Make Missions Personal
DATE POSTED: 11/27/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

One of the great joys of pastoring a church was the excitement that came when you knew you were partnering with the International Mission Board to reach the rest of the world. Our medium-sized church gave regularly to the Cooperative Program. We recognized that as we did, we were supporting close to 5,000 missionaries. These laborers were living in places that I dreamed of going but avoided due to security issues. As we received reports from the national headquarters in Richmond, we realized that we were helping to reach the world for Jesus.

We did not stop there. We chose a specific place in the world to help. It was in central Asia, a place where our missionaries served and continue to serve that is publicly closed to the gospel. Our missionaries worked as a non-profit agency serving the country.

We developed a relationship with a missionary named Cindy who was living on the field. She was a single woman who shared the gospel with single women who had been kicked out of their homes. One young lady was living at the home because her husband had divorced her. He did not want a child but his wife did. She gave birth and he sent her away. She ended up at this home with other women who faced a similar situation.

I took a group from our church to this country and we went to the home where these ladies lived. We worked to help build a larger, stronger structure for them. We mixed mortar by hand and set blocks to build a wall to protect these women who had been rejected by their families but were loved by God. Cindy drove every week to share the gospel with these ladies. She shared with them that even though their families had rejected them, God had not. He loved them. What a joy it was to see the gospel come alive and make a difference in these young ladies lives.

Over the years our church gave to help with other projects. Designated monies that we sent were used to help air-condition an operating room. In another village we dug a trench for a water line that ran to a dentist office in order that he could have running water to treat people. In another place we cleaned up a park.

All of these projects were done to give our agency credibility with the government. Our missionaries who lived on the field told us that because of our work they were able to not be bothered by the government. Our work enabled the gospel to be shared with little interference.

As our church continued to be involved in the work, we discovered specific ways God was using us. We learned our offerings to this country were the most given by any other church. This helped us to see that we could make a difference financially for the kingdom in a distant land. As we sent people on mission trips, they came back changed and more committed to sharing the gospel locally. Our relationship with Cindy grew. She sent us reports of her successes and failures. We prayed for her, loved her by sending tangible gifts and notes, and partnered with her.

I want to encourage you and your church to give to International Missions. I pray you will find a specific country and missionary to work with in our world. You will be impacted. Your church will be impacted and most importantly the gospel will be proclaimed to the uttermost part of the earth.

Merry Christmas!


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