Mission of the Month: Yes to Mission

By Dietrich Gruen

This blog post is based on the annual ministry report written by Lee Wanak, the leader of the Global Missions Team, with the goal to link you to specific missions activities and outcomes. It’s exciting to see God’s providence as we both look back and ahead to how he is using High Point Church to reach the world with the gospel.

Monthly support of career missionaries

Career missionary support in the past High Point Church fiscal year (2016-17) was $189,000. This next fiscal year, our mission budget is set for $224,000. Each year, High Point Church closes in on our goal of designating 15% of the total church budget for global missions. These funds help support 35 missionaries working in three major areas:

  • Fourteen missionaries working with people outside the USA receive 47% of our budget.
  • Five missionaries in USA working with internationals receive 21% of the mission budget.
  • Seventeen missionaries in USA working on local campuses, in the marketplace, or at an agency headquarters and receive 32% of our mission budget.

While the number of missionaries our church officially supports hovers around 35 every year, the names change with attrition and addition. Check out our Global Partnership Prayer Guide available at our interactive missionary bulletin board and map in the High Point Church lobby.

Special funds and mission projects

Thanks to you High Point Church attenders who give generously to the Global Mission Discretionary Fund, End of the Year Gift, and the Short-term Trip Fund, the HPC Global Missions Team could advance the gospel to many nations through worthy projects this past fiscal year. Here are some of the projects that we were able to participate in as a church:

  • Nineteen people on short-term mission trips exploring missions, many in the Dominican Republic. Click here to see blog posts from recent Dominican Republic mission trips and the ones coming in June 2017.
  • Thirty-five career missionaries receiving Christmas gifts or bonuses. For missionary profiles and videos, check out our interactive missionary bulletin board and map in the church lobby.
  • Bob Grahmann, one of our HPC members, extending his travel for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
  • An unreached Chinese people group now reading Bibles in their own language.
  • Eight hundred kids received a shoebox of gifts through Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child. Click here for more info about Operation Christmas Child.
  • Twenty-five students, including four HPC pastoral interns, trained in the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Find out more about the graduate-level Perspectives course here.
  • Start-up funds for two missionaries, helping them to get to the mission field in 2017-18. To support our staff member going to China, email frontdesk@highpointchurch.org, and to support Manohar James, email Manohar at mjames@highpointchurch.org. More are expected to enter the mission field in 2018, such as Derick and Beth Valenick, who are going to France, and Robin and Stephan Gibson, who are going to China.
  • Hundreds of Asian believers attending Bible school in Vietnam or through Youth With A Mission’s Silk Road Initiative Bible School.
  • Zindagi TV in the USA expanding its social media outreach to thousands more Muslims who check out Christianity in the privacy of their homes.

Special events for global awareness and mission education

With the help of the Global Missions Team and other leaders at High Point Church, I head up mission focus events in order to engage the congregation with children, internationals, refugees, those experiencing persecution, those experiencing poverty in the Dominican Republic, people in unjust circumstances, and our own HPC members who seek to live missional lives. Find upcoming mission-focused events throughout the year on the High Point Church website.

With “different strokes for different folks,” we offer missional thrust in such diverse venues as:

  • These Mission of the Month blog posts, which highlight a relevant missional theme every month.
  • Monthly Refugee Resettlement team training, outreach, and service, partnering with Lutheran Social Services, to engage two refugee families—a 7-person family from Iraq who arrived in Madison on April 26, and a man from Central African Republic who fled to Algiers, won asylum, and landed here on May 2.
  • Special prayer meetings dedicated to social justice, partnering with International Justice Mission, one for orphanages in India, and another to focus on an unreached people group in China.
  • A 13-week course on Perspectives on the World Christian Movement offered every four years or so.
  • The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church each year in November.
  • A child-friendly mission event, such as Operation Christmas Child, yearly in November through December, or the Pancake breakfast in March to promote sponsoring a child in the Dominican Republic.
  • The Dominican Republic Pancake Breakfast, which promotes child sponsorships. For more info on Child Sponsorships, visit the Hands of Hope website.
  • Engagement with international students, such as the Tour of Madison in September, a hayride and apple picking event in the fall, a Christmas party in December, a dance on St. Patrick’s Day, and a lamb roast in April.
  • Our Global Partnership Prayer Guide, which is available at our interactive missionary bulletin board and map in HPC church lobby.
  • An updated summary of missionary prayer requests, sent each month by Sandi Herron, to guide us in partnering with the missionaries we support. Subscribe here to the prayer list sent out through our online database.
  • Justice Sunday and a follow-up International Justice Mission forum and lunch. Learn more about International Justice Mission here.
  • Other lunches with HPC-sponsored missionaries visiting Madison, hosted by HPC small groups or by the church as a whole in the Micah Center after the second service.

Individual entrepreneurs from High Point Church in mission projects

Apart from the several career missionaries who call High Point Church their home church, and in addition to the dozens who are supported by us through short-term mission trips, many of our entrepreneurial members and regular attenders are also missional.

  • You regularly pray for global partnerships in mission.
  • You support those who go and give generously.
  • You study or work overseas.
  • You create nonprofits and employment opportunities reach others.
  • You repurpose your investments and business interests for maximizing mission.
  • In short, you say “yes” to mission whenever and wherever God calls you.

I don’t know all of you engaging and equipped for mission, but I know a few. You know who you are. God knows you. The few I know suggest there are many more:

  • The Williams family takes trips every year to develop the Yada Project in the Middle East, South East Asia, and the Dominican Republic.
  • Bill and Dian Taylor, Mark Finley, and Kent and Lynn Rawhauser occasionally go work at English-immersion camps in Ukraine.
  • Vince Pierri responded to God’s call working with children in Ghana last summer.
  • Shawn and Laura Helweg work with Compassion International and regularly go to Guatemala.
  • Lloyd and Cleo Tyndal also serve in Guatemala through Outreach for World Hope.
  • Ryan and Reidun Bures created a nonprofit called Palms and Souls and recently built a library for a community center of kids in Jocotenanga, Guatemala.
  • Alison and Patrick Hlathein go to the Dominican Republic.
  • Pastor Nic Gibson has gone to India with Manohar James to help train pastors.
  • Kathleen Shrader goes to India, sometimes two times each year, to help develop orphanages.
  • Steven Holley hopes to join fellow employees doing refugee relief work in Greece.
  • I work with refugees in Germany and the library project in Guatemala.

To see other stories of how God is working through people at High Point Church, visit our stories page on our website.

Thanksgiving and praise to the Lord

We’ve had a wonderful year in expanding our mission at High Point Church. We look forward to what more God will do as we seek to increase mission awareness in our church, provide support for additional career and short-term missionaries, and develop global outreach opportunities to engage and equip our congregation for reaching the world. On the horizon for first quarter of this next fiscal year (2017-18), we look forward to:

  • A Dominican Republic short-term mission trip that we will commission in June and hear reports back from those who go.
  • New and potential career missionaries: Sending a staff member off to missions work China, Derick and Beth to France, Robin and Stephan to China, and Kathleen and Manohar to India.
  • The India banquet on Saturday, July 29, which will be a ticketed event designed to raise awareness, prayer, and funds for Manohar James. He trains thousands of native pastors—some who will be deployed in the cities where Kathleen Shrader is developing an orphanage ministry. Both Manohar and Kathleen leave for India for a month or two in the fall.
  • Itinerating missionaries visiting the church and small groups.
  • Refugee Sunday, which is August 20. At the congregational potluck and meeting, we will celebrate the new immigrant families in our midst. More on this in a future blog post.

We hope all of these opportunities will get you saying “yes” to the mission that Christ has given us—to make disciples of all nations.

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