FJ Ministries was born out of a vision God laid on the hearts of Bryan and Tara Riley. Our Mission of F.A.I.T.H. is “Families reaching families as Avenues to the Nations, Igniting passion for God and compassion for people, Teaching and training God’s Word and character with Hearts and hands revealed.” We long to live by faith in all that we do. Colossians 2:6. We hope God will enable us to reach families and show them that they too can participate in the Great Commission. May our heart’s passion be for God and for serving others and in so doing encourage others to the same passion. FJ were the two letters God gave us individually on July 26, 2006, in Kona, Hawaii, as we prayed over what our ministry should be and had memories flood our hearts in prayer. For Tara, FJ was “for Jim.” Jim was a friend of Tara’s during her teenage years who had a heart for God and missions. He had gone to Haiti as a young teenager and wanted to see that ministry furthered. Unfortunately, for reasons only God truly knows, Jim decided to end his life. In the wake of the grief over that loss, Tara told God that she wanted to do whatever it was God had planned “for Jim” to do. As we prayed together about what our ministry was to be, God reminded her of that promise.
For Bryan, FJ was “finding Jubilee.” Jubilee was our first “child.” We were both in school, without any income, but we saved to buy a poodle. Her name was Jubilee and we paid $400 for her. Ten days after we received her, she died in an accident. It happened on the day our niece, Corissa, was born, as I rushed to see her birth. I walked out of our apartment, and Jubilee was frightened by something and tried to jump from my arms. As I tried to catch her she flipped head down onto a concrete sidewalk, suffering a fatal head injury at the tender age of 13 weeks.
Jubilee also is the year God told the Jewish people to rest for a second year of Sabbath, letting the land lay fallow, the slaves be set free, and all debts be forgiven. It was to occur every 50th year (following the seventh of seven Sabbath years). Leviticus 25. Unfortunately, the Israelites never had the faith to obey God in this precious gift of His grace and failed to follow His command regarding the Year of Jubilee.
Just as we are given the greatest gift of eternal fellowship with God through the tragic death and resurrection of Jesus, we have seen how God has resurrected these tragedies in our lives to take us into an even greater life together in and through FJ Ministries.
We hope that through a ministry of international missions, missional living, and living to bless others, we can teach others about entering God’s rest and Jubilee–that God would increase all of our faith and bring us to unity and to the fullness of our gifts so that the world may know that Jesus is their salvation. Romans 12, John 17. Jesus taught that “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:24-26. We now know that the deaths God reminded us of as we prayed about God’s ministry for us, and our own willingness to die to our desires, will produce many seeds in the lives of innumerable people, thus bringing God glory and showing that Jesus is the reason for our hope to all the world.
After God gave us this ministry we began talking about FJ and realized that FJ also stands for such things as Families in Jesus, Forgiveness in Jesus, Faith in Jesus, Faith and Joy, Following Jesus, Finding Jesus, Finding Joy, Fellowship in Jesus, Friendship in Jesus, Friend of Jesus, Faithfulness and Joy, Family Journal, Freedom Journey, and so on and so on. He has already begun multiplying His work in our hearts. We pray that He will begin doing the same for you and your family.