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OPEN DOOR BIMI’s Ministry of Military Missions by Evangelist Richard Harper The ministry of Military Missions at BIMI is a work of planting and pastoring local churches near military bases, primarily overseas. In most situations stateside, there is a good church near the base to recommend to military service personnel and their families. It is not the same overseas. BIMI military missionaries will go into areas near the bases and start and/or pastor a local church that ministers to that particular military community. In 21 years in evangelism, we have met many missions-minded pastors. We have been in churches that give generously and sacrificially to missionaries around the world. The zeal for foreign missions does not often translate into a desire to support military missions. This is not because they do not have a burden for missions or lack a love for our military. It is because of misconceptions about military missions in general. In this article we will deal with the most common of those misconceptions. 1. “Military Missionaries do not need support because their entire congregation is employed by the government.” It is true that the people who attend these works are, for the most part, either serving our country in the armed forces or working 14 as civilians in support of the military. It is important to realize that we are supporting the missionary church planter and not the church. Paul complimented the Philippians because for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity (emphasis added). These churches are self- supporting works. They pay their bills, give to missions, lease buildings, and have Vacation Bible Schools, but the military pastor is supported completely by the mission support raised before he left for the field! It is also important to note that the size of the military ministry does not impact the level of support for the missionary. When a missionary sees his church grow or he moves to a larger ministry, he does get more people, more potential, more priorities, and more problems—but he, as a rule, does not get more pay. 2. “I would rather support a church planter than a military pastor.” Most do not understand that an overseas deployment is typically 24 to 36 months. This means at least one third of a military church transfers out every year. Every three years the congregation will completely turn over. Every year the pastor, through evangelism and hard work, has to replace at least one third of his congregation before he can even