By Gary Rohrmayer
At Converge MidAmerica we believe that planting new churches is key to touching the world with the love of Jesus. Our desire is that each new church planted becomes a mission outpost in fulfilling Jesus mandate in Acts 1:8 - reaching their Jerusalem, their Judea, their Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Indy Metro Church, Indianapolis, IN led by Pastor Aaron Story is a young healthy church that is a strong partner in our regional church planting efforts and is a great example of how our new churches are taking up the mantle for world missions.
Beyond Indianapolis, Indy Metro Church has a vision for helping break the cycle of poverty and sharing God’s love to people internationally. Several years ago, Indy Metro leaders took a trip to Guatemala and became burdened for one particular community. The church determined it should come alongside a Guatemalan couple who are running an art school for kids in Magdalena. Love Guatemala, an initiative of Indy Metro, was formed as a result. Indy Metro has been sending teams to Magdalena ever since and commissioned Ben and Jennifer Kunkel and their family to serve in Guatemala.
Since the initial partnership began, a baking school and a carpentry school have also been established through Love Guatemala support. The aim for both of these schools is to teach the locals trades that will help them provide for their families. Love Guatemala started a microloan program to assist graduates start their businesses and runs a student sponsorship program to pay for school and social needs.
Love Guatemala recently began construction on an 11,000 sq. ft. Vocational Training Center. With an additional commitment of over $600,000 to build the school, God is clearly blessing this endeavor. The Love Guatemala Vocational Training Center will house as many as 10 trade schools, up to 500 people, a feeding center and a multipurpose space in the same facility.
While Indy Metro members have certainly been a big part of the success of this program, this level of impact would never be possible without Indy Metro’s partnerships with other churches, organizations and community members. Love Guatemala will continue to have significant needs in terms of operating and programming support to run the school into the future. To learn more about Love Guatemala go to www.loveguatemala.org
When mission committees and key donors tell us that they only want to invest in overseas missions we respect their desire but warn them that this is ultimately a short sighted vision and falls short of Jesus mandate seen in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In this we see Jesus' desire for the church to be locally effective, regionally aggressive and globally focused.
Indy Metro and young Pastors like Aaron Story will be the key to expanding the world missions’ efforts of North America by touching the world with God’s love.