Day 1: Liberty for the Captives
Missouri Baptist Children’s Home
Lori was not expected to stay at the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. The 14-year-old was a victim of human trafficking. She was addicted to drugs, had not been in school consistently for several years, and was extremely aggressive. When she became a resident of MBCH’s Freedom 43:19 program, however, staff members started praying for her and showing her God’s love. Rather than run away, Lori surprised everyone by staying.
After several months, Lori is now drug-free, on the honor roll at school, and no longer displaying aggression. She actively participates in weekly therapy sessions and is learning how the Lord offers freedom and healing. She talks about God, while staff members continue to pray that she will ask Jesus into her life.
The Missouri Missions Offering helps children who feel they have no hope find God’s love.
- The Freedom 43:19 program to reach victims of human trafficking
- Families to answer the call to be foster parents
Day 2: Timeless Truth
As children and families face greater risks in their world, can a week of Vacation Bible School still make a difference?
“Absolutely! Now more than ever!” says Christy Nance, VBS coordinator for the Missouri Baptist Convention. “VBS lays a foundation for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through daily lessons that tie to the gospel message.”
VBS themes and Bible lessons each year are based on surveys of thousands of kids and their families. Each spring, MBC missionaries provide regional training to associational VBS leaders, who pass their knowledge to VBS teachers at churches across the state.
“Training events are a great place to ask questions, share ideas, and think out loud,” Nance says. Through VBS training, new teachers learn the basics. Experienced leaders dig deeper into relevant topics such as children and salvation, and church security.
The Missouri Missions Offering provides training that equips VBS leaders for the rewarding task of teaching timeless truths to children and their families.
- Children who have received Christ at VBS to grow in their faith
- VBS leaders to be encouraged and equipped for the task
Day 3: Walking Together
Collegiate Summer Missions/Mentoring Initiative
Student missionaries and their mentors throughout Missouri are encouraging each other in their journey of faith.
The collegiate summer missions mentoring initiative places college students in churches and associations across the state, pairing them with mentors. “We believe that to walk alongside someone who is a little further along, even for a season, is valuable on the spiritual journey,” says program coordinator David Hendrick.
With a passion for Jesus, student missionaries infuse energy into ministries across the state. Each summer, they serve in Vacation Bible Schools, sports camps, and hunger ministries. They reach minorities, underprivileged neighborhoods, refugees, and marginalized people groups. They conduct surveys, prayer walk college campuses, and start Bible studies.
Through the Missouri Missions Offering, the program provides much-needed boosts to areas in need of help — and in need of the gospel. The missions mentoring initiative has grown by 50 percent over the last two years.
- Students to answer the call to serve next summer
- Mentors to continue to grow and develop
Day 4: Mission for the Generations
Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union
Stocking shelves in a food pantry. Making bracelets to share the gospel in Mexico. Prayer walking on a college campus. Learning from a missionary serving in the Middle East.
Missions is not just a concept, it’s a hands-on experience for Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU).
“WMU is about missions education and helping Christians live a missional lifestyle,” says Laura Wells, Missouri WMU Executive Director. “We have resources for all ages to equip the church to pray for missions, give to support missionaries, and go to be missionaries themselves.”
Each year, the WMU Missions Celebration brings women together to hear directly from missionaries and to participate in missions projects. In 2018, the Missions Celebration combined with Pursuit, a bi-annual event for teen girls. The joint event, supported through the Missouri Missions Offering, inspired long-term WMU members and enabled a new generation to capture a vision of the Great Commission.
- Teens and young adults to answer the call to go
- All Missourians to live a missional lifestyle
Day 5: Ready and Willing
Collegiate Disaster Relief
Some of the “blue hat” supervisors who served in Texas in the wake of last year’s devastating storms were disaster relief veterans — even if they were just twenty-somethings.
These volunteers were trained as interns for Missouri Collegiate Disaster Relief. Each summer, the Missouri Missions Offering supports six student interns, who live out their faith in the crucible of disaster relief. Coordinator Joe Banderman says the program is in its fifth year and having a powerful impact.
“We’ve got students who know what God wants them to do with their lives,” he says. “Some have even changed their college majors in response to the call of God.”
College students served in hurricane relief last year, giving up their spring breaks and Thanksgiving vacations. In one community, they hung dry wall in the home of a Muslim family, collected funds for the wife to buy cooking spices, then prayed with the family members and presented them with a Bible.
Collegiate Disaster Relief has reached people in need, transformed the lives of students, and infused energy and leadership into the ministry.
- College students who have served in Disaster Relief to continue to live on mission
- Families who have been reached during hurricane relief to come to Christ
Day 6: Food Truck Gospel
Ethic Church Multiplier Development
JJ’s Roast on Wheels is a food truck serving Filipino-style roasted pig called “Lechon.” It’s also a vehicle that shares the Good News.
Ednor Sebag and his wife, May, started a church in Springfield in 2006. Then, in 2015, Ednor developed relationships with churches in Southeast Missouri and met several Filipino-American families. The Sebags started driving four hours from Springfield once a month to hold fellowships in three cities. Then, through the SEMO Church Planting Center and with the support of local churches, the Sebags moved to Southeast Missouri.
“Last year, we started a small food-trailer business both as a means of support and, above all, as a venue to connect with people of all ethnic backgrounds so we could lead them to Christ,” he says.
Five new believers have been baptized, and Bible studies are held in Sikeston, Doniphan, Jackson, and Puxico. The Missouri Missions Offering equips church planters to reach Missouri’s many ethnic populations with the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Filipinos to come to know Christ in Southeast Missouri
- Church planters to answer the call to reach Missouri’s diverse ethnic populations
Day 7: Sweet Potatoes and Mission Partners
Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberries loaded the tables in the church gymnasium. This Thanksgiving dinner took place 5,000 miles from Missouri in the Italian village of Pizzoletta.
First Baptist Church of De Soto has a partnership with Chiesa Battista di Verona, a church plant currently meeting in the gymnasium of the Catholic church in Pizzoletta. Members have taken several mission trips to Italy to help the church reach its community. In November, 10 members from De Soto prepared a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Italy.
About 100 people came for the feast, and just before dessert they heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Partnership missions embraces long-term commitments and relationships to fulfill the Great Commission around the globe by praying for and working with churches and missionaries. Supported through the Missouri Missions Offering, Missouri currently has partnerships in Northeast Italy, with the Puebla-Tlaxcala Regional Baptist Convention of Mexico, and most recently with the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.
- Chiesa Battista di Verona to continue to grow and reach its community
- Missouri churches to reach out to form missions partnerships
Day 8: Gather at the Garden
Next Step Requests
In the busy Bosnian neighborhood, Kafič Bašta is an open courtyard, an inviting place to sit and visit. It is located in the heart of the largest population of Bosnians outside of Sarajevo – St. Louis, Mo.
“Everywhere you go in Bosnia, you will see outdoor cafes,” says Jason Helmbacher, pastor of the Church @ Afton. “Cafes are an essential part of Bosnian culture because it is a public place to experience čejf, a connection with others.”
As the Church @ Affton looked for ways to connect with their Bosnian neighbors, they submitted a proposal to MBC’s Next Steps Requests, which provides funds for special projects for Missouri church plants.
“Next Steps has been a huge blessing through the funds they provided to create an outdoor café,” he said. Kafič Bašta, or Garden Café, has a large deck, gazebo and play area. Bosnian friends have made coffee and desserts and even grilled foods to share. Church members are learning about Bosnian culture and building relationships with their neighbors through gifts from the Missouri Missions Offering.
- The Church @ Affton to form relationships with its Bosnian neighbors
- Church plants throughout Missouri to reach their communities with the gospel
Prayer Guide Download
Recommended Week of Prayer is Sept. 18-25