Wyoming Church Has World Perspective
Whether it's giving of their time to take part in a short-term missions trip or reaching into their wallets to support those working in foreign countries, attendees of First Assembly of God in Green River, Wyoming, have a heart for missions.
With a desire to share the light around the world, this congregation has the most missions giving in their district for the past couple of years. And the generosity is widespread.
"The people here are just generous people," says Nathan Bloomfield, pastor at Green River AG. "It's a collective thing. It's not a few people giving."
In addition to periodically inviting missionaries as guest speakers, Green River AG - a congregation of about 150 in a city of 12,000 - sponsors regular short-term mission trips. Members of the congregation went to Jamaica in 2012 and last year to Lithuania, helping AG missionaries Bob and Bette Sue MacIsaac with building projects and with evangelism.
Each month, Green River Assembly of God financially and prayerfully supports 35-plus missionary families.
"There's a huge percentage of the church that gives, even kids," says Bloomfield, who has taken mission trips to India, Jamaica, Haiti, Central Eurasia, Spain, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
Bloomfield and his wife, Heidi, went to Central Eurasia in 2009 and 2010. In 2004, they were missionary associates in Jamaica for about a year and a half. When Heidi was 16, she went to Africa with her youth group.
"That experience, the understanding of that experience, helped give us a heart for missions," Bloomfield says about his mission trip experience to Jamaica.
Owen Krysi, who has attended Green River Assembly for 34 years, went on an eight-day church-sponsored missions trip to Lithuania last summer, assisting with some finish work on summer cabins at a youth camp. Besides the satisfaction of helping, Krysi says he also came away with a new insight and appreciation for a global church.
"It gave me the opportunity to see how we truly are one in the body of Christ," Krysi says. "People of faith have a common denominator in believing in the same Lord."
Krysi, a teacher, saw that truth in action as he watched the interactions of the Lithuanians and a visiting group of Russian Christians there helping with construction at the camp.
"Years ago during the Cold War the Russians were very harsh toward Lithuanians," Krysi says. "Now there is the unity of the body of Christ."
Krysi has seen a giving heart for missionaries at the modestly sized church increase during Bloomfield's tenure. Green River Assembly attendees gave $125,370 toward missions in 2013 and $126,072 in 2014.