The Importance of Partnership

Rescue those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to the slaughter, Oh hold them back!

If you say, See, we did not know this,”
Does He who weighs the hearts not 
consider it?
And does He who watches over your soul not know it?
And will He not repay a person according to his work? —Prov. 24:11-12

by Matt Chancey

PPF Display Table at the Missions Conference

In October, Persecution Project Ministry Advancement Director Ed Lyons and I were privileged to be part of the Missions Conference sponsored by Mt. Horeb Church in Lexington, SC.

Mt. Horeb is one of the most dedicated churches we have ever known as far as their commitment to missions, both domestic and international. The congregation supports everything from building handicap-accessible wheelchair ramps for the disabled, to ending human trafficking.

And for more than 20 years, Mt. Horeb has generously supported Persecution Project. It is one of the longest and most productive church partnerships we have enjoyed.

At the opening of the conference, Senior Pastor Jeff Kersey told the story of Mt. Horeb’s Missions’ program. He said that when he first arrived at Mt. Horeb, the Missions budget was only $250 per year! So, how did this change?

Ms. Mattie George

The answer is Ms. Mattie George.

Ms. Mattie had a heart for missions. She wanted her congregation to reach out beyond the four walls of the church building. She prayed. She entreated. She got active.

Years later, Mt. Horeb is a powerhouse for missions. In the large room where the conference was held, tables were set up all around the perimeter, showcasing all the ways Mt. Horeb is reaching the world with the love and mercy of Christ.

It was inspiring. But it all began because an elderly saint decided to get active. One person. In Lexington, South Carolina.

Mt. Horeb Church Campus

I was given a few minutes to address the conference about the work of Persecution Project. So I told the story about courage under fire in Sudan. How the Nuba Christian diaspora in the burning capital city of Khartoum was responding to the violence with compassion and grace.

I told the story of two brave Nuba Christians, who went house-to-house, identifying widows and orphans and the elderly who were trapped and afraid to venture outside for fear of being hit by sniper fire, artillery, or airstrikes.

These brave Christian men shepherded dozens of people onto buses, which transported them south to the Nuba mountains, and to safety. They did this over and over again. The two men saved nearly 2,000 lives in a few short weeks, before the fighting closed the window of opportunity for escape.

Mt Horeb has been one of the strongest partners with Persecution Project for more than 20 years.

“But that’s not the best part of the story,” I continued. “The names of the two men responsible for saving all those lives are Moses and Emmanuel.”

I could hear noises of encouragement from the audience as I spoke.

“But even that’s not the best part of the story,” I went on. “The buses chartered to get those innocent Christians out of Khartoum were funded by Persecution Project. And that means Mt. Horeb, as one of the longest and strongest partners we have, was directly involved in the rescue of thousands… and you didn’t even know this. But you do now.

As I finished my story, I realized that my ending was not even the best part of the story. Pastor Jeff had provided that, because Mt. Horeb would never have gotten involved with the work of Persecution Project without a greater emphasis on Missions… and that, Pastor Jeff said, came from the prayers of Ms. Mattie all those years ago. She was the first domino to fall.

Do you see how this works?

Do you see the importance of partnership?

This partnership began with Ray & Tommie Edmonds, here with PPF’s Ed Lyons and Matt Chancey.

If you’re reading these lines, you might be called to be the prayer warrior in your church. You might be that first domino. You might be the one God uses to get the body of Christ in your community to break out of its comfort zone and begin “rescuing the perishing.”

Ms. Mattie has gone on to her eternal reward. But her work continues. She invested herself in something far greater and what has gone far beyond her own church family.

A new year is almost upon us. How will you spend it? What work will you do that will go far beyond you?

For my part, I hope we can become the advocates in our churches for Missions, so that we become the Mt. Horeb of our communities.

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