Denominational Focus: Mission to North America (MNA) works to introduce people to Christ and spread the gospel across North America through workers using their God-given gifts for His glory. We work with not only pastors but with local church members to plant churches as well as provide ways for them to be the hands and feet of Christ to their local communities.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe.
‒ Hebrews 12:28
We praise God for his constant protection and provision of MNA staff members, especially those who rely on donors who have been committed to give continuously to support their ministries.
We are grateful to see God’s hand at work through the provision of servant leaders with a heart and vision to accomplish God’s agenda for MNA. We praise God for MNA’s leaders who serve the Lord with passion.
Pray that the MNA will continue serving as a resource to churches, presbyteries and the PCA through our various ministries to demonstrate Christ’s love through action.
Pray MNA will find new ways to serve the PCA in planting new churches to bring revival in our communities; that churches, networks, and presbyteries will seek to build God’s kingdom through church planting and evangelism.
MNA DISASTER RESPONSE
HISTORY OF SHEDS OF HOPE
During the early stages of the PCA response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which destroyed coastal Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisianan, MNA Disaster Response was hard at work. This work included locating our PCA families, stabilizing church and home structures, distributing commodities, feeding, sheltering, undertaking debris cleanup including muck-outs, gutting, blue-tarping and roofing, and many, many other activities to serve storm-crushed families. One asset glaringly absent was storage capacity for recovered home-owner property. Storage rental businesses that were not destroyed were quickly sold out; survivors struggled to secure their belongings, to preserve any recovered photographs, documents, family furniture, clothing, etc. (Note: This deficiency is repeated after every disaster in every community!)
Early in January 2006, Rev. Jean Larroux came into contact with volunteers Conrad Velasco from Sumter, South Carolina, and Jake Earle from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, who, with little resources, were building storage sheds for Katrina survivors using materials gleaned mostly from debris piles in Pearlington and Lower Bay Mississippi. They called their ministry Sheds for Jesus. No two were alike, and although crude in appearance and construction, they were a blessing to the homeowners who received them.
Lagniappe PCA (mission), a new church plant in Bay St Louis, Mississippi, adopted the fledging ministry—and Conrad. The work was then renamed the Shed Project, then Shed the Love and finally Sheds of HOPE. Lagniappe PCA, equipped with a robust PCA volunteer workforce began building 8’x8’ yard barns in earnest by purchasing shed kits in large quantities from box stores. Dr. Thomas Armour, a problem-solving, regularly returning volunteer from Grove City, Pennsylvania, quickly realized the sheds could be better and modified the store-bought-shed plans to make the sheds stronger.
Within a few years, 700 sheds were placed, and our Lord blessed the efforts of what is now known as Sheds of HOPE (SOH).
Katrina volunteer-hosting sites began closing during 2009, and MNA Disaster Response continued to develop the Sheds of HOPE ministry which flourished and expanded as SOH were constructed across the nation in communities disrupted by major disasters. More than 1,700 Sheds of Hope have been constructed and placed free of charge to tempest-tossed families. SOH has become notorious throughout faith-based disaster response agencies and the many PCA communities where MNA Disaster Response has established operations. MNA SOH has been catalytic in propelling other denominations and faith-based organizations to adopt our mission of providing storage capacity as a gospel entry- point, including the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the One Hope Network, a collective of 75+ congregations based in the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon which have built at least 143 SOH in the aftermath of the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. We make SOH plans and expert coaching available free of charge to any individual or group.
Rev. John Browne began volunteering with MNA Disaster Response in 2006, during the Katrina response by organizing and leading teams to the Gulf Coast from Metrocrest PCA, a congregation he was serving in Carrolton, Texas. He helped construct SOH for survivors after the 2012 EF-5 Henryville, Indiana Tornado. During the 2013, Moore, Oklahoma tornado response, John served tirelessly as a volunteer construction manager for the SOH project. During this time John’s love for carpentry was rekindled. With approval from MNA John began developing a new design and construction process that, when followed, ensures SOH could be constructed repetitively without deviation at different times, by different volunteer groups, in different locations. Using John’s new design SOH would be built from scratch so as to control the quality and delivery of SOH rather than purchasing a low-quality product from box stores that were often difficult to source when needed. John proved more than capable as a wise, steadfast, strong, winsome leader.
MNA Disaster Response invited John to join its staff effective January 1, 2015, to oversee, further develop, and expand the MNA Sheds of HOPE ministry. SOH kits are now regularly prebuilt by four PCA congregations in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana, and occasionally by congregations in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Typically 70-80 SOH are on-hand at the MNA warehouse and regional depots.
One great outcome of this ministry is the relationship we build with the recipient families as we spend time with them during the build. Many times this is the first time the family has been around the household of faith; we have been blessed with an opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s love to those who are open to hearing about the redemptive power of Christ.
The Deaf, the Hearing, and the Glory of God!
Engaging Disabilities with the Gospel
Redemption Hill Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
A brief history of Redemption Hill Church would involve my wife and I moving from across Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh about four years ago and gathering a couple families with us through the Pittsburgh Presbytery. We began by doing Bible Studies that met in the evening, doing outreach in the community, and gradually holding services beginning in 2018. We officially organized about a month ago, so the Lord has continued to guide and provide everything we need each step of the way.
We are located in the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh and our immediate area is very one cultural, probably 95-96 percent white. Then as you move to neighboring towns, you’ll find larger populations of the Nepalese, larger populations of African American and other ethnicities. Although we are in a very white area, we want to be a multicultural church, a church that’s really a church for people from all walks of life. We want to honor the Lord’s challenge to go and make disciples of all nations and that includes the deaf who were not on our radar at all when we moved here. But in 2018, we had a family who came, and the wife teaches at the School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh and is deaf. The husband, too, is deaf, and we wanted to serve them and to serve the deaf. So, the Lord started putting the pieces in place for a ministry to our deaf friends and deaf neighbors, and our goal all along has been to be one church, even though we are now I think you would say bilingual, at least bicultural, maybe multicultural. It’s been a tremendous blessing completely unsought.
Mission to North America has been very helpful. Of course, they are known for their church planting expertise, but what I didn’t know is that they had a ministry under their umbrella of ministries called Engaging Disabilities. Ashley Belknap heads Engaging Disabilities for the PCA. When she and I started talking, she really helped me think about what were the steps to minister to the deaf. She was very encouraging about just loving the deaf as people, not thinking them anything else than just people made in God’s image, some of whom God has called into His Kingdom and who have all the rights and privileges of every other member of the church.
– Senior Pastor Peter Doerfler, Redemption Hill Church, Pittsburgh, PA
American Sign Language is a separate language from English. It is not English in signs, but instead has its own grammar structure, its own separate syntax. It’s a full language; the way they set-up the sentences are different. You can’t speak English and sign pure ASL at the same time.
Every Friday night we have a Bible study in American Sign Language. We meet in the home of a family Matt and Megan Chopek. Once a month, instead of the study, we have a meal. We share food and fellowship time and a short study during the meal. The study is really like any Bible study in any language. We are talking about what God has done through Jesus Christ, about what God has done in our own lives, and sharing prayer needs. It’s the same it would be with the hearing people who speak English, Spanish or any language.
People here really want to grow. The deaf people and the hearing people in the church really want to communicate and socialize. The hearing people don’t see the deaf as separate but as a part. Matt is a deacon, a leader in this church, so it’s not a church of hearing people who will let deaf people come; instead, it’s a church that has hearing and deaf people, English and American Sign Language, all blended together. That’s what the church is about.
‒ Roddey Caughman, Deaf Ministry Director, Redemption Hill Church
“You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
The Church Serving Their Community
Redeemer Church, Jackson, Mississippi
Redeemer was birthed out of that deep sense of calling to this place, to this people. It’s one of the most diverse points in the city of Jackson. Diverse socio-economically, diverse politically, diverse ethnically, diverse in terms of just family structures. You have apartments and you have mansions; you have two-bedroom homes and you have five bedroom homes; you have single mothers and you have multiple units, multiple families living.
Jesus talks about giving, leaving talents to His servants. There’s a corporate dimension there as well. Jesus has gifted us with this place, this property, these resources, and they’re to be invested for His Kingdom. Right now, there are over 100 kids in our school In a couple hours, some of these rooms will be flipped over for a men’s study for those who were struggling with sexual addiction. In one room you’ll have new mothers in the youth wing. So, it’s this idea that if we can, by God’s grace, open this place and have ministries birthed out of here that serve our people and the parish around us, then we’re winning. Our posture has been to steward this to the glory of the Lord.
First and foremost, we’re a church, and we’re going to preach the Word, administer the sacraments, worship God. We’re going to be the body of Christ—that’s first and foremost— but we aspire to be multi-ethnic, and that is driven by the place where we are; this is a multiethnic part of town. There is an aspect to our identity as a church where we want to be those who do good in our community, but our good deeds will not save people, but they really do point to the good deeds of another: of Jesus and who He is and what He’s done.
I think it’s really hard not to respond to God’s Word in obedience, to quench the Holy Spirit who lives within me, who tells me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. And the same Word tells me to love my neighbor even as I do myself. I feed myself, clothe myself, care for my own soul. If I’m hurting I want to bind up my own wounds, and so to the degree that I love me and will care for me and look after me, Jesus actually says that is how He wants me to love my neighbor.
‒ Elbert McGowan Jr., Senior Pastor, Redeemer Church, Jackson, MS
The Redeemer School was a long-time dream of Redeemer Church. We had always wanted to have a school to minister to this neighborhood in this community. We opened the doors in the fall of 2014. We had a K4, a K5, and a first-grade school at that time, and the school has grown. We have added a grade every single year, and now we’re up to 7th grade. We’ll be opening up our first eighth grade class next year.
We always felt like one of the answers to all of the struggles of the city Jackson has been, is the need for the Lord. For Christians to be able to speak into the progress of the city and be able to live in the city, one of the ways is by educating their children and giving them a good strong Christian education. We know that some of the families may be covenant families, but there may be families who do not know the Lord. How beautiful would it be if the children could actually help bring the Lord to the mom and dad, grandparents and to know Him. That’s really the biggest focus: how do we teach, how do we develop these beautiful young children into strong Christian men and women and give them a sound education.
‒ Kelle Menogan, Ruling Elder, Head of School, Redeemer School, Jackson, MS
It all goes back to the mission for our church, so children’s ministry of Redeemer doesn’t exist in and of itself. It’s part of the broader scheme or broader mission of our church which is to be a multi-ethnic community of Christians who are placed here in this area, so we need to love this area well. I’ll spend time in our community. I do prayer walks. I try to walk and pray with and for our community, try to do that every day, so we have relationships built from just facial recognition. But also there are a lot of kids who go to school here, and I’ll read with them or to them during the week to have more connection.
‒ Jajuan McNeil, Director of Children’s Ministry Redeemer Church, Jackson MS
“Things Children Should Never Witness”
Refugee and Immigrant Ministry
Westminster Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
In the spring of 2011, Westminster partnered with Church World Service, a faith-based resettling agency with a branch here in Lancaster, PA, to sponsor a refugee family from Burma (Myanmar). As church members connected with this family and, through them, other refugees in the community, it became apparent that learning to speak English would be one of their biggest needs here in the United States.
Westminster reached out to Nancy Booher, MNA ESL Director, to schedule an ESL teacher training, which took place in February 2012 with over 40 people in attendance. Out of that training a team formed to begin an ESL Ministry at Westminster that fall, with the idea that we would most likely be ministering to a few refugee families. We were blown away by the number and variety of immigrants from the community who began attending English classes at the church, with our refugee friends making up only a small percentage of our students—which is still true today.
While we do have some English classes on Sundays to reach our Burmese and Congolese friends who attend the church, the group of students we have coming to our Tuesday night classes includes people from over 25 different countries. What started as a small effort to help a few families learn English and adjust to life in America has turned into much more as God has opened a variety of opportunities. We have grown from three different classes on Tuesday nights to offering five levels of English classes, as well as an ESL Women’s Bible Study on Tuesday mornings, English Conversation Practice during the summer, and ESL Sunday School classes throughout the year.
This year we find ourselves with an influx of Ukrainian refugees, and God has graciously allowed us to be ready to support them, a situation we could not have foreseen over 10 years ago when the ministry first began. One Ukrainian woman told us last May, “This has been so much more to me than just English class!” We, too, are so blessed by these interactions with our neighbors here in Lancaster and long for the Lord to continue to use this ministry to serve Him.
I think it’s easy, with all the wealth and privilege that we have in this country, to think that we have a lot to offer to foreigners and sojourners in our country. We do and that’s true! However, we’ve got nothing on them when it comes to faith. The faith of these followers of Jesus who are coming has been tested to the brink. they have endured so many hard things, and they come out on the other side, and they still claim Him, and they are teaching Him to their children!
I think for us, we’ve just been very blessed in getting to know refugees who have been in our home, hearing their stories of faith, and seeing the way that God is working through them!
‒ Hannah Barry, Volunteer Refugee Ministry, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, PA
Our desire is that we all worship the same God. You know what Ephesians talks about— we have one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of us all—and that’s our desire. Now, we know that there are challenges practically of how to do that in a worship service but we never want those practical challenges to get in the way of the fact that these refugees are brothers and sisters in Christ. So, we want to worship with them when we can and we want them to be a part of the life of our church. We hope that the first generation feels welcomed, cared for, heard (We learn from them as well.), but we hope that the second generation really grows up as part of our church, so that the DNA of our church will be represented by folks who have come from all over the world and are able worship together.
‒ Chris Walker, Senior Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, PA
Ninety-two times in the Old Testament, God says, “You are to love the stranger.” Ninety-two times. There are few things that He says ninety-two times to His people. When God repeats His commands, He is not just encouraging us because this is a nice thing to do. He has a plan for that stranger and for us. If we are to grow in our faith, we must get out of our comfort zones. It’s that way with loving the stranger. it may not be the most comfortable thing that we do, but it’s what God uses to turn us into the people He calls us to be in our life before Him.
‒ Pat Hatch, MNA Refugee and Immigrant Ministry Director
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’” ‒ Matthew 25:40
1st Presbyterian of Coral Springs, Florida
In 2008, the leadership at First Presbyterian Church (FPC) of Coral Springs Florida, started noticing changing demographics around their church. Coral Springs is just 40 miles north of Miami, so it wasn’t surprising to see Spanish families migrating into the area. FPC realized there was a need for gospel ministry among these new neighbors. The only problem: No one at FPC knew anything about teaching English as a second language. They had no idea where to start!
The church sought the assistance of Mission to North America. MNA’s ESL Director Nancy Booher took them through the initial steps. FPC’s ESL Co-Director Don Baret remembers, “we didn’t invent or create anything, we just followed Nancy’s guidance and with Lord’s blessing, our neighbors responded!” Ninety-nine students came to their first night of ESL classes in January 2010. Now, thirteen years later, over 3,000 students have gone through their ministry.
While students come to an ESL class to learn English, the ministry’s purpose is to intentionally share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nancy summarizes, “We share the gospel by deed in teaching English. We also share the Bible and our personal testimony, making sure the students understand that the gospel is for all nations, not just for Americans.”
Martha, an ESL student from Colombia, tells her story, “When I first came to America, I felt very
alone and frightened because I didn’t speak any English. Sometimes I needed to get to a place, but it was not enough to ask with my signs and hands, many times I got lost in the streets. I cried! ESL has been very useful to me, now I can communicate with people. My teacher always gives us a part of the Bible. I’ve learned that I’m loved by God, and I don’t feel alone anymore.
Top 10 Reasons
Your Church Needs to have
an ESL Ministry
- God has sent the world to your doorstep.
- ESL Ministry is missions in your own backyard.
- Allows you to obey God’s heart & commands for the stranger & foreigners.
- Reach unreached people groups that can take the gospel home to their countries.
- Speaking English is the #1 felt need of immigrants & refugees.
- Making American friends is the #2 felt need of immigrants & refugees.
- Everyone in your church can teach ESL if they. . . Love Jesus & Speak English.
- Tangible way to show God’s Love.
- Cost Effective: The annual budget for an ESL Ministry is usually less than the cost of sending one person on a short-term mission trip.
- God will use you to bless immigrants & refugees, and He will use them to bless you!!
- There has grown from four ministries in 2000 to twenty-two ministries in 2023.
- TE Fred March served at MNA for the longest time (30 years) before retiring in
- MNA has 111 staff members in 25 states and Canada.
- The PCA has planted at least one church in every state.
- 1,815 men have been through the MNA Assessment Center since 1984.
- Since 2006, MNA Disaster Response has built over 1700 Sheds of Hope for disaster victims.
- Over 175,000 volunteers have served with MNA Disaster Response.
- The PCA Unity Fund (https://pcamna.org/ministry/pca-unity-fund/) has awarded 298 scholarships since 2009.
- MNA ESL began as an official ministry in May 2005. The PCA Women’s Ministry Love Gift for 2004 was used to help start it.
- Since May 2005, through our training program, MNA ESL has helped 280 PCA churches start ESL Ministries and probably about another 350 non-PCA churches start ESL Ministries. The website and our monthly newsletter help keep the ministries updated about our trainings and resources.
1. Print a Kingdom Map activity sheet to draw your community. (home, church, neighborhood, school, work, etc.).
2. Draw a picture of these places. Think of people you encounter there who, you can pray, will hear about God’s Kingdom. Write their names somewhere on the map.
3. Keep your Kingdom Map in a prominent place.
4. Remember to pray for these people by name and look for opportunities to serve them.