Beginning on Sunday February 17th, our church will be collecting donations for our annual Week of Compassion offering. The Week of Compassion seeks to equip and empower disciples to alleviate the suffering of others through disaster response, humanitarian aid, sustainable development and the promotion of mission opportunities. The resources provided help those in our country and throughout the world. The following is an example of the work of the Week of Compassion.
Imagine having a garden, but not being able to feed your family. Imagine digging into the sand of a dry river bed in search of drinking water. Imagine your child is diagnosed with stunted growth, a preventable early childhood condition with lifelong consequences.
These are the struggles of the people living in a small village in West Timor, Indonesia. On the bank of an impassable river in monsoon season, which transforms into scorched moonscape at rains’ end, the small village of Oebaki is considered one of the poorest communities in the country. The prefix “Oe” means water, but drought has stolen this town’s identity. Poverty abounds, and families struggle to feed their children.
Imagine life in Oebaki. Now imagine the world the way God intends. God imagines a world where all are fed, everyone has access to clean water, and all children grow up healthy. The author of Ephesians writes, “Now to God be the glory, who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20).
Your gifts to Week of Compassion help make this world look more like the world God imagines. In Oebaki, your gifts help support well-trained savings and loan groups that allow families to buy resilient vegetable seeds for farming, yarn for weaving stunningly beautiful traditional fabric, and egg-laying chickens for a sustainable source of protein essential to prevent child stunting. These three enterprises also produce excess goods that families sell to generate income.
Those who once struggled during the dry season and drought can now maintain a diversified diet by eating stored root vegetables from the last harvest, supplemented with greens purchased at the market. Nelci Tlonaen works hard in Oebaki with her husband and three children – two in elementary school and one entering high school. Despite the current drought, she feels confident that her family will persevere. “Even now, I can afford clothes and food for my children. I don’t have any difficulty paying for their school.” That’s what happens when we imagine the world as God intends. Through your gifts to Week of Compassion, our imaginations, and far more, become reality for families in Oebaki and around the world. Please give generously in the next weeks to support this mission.