The third piece of the mission statement of our church is a simple word: “Go.” When we expand on that word, we end up with a simple phrase: “Go into the world.” We believe that each disciple of Jesus is called to continue the process of disciple-making that has been going on within the Church since Jesus released his first disciples to be “fishers of men.” Each of us is on mission for the sake of the Kingdom in the world, empowered by the Spirit. But, it is also our desire to support those who are doing Kingdom work in places other than our own neighborhoods. We want to be a part of the “sending out” that God is doing in the lives of others. In the information on this sheet, you will find opportunities to do just that as we are setting aside July as a “mission month” at FFC. We invite you to read over the details of these projects and prayerfully consider how you might support one or more of these worthy causes.
July 1st – EFC-ER Missions
With its Great Commission budget, our Evangelical Friends Church – Eastern Region offers support to 15 missionary families outside the United States, along with a variety of state-side projects. A new generation of future leaders, pastors and church planters, is receiving the needed training for their calling. Local pastors and churches are receiving needed support to begin or sustain new engaging ministries. And, to give just one example, outreach to Nepalese refugees is happening just south of us (in Columbus, OH) because of Great Commission giving. But, the majority of Great Commission giving goes to mission needs far away from us. Among the 15 global missionary families, nations like Haiti, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India are being reached with the hope of Christ. Needs: Prayer and financial support
July 8th – Food Drive for the Salem Guatemalan Community
As a result of the detainment of many Fresh Mark employees who could not provide proof of legal residency, there are now many families in Salem who have been separated and find themselves without any source of income. Many Salem churches and organizations are helping to support the children and families of these detainees in different ways. Our focus has been on providing food for the families, and we will continue our food-drive for the foreseeable future. Food items needed most are: milk, eggs, meat, rice, corn flour, dry beans, fruits, vegetables, cereal, kids’ snack items, and baby formula. Check our website or Facebook Page for the most current collection schedule. Needs: Prayer, food donations, and monetary contributions
July 15th – Jason and Laura Smith
After serving with Cru (Campus Crusade) for 12 years in Italy, Jason and Laura are moving back to the United States for a new chapter in their calling as missionaries. The dozen years spent in Italy began working with students, and that part of their work never really stopped, but they also had to adapt to changing needs in Italy. Jason moved into new leadership positions, and missional relationships with refugees became their focus. Even though it is bittersweet to leave their Italian ministries and friends behind, they are excited for what God is doing next through their family. God has called them back into more focused work with university students, and they are transitioning into campus ministry at Michigan State University where Jason will also be working on a PhD in linguistics. Funds raised this summer will help to kick start their student ministry, as well as help cover the significant expenses involved with moving and essentially “starting from scratch” with life in the US. Needs: Prayer and financial support
July 22nd – Shoes That Grow
Children in developing countries are in dire need of durable shoes. An organization called Because International has designed a shoe that is built to last 5 years and can be adjusted to continue to be worn as the child’s feet grow. First Friends Church VBS (July 16-18) will be raising funds to purchase these shoes for as many kids as possible. Each pair costs $15 and you are invited to participate as well! Needs: Sponsor a shoe ($15 each)
July 29th – Dress & Bless a Child with Operation Christmas Child
Join us as we demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way with children around the world by creating and sending beautiful dresses, outfits and tote bags to those in need. Our goal is to send 100 dresses/outfits within the boxes donated in support of Operation Christmas Child. To be a part of this outreach, you can sponsor a dress/outfit for a $10 donation, or there will be upcoming sewing sessions and workshop at church. All ages are welcome to be involved! For more information, contact Diane Gardner or Sharon Walker (call/email church office for contact info). Needs: Prayer, dress/outfit contributions, monetary contributions.