HAMPTON, VA — International Cooperating Ministries (ICM) in Hampton recently approved its 8,000th building project to assist Christians in difficult areas. With a vision to establish a healthy church within walking distance of everyone in the world, the 33-year-old charity is currently operating in 91 countries.
The 8,000th church project will provide hope for one of Egypt’s oldest Christian congregations. Dedicated in 1870, the congregation’s first church building fell into disrepair and became condemned after decades of maintenance restrictions imposed by Egypt’s government. The new building will not only allow local Christians to continue worshiping legally, it will also provide space for them to minister to as many as 700 at-risk children in their community.
ICM was founded in 1986 to assist Christians in places where they are impoverished, marginalized or persecuted. It works with over 200 indigenous ministries to equip local Christians with two tools for their success: permanent places of worship and Bible study materials for oral learners. In countries where a permanent house of worship confers legitimacy on one’s religious beliefs, a brick-and-mortar church can actually be a lifeline for Christians facing violent persecution. Audio Bible studies allow them to grow deeper in their faith and train new pastors and evangelists, who then take Christianity into places foreign missionaries could never reach.
In addition to funding the construction of churches, ICM has worked with its international partners to translate its unique Bible study curriculum into 50 languages. This work has led to about 37,000 new congregations being established around the world.
“We continue to be amazed and humbled by the opportunity God is giving us to partner with indigenous church planting movements around the world to help realize our vision of a healthy church within walking distance of everyone in the world,” says CEO Janice Allen. “Having grown from a rate of one or two churches per year, we are thrilled to have seen nearly 800 new church buildings dedicated this year alone. We look forward to see where God will take us next!”
ICM is subsidiary of the Rosser Foundation, a public, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. It is located at 1901 N. Armistead Avenue in Hampton.
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