Annie Armstrong Prayer Week and Easter Offering: March 19 through March 26
The week of prayer will begin on March 19th followed by the special offering taken on March 26th.
This is an offering to directly benefit the North American Missions
Day 1: A PLENTIFUL HARVEST North America—a vast mission field It’s no secret the mission field of the United States and Canada holds many challenges. Seventy to 75 percent of Southern Baptist churches in America are plateaued or declining. On average, 17 Southern Baptist churches shut their doors for good every Sunday, leaving underserved and unreached neighborhoods in cities across North America. Yet light shines brightest in the dark. Let’s not forget that North America has experienced dark days of spiritual darkness before. During these barren times, great awakenings and revivals have advanced Jesus’ kingdom in exponential ways. It’s not surprising that the greatest spiritual breakthroughs in our land have started with prayer. In prayer, we invite God in and give Him the reins. In prayer, we let King Jesus take over. This week, let’s turn to the One who reigns on high and rules all there is—seen and unseen.
Pray: Our missionaries across North America stay Christ-centered and Spirit-led in their efforts (Romans 15:18-19). God sends an abundance of laborers to reach millions of North Americans living in darkness (Luke 10:2). You and your church will be on mission for Christ in your neighborhood (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Day 2: JAMES & NATARSHA ROBERSON BROOKLYN, NEW YORK An Acts-like encounter James Roberson knows the importance of moving out of his comfort zone. As an SBC church planter, he and his wife, Natarsha, moved their family to unfamiliar Brooklyn to plant The Bridge Church. When settling into the neighborhood, James trusted the Lord to open the right doors for him. “I just opened up the book of Acts and tried it,” he says. One day while prayerwalking, James passed by Long Island University, Brooklyn, a campus with no evangelical presence for seven years. He put his hand on a building and prayed, “God, would you open a door on this campus for me or someone else?” As he walked into the foyer, two students were arguing, one of them yelling, “Yes, He is.” When this student saw James approach, she turned to him and asked, “Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?” After this amazing encounter, a few meetings in the Dean’s office and God’s orchestration of events, Pastor James now has an on-campus student ministry called Ignite. Learn more about the Robersons’ ministry at AnnieArmstrong.com/Roberson.
Pray: The student ministry Ignite will grow into a self-sustaining, worshipping community, and The Bridge Church will create a pipeline of leaders. God shows you how to be sensitive to the needs of those around you (Philippians 2:4).
Day 3: GARTH & PATTY LENO WINDSOR, ONTARIO – Working together for the gospel – Garth and Patty Leno had never considered planting a church. Garth had preached before as a minister on staff. But church planting? He and Patty were content inviting people into their Windsor, Ontario home for a Saturday evening Bible study. However, God began to reveal He had other plans. They included transformed lives across the city. The Bible study outgrew their living room and started meeting at the local golf club. Then they outgrew two bigger rooms. The Gathering Church in Windsor was forming naturally and organically with the invisible hand of God guiding their steps. Garth shares, “One day I jokingly said, ‘Maybe we should start a church.’ All the people agreed.” Today, The Gathering Church focuses on reaching new people and planting new churches. “If we can empower our people to work together to live out the gospel with our neighbors, we can witness the gospel power at work,” says Garth. Learn more about the Lenos’ ministry at AnnieArmstrong.com/Leno.
Pray: There will be gospel growth in people’s lives, in the church and throughout Windsor. Your trust in God would cause you to be bold and confident (Psalm 20:7).
Day 4: RON & KIM CARR JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – Gospel in our DNA – Ron and Kim Carr founded the International Learning Center (ILC), a missionary organization that takes a compassion-based approach to reaching internationals. Students take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, undergo cultural training and learn about citizenship, health and other topics. Most importantly, the Carrs set up a supplementary reading course—a class where instructors use the Bible as the reading text. “Students sign up and welcome the reading help, and many of them are exposed to a biblical worldview for the first time,” Kim says. The course includes a survey of the Bible and reading excerpts about Christ’s death and resurrection. When students hear about the love of Jesus, many respond in faith inside the class. The Carrs’ advice for community-based outreach? “Make sure the gospel is in the DNA of your ministry. We do this by our teaching and also by inviting church planters into our classes, so they can connect ESL students with local churches.” This ministry is now in the process of being replicated in other cities, such as New York. Learn more about the Carrs’ ministry at AnnieArmstrong.com/Carr.
Pray: God’s wisdom and guidance for multiplying the ILC model across North America. God reveals one person for you to pray for and reach out to soon (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Day 5: JACOB & JESSICA DAHL – A transformed life – Shannon knew nothing about Resonate Church. Even if she did, it wouldn’t have mattered. She worked long shifts as manager of a coffee house and partied on the weekends. She described her family upbringing as “broken.” Church was something her family did when she was younger, “mostly to put up a front,” she says. One day Shannon met Jessica, the wife of church planter Jacob Dahl, at the coffee counter, and from that moment forward, Jessica relentlessly pursued her. After turning down repeated invitations, Shannon finally gave in and started meeting with Jessica and Jacob and getting involved with the church. Through the Resonate community she learned about God’s grace. “The most beautiful thing about being a child of Christ is the grace— the forgiveness.” Shannon prayed to receive Christ inside the Dahls’ living room. She now leads a small group and plans to move as a church plant team member when Resonate plants again. Learn more about the Dahls’ ministry at AnnieArmstrong.com/Dahl.
Pray: The lost will be found in Ellensburg and God will raise up ministry leaders. God will reveal what good works He wants you to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Day 6: KELLY & BRANDI PARRISH FORT COLLINS, COLORADO – From death to life – Kelly and Brandi started praying about church planting while living in Texas. It would mean leaving family, friends and the state they loved. One thing that helped during those transitional times was asking God to break their hearts for the people in Colorado, to birth love for the strangers who would soon be neighbors. Their prayer bore fruit. During the process of planting Living Rock Church, the Parrishes have reached out to neighbors by tying Scripture verses to Halloween candy and organizing Easter egg hunts that culminated with sharing the gospel. They invest in people while fly fishing or having sweet tea together. “We never told anyone we were here to plant a church. We’re here for them. We came to love them,” Brandi says. Today the Parrishes welcome and provide a safe place for many in the neighborhood. Kelly and Brandi invite people to their house with Texas-style hospitality and have already rejoiced over multiple salvation decisions. “Planting is supernatural,” Kelly says. “Only God can raise someone from death to life.” Learn more about the Parrishes’ ministry at AnnieArmstrong.com/Parrish.
Pray: Mature Christ followers come to help disciple new converts. You will walk by faith in God rather than your own wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Day 7: DAN & AMANDA COLEMAN Augusta, Maine – The importance of consistency – Dan Coleman says he and his wife, Amanda, are “New Englanders who know New England.” As missionaries to their native culture, they intuitively created an outreach strategy contextualized to their community. From city officials to families with kids, members of Kennebec Community Church are constantly building relationships with the people around them. Running sports camps for children has been a natural fit for what is known as one of the leastreligious places in the country. “We have outreach to hundreds of kids, and we get to receive their families into church the Sunday after camp,” Dan says. “Consistency is huge around here.” When families experience the worshipful and biblical community of Kennebec Community Church, it causes them to take a fresh look at Jesus. Several have already joined the church and been baptized. Dan now has the opportunity, while continuing to serve Kennebec, to come alongside future planters in the area in his role as a Church Planting Catalyst with NAMB. Learn more about the Colemans’ ministry at AnnieArmstrong.com/Coleman.
Pray: More New Englanders will feel called into full-time ministry. You will shine your light for Christ where you are planted (Matthew 5:16)
Day 8: Imagine what will happen when Southern Baptists across North America – everyday people, like us – embrace the missionary call to work together, for His kingdom. Hearts will be turned, lives will be transformed and people in the U.S. and Canada will be brought into new life with Christ!
Pray fervently for our North American missionaries and churches to work together for God’s kingdom (Romans 15:5-6).
Give generously to support our missionaries in North America through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
Go intentionally as a missionary to the community where God has planted you (Matthew 28:19).
How to Give to the Annie Armstrong Offering?
- Pray. Pray specifically how much God wants you and your family to give to this special one-time above and beyond mission giving.
- Give Online. As a member or regular attender of Hope Chapel, you should have access to our Church Community Builder where you can give from your checking account. You just need to select “Annie Armstrong” from the designation fund list.
- Give with Check/Cash. You can give during our Sunday morning services or even mail in your contribution (mail to: Hope Chapel, PO Box 125, Sterling, MA 01564). Make sure you write “Annie Armstrong” into the memo or on the giving envelopes.