Monday, July 11, 2016

There Were Never Such Devoted Sister Churches

“Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…” Irving Berlin may have written those words for “White Christmas,” but they’re even more fitting for Sowers 4 Pastors’ Sister Church Sponsorship Program than they were for Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. In case you’re not familiar with the program, let’s go over the basics.

The Basics

The Sister Church Sponsorship Program goes hand in hand with the Manna 4 Lempira Child Sponsorship Program. You already know how Manna 4 Lempira allows individuals to sponsor a child for $15 a month. The Sister Church program is just like that, with individuals sponsoring specific children - except on steroids!

The Basics on Steroids

The program came about when someone at a church in the U.S. said something like, “Hey! I’m sponsoring children. Why don’t we ALL (in our church) sponsor children who go to the same church feeding center in Western Honduras? Then the people of our church could feed ALL the children at a particular feeding center!” The idea was thrown to Allen, who had the good sense to say, “YES! FEED ALL THE CHILDREN!!! You will be like sister churches without the sibling rivalry! And no one will be screaming, ‘Daaaad, she’s looking at me! Make her stop looking at me!’”  (Note: Okay, so those may not have been their exact words, but work with me here. I’m pretty sure it conveys the general idea.)

Sisterly Love in Guacutao

This week, Russell and a team went to the village of Guacutao to help out at a Honduran sister church. (Just fyi: Allen refers to Guacutao as "The Dark Side of the Moon." I'm not sure if that's because it's hard to get there, or if he has trouble with the name.) The work they did was very similar to the work the team with Manna 4 Lempira did last week, only this time all of the children being registered will be sponsored by their U.S. sister church; Edgewater Alliance Church, in Edgewater, Florida.

Family Reunion Minus the Jello Salad

In January, a sister church from the states is planning to send a team to Honduras. It will be like a big ol’ sister church family reunion, minus the Jello salad! Well, actually, it will really be more like a VBS, since that’s what the team is going to do for their sponsored church. Can you imagine how much fun it will be for all concerned?

That’s part of the beauty of the Sister Church Sponsorship Program. When a church from the U.S. is able to send a team to visit their sister church, the team is able to further develop a relationship by working on a project, such as VBS, putting a new roof on a church, or, as you’ve seen in the past, even building a bridge!

You Don’t Have to Be a Sister Church to Pack a Backpack!

Going out on a limb, I’m going to guess I’m not the only person whose heart goes pitter-pat at the sight of Back to School Sales. My kids are grown and we rarely have need of crayons in the house, but when I see boxes of crayons on sale for a quarter, I want to load up my shopping cart with a bounty of colorful, pointy-tipped, boxes of paraffin wax art implements! Similar feelings sweep over me at the sight of discounted pens, pencils, composition books, and those glorious pink erasers!

Sadly, in talking to Allen, I learned Hondurans do not know the joy of giant sale displays heaped with school supplies. Not only that, I also learned school supplies in Honduras often cost as much as five times the amount charged by places like Target and Walmart. Say what? Considering how small the typical Honduran family’s annual income is, purchasing necessary school supplies is an unfortunate burden. It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

You don’t have to be a part of the Sister Church Sponsorship Program in order to fill a backpack (Or 2! Or 20!) with school supplies for a child in Western Honduras. You don’t even have to sponsor a child. ANYONE with a love of crayons can fill a backpack. Actually, you don’t even have to love crayons. (Though, why wouldn’t you?) ANYONE can fill a backpack! Absolutely ANYONE! Your backpack will be given to a child through one of Sowers4Pastors’ feeding centers.

Many people think of sending gifts to children in other countries as strictly something to do at Christmas, but that’s not the case. Think of how many more backpacks we can fill if we hit those Back to School Sales! There are children in Honduras who are unable to attend school because their families cannot afford to purchase the required supplies - and we can make it possible for these kids to get an education! That’s a lot of mileage from some pencils, pens, paper, and crayons! More information on how YOU can take part in the backpack project will be coming in the next post. Watch for it!

- posted by Christi

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