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The countdown is on for spring evangelism emphasis

A time to pray 2

Churches across Illinois and the SBC will focus this spring on praying for people who don’t know Christ. Last year, IBSA churches (including Staunton’s Net Community Church, seen in this file photo) baptized more than 650 people during a statewide emphasis.

March signals a new season, and in many IBSA churches, a new opportunity to focus on evangelism leading up to Easter.

Last year, One GRAND Sunday resulted in more than 650 baptisms during the Easter season. This year, IBSA’s Pat Pajak is asking churches to celebrate One GRAND Month in April, preceded by 30 days of prayer for people who don’t know Christ.

“Eight out of 10 unsaved people say they are open to a gospel conversation,” said Pajak, associate executive director for evangelism. “And research tells us that four out of five will come to an Easter service if someone will invite them.”

Pajak is urging Illinois Baptists to spend March praying for one person who doesn’t know Christ, and to begin thinking about how to invite them to an Easter service. The singular prayer emphasis is part of “Who’s Your One?” an emphasis across the Southern Baptist Convention urging every Christian to share the gospel with one person this year.

“While almost every believer knows that the Great Commission instructs us to make disciples, and we are willing to obey the teachings and instructions found in God’s Word, far too many Christians have forsaken the responsibility of witnessing and left it to be done by others,” Pajak said.

“Who’s Your One?” employs what Pajak has called an “each one reach one” strategy. “It can be done anywhere, anytime, with anyone,” he said. “The idea is listening and looking for the right opportunity to turn an everyday conversation into a gospel presentation.”

At WhosYourOne.com, pastors and church members can access free resources, including a guide to 30 days of prayer for people who need to hear the gospel.

For April, Pajak suggested a week by week schedule to maximize Easter impact:

April 7: Invite church members to write the name of one person they plan to invite to an Easter service on a 3×5 card (passed out with the bulletins). At the end of the service, invite the entire church to come forward and place their cards on the altar and join together in a time of corporate prayer—asking the Lord to move the people on the cards to respond to an Easter invitation. Leave the cards. The pastor or staff can gather them and pray for the people for the remainder of that week.

April 14: Write out a personal invitation and include an Easter service promo flyer or card. Mail it to the person you’ve been praying for and planning to invite. If you are going to provide a ride or an after-church meal, tell them in the invitation and ask for an RSVP.

April 21: Get ready for a great Easter Sunday! If the person you invited doesn’t have a Bible, surprise them with one as a gift and perhaps deliver it on Saturday, so they will be able to bring it to church with them on Easter Sunday.

April 28: If the person you invited made a decision to follow the Lord, encourage them to be baptized along with others on the Sunday following Easter (churches can also consider offering baptism all four Sundays in April). Make it a real celebration! Invite them out to lunch after the service and let them know you are available to walk with them in their new faith. Be sure to help them get enrolled in a Sunday school class or small group.

For more information about One GRAND Month, go to IBSA.org/Evangelism.

By Mike Keppler

Open Bible

Growing Christians often make commitments to read the Word of God more faithfully each day. Some of that reading is done by reading the “whole of the Word” through a systematic read-the-Bible-through plan. Another way to read the Bible is in “small bites,” using a devotional booklet or app like Our Daily Bread.

Both reading plans are good and balanced. They give us daily exposure to the inspiration and instruction from God’s holy Word.

May I suggest another, less common way to read the Bible? When was the last time you read God’s Word aloud? We know the Bible itself instructs us to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim. 4:13). Worshippers know the value of the public reading of the Bible in responsive readings and liturgies. But the value of using our voices in Bible-reading goes well beyond merely enhancing our participation in corporate worship.

By reading Scripture aloud, I have experienced a deeper blessing personally and corporately for some years now. Privately, I have made a practice of reading my weekly message and Sunday school lessons out loud. At first, I was embarrassed to have anyone hearing me read to myself. I would review the selected text for the week in hushed tones and whispers so as not to invite questions from family members at home or staff members at church.

An ancient practice is changing our Bible study groups for the better.

I soon got over being self-conscious, because I have found a specific benefit to reading the Bible with my voice: I “hear” truths that I miss when I only read a passage silently.

At first, I was surprised by these insights and mistakenly thought that maybe I was just being too careless in hurriedly reviewing the text. However, as I continued this exercise, I saw something deeper in the practice. It was as if God was speaking to me at another level…audibly.

Now, in truth, I have never had God speak to me through his mighty, audible voice, like he must have spoken when the world was created or when he would speak to the prophets of old. But, as I read the Bible to myself, audibly, I hear him “speaking” in new ways. Words that I would have just passed over before come to life with meaning I would not have “heard” in my silent reading. This was both refreshing and insightful as I began to practice reading aloud God’s Word during my private study.

With growing curiosity, I read online about the practice of reading the Bible out loud. There has been considerable research conducted on communal reading. Dr. Brian J. Wright, an author, popular speaker, and blogger who serves as an adjunct professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, has written extensively on how the practice of communal reading dates back to the first century. Dr. Wright says that Justin Martyr, an early church leader, instructed believers during that period to engage in the communal reading of the apostle’s memoirs and prophetic writings on the Lord’s Day.

History tells us the Torah was passed down audibly from generation to generation, preserving Jewish traditions and teachings. Even Scripture itself speaks to the power of hearing the Word of God aloud:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).

I started practicing communal reading during my Wednesday night Bible studies at our church a couple of years back. Our regular attenders seemed to readily take to the exercise and enjoyed it. In recent months, I have been leading our auditorium Sunday school class in the same practice. Not everyone chooses to participate, but those that do have sat up straighter and spoken out louder with more authority and respect as they have joined in the reading.

I am now convinced more than ever that this simple engagement through communal reading of the Word is blessing both study groups. It involves us and inspires us to hear the Bible passage read with our own voices.

I encourage you to make a renewed commitment to read the Bible aloud and try to involve your friends in this practice as well. This refreshing approach to the Word will bless your personal worship and study and enrich your disciple-making ministries. I am convinced that as you read the Word aloud you will discover hidden truths and insights you haven’t “heard” before.

Mike Keppler pastored Springfield Southern Baptist Church for 26 years before
retiring in 2018. You can read his blog at mjkministries.com.

By the IBSA Media Team

5 changes that change leaders

From 2015 to 2018, God led Scott Nichols, senior pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Carol Stream, through a season of change. First, his wife, Vicki, was diagnosed with cancer. The year was filled with surgery and chemotherapy appointments, as well as a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences that had them looking forward to 2016.

But the next year brought more change, this time in ministry. Eventually, more than a quarter of the congregation left the church (some were sent out to do other ministries; some were not).

Though none of the changes during this season were easy, God was still at work both in the pastor’s personal walk and ministry. At the Illinois Leadership Summit, Nichols shared what the Lord taught him in a breakout session titled “Transformed: 5 ways God grows church leaders.”

Nichols shared five truths about change: It reminds the leader of their insufficiency, keeps the leader fresh, reinforces the value of teamwork, transforms the leader personally, and provides an opportunity to learn through challenges and setbacks.

“God taught me that Crossroads would not have been positioned for our upcoming season of ministry growth if we had not endured those two years of change and transition,” Nichols said. “Discomfort can also be called opportunity.”

Mind the knowledge gap

While in London on a mission trip, Carmen Halsey noticed signs cautioning riders on the city’s underground rail system to “mind the gap.” The warning to step carefully from the platform to the subway has implications for leaders too, said IBSA’s director of women’s ministry and church missions.

In leadership, the gap is the space between knowing what you know, and what you don’t.
“You’re not acting smart by saying there’s not a gap there,” said Halsey during her ILS breakout, “Fact: You can lead in the present if you mind the gap.”

“We’re living in a constantly changing world. There’s always going to be a gap for a leader.”

Halsey suggested four ways leaders can manage the gap:

1. Seek God and be confident in your calling.
2. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” and “I’m going to find us an answer.”
3. Admit mistakes and take responsibility for them.
4. Learn what level of honesty is required.

“Be a leader with integrity,” Halsey said, “but not everything gets shared on every stage. Know your audience; think beyond the moment; tell them what they need to know. Understand what you need to say when you need to say it.”

Dysfunction: Call it what it is

Whether he verbally assaults the pastor at a church business meeting or she arranges secret meetings with members around her kitchen table, dysfunctional church leaders lurk inside every unhealthy church.

“We went to their house to let them know their reputation was on the line and we needed to get together as a group and walk through where the misunderstanding occurred,” said Bob Bickford, a St. Louis pastor and church replanting specialist for the North American Mission Board.

“They refused to do that. And as we were walking away the wife said to me, ‘We were a lot better off before you got here.’ It was at that point I knew God was working to heal the church from the incredible dysfunction that had been going on.”

In his ILS breakout session, “Dealing with dysfunctional leaders in your church,” Bickford said the early church confronted problems directly and sought solutions. They didn’t shy away from calling dysfunction what it was.

“The challenge for our churches, particularly the 900 or so who are closing each year, is that we don’t have many pastors or deacon chairs or associational missionaries who are willing to do what I’ve described,” Bickford said. “Tolerating misbehavior keeps us from the mission. It’s worth risking your salary to protect God’s church.”

Planning vision from the inside out

Frank Lloyd Wright designed one of his most famous buildings—Fallingwater—to blend seamlessly with its environment. The Pennsylvania home, built from materials found onsite, is suspended over a waterfall that existed long before the architect ever tackled the project.

Churches would do well to follow the Fallingwater method, said Cliff Woodman (right) in his session, “Beyond Sunday: Creating a better vision for your church.” The pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Carlinville said that many churches use a “copy and paste” method, borrowing from other churches what’s working well in their context.

Instead, he advised, consider what’s going on in your church’s community and culture, and implement a vision that fits that context. And keep your eye on the ultimate prize: transformation.

“Your church congregation should be more than just attenders. They should be different than when they first started coming to church,” Woodman said.

“Just as a school grows their students, the church should also grow its attenders. You shouldn’t be satisfied with a 10-year Christian who is still, spiritually, two years old. Ask yourself: What steps need to be taken to grow the disciples?”

2019 Illinois Leadership Summit videos are available at Vimeo.com/album/5783060.

MindbendersBy Kayla Rinker

With its historical architecture and pristine interior design, Mark Clifton’s church was so lovely that for years its tagline was “Wornall Road Baptist Church: The church beautiful.”

“And it is very beautiful. It could be on the cover of a Hallmark card; I don’t deny that,” said Clifton, senior director of replanting at the North American Mission Board (NAMB). “But somewhere along the way the mission became maintaining it, instead of its true purpose. It was beautiful, but it was empty.”

Clifton was the keynote speaker for the 2019 Illinois Baptist Leadership Summit, held Jan. 22-23 in Springfield. Nearly 250 Illinois Baptist leaders and presenters gathered to “Reimagine” their ministries and gain a fresh perspective and vision for their churches going forward. Clifton (below) spoke from his 30-plus years of experience in both church planting and in pastoring a dying church that had dwindled to less than 20 mostly elderly members.

Like many Southern Baptist churches, Wornall Road needed revitalizing. But the concept can be hard to define, said IBSA’s Mark Emerson, because the term is used to describe a variety of different strategies.

Emerson said IBSA defines revitalization as when a church that is stagnant or dying seeks to enter a process to learn new strategies to replace current ones, in hopes that the new methods spur new growth.

If that kind of revitalization doesn’t happen in time, the next step could be replanting, when current leaders step aside so new leaders can restart the church in an existing building. Or, the church could decide to turn their assets over to an organization like the Baptist Foundation of Illinois, to be used for other Kingdom work.

Mark Clifton

Mark Clifton

“One Sunday I left there frustrated and ready to walk away,” Clifton said of his time at his Kansas City church. “I came to the end of myself and then I heard a clear message: ‘What about a dying church brings glory to God?’ What about a dying church says, ‘Our God is great and his gospel is powerful?’ When a church dies, it’s not just the church that’s at stake. His name is at stake.”

While that statement might seem to put pressure on pastors and leaders of aging congregations everywhere, Clifton said the good news—the gospel, actually—says otherwise. Christ died for his church. His church. Clifton referenced Revelation 1: “I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me. When I turned I saw seven lampstands, and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man…” (Rev. 1:12-13a).

“The lampstands are the churches,” Clifton said. “Jesus is among every church. He’s not looking down on them; he’s among them. You do not have to pick it up and carry it on your shoulders.

“Don’t focus on what you don’t have, which in my case was 580 empty seats and nothing but an MP3 player for worship. Instead, focus on what you do have. The risen Lord is with your church. Church revitalization doesn’t begin with you or me or NAMB, it begins with the risen Lord.”

Drawing board

THE DRAWING BOARD – Jonathan Davis, pastor of Delta Church in Springfield, serves as scribe during brainstorming at one of 36 breakout sessions offered at the Illinois Leadership Summit.

What does it take?
Clifton began to focus his ministry on the spiritual growth of his existing congregation instead of their numerical growth. And God breathed new life into the church, he said. Members began to shift from making decisions based on personal preferences, toward making decisions based on serving the neighborhood. They became a beautiful church.

“No, it’s not as comfortable singing worship songs that you don’t know,” Clifton said. “But hey, if you hear a 27-year-old singing a song about Jesus you aren’t familiar with, and they are singing it with their whole heart and you can’t worship God in that—you’ve got a real problem.”

While revitalizing the church is not about doing whatever is necessary to fill seats every Sunday, Clifton said it is about making disciples. It’s about making disciples of people who have attended faithfully for decades, and it’s about making disciples of new people who are still deciding if church is relevant in their lives.

Collective Learning

COLLECTIVE LEARNING – Large-group sessions, called “collectives,” focused on revitalization and community engagement.

In a breakout session at the summit, he shared nine steps to a revitalized church, starting with a commitment to glorify God in everything and find joy in the gospel alone. Then, he said, pray without ceasing. There is spiritual warfare happening in a church being reborn or revitalized, Clifton said.

“Joy is found in the risen Lord and, just as John sees Jesus in all his resurrected power and glory (Rev. 1), we are going to be glorified,” he said. “At Wornall’s worst—even as I was preaching and feeling like a failure—if that trumpet had sounded, we would have had a glorified church; a perfect bride ready to meet her groom.

“Don’t let Satan rob you of that joy. Those are his saints. God is under no obligation nor will he likely resource your plans for his church, but he will spare nothing from heaven to resource his plans for his church. He can raise a dead church.”

The remaining steps are practical ideas for pastors of revitalizing churches:

• Love and shepherd remaining members; don’t be more concerned and in love with the church you wish you had than with the church you have now.
• Serve the church’s unique community, never valuing your needs over the needs of the unreached.
• Use resources generously. How can the church building be repurposed and redeemed to serve the community?
• Simplify the strategy. Don’t value the process more than the outcome.
• Intentionally develop young men. Churches that die never passed meaningful leadership to the next generation. The goal is to get young men to connect and make them disciples, and then teach them to make disciples.
• Celebrate the legacy often. A church that transforms from dying to thriving is like a living sermon in its community. Celebrate that.

Clifton’s Wornall Road Baptist Church is a church revitalization success story. The church grew from 18 people when Clifton arrived, to about 120 when he left. It’s a thriving, multi-generational, neighborhood church. But it took revitalization to get there.

Currently, Clifton said, more than 900 Southern Baptist churches close each year and 65-75% of SBC churches are considered plateaued.

“Churches often begin the process too late,” Emerson said. “We recommend that church leaders study their growth trends and seek help when they discover that they are no longer growing and reaching people. IBSA can help churches assess their need and readiness for revitalization.”

For more information, contact IBSA’s Church Resources Team at (217) 391-3136.

Kayla Rinker is a freelance writer and pastor’s wife in Missouri.

By Eric Reed

“It’s just the Wild West out there right now,” a colleague declared of the Twitterverse, as Baptists registered their opinions on new reports of sexual abuse and the failure of Southern Baptists to stop perpetrators’ movement among churches. Then the Internet mostly applauded the recommendations by SBC President J.D. Greear’s study committee to address sexual abuse in our churches. Then when the Executive Committee reported that the actions of only three of ten churches cited by the Houston Chronicle merited further investigation, the blogosphere blew up again. “A free for all!” my colleague said.

That’s to be expected. Emotions are running high, and there has been a lot of use of crisis language. But beyond that, on any ordinary day, Baptists are a people who expect their voices to be heard.

Please hear me say this: Action must be taken to prevent sexual abuse in the future, to deal with those credibly accused, to assure they do not have places of leadership in SBC churches, and to minister to those who have been harmed by abuse or the threat of abuse.

That said, let me also say, we also have to handle faithfully our historic Baptist doctrines.

We may find in the discussion leading to the SBC annual meeting in June that nothing in Southern Baptist life is a done deal until it is accepted and implemented at the grassroots level.

A seminary professor of mine told this story of a convention in a large southern state: The receptionist was instructed to answer the phone, “Baptist Headquarters.”

“Hmmph,” she soon heard, followed by a long pause. “This is Pastor Smith calling from First Baptist Church. This is Baptist headquarters.”

The next time the pastor called, the phone was answered, “Hello. Baptist Building.”

The professor’s point sticks: The local church is Baptist headquarters. That’s what it means to be a Baptist. We are not a hierarchical denomination, and we don’t operate from the top down. We are the un-denomination. Early leaders even refused for the SBC to be called a denomination, thus they chose the term “convention” to describe this voluntary association of local churches. And, thus, the word “autonomy” becomes important.

In the recent reporting, a few writers described autonomy as a shield some leaders hid behind to avoid dealing with the critical issue of prevention. Maybe autonomy was an easy response to difficult situations in the past, as leaders were accustomed to churches making their own decisions on most matters of policy. And, to be sure, autonomy of the local church must not be an excuse for keeping our eyes closed to evil in our midst. But the foundational Baptist doctrine of autonomy cannot be dismissed.

In the Houston Chronicle’s reporting, around 380 people in Southern Baptist churches were credibly accused and about 220 were convicted of sexual abuse or received plea deals. Of those, 35 found new places of service in other Southern Baptist churches. For our denomination to effectively stop offenders from becoming repeat offenders in new settings, local churches will have to do the hard work of policing and training and fingerprinting and screening volunteer workers and ministry candidates. That is first a local action that must be done first in local churches. Without full participation of local churches, we won’t have a solution to the problem, even if we do create national policies and databases.

One reporter described Pope Francis’s call to his own church, in light of their abuse crisis, not to “simple condemnation but to concrete and effective measures.” As we offer and endorse solutions, we should remember that Baptists accomplish more by cooperation than declaration. In Southern Baptist life, it’s not the language of crisis that compels us or draws us, but the invitation to responsible cooperation.

Eric Reed is editor of the Illinois Baptist.

Our neverending task

Lisa Misner —  March 4, 2019

By Nate Adams

In addition to a great faculty of Illinois pastors and church leaders, last month’s 2019 Illinois Leadership Summit welcomed Mark Clifton as its primary speaker. Mark has been a pastor, a church planter and replanter, and a director of missions for decades. He now serves churches through the North American Mission Board in the area of church replanting.

The theme of our conference was “Reimagine.” I was hoping that leaders in general, not just church replanters and revitalizers, would benefit from Mark’s teaching. I was not disappointed.

As Mark began describing churches that should consider replanting, he clarified that he was talking about churches that, presuming they remain on their current trajectories, would probably need to close their doors in the next three to five years. And yet as he described the characteristics and needs of those declining or dying churches, I saw many, many pastors and leaders in the room nodding in empathy and agreement. Their churches may not have been five years from closing, but it was clear they recognized some of the same danger signs in their own settings. In a sense, all pastors must be revitalizers or replanters.

Churches that die, Mark asserted, tend to value their own preferences over the needs of the unreached. They cease, perhaps gradually, to be part of the fabric of the community. In fact, what was once a community church often becomes a commuter church.

On today’s ministry landscape, all pastors must be ‘vitalizers.’

As the church declines, some members tend to resent the community for not responding the way they once did. They may work harder and harder on church programs or activities, but these tend to be for insiders, and have little impact on the unchurched, or little relevance to the community.

Dying churches, Mark observed, also seem to have an inability to pass meaningful leadership on to the next generation, and they can often confuse caring for the church building with caring for the church and community. Dying churches value the process of decision-making more than the outcomes of those decisions. And a few strong personalities tend to drive those decisions, while others remain silent or simply drift away.

Of course, it’s much easier to recognize those kinds of traits in churches other than your own. That’s why an outside perspective or consultant is often helpful. And as this experienced leader from outside Illinois described the churches with which he had worked over the years, it was as if he was holding up a mirror in which we could also see ourselves.

One thing I really appreciate about Mark’s background and experience is that he had invested 10 years in a Midwest, urban church that had declined to 18 people when he arrived and grew back to about 120 by the time he left. He spoke personally and lovingly, not of “small” churches, but of “normative” size churches, reminding us that 63% of SBC churches in America have less than 100 in worship, and 83% have less than 200. If we are going to penetrate the lostness of our nation, he reminded us, it will not just be through large churches, but through thousands of normative-size churches, both revitalized and newly planted.

My greatest personal takeaway from the conference was simply this. Especially in the normative-size churches of Illinois, the primary focus of a pastor or church leader must be to bring vitality to a church by leading it proactively out into its community. Replanting is only necessary when revitalization doesn’t happen in time. And revitalization is only necessary if we allow the church’s intended vitality to fade.

Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Respond at IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org.

Sending hope

Lisa Misner —  February 28, 2019

Annual offering aids missionaries reaching the nations here at home

By North American Mission Board

AAEO

Church planter Philip Nache stands outside Hope of Nations Gospel Church in Minneapolis, the congregation he started and hopes will serve as a launching pad for more churches in his city and around the world.

Philip Nache could have given in to despair. Boko Haram, the jihadist militant group located in Nigeria, had threatened his life, martyred a convert to Christianity, and continued to intimidate Christians. But despite the danger, Nache expected to return and work among the people he’d served for nearly 20 years. He had come to the United States to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a moment of divine timing that coincided with Boko Haram’s first threats on his life.

As he contemplated whether and how to return to Nigeria, another divine appointment redirected his steps.

“At that time, God opened the door for me to come to Minneapolis,” Nache said. “When I was told about the need here in the Twin Cities, I was still thinking of Africa, but after praying, I felt convicted to go to Minnesota.”

So, he decided to plan a visit. When he arrived, he was surprised by what he saw.

“It’s like I was in Africa—the northern part of Africa. Because I [saw a] basket full of people—Africans,” Nache recalled. Seeing fellow Africans opened his mind and heart, and Nache’s disposition toward Minneapolis changed. He sensed God’s leading and prepared to go.

Nache saw how the nations had come to North America. This year he is a 2019 Week of Prayer missionary for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.

When he moved his family to the Twin Cities, Nache discovered a hunger for new churches among the various African populations. They lacked the means to make it happen until Nache arrived with the support of Southern Baptists.

“One pastor came to me,” Nache recalled, “and said, ‘Oh, there are a lot of South Sudanese and Ethiopians and so many Africans that are there. I’ve tried even to start a church with them, but I couldn’t because of resources.’”

That believer asked Nache if he was willing to reach out to those populations even though many of them were Muslim. Nache’s response was simple. “Why not? This is [why] God has brought me.”

He joined a group of believers, started reaching out to neighbors, and began house-to-house fellowships. And that’s how God opened the door and established his church, Hope of Nations Gospel Church.

Hope of Nations has grown to two services, one for South Sudanese and another for northern Nigerians. Nache and many of his church members have a vision to reach not only their immediate neighbors but the whole world.

While in Nigeria, Nache pastored and planted churches, and now God continues to use his ministry in Minneapolis to reach the nations of Africa. In the Twin Cities, Nache said, “we are able to identify potential pastors who desire to go and reach out to their people and plant churches in their own countries.”

One such example is Khemis Artema, a refugee from South Sudan. Artema traveled through refugee camps, where he endured physical suffering and lack of medication, before arriving in the United States. Nache said that Artema remained faithful to the Lord through those trials, and now he disciples him so that he can return to South Sudan and plant a church.

Hope of Nations sent Artema on a short-term trip to South Sudan, which was the trip that solidified God’s calling for him to return. Nache continues to disciple and train future missionaries like Artema.

“Our desire is to keep multiplying and reaching out to more people groups, especially people from Africa,” said Nache. He sees donations to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering as a key part of that vision going forward.

“I must say that without the help of the Annie Armstrong support that we are getting from the North American Mission Board,” said Nache, “honestly speaking, I don’t think this work will be possible…So, I seriously appreciate and thank God for this offering. Thank God for the churches all over North America that are helping to support this work.”

Gifts made to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering go directly to support and resource North American missionaries in the field. To learn more, visit anniearmstrong.com.