To say our little church with about 175 attenders has a love affair with missions would be an understatement! Nineveh Christian Church has supported One Mission Society missionaries for longer than I have been a member (2002). But over the years, our involvement has grown in so many exciting ways, and I count myself fortunate to be part of that growth.
Our pastor, Tom Knight, and our elders have a unique philosophy that if we expect blessings from the Lord, financial or otherwise, then we must first bless others. 2 Corinthians 9:10 expresses that philosophy: “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” As you will see, the Lord has fulfilled that promise for our church many times.
As I recount the many ways our church has increased our missions giving and involvement, it is not to pat ourselves on the back, but to inspire other churches to realize you don’t have to be a mega church to do great things for God – you just need to be a church with a “mega” heart.
At first we supported several OMS missionaries. But in 2007, just as we were in the middle of building an addition on our own church (a $460,000 project), God impressed on our leaders that we should simultaneously plant some seeds by building a church in India through OMS. Due to the generous giving of our congregation, we ended up borrowing only $50,000 toward our remodel and took on the India church build of $13,500. Paying off both of these projects was not a long, drawn-out process, but rather, was completed in less than a year.
Soon, we were building two churches/schools in South Asia, broadening our missionary support, and in 2010 – 2012, we gave $25,000 to build one floor of a training center in South Asia.
Just as exciting as our congregation’s giving heart was the fact that we had become a sending church. I took my first mission trip with Dynamic Women in Missions in 2012 to Ecuador. Of course, my excitement spilled over and within the next couple years, the women of our church were involved in two trips to Haiti. The second of these trips had 10 women from our church, including our pastor’s wife.
In 2014, we tore down the parsonage across the street from our church to build a Life House – a building suited to our junior and senior high youth. This $360,000 project should have been a challenge for our small congregation, but once again, our building fund had grown due to our generous congregation. Our pastor and elders prayed about where we could sow some seeds of blessing. We had grown to love the people of Haiti, so while we were paying off our Life House, we also financed two homes for earthquake victims in Bon Repos, Haiti.
God continues to challenge the hearts of our people for missions. It is so exciting that this spring we will be sending a work team to Haiti, a team that will include men for the first time.
We have learned that we can never out-give God as we bless others by planting seed in their ministries. We recently bought a piece of property near our church. We are asking God to show us how we can use this property to bless others. I can hardly wait to see what God has in mind!
By Gail O’Connor, Dynamic Women in Missions Volunteer