At Easter we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection which means death has been defeated and God is going to mend our broken world, making all things new. We herald that news by reaching out in the name of Christ to those who are suffering. That's where the Easter Sacrifical Offering (ESO) comes in. Through giving generously to ESO we link arms with brothers and sisters in other parts of the world and join them in ministries of mercy and relief. As we do so we demonstrate the unity of Christ’s body and proclaim the coming of his kingdom. Highlighted below is one of the projects we'll be supporting this year.
Those of us working with Wide Open World (WOW) last summer anxiously watched as events unfolded in Egypt following President Morsi’s ouster. WOW is Tenth’s program to make children aware of God’s great mission in the world. And the kids were raising money for children’s Bible clubs in Upper Egypt, but stories of extremists torching churches and kidnapping Christian girls filled the news.
Then word came that the Bible clubs had been disbanded. Gathering children for Christian instruction was just too dangerous. At summer’s end we had to tell the WOW kids that the money they had raised would be used to help the church in Egypt, but that we’d have to let the Christians there tell us how best to do that.
Not long after, we heard that Think and Do, an organization run by Egyptian evangelicals, was in great need. We had supported them through last year’s Easter offering. They work in Upper Egypt, an impoverished region populated by pockets of Coptic Christians.
While ten percent of Egyptians are nominal Christians, many have no understanding of the Christian faith. In fact, forty percent of Protestant churches lack a minister or leader with any training; many live in villages which have no church at all. With no one to disciple them, they begin to adopt the values of the predominant culture. Think and Do seeks to change that. Through literacy clubs, vocational training, and medical clinics, they provide practical help paired with Bible teaching and the training of Christian leaders. The result is Spirit-fueled transformation.
But the summer’s events had left Think and Do reeling, crippling its ministry. We wired them money. In the following weeks we heard stories of Egypt that rarely make the news. The Bible clubs had restarted and new churches were being planted. Think and Do began 259 new home groups and 92 Bible studies last year. This would be astounding any year but to have it happen when the church had been under such duress is Easter glorious!
A portion of our Easter Sacrificial Offering will go to support Think and Do. Read a full report on their village workers’ ministry.