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hope for churches in stress


Montoursville (Pa.) BIC wants to serve broken and neglected people. As a smaller church, they excel in caring for one another. But how, they have asked, can they also engage their community?

Looking at themselves closely, they realized that individuals in the church are already engaged in a wide range of regional, national, and global issues.

Rich, Jo, and LuAnn lead Bible studies for the elderly. Craig and Brenda stir up volunteers to package humanitarian aid. Eric and Yvonne travel to Alaska to serve indigenous peoples. Brenda works at a nonprofit for community action. Jo has a job transporting special needs children. Carol works in estate sales, setting aside furniture for the poor.

Rebecca champions hunger relief. Mark mobilizes men for upkeep and repairs of homes. Donna is raising her grandchildren for parents who are in prison for drug offenses. By their love and support of Mario, a Haitian immigrant, the church is involved in the dilemmas of immigration.

To their surprise, people have come to see that the church is active in compassionate service—one (or a few) persons at a time. Now they are rallying to support these initiatives by shared engagement. They are on micro-mission together in a way that fits the size and strength of the church.

They take their cue from Jesus who never disparaged small endeavors (Mt. 25:21; Mk. 4:30-32). They are encouraged by a quote by Mother Theresa of the Missionaries of Charity:

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

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