Thursday, October 27, 2011

God's Heart for the World

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "  Matthew 25:40

Two children whose father died thought they could never laugh and sing at Christmas again -- until we brought Christmas joy to them through the Kennedy Christmas Store last year.  They wrote, "Thank you for being an angel in our lives."

A Central African Republic mother brought her daughter to the hospital. As she anxiously waited for the doctors, she discovered agricultural experts nearby who taught her how to grow nutritional food when she returned home.  There she not only met Jesus but found herself compelled to return later to serve, volunteering her time, sharing her new hope with other moms.  We gave to develop this agricultural center.

Orphaned by AIDS, a Congolese teen girl and boy found protection with "Sabuli's Kids."  Through Sabuli Sanguma's heart of encouragement, given hands and feet by PCC's gifts, these homeless teens not only learned to grow their own food, but also attended high school, graduated and recently passed their entrance exams as well!  Now engaged in further training their dream has turned to reality, because we gave.

A homeless man at our Thanksgiving dinner last year thanked us for letting him eat on a glass plate.  He had other gifted meals, he said, but only PCC valued him as a person enough to let him eat on glass.

For every success story there are millions with no story to tell.  Hunger and malnutrition make natural immunity to disease all by impossible, so the childhood mortality rate in Africa by preventable disease is frighteningly high.  Here in our own neighborhoods are people whose own difficult circumstances have blinded their eyes from the joy of Christ coming to earth.

PCC's commitment to the marginalized and the poor is to be the hands and feet of Jesus bringing God's heart to the struggling.  In the book Radical, David Platt says, "More than a billion people live in desparate poverty, lacking food, water, clothing and shelter.  How can we begin to fight the battle against materialism in an effort to spend our lives and our money -- on behalf of that which is most important to the heart of God?"  (page 194)

This Sunday, we have the opportunity to reach out to the homeless, to families challenged locally, and to poverty stricken people in Africa through our special God's Heart for the World offering. 

I am asking us all to ask God what he would have us give, above and beyond our regular planned percentage giving through PCC, for this special offering.  100% of what is collected this Sunday will go to:
  • Sabuli's Kids - Sabuli Sanguma cares for 50 Gemena children orphaned by AIDS and war in Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo).  Currently crowded into two rooms, these children and youth desparately need a building. Land has been donated so Sabuli and her team can train the children in agriculture and other vocational training.  We want to build them adequate housing so that orphans can be developed into Christ-centered leaders for the DRC in the years to come.
  • Kennedy Christmas Store - In Redwood City, Kennedy Middle School families are served through the Christmas Store experience made possible by PCC volunteers.  The money from the offering will provide jackets, shoes and clothing.  Gift cards will provide toys, food and gas.  Each year the gift card surplus is used to support the Kennedy Family Center to care for the urgent needs of Kennedy families as they arise.
  • CEFA - Food for Families - The Center for Research and Training in Agriculture in Central African Republic was founded and developed by our missionaries Roy and Aleta Danforth.  CEFA researches better agricultural methods, teaches nutrition, helps small farmers get better yields of higher quality foods, and teaches mothers how to provide nutritional food for the children while sharing Jesus and discipling new believers.  Our offering will help fund the second phase of development.
This Sunday we will continue in our series, The Way.  Linger in Matthew 28:18-20 and also read Chapter 5 of the book Radical.  God is up to something these days at PCC!  I look forward to gathering with you on Sunday.

I love being your pastor!