Friday, March 01, 2013

PCC and Congo - Hope Sunday is Coming!

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Romans 15:30

We are praying and preparing for our Hope Sunday together this Sunday.  In this Gmail, I wanted to answer the two most pressing questions I have been asked regarding Hope Sunday.  What you may not know is that this weekend will transpire in the context of God’s call on PCC for decades to uniquely partner with our brothers and sisters in Congo.  Sharon Seeberger, our Mission Director, has helped tremendously in leading and explaining our mission to Congo and how this weekend fits in.

Question #1 What is distinct about PCC’s mission in the Congo? From decades of experience, we have identified three highly focused and targeted distinctives where we are uniquely partnering with the Covenant Church in the Congo: (Understand that the Covenant in the Congo is made up of 250,000+ people, schools that educate over 60,000 kids, 5 hospitals and over 90 medical clinics.)
  • Orphan Care: Congo has 4.7 million orphans and the ranks dead last by the UN Human Development Index. Because Jesus prioritized the least, the last and the lost, we do too. We just dedicated an 80-bed orphanage last Sunday in Gemena!
  • Leadership Development: Through higher education (teaching at a University in the region and funding scholarships), through training Congolese leaders who come to PCC for an extended period of time and through developing sports ministry leaders to use sport to spread the Gospel, we are equipping indigenous leaders.
  • Micro-finance and Potentially Larger Scale Business Development: Through mentoring people who are developing business plans and grants, through teaching marketable skills we are endeavoring to aid the economy of this impoverished region.  Right now, PCCers are in the Congo teaching sewing to widows and older orphan girls.
Question #2 Where does Hope Sunday and Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision fit into this?  World Vision is joining with the Covenant denomination to stand with our Congolese friends and turn around this most over-looked province of the Congo. This unprecedented partnership will provide greater access to clean water, medicine and raise the quality of education for the whole region of Gemena.  Gemena is the epicenter for the work of the Covenant in the Congo.
This proven community development model for sustainable long-term solutions is built on World Vision’s 60 years of experience. Because of World Vision’s credibility and because of this unprecedented partnership between World Vision and the Covenant, other NGO’s have pledged millions of dollars of resources so that for every dollar pledged in sponsorship, $3 of in-kind goods show up on the ground in Gemena.
There are so many needs in this region of the Congo that we cannot even make a dent as a church. These challenges are immense and require huge amounts of resources and follow through that only a partnership with an organization like World Vision can provide. However, as a church, we will never stop our commitment to our three distinctives.

Bottom Line: Think of PCC as the ground force, joining with our brothers and sisters in the Congo in their hand-to-hand combat against seemingly insurmountable forces.  Think of this unprecedented World Vision partnership as the “air cover,” dropping resources into the whole region that we could just never provide.

As you read this, please pray for our team serving right now in the Congo.  They have three more days of serving with a heat index of 120 degrees.  God is doing great things through them. Pray for them and their families who are back here as well.

This Sunday will be amazing on so many fronts.  Please come!  Please don’t come alone!  Begin now to pray for our time together and ask God to allow hundreds of kids to be sponsored.  Because this Gmail is read by people well beyond the PCC community, if you have interest in sponsoring a child in the Congo through this partnership, click here.

I love being your pastor!