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Sunday Recap for June 9, 2019:
Life From Death

Mission Highlight: Thank you Andrew and Amanda, for updating us on our fundraising efforts and what is happening on the ground in Mcheneke, the community we partner with through Hands at Work. We raised around $2,000 for immediate on the ground relief to be sent to Convoy of Hope, particularly in Mozambique which was the hardest hit. 

We also raised around $22,000 for the Mcheneke community. Half has been released for construction of new housing. The rest will be released to Hands as other needs arise through out the year. 

Royie (Service Centre Coordinator, Hands at Work, Malawi) and his team identified 25 houses as being top priority to be rebuilt. As of this week, 7 of these have been rebuilt with temporary bamboo sticks and poles (first picture). Bricks are currently being made to complete rebuilds for the remaining houses.

14-year old Daniel* (name has been changed, second picture) is one of the children benefitting from this response. Before the cyclone, Daniel lived with his Gogo (grandma) in a house, next door to his 5 other half siblings and mother. Devastatingly, both houses were completely destroyed, along with all of the family’s belongings. Left in an extremely vulnerable situation, the family set to work building a small, temporary shelter that all 8 of them stayed in. The surrounding community joined the family to begin rebuilding a home - family, neighbors and the Hands at Work team - all generously bringing materials to complete the build.

We want to thank everyone for lifting up the people of Mcheneke in prayer and giving so generously. God is definitely moving in the community as you heard from the story of Daniel. 

This cyclone really exposed the vulnerability of communities across Eastern Africa and the community of Mcheneke specifically. The children that we support there have no disaster plans and little support when things like this happen. What has been really beautiful in the midst of the destruction and pain is the response of the care workers and the community as they sacrificially step up to care for those that were most impacted by the cyclone.

One of the goals of our partnership with Hands at Work and Mcheneke is to build resiliency as we support the development of income generating activities for care givers and encourage a sense of ownership for the whole community for the care of the most vulnerable among them. And it’s happening! But they have a long way to go before they no longer need outside aid and we have the privilege and opportunity to support them along the way in numerous ways, not least of which financially. If your heart has been stirred by these events, we invite you to consider making a long term commitment to support the community and the ongoing work through monthly donations and regular prayer. 

If you’ve been at Christ Church for any length of time, you have likely heard us talking about the teams that we also send periodically to Malawi to learn from and encourage the care workers, the children and their families. Our sister church, Grace Alameda, is sending a team next month. We know that God will use this team to speak life into these Malawians who have so much reason to despair but we know they are also going to learn a lot from them as, in our experience, they have a depth of faith and hope in spite of circumstances that is, frankly uncommon in our context.

The Baumanns will be hosting a prayer gathering on Sunday July 7, the weekend the Grace Alameda team arrives in Malawi. We will have stories from past team members about their experiences as we pray for the team and the people of Mcheneke.

Then we prayed for our brothers and sisters in Malawi and those impacted by the cyclone. Let's continue to pray for them:

God over all creation, you have heard the cries of your people in Eastern Africa and you have turned your face toward them. Thank you for organizations like Convoy of Hope and for the individuals who have willingly stepped into someone else’s messiness to bring hope and tangible help to the hurting. Thank you for positioning a Hands at Work to respond to the crisis in the communities they serve. And thank Father for allowing us to participate in their healing from across the world and for stirring the compassion of this body to act on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We know the effects of the cyclone are not over. The world has moved on but the people devastated in Eastern Africa have not. We ask that your spirit would draw near to the hurting. Give wisdom and integrity to those who have been entrusted with the task of distributing donated goods and funds. May the reach the most needy. Sustain the relief and rebuilding efforts. Protect the people from disease and exposure this winter.

Father, be with each individual that you hand selected to be a part of the Grace Alameda team. As they visit one of the poorest communities in one of the poorest nations in the world, some for the first time, 3 months after a natural disaster, we know the suffering will be evident but we ask that you would also help them to see and fuel the small fires of joy and hope and love that you have already lit there. Grant them safe travels and rest and enable the team to fully engage with the community that there would be mutual building up in you. May your great name be glorified in their fellowship and service of one another. "
Question #20: Who is the Redeemer?
 
Answer: The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.
This Week's Sermon: Life From Death" (Genesis 18)
 
Thank you, Pastor Eric, for visiting us from Virginia and sharing the word of God with us!

"The resurrection empowers us to be brutally real and also fully persuaded...God, through His resurrection, can give you faith to stop avoiding and stop avoidance and stop running to unbelief and run to promise."

This sermon series: Pursuing a Meaningful Life

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