It is not possible to do what this church does. It just is not possible for a church this size in a town like West Union to do what we do. That’s OK, it isn’t us doing it, it’s God.
Missions may be local, national, or international, Missions may be evangelizing, caring for those unable to care for themselves, or educating. They may be in Casey, Illinois, in Thailand, in Zimbabwe, or the Appalachian or Rocky Mountains.
When you make an offering you have to opportunity to designate it for the general fund or for the missions fund. Anything not specified for missions goes to the general fund, which keeps the lights on, the bills paid, etc. We support missions through a faith-promise program.
At our annual Faith Promise Rally members promise as God provides to give to the missions fund. They will write a number on a card and turn it in. There is no name on the card. it is not signed. It is not a “pledge”. We do not know what individuals have promised, that is between you and God. We just collect and distribute it.
It just is not possible for a church this size in a town like West Union to give $154,502 to missions in a year. But that is what we promised for 2023. Are we bragging about it? No! The only reason we even mention it is we want to motivate others to do what our church has proven God can do if we’ll just let him.
The Christian Church in West Union, Illinois supports several international missions. From The Christian HolyLand Foundation in Israel to the Gonzalez’ in Texas, A.G.A.P.E. in Guatemala or Christian Mission to the Orient in Thailand, all are doing God’s work and we are honored to be able to support them.
Good News Productions, International grew out of the 14-year ministry of Ziden and Helen Nutt in Zimbabwe, Africa. Ziden worked with African leaders in producing culturally-accurate filmstrips and films using pictures taken in local villages to illustrate the gospel message. These materials proved tremendously effective in not only attracting crowds but in communicating the gospel in the language and context of the people.
As missionaries in other countries heard about this strategy being used in Zimbabwe, some asked Ziden to expand the work to include their countries as well. In 1975 the Nutts moved to Joplin, Missouri, and began the ministry of Good News Productions, International. The work is now reaching into more than 96 countries with materials at various stages of production in over 105 languages. The ministry is moving to the next generation as Ziden retires from the day to day work and others take on that role, allowing him to focus on the transition to the future. http://gnpi.org/
Although Al and Mary Gonzalez are now in Texas, we still consider them an international mission. Sponsored by our church, the past several years they were in Queretaro, Mexico starting a church. They have been in South America and Australia as well. They have been in Miami, Oklahoma in a Spanish language church start up with the Central Christian Church of Miami. They have moved to McAllen, Texas to allow them to be nearer their children and grandchildren and work more across the border in Mexico.
David L. and Delores Filbeck founded the Christian Mission to the Orient in Thailand. What started as couple in the mission field has grown to Lanna Theological Center, a 4 year Bible College that serves to prepare workers for all aspects of Kingdom work; leaders for the Church and Community. Today it is ran by their children. There are LTC alumni working in church leadership, church planting, and various kinds of NGO organizations. http://www.cmothailand.net
The Christian HolyLand Foundation, Inc. (CHLF) is an independent organization formed in the early 1980s for the purpose of sharing the Gospel message in the Holy Land. For more than 20 years that mission was carried out through our affiliation with George Awwad, a Christian Arab minister living in East Jerusalem. Following George’s unexpected death in 2003 CHLF looked for two years for someONE to continue the work. When God brought us together with an already existing Team of couples in the Galilee, it was clear that it was time for a period of significant growth in the ministry. http://www.chlf.org/
A.G.A.P.E. is Asociación Guatemalteca Aérea Para Edificación. In English that is Guatemalan Air Association for Building. The first thing most people see when checking out A.G.A.P.E. is the airplane. Yes, they have an airplane. But that isn’t their main purpose. It’s just a tool to help accomplish the real goal: spreading God’s Word, teaching people, and training local leaders. Guatemala is a nation of extreme contrasts. While parts of it are as modern as anyplace in the US, there are some parts only accessible by boat or airplane. They use their plane to access remote areas and transport people and supplies. http://agapegt.org/our-history/
Ability Ministry was chartered in 1983 as The Christian Church Foundation for the Handicapped. Originally it was one group home providing care for persons with developmental disabilities. There are now two homes. But it was realized even more could be accomplished by enabling others through training, resources, and encouragement to effectively minister with persons with disabilities. Seeking partnership with individuals, churches, and other organizations to meet the physical and spiritual needs of persons with disabilities. Providing a full range of services for persons with developmental disabilities including residential options, opportunities for social interaction, and opportunities for spiritual growth. https://abilityministry.com/
Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch almost needs no introduction. It is an 1100 acre ranch in Western Montana founded by Bob Larsson. Pinehaven has several houses where kids live with house parents as families. They live, learn, work, and play on the ranch. It receives no government support. http://www.pinehaven.net/
There may be no other American facility like Mountain Mission School, a non-profit foundation dependent solely on charitable contributions. It is the only known entity to educate and board seriously disadvantaged children from birth through high school and sometimes beyond. More than 20,000 youngsters from 49 states (every one but Alaska) and 20 foreign nations have received tuition-free care and love, guidance and sustenance from the school. For more information go to http://www.mountainmissionschool.org/
Camp Illiana is a year round Christian service camp. In other words, it isn’t just for kids any more. The summer camping season is still the focus of the camp, but it now includes retreats and seminars the other 3 seasons of the year. When you ask everyone in our church to stand who has been to Camp Illiana as a camper, counselor, or in some other capacity, the folks left sitting are few and far between. http://campilliana.org/
Oblong Children’s Christian Home was established in 1970 to care for troubled children from 5 to 17 years of age providing them unconditional love and , a stable, structured environment in a family-style group home . One of the goals of the home is to get troubled kids the help they need and get them back with their families. http://www.oblongchristianhome.org/
Choices Pregnancy and Health (formerly Crisis Pregnancy Center of Eastern Illinois) gives women help and guidance to care for themselves and their unborn baby. CPC has 4 locations offering help and answers about pregnancy, abortion, and related issues. http://www.choices4pregnancy.com/
American Indian Christian Mission is special to us. Zac Cooper and family left here to work there. Zac is wearing several hats including operations manager and interim Principal. AICM has a Christian boarding school but also minsters to families and individuals in the native community. http://www.aicm.org
Through our Missions program we have supported several Christian Colleges. We currently focused on two Bible colleges, Johnson and Lincoln:
Johnson University (formerly known as Johnson Bible College) is a unique institution, offering a quality education in a Christian environment. Resting on a proven foundation of more than a hundred years of history, tradition, experience and achievement, Johnson is committed to preparing students for life and service in the twenty-first century.
Not only is it the oldest Bible College in the country, but several of our our minsters, Cory Fountain, Jim Freeman and Tom Cooperider, graduated from Johnson. http://www.johnsonu.edu/Home.aspx
Lincoln Christian University, (formerly known as Lincoln Christian College) Lincoln, Illinois is a Christian higher education community whose mission is to nurture and equip Christians with a Biblical worldview to serve and lead in the church and the world. Founded in 1944, Lincoln has grown to an annual enrollment of more than 1,200 with more than 5,000 graduates serving in every state in this country and in more than seventy other countries worldwide. https://www.lincolnchristian.edu/
Eastern Illinois Campus House, while not a “Bible College” may have more influence on young people’s lives than may Bible Colleges do. Roger Songer has retired after many years of service, but the staff he trained minsters to the students at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. http://www.campus-house.com/
Beyond Us Ministries (B.U.M.). B.U.M. is a campus ministry at Lakeland College, Mattoon, Illinois. Christian college students need a place where they can connect with God and other colleges Christians. Research reveals that 7 out of 10 church dropouts are between the ages of 18-22 years old. B.U.M. is a non-denominational Scripture based ministry dedicated to helping local college students by offering a family-like living environment. http://www.beyondusministries.org/
The missions committee has been charged with the task of providing what we call “local benevolence”. That means caring for folks here at home that need a little help. If there is a need contact a Missions Committee member or the church office.
How we distribute the gifts we receive
We distribute the Faith Promise on a percent basis. If we get $10 or $10000 in a month it is split by percentage and given to the missions we support. Here is how it is broken down:
Big Valley Radio Al & Mary Gonzalez 10.00% Mountain Mission School 7.00%
EIU Campus House 4.50% Camp Illiana 5.50%
Mission to the Orient 6.50% Johnson University 2.50%
Good News Productions 6.00% Lincoln Christian University 2.50%
Christian HolyLand Foundation 2.50% Oblong Children’s Home 4.00%
Pinehaven Christian Ranch 8.00% Choices Pregnancy Center 4.50%
B.U.M. Ministries 3.00% A.G.A.P.E.Guatemala 3.00%
Team Expansion 8.50% AICM 4.00%
Abilities Ministry 6.00% local benevolence 9.00%
Scholarship (currently capped) 0.00% Missions speakers 2.00%
Rally & misc 2.00%