The Little Church With a Big Heart

February 26 2016

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

Tags: little church, generous giving, missions, haiti, india, south asia,

Rethink Christmas Again

December 17 2015

In Deuteronomy 6:5, we read, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” These are beautiful words any time of the year, but at Christmastime, they tend to ring more loudly and clearly. After all, God’s most precious gift of his Son was given to us. Why wouldn’t we love him with all of our heart, soul, and might? Receiving the most wonderful present of Christ prompts us to give back to him with overflowing hearts.

At One Mission Society, we are taking the time to “rethink Christmas.” And we want to invite you on a journey to do the same. As we refocus on what and to whom we give, we may just remember that giving sacrificially on behalf of someone else may indeed be the godliest way to give. Giving generously in this manner is apt to prompt humbleness, joy, and a sense of awe.

Christina Rossetti, in her poem, In the Bleak Midwinter, gloriously writes the following as her last stanza:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

When we give from the heart, many people can be affected. Take, for example, the scores of vulnerable people worldwide who have been involved in human trafficking, children and youth exposed to the harsh streets of Mexico City, or the growing population of illiterate people in African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi.

Aiding the country of India with Bibles would greatly help those in areas of deep poverty. Imagine your donation of $100 providing 150 New Testaments or 40 complete Bibles in that nation. If you have a vision for ordinary people doing extraordinary things, consider giving $100, which will provide Train & Multiply materials for 10 new church planters. And Colombian children will certainly be glad to receive a soccer uniform and ball for a $27 gift.

We at OMS hope you will not only rethink Christmas but that you will give sacrificially to support people, ministries, and God’s kingdom work around the globe. Every continent could be touched if we unite together to give out of the fullness in our hearts. Let’s prove together that anything can happen “in the bleak midwinter!”

~Angela Chandler, OMS Communications Team

Tags: christmas, giving, generous, rethink christmas,

Santa Needs to Know

December 9 2015

It is more blessed to give than to receive,” writes Dr. Luke in the book of Acts 20:35. He was quoting Jesus, the One who gave us God’s love in extraordinary ways. I like the way The Message paraphrases this quote when it says, “You’re far happier giving than getting.” Of course, many of us are looking to receive. We make Christmas lists to let people know what we want. After all, Santa is coming, and he needs to know! Besides, turn on your television or pick up a magazine and the message is clear. “Buy this” and “get that” so that you can have the best Christmas ever … and a happy life. For those of us who like to shop (yes, some men do enjoy it, but just won’t admit it!), there is a nice buzz that comes over us when we get what we want. Personally, I like eBay. The bidding only adds to the thrill! Unfortunately it is not long before we are looking to buy something else we need!

Maybe we should consider the words of Jesus more carefully. Does he know something that we need to pay attention to? Could his wisdom actually lead us to a happier life? The answer is “Yes” and “Yes!” We are designed by our maker to give. When we do so, we imitate and tap into the very heart of God. The challenge is to re-program our thinking so that giving becomes a way of life. It is fun to shop for others at Christmastime and surprise them with a nice gift. However, it is even better to look for ways to give every day.

Let me challenge you as I will myself. Make these days leading to Christmas an opportunity to test what Jesus said. Look for a way to give to at least one person every day. Don’t lie down to sleep at night until you have given something to someone else. Be intentional and specific and ask God to show you how and to whom to give. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. In fact, often the most precious things, money cannot buy! Be creative and the Lord will guide you and help you. Let it become a journey of faith as you partner with the Savior born in Bethlehem.

Finally, take note of the joy meter in your heart right now, and then again after you establish regular giving each day. Will God’s Word prove true? Will you discover that giving = happiness and spread that same joy to others? That would truly make for a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

By Roger Kruse, OMS Missionary

Tags: santa, joy in giving, happiness, giving christmas,

​Hannah’s Heart for Haiti

July 16 2014

“Would you like to help build a house in Haiti?” Eager-eyed children at One Mission Society’s International Conference asked that question or a similar one of me this past weekend. How could I say no? All the cash I brought with me was wiped out by the first night! If you recall, the OMS blog has mentioned the Homes for Haiti Bon Repos project several times before the conference. Well, the kids attending the conference embraced the challenge of finding donors who would help cover the cost of construction, specifically the concrete blocks. For just $6.00, I could purchase one block for a home; and I bought a few and so did many other attendees of the conference. The children raised enough money in three days to build TWO homes; that is $10,128.75! That is amazing!

What is even more amazing is one young girl, Hannah, alone raised nearly enough to build one home (with the help of matching funds). Hannah is an MK (missionary kid) who lived in Haiti, but though she has moved back to the States, her heart has been broken for Haiti. The day after the conference, her mom found her in their home office looking at a photo of the Bon Repos project hanging on the wall. The longing to help the poorest of the poor had lingered into a new week. Her eyes studied the project, trying to decide which house she wanted to be a part of constructing, once she gets a team formed. Hannah does not plan to end with just building a home; she intends to raise more money to build more homes. Her mom shared Hannah’s vision with us, “If I had courage, and was brave enough at conference, and we raised $10,000 in three days, I know I can do more if I go and speak to the church, family, and friends, or anyone else who will listen.” Even in her reflections of the conference, Hannah saw the joint effort of all the kids monies combined, not focused on the money she raised singlehandedly.

Hannah is aware of the need in Haiti, and she could have settled with “awareness.” However, her engaged heart has forged a burning passion to do something about it. Has Hannah’s heart for Haiti touched your heart?

It is not too late to give. The Bon Repos project still needs to raise more than $100,000 to complete the community for Haitians who have nothing. Go to http://www.onemissionsociety.org/give/bon-repos and click on “Give Now” to engage your heart just like Hannah’s heart for Haiti.

By Beth Jordal – Communications, One Mission Society

Tags: haiti, homes for haiti, heart giving, bon repos,