Empowering Native Churches
Empowering native churches to reach their communities is without question, the most important work that we do. It is not possible for us to truly impact a community for Christ - in the way communities need to be impacted - by coming for two to three weeks a year on mission trips.
In other words, God's greatest weapon for His Kingdom is the local church. The local church will always dictate the Spiritual strength of the local community. There are no exceptions. Missions in the bible were always meant to do one of two things: create a local church in a land where there was none, or strengthen the already existing local church.
In many of the places we go, pastors do not have access to basic bible study tools, educational commentaries, or other pastoral materials to assist them in their God-given calling to "feed the sheep." Many churches do not have access to basic curriculum for teaching Sunday School classes, or crafts and coloring books for young students, crayons, etc. Things we take for granted, and maybe never even think about not having, many of these churches have existed for years and not had access to these things.
Helping these churches by providing these resources to them, providing advanced education for their educators and pastors, making it possible for them to better reach their communities with the gospel - this is by far the most impactful thing we do to advance the Kingdom of God.
The principle of helping.
In almost all of our "empowering projects" we require the recipient of our grants to fund a portion of the project with the time and resources of their own people. We will not provide 100% of what is needed for almost any project. There is a principle of helping that we apply to our giving. It is our sincere belief that if a church, a person, or a people group is unwilling to do anything to help meet their own need, then we probably shouldn't be meeting that need either. We call it "skin in the game." We look to invest into churches who are also investing their time, talents, and treasures to advance the Kingdom of God. This same principle is why we are only willing to pay for half of the mission trip expense for juniors and seniors who want to attend a mission trip with us. When a people truly believe God is leading them to do something, they need to be willing to do what they are capable of and then trust God with the rest. That's where we come in, helping with "the rest."
Motorcycles for Pastors
How can you help?
We help assist churches to build new church plants, or remodel their current church, to meet the needs of their growing congregation. Often we will agree to pay for the entire installation (materials and labor) to have a roof put on a new church after the church has built the building to that point. We can do this in Honduras for approximately $1,000 USD per roof!
Joplin & Andrea have been engaged in ministry, church planting, and pastoring for more than 20 years. They have much to teach and sow into other ministry leaders and pastors. When funding is available, we help provide study materials and sponsor pastors to attend the pastor training school in Honduras.
Many of the indigenous pastors in the mountains of Honduras do not have reliable transportation. Some of them will pastor several home churches in a 5-10 mile radius of the mountain range. Often the terrain is too difficult for these home churches to meet at one main location. A pastor might meet at several home churches to deliver his message on Sunday. This is very difficult though if he has no means of personal transportation. Helping these pastors purchase a motorcycle allows them be readily accessibly when called upon. A motorcycle can be purchased for approximately $2000. We will provide $1500 of that purchase for pastors who will save up the first $500. While some of our donors might feel that is a bit much to ask of these pastors, it is important that the pastors are invested in the purchase too. Their ability to save up those funds is also necessary to demonstrate that they will be capable of properly maintaining the motorcycle after it is in their possession.
The needs of our brothers and sisters in these impoverished communities are much like the needs of our churches, constant and ever-changing. Our goal is to empower our brothers and sisters to reach their communities in whatever way they truly need the help most. While we focus on some of the avenues already listed, we do not limit our willingness to help to these things exclusively.
This objective of our ministry is best supported through financial donations. The need for a roof may be more important than than the need for a motorcycle this week. Next week, the most pressing need might be something entirely different. Donating to the "Empowering Native Churches" fund allows us to allocate your donation to the most pressing need we know of at the time.