The Story Begins
Steve Saint started I-TEC in 1996 to develop tools and training to equip the indigenous Christ-followers to meet the physical and spiritual needs of their own people.
In 1956, Steve’s dad Nate Saint along with Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Flemming, and Roger Youderian were speared by a group of Waodani warriors in the Ecuadorian jungles. The horrific news of the death of these five missionary martyrs traveled fast and became headline news.
Elisabeth Elliot, wife of Jim, and Rachel Saint, sister of Nate, returned to live among the Waodani. The killings once prevalent in their tribe virtually stopped and many of the Waodani heard the Gospel and believed. Steve was even baptized by some of the same men who speared his father in the jungles some years later.
In a way, the story of I-TEC starts in 1956 with this incredible story of redemption.
In 2001 Steve published the book The Great Omission: Fulfilling Christ’s Commission Completely. Then in 2006, the book paved the way for a study series with workbook called The Missions Dilemma.
These two resources tackle the question of who a mission trip is actually helping and what the effect of short-term missions is long-term.
If the Great Commission tells us to make disciples that make disciples, missions should focus on training and equipping the indigenous Christ-followers so the mission continues. Steve calls it a relay race, handing off the baton to other Christ-followers, and that’s what I-TEC is all about.
Today, I-TEC focuses in five major areas; Health, Engineering, Aviation, Media, and Discipleship. The technology, training, and tools we develop in these areas exist to equip indigenous Christ-followers and churches to meet a need in their community, opening doors for the Gospel to be shared.
I-TEC trains indigenous Christ-followers who are a part of the local church and understand the culture. This allows them to expertly meet the needs of that specific community. Whether the student is being trained in basic dentistry or to tell stories through video, the mission will continue long after the training ends.
Our training encourages interdependence and emphasizes a Gospel-centered mindset.
"Ask yourself this. What does short term missions accomplish long term, bearing in mind that our instruction from God is to make disciples who make disciples?"
One of the great barriers that has prevented indigenous churches from growing to maturity is their continuing dependence on the welfare of outsiders. A native church that relies on the leadership, technology, and financial support of foreign missionaries rarely can stand on its own when that support is withdrawn.
We are convinced from the Scriptures, however, that the goal of the Great Commission is to establish churches that are self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating.
I-TEC Aviation has roots that run deep reaching people beyond roads. Currently, I-TEC Aviation includes the I-FLY and UAV programs.
I-FLY: A 3 year A&P apprenticeship program where trainees acquire their Aircraft Maintenance Technician license (A&P). Each member of the team will be able to build aircraft, learn general maintenance, overhaul and fix engines, and run a plane mechanic shop.
UAV System: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) create new opportunities to complement traditional missions aviation. The I-TEC team is currently developing UAVs capable of carrying potentially life-saving payloads to remote areas, completely autonomously, and returning to a pinpoint location even in conditions too dangerous to fly traditional aircraft.
I-TEC Discipleship does locally in the U.S. what I-TEC promotes globally: the training and equipping of Christ-followers to meet the needs of people around them through I-TEC’s LIFE Focus.
LIFE Focus: By teaching and empowering people the church will be able to develop meaningful and lasting relationships with people in their own community while having the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ. In the U.S., most people may have access to dentists, doctors, and optometrists but there are still hurting people all around us. People are struggling in their finances, careers, and families and need someone to come alongside them and empower them to make a change. This is I-TEC’s LIFE Focus. Developing tools for discipleship and walking His trail in all areas of life.
I-TEC Engineering focuses on research and development for various projects and training with the I-FIX program.
You may know about the I-TEC portable dental chair or the innovative UAV program. These tools are the handiwork of our engineering research and development team. There’s always a new project being worked on or an existing product being tweaked and improved by this talented team of engineering experts.
I-FIX: The engineering team also facilitates I-FIX training, teaching indigenous Christ-followers to maintain and repair various small engine tools. Chainsaws, boat motors, generators and motorcycles are critical tools in frontier areas across the globe. Maintaining and repairing these tools is the focus of our I-FIX training facilitated by our engineering team.
I-TEC Health focuses on developing curriculum on basic optometry, dentistry, and medicine to be used in frontier areas.
The goal is to train and equip indigenous Christ-followers to meet basic needs in their communities that open doors to share the Gospel.
I-MED: Teaches non-health care workers to learn to offer safe and effective basic health care services when those services are not otherwise available.
I-SEE: Teaches skills required to identify and treat common eyesight problems as a small self-sustaining ministry.
I-DENT: Teaches critical dental skills needed in places where people do not have access to dental care.
I-TEC Media produces videos and other digital resources that support the vision of I-TEC and help spread the word about what God is doing through I-TEC.
The media team also facilitates I-FILM training which aims to equip indigenous Christ-followers to tell stories that glorify the name of Christ through film.
I-FILM: This unique training program provides students with a basic understanding of film composition, editing, and visual storytelling. Students purchase I-FILM kits consisting up an iPad mini, tripod, and other gear capable of shooting, editing, and distributing high-quality projects.
Meet the group of people God has led to join the I-TEC team as full-time staff.
The I-TEC Board of Directors oversees the organization’s direction and activities.