Friday, September 21, 2007

Grace Connects with African Orphans

Grace Church is part of a fellowship of churches called the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. Five out of six Grace Brethren people live on the continent of Africa. In fact, there are 350,000 people in Africa that attend Grace Brethren Churches.

But Africa has a crisis. The continent of Africa is a continent of orphans. In the Central African Republic alone, there are nearly 200,000 orphans. This is largely due to the three problems of war, poverty and the growing epidemic of the HIV/AIDS virus. In fact, it is estimated that 16% of the country is infected with HIV/AIDS.

In the country of Africa, the culture does not deal with orphans through orphanages like we do in America and in most European countries. In Africa, orphans are cared for by their extended families. But as you can imagine, being that there are so many orphans, these extended families who already live in such poverty cannot care for their needs.

This is where the Grace Brethren Churches in Africa are partnering with Grace Brethren Churches in America to provide the needs that these thousands of orphans have that include their receiving an education that will allow them to succeed rather than to become another horrifying statistic. This amazing partnership is called, “Hand in Hand!”

In the past here at Grace Church we have used our Birthday Gift for Jesus giving emphasis each December to support three national foundational layers in the country of Cambodia. We have now rolled the support for these men plus a fourth foundational layer into our regular mission budget which is part of the General Fund of Grace Church. Now we want to use this December’s Birthday Gift for Jesus giving emphasis to launch a partnership with three of our Grace Brethren Churches in the Central African Republic as part of our taking the initiative to make a difference in the lives of thousands of orphans in the country of Africa.

Through our giving, we can put a Christian School into each of these three churches that will see dozens upon dozens of these precious African orphans receive an education. Through this education we will also be able to see these many precious African orphans evangelized and discipled as they learn each day in these Grace Brethren Churches.

We can fund a Christian School including a teacher, supplies and clothing for these precious children to wear to school for a full year for just $3,000. How incredible is that! This means that we can put Christian Schools into three Grace Brethren Churches in the Central African Republic for just $9,000 a year. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to go beyond these three Christian Schools this next year and raise enough money in December to make a significant impact and a much needed difference in the lives of hundreds orphans who are struggling and dying each day in Africa. Every penny of the thousands and thousands of dollars that we hope to raise through our special Birthday Gift for Jesus December emphasis will go to orphan ministries in Africa.

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