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Warren Baptist Church members go domestic to serve internationally


IMB Photo

Kent Ellis, center and Bennie Avant, right, reshingle a roof at the Missionary Learning Center in Rockville, Va.

AUGUSTA — For eight days in October members of Warren Avenue Baptist Church here assisted with international missions without ever crossing a national border.

Eighteen members of the church participated in a trip to the International Mission Board offices in Richmond, Va. on Oct. 1-8. During their time, groups provided office work in Richmond while a separate team performed roof maintenance at the International Missionary Learning Center in Rockville, Va.

So members simply provided temp work for IMB? It went deeper than that, said Mark Bayless.

“This will be the fourth year we’ve gone up there and during that time have done roofing, landscaping and painting. This year we tore off and reshingled one of the houses at the missionary center,” said Bayless, who serves as the church’s facilities manager.

“We’re helping them financially. The Missionary Learning Center has always done their own maintenance, but a few years ago they went through a lot of budget cuts and began asking churches to help out. Money that would have been used to do all of [these repairs] is now freed up to go to missionaries.

“They saved about $5,000 worth of work on the roofing. At the IMB offices they usually hire a temp service for extra assistance. Around another $6,000 was saved there.”


IMB Photo

Bonnie Baxter, seated in foreground, helps conduct a mass mailing project with local volunteers.

Interaction and prayer

Dave Dillard, minister to adults, noted another benefit for church members on the trip. While the MLC served as temporary housing for the Warren team, it is mainly utilized as a lodging for missionaries and their families. Dillard said interaction between both groups provided a wonderful time of ministry and learning for church members.

“During the week there were about 150 missionaries and family members there,” said Dillard. “It was incredible to see these little kids and their families about to go to another country. Many had sold everything they had to go on missions. We’d go around and talk to them and be amazed at their stories. Over the years we’ve met these missionaries and put them on our Sunday School prayer lists.

“People there told us we did about two months of work for them in four days. They asked us to come back in the spring again to help paint apartments for missionaries.”