Village children at Makwampimpa watch arrival of new manioc varieties from Lusekele
Handing out Bibles to literacy teachers at Molembe
Taflo Tanzusi hands out disease-resistant varieties of cassava
It’s easy to miss the whole picture when we focus only on the missionaries we have chosen or seen. For example, one might get the impression that our total work in Congo amounts to Ed and Miriam, showing Jesus’ compassion and God’s provision to Congolese in agriculture, equipping Christians to reach out with literacy programs, preaching and visiting churches, encouraging pioneer evangelism in new areas. Where is the pastoral training happening for these Congolese churches? what about education? youth work? other women’s ministries? what about medicine? what about the war going on in eastern Congo?
When we raise our gaze a bit, we begin to see how our work fits in the larger picture. We serve in the context of the Baptist Church of Congo, a community of pastors, educators, doctors, nurses, agricultural specialists, evangelists and many others, a community which continues to plant churches and to reach out to new peoples and new areas. We are part of a team of 11 American Baptist missionaries and partner with dedicated European missionaries in Congo. Our ministries together create a mosaic of coverage: evangelism, audiovisual ministries, pastoral training, church counsel, youth work, medicine (even in the war zone), logistical services, agriculture, reducing poverty, women’s ministries and literacy. Each part complements another, sometimes preparing a path for the Good News, sometimes reinforcing another part of God’s plan. Any ministry in isolation would be much more difficult and less effective.
The World Mission Offering keeps this Congo team effort in mind: Dr. Bill and Ann Clemmer, Glen and Rita Chapman, Mike and Jill Lowery, Wendy Bernhard, Wayne and Katherine Niles, and, us, Ed and Miriam Noyes. It is in supporting the whole of what International Ministries is doing in Congo that you see the whole picture of what God is doing there.
Raise our gaze a bit more and the panorama takes in all our American Baptist missionary colleagues deployed around the globe. They are awesome! Their stories reveal God doing incredible things in every region of the world, pictures of the living Jesus touching people with new life, leading people to new life. Through the World Mission Offering, we are not limited just to Congo; we can go with our colleagues to ends of the earth.
Finally, outreach on a global scale would not happen without the calling and commitment of the staff of International Ministries. Coordinating missions education opportunities, supporting short-term mission trips, nurturing relationships with partners around the world, maintaining strategic vision, and recruiting the missionaries who can help that vision become reality: they are the interface that makes this partnership between you, us and partner churches work. The World Mission Offering makes sure this essential piece is part of the picture.
Ed and I give to the World Mission Offering because it helps us to keep the big picture in sight: our colleagues in the D.R. Congo, the work of the church there, missionary colleagues all around the world, and the staff at International Ministries. We give to the World Mission Offering because we want to keep all the parts in play. Join us! The World Mission offering is more important than ever.