It’s been a while since we posted a testimony regarding how Transformational Giving (TG) is changing the way missionaries and church interact with regard to the mission task. Check out this update from Carrie and Joe Schmit of World Gospel Mission on how TG transformed the way they raised support to serve in Honduras:
After we read the book Coach Your Champions by Eric Foley and had our first CMS [Champion Migration Strategy] training I was a bit unsure how all of this “champion migration” stuff would work for us and the team we had yet to build. It all sounded good in theory but sometimes my mind tries too hard to put a formula to things and I didn’t see how Joe and I could put this formula into action.
After CMS training we came home and tried to utilize our “white board” as Eric did. We mapped out what we thought would be our plan for migrating champions. We had our web of contacts, participants, those engaged and potential owners. It wasn’t much but it was a start.
The Lord was working His plan right before our eyes and we didn’t even see it. We hit what we thought was a very unproductive slow time of HMA [Home Missionary Assignment]. We were very discouraged, feeling as though we hit a brick wall. During this slow time the Lord reconnected me with a high school friend. While we were pulling our hair out trying to find places to go so that we could share our calling and raise support the Lord was bringing them to us…it just wasn’t what we thought it would look like. We were excited for this connection that was made but we didn’t want to focus on “one at a time”. We wanted churches…the bigger the better!
Instead He brought me Emily.
Emily and I quickly reconnected and Joe and her husband John became friends as well. John and Emily have a heart for missions and have adopted their son from Guatemala. Our common interest in reaching the children in need was no coincidence and as we spent more time together Emily told me that she had been planning to have an orphan walk/run to help spread awareness and motivate people to take time to really look to God for what their part might be. Her passion is with orphans yet she made it very clear that the need for building God’s kingdom goes beyond the walls of an orphanage or the child without a home. She is a Champion. And with her came more champions!
She came to me one day to tell me that she felt as if the Lord was wanting her to use this orphan walk to not only raise awareness for the orphan but also to raise awareness of the mission involvement that is taking place already right here in our community. And she added, “this includes your family and your plans to serve the Lord in Honduras.”
She spoke about this walk with pretty much anyone who’d listen and before long she had a steering committee to help her with the plans. Six different churches in our community ended up being represented with the steering committee alone! They also decided that 100% of the proceeds would go to our ministry account.
As they began having planning meetings and started the work that was needed to pull this off we felt like we needed to be involved too. In those two months God ended up developing some mighty champions for us from this steering committee and some lifelong friendships. Their excitement spread into their churches, into business’s and even into the schools!
It ended up being a silent 2 mile barefoot walk because the logo was “Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Walk a Mile For Jesus,” and the shoes of an orphan are typically “no shoes.” There was a flip flop sprint relay race and a kids fun run. There was even entertainment with the Two Eight Band! Everything that was needed for the event was donated, the water, the shirts, the printing materials and the local radio station donated air time for interviews about the event the whole week prior.
The newspaper wrote two front page articles (with the journalist having to stand firm for what she knew God wanted said and she refused to back down and allow the editing process to remove God’s name and His glory!) The band that performed donated their performance and sold all of their worship cd’s and gave all of the money to our account. The Junior Highschool donated tents and tarps because of the storm that was in the forecast (which by the way parted for Indiana and came back together after it passed Indiana and we had beautiful weather!) The children from the Christian Academy and homeschool group made signs with statistics on orphans and poverty weaved with signs of scriptures with hope to line the path. A slew of Cookies were made and donated by many grandmas from the churches and I love to tell how God used all the extra cookies for a special treat for those living in the local homeless shelter. Approximately 250 people (counting children) came and they raised approximately $6500+ for our ministry account! I put the plus sign on there because the ripples of this event are still affecting our ministry account. Our PEO list has grown dramatically and we’ve had churches and individuals calling us to come and share with them, asking us how they can do their part and help get us to Honduras!
This steering committee for the walk has turned into some definite Champions for this ministry and they are saying that they are not done yet! What we have learned from this is that with God the possibilities are endless!
Not only are the possibilities endless, but Christians in six more churches are actively participating in and owning the Schmits’ ministry in Honduras rather than just funding it.
Now that’s transformational!
Great job, Carrie and Joe. I’m honored to hear that the Coach Your Champions book could be of assistance. Keep in touch as you and your champions write the sequel to the book in your own ongoing ministry!