I hardly know how to find words to express the emotional roller-coaster that members of the leadership team went through on July 21st as we toured the headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse. From the morning devotions with the entire staff that was capped off by each person there taking time to pray for all the staff members of the ministry, to the tour through every building and facet of the ministry, we were all blown away.

Grover made the comment that everyone we met seem to exude the joy of the Lord with a passion and joy that was infectious. He said, “Everywhere you look people are smiling.” There was a true excitement in that place that could be felt. Everyone was excited about how the Lord was using them and the mission they were on.

During morning devotions the speaker quoted Franklin Graham who said, “We are not a humanitarian organization. We are an evangelistic organization that does humanitarian work.” That is at the heart of every decision they make and every plan they develop. Every effort has to include the opportunity to share the gospel, and that leads to a lot of blessings.

George Bowers said “I have never been so impressed with a ministry in my life.” As we toured their two campuses we saw a ministry that was exquisitely organized and making every effort to be transparent about everything they do. Mark Jones said, “All of us were impressed with the sense of mission all the staff evidence. ‘Helping in the name of Jesus’ is their mission. I believe we were able to make personal connections with leadership at Samaritan’s Purse during this visit that will be helpful for the development of our mission projects in the future.”

We learned that the ministry of Operation Christmas Child is about so much more than just getting a box of toys to third world children. Forty percent of the children who get boxes enter a children’s discipleship course. Eighty percent of those who enter the course profess Jesus as their savior. As a result, those children impact 4 to 6 people in their family. As those people come to Christ churches are born. For the last few years Operations Christmas Child has been responsible for starting 1,000 churches per year around the world. This is just one part of this massive ministry. It includes medical missions, helping children with congenital heart defects, refurbishing medical equipment to be used in third world countries, disaster responses around the world, feeding war-torn Ukraine and helping wounded veterans mend their marriages.

Larry Dentler stated that this is a perfect opportunity for CBC to have ministries already developed that we can be a part of, without having to put them together ourselves. They are ready for us to step in and be a part, and still be who we are.

This was an amazing trip that showed us amazing opportunities that CBC will have in our partnership with this incredible ministry. There are opportunities for youth as well as adults. It is exciting to see all the doors that God is opening for the Covenant Brethren Church in growth and ministry.

Craig Howard – CBC Publications Committee