As we continue to focus on our missional partnerships in the month of March, and most immediately prepare for a total mission-immersion this Saturday at nine sites in and around the greater metro region, I want to let you know of a special opportunity to encounter one international partner up close and personally.
One of JCBC’s valued missional partners is Water is Life International (WiLi). David Harding, who has served for many years as CBF Field Coordinator to Ethiopia is also the CEO of WiLi.
I had the honor of serving as David’s pastor while living in Orlando.
David and Merrie Harding are very close personal friends of the King family, and I want you to know them!
I am thrilled to report the Hardings will be visiting JCBC on Palm Sunday, March 25th.
On that day, there will be two opportunities to meet the Hardings: 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.
We will hear about the life-changing work underway because of our generous support, and learn about opportunities for an “on the ground” mission-immersion you can experience in Ethiopia!
Until then, please take a moment to read a recent report David has provided, summarizing the missional context in the regions where JCBC is at work.
Johns Creek Baptist Church and Water is Life Ethiopia
“The voice of the Lord thunders over mighty waters.” Psalm 29:3
In Ethiopia, some of the most vulnerable people in the world cope with scarce resources with an understandable survival and protection mentality that deflates hope, demeans dignity, and destroys good intentions. The condition reinforces harmful behaviors and creates unhealthy dependencies in the face of devastating chronic and acute disasters including polluted drinking water, extreme poverty, tribal fighting, recurring droughts and failed development policies. Within the patriarchal society, the voices of women and girls, in particular, are customarily silenced and burdened under hard daily labor such as hauling heavy containers of water or firewood as they endure other forms of abuse. Tragically, the truth is long forgotten that the poor belong to the family of God and are due a productive and fruitful life.
Water is Life Ethiopia is about helping the vulnerable and powerless to re-member their true identity of complete dignity, worth, and acceptance in God and to discover abundant love and freedom with Christ. In Christ, the vulnerable are invited to re-imagine life with a renewed identity and to self-gather into cherished, welcomed and empowered groups called Sustainable Living Teams (SLTs). SLTs (made up of approximately 30+ women each) are simple savings and credit associations designed to recognize, appreciate and release the human and heavenly potential of each member to grow spiritually, economically and socially. SLTs are based on the intent to learn how to live free and productive lives filled with hope, love, peace and joy.
In 2015-16, JCBC worked with Water is Life Ethiopia to establish 40 Sustainable Living Teams (SLTs) and to build three wells benefitting over 2,000 people. The need now is to provide leadership training for selected SLT leaders so the network of teams can grow and expand to new areas. Also, more water points are desperately needed to provide safe drinking water for thousands of people that currently depend on polluted sources.
I hope you will join us at one of the two opportunities to meet the Hardings and hear more.
Both opportunities (9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon) will take place in the Heritage Room.
Soup and Sandwiches will be provided at noon.
Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.
Johns Creek Baptist Church