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Homeland Missions: 19 Projects Evangelize, Impact Community
Story by Taashi Rowe
Somer George and Wendy Moulder chat at a picnic sponsored by a Shenandoah Valley House church.
“These are not union projects,” explains Frank Bondurant, the Columbia Union Conference’s vice president for Ministries Development. “In fact, it’s completely flipped. These projects start at the local church.”
Bondurant is speaking about the union’s annual homeland mission projects, a three-way partnership between the union, conference and local church to fund and encourage community outreach. Over the past five years, the union has given more than $1 million toward homeland missions. This year the union returned $212,000 to local churches to help fund 19 projects. The result?
“We’re producing real men by watering them with the Spirit of the Word so they can be leaders for the kingdom,” says James Hiers, whose mission project is called, Calvary Rites of Passage, a boys mentoring program at Allegheny East Conference’s (AEC) Calvary church in Newport News, Va.
“We have small groups across the city of [Allentown, Pa.], including over 70 guests each week; 25 Bible studies are being given in people’s homes; and each Wednesday during the school year, two missionaries visit with students at the local high school and lead out in a Christian club,” reports Wes Via, who directs Pennsylvania Conference’s Simplicity Urban Outreach project.
Shane Anderson, pastor of Potomac Conference’s New Market (Va.) church, is working with Pastor Reed Richardi to build a network of house churches in the Shenandoah Valley area. One visitor said, “I would not have been open to attending a traditional church. But, after connecting and worshiping with people at a house church, I now want to know God and study the Bible.”
After already seeing these results, Anderson is asking Columbia Union members to “please pray that, through the Holy Spirit, these Adventist communities will increase the church’s surface area and provide a less threatening setting for others to come into contact with Jesus and His truth.”
A Sample of the 2013 Homeland Missions Projects
• An Allegheny West Conference second-generation Hispanic church plant in Cincinnati, Ohio
• Mountain View Conference’s evangelistic outreach in Charleston, W.Va.
• A storefront youth ministry started by Ohio Conference’s Sandusky church
• Three church plants in the New Jersey Conference
A Simplicity member chats with local high school students after a meeting of their Christian club.
Members of AEC’s CROP mentoring program visit Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.
Frank Bondurant, Columbia Union Conference vice president for Ministries Development, reports that the union returned $212,000 to churches for homeland mission projects this year.
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