At Grace we believe in building a strong partnership with the missionaries we support. All this week we are praying for Jon & Marilyn Rust who are planting churches in the greater Lisbon, Portugal area. This spring I intend to head over to France and visit the Kosiorek family who are in language school prepping for the mission field of Togo, Africa. Later this year I will take a team to Quito, Ecuador to minister to and along side of Jeff & Deanne Davoll. We take seriously our role in supporting, encouraging, visiting and praying for the missionaries God has allowed us to partner with. There are a thousand other great things we could do in the field of missions but we have decided to strengthen the existing relationships we already have. (To read more on the biblical rationale for our approach click here, here , here or here.)
There is, however, a significant opportunity that we are seizing right on our doorstep! H.C. Stephen is a missionary partner of ours who has significant ministries in not only India but beyond (the latest edition of the Baptist Bulletin magazine features H.C. and his expanded ministry responsibilities on the front cover) that we have the privilege of assisting. Dr. Donald Shirk, Senior Pastor at Grace, will head out to India next month with three of our men to spend 2 weeks helping H.C. and his ministries out. Dr. Shirk will be teaching a module at a seminary H.C. leads to train national Indian Pastors. Pastor Shirk will also preach several messages in a variety of contexts while there. Mike Charvella, Hans Foeller and Pete Hollands meanwhile, will be laboring all day on H.C.’s home by putting an addition on to allow him and his wife Chingboi to host pastors , mission
teams and other guests. This will be no small feat to tackle a project like this on foreign soil. But these are men committed to helping our partner and seeing the gospel gain ground in India.
Heading literally to the other side of the world and speaking all day or laboring all is not for everyone. But supporting those who do go is. All of us can pray. Pray for safety, strength, gospel witness, and to be a blessing to the church in India. Some of us can give. The project at H.C.’s house will cost. The church can meet the need of some of this cost but the Lord also enables individuals who have means to step in and meet the need. Some of us can even help by supporting the wives who stay behind, especially those with young children. So, even if you can’t go there are ways for you to be involved and be a blessing yourself to the work in India.
The team departs February 18th and returns March 1st. Let’s be ready to go with them in prayer, finances, and even by supporting at home.