Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain—Psalm 127:1.
Our commission chairman, Russ Pfeifer, an engineer extraordinaire, knows all about bridges. If the concrete’s not properly constituted, over years, structures crumble. Steel bars can bend and shatter, but well-crafted constructions can last for years and even centuries, serving future generations.
The excitement we have in our work in Global Outreach stems from the fact that God has invited us to participate in his holy construction projects that show up in our lives. The work of the Easter Sacrificial Offering joins with new and long-standing partnerships that are made for the future and furtherance of the Kingdom. But they’re only effective because the Lord has brought them to this point.
A nationally-run NGO in the Middle East provides vocational education for vulnerable populations in rural villages. While teaching vital skills such as car repair or hairdressing, villagers have the opportunity to hear the gospel. Many become believers as a result of the outreach, and that changed life revolutionizes families and friend circles.
A congregation in the Middle East hopes to finish construction on a church reaching out to a predominantly Muslim neighborhood. They have been waiting 18 years for the permits to come through and they finally did last year, but the construction must be completed within two years. In an amazing, teeny glimpse of God’s blueprint of eternity, this is one of our elders’ childhood church.
New Hope Liberia, which works in the Monrovia metropolitan area, provides for the day-to-day and educational needs for the Mother Comfort Orphanage. In fact, Dr. Bruce McDowell will travel to Liberia in March in order to help build the next generation of leaders in the Liberian church through a pastors’ conference. They’re already expecting about 50 to show up for the theological training sessions.
The vocational program for previously-trafficked women through African Enterprise in Ghana has historically seen all of the participants coming to faith and returning to their villages to start soap-making or baking businesses. Tenth has supported this for many years, and the repercussions for future generations are recounted in every woman’s story of deliverance and transformation.
Pastor Y serves in a Muslim country in the Middle East. The government won't recognize his job, so he has no official "income" or credit history, and cannot buy a house. In this context, landlords refuse to rent and/or raise the rent when they learn of his faith. His family has had to move every two years and spend their own money to fix up dilapidated apartments that they manage to rent. We have been working to secure him a home, and we’re almost there! He daily risks his life for the gospel and has a far-reaching vision for raising up the church in his city. In fact, his prayer is for 80 churches to be planted in his region, a strategic crossroads at the East/West juncture.
Perched on the edge of the Syrian civil war, World Relief is partnering with a refugee school in another country in the Middle East to provide standard education in a Christian environment, primarily in the Arabic language, for Syrian refugee children from preschool to 15 years of age. This ministry not only serves refugee children, but also provides paid employment for teachers and helpers in the school, most of whom are also Syrian refugees. Imagine the impact for the Syrians who will pass through this school and hear the gospel of hope and peace after years of brutal war.
All our best efforts at building for the future will collapse unless we entrust our work to the Lord and let him direct the details. So please pray for these individual projects, for our partners who work in them, and for your role in their development. We invite you to share in God’s holy construction projects, which will have implications far beyond our own lives at Tenth through the work of the 2016 Easter Sacrificial Offering.