What do bore holes and food baskets have in common? Both are used by our mission partners to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The mission work at Gathering Point Church is organized around Acts 1:8:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8 NIV)
Jerusalem represents local missions, Judea is the larger area just beyond local missions, Samaria symbolizes mission partners who are nearby but of another culture, and the ends of the earth includes, well, the ends of the earth. At Gathering Point Church, we intentionally maintain partnerships in each of these four areas, and we also intentionally keep the number of our mission partners low, so we can support them significantly. Our aim is to go an inch wide and a mile deep in our mission work, rather than an inch deep and a mile wide.
Each year we send out two short-term mission teams – one to Ghana (in West Africa) and one to Guatemala (in Central America). Through these teams, our congregation reaches to the ends of the earth with the good news of Jesus Christ! The members of the Ghana and Guatemala mission teams will share testimonies of what they saw God doing on their trip this summer in the worship services this morning (August 28, 2022). If you cannot be present for worship today, you can catch the recording of the livestreams here.
In Ghana, we partner with Joseph Otsin, a church planter with the Methodist Church of Ghana. The team holds medical clinics, does children’s ministry, holds evangelistic services, builds a pavilion (which becomes the framework of a new church building) and dedicates water wells. Our church receives a Christmas Eve Offering for missions each year, and part of that offering funds the drilling of water wells in villages in Ghana without access to clean drinking water. These bore holes (Ghanaian term for water wells) give the gift of life and health to the village and surrounding area, limiting the diseases borne in drinking standing water wherever it can be found. All of these ministries are arranged by Joseph Otsin, who has a caretaker Pastor trained and ready to plant a new church in each of the two villages visited by the team each summer. Eight persons from Gathering Point Church went to Ghana this year.
In Guatemala we partner with Les and Rita Peters, who operate Ministerios Impacto (Impact Ministries) in the central highlands town of Tactic. Impact Ministries operates ten Christian schools (with over 1,700 students), a home for abandoned children, an ongoing medical clinic, and has planted a church with three campuses in the school buildings. Each year this team brings physicians for the medical clinics, does children’s ministry, visits homes with food baskets for families in deep poverty, and participates in an evangelism outreach. In addition, members of the team who sponsor children through Impact Ministries get to visit their sponsor child, bring food for their family, and pray with them. Ten persons from GPC made it to Guatemala this summer.
In addition to these two Ends-of-the-Earth mission partners, we support Phil Gabriel and Trinity Life Ministry in Lafayette/Crawfordsville (Jerusalem), Bill and Stacy Spencer and Narrow Gate discipleship ministry for young men near Nashville, TN (Judea), Missy Bowman and Central Indiana Teen Challenge for young women in Lebanon, IN (Samaria), Wes and Joy Griffin and the International Leadership Institute which evangelizes through international leadership training seminars (Ends of the Earth), Peter and Esther Pereira and Global Hope Partners providing humanitarian aid and planting house churches in South Asia (Ends of the Earth), and Cameron and Anne Gongwer and TMS Global who work in public health education and literacy education in Ghana (Ends of the Earth).
All of these mission partners receive financial support from faith promises which are received each year at our Global Impact Celebration missions conference (which is coming up September 17 & 18, 2022). These faith promises will total about $100,000 outside and beyond our giving to our regular church budget, and all this mission work extends the impact of the Kingdom of God beyond the walls of our church to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the Earth! I give thanks to God for a congregation that reaches far beyond itself to impact the word for Jesus Christ!