Harvest Offering 2021November 9, 2021 Missions
For decades, Trinity Bible Church has taken a Harvest Offering during November. This special offering that is over and above our normal weekly giving expresses our gratitude towards God for his extravagant generosity towards us.
In recent years, we have devoted a portion of this to an external mission effort and the rest to an internal facility need. You can look at the list at the end of this letter to see the great things the Lord has enabled us to do in recent history through this offering.
For 2021, the elders have prayerfully determined to focus our gifts towards supporting church leaders and Christians who recently escaped Afghanistan externally and updating our children’s play area internally.
The first portion will support Christian Afghan refugees. When the U.S. evacuated Afghanistan earlier this year, stories surrounding the impending, unrelenting persecution of Christians signaled by the threats and actions of the Taliban resulted in Christians around the world lifting up these brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer. Our elders communicated with pastor friends in the region who were calling and texting Afghani pastors, asking if we could help beyond our prayers. But at the time we were told money was not the issue and all we could do is pray, and pray we did. By God’s grace, those pastors and Christians were able to escape. Though they are no longer the focus of the news media, they are still in need as refugees living in the United States. We received this message from Josh Manley, a pastor in the region, who recently wrote to us with an opportunity to join in alleviating the suffering of these Afghani church leaders and Christians:
"We have been working to evacuate Afghan house church leaders and Christians who now face life as refugees in the United States. Through a partnership with our friends at Refuge International, we now have a tax-deductible fund to support these Afghan brothers and sisters. This fund iscompletely overseen and administered by faithful, like-minded brothers and sisters in the Lord. The fund will be used for these three priorities (in order):
- The immediate relief and needs of Afghan House Church Leaders and Christians
- To redeploy these same leaders back into their ministries after resettlement
- Gospel ministry toward Afghans at large
I am genuinely thrilled to ask you to partner in giving in this way because I know the need is real and the cause is so biblically right. These brothers and sisters have risked very much for the name of Christ, and we have the joy to give to support them now in these circumstances they would have never asked for, but the Lord−in his eternal wisdom and sovereignty−has brought about."
Internally, our children’s playground is in dire need of repair. Taylor Robles, our Children’s Director, has been working with Ryan Fields who oversees facilities to outline all the repairs and additions needed to care well for our children. Just to give you an idea of the needs, we need to purchase a new sunshade for the playground, replace the ground cover, and add a new swing set.
Consider what God has done through us in recent years:
- 2014 — Supported Steven M’s one-year intensive church planting training with 20Schemes and renovated the children’s ministry facilities.
- 2015 — Financed a Wycliffe translation project for the Mao people in northeastern India and upgraded our campus lighting to LEDs.
- 2016 — Helped support a 20Schemes church plant (Gracemount Church) and updated our women’s bathroom in the Education Center.
- 2017 — Donated to Hope for Addiction and improved our preaching stage and street signs.
- 2018 — Bought beds for children at the Rancho 3M orphanage in Mexico, supported Choices Pregnancy Center and refreshed our Worship Center lobby making it more inviting for visitors.
- 2019 — Supported members traveling to Guatemala to train pastors ministering to people speaking Q’eqchi’ (an ancient Mayan dialect) and repaired the Worship Center’s roof.
- 2020 — Gifted supported missionary Dale Armstrong, honoring his retirement from Wycliffe Bible Translators, and renovated the Worship Center stage.
Please know that the elders regularly give thanks for God’s generosity through your faithful giving each week. For those in need, we have a strong benevolence ministry to help our members. For those who are able, we encourage you to join us in year’s Harvest Offering. Discuss it with your family, pray, and give as the Lord leads.
We will begin to take up the offering during our gathered worship service on Sunday, November 21st.