Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finding Vision with Eagle Projects International

Phil Eyster ’80B has a vision—to help others fulfill their own. To realize it he founded Eagle Projects International (EPI), an interdenominational ministry through which he has organized missions and humanitarian trips to over 300 different countries, planted churches and spread the gospel around the world.
Eyster is a Barrington graduate whose biblical studies major laid the groundwork for further theological work at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and with Campus Crusade for Christ in New York City. His wife is Marcia L. (Gammon) Eyster ’81B, a devoted mother to their seven children, including two adopted girls from China.
Missions got in Eyster’s blood during his first international trip to Uganda in 1980, though he had to put this desire on hold because of seminary. He continued to serve through inner-city evangelism, street preaching and his chaplaincy role at the Portland Rescue Mission. In 1989 Eyster finally launched EPI and each year takes hundreds of volunteers to underdeveloped nations to serve and minister through field evangelism. “Field evangelism means we go to them,” said Eyster. “It’s not crusade evangelism. We follow up, and we take the message to them—on their territory.”
EPI has kept its original vision for 20 years, though the world continues to change. The recent disaster in Haiti, for example, requires alterations in EPI’s ministry plans in the country, and currently a small team is planning to go down in March to better assess the situation. The relationships Eyster has cultivated for the past 20 years are helping him figure out how EPI can continue to be a positive influence in Haiti in the future.
Despite natural and political difficulties, Eyster and others are still out in the villages, bus stations, prisons and marketplaces of the world. Their goal is to spread the gospel and share the love of Christ while maintaining relationships with those they serve. It’s all part of his vision to come alongside people as partners and help to fulfill God’s mission for their lives.
If you would like to be a part of a short-term missions project or learn of other opportunities to support EPI, visit www.eagleprojects.com.

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