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Missions in Massachusetts

When you step into North Shore Bible Church in Massachusetts, you are immediately greeted by a warm church family. Although many have said that the spiritual soil here is as rocky as the coastline, this diverse congregation is committed to reaching their community, nation, and world with the gospel. 

Since the church started as a small group in 2000, it has outgrown its space many times. The members have their eyes on impacting Gloucester, where they started, and Essex and Danvers, where they currently gather.

This past March when Encompass mobilizer Mike McKeever visited, Pastor Phil Shearer told him that although the church supports international missions in prayer and finances, there was no one who was ready to go long-term. He said, “Sending someone from our congregation as a full-time missionary is one of our goals.” 

As Mike got to know the congregation better, he realized that there were many with valuable skills including a professional carpenter, an electrician, and a plumber; accountants, teachers, and hard-working moms; and the list goes on. While these skills may not initially fit into what we think of as traditional long-term missional skills like church planting or church equipping, they fit perfectly for our Crisis Response Network (CRN), which specializes in short-term missions. 

The CRN partners with churches and ministry leaders to care for people—mind, soul, and body—during natural disasters, health emergencies, and more. Many skills are needed, and the terms of service are short and flexible. The CRN keeps a bank of people with all kinds of skills—like the ones in the Essex church—that can be called upon at a moment’s notice. The workers then have the opportunity to respond and go. 

Currently, the CRN’s most urgent need is for people to minister to Ukrainian refugees in Central Asia. Children and youth workers may be particularly interested in this opportunity—serving Ukrainian orphans coming out of war zones to live in Central Asia. We have sent one team, another is forming, and we hope to send more teams in the near future.

For more information on the Essex church, visit their webpage, or contact Pastor Phil.

For more information about the CRN’s work with Ukrainian orphans, click here.To sign up for the CRN’s skill bank, email us at crisisresponse@encompassworld.org, saying that you want to be added to our Disaster Response List. Please include your first and last name, mobile phone number, email address, and skill set(s).