Ephesians 5:15 – “…making the most of every opportunity…”, even for 24hrs. That’s exactly what FBC Montgomery has done to jump start a new ministry of RTN, Mission 24. Who’s ever heard of a 24 hr mission trip? What good can come out of it? How about 20 new homes awaiting a visitation to hear the good news, 6 potential ministry sites saturated in prayer, a community cookout bringing about 150 people, gospel seeds planted in the hearts of many, and a hand up for two refugee families trying to get on their feet…not bad for 24 hrs. Oh, yeah, and a new promotion video for RTN! Of course, the fishing net that comes with a 24 hr team won’t be that big, but you just never know what fish you may catch.
“It’s exciting to be a partner with RTN and see how God is reaching the nations here in our own lands,” says Chris Mills, team leader and member of FBC Montgomery. FBC Montgomery has made a partnership with RTN to bring teams all throughout the year. They are committed to praying for RTN and because of that they hit the ground running with a keen awareness of where God is already working. “Opportunities like Mission 24 and working with RTN is being a good steward of our time and money b/c of it’s closeness to Montgomery,” says Mills.
Arriving on site, the team immediatly begins cooking hotdogs for incoming neighbors of a local apartment complex. Before long is a rainbow of people from 10 different nationalities coming to see what it’s all about. So, RTN learned not to cook hotdogs, curry would have been a better fit, but great ministry still happened. Pator’s Anuj Kumar of the First South Asian Church of Metro Atlanta (partnering with RTN) got busy making contacts along with Amrit Thapa, Kai Dickson, and Rachel Sauls – volunteers and missionaries with RTN. Following a night of fellowship and a fun, the team debriefs and rises to flood strategic locations with prayer to pray for people of peace, eyes to be opened, and the gospel to go forth. A breakfast and lunch is provided by RTN and prepared by two refugee women who are seeking to stand on thier own in their new home. These women are compensated so they can provide food, diapers, household items, or whatever is needed at the moment for their families. Lunch was followed by a Backyard Bible Club which RTN embraces as part of it’s abundant gospel sowing ministry. And that’s 24 hrs well spent.
Pastors Anuj Kumar from Fiji and Amrit Thapa from Nepal (pictured to the right), and Tegga Lendado from Ethiopia, accompanied Mission 24 to make contacts and explore future ministry, apart from which, Mission 24 type mission trips would be a “come in and get out” effort that leaves little results. “It’s encouraging to know that ethnic pastors are there to follow up the work that we do,” says Mills. The heart of RTN is to see churches planted and people discipled, not only to provide missions experiences. RTN is currently working on it’s strategy to bridge the gap between outside teams and local pastors for holistic ministry and ongoing discipleship.
FBC Montgomery has certainly embraced their roll.
Thus, in short Mission 24 is not a win all trip. We know that’s not going to happen. But it does provide an opportunity for a team of people to experience what God is doing in Stone Mountain and Clarkston, explore future ministry, assist two refugee families. In the end it leaves RTN and it’s pastors with a harvest field of prospects and prayer for which, God willing, they are ready to reach the nations!