NEME: Stories

Learn how your gifts to the New England Mission Emphasis have made a real difference in the lives and ministries of people from around New England. Then consider praying and giving to support New England ministry.

 

Discipling Students as Missionaries

kENNY lONG | Providence, RI

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It’s a long way from working as a mail carrier in the Bible Belt to serving as a collegiate missionary at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, but it’s the move God led Kenny Long and his family to make in 2016.

“The fruit isn’t fast-growing, but just seeing the consistency in the students is encouraging,” Kenny said.

Your gifts to NEME allowed Kenny and other collegiate missionaries to attend a national summit where they received training about how to impact their campuses for Christ. Kenny left with a better understanding of the Southern Baptist mission network and with connections to help students serve overseas short-term.

He hopes that graduating seniors will leave JWU knowing “it’s not about my career primarily, it’s about me living out Matthew 28 and making disciples of all nations.”

 
 

Reaching the Disenfranchised

Mike O'Hara | Skowhegan, ME

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Since being planted in 2016, Set Free Church has baptized about 60 – and seen God radically transform the lives of drug addicts, gang members and the destitute in Skowhegan, Maine.

“We go where the pizza man won’t go,” said pastor Mike O’Hara. “We go wherever the need is the greatest.”

Each week the church hosts two worship services, a daily food bank, a Celebrate Recovery group, an intensive discipleship program and a free community movie night, as well as their free residential programs. “We embrace everyone in love and teach the Word of God, and eventually something happens,” Mike said.

Your gifts to NEME helped Set Free Church purchase a heat pump last year, so that even during the frigid Maine winters, the church body can continue to serve the disenfranchised.


Planting in the Heart of Campus

Kevin & Lori Peters | Durham, NH

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While serving as campus directors of an apologetics ministry at the University of New Hampshire, Kevin and Lori Peters noticed a gap in the spiritual development of their students.

Because there was no evangelical church within walking distance, “students were using campus ministry as their church and not getting involved in church after graduation,” Lori said.

In partnership with the BCNE and North American Mission Board, the Peters started a collegiate church plant on the UNH campus this spring. But because the university hasn’t officially recognized the church, it’s been difficult to get the word out.

Thanks to your gifts to NEME, the church put together 3000 gift bags and blitzed the campus prior to Easter. In addition to increasing awareness of the church, student volunteers had numerous Gospel conversations, and several seekers visited the Easter service.


Following an Unexpected Call

Todd & Amy West | Williston, VT

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A veteran Southern pastor, Todd West felt led to make a difference for Christ in New England.

“Our goal was to use our church in Georgia to send church planters here to Vermont, but then we wound up being called ourselves,” Todd said.

Because of your gifts to NEME, Todd and his wife, Amy, were able to attend an intensive 2-day assessment covering “the meat and taters of church planting” – including personal spiritual health, connectedness and local culture.

After completing the assessment, the Wests moved to Williston, VT, to plant Crosspoint Church. In less than a year, they’ve seen God open doors. About 100 people attend the church, and more than 20 have surrendered to Christ!

“Without (the assessment) I don’t know if we’d be where we’re at now. They really prepped us,” Todd said.

 
 

Looking for the Lost & Hurting

David Holland | Norwich, CT

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David Holland was a drug dealer and addict whose life was out of control until he was saved by the mercy and grace of Jesus. Now known as Deacon Dave at Cornerstone City Church, he serves the lost and hurting in his hometown of Norwich, CT.

One of the most visible ways the church reaches out to the city is through an annual Thanksgiving meal, which includes a Gospel presentation, toiletry bags, raffle prizes, and, of course, food. By giving to NEME, you helped make this year’s event possible. Hundreds were fed, and seven people accepted Christ.

“Imagine being lost and there’s nobody looking for you,” Deacon Dave said. “Thank you for making it possible for our church to continue to feed these people who are in need, so that we can share, not just a meal with them, but the good Word of Christ with them: that Jesus is real and salvation is free.”

 
 

Growing in Life & Faith

Kayla Krumrey | Amherst, MA

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It’s not easy to live for Christ as a teenager in New England, but God has used BCNE youth programs to help Kayla Krumrey of Amherst, MA, grow and thrive in her faith.

Participating in Quest, a discipleship experience for 11th graders, helped Kayla develop a new perspective on missions and a tight-knit group of Christian friends. And thanks to your gifts to NEME, Kayla was able to be part of The Merge, which equips high school seniors to live for Christ as adults, within the context of the local church.

These experiences have transformed Kayla’s outlook on life. She is taking a gap year between high school and college in order to serve as a missionary in Scotland, and she hopes to continue to follow God’s path for her future.

“Entrusting my life to Christ and learning how to trust … has been a process, but I’m excited for where it’s going,” Kayla said.