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Fla. church has only 15 members but still reaches the world

TITUSVILLE, Fla. (BP)–At Mission Baptist Church in Titusville, Fla., church members strive to live up to their name. And with nine of their 15 members volunteering in places such as Haiti, Belgium, Brazil, and various countries in Africa, the small congregation is doing just that.

Frances Artille of Mims, Fla., is one such member. Since the church’s incorporation in 1993, Artille has attended regularly. Two years ago, she began volunteering at the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where an estimated 1,000 seafarers from more than 60 countries pass through its doors each month.

Although she has been able to minister to internationals without leaving the United States, Artille began to feel God calling her to minister overseas at age 64.

“I just felt there was something missing in my life,” Artille says. “There was something I needed to be doing. I asked God what He wanted me to do, and I was willing to go wherever He wanted me to go.”

In April 2006, Artille responded to her call by taking her first overseas trip to Manaus, Brazil. While there, Artille worked with a team of two other volunteers to train 80 pastors and laypeople in seafarer ministries.

Roger Boehm, who has served as pastor for the Titusville congregation for two years, encourages members of all ages to participate in overseas missions.

“As long as you can walk and move about, you’re not too old to go on a mission trip,” Boehm says. “I think Frances proved that this year.”

Just as Boehm does not believe a church member’s physical age should hinder international service, he also believes the congregation’s small size should not hinder its global outreach.

“There’s no church too small to do an international project,” Boehm said. “I think every church can be involved in international missions. Once they go on an international mission trip, or even a home mission trip, I think the church is never the same. It helps them to become stronger spiritually and in every other way.”

To encourage church members to get involved in overseas missions, Boehm keeps missions always before the congregation. He uses everything from audiovisual presentations to guest speakers and missions posters hung around the church to emphasize global outreach.

Since 2000, Boehm has led nearly a dozen volunteer teams to Haiti, where he has served alongside church members as well as members of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

Associate pastor Bryan Scott attended three of the mission trips to Haiti and plans to return. After his first trip to Haiti with Boehm three years ago, Scott says it is the Haitian people that keep him coming back year after year.

“They’re hungry for the Word of God,” Scott says, “more so than I’ve seen anywhere else.”

Although 60 percent of the congregation has traveled overseas to do mission work, those who have been unable to go have caught the vision of people around the world hungering for the Word of God.

“Everybody in our church is involved in missions in some way or another,” Scott says. “The majority is going, and the ones that are unable to go support financially and do whatever they can on this side to make it happen.”

When one church member decides to go on an overseas mission trip, Boehm explains, the entire church works together to raise the funds, and the entire church sees the outcome.

But Mission Baptist Church doesn’t stop there.

Mission Baptist also has partnered with the International Mission Board to emphasize missions education, giving, volunteering and adopting a people group.

So far this year, 48.4 percent of the church’s total offering has been designated for missions both at home and abroad.

“The Bible says ‘Go ye into all the world,’” Boehm says, “and that’s what we’re trying to do.

“If we can do it, anybody can do it.”
To learn how your church can be actively involved in missions, visit imb.org or call (800) 999-3113.

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  • Kristen Hiller