West-Ark’s 2011 missions budget is $273,153. We hope to raise $225,000 of that on November 14th with a special missions contribution during worship. (The remaining $48,000 comes from the regular weekly contribution.) This amount is a 9.8% increase from last year’s goal ($248,736). The mission budget goal is not ever-increasing, rather it represents the funds needed to meet the opportunities that God has set before us in a given year.
The 2011 budget represents an on-going commitment to disciple-making efforts in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Belgium, Guyana, Thailand and Southeast Asia. These may seem like faraway places, but they are as close to us as the connections that we have as the Lord’s church. That was vividly represented last Sunday when Chris C. baptized his daughter, who has grown up overseas, in the same baptistery where many of our children were baptized.
The 2011 budget also represents growth. God has inspired two young men who grew up among us, John Carson and Trenton Schien, to make disciples for Jesus. Trenton, whose faith was nurtured by all of his spiritual family here, is studying to be a missionary at AIM in Lubbock. John, who also grew up here and has been active in our youth and college ministries, has been invited to work full-time with the Impact Houston Church of Christ. John hopes to make disciples on the streets of Houston assuming he is able to raise support. Yes, our own United States is also a mission field! [See John’s reports at http://followinghiscalltohouston.blogspot.com/]
This Sunday, Nov. 14, there will be pledge cards and envelopes in the pews. During the second offering, please consider making a single offering or a pledge to be paid out during 2011 that will help us all reach the goal of $225,000.
To my readers and friends outside of the West-Ark family, I invite you to participate in these good works also. God blessed us last year to build an outreach center to the University of Arkansas Fort Smith campus. We raised the money for that in about a month and were blessed to receive gifts from individuals who believed in the dream and the mission even if they weren't technically "a member" of this congregation. It taught me to open the door and just give others the chance to attach themselves to something great. I can tell you that the variety of works that make up the 2011 Mission Plan are great. Contributions to the West-Ark Church of Christ, 900 N. Walrdon Road, Fort Smith, AR 72903 should be noted "For 2011 Missions." And any such gifts are certainly tax deductible. Just contact me if you have any questions.