In June, 2015, the i-61’s Founding Director, Tri Robinson, retired from vocational ministry and transitioned the i-61 leadership to Terra Montford as the new i-61 Director.
Terra was part of the founding team of i-61. Prior to that, she was the Director of VCOM (Vineyard College of Mission) and the Director of SOBA (School of Biblical Action) at the Boise Vineyard. Terra has been in missions work for the past 15 years. She is excited about the future of i-61 and believes God will continue to use it as a vessel for hope amidst crisis.
An excerpt from Founder Tri Robinson:
The ministry of i-61 has been a work in progress for as long as I have been in full time ministry. It has evolved and been refined through the last 35 years. It really launched in 2006, when I wrote a book called, “Saving God’s Green Earth”, which really called Christians to environmental stewardship within the evangelical church. The book opened up conversations around the globe with people who deeply cared about extreme poverty and the connection with environmental issues. I realized then, that there was more than this one issue driving world poverty. God highlighted to me seven key world crises that are most responsible for the exploitation of people and the advancement of extreme poverty. These seven areas grew into the ministry focus for i-61 as we sought to bring redemption and life to that which has been destroyed. Our heart is to free the captives and bind up the brokenhearted because that is what Christ commissioned us to do (Isaiah 61/ Luke 4:18-19).”
Simply stated, i-61 is a global ministry of justice and compassion. It is a ministry developed by and based out of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Boise, but it has been embraced as an agency of Vineyard Missions USA. There are three distinct areas that are crucial to the ultimate effectiveness of i-61.
Based in Boise, Idaho, i-61 serves the entire Vineyard movement as a covering of relationship, communication, and encouragement to dozens of Vineyard ministries around the world who are working in the area of justice and compassion. We identify ministries that touch the seven areas of world crises and invite them into the i-61 community. Some of our network ministry partners include orphanages, ministries who work to stop human trafficking, education programs, environmental projects, agriculture projects, and medical outreaches. We value this part of our role, being a bridge-builder between ministries, bringing support to those in the mission field, supplying them with workers, and mobilizing churches for justice and compassion ministry.
Because the issues embraced through i-61 Ministries require highly skilled workers to address these critical concerns, training is one of the essential features of the ministry. Some have described i-61 as being like a Christian Peace Corps where participants must undergo a rigorous season of training before they are allowed to engage in the hands-on ministry. All i-61 training is experiential. That is to say, our students learn by doing. Some of the training takes place in the context of the local church in the USA, while most is done in the field. For this reason we have a training base in Managua, Nicaragua, which is staffed by a full time training team. For more on these equipping programs, see additional information on our website under “Equipping”.
The greatest objective of i-61 is to move the needle of evangelical Christian culture concerning issues of justice and compassion. It is our desire to see Christians everywhere on the front lines of a world that is in crisis. For this reason we endeavor to be that loud voice that is crying out on behalf of those in poverty to take action. The very name ‘i-61’ is a message of God’s mandate for his people to engage in his personal decree to fulfill the Messianic manifesto of Isaiah 61. This is done through speaking, writing, and every form of social media.
If any of this strikes a chord with you, I invite you to join the i-61 Movement. Get engaged with these issues by signing up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook. We will be posting about new training opportunities and service projects. Thanks for reading. We would love to hear from you!