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Changing the World One Church at a Time

Janice Allen is the CEO of International Cooperating Ministries, an organization working to change lives in more than 80 countries, even in the midst of persecution and violence. Read Transcript

Janice Allen is the CEO of International Cooperating

Ministries, an organization working to change the world one

church building at a time.

JANICE ALLEN: We, I think, always

felt that the Church of Jesus Christ

is God's own plan for distributing the gospel.

ICM's mission is to help congregations around the world

learn God's word and build their own churches.

JANICE ALLEN: We are partnering with indigenous groups that

are already doing this type of ministry,

but they lack the facilities and the resources

to really be able to do it adequately.

Janice's father, Doyce Rosser, is the founder of ICM.

He first got the idea at a time when most people

are thinking about retirement.

JANICE ALLEN: At the age of 65, my father

had been very, very successful in the business world.

In the business world, you look to maximize.

We ran, I think, 27 different franchises at one time.

But what you do is look for ways to get it done.

Well, if we do that in the business world,

why shouldn't we do it in the kingdom?

With that, Rosser started working

to make a radio broadcast series called "Mini Bible College,"

available to people around the world.

The in-depth study, written by Pastor Dick Woodward,

had revived Rosser's own faith, and he

wanted to share its message.

Later when he visited some of those countries,

he saw another very basic need--

church buildings.

And the best example of that is that there

are 600,000 villages in India.

650 million people-- that's twice the population

of the United States--

live in those villages.

You can't send enough missionaries.

You can't afford to send them from all

the various denominations.

You've got to equip the nationals.

So what happened when we built the church in a village--

we could change a whole village.

Then, using his own money, Rosser founded ICM.

For the next 30 years, the organization

would provide local congregations the needed funds

to build a church in some of the world's darkest areas.

JANICE ALLEN: For example, when you think of Central America,

50% of the population may be under the age of 21

where you have some of the highest murder

rates on the entire planet.

The drugs and the violence and the teen pregnancy

and the prostitution--

that cycle is going to be perpetuated

until the gospel of Jesus Christ steps

in and changes people's hearts and gives them

a different future, gives them a different hope.

Janice says that the church is often the only proper building

in the community.

JANICE ALLEN: When these villagers

in these rural congregations have a building,

they're using the buildings for schools.

They're using the buildings for medical clinics.

And many times, they will put the only clean water well

at the place of the church.

Some of the churches serve people

in desperate need of refuge.

JANICE ALLEN: We began hearing stories

of how the churches were becoming

the safe havens for these people escaping the atrocities that

were going on as they were fleeing their own countries.

Building the Body of Christ hasn't come without persecution

and violence.

JANICE ALLEN: This photo was brought into my office.

I saw two railroad tracks.

And on one side was a human head,

and the other side was the body.

And it was a 13-year-old boy who was the son

of a pastor of an ICM church.

And the extremists kidnapped him and beheaded him

as a way to force his father to stop preaching the gospel.

And he said, we will not stop being

Christ's presence here in this village, no matter what.

To date, ICM and its donors have

funded nearly 6,500 churches in more than 80 countries

and had the "Mini Bible College" translated

into over 40 languages.

And there there's still more work to be done.

Well, the first you realize is that man can't handle it.

But what do you expect?

If you read the history books, man

has not been able to solve the problems of the world.

God is the answer.

JANICE ALLEN: My father's obedience when God just said,

Doyce, just bring to me what your time and talents

and abilities are, and I will do something with it.

And he says that to each and every one of us.

That's our opportunity we have to serve the King of Kings.


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