Giving to the WMO
by Clint Morgan
It was the end of a day during dry season in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa. The rains had ceased about three months earlier, so the ground was brown and extremely dry. The evening sun was dropping quickly and with it went the scorching African heat. I was sitting in an old rickety wooden chair having a missiological conversation with a couple of the graduating students at our Bible Institute.
The question turned toward the subject of how long the missionaries would stay in the country. I assured them that I was very happy in Africa and had no desire to leave. However, it was pretty much the norm that one day we, the missionaries, would return to our homelands, and the church would be under African leadership.
To my surprise, one of the men quickly replied in a shocked voice, “You can’t just abandon us.” I was taken aback by his response but decided to pursue his line of thinking. Eventually, it became clear that he thought that once missionaries left the field, we would never come back or have any communication with the people.
I assured them with every ounce of persuasive language possible that we would never, ever abandon our spiritual children. We could partner together even if we were not present on the field, and we could continue to reach Africa and other nations for Christ. They seemed okay with that assurance of an ongoing relationship.
That conversation, and many more that followed, pushed me to pursue the idea of developing strong partnerships with our national churches if, or when, the missionary personnel was no longer present. Since that cool evening under a mango tree, I have left Africa and now live in the US and serve as General Director of IM.
But I have not forgotten that conversation and have encouraged our mission leadership to establish strong partnerships on every field where IM has made a heavy investment of personnel and finances. We have also formed amazing partnerships with other evangelical mission agencies that share our passion for fulfilling the Great Commission. God is richly blessing these unified efforts.
However, there is one constant need in these partnerships…funding. Financial resources are needed to help them continue to evangelize, train leaders, and plant churches. But where were the finances going to come from?
Through the years at IM, we have had what we call the World Missions Offering (WMO). All Free Will Baptists are asked to give a special offering, above their regular support, once a year on the last Sunday of the month of August. The IM leadership team and IM Board agreed that a good portion of the WMO could go toward helping fund the partnership budgets as well as giving to missionaries that needed a financial lift, and to the general fund which covers most of the daily operations at IM.
I can’t think of a more comprehensive way to give to missions than through the WMO. I will be giving to the WMO, and I hope you will too.