Our Mission Committee met this past Monday evening and voted to send $5,000 to GAiN (Global Aid International) for their work with Syrian refugees still in Syria and neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon. Committee members had done research into the Syrian refugee crisis and possible LPC responses. Support of GAiN’s work was selected for a variety of reasons including:
- The work is in the Middle East. While the European refugee crisis has garnered much of the world’s attention in recent weeks, we know that the majority, and the most vulnerable of the refugees – women, children, the elderly – remain in Syria or refugee camps in neighboring countries.
- The work meets real needs. Through our giving and the giving of many others, GAiN provides food, clothes, medical supplies, blankets, shoes, wheelchairs, mattresses, tarps, and even toys for kids. The aid is offered to all refugees without regard to religion, ethnicity, or nationality.
- The work is with and through indigenous churches and Christian organizations. GAiN comes along side our brother and sister Christians in the Middle East to enable their work.
- The work is done in the name of Christ. Because GAiN’s work is done by and through Syrian, Lebanese, Turkish, and Iraqi Christians, the gospel is shared naturally, clearly, and sensitively as aid is given.
Thank you. Through your generous giving to our annual operating budget, LPC is able to respond quickly to situations of immediate need whether they be natural disaster, war, or famine. Each year our budget provides for what we call the Mission Opportunity Fund. The MOF is undesignated money whose use is designated throughout the year as opportunities arise to respond to a world in need. And, yes, as you consider your pledge to the 2016 operating budget, know that the Mission Opportunity Fund is one of the many ways your gift will be put to work for Kingdom good.
For the number crunchers among us, the $5,000 gift to GAiN was a significant part of this year’s $16,000 MOF allocation, which, in turn, is part of the $65,000 operating budget portion of our Mission funding. In fact, total mission giving and spending will likely be well over $200,000 for the calendar year, the balance coming from you in the form of special offering contributions, generous gifts above and beyond your pledge, support of Plan Padrino scholarships in Guatemala and special projects at Hunting Park Christian Academy in Philadelphia, Hope Kubuye Hospital in Burundi, and PLM School in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. You haven’t heard much yet about the amazing way our mission friends at Igreja Presbiteriana no Jardim America in Brazil are reaching into the favela – for now just pray for those coming to new faith in Christ!
And it’s hardly all money. There are those school supplies for HPCA, the teacher kits and crayons for Kibuye Primary School, toothbrushes and toothpaste for Guatemala. There’s more. Through our Deacons you supply food and meals for the hungry in Bucks County, toys for kids at Christmas time, and transitional housing for those seeking to make a new life for themselves and their children.
And it more than just money and things. From the Thursday night team at the Bucks County Housing Group food pantry in Penndel to work crews at Hunting Park; from the Guatemala Mission “Away Teams” to our youth doing Hurricane Sandy clean-up and Whosoever Gospel Mission service; from prison ministry to urban school tutoring, LPC people enter the mission field day in and day out.
But why in the world, LPC? Why do we care about a Syrian mother in a refugee camp, an unemployed father in an urban slum in Brazil, a cataract patient in Burundi, school kids in Guatemala, Burundi, and north Philadelphia, the hungry and the hopeless in Bucks County?
Why in the world, LPC? Because Jesus said so. Jesus sent his disciples to go into the world healing the sick and proclaiming the coming Kingdom. The risen Christ told his friends to go and make disciples of all nations. He promised them that by the power of the Holy Spirit they would be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Why in the world, LPC? Because it’s God’s world and he loves the world so much that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in him shall not die, but have eternal life.
Why in the World, LPC? Because the Father loves us. The Son sends us. The Spirit empowers us.
There are churches and church people who wonder if the church should even be in the world – “let’s take care of our own first,” they say. There are churches and church people who say that the deed is enough, you don’t need to use any words about Jesus and his love. There are churches and church people who say they’ll let someone else feed the hungry stomachs, they’re just interested in filling hungry hearts.
Why in the world, LPC? Because we live in a world of empty stomachs and hungry hearts, of refugees and the blind, the discouraged and the unemployed, precious children who want to learn to read and write, to learn about all things bright and beautiful and the God who made them all.
A quarter million dollars. A ton of food. Notebooks, papers, pens and crayons. New windows in an old building. Advanced medical technology in a country with none. Thousands and thousands of hours given in love.
Why in the world, LPC? Because the Father loves us. The Son sends us. The Spirit empowers us.