By Jennifer Johnson
In February we wrote about the history, goals, and current projects of eight missions agencies supported by Christian churches and churches of Christ. (Visit Christian Standard’s website to read the articles*.) As the year comes to a close, we invited each organization to share its “Christmas wish list.” Here are their most pressing needs and how you can help during this season of giving.
Christian Missionary Fellowship International (CMFI)
Christian Missionary Fellowship works with a variety of missionaries and leads a number of programs around the world, from developing international campus ministries to improving the lives of nationals through microfinance.
Give an international college student his or her first Bible: $10
Supply a family in Mexico or Kenya with a Christmas food basket: $30
Help a woman in Kenya start a business to provide for her family: $50
Train a national pastor to plant new churches in Tanzania: $50
Provide a safe, new maternity clinic for mothers and babies in Ivory Coast: $100
Sponsor a child in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya: $35 (one month) or $420 (full year)
GIVE: Give your gift online today at CMFI.org or mail your check payable to CMF International to P.O. Box 501020, Indianapolis, IN 46250.
FAME (Fellowship of Associates of Medical Evangelism, Inc.)
FAME is committed to providing medical care, facilities, and supplies to underserved people by coordinating short-term medical mission trips, funding medical facility projects, and organizing, packing, and shipping supplies to its partners in the remote parts of the world.
While FAME continues to receive donated medical equipment and supplies, the cost of shipping has increased dramatically. FAME is currently looking for creative ways to cover these expenses, which can reach $10,000 to ship one container.
FAME has created a matching fund opportunity to raise the dollars that will get these supplies to the countries where they are desperately needed.
GIVE: Contact FAME to learn more about the matching gift program. Donations can be given online at FAMEworld.org or sent to FAME at 4545 Southeastern Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46203.
Good News Productions International (GNPI)
Good News Productions loves to help nationals by training and equipping them to produce culturally relevant Christian media. For $10 a month, you can join this mission by investing in its six active NOMaD teams, small production teams making videos in their own languages. GNPI reports the program is generating so many positive results it plans to form 14 more NOMaD teams in the next few years.
In areas where electricity is unreliable, a solar kit makes it easier for local church leaders to show the NOMaD videos and other teaching material. Each 8-pound kit costs $1,000 and includes a solar panel and rechargeable battery that powers a small portable projector and a pair of speakers. Village preachers in Uganda and India are sharing their solar kits by rotating them after a few weeks. Evangelists in Thailand have asked for dozens of the kits. GNPI is working to provide more for each of these countries.
The two initiatives, each significant on its own, also complement each other in evangelism efforts around the world. This fall Protus Sibukule, a NOMaD team leader in Kenya, reported 25 Kenyans coming to Christ and forming a new church after seeing Christian presentations via a solar kit.
GIVE: Give online and learn more at gnpi.org/nomad123 and gnpi.org/solarkit.
International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES)
Every day, IDES stands ready to send volunteers, food, and financial assistance to disaster victims across the United States and to the needy around the world. Although it relies on donations to keep this work going throughout the year, its annual gift catalog provides special ways to help during the holidays.
“Our ministry is organized around five focus areas: disaster assistance, hunger relief, development projects, medical relief, and evangelism,” says Gary Finley, director of development. “So our catalog is also organized around these areas, with items ranging from $1 to $2,500.” Donors interested in hunger relief might choose to give 100 pounds of rice ($40) or a food basket ($25); those with a heart for disaster relief can give a water purification system ($60), construction tools ($50), or a blanket ($10).
“The development projects focus on helping individuals or communities have a better quality of life, often by generating income for families,” he says. “Gift options include seeds, animals, sewing machines, and plows.”
One hundred percent of every gift goes to the designated item, and if you are making the donation as a Christmas gift for someone else, IDES will also provide cards you can use to share the details. Last year’s catalog raised more than $100,000 for IDES initiatives around the world.
GIVE: Donate online at IDES.org/newsletters or contact IDES at P.O. Box 60, Kempton, IN 46049 for a hard copy of the catalog.
New Mission Systems International (NMSI)
New Mission Systems, a sending agency working in more than 20 countries, offers opportunities to bless regions around the world. AfricaHope provides holistic help for the Maasai people in Kenya, where community transformation can begin with preventative health training; $70 supplies one day of training for a team and $490 makes the training available for an entire village.
In the neighboring country of Uganda, The African Pastor’s Handbook puts practical teaching tools into the hands of local pastors. The English version has been a useful resource, but village pastors need the book in their native language. A gift of $28 will provide 10 copies of the book, and a gift of $500 will fund its translation.
In Mexico, a site has been purchased for Jubilee Christian Church. This facility in Pachuca will include a 400-seat auditorium, classrooms, a coffee shop, and a bookstore—one of the only places to find Christian materials in this city of a million people. A gift of $45 provides construction costs for 1 square foot and $475 covers the costs of 1 square meter.
In Bangladesh, NMSI has developed a three-year plan to train youth leaders to reach the growing population of adolescents and young adults. The funds for the first year amount to $4,100, but the ministry invites gifts for this outreach beginning at $100.
GIVE: Donate online at NMSI.org or send checks to NMSI, 2701 Cleveland Avenue, Suite 200, Fort Myers, FL 33901.
Pioneer Bible Translators
The 20 million-plus people in central India who speak the Bundeli language received the New Testament in their language for the first time in 2010. The translation was the result of a partnership between Pioneer Bible Translators and Central India Christian Mission.
“The Bundeli Scriptures are already transforming lives and growing the church,” shares the Pioneer Bible team. “Literacy classes that incorporate these New Testaments are helping many Bundeli believers grow spiritually. Evangelists use them to reach people who have never heard about Christ.
Although some Bundeli men have faced intense persecution after turning to Christ, the people are pleading for the two organizations to translate the Old Testament, as well. Earlier this year they agreed to begin the project—and now they’ve begun raising funds.
The ministries are making it easy to participate by asking for gifts of $5 per verse. “Just $105 would translate the Ten Commandments,” they write. “Or $150 would share the story of the fall of Jericho. Thirty dollars would give the 23rd Psalm to people who need to know that God is with them no matter what.”
GIVE: Visit PioneerBible.org to give online and learn more about the translation project.
TCM (Training Christians for Ministry)
TCM International Institute’s Great Commission Initiative is developing thousands of “international disciple makers,” bivocational leaders reaching their own countries for Christ. While TCM has always been focused on making disciples around the world, the new initiative is specifically focused on equipping nationals; from central Asia to Europe to the Middle East, TCM will reach an area four times the size of the United States over the next four years.
TCM needs additional funding for scholarships. To date it has received grants and gifts of $389,000 and its board of directors is committed to giving or raising $111,000. It hopes to raise another $500,000 in 2013.
“We want to double the number of people we serve,” Twist says. “Over 100 Central Asians better discipling those in their cell groups. Hundreds of Europeans developing disciples of Jesus to combat a resistant and secular culture. More Middle Easterners effectively serving in a rapidly changing and volatile landscape. International disciple makers with heads, hearts, hands, and feet moving in kingdom directions.”
GIVE: Visit www.tcmi.org or send your gift to TCM International (6337 Hollister Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46225) designated for the Great Commission Initiative. Contact David Wright (David@tcmi.org) for more information.
This year for Christmas, Team Expansion asks Christian Standard readers to consider helping its new team members living on the border with Syria. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have recently flooded across the checkpoints; many are getting help in refugee camps, but resources are stretching thin and running out.
“These gift ideas come directly from the field and have been vetted both by refugees themselves as well as on-site workers,” Team Expansion shares. “The prices are exact as of this writing. Would you undergird the outreach to the Syrians by helping with these needs?”
Hygiene kit (child): $15
Food box (basic nonperishables): $19
Hygiene kit (adult): $25
Wool blanket: $29
School backpack with supplies: $29
Pair of winter shoes for a child: $39
Baby kit (formula, diapers, wipes): $39
Propane gas cylinder (filled): $45
Basic mattress: $79
Doctor visit and generic medication: $89
Small cooktop stove (propane): $95
Portable propane heater: $125
Wool coat: $115
Medical operating unit with supplies (per patient, assuming 100 patients): $299
Digital X-ray machine: $29,000
GIVE: Give online at TeamExpansion.org. You can also learn more about PACE Projects, such as this initiative in Syria, by visiting www.U4theU.com or e-mailing KMcMullen@TeamExpansion.org.
*Find the articles profiling these eight agencies by entering “Sending, Serving, Reaching” into the Search field.
Jennifer Johnson, one of CHRISTIAN STANDARD’s contributing editors, lives in Levittown, Pennsylvania.