International (MNN) — When we think of missionary needs, it's easy to think of Bibles, outreach tools, money. But many of these ministries have practical needs for their communities that would go much further for spreading the Gospel.
Recognizing the needs of their own missionaries, 10 years ago The Mission Society created the Global Resource Team. Ed and Linda Baker recently took over the ministry arm.
"We're comprised of specialists and professionals that are answering the call to serve as a support for field missionaries, indigenous churches, and groups that are on the field worldwide," explains Linda.
The ministry provides ministerial assistance involving agriculture, health and medicine, business and commerce, water and sanitation, and women's ministries.
As GRT is able to provide assistance, outreach opportunities are born.
"When you're doing a water sanitation project, you see all of the needs within the community, both spiritual and physical," explains Linda, "and you have a whole lot or people just coming and seeing what you're doing. Same with the health ministry. When you're there with a medical team, you have lots of people coming, That gives a grand opportunity to evangelize."'
Missionaries are able essentially to invite people back for Sunday services, start Vacation Bible School programs, host JESUS Film showings and more as a result of captivating interest.
The best part is: their efforts are working.
Ed says in Paraguay, for instance, "As many as 40 percent of the membership of some of the indigenous churches there in Paraguay could be directly related to the outreach of the health and medical ministry of the Global Resource Team."
Even as short-termers come and help with electrical work or child care, the Gospel is spreading. Ed says one man who helped on a GRT trip didn't think he could help much with missions. But when he arrived, his electrician skills were put to work at a Christian school that needed the work.
Linda says no matter the skill, GRT can use it. They've had requests for skills as obscure as a hairdresser. The needs are unlimited.
At this point, GRT's biggest prayer is for missionaries to hear about them so that they can partner together and help for the advancement of the Gospel.
Linda prays that God will "open the eyes of people in need worldwide to let them know they're not alone. We have specialists who can help them in different areas. And if it's a need that we can't meet, we're in the United States and so we have better access to be able to find [someone to help with] their needs."'
If you're a missionary or know of missionaries who could use any of these resources, get in touch with GRT today. Click here for more information on how to help, or how to receive help.