Since 2016, Perimeter Church has been invested in the mission and ministry of Nexus Church in Novi Sad, Serbia. We helped them heat their new church building so that they could hold meetings and worship services throughout the winter. We helped them renovate additional space enabling them to open their doors to the mostly-secular city by hosting community events.
And we are helping them save babies.
A partner of Nexus Church is Choose Life—a pregnancy care center and maternity home—which was founded by the pastor's wife. Through its partnership with Perimeter's Global Outreach ministry, Choose Life has been able to expand its services of pregnancy counseling and maternity support.
In Serbia, abortion is seen as a normal form of birth control, and the result is that more than 150,000 abortions are performed every year. Less than half that many babies are actually born. In addition, the country is said to have more drug addicts than evangelical Christians. Choose Life operates as an overtly Christian organization—supporting both the mother's physical and spiritual needs.
Choose Life is currently raising funds to build The NEST—a stand-alone residential facility for mothers facing an unexpected pregnancy. The NEST will allow Choose Life to offer housing and support throughout the pregnancy and after birth to women who otherwise would choose abortion out of necessity. Currently, Choose Life uses a small rental location and can only house two mothers at a time. The NEST will be able to provide residential care for five women and their children, allowing them time after they give birth to get on their feet and develop a plan for self-sustenance.
Just a few weeks ago, Kingdom Investments awarded Choose Life a significant grant which—when matched—will enable them to build The NEST and have it ready for expectant mothers in 2021.
Because of your generosity and the vision that God has given to Perimeter to come alongside the global church, we are supporting both a church and a partner ministry that are saving babies and saving lives for eternity.
To say that the Dowlings are invested in the mission and vision of Perimeter Church may be an understatement.
Emily Nelson Dowling grew up at Perimeter Church. Literally. She is a graduate of Perimeter School, and both of her parents—Brad and Suzanne Nelson—are on staff. As adults, she and her husband Jason, who was raised in Valdosta, chose to raise their family at Perimeter as well. But they have definitely forged their own path.
A result of being so rooted at Perimeter Church, the place where Emily came to know Christ, has been a call to invest in the church with both time and resources. Both Jason and Emily are involved in Discipleship, and Jason is on the Elder Ministry Team. They have also served in the nursery, on the hospitality team, and hosted a Connect Group.
So when it came time for Perimeter to find a successor to founding pastor Randy Pope, Jason and Emily were tapped to be on the search committee.
"It was exciting to hear Jeff’s vision for Perimeter and see the vision and responsibility falling to the younger generations," said Jason and Emily. "Being on the search committee helped us see the intentionality of the church. The transition was not taken lightly! We were able to see the stewardship of the church."
Jason and Emily also see themselves as stewards of the church through their intentional financial investment in the local church. They have participated in two previous ALL IN initiatives and are heavily involved in the current Rooted to Flourish initiative.
When the Dowlings attended the Rooted to Flourish Vision Night, they realized that they had gone through many of the Giving Journey stages that Gordon Moore described.
"Through God’s grace, we’ve been able to move from an occasional giver to a consistent giver and then to more sacrificial giving," said the Dowlings. "The journey has been both challenging and rewarding."
When Jason was a resident, they made very little money and their family was expanding rapidly.
"We definitely added kids faster than we added income!" said Jason. "In fact, during that time our giving really trailed downwards out of fear. God used some outside situations and the Holy Spirit's conviction to change my heart. We started giving and it was a tender reminder of God’s call to be generous, even when it’s a challenge. His grace and patience are with us even when we fall short."
Jason and Emily also prioritize finding other ways to invest in Kingdom Flourishing in addition to giving money. They see giving of their time, possessions to the needy, and using their home for hospitality as part of their offering.
"For us, it’s becoming more about how we can be open with our hearts and lives, not just our bank account," said Jason and Emily.
So Jason and Emily encourage young people to give—even if the amount seems small by human standards. Jason tells a story about how a seemingly small gift to the kingdom had a lasting impact on him.
"When I was in college I went to my first RUF campus ministry meeting because I heard there were free hotdogs. I was a hungry teenager, and my stomach moved me toward the ministry that ended up being pivotal in my spiritual growth," he said. "I often smile thinking about whoever donated a few dollars for those hotdogs and how they got a huge return on that investment!"
Jason admits that sometimes giving is scary. He advises that if you feel scared to give, ask yourself why.
"For me, when I felt scared to give, I ask myself questions. What am I looking to for security other than the Lord? Is it my money? Is it my financial plan? Is it my comfort?" said Jason. "When you give, you lose control of an asset in your domain. It’s hard to give up that control, but that’s exactly the point. It’s an act of faith. You say to the Lord–not only is this gift yours, but everything belongs to you. Take it, and I trust you to take care of me."