The million dollar living room
September 2015

By Amy Walters — Come with me to a turkey farm in Minnesota. It’s the last Saturday of the month and cars are rolling up the dusty driveway. The sound of crunching gravel mixes with warm greetings as people arrive for the Missionary Fellowship.

The home belongs to Sterling and Evangeline Krause. They launched and have hosted the monthly gathering since 1955 in order to fill the “chuckholes” of missions—any obstacle that stands in the way of the gospel. They had just returned from a mission trip, seeing the needs firsthand. And they began to talk to their friends about what they could do.

What they did has changed countless lives around the world. Their simple Missionary Fellowship has raised over $1.3 million for missions. Evangeline shares the story in her book, "The Million Dollar Living Room," in hopes of sparking fellowships just like this around the world.

The monthly fellowship starts in late afternoon as the members arrive and grab a cup of coffee. Folding chairs are pulled out of the closet and the living room fills with people. The first meeting brought 10 couples but soon grew to 50 people. They are all just “plain folk”—“people who believe that the Word should be preached. When a chuckhole gets in the way of that effort, we try to do something about it. It’s that simple,” writes Evangeline. Some members travel as far as 150 miles each way to participate.

The meeting begins with prayer and the reading of recent newsletters from missionaries they’ve helped. The guest missionary of the month shares about their ministry and needs. 

“Spreading the gospel is what we’re all about, and the folks we invite to talk to us are dedicating their lives to that effort,” Evangeline says. “And we’re eager to listen and to learn.”

After the presentation, the group collects an offering for the missionary. Many times, the missionary has mentioned a specific need and when the money is counted, it meets that exact need. “We never stop humbly thanking God for the miracles we’ve been able to see in our own living room.”

The meeting then closes in prayer and the living room is rearranged for a time of fellowship and food.

When the group started meeting in 1955, they set a goal of giving $100 each month. But by God’s grace, in 30 years, they gave away over $1.3 million — 33 times their original goal! 

Imagine if these groups were multiplied around the world. What could be accomplished from our living rooms if each one of us reading this article started our own group? In a world where the needs are multiplying around us daily, this is something that we can do about it.

It’s not hard. It just takes a commitment to seeing the gospel reach the far corners of the world. Evangeline writes, “We want to share the fun, the satisfaction, the blessings. We want the fellowship and the Christian joy to be multiplied a hundredfold. We want you to take one evening a month to get together with friends and neighbors to hear about a mission effort that may be close to you, or interesting to you, or challenging to you, and then fill one of its chuckholes.”

What missions chuckholes could you and your friends fill?

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Amy Walters
Amy serves as the director of SEND's Communications Team.