by Anne Wheeler-Waddell

The end of September we had the privilege of joining with Forest Hills Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, VA, to encourage and equip church members to extend their body-of-Christ-care to Audrey and Chase Arndt. The Arndts, TAP Partners, are now in Kenya learning the Maa language and awaiting the arrival of their team members, Fred Foy and Cecily Strang, also TAP Partners.

Saturday we spent several hours with the group sharing the biblical basis for caring for people in mission and talking about what caring for the whole person looks like. The Arndts and Strangs shared some of their journey and anticipated needs as they begin their new work. We ended with sharing some practical ways of extending care for Chase and Audry from VA to Kenya.

Sunday morning Fred Foy brought a message of challenge that going or staying we all are called to participate with God’s people around the world and then a wonderful commissioning was celebrated as the Arndts and Strangs answer their calls to participate in what God is doing among the Maasai in East Africa.

The feedback to this training in how to be a community of care was encouraging:

I am not able to say enough about how encouraging and enriching the Missionary Care Workshop was, not only for the congregation but for me as a pastor. It was such a great blessing to be able to think intentionally about how we, as a community of faith and as individuals, can support the missionaries we are sending to Kenya. So much of what was covered in the workshop fit in so well with how we interact with other people, not just those who are missionaries. It was also amazing to realize the many different areas of life that we can take for granted, which cannot be disregarded in other parts of the world. This was an extremely useful, practical and Spirit-filled event for our congregation, especially in helping us feel more connected with The Antioch Partners and the missionaries being sent by TAP.

Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, Martinsville, VA
sending church of Audrey and Chase Arndt
The workshop was so good for my heart and spirit. We learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that the senders are just as much a part of the mission as the ‘sendees’. The senders are also in a holy place and are missionaries as much as the ones who are sent! Thank you all for coming…
— Marcy Heffinger DCE,
Forest Hills Presbyterian Church Martinsville, VA