This weekend Nativity is celebrating Missions Weekend, which supports both our involvement in Nativity’s local and global mission partner projects and our participation in the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. This, by the way, is the only weekend, the only appeal we make focused on giving outside the parish. Some parishes have second or special collections all the time, we do it once a year.
Whenever asking for financial support (for anything), make sure to look back on the wins and accomplishments of the previous year, draw attention to what’s happening now, and then cast vision for the future. Don’t talk about need, talk about vision.
2016 was an incredible year for us. A few months ago we celebrated the amazing accomplishment of building a brand new high school in Nigeria. In addition, we were able to fund the construction of two medical clinics there. These clinics have been built in rural, isolated areas where there was no access to healthcare. They now enjoy 100% free care thanks to those new facilities and the ministry of our partners in Nigeria, Faith Alive Hospital.
And there’s more. Last year’s contributions also made possible the construction of another new school, this time in Monarch Haiti. In fact, this week our partners there will be breaking ground to begin the construction. Our Haitian partners had identified education as their number one priority in improving the quality of life in the community; they just didn’t have any kind of facility where that could effectively happen. This new school will make a world of difference in the lives of many families for generations to come.
What’s Happening Now
We are excited about all that is possible in 2017. This year we’re focusing on clean water in Kenya. Over the past few years, we have become very familiar with the generational impact clean water projects can have: freeing up time in daily life for education, improving health, wellness and sanitation, and so much more. And our partners in Kenya are eager to move forward with a well and water distribution system that we can make happen.
Here at home, we support the excellent work accomplished through the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. The Appeal makes possible a long list of projects and programs that are serving communities across the state of Maryland.
After a lot of time, prayer, and effort on behalf of our Director of Missions, Brian Crook and his team, we are making progress in a very exciting mission opportunity we hope will become a fruitful ministry in years ahead. Over the past year, we have begun to form strategic relationships with local community leaders in two areas of Baltimore City: one in North East Baltimore, and the other in South West Baltimore. Along with the leaders in these communities, we have a vision to see God’s power and Spirit move in big ways. We believe transformation is possible in Baltimore, both at a systemic level and in individual’s lives. We are expectant for all the ways God might use our church to serve our city. Stay tuned for more on this developing project.