Starving Children) is tracked from shipping to the final destination. Venture conducts regular site visits in Thailand, Myanmar, and surrounding countries. EXPERIENCED: Every link in the supply chain is the result of more than a decade of relationships in this region. While Venture community celebrates the distribution of over 25 million meals, we remember that the meals are not the goal. They are our obedience to the gospel. Venture is committed to serving alongside the least reached and least resourced to share the whole gospel with the whole person. We celebrate the meals, and we celebrate the leadership of the Thweatts and countless church and national leaders who help to get the meals to where they are needed the most. But, our primary celebration is centered on how the Gospel is changing lives in this part of the world. Sonny Thweatt shines as he reports, “Children are going from lame to walking through proper nutrition. Parents don't have to choose between their kids starving or slavery. Students are able to pay attention in school because their bellies are full. And entire communities are coming to faith in Christ, as a result of the Gospel being presented in word and action. There is much to celebrate!”
Parents don't have to choose between their kids starving or slavery.
than two decades. They have invested countless hours to make sure the meals that Venture provides are going to the places where they will have the greatest impact. They ensure that every meal is part of a strategy that is: SUSTAINABLE: Venture partners are implementing longer-term community development programs in concert with the feeding programs.
// CELEBRATING 25 MILLION MEALS
We do TOUGH THINGS for people living in TOUGH PLACES. The Venture community is committed to sacrificial giving, logging miles, fundraising, and praying so that we can help trafficked people, child soldiers, and refugees living in the least reached and least resourced parts of the world.
100% ADMIN COVERED
Thank you to our Basecamp Donors: generous individuals and businesses, that cover 100% of Venture's administrative expenses.
5 YEAR GROWTH
Linda Furry Executive Vice President, AFC Travel Mark Geier J.D. Partner, Larkin & Hoffman Attorneys at Law Stephen M. Hosmer CFO, Royale Energy (OTC: ROYL)
Paul Hurckman Executive Director, Venture
Roger Lane CEO, True North Strategies
Brad Ahlm President & Owner, Conductive Containers, Inc
Tom Tomlinson CEO, Alliance Healthcare (NASDAQ: AIQ)
Ryan Skoog Co-Founder & President, Venture
Tim Skoog Founder & Chairman, Centrav Inc.
WE RUN LEAN 92% – $ 4,381,952 Program 8% – $356,577 Administrative & Fundraising
Aaron Smith Co-Founder & Missionary, Venture Dr. Kristen Leigh Willard Consultant
Terry Boynton President, Yonder Travel Insurance John Draz Director - Voice of Customer, United Healthcare Brad Godwin Senior Account Director, IN Marketing Troy Groves Director of Events and Artist Partnerships, IJM
Christina Kee Groups Pastor, Oaks Church Jesse Olson Principal, Longfellow Homebuyers Ben Rasmussen Business Development, Hudsonville Ice Cream David Schulz Owner, Bravelyon
2018 ANNUAL REPORT //
BALANCE SHEET CURRENT ASSETS
Without Donor Restriction
With Donor Restriction
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment
Other Current Liabilities
TR Net Assets
Total Cash Total Other Current Assets Total Current Assets
Computers Accumulated Depreciation Total Fixed Assets
TOTAL ASSETS LIABILITIES
TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY
Statement of Cash Flows and Reconciliation is available upon request.
INCOME STATEMENT INCOME
TOTAL INCOME EXPENSES
Missionaries Gala Web Platform/App
2018 ANNUAL REPORT //
Thank You Because of you, my life and the lives of so many girls in my village are completely changed. We are now safe from the threat of physical bondage. And in coming to know Christ, we are spiritually free. Thank you.
HANNAH BADI Lighthouse Foundation Nepal
We do tough things for people living in tough places as an active response to the Gospel.
2018 ANNUAL REPORT
Aaron Smith Laura Oren
Ryan Skoog Ryann Smith Paul Hurckman Tiffany Livingston
Aaron Smith Clayton Walking Eagle Isaiah Rustad Matt Lien Melody Skoog Terry Boynton
511 East Travelers Trail Burnsville, MN 55337
Venture is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization registered with the federal government and the state of Minnesota (EIN 41-1720155).
511 E. TRAVELERS TRAIL, BURNSVILLE, MN 55337
Save the Date
GALA October 11, 2019