ANDOVER — Members of New England Bible Church help serve dinner at a soup kitchen in Lawrence, volunteer at a pregnancy center in Haverhill and Lawrence, assist the needy, teach English as a second language classes, and have financially supported 15 missionaries for years.
Three years ago, the church at 60 Chandler Road expanded its missionary work by going global, to Motocho, Guatemala, a town of 3,000 residents in the Central American country.
Pastor Tyler Thompson said they are working through AMG International, an acronym for Advancing the Ministries for the Gospel based in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Today, a group of eight men ranging in ages from 26 to 72, will travel to Matochos to help natives repair a wall on the school damaged by a recent earthquake. Thompson will also help train the pastor of the church in Matochos and its lay leader. The team is made up of members who work as financial adviser, physician assistant, printer, vice president of marketing and salesman.
“One phrase describes our relationship,” Thompson said. “They are spiritually rich, but financially poor and American churches, including Andover, are financially rich and sometimes spiritually poor.”
Thompson said partnering with the church in Matochos benefits both congregations.
“We can help them with our resources and they can teach us a tremendous amount about faith,” he said.
One example is the line in the Lord’s Prayer ‘Give us today our daily bread.’
“As Americans readily do we pray that and mean it because we have food available. When people in Third World countries pray that, they really mean it. When they see the supernatural answers to their prayers it makes their faith extremely real, richer and stronger,” Thompson said.
He said New England Bible has been volunteering at Bread and Roses soup kitchen, the Pregnancy Center and helping out the needy through the church’s People in Need fund and teaching ESL classes three days a week.