Sunday, February 23, 2014

Helping the Church Be the Church

Posted by Joni

On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy concluded his Inaugural Address with the famous statement:

“Ask not what your country can do for you —

ask what you can do for your country.”

I stumbled across this statement today, and it reminded me a lot of what our Church Mobilization Program (CMP) is working towards.  In the areas we work in, it is very typical to find 2-3 different church denominations in a small village community, yet they will not work together or fellowship with each other because of denominational differences.  If denominational division isn’t a big enough problem, most Christians in the church believe they must not associate themselves with non-Christians.  The activities of the church benefit those that attend the church.  It is “in-reach” versus “out-reach.”

The CMP program, in short, takes pastors and church leaders through an envisioning curriculum, studying the life and ministry of Christ.  When looking at Christ’s ministry, He never addressed only the spiritual side of a person and left the physical, or healed them physically but didn’t address the spiritual. He always addressed both. CMP leads the pastors and leaders through a process of learning what Christ meant the Church to be- not divided, but united, and helping to reach out to the needs of their community, both physically and spiritually.

As a result, Pastors are realizing that even though there are denominational differences, if the church is serving Jesus Christ, we can be unified as Christians.

Church congregations are reaching out using their own resources, not to benefit their own church members, but to benefit the entire community as a whole, which in turn creates opportunities for the non-believers to ask “why are they doing this for us?”  For example, our CMP project in Lofa County focuses on broken hand-pumps.  Instead of Samaritan’s Purse coming in, fixing the hand pump and leaving the community, we are training members of the church on how to repair, maintain and service these hand pumps, so the Church can be the one to help restore the physical need of clean drinking water for the community. 

Samaritan’s Purse will not always be in Liberia, but the Church will remain after we leave.  We don’t want the community to see Samaritan’s Purse- we want them to see the Church reaching out, meeting those needs.  It is not about Samaritan’s Purse- it is about Jesus Christ.

The CMP project is helping the Liberian Church, reach Liberians.  “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country.”

Exciting things happening through this project, please consider donating!

As for Marathon training, we are entering probably the most important three weeks of the training, with our longest runs looming ahead!  As we get deeper into the schedule, I have felt pain I have never had before… today my right hip was screaming at me!  Nothing some ice packs, stretches and a foam roller can’t cure… hopefully!  Last week Kendell and I entered in new territory with a 15 mile run, and this week we will increase that to 16.  Jamie continues to cruise by us on her 20 milers, with a smile on her face the entire way!  Please pray for us as we train in this dry season heat and humidity. It is HOT!  We keep telling ourselves that it will benefit us when we get to chilly London for the actual marathon…

Don’t forget to get in your donation, or to spread the word about how to get involved!

If you are from the UK, my fundraising page address is:

If you are from the US/Canada, my fundraising page address is:

Kendell and I at about the 4 out of 12 mile mark

Rusty and Jamie, synchronizing watches!

Made it- glad to be done for the day!

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