We have a huge debt of gratitude to Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio for their long-term help toward bringing Common Grounds coffeehouse/English conversation center to life.
They are a mega-church, and they didn’t just support us financially, they sent teams to staff our summer camps and got involved in Czech lives; it helped in a big way. Smaller churches also serve, like Kingsburg Community Church in Kingsburg, California. They continue to send a small team to be involved in the planted Czech church and local community even after the missionaries have given full leadership to the Czech believers. When we grew in size and needed a bigger ministry center, Fellowship Bible Church in Sewell, New Jersey, sent teams to help convert the old building by cleaning and painting. They built a playground and even went to the local school and interacted with the teachers and children, a relationship that has lasted over the years.
Through the Spirit’s blessing, Warehouse Church, a body of 125 people, in Aurora, Illinois, has been an example of committed involvement to us that has left a footprint in the hearts of the Czech people. They sent music teams and teachers; the pastor also got involved, building solid relationships with the teens who made professions of faith. Other Christian teens were strengthened in their faith and trained to take the risk of sharing Christ with other Czech teens in their community. One teen from our Czech church plant comes to the US each year and serves during the summer at Riverwoods, a children’s camp in the Aurora, Illinois, area that is connected to Warehouse Church. He gets a chance to serve and use what he has been taught by the US team and apply it to real life situations. Then he goes back to his setting in the small Czech church and puts to practice what he learned helping needy Czech children.
God has used participating churches, connected to each other across the ocean, to enhance their missional footprints and grow both churches from the experience! It's a two-way relationship with these churches, built up over the years, that God uses for his glory to create spiritual synergy and reach more people for Jesus.
I’d recommend you give this kind of inter-cultural relationship a try. It’s been a blessing for all churches involved to see God use people committed from the US churches to impact small church plants around the world.
TEAM Missionary, Czech Republic
[Originally published in TEAMHorizons, March 2012]Download This Issue of TEAMHorizons