Church of God missionaries received good news following the recent General Assembly held in Orlando, Florida. As a result of a large offering received during the meeting, the personal accounts of more than 50 career missionaries got an infusion of cash.
“The declining economy in the past few years has taken a toll on missionary income,” said Tim Hill, general director of World Missions. “Generous giving by people who love missionaries and appreciate their work has given a needed boost to their income.”
Worshipers during the World Missions service at the Assembly gave and pledged almost $750,000, designated for missionary care. Much of the money came in cash, and additional funds were in the form of pledges payable in 60 days. Some $415,000 has already been received, with other gifts arriving weekly.
“Church of God people have a deeply rooted passion for obeying Christ’s command to take the gospel to all nations,” the missions director stated. “When they understand the need and the urgency, they always respond.”
Tim Hill and John Childers, newly elected heads of Church of God World Missions, have worked with a broader committee to make an equitable distribution of the income. They first eliminated the deficit accounts of 18 missionary families, amounting to almost a quarter million dollars. The next step was to divide the remaining money on hand into equal amounts, which was deposited in other missionaries’ accounts. That total may increase as other pledges come in.
Like most missions agencies, Church of God missionaries raise their own funds. They visit churches periodically to secure commitments from individuals and congregations to send money for them on a regular basis to the missions office. The office receipts donations and maintains records, then sends an agreed-upon amount monthly to the missionary on the field. The country’s economic downturn has sometimes affected donors’ ability to give their committed sums, resulting in missionaries’ inability to continue their ministry. The General Assembly gift was a welcome incentive.
The Church of God sends more than 350 missionaries from North America, including career, associate, and special purpose appointees.