Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ask Allen and Trish

It’s time to play a little game I like to call, “Ask Allen and Trish!” Some of you guys have already done the hard part by asking a really solid question of them. My role is simply to share their answer. Here’s the big, important question: Hey, Allen and Trish, with all of the talk about the feeding centers, the sponsorship program, and other ministries, is your primary focus still empowering indigenous pastors?

The Big Important Answer

Here’s the big, important answer: Yes.

Allen Speaks

Boy, this blog post practically wrote itself! Oh, I suppose Allen and Trish might want me to elaborate on that big, important answer, so I’ll tell you what they said.

Hey, look! Here’s a direct quote from Allen: “When we were in the states, we were repeatedly asked if our emphasis on sponsorships meant we had changed our focus away from helping pastors. That’s a really solid question, which deserves to be addressed.

“The whole idea behind the feeding centers is that they were set up to empower pastors to help the people in the mountains. Some groups do feeding centers in a way that doesn't specifically involve the pastors, but we set ours up through the pastors--empowering them to do outreach to their communities, help their congregations, and, most importantly, expand the Kingdom.”

The Big Important Answer Continues

The sponsorship program has several aspects. For the sponsors, they are usually drawn to the aspect of touching the life of one individual child. We can all see the value in that sort of personal relationship. Allen, Trish, and Russell value that, too. They also value the fact that sponsorships are a funding tool which helps them reach entire communities.

We’re all familiar with the big, highly publicized, child sponsorship programs. What you may not realize is the reason they are so highly publicized is because those organizations use the excess funding from sponsorships to publicize highly. The excess is going for commercials, slick brochures, and overhead. Any extra sponsorship money through Sowers4Pastors goes directly back into the feeding centers, and feeds more children. All of it. Every last bit. Got it?

When Sowers4Pastors sets up a sponsorship program, they know they are going to visit those children in that location at least three or four times a year. Therefore, they only offer sponsorships to children in areas they will be able to access multiple times per year. Some mountain villages are simply too remote to make numerous visits. So, when there is excess funding from the sponsorship program, the money goes to feed those children in remote mountain areas where a sponsorship program wouldn't be feasible.

Pastor leading Bible study at feeding center in Rodeito
For the past five years, the feeding centers have been able to feed around 12,000 children per year. That is an amazing number. But there are pastors whose requests for feeding centers have been turned down, due to lack of resources. If you know the Sowers at all, you know that’s the sort of thing that keeps them up at night.

And that, my friends, is why there has been a major push to gain as many child sponsorships as possible. It’s about feeding kids and empowering pastors as they minister to their communities.

- posted by Christi

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