Ukraine (MNN) – To hear a missionary say a trip changed his
view on missions is an odd statement. But that's just how the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism's Dave
Winget describes his latest venture.
Winget says he and his wife, Penny, planted a church in
Ukraine in 2003 with a missions vision. From
there, a connection with the ABWE hospital in Togo opened some unique doors. "We found out that there was a
possibility to support a young church planter/pastor in a village near the
hospital in Togo." The Wingets asked
their ABWE contact, Sharon Rahilly (a nursing educator at the hospital in Tsoko),
to investigate what they could do.
The idea started when they heard: "Pastor Sakpa
Boniface had started a church [in Agou], and they were meeting in a school
building and were beginning to make plans to build a building." In Togolese currency, saving up for that
could take a long time.
Winget says the Ukrainian church started supporting the
Togolese church with $10 a month. "The
pastor very dutifully saved that money as it came in until they were ready to
purchase some property and break ground on their church building."
When an invitation was extended to the Ukrainian church to
visit, a team assembled, and they went to see the fruit of investment in a
vision. "We made the trip, we got to
meet the pastor, and we actually got to help hands-on with some of the church
building." The team was also able to
take a sizeable cash gift to help to furnish the new church building with pews
With the help of the short-term team, the church building is
well on its way to being completed. More importantly, says Winget, "Our presence
was a great encouragement to a young pastor and to his church." The
building is fully funded, and it serves as an exciting testament to the living
body of Christ in communities that are two worlds apart.