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Archive for August, 2009

August 31, 2009

Short Term Missions…A Blessing to Them or Us?

Filed under: Missions — TimMc @ 3:26 pm

Earlier this summer, an article appeared in Christianity Today (June 2009 issue) that mentioned several things that mirror what our founder, Rhonda Sand, believes about short term missions too.

“Churches are learning that short-term missions are a mixed blessing. Do them, but say the reason we’re doing them is that they help us more than they help the host congregation.”

“Another thing to remember is the cultural and power differences, power in the sense of both political weight and economic influence. If an African church welcomes visitors from the United States and says, “We are so glad to have you here,“ yes, they’re sincere, but they also know that they’re welcoming people from America, who add some prestige and some finances. That may become a paternalistic relationship that goes sour for both sides, or it may turn out to be mutually edifying. It simply has to be done with eyes open and some understanding of the cultural, economic, and political differences.”

These two quotes come from the article, “Global is the New Local”, an article which appeared in the June 2009 issue of Christianity Today. You may read the entire article online at Christianity Today’s website.

While at first, these two quotes might be taken as offensive, perhaps it’s best to read them and then re-read them a second time. Please understand that they are not meant to be offensive in any way. They are merely suggesting that when you, as a church/organization enter into a short term mission trip of any sort, you should understand the implications that your trip may have for both your church/organization and the group of people you are going to engage.

As Christians, we are to go forth into all the world (Matthew 28), no doubt. We just need to understand that while we have a certain set of intentions…God may have a different agenda altogether – for us and possibly for those who we are ministering to as well. We need to be aware of that and flexible enough to move and adjust.

It’s good food for thought and hopefully will be a point of discussion for anyone who is planning to embark upon a short term mission trip.

Do Questions Lead to Actions?

Filed under: Changing Lives,Partners,Prayer Requests — TimMc @ 1:16 pm

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Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of of my sheep.” John 21:16 (NIV)

Take care of my sheep. Peter took a rough, circuitous route to ultimately accomplish what Christ wanted of him…but he finally became ‘the rock’ Christ desired him to be. Peter, after hearing the questions, finally responded with actions that made a positive eternal impact upon our world.

What questions are being asked of you? What are the actions that those questions beg?

Earlier this month, I came across a great article that displays how we process those questions and ultimately respond with actions that make a difference. The article is called “One important question can lead to important actions” and was written by Nigel Alston. I would encourage you to read the article and prayerfully consider what God may be asking of you within your own life and circumstances. What is He calling you to do? How are you going to respond?

For all of us at Purposeful Africa, we know that God has called us to action on behalf of the widows and orphans who are struggling throughout all of West Africa. Our response, our “action” is being formed right now. We are praying for partners who also feel God calling them to act on behalf of the precious lives who are struggling throughout the nations of West Africa. Are you sensing God’s call to minister among these folks with us? If so, know that we are praying for you!

August 25, 2009

Confidence in God to Supply and Sustain!

Filed under: Prayer Requests — TimMc @ 1:37 pm

“God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.” – Hudson Taylor

Please continue to pray for Purposeful Africa. Please pray that God will bless us with adequate funding and an ever present willingness on our part to give Him all glory and honor…for He alone is worthy!

August 11, 2009

30 Days of Prayer Campaign Starts This Month

Filed under: Prayer Requests — TimMc @ 5:21 pm

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In preparation of Purposeful Africa’s journey to West Africa, we encourage everyone to start praying now. There is so much to be done before our ship can set sail! More importantly though, we need to be praying for the people we will be interacting with once we pull into each of the port cities we will be visiting.

The 30 Days of Prayer Network has established a great, focused prayer guide that will not only assist you in praying for the people of West Africa, but for people around the globe who still need to hear the hope of true salvation and eternal security offered through Christ alone. The 30 day prayer guide is available in multiple formats – from a printed booklet to a pdf file that you may download and print, e-mails, twitter, and more. Learn more about all of the various ways that you can use this excellent resource by visiting their website, www.30-days.net. The 30 Days of Prayer Campaign starts on August 22 so be sure to get your prayer guide soon!

Bringing the Need into Focus by Actually Seeing It

Filed under: Orphan Care,Video — TimMc @ 3:29 pm

Recently, during a trip to Ethiopia with Rhonda Sand, John Hixson shared a great perspective on how the trip impacted him personally. We wanted to share this video with you because we see the same thing happening through the Purposeful Africa journey. We are excited about the opportunities that are being presented to us in West Africa to minister to the tremendous orphan population there.

We hope you are encouraged by this video. Please feel free to leave your comments and reaction to it. We would appreciate your feedback.

August 4, 2009

Words of Encouragement from Supporters of The Starfish Project

Filed under: Announcements,The Starfish Project — TimMc @ 8:31 pm

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We are so thankful for the support received so far for The Starfish Project. Thank you! We are also thrilled when we hear from those who are sending in their support for The Starfish Project.

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” I Cor. 15:57 (NIV)

Below are a couple of wonderful comments that have been sent to us. We hope their words will encourage you as much as they do us!

“Whatever we can do to support your African project, just let us know. As you proceed down this blessed path, there will be times when you need that extra financial boost. Call upon us. I have real good vibes about this new journey of yours. God bless.” Dick

“First, my heart is truly in missions. To be a part of spreading the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth is of great importance to me. Obviously, there are many who would love to serve on mission teams but are unable to go themselves, but that doesn’t mean we cannot send others who can! It is a command of God that we love and care for others less fortunate than ourselves. What does Jesus say in Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me ……” Let us “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk.” When Jesus comes to take us to be with Him, let Him find us working in the vineyard. Go with God Rhonda and He surely will go with you.” En Agape, Thelma

As The Starfish Project continues to be blessed through the generous giving of God’s people, we look forward to hearing from more donors. We are blessed to be in His service!

Make an Impact in West Africa with The Starfish Project for Only $1.00

Filed under: Announcements,Prayer Requests,The Starfish Project — TimMc @ 3:35 pm

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We are so excited to launch our new fundraising campaign, The Starfish Project! In order to secure a ship for our maiden voyage, funds must be raised, and we need your help in doing so.

So here’s the scoop; for only $1.00, you get a physical representation of your support, in the form of a beautiful, personalized Starfish that will decorate the walls of Purposeful Africa’s ship. Consider it your way of making the voyage with us if you can’t actually physically participate.

These Starfish also make amazing gifts for others around you. Let your loved ones know that in receiving a Starfish they are helping to reach people in need and will be well represented aboard our ship.

“Don’t fail to do something just because you can’t do everything.” -Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision

Without the support of our communities, our mission would not be possible, and this is a great way to truly help spread hope and faith to those in need throughout West Africa.

Another way to help us raise money and support is through word of mouth. Tell your friends, family, and church about The Starfish Project. Send out a quick email, post our link on facebook, twitter, or your own blog. This will help us out tremendously. We appreciate your support and can’t wait to hang that Starfish with your name on it! If you wish, you may go directly to PayPal and donate your $1.00. If you feel led to donate more, simply fill in the desired amount you want to give. Please feel free to use the comment box on PayPal to let us know the names of the person or people you would like to have displayed on each Starfish. If you need more space than is allowed in the comment box, please email us the information directly at info@purposefulafrica.org. Thanks!

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