PADUCAH, Ky. (KT) – Pastor Dan Summerlin and Lone Oak First Baptist Church have long been supporters of the Cooperation Program. They understand the value of working together to further the Kingdom.
Those CP dollars also support International Mission Board missionaries around the world, including Michael and JoJo Harrington in France who have a connection with the church. A team of 15 from Lone Oak started a journey to France on Friday to help as missionaries from France, Canada and Belgium – all French-speaking areas – to meet to discuss strategy in what is called a Francophone.
Summerlin and Lone Oak music minister Mark Swadley will be leading worship while the rest of the team will be working with children and youth so the missionaries can meet together for important strategy, trade ideas and do and dialogue.
Lone Oak came at the behest of the Harringtons. One of the members of the team is JoJo’s brother. “They requested us to come,” Summerlin said. “The missionary makes the request to the IMB for a particular church to come. We’ve done this before in the Sub-Saharan region in Africa in Malawi. The last time we did the funds weren’t there and they couldn’t bring children. We had planned on sending 18 to 20 people. It was a funding problem with the IMB. Just three of us went and led in worship.”
Summerlin has been on multiple mission trips, but this will be the first one in Europe, he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
The pastor has a heart for the Cooperative Program and how it brings the gospel to places around the world where the name of Jesus is not known.
“One thing we do at our church is to learn, pray, give, go and encourage others to do same,” he said. “When they go on mission trip they come back and are on fire for the Cooperative Program. Every trip we take we make sure there’s someone who has never been on a mission trip before. We like for new people to experience it.
“I fully support the Cooperative Program. It’s a chance to come together and see what people are facing.”
Summerlin and Swadley will be leading worship and an in-depth Bible study, the missionaries will strategize together and their families will be having their own worship experience led by Lone Oak mission pastor Jeff Wallace and the rest of the volunteers who are on the trip. Summerlin said it will be a VBS-style of plan using the Gospel Project for children.
“In the morning we will have a brief worship and the children and youth will go out like VBS,” Summerlin said. “Mark and I will stay with the adults (for more worship and Bible study).”
The team will be setting up Sunday and work Monday to Thursday before coming back home on Friday.