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Mission Match®

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Projects done by churches in Illinois that received Mission Match® funds

August 2016

Congregation in Illinois sends a team to El Salvador to work to build a home for a local family.   (click to open/close)

A Lutheran church from Illinois sent a team to El Salvador to work with an agency there, building a home for a local family. Some of the work included digging, pouring the foundation, and laying cement blocks for the house. In addition, the team was able to build a relationship with the family for whom the house was being built. Follow-up comments state, "We also had the pleasure of becoming personal friends of the family. God’s love was shown by each of us and return of God’s love by them to us."

Here are comments made by other members of the mission team:

"Each of us has unique, God-given talents, gifts, circumstances, occupations, interests, and hobbies. It is through these blessings that we serve the Lord. Our special skills and knowledge become the tools to be part of the work of God’s kingdom. We each have a job to do for Christ."

"I think we have experienced God being here with us this week. Even across the 1,800-mile distance between El Salvador and C, God is with us and everyone here and there as well."

"We've all worked very hard and have been blessed with many visitors to our work site from [the agency] which gives us great encouragement to do this work for these magnificent people who, like us, love our Savior and Lord."

April 2016

Congregation from Illinois supports a missionary doing Bible translation in Tanzania.   (click to open/close)

A United Methodist church from Illinois received its third Mission Match Matching Contribution. This time they wanted to support a missionary who works with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Tanzania, Africa. In her update, the missionary stated, "Most of the language groups we work with were oral societies, and did not have a written orthography (alphabet). Language assessment teams and linguists spend many years learning the language, identifying the sounds and creating a written alphabet, recording vocabulary, and studying how the grammar works ... As we get closer to the finished publications, there is more and more spiritual opposition." Later in her update, the missionary also stated, "I can’t help but think that every day we are delayed, how many fewer people will live to know?" She asks for specific prayer that God would continue to protect this work.

A member of the mission team at the church receiving the Matching Contribution commented about the effect of participation in Mission Match: "I feel that people are growing in their mission awareness and also in their giving. Working with R_(missionary) has given us the opportunity to know more about the global impact that we can have on bringing Christ to others." Additional comments were made by this member of the church's mission team, regarding the growing interest in missions within the congregation: "Our Mission Committee is looking at working with another mission in Africa. We are just starting to look but there is great interest in this type of mission work."

December 2015

Parish in Illinois provides funds for renovating maternity clinic in Kenya   (click to open/close)

A Roman Catholic parish in Illinois has received its first Mission Match® Matching Contribution. This Matching Contribution went towards helping one of their parishioners, a medical missionary who has been serving in Africa over the past 26 years. This parishioner and her team used the funds to renovate a Diocesan maternity clinic in Kenya. The priest from the parish in Illinois wrote, "Our community is deeply grateful to you for joining with us to help our sisters and brothers in need … Your generous matching gift will help bring Christ's healing touch to all the families who are served by the … Maternity Clinic."

According to the comments the parish passed on from Kenya, the renovation was a great success. "I have never seen a project run so smoothly and actually get done on time within the budget," the medical doctor in Kenya wrote."Am happy that our community has a place to get help on maternal services," wrote another team member.

Support documentation said the Kenyan Archdiocese has a goal of providing high quality health care service to all regardless of ethnicity, religious preference, race, or sex. The Archdiocese’s 19 clinics serve a population of over 3 million people.

October 2015

Congregation in Illinois helps build homes for families in El Salvador   (click to open/close)

    An Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Illinois received a Mission Match matching contribution to send a mission team of 8 individuals to El Salvador. The mission team worked with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for local families. In addition to building homes, another stated goal for this congregation was "for people of [church] to see how lucky we are to live in a country where we have so many things and to appreciate what we have. Also to see how we are able to help these people improve their lives in a very small way." A comment in the congregation’s mission bulletin states, "We all go to El Salvador to give people there the love and help needed in building homes, but to our surprise we come home with more than we have given."

    This was the fifth trip to El Salvador made by members of this congregation. Having been to the same area of El Salvador on previous mission trips, members of this congregation were able to reconnect with individuals with whom they worked and helped in the past. As stated in the congregation’s mission bulletin, "Relationships like the one with L___ (from U.S.) and L____(in El Salvador), who remember each other from the 2014 worksite at the church, are part of the lifelong witness we hope to have alongside the people of El Salvador."

    In addition to rekindling old friendships, new relationships were formed for members of the mission team. One team member was quoted in the congregation’s mission bulletin: "What I didn’t realize in the beginning of the week, was that we would have an opportunity to build relationships with the people in the neighborhood. Rainy weather gave us an opportunity to spend time with the ladies from a co-op that was formed in Getsemani (the neighborhood in Ahauchuapan where our Habitat house was being built). They cook, sew, make jewelry, etc. We purchased jewelry from them and they told us about the beads they used … These ladies showed us tremendous hospitality throughout the entire week."

    Follow-up comments stated: "The trips we have gone on have been supported 100% by our congregation in the gifts of money to support the trips but most of all in the stories we bring back to the people are very touching and the congregation is so interested in hearing the stories … This was a great experience for all 8 of us to see just how lucky we are to live in the USA and have so many of God’s gifts. Thank you empty tomb for your help."

October 2014

Congregation in Illinois provides funds to help rebuild church building that was destroyed in an earthquake in El Salvador   (click to open/close)

An Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation in Illinois received a second Mission Match matching contribution to help fund support for rebuilding a church in El Salvador. According to the Mission Match application and cover letter, the El Salvador “church was destroyed in an earthquake in 2000. Our members will have the opportunity to work alongside members of the ... church as well as having time for fellowship and worship together. In 2013 we were fortunate to have had the support of empty tomb through the Mission Match and we were able to provide each participant with funds to help offset some of their travel and lodging expenses ... as to not prevent anyone from serving in this manner due to the lack of funds.”


March 2014

Congregation in Illinois sends mission team to work in communities in mountainous areas of Nicaragua   (click to open/close)

An Evangelical Lutheran Church of America campus congregation in Illinois received a Mission Match matching contribution. The application materials from the congregation stated their intention to send a mission team to Nicaragua to work in two communities in the mountainous country.
According to the application cover letter, the congregation went on their first international mission trip in partnership with an organization that has been working in villages in Nicaragua, “in the spring of 2011 … It is there we met the amazing people who live in [these two communities] … As a college community, we desired to grow these relationships more deeply …” According to the Mission Match application materials from the congregation, “Our primary activity will be growing our partnership with these global neighbors in the mountain communities of [two villages] in Nicaragua. We’ll learn about their culture; experience daily life with them; hear their struggles, hopes, and dreams, and worship and pray with them. … We will help build latrines for several families living in critical poverty. We will work in partnership with the local people in this project, supplying the money for materials and shared labor. … The funds will be used to purchase supplies, gather donations for school supplies and medical supplies for the village nurse, and assist in the cost of airfare. Most of the participants for this trip are college students paying their own way.”
“Each student [who went on the mission trip] was asked to write about his/her experience of the trip. The written reflections demonstrate the impact this trip had for the students who participated in the activities described in our goal. Each student also shared this reflections with the congregation as well as in the [Spring 2014] newsletter.”
Some comments from the student reflections follow: One student wrote, “One thing that really stuck with me was that the people work together as a community for the good of the community. They depend upon one another.” Another student wrote, “You are the salt of the Earth. In Nicaragua, we sweated. We carried bricks and sand and cement up and down mountains under a hot, hot sun. The proof was on our t-shirts. We were pouring our sweat into our work. Our [organization] leader insisted that we needed to pour extra salt on our food to make up for what we had lost. … We were also pouring our salt into the work we did … As we were doing God’s work in Nicaragua, we were sharing our salt with the people we met. For me, that experience was at times challenging and taxing. We extended our bodies physically, emotionally, and spiritually in ways that we hadn’t experienced before. But just as [the leader] replenished our bodies with a sprinkle of table salt, God replenished us through the people we met and the beauty that we saw. We are the salt of the earth, but so are the people of Nicaragua. The week was an exchange of love and lessons between the groups, and just as we poured our energies into them, they replenished us with their generosity, hospitality, and hope. While I may have lost a little of my salt … what I received back in return replenished me tenfold.”
Still other student comments stated, “It was inspiring. I was immediately immersed in cultural differences upon our arrival. … One amazing idea I found from the people … is incessant, abundant hope and love.”

November 2013

Congregation in Illinois helps build affordable and safe housing in El Salvador   (click to open/close)

An Evangelical Lutheran congregation in Illinois received a Mission Match matching contribution to send a mission team to El Salvador. According to the Mission Match application, the congregation was “sending a team of 10-15 members to help build affordable and safe housing ... The trip is organized through [two organizations]. Since [one] requires the person receiving the house to assist, our mission team works alongside them during the building process. This promotes cross-cultural understanding and teamwork among our mission team members.”
According to the Mission Match application materials, “The [church] Service Committee did not want financial barriers to stop members from participating. The funds [raised were] used to offset the costs of travel, food & lodging for mission team members.” The Mission Match application cover letter stated, “After sending a mission team to El Salvador in 2012, we have found it to be a very worthy trip and are excited to send a second team this November. We hope that by providing financial assistance, particularly to families or youth who may want to serve, more church members will be able to participate in this mission.”
The Mission Match application materials also stated, “We plan to host a Mission Sunday in which last year’s participants share their stories and photographs and perhaps even include a Latin meal after the service. A lot of the members who served on the mission team last year would like to return, which speaks volumes of the project and how meaningful it was to them.”

July 2012

Congregation in Illinois provides support for missionary to Tanzania, Africa, for Bible translation   (click to open/close)

  A United Methodist Congregation in Illinois received a second Mission Match matching contribution. The application materials from the congregation stated the intention to “support a new missionary to Tanzania, Africa who will be affiliated with Wycliffe Bible Translators. [The missionary] will be working wit local churches in Africa to translate biblical stories into the native language, and will additionally be working to develop bible curriculum in the native language, so that local pastors and lay leaders will have instruction on how to teach bible stories and concepts to children.
  The application materials from the congregation also stated, "Last year our congregation supported [the missionary] with a nominal gift directly from our mission fund. This year we feel led to do much more."
  Follow-up comments from the congregation state, "Our goal was to help support a new relationship with a missionary [who] is a new missionary who felt God's call to be a bible translator to tribes in Tanzania, Africa. With the help of the Mission Match contribution, we were able to accomplish the goal of providing sufficient support for [the missionary] to begin ministry."
  The follow-up comments from the congregation also included a statement from the pastor that reads, " … the 'match' plan is a very good motivator for giving. We announced that Mission Match would match our giving up to $1,500, and we far surpassed that amount. Also entering into a relationship with a missionary has a been a goal of ours for awhile, and Mission Match helped us enter into this relationship with more funding than we’d have been able to give. This excited both our congregation and [the missionary]."

January 2011

Congregation in Illinois provides medical work in Iraq   (click to open/close)

A Free Methodist Church in Illinois received a Mission Match matching contribution to help provide medical work in Iraq. Follow-up comments from the congregation stated, "This project helped our people be aware of challenging countries."

January 2011

Congregation in Illinois supports Vietnam Free Methodist endeavors and ministries   (click to open/close)

A Free Methodist congregation in Illinois received a fifth Mission Match matching contribution. According to application materials from the congregation, the congregation wanted to contribute to an international project to support emerging mission work in Vietnam. A bicycle team was to go to Vietnam in January 2011 for a two-week tour, to bring the financial contributions and visit the church there. Comments on the Bicycle Team's Blog stated, "After riding bicycles over 600 miles through Vietnam this year, we have compelling stories to tell. Stories from the open road. Stories of encounters with people in city and countryside. Stories of what our Vietnamese friends are experiencing. Stories of grace breakthroughs. Stories of fascinating landscapes, intriguing culture, beautiful people, and forward-looking hope. First, we awaken every day to the thought: I am in Vietnam. Our journey is unique and privileged. Few Westerners come into this area, much less bicycle together as a group. We know we are representing something greater than ourselves. So, we ride each day with gratitude and purpose. All along the way each day, we are greeted by small children running to the front of their property and waving and yelling "hello!" School children do the same. Adults, too, are friendly toward us. We aren't sure if this is standard behavior for a colorfully-addressed cycling group passing by or if something else is going on. We have heard that Westerners are not seen in these parts very often. Perhaps we're a novelty. That's okay. Our journey today took us into a truly mountain environment, as we drove northward along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. It was our longest day in the saddle--nearly 6 hours--and our longest one-day distance--75 miles. The terrain was hilly. We had a strong headwind. We rode into tribal areas few Westerners ever see. "We are a truly international team. Six members are from USA, one is from Canada, and our friends from Vietnam switch off riding segments of each day's route. We had not anticipated this dimension of our team, but our Vietnamese friends insist on sharing in the riding, rather than serving only as guides. These two young leaders are outstanding in character, strong in spirit, and knowledgeable. So, as we ride up through Vietnam, all who inquire realize that what they are seeing is not just some cyclists from USA, but an international cycling effort for the sake of a peace investment. This was the most remote area we have ridden through. The level of poverty was high. Evidence of simple tribal ways was everywhere. Still, people were gracious. Children yelled "hello" on their way to school. But as we moved further north, deeper into the mountains, villages were few and far between. Additional comments from the mission team say that the Central Highlands of Vietnam are where coffee and rubber are grown in carefully-planted groves that cover every hill. Here, mountain-dwelling villagers tend these orchards, collect latex, dry coffee beans in their front yards, and live ever-so simply. Here, children walk or ride their bikes to and from school and young people (who isn't young here?) get around villages and towns on Honda motor bikes by the hundreds of thousands. These are the kinds of hills, we are sure, that might have inspired many a Psalm. According to follow-up comments from the congregation, Goals of the mission project were to (1) raise sponsorship for 40 children through International Child Care Ministries. Eighteen children have been sponsored to date (with more expected to be sponsored). This will provide on-going support for food, health care education. (2) Support Vietnam F.M. work. To date, $13,000 has been raised to support work of our friends. Twenty-five water filters were distributed for community use. (3) Enjoy a rigorous bicycle tour in Vietnam, bringing encouragement to friends along the way. The trip was definitely rigorous and we enjoyed sharing stories. Further follow-up comments stated that Mission Match helped their congregation grow in giving by helping our people be aware of challenging countries and providing opportunity for on-going commitment through the relationship of Child Care. According to follow-up comments, The blog of the trip was censored. See additional information and photos at http://www.bikevietnam2011.blogspot.com.

May - June 2008

Congregations in Illinois and Oregon purchase a truck for crop to market transportation in the Congo   (click to open/close)

Three American Baptist churches, including one in Illinois and two in Oregon, combined to help a Christian mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the Mission Match application of one of the churches, "The goal was to purchase a seven-ton transport truck and establish regular collection routes for fresh manioc tubers and fresh palm fruit bunches." Another church wrote, the Ag Center in this part of the Congo "helps families improve production so they can feed and support their families. They must hand carry their crops across difficult terrain, 22 rugged kilometers, to get them to market." According to the application materials, other Christian organizations were assisting in the financial support for this truck along with these three Baptist churches. According to materials, this truck will aid struggling farmers, as well as help provide better food access and thus stop child deaths in the area. A truck had been only a dream for years because there are no bank loans available in the Congo. One congregation involved in this project said, "We wanted to help provide the truck and use the project as an education tool for our congregation. The response was terrific, as they understood the way a truck will help all the families. The 4th and 5th grade Sunday school classes asked the missionary in the Congo what project he would suggest for kids. The kids then raised funds to buy packets of seeds. They are excited about missions!" Comments from another congregation said, "Mission Match provided an incredible incentive to go above and beyond our normal giving habits. What a great opportunity to see God work."

July 2007

Congregation in Illinois preaches Gospel and teaches English in Mongolia, China, Cambodia, and South Korea   (click to open/close)

A United Methodist church in Illinois sent a mission team to Mongolia, China, Cambodia and South Korea to preach the Gospel and teach English to students and children.

July 2007

Congregation in Illinois finishes construction on dining facility in Honduras   (click to open/close)

An American Baptist church in Illinois sent a team of their youth and youth leaders to Honduras. According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, the team was to finish "construction on the dining facility in a children's home. The new dining facility will also serve as a multi-use building, first, for a dining hall for current and future children, second, for outreach in the community by hosting a feeding program, and third, for a future local church." According to the materials, the team also held Vacation Bible School and did evangelism in the surrounding communities at schools, "presenting drama, music, and testimonies in the community." The congregation provided building supplies for constructing the dining facility, transportation on site, and supplies for Bible school and evangelism."

July 2007

Congregation in Illinois sends help to Mexico to repair homes and hold Bible school   (click to open/close)

A United Methodist church in Illinois sent a team of 30 youth and adults to a small village on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, "they worked with the church in this small town to identify, fix, and repair homes in the area, and also conduct Youth Ministry Bible Schools in the town's church and in a nearby orphanage. The church provided construction materials, and covered lodging in the town, as well as food for the team." A follow-up Mission Match report from the congregation indicates that: "The team accomplished the following: 1) a Bible School program was held at an orphanage for 4 days; 2) a dorm room and bathroom were painted at the orphanage; 3) they purchased materials and began construction on a church nursery; and 4) they purchased materials and began construction on pastor's house. The Mission Match program provided a vehicle for us to publicize our project and to seek further involvement from our church family, and to accomplish more than first planned." In a follow-up local newspaper article a team member said, "Kids aren't going on the trip just for college resumes. They are going to actually help the people in need and make a difference." Another participant said the most rewarding part of the trip was "the opportunity to get to know people of other cultures, experiences, or economic circumstances, and moreover to get to know those people on a pretty basic level."

May - June 2007

Congregation in Illinois continues construction on new school facility in Bolivia   (click to open/close)

A United Methodist Church from Illinois sent a team to Ancoraimes, Bolivia to continue construction on a new school building that had been started the previous year, according to the church's Mission Match application. According to supporting application materials from the church, "the indigenous peoples of Ancoraimes, Bolivia, until recently, have been shut out of the educational, political, and economic structures of Bolivia. The Bolivian Methodist church primarily serves these, the poorest of the poor." According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, "The school serves a whole region of smaller villages and farms. For nearly 500 years, the indigenous Indians had been forbidden by law to attend school or learn how to read. Now this mission school is providing an education and teaching literacy in Aymaran, Spanish and English languages. The Bolivian Methodist Church, with the help of missionaries from the U.S., began this school 50 years ago. The church in Bolivia is extremely poor and has been unable to keep pace with the needs of all its schools. The school at Ancoraimes has had no significant updating for nearly 25 years. The new building is a true sign of hope." According to the materials with the application, the financial gifts of the congregation "will make additional improvements and equipment possible, allowing the school to update or replace many basic items in its technical programs." According to follow-up reports to Mission Match, the church in Illinois provided resources that "made a real impact in the lives of persons in this little village. Through the church's generosity, some wonderful things are happening at the school. We are making a real difference in the lives of people in need."

May 2007

Congregation in Illinois provides dinner for low-income families in Illinois   (click to open/close)

A United Methodist church in Illinois started a monthly dinner ministry for low-income families in their community. In materials with the Mission Match application the church stated, "This new ministry is going to challenge us to trust God to provide the resources needed." The congregation's application materials stated, "The project targets our own school district where the poverty rate was almost 50% in 2006." The congregation provided the food, publicity, and kitchen supplies for this new ministry.

January - February 2007

Congregations in Illinois and Indiana help with hospital construction in India   (click to open/close)

Two Free Methodist churches, one in Illinois and the other in Indiana, helped send an international team of 5 bicycle riders and 2 support persons to India. According to materials sent with the congregations' Mission Match applications, they "traveled 2,000 miles over 6 weeks from the tip of India to New Delhi in January-February 2007 to raise financial support for the rebuilding of a Christian hospital and to raise awareness in both the United States and in India of the ministry of this Christian hospital." According to materials from the churches, "this Christian hospital was founded in 1951 by the Free Methodist Church to meet the needs of the poor rural population in central India. It provides primary medicine, obstetrics, surgery, pharmacy, and radiology. Areas of special attention are tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria. Other ministries also developed from the work of the hospital such as a community health service coordinated by local churches, and a nursing school certified by the state. The nursing school has particularly helped young women from poor, lower class families to acquire skills. There is a boarding school on the hospital campus established for boys from tribal families to provide nurture and education for these children who would otherwise not have an opportunity for education." Materials from the churches describing the purpose of the fundraising bike trip stated that, "the hospital provides a large amount of charity care. It had become increasingly difficult to provide funding for capital improvements. Most of the infrastructure of the hospital was built in the 1920s and was deteriorating rapidly. The time had come to rebuild the hospital." In follow-up comments to Mission Match from one church, "The Bicycle India 2007 project was a great success. Bicycling 2000 miles from the tip of India to New Delhi went well with no injuries or major illness. We praise the Lord for His protection." Comments from the second church stated, "The goal of our project was to assist in the ongoing work and development of the Christian hospital in India. This goal is being accomplished as the Christian hospital is currently serving the people in its region in India."

June 2006

Congregation in Illinois teaches different subjects including the Bible at a university in Mongolia   (click to open/close)

A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in Illinois sent a team of seven to Mongolia. According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, the team "volunteered as teachers for a month at a university teaching English, computers and other subjects." Their goal was also to teach about the Bible, both on and off the campus, "to give them an opportunity to know Jesus Christ." Those going on the project provided education materials to be used during the month long stay.

April - May 2006

Congregation in Illinois adopts an orphanage in Liberia   (click to open/close)

A non-denominational/Independent Christian church in Illinois sent a team to Liberia. According to Mission Match application information provided by the church, "a fourteen-year civil war in Liberia left thousands of children without families, education, and shelter. The church adopted an orphanage and committed to God to improve these children's quality of life on earth as well as provide them with an eternal opportunity. The church is responsible for the needs of the children including food, shelter, education, and clothing." According to the church's follow-up reports to Mission Match, while the team was at the orphanage, they taught basic health skills and built adequate sleeping surfaces as well as shared the hope of Jesus. The church provided antibacterial soap, lumber, fabric, roofing materials, Bibles and other educational materials. According to follow-up comments from one of the team members, "While there we ministered with seven different churches, worked with over 500 kids, stood on street corners proclaiming Jesus, passed out 300 Bibles, purchased new land to build a new orphanage, taught over 140 kids how to share, work together, use a toothbrush and show them God loves them. Our experience was matchless, like our God. We were praying for God to provide and He did beyond what we could have imagined due to Mission Match. Our congregation stepped up and realized how important it is to give to missions. They understood that their money would be matched. This was such a blessing to the church because we are a small congregation. It proves to us that when Jehovah Jireh calls His people to do a work, He will provide!"

May 2006

Congregation in Illinois does construction and evangelism at a church in Mexico   (click to open/close)

A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in Illinois sent a team of twelve to Mexico. According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, the team "took care of children of families in poverty, helped with construction on the local church, and assisted the local missionaries in their work."

June 2005

Congregation in Illinois relocates a church member to Malaysia   (click to open/close)

An Evangelical Free Church of America congregation in Illinois supported one person in their congregation to relocate to Malaysia to study and get to know people there. According to the congregation's Mission Match application, "The goal is church-planting among the Muslim Malays."

Summer 2004

Congregation in Illinois educates and trains illiterate church women in Malawi and Tanzania   (click to open/close)

A Free Methodist church in Illinois funded projects in Malawi and Tanzania. According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, one project included educating illiterate churchwomen in Malawi and the other project was training a Free Methodist woman pastor in Tanzania to run a preschool program.

Fall 2002

Congregation in Illinois trains women in Haiti   (click to open/close)

A Free Methodist church in Illinois provided funds for teaching women in Haiti solar cooking methods and training them in women's ministry. According to materials from the church, the "money will go in its entirety to Haiti to meet human needs there." Follow-up comments to Mission Match from the church said, "For our efforts we have the pleasure of a project done together and renewed faith in God's ability to multiply our efforts for His Kingdom."