BEAVER SPRINGS - Faith Baptist Church will be the location of an upcoming missions conference focusing on church planters. Among the groups speaking is a Burnham couple that has their own missions group and is out to encourage other nationals and engage those back home.
The conference is set for 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 6, as well as 7 p.m. Oct. 7-9 at the church, 85 Snyder Avenue, Beaver Springs.
Brian and Janice Hampton will be speaking at the Snyder County church about their ministry organization, "Fellowship in the Gospel Ministries."
Brian and Janice Hampton, of Burnham, are set to speak at a conference scheduled for Oct. 6-9 at Faith Baptist Church in Beaver Springs. The Hamptons’ ministry organization, Fellowship in the Gospel Ministries, provides Bible study materials, songbooks, commentaries and other educational tools to churches in other nations. The ministry also aids in construction and land purchases.
The group partners with churches in other nations such as Haiti. They do this in several ways. Their website fitgm.org explains the group's purposes.
The group provides tools that are difficult for new churches in these countries to afford, such as Bible study material, songbooks, commentaries and more. FITGM also aids in construction and land purchases as well as develops youth ministry.
The ministry is about preparing people in these countries with what they need in order to function on their own as a body of believers.
"People don't often think about partnering with nationals who are already there in the (mission) field. Who are better suited to reach people in say, the Ivory Coast? Who knows the language? Who knows the culture?" Brian Hampton said, adding that the same may be true here at home.
"Who is better suited to reach people in Mifflin County? That is what it is all about," he explained of the ministry.
FITGM became an official ministry organization in April. Brian and Janice were previously missionary field coordinators since 2001 with another organization in Haiti.
This organization is supported by the couple's home church, Strodes Mills Baptist Church in McVeytown.
Two steps exist in the mission of FITGM: encourage and engage.
The name Fellowship in the Gospel Missions comes from a section of Philippians Chapter 4 in which Paul recognizes the people who helped support him. Verse 16 says, "for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need."
"It's about the relationship between the local church and the missionary. They were working with him from the beginning - even while he was in prison," Hampton said, "They were still praying for him."
FITGRM encourages in all of these ways and also helps them find any necessary items the church may need.
Engaging takes part when the Hamptons help people back in the United States understand how they can become involved.
Hampton said FITGM is like a "matchmaker" who helps bridge together local churches and churches in these poor countries.
"Usually folks listen to a missionary speak and then just go home. We let them know how they can get involved. We're the liaison. We're trying to help them catch the vision that they can be part of it from the pew. How? That's where we come in," Hampton said.
Also speaking the week of the conference are Chad and Cynthia Pape and Family, church planters in the Dominican Republic; Joseph and Regina Aldrich and Family, church planting in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Lou and Tawny DiFilippantonio, church planting across the United States.
More information on the conference: 570-657-7668.