Projects done by churches in Illinois that received Mission Match® funds
Congregation in Illinois sends a team to El Salvador to work to build a home for a local family. (click to open/close)
A Lutheran church from Illinois sent a team to El Salvador to work with an agency there, building a home for a local family. Some of the work included digging, pouring the foundation, and laying cement blocks for the house. In addition, the team was able to build a relationship with the family for whom the house was being built. Follow-up comments state, "We also had the pleasure of becoming personal friends of the family. God’s love was shown by each of us and return of God’s love by them to us."
Here are comments made by other members of the mission team:
"Each of us has unique, God-given talents, gifts, circumstances, occupations, interests, and hobbies. It is through these blessings that we serve the Lord. Our special skills and knowledge become the tools to be part of the work of God’s kingdom. We each have a job to do for Christ."
"I think we have experienced God being here with us this week. Even across the 1,800-mile distance between El Salvador and C, God is with us and everyone here and there as well."
"We've all worked very hard and have been blessed with many visitors to our work site from [the agency] which gives us great encouragement to do this work for these magnificent people who, like us, love our Savior and Lord."
Congregation from Illinois supports a missionary doing Bible translation in Tanzania. (click to open/close)
A United Methodist church from Illinois received its third Mission Match Matching Contribution. This time they wanted to support a missionary who works with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Tanzania, Africa. In her update, the missionary stated, "Most of the language groups we work with were oral societies, and did not have a written orthography (alphabet). Language assessment teams and linguists spend many years learning the language, identifying the sounds and creating a written alphabet, recording vocabulary, and studying how the grammar works ... As we get closer to the finished publications, there is more and more spiritual opposition." Later in her update, the missionary also stated, "I can’t help but think that every day we are delayed, how many fewer people will live to know?" She asks for specific prayer that God would continue to protect this work.
A member of the mission team at the church receiving the Matching Contribution commented about the effect of participation in Mission Match: "I feel that people are growing in their mission awareness and also in their giving. Working with R_(missionary) has given us the opportunity to know more about the global impact that we can have on bringing Christ to others." Additional comments were made by this member of the church's mission team, regarding the growing interest in missions within the congregation: "Our Mission Committee is looking at working with another mission in Africa. We are just starting to look but there is great interest in this type of mission work."
Parish in Illinois provides funds for renovating maternity clinic in Kenya (click to open/close)
According to the comments the parish passed on from Kenya, the renovation was a great success. "I have never seen a project run so smoothly and actually get done on time within the budget," the medical doctor in Kenya wrote."Am happy that our community has a place to get help on maternal services," wrote another team member.
Support documentation said the Kenyan Archdiocese has a goal of providing high quality health care service to all regardless of ethnicity, religious preference, race, or sex. The Archdiocese’s 19 clinics serve a population of over 3 million people.
Congregation in Illinois helps build homes for families in El Salvador (click to open/close)
This was the fifth trip to El Salvador made by members of this congregation. Having been to the same area of El Salvador on previous mission trips, members of this congregation were able to reconnect with individuals with whom they worked and helped in the past. As stated in the congregation’s mission bulletin, "Relationships like the one with L___ (from U.S.) and L____(in El Salvador), who remember each other from the 2014 worksite at the church, are part of the lifelong witness we hope to have alongside the people of El Salvador."
In addition to rekindling old friendships, new relationships were formed for members of the mission team. One team member was quoted in the congregation’s mission bulletin: "What I didn’t realize in the beginning of the week, was that we would have an opportunity to build relationships with the people in the neighborhood. Rainy weather gave us an opportunity to spend time with the ladies from a co-op that was formed in Getsemani (the neighborhood in Ahauchuapan where our Habitat house was being built). They cook, sew, make jewelry, etc. We purchased jewelry from them and they told us about the beads they used … These ladies showed us tremendous hospitality throughout the entire week."
Follow-up comments stated: "The trips we have gone on have been supported 100% by our congregation in the gifts of money to support the trips but most of all in the stories we bring back to the people are very touching and the congregation is so interested in hearing the stories … This was a great experience for all 8 of us to see just how lucky we are to live in the USA and have so many of God’s gifts. Thank you empty tomb for your help."
Congregation in Illinois provides funds to help rebuild church building that was destroyed in an earthquake in El Salvador (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois sends mission team to work in communities in mountainous areas of Nicaragua (click to open/close)
According to the application cover letter, the congregation went on their first international mission trip in partnership with an organization that has been working in villages in Nicaragua, “in the spring of 2011 … It is there we met the amazing people who live in [these two communities] … As a college community, we desired to grow these relationships more deeply …” According to the Mission Match application materials from the congregation, “Our primary activity will be growing our partnership with these global neighbors in the mountain communities of [two villages] in Nicaragua. We’ll learn about their culture; experience daily life with them; hear their struggles, hopes, and dreams, and worship and pray with them. … We will help build latrines for several families living in critical poverty. We will work in partnership with the local people in this project, supplying the money for materials and shared labor. … The funds will be used to purchase supplies, gather donations for school supplies and medical supplies for the village nurse, and assist in the cost of airfare. Most of the participants for this trip are college students paying their own way.”
“Each student [who went on the mission trip] was asked to write about his/her experience of the trip. The written reflections demonstrate the impact this trip had for the students who participated in the activities described in our goal. Each student also shared this reflections with the congregation as well as in the [Spring 2014] newsletter.”
Some comments from the student reflections follow: One student wrote, “One thing that really stuck with me was that the people work together as a community for the good of the community. They depend upon one another.” Another student wrote, “You are the salt of the Earth. In Nicaragua, we sweated. We carried bricks and sand and cement up and down mountains under a hot, hot sun. The proof was on our t-shirts. We were pouring our sweat into our work. Our [organization] leader insisted that we needed to pour extra salt on our food to make up for what we had lost. … We were also pouring our salt into the work we did … As we were doing God’s work in Nicaragua, we were sharing our salt with the people we met. For me, that experience was at times challenging and taxing. We extended our bodies physically, emotionally, and spiritually in ways that we hadn’t experienced before. But just as [the leader] replenished our bodies with a sprinkle of table salt, God replenished us through the people we met and the beauty that we saw. We are the salt of the earth, but so are the people of Nicaragua. The week was an exchange of love and lessons between the groups, and just as we poured our energies into them, they replenished us with their generosity, hospitality, and hope. While I may have lost a little of my salt … what I received back in return replenished me tenfold.”
Still other student comments stated, “It was inspiring. I was immediately immersed in cultural differences upon our arrival. … One amazing idea I found from the people … is incessant, abundant hope and love.”
Congregation in Illinois helps build affordable and safe housing in El Salvador (click to open/close)
According to the Mission Match application materials, “The [church] Service Committee did not want financial barriers to stop members from participating. The funds [raised were] used to offset the costs of travel, food & lodging for mission team members.” The Mission Match application cover letter stated, “After sending a mission team to El Salvador in 2012, we have found it to be a very worthy trip and are excited to send a second team this November. We hope that by providing financial assistance, particularly to families or youth who may want to serve, more church members will be able to participate in this mission.”
The Mission Match application materials also stated, “We plan to host a Mission Sunday in which last year’s participants share their stories and photographs and perhaps even include a Latin meal after the service. A lot of the members who served on the mission team last year would like to return, which speaks volumes of the project and how meaningful it was to them.”
Congregation in Illinois provides support for missionary to Tanzania, Africa, for Bible translation (click to open/close)
The application materials from the congregation also stated, "Last year our congregation supported [the missionary] with a nominal gift directly from our mission fund. This year we feel led to do much more."
Follow-up comments from the congregation state, "Our goal was to help support a new relationship with a missionary [who] is a new missionary who felt God's call to be a bible translator to tribes in Tanzania, Africa. With the help of the Mission Match contribution, we were able to accomplish the goal of providing sufficient support for [the missionary] to begin ministry."
The follow-up comments from the congregation also included a statement from the pastor that reads, " … the 'match' plan is a very good motivator for giving. We announced that Mission Match would match our giving up to $1,500, and we far surpassed that amount. Also entering into a relationship with a missionary has a been a goal of ours for awhile, and Mission Match helped us enter into this relationship with more funding than we’d have been able to give. This excited both our congregation and [the missionary]."
Congregation in Illinois supports Vietnam Free Methodist endeavors and ministries (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois provides medical work in Iraq (click to open/close)
May - June 2008
Congregations in Illinois and Oregon purchase a truck for crop to market transportation in the Congo (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois finishes construction on dining facility in Honduras (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois sends help to Mexico to repair homes and hold Bible school (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois preaches Gospel and teaches English in Mongolia, China, Cambodia, and South Korea (click to open/close)
May - June 2007
Congregation in Illinois continues construction on new school facility in Bolivia (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois provides dinner for low-income families in Illinois (click to open/close)
January - February 2007
Congregations in Illinois and Indiana help with hospital construction in India (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois teaches different subjects including the Bible at a university in Mongolia (click to open/close)
April - May 2006
Congregation in Illinois adopts an orphanage in Liberia (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois does construction and evangelism at a church in Mexico (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois relocates a church member to Malaysia (click to open/close)
Congregation in Illinois educates and trains illiterate church women in Malawi and Tanzania (click to open/close)