RBC-supported missionaries Steve & Julia left for full-time work in Ireland only a few weeks ago. Here is an update from them:
We have been in Ireland now for 5 weeks and God has been very gracious to us as we get settled in. We arrived during a difficult rental housing marked with little property available and it disappearing fast. In spite of that, within the first week God provided us with a beautiful modern 2 bedroom furnished apartment with lots of windows and light in an excellent neighborhood. God has also helped us get our utilities and broadband set up, find a reliable used car, obtain car insurance, open a bank account, get our Irish version of social security numbers, and begin the process of getting permission to remain in the country. We are living in the suburbs of Cork in southeastern Ireland.
We are currently working with Douglas Baptist Church outside of Cork. Douglas Baptist is one of 14 churches in Cork and Kerry counties that have joined together in coordinating activities and in working together to plant new churches in areas with no evangelic church. There are two new church plants in the works. These churches have one joint service each year; we attended that service at the end of September. It is exciting to see how God has grown His church in southern Ireland as the 500+ people came together for worship and teaching.
We have been able to get heavily involved in ministry here also. There are several Bible studies each week that we participate in along with special ladies’ and men’s meetings we have attended. These activities have been very important in helping us meet people, build relationships, and gain trust for future ministry. Steve was asked to teach a lot sooner than expected and just finished teaching 3 Bible studies and preaching the Sunday sermon in the last week.
We would appreciate your prayers for:
- Gaining permission from immigration to remain in the country.
- Julia, a North American, serving as a coordinator for a wedding on Oct 19 between a Filipino man and a Brazilian woman in an Irish
- church – lots of cultural issues come up.
- Learning the culture – new vocabulary, word pronunciation, and behaviors.
- Steve’s short-term mission trip (Oct 15-22) to Croatia with some men from Reston Bible Church to work on a church building
- Our trip back to the States (Oct 30-Nov 11) to visit family and have our belongings shipped to Ireland
Please be in prayer for Steve & Julia as they begin their new life & ministry in Ireland. Pray for grace and opportunity as they seek to know Christ and make Him known in Ireland.
After an extended furlough to take care of their daughter’s educational needs, the H. family has returned to the bush in Mozambique where they seek to make Christ known to the Mwinika tribe. When they left, many people in the village were convinced that the H.’s would never come back, so the Mwinika villagers were pleasantly surprised when they actually DID return! As is part of the culture, the villagers came with a little something to welcome them back home, and as soon as they arrived, there were LOTS of children to greet them. The Mwinikan boys were anxious to play soccer, but the soccer field had been overgrown with weeds and thorns in the H.’s absence. The morning after they returned, they woke up to find a whole crew of boys out in the field working away to clear up the field so that they could play. While in the U.S., the H.’s had received a bag full of clothes for the children in their area, and they were able to give each boy who helped a new shirt!
It was a great encouragement to their hearts to be back and to see the different groups of Mwinikan believers meeting together. Some are stronger than others in their faith, but the interest in spiritual things is still there. One young couple was recently sent out from the main village to teach literacy and Bible lessons in a village far away from where they live. This was an incredible step of faith for them. As well, many Mwinika ladies tell the H.’s they are ready to start learning to read and write and to study God’s word together! It is amazing to see God’s provision in these ways.
The H. family spent a profitable two-week time in the village, settling back into life there – unpacking, reconnecting with friends, getting reacquainted with the language, and retaking their home back from the bugs. But now they find themselves back on the road again. The H.’s schedule for the next few weeks is very busy. This next week will be spent in Kenya where they will be dropping their daughter off at Rift Valley Academy for the upcoming school year, followed by a number of ministry meetings in South Africa.
Here are a few praises and prayer request from the H. family. Please take a moment now to pray for them and give thanks to God for all He is doing there.
- Praise the Lord for His strength over the past few weeks and for the many things they were able to accomplish in such a short time.
- Praise Him also for the work He is doing in hearts and lives of the Mwinika people. Pray that their interest in the Lord will continue to grow and that the believers there will become more grounded in their faith.
- Pray for the H.’s as they say goodbye to their daughter and for her as she settles into school in Kenya.
- Upon return from Kenya, they will be traveling on to South Africa for several days of ministry meetings. Pray for safety as they travel and for good and profitable results from the meetings.
“If we are to understand the Word of God, God needs to translate Himself into our own language, so that His Words can speak deeply to each person,” E. reflects. “It’s the translation of the Word of God into my language that is at the base of my own faith.”
He is from Bossangoa, the capital of Ouham, one of the 14 prefectures of the Central African Republic. E. was once an atheist, an eager student of humanistic philosophy, and firmly set against Christian faith.
“When my wife would return home from prayer meeting, I would mock her, asking her a series of philosophical questions,” he remembers. “I aimed to persuade her that God didn’t exist and that her faith was useless.”
His remarks would often make her cry, but she was never dissuaded from praying for him.
After completing his studies and training as a teacher, E.’s further academic plans were blocked by a lack of finances. In answer to his wife’s prayers, this roadblock became a turning point in his life. He decided to look for opportunities to use his skills to benefit the local community. He even approached the pastor of a local church and offered to start literacy classes for church members.
The pastor encouraged him to instead enroll in a translation training course being offered to members of the community so they could begin to translate the Bible into Gbeya, E.s’ own mother tongue, which is spoken by more than two hundred thousand people in the Bossangoa region..
“I had no idea at the time this was God’s plan for me,” E. said. “As I became immersed in the Word of God, I began to understand the incredible love and grace which He freely gives each one of us. I couldn’t imagine why God would want a relationship with me. My deep intimacy with God is one of the most amazing things I take from this ministry.”
Soon, E. went from being one of the translators on the Gbeya translation team to being the coordinator for translation and literacy projects in the entire Bossangoa region. “Ever since I accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he said, “my entire life has been such an adventure in faith.”
It has now been over a decade since he first got involved in Bible translation. “God chose E. to work for Him, studying the Bible,” said his older brother. “My prayer is that his work will be a sweet smelling sacrifice to God.”
When an atheist meets the God of the Bible, anything can happen! Pray for E. and his work in Bossangoa. Pray for the many people around the world who are translating the precious words of Scripture into the native tongues of nations and tribes.
Ernest and Evelyn work in partnership with Oakseed Ministries with the Colaba Slum Project in Mumbai, India. Oakseed assists local ministries that serve abandoned children and the poor who live in the megacities of the Third World by bringing the good news of Jesus in word and deed.
It has been a joy for them to actually see the fruit of evangelism teams that are reaching out daily to both lower middle-class and poor families in that area. These are people who live in the slums, roadside huts, streets and hospitals. A special team even visits the brothels of Colaba five days a week providing prayer, worship, counseling and guidance.
Recently, this ministry led a couple from death to life. Ernest and Evelyn had developed a close personal friendship with a drug addict and his girlfriend, who was working as a prostitute. They and their church community reached out to them, befriended them, prayed for them, counseled them and tried to love them like Jesus loves. After much time, the addict and his girlfriend came to faith, were transformed, left their old lives behind and were baptized. In an amazing celebration of new life, they were married before the Lord in December 2012. In February 2013, Ernest and Evelyn were able to help them move from a garage shelter in the slums to an apartment. Praise God for His transformational love at work in their lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Colaba Slum Project is currently planning to begin a preschool in the Balwadi Slum in Colaba. Pray for God’s provision of a building, teachers and administrative staff. Please pray for Ernest and Evelyn and their teams as they seek to love the poor and forgotten people of these slums.
On the busy streets of Bratislava, Slovakia, no one found it odd to see an advertisement for a class on the biblical principles of marriage. Slovakia is, after all, a religious society. Talking about God is normal, but living in relationship with God – that’s a different story. Many see Christianity as a crutch for the weak, something that strong, self-reliant people have no need of.
H. and A. came from this background, but decided to attend the class on marriage offered by Crossworld missionaries. Like many Slovak couples, H. and A. were not married, but lived together. They each believed they were committed to their relationship. After the five-week class ended, they both still seemed interested in learning more, so the missionaries teaching the class invited them to study the Bible together.
For several weeks, they met to study the books of Mark and Romans, and continued to discuss the gospel and what it means to follow Christ. H. finally told the missionaries that she and A. understood it, but they were not ready to accept it.
A few months later, the missionaries called to check on H. She broke down and wept over the phone as she told how A. had left her and she did not know where to turn. The missionaries did their best to comfort her, and as they shared Scripture, her walls came down. She started attending a small group, and shortly after, she accepted Christ.
The Slovak people often think those who are strong have no need for God, and at one point, H. might have said the same thing. But H. learned she was not as self-sufficient as she thought. It was God’s gracious hand reaching out to her during a crisis situation that helped her see her need.
Months have passed since H. trusted Christ, and she has become one of the most faithful members of her local church. She still struggles with sharing her faith openly, but she recently decided to be publicly baptized and is steadily becoming bolder in her witness.
One of the keys to H.’s salvation was having a relationship with the missionaries who lovingly pursued her and invested in her life. There are no guarantees that investing in people’s lives will pay off. A. chose to walk away, but H. decided to keep seeking. But God’s truth – delivered through a caring relationship in the context of the difficulties of life – is a powerful formula for life-transformation.
Jesus came not just to transform our eternity, but to radically impact our life here and now. That’s why the best disciple-makers are those who learn to engage people where they live and speak Gospel-centered truth with love into the brokenness of life that Jesus came to redeem.
Pray for all our missionaries in Slovakia as they seek to make disciples and, by the power of the Gospel of Jesus, transform people’s eternity and their lives in the here and now.
It was 50 years ago, when Steve Richardson was 7 months old, that his parents Don and Carol Richardson moved deep into the jungles of Papua, Indonesia and made their home among a small tribal group called the Sawi. His dad learned the language and his mom treated the sick, all with the purpose of telling the people about Jesus.
The Sawi were headhunters and cannibals. They lived in a constant state of war and they did not respond to the Gospel as the Richardsons had hoped and prayed. As time passed, his parents began to wonder if the gospel would ever take root. They were faced with the decision to stay or leave. Finally, Don explained to the people that if they kept fighting they could no longer stay. The Sawi were desperate to keep them around, so they finally agreed to make peace with each other. In order for that to happen each Sawi, village gave an infant, a baby boy, to their enemies. This child became known as the “Peace Child.” It was through this unexpected exchange, ingrained very deep in their culture, that his parents were given a unique, perfect opportunity to explain to them that God sent His very own “Peace Child,” Jesus, to make peace with us.
Twenty-five years later, Don and his three sons, Steve, Shannon and Paul, went back to visit the Sawi to see how they were doing. It was an amazing reunion. The people rolled out the red carpet. Hundreds and hundreds of people from five tribes came to welcome them.
Walls have been broken down by virtue of the Gospel’s impact on the Sawi people. They are sharing leadership in the church services, they are intermarrying amongst tribes. Where once they were constantly fighting, they now love each other. It is no longer a place of war but a place of peace. It is a safe place to live now. In an obedient step of faith by Don and Carol Richardson 50 years ago, a legacy of God’s grace is truly visible. People who used to be mortal enemies now see themselves as almost as one. They share a sense of significance.
The villages are committed to staying faithful to the Gospel. The younger generation is really thriving. They have lots of challenges but they are aggressive in progressing and making an impact on others around them. What an incredible privilege it was for the entire Richardson family to join God in His journey to the nations. But they can’t help but wonder how many other people around the world are still waiting to experience what the Sawi’s experienced – hearing the Gospel?
Steve Richardson became president of the Pioneers missions agency in 1999, after serving as a missionary to one of the world’s largest unreached people groups in the world. For more than 35 years, Pioneers’ passion has been to see God glorified among those who are physically and spiritually isolated from the gospel of Jesus Christ—from Bedouins in the deserts of North Africa and animist villagers in the jungles of South America to secular humanists in Eastern Europe and middle-class Buddhist urbanites in the sprawling cities of East Asia.
RBC currently supports 13 missionaries with Pioneers, all with the passion of sharing God’s Word to the lost. Would you take a minute to thank God for the work He has done in the Sawi tribes and in the lives of the Richardson family? Please also pray with us for our Pioneer missionaries across the nations.
Adapted from a letter published to staff of Wycliffe USA from Bob Creson, President and CEO.
Translator Lee Bramlett was confident that God had left His mark on the Hdi culture somewhere, but though he searched, he could not find it. Where was the footprint of God in the history or daily life of these Cameroonian people? What clue had He planted to let the Hdi know Who He was and how He wanted to relate to them?
Then one night in a dream, God prompted Lee to look again at the Hdi word for love. Lee and his wife, Tammi, had learned that verbs in Hdi consistently end in one of three vowels. For almost every verb, they could find forms ending in i, a, and u. But when it came to the word for love, they could only find i and a. Why no u?
Lee asked the Hdi translation committee, which included the most influential leaders in the community, “Could you ‘dvi’ your wife?” “Yes,” they said. That would mean that the wife had been loved but the love was gone. “Could you ‘dva’ your wife?” “Yes,” they said. That kind of love depended on the wife’s actions. She would be loved as long as she remained faithful and cared for her husband well.
“Could you ‘dvu’ your wife?” Everyone laughed. “Of course not! If you said that, you would have to keep loving your wife no matter what she did, even if she never got you water, never made you meals. Even if she committed adultery, you would be compelled to just keep on loving her. No, we would never say ‘dvu.’ It just doesn’t exist.”
Lee sat quietly for a while, thinking about John 3:16, and then he asked, “Could God ‘dvu’ people?”
There was complete silence for three or four minutes; then tears started to trickle down the weathered faces of these elderly men. Finally they responded. “Do you know what this would mean? This would mean that God kept loving us over and over, millennia after millennia, while all that time we rejected His great love. He is compelled to love us, even though we have sinned more than any people.”
One simple vowel and the meaning was changed from “I love you based on what you do and who you are,” to “I love you, based on Who I am. I love you because of Me and NOT because of you.”
God had encoded the story of His unconditional love right into their language. For centuries, the little word was there—unused but available, grammatically correct and quite understandable. When the word was finally spoken, it called into question their entire belief system. If God was like that, did they need the spirits of the ancestors to intercede for them? Did they need sorcery to relate to the spirits? Many decided the answer was no, and the number of Christ-followers quickly grew from a few hundred to several thousand.
The New Testament in Hdi is ready to be printed now, and 29,000 speakers will soon be able to feel the impact of passages like Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, ‘dvu’ your wives, just as Christ ‘dvu’-d the church…” I invite you to pray for them as they absorb and seek to model the amazing, unconditional love they have received.
Around the world, community by community, as God’s Word is translated, people are gaining access to this great love story about how God ‘dvu’-d us enough to sacrifice his unique Son for us, so that our relationship with Him can be ordered and oriented correctly. The cross changes everything! Someday, the last word of the last bit of Scripture for the last community will be done, and everyone will be able to understand the story of God’s unconditional love.
Marcelo and Holly minister with Open Arms Worldwide in Assis, Brazil. In 2012 they felt the call to change their ministry and move north to Belem, Brazil to work alongside RBC-supported missionaries Lynne McLeavy and Bete Cordosa in the Creative Hands ministry. This ministry focuses on the men, women and children that live the Flowers Estate, which is actually an area near the dump. In late January, Marcelo and Holly traveled 5 days north with all their belongings and arrived at Bairro dos Flores, or the Flowers Estate They were able to look at a house to live in the day they arrived and thankfully they were able to purchase the house and move in 2 weeks later. Owning their own home will communicate to the people that they are there for the long term. This will be huge in developing relationships with the people of Flower Estates. It will also offer a safe place to store ministry supplies and it is large enough that they will be able to host short-term missions teams that come to help minister throughout the year thus reducing the team cost.
Marcelo will be caring for the church that will officially started the first Sunday of March. This is the first time this area will have a church. The people from the dump are shunned from other local churches as outcasts. As they prayerfully consider the needs of those who frequent the services, Marcelo and Holly will look to develop additional facets of ministry that will best meet the needs of the church attendees.
Marcelo will also be starting a soccer school which will operate throughout the week for boys, teens, and men. They are prayerful that the school will be a vehicle to specifically minister to the boys and men of the community, sharing the gospel and developing discipling relationships. Marcelo and Holly will assist in the Saturday Bible Clubs, where children and teens gather weekly to participate in group activities and hear from the Word. Holly will be helping in the half day preschool that functions from Tuesday to Friday.
Holly is also excited to be the liaison between their ministry and Word of Life—a local Christian school—where 15 children from Bairro dos Flores are attending, having been sponsored by faithful brothers and sisters from the States. Holly will also be working with a teen servant group called BOPE. Their prayer is through every activity, they point others to Christ.
The longer they are there and the more they get to know people, the more thrilled they are about the opportunity of being there. They hope and pray that wherever the Lord leads them in life, they never lose the excitement of hopeful anticipation that they have knowing they serve a God who has the power to transform lives.
Though your sacrificial giving to RBC, the Missions Committee was able to significantly help in the moving expenses and with the cost of purchasing their home. The Missions Committee was also able to increase the monthly support of Marcelo and Holly. We pray that God will greatly bless their vital ministry as the gospel of Jesus is lived out in Bairro dos Flores. Please pray with us for them.
On Saturday, February 16, the sixteen-person RBC Missions Committee met for 10 hours to review the 76 international missionaries that RBC supports. (The committee will review the 136 national missionaries that RBC supports on March 10.)
Each year, the Missions Committee sends each of our missionaries an update questionnaire so they can report on their finances, their accomplishments for the past year, their goals for the coming year, their prayer concerns and their children’s needs. Every committee member thoroughly reads through these updates prior to the annual review and comes to the meeting prepared to discuss each one.
The consistent theme of all the updates is that our missionaries need our prayer support more than anything else. The RBC missionary family is experiencing some painful things, both in ministry and in their personal lives. Several have grown children with marital problems and looking towards divorce. Some have children with medical needs. Some have elderly parents with issues and they are far away. Some of them have some serious health issues themselves. There are issues in their ministries. They all need our consistent prayer.
After determining the financial position of the missions budget, the committee looks at each missionary’s support shortage, if they have one. The committee always considers the needs of those missionaries RBC has sent out first. Praise God, the missions fund had enough money to give $1750 in increases to 28 of our missionaries. The committee was encouraged that the average missionary we support receives 89% of their current support need. This is an increase of one percent over last year.
The committee also looked at other issues facing our missionaries beyond financial needs. The committee will address these issues and needs over the course of the next few months. As well as thoroughly examining our missionaries, the committee also reviewed the policies that guide the missions program and discussed updates and/or changes to some of those policy guidelines. Any changes or updates made to the policies will go to the RBC council of elders for their final approval.
The most important thing the committee accomplished at the annual review was the extended time spent in prayer for our missionary family. The committee prayed through 18 pages of prayer requests we received through the update questionnaires.
If you do not yet have one an RBC Missionary Guide, please stop by the Welcome Desk in the lobby and pick one up and begin praying for our missionaries. They are in some serious spiritual battles, and many serve in some seriously dark areas of the world. Your prayers are essential as they bring forth the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations.
If you have any questions about missions at RBC, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give thanks to God with us for Mark and Esther, who are the newest members of the RBC-supported missionary family. They minister in their native country of Zambia.
Mark was born in a religious and church-going family, but they did not know the Lord as their Savior. He indulged in sinful habits and was tormented by evil spirits. He was taken to witch doctors for treatment, but it was all futile. His mother eventually accepted Jesus as Lord, and through the influence of her changed life, Mark accepted the Lord in 1980 and was freed from the torment of the evil spirits. Since that time, he has become a strong witness for Christ.
Mark joined AFCI (Ambassadors for Christ International) in 1986 as a team evangelist. After receiving further studies at a Bible Institute and developing the ministry, he has since become the Country Director. Mark and Esther are involved in organizing and conducting evangelistic gospel crusades, Christian leadership seminars and revival meetings in both rural and urban areas of Zambia.
People in Zambia are very open to the Gospel. Zambia is a very poor country with 86% of the population living below the poverty level. About 40% of the people do not have access to clean water and 50% of the children are malnourished. The AIDS crisis overwhelms the health services and the economy. Most of the children who are orphaned due to AIDS. Almost 75% of Zambian households care for a relative orphaned by AIDS. Illiteracy in rural areas is close to 90%. Christianity is widely accepted even in the public institutions, and freedom of all religions is practiced. Zambia is landlocked country and is relatively stable and peaceful but is surrounded by countries rocked by war and strife.
One out of every four children in Zambia in an orphan. Abandoned by his father at an early age and growing up in a broken home, Mark developed a great compassion for the vulnerable children in Zambia. Part of his ministry today involves helping orphans, especially in helping meet their educational needs. Mark has also formed and developed a group of 26 leaders a cross the country that meets periodically for mutual encouragement and growth.
Mark and Esther also have an ongoing pre-marital counseling program and conduct regular Family Life Enhancement Seminars for married couples. They seek to train others who can offer the same type of training and counseling as solid families are the real key to the future of Zambia.
Please pray for Mark and Esther and their three children (ages 15,13 and 11) as they boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus in Zambia.
From an RBC missionary at work in Slavonski Brod, Croatia:
One bright spot from this past summer has been the surprising response of Slavonski Brod youth to the gospel. As short-term teams came and went throughout the summer, we held a number of outreaches and Bible studies for Croatian teens. A few teens have stuck around and shown great interest in spiritual things. Until the end of the summer, a group of 6 youth formed a core group that came together regularly for both social outings and for times of Bible study. One of these 6 placed her faith in Christ in July. Three others have shown that they are close to making a similar decision to become followers of Jesus.
Please pray for these teens. The start of school has presented challenges to the momentum that was going during the summer. Other commitments are causing some to scale back their involvement with the group, and we see each other less frequently. Pray that they would continue to be interested in spiritual things despite the busy, demanding schedules of high school students.
Would you take a few minutes right now to pray for our missionary, these teens, and other gospel seeds planted in Croatia this past summer?
Our missionaries in Africa, the H’s, have spent years learning the language and culture of a particular tribal people group in the Mozambique area. Recently, they were able to begin teaching the Bible chronologically from creation to Christ. Last year, several tribal people trusted Christ as their Savior for the first time in history.
The H’s missions agency recently sent this report from a tribal man there who accepted Christ as his Savior:
“I believe there is only one God. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. I believe that He send His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for my sin. He saved me! He is the Redeemer. He is my Redeemer.
“Now, I am not afraid of death anymore. Sure, I am afraid of the pain and sickness and what that can do to this body of mine, but this is only temporary. Now I know where I am going when I die. I know the footpath to God. I know I will be with Him one day I am going to Heaven!
“There are only two footpaths in this life: one goes to God, and one goes to the eternal fire. I have found the right path, the one that leads to God! I am saved!
“Thank you so much for coming to tell us this. I did not know the right way. Now I know! I am saved!”
Please continue to pray for the H’s, for this tribe, for the new followers of Christ there, and for many more to come to know Jesus and make Him known.
Six years ago, Eduardo de Mello Ribeiro was released after serving 18 months in a juvenile detention facility in Brazil. He was saved by Jesus from a life of violence and crime. Shortly after his release, he began volunteering with Open Arms in his town. Open Arms Worldwide is an RBC-supported organization that mobilizes, prepares, equips and aids Christian leaders and volunteers in implementing transformational, faith-based, children and youth outreach projects among the world’s poor.
Today, Eduardo is a full-time missionary with Open Arms in Brazil. He has started three outreach projects, has led countless young people to faith in Christ and also works as a counselor with men struggling with chemical dependency. In 2011 Eduardo, after years of stubborn perseverance, succeeded in opening a door for Open Arms back into the facility where he served his time. He put together an “A-Team” of Open Arms volunteers and began ministering to the boys (between 12 and 18 years old) in that facility.
It is my great joy to have walked with Eduardo over the years and I anxiously look forward to his reports. Last month was a special joy. Let me share with you some details from a recent correspondence with Open Arms:
“In early July, twenty-nine (29) new inmates arrived at the facility. On Saturday, July 15, during a visit from the Open Arms team, Eduardo was blessed to lead twenty (20) of those young boys to faith in Jesus Christ! He and his team are now actively discipling them in the Word. This is what we all are laboring for, friends. This is what our prayers and gifts each month mean in the lives of real children. God is using you to change the future of these young people. Praise God! I give thanks to Him for each of you and your faithfulness. May we all never tire of doing good!”
WHAT IS A SHORT TERM MISSION TEAM?
Short Term Mission Teams used to be called Summer Mission Teams because they almost always occurred in the summer months. Now these type teams occur year-round. The purpose of RBC Short Term Mission Teams is 3-fold:
1. To assist and bless a missionary that RBC supports currently.
2. To introduce RBC attendees to mission work first hand.
3. To educate the RBC congregation about missions.
HOW ARE SHORT TERM MISSION TEAMS FUNDED?
Short Term Mission Teams are primarily funded by the individuals who make up the team. If there are individuals who cannot fund their portion of the team cost, the Missions committee will consider their shortage. The Missions Committee also considers material costs the team may have in areas such as printed materials, construction materials etc.
HOW ARE SHORT TERM MISSION TEAMS FORMED?
Most teams are developed out of a desire of a someone in the congregation to meet a need they see in a particular ministry or from a gift that person may have such as evangelism or working with children etc. All team proposals must first go through the Missions Committee for approval and if the Missions Committee approves the team then it goes to the Council of Elders for final approval. All teams have a team leader who is responsible for the team’s organization, administration and oversight. RBC has a policy that you must be 16 years old to be on a team unless you have a parent on the team with you and the team leader approves of the youth (Youth ministry teams are the exception to this rule).
WHAT IS THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA MISSIONS CONSORTIUM?
The NOVA Missions Consortium is a consortium of five local churches – Reston Bible Church, Chantilly Bible Church, Immanuel Bible Church, Cherrydale Baptist Church and Grace Bible Church – whose goal is to cooperatively help missionaries from these five churches get to the field more quickly. Each year, one of the five churches is allowed to put a missionary from their congregation before the consortium for potential support. This rotates each year so each church has the opportunity to put a missionary before the consortium once every five years. If a church’s turn to put a missionary before the consortium arrives and that church does not have a missionary in the pipeline, they are simply skipped over and the next church in line gets the opportunity.
WHY A CONSORTIUM?
The goal of the consortium is to have these five local churches get to know the consortium missionaries very well and be able to support them at at least 75% of their need. This accomplishes several goals: First, when a consortium missionary is home on furlough they will not have to travel around the country visiting their supporters as most of their support is coming from these five local churches – they can stay locally and get more involved at each church during their furlough versus just visiting for a weekend or a conference, Secondly, it allows the missionary to focus less on support raising and more on preparing themselves to get to the field.
Currently there are 10 consortium missionaries. Three of these ten consortium missionaries are “home grown” RBCers. $25,900.00 is collectively given in monthly support by the consortium churches to these ten missionaries. 2011 is RBC’s turn to present a missionary.