The New Testament includes several letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to churches he had started or ministered to during his missionary journeys. He told them he was glad to have been able to partner with them in the proclamation of the gospel, and he encouraged them to faithfully continue their ministry, confident “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Phil. 1:6, NIV).
One of the greatest joys for those of us in ministry is to hear how God has blessed a believer, a church or a ministry that we had a hand in helping during their early years.
For Donna Kay and me, March was a time to celebrate some of those fruits of ministry.
Chin Community Ministry
In 2006 we met Zammang Maulcin who was starting a church for the Chin refugees who had settled in our community after fleeing Burma because of ethnic, religious and political persecution.
First Flower Mound became the primary sponsor of Chin Evangelical Baptist Church. We also recognized a need to partner with the new church in their unique ministry to refugees. Becky Nelson, a member of our church, agreed to start Chin Refugee Ministry as a volunteer.
Becky has faithfully led that ministry (recently renamed Chin Community Ministry) as it has provided furniture for new residents, tutoring and mentoring, ESL classes, citizenship classes, and a host of other services. She is now executive director of that separate non-profit ministry which is supported by gifts and volunteers from several churches in the area.
The handful of Chin refugees in Lewisville has grown to 3,500 and there are now five Chin Baptist churches in the area.
On Mar. 8, Donna Kay and I attended the ten-year anniversary celebration of the Chin Community Ministry, still changing lives and sharing the love of Jesus.
New Covenant Baptist Church
Our church in Flower Mound sponsored New Covenant Baptist Church, composed of immigrants from Nigeria. For more than a decade they met in our facilities on Sunday afternoons for worship and Bible study.
A few years ago they bought some land but were having great difficulty developing it because of issues related to access. We left Lewisville three years ago, wondering how they would ever build on that property.
Recently their pastor James Falola told me they sold the property (for a large profit) and purchased land and a building. They invited us to the Mar. 26 dedication.
We are so excited that this group will finally have their own place of worship. It is a blessing from the Lord.
Clint and Missy Kirby
Clint grew up in our church, played in a Christian band with our sons, and was called to ministry during his college years. In 2009, Clint and Missy moved to Gdansk, Poland to plant a church.
They worked hard, sowing seeds and building relationships. Finally they saw a harvest. Gospel Church was planted. Now, just a few years old, Gospel Church is making plans to send out a core group to plant another church.
Clint wrote in the church’s newsletter, There can always be a tendency to say, ”I don’t think we are ready yet. Let’s keep building what we have here.” And someone could easily make that case at Gospel Church. It is not a church of 500 people. Typically there is an average between 50-70 people on a Sunday.
But there will always be a reason to wait. There will always be a reason to think that we are not quite ready. But that is why we want to step out in faith and ask God to begin yet another new work.
We are grateful that Clint and Missy have caught the vision of spreading the gospel through church planting.
In ministry we rejoice not so much in our own success, but in the success of those whose lives we touched. As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “You are our glory and joy” (1 Thess. 2:20, NIV).
Enjoying the fruit,