Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In our weekly updates, we share stories of our presence and impact around the world: from disaster response, to refugee and immigration ministry, to ongoing sustainable development projects in impoverished areas. Catch up on updates you missed, or find stories you want to read and share again! Or, subscribe to receive weekly email updates.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:19-21
Where is your treasure?
In the bank? A locked box? Invested wisely across a diverse portfolio?
Last week, we shared a story about ongoing recovery in Jefferson City, Missouri, where First Christian Church is serving their neighbors and investing in the future of their community. The same storm system that impacted Jefferson City also spawned damaging tornadoes in nearby communities, including Eldon, Missouri. Here is how they weathered the storm. Week of Compassion is grateful to partner with Disciples who respond in times of need, taking care of church members as well as neighbors!
On Wednesday, May 22 of 2019, an EF1 tornado went through the city of Eldon, Missouri. The storm brought winds of 104 miles-per-hour and tracked for 13 miles.
Sometimes, a disaster draws attention to a pre-existing challenge in a community. When that happens, a church may have the opportunity to serve their neighbors in a time of crisis, while also addressing a deeper need. We are grateful that First Christian Church in Jefferson City, Missouri, answered such a call.
In Thailand, a 13-year-old girl arrives at The New Life Center, seeking relief from the cruel conditions that have brought her here. Her life up to this point has been mostly about survival. Here, she meets others like her. Some of them are survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or human trafficking. Some have been forced to work when they wanted to go to school.
What will the future be like when she is empowered to share her gifts with her community and the world?
In Liberia and Sierra Leone, Week of Compassion is planting seeds for the future--literally and figuratively.
Ten years ago, Week of Compassion partner Agricultural Missions started the West Africa Initiative (WAI) as part of reconstruction following the 14-year civil war that devastated much of the rural sector in both countries. The initial focus of WAI was to improve food security in rural communities by increasing local food production. Through this comprehensive rural development program, Week of Compassion partners work to organize and train local farmers’ groups. But there are many challenges.
As Wharton County resident, Steve B, recounted it: “In town the water was knee deep. The muddy flood waters went in houses through windows, and after the water receded, the mud had to be raked out with hoes and shovels. The streets and yards were nothing but mud caked caverns.”* The flood left Steve and many of his friends practically homeless and jobless, as their small farms were destroyed. As they started to get back on their feet, another flood came just a few years later.