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The monthly newsletter of Free Methodist World Missions

Pastors’ Families and ICCM: A ‘Great Commission’ Partnership

by Jan Coates | Dec 2021 | Heartbeat, HB Global, HB ICCM

International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) is in a Great Commission partnership with pastors’ families around the world. In countries where pastors have significant income limitations, ICCM is helping. Sponsorship provides pastors’ children with school uniforms and fees and supplemental food. Pastors are able to care for their families and focus on ministry.

Neddy Nanjowe Dingili knows firsthand the impact of pastors’ child sponsorship. As regional coordinator for five of ICCM’s African nations, her involvement with ICCM began almost two decades ago as the parent of sponsored children. Their family gathered daily to pray for their sponsor, whom they considered “a family member away in another country.” The sponsorship Neddy’s children received made it possible for them to be where they are today, pursuing university studies, while at the same time allowing Neddy and her husband to fulfill God’s call on their lives.*

Stella Bokare, the South Asia regional ICCM coordinator, says the monthly assistance from ICCM was a substantial support to their family, supplementing school fees and providing help with family food expenses. One significant aspect of her children’s sponsorship was learning the habit of tithing. Stella says, “Every month, after receiving the sponsorship fund, we remember sitting down with our children, praying for their sponsors, and then setting aside a tithe from it. Abishai and Ishanah have always learned to tithe from their sponsorship money. We are thankful they love the Lord and are wanting to serve Him.” Today “Abi” is studying worship arts at Greenville University, and Ishanah is studying to become a doctor.

As a young man in Brazil, Pastor Nilson gave up 60% of his earnings as a midlevel worker to devote himself to full-time ministry. In those early years, sponsorship helped provide physica items like clothes and shoes for his three children. Later the program became more personal to his children, as receiving the letters with the affection of their sponsors solidified the feeling of being members of a very loving family of faith. His son Daniel, now an FM pastor, says the program taught him about “divine provision” and how the body of Christ should care for one another. All three of Pastor Nilson’s children, now adults, are involved in some form of ministry.

Today there are nearly 13,000 children sponsored through ICCM. More than 10% are FM pastors’ children. As sponsors help feed, clothe and educate the children of pastors’ families, the gospel is proclaimed around the world. Together we join in fulfilling the Great Commission and move toward “seeing a world where every child is loved, safe and developing their God-given potential.”

* Information about Neddy’s family was taken from a 2021 article “ICCM Pastors’ Children” by Laura Fitzpatrick

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