“When I was growing up in McClusky, ND, I heard about how the ladies were gathering on Thursdays at the church to cut cloth and roll bandages . . . Now the collection center for that ministry is located here in Bismarck,” said Paul Herr, adult ministries pastor at Century Baptist.
So how did that center get to Bismarck via Texas from Illinois?
White Cross collects supplies to support the medical work of the Cameroon Baptist Convention. The goal is to gather, pack and send a shipping container filled with supplies twice a year. When the International Office moved from Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois to Roseville, California, the U.S. collection center for White Cross found a new home in Royce City, Texas. (NAB White Cross in Canada is sent to Edmonton.)
When the folks in Texas could no longer continue with the ministry, Kerry Bender, NAB International Missions Director, contacted Century Baptist to see if they would be interested.
“For the last ten years Century has emphasized being ‘for the city,’” explained Paul Herr, whose responsibilities also include giving leadership to a ministry center in Bismarck. “Our lead pastor, Paul Nather, has a heart for Cameroon. He and I traveled to Texas (2019) to see firsthand what was involved. We said, ‘We can do this, so why not?’”
In one end of a former retail tire and automotive repair shop, supplies are gathered, carefully packed in large cardboard boxes, assembled on pallets and finally loaded into a shipping container before taking a ride via rail to a port city and a ship destined for West Africa.
But the real fun is when groups get together to cut cloth, roll bandages, sew the little gowns for babies, etc. Traditionally, this has been a ministry of women in the churches. It still is, but guys are getting involved, as are children and youth. One of the recent retreats at Crystal Springs Camp involved the youth in White Cross activity. Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck was another site for a White Cross service project.
“It’s revitalized some of the older ladies in our church,” commented Paul Nather, “giving them a purpose to gather and be excited.”
“My goal,” shared Robyn Wonnenberg, adult ministry assistant at Century Baptist, “is to get more people in the congregations involved. To take ownership. This is something my husband and I can do together.”
“What I want to see,” added Paul Herr, “is people from around our association gather and celebrate when that first shipping container is filled and sent.”
White Cross also collects appropriate theological, educational, medical and devotional books, including Bibles. Check out these links for more information: https://nabconference.org/changes-for-white-cross/
Materials to support medical missions in Cameroon are not the only things being shipped. The prayers and fellowship of churches and groups from around the NCA and across the U.S. go with those supplies.
Paul Nather concludes, ““It’s our prayer that we could see churches all around the region getting involved with White Cross.”
Why not you and your church?
Northern Plains Regional Minister