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April Activate Post: Celebrating the wins


It was a moment I will never forget. Cheers, applause, shouts, and whistles resounded through the building. This was not simply an obligatory offering made to a presenter on a stage; it was a true moment of ecstatic celebration.

No musician, singer, or politician had walked up on that stage. In fact, most people wouldn’t know or recognize the humble couple standing holding a single book. Their names are Terry and Karla Smith, and they spent their adult lives translating the New Testament for the Panao Quechua people of Peru.

Years before, our church had come alongside Terry and Karla to partner with them in their translation work. Our congregation had prayer teams that met monthly to cover the Smiths in prayer, short-term mission teams who traveled to encourage and support the Smiths’ ministry, and we gave financial support to their family.

The Smiths helped us to see the world through the Father’s eyes. They taught us how to humbly serve in culturally appropriate ways, and helped launch our church into a missions journey that forever changed our congregation.

So why the celebration this particular night? Terry and Karla were presenting our congregation with the very first printed translation of the Panao Quechua New Testament. Our church had supported this couple, and now we were able to celebrate a huge accomplishment that had kingdom-impacting consequences.

All too often, we neglect to celebrate all that God is doing in and through us. Understandably, we get busy planning. We ask people to pray, give, and go. All of these tasks are essential to a church living out their mission, but do we stop and celebrate the wins?

When we celebrate the wins in missions, it does two things. First, it energizes our congregation to see that our efforts are leading to something greater. God really does work through prayer, service, and giving. When our congregations see God working through our mission efforts, it builds momentum for mission programs.

Secondly, when we celebrate the wins, we view the world through a different set of lenses. We begin to see and celebrate God working in the world, which causes us to want to see more of His work. We have a hunger and a thirst to see what God will do next. When we start to look for God’s activity and anticipate Him answering prayers, it strengthens our faith.

Is your church ready for the next step in missions? Are you ready to start celebrating what God is doing through your church? Are you, as a congregation, ready to support a Bible translation effort? No matter where you are as a church, the church ministry department of TMS Global can help you along your journey. Contact us at

Rhonda Dahlin serves as the director of church partnerships for TMS Global.