Partnership Creates Excitement
By Wayne Dinsbeer
These words are probably some of the most often used in conversations of a christian nature. Unbelievers discount faith if they don’t see the works to prove it. Believers even fall into the “got to see it to believe it” trap far too often. Still there are a great many who take James at his word when he instructs “…show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18
For several years Here2There Ministries has been purposed with “Closing the Gap between Missionary and Church”. We have seen the need from far too many missionaries struggling on the field, feeling all alone and wondering does anyone even care we are here, much less doing this on their behalf?
Our solution is Church Partnerships.
Two years ago we began seeking to establish a Partnership Relationship between a Missionary with whom we had established a friendship and one of their churches. I have probably mentioned this Missionary in previous blogs. His testimony at that time was one in which he(and his wife) shared being very distraught over the exact feelings described in the above paragraph. When asked his greatest need and desire, it wasn’t for more funding or help. It was for someone to talk to and share.
At the same time we began down the path of Partnership with this Missionary couple, we also embarked on a similar path with one of their churches. The condition of the church at this time as it relates to missions and this missionary was pretty dim. No communication or connectivity, and even less support.
This “Partnership” relationship began to grow and gel over the last two years. The Missionary now is in regular communication with members of the church and shares everything that is happening on a regular basis.
The church enjoys a much closer relationship with this missionary and looks forward to each opportunity to share in their lives and ministry. Let me explain further what I mean by “share”. In the last six months this missionary has had the misfortune of property damage due to weather, equipment aging, and vandalism. When he communicated this to the Lead member of his MST (Missionary Support Team) from this church, the needs were immediately addressed by the congregation.
In mid August this Missionary had a severe storm hit his property on a Friday destroying much of the compound in which they live. One thing ripped from their roof was the Solar Panels which provided power. The next day he was sharing this with a number of the MST members that it would cost $3400 to replace these panels. These members brought this to the attention of the Pastor who also shared the next day (Sunday) with the church along with a desire to fund this need immediately out of the Mission budget. The entire congregation approved and the Missionary had a check in his account within 24hours.
That wouldn’t have happened a year ago. The missionary may have called, but no one would have responded. Both Missionary and Church underwent a transformation and education in how to to do ministry in Partnership one with the other.
You can see the benefits which are obvious for both Missionary and Church. We have spoken to the examples of benefits enjoyed by such a relationship on the part of the Missionary. By the way, this expression of love and care was the third or fourth of this kind for this Missionary in the last six months. For the church, there is an excitement for having a hands on part in the work of this missionary.
This excitement in the church has flowed over into other areas of the ministry. This church recently took part in Saturate First Coast, a nationwide evangelistic initiative to place the Gospel in every home in America. The “First Coast” part of it refers to the four counties around Jacksonville; Duval, Nassau, Clay, and St. Johns. After several nights of Prayer and Preparation over 75% of those attending on Sundays came out on a Saturday in 95+ degree temperatures and placed the Gospel in almost 4,000 homes in neighborhoods surrounding this church.
There was excitement that day in this church that was electrifying and certainly contagious. Distribution teams included children, teens, young, middle and older adults, some in their 80’s and one in his 90’s. You should have seen the great rejoicing when several new families visited this church the following day as a direct result of receiving a gospel bag at their door. The church is now in the follow up process and praising God all the way.
The Missionary spoken of earlier returned to the states the first of September. Guess where the first place he (and she) wanted to go? Yep, that church to share their appreciation with their friends and Partners in ministry.
I had the opportunity to speak to this Missionary on that day and ask him his thoughts about this church and their new Partnership relationship. His response was priceless. He simply said, “ I wish I had 86 more like them”.
All of this truly began over three years ago as a group of 12 members of this church came together to become an organized Prayer Team structured to pray for God to work in lives at this church. They soon grew to 24 and now 36 meeting weekly and praying daily for the needs of others. Eight months ago this team felt the need to begin praying in earnest specifically for their church and its mission works. God answered their prayers.
And now you know the rest (and most important part) of the story.
Here 2 There continues to work on that! Our ampd (Association of Missionary Partnership Development) classes are currently working with Pastors and Leaders from four churches. This 11 month Cohort offers Pastors and Church leaders instruction, resources, and coaching in Ministry Strategy development inclusive of every area in the scope of church and mission work.