Taking inspiration from vibrant street life culture around the world, the FAC International Street Festival in November was a modern take on the traditional missions conference. It encouraged exploration through experiences, and connected International Workers (individuals called into full-time ministry overseas) with their church family back home in Calgary. The event revealed God’s heart for the world, embodied through the volunteers who served, the stories told, and the generous gifts given to missions. It also uncovered opportunities for FAC to better champion missions and communicate its importance in the fabric of our church.
The weekend service following the street festival continued to speak of God’s heart for the nations. We heard more stories from International Workers, about what God is doing in the world. The sermon was delivered in Spanish and translated into English – a unique and powerful experience. Worship and prayer was delivered in multiple languages. The Holy Spirit was so evident in the big room – moving people to examine what our part is in reaching the nations with Christ’s love and message of salvation.
After this powerful weekend many stepped out in faith, giving generously to partner with special projects International Workers are involved with around the world. These projects range from Bible translations to small business startups to refugee aid. People were invited to pick a project from a Giving Wall, donate to that fund, and then continue to pray for the International Workers and people receiving this aid. This was a new experience that allowed individuals to pick a specific project and really commit to praying for that ministry. It helped give a face to missions around the world. $12,643.80 was donated towards Alliance special giving projects worldwide! How amazing is that?!?
So here we are almost 3 months later, and I’m curious to know … What does $12,643.80 translate to in terms of impact around the world? Let’s take a look at an overview of the 47 projects that FAC supported.
Because you gave to the Caribbean Island Ministry, FAC sponsored 4 students to attend courses at a Micro Business Training Centre, 4 women in need or at risk were assisted in finding work, and 5 small business loans were provided.
Because you gave to Inca Link, FAC helped provided prenatal and postnatal care to one mother and her child at Casa Elizabeth in Quito, Ecuador.
“Living in Casa Elizabeth is where I learned about God and how to be a family.” –Julie
In Peru, FAC helped provided literacy training and Bible translations to the Quechua women in the remote jungles of the Andes Mountains where most are illiterate.
In Costa Rica, through Sun Compassion, you provided hope for a child’s future by providing resources to send less fortunate kids to daily support programs that provide school supplies and meals to keep kids in school. Because you gave to Sun Compassion in Costa Rica, 3 cages, 75 chickens and their initial supplies of food and vitamins were supplied to help with small business chicken start-ups. Costa Rican families will be taught how to sustainably feed their family, sell eggs & chickens, and learn how to grow their business! Your donations will also help women in Guizaros, a barrio of San Jose, to strengthen their sense of identity and restore hope, dignity, and value to their lives. Pray that more women and families in Guizaros will continue their journey on spiritual formation. Pray that God continues to build strong healthy leaders in Costa Rica.
“We appreciate so much your generosity as a church and the enormous role you play in helping our Alliance family fulfill our mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the least reached.” – Curtis, International Worker in the Caribbean Sun Region
Because you gave to the Desert Sand Region, women in Guinea’s prisons will be provided with practical gifts and minor repairs will be done to their cells as needed. 3 women will also have their weekly salary paid to go into the prison to teach hairdressing. Prisons in this region often house 50-70 women in one cell.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.” (Psalm 146:8)
In Niger you helped provide brighter futures for children by giving assistance to send underprivileged kids to school (supplies & tuition cost), access to Tuareg Bibles and discipleship training, and resources to rebuild homes to give suitable housing and stability to family life. The Kids in Crisis Ministry Centre is now able to provide 4 children orphaned due to medical crisis with school kits that provide a school uniform, tuition fees, and school supplies for the whole year. 8 children will now receive nutritious meals for one month. At the Niger Vocational Training Centre, 6 young girls will have hot meals for one month – feeding a child and nourishing her future.
Sandbox Medical works to equip Christian health professionals to raise the standard of medical care in their hospitals. Because you gave, FAC contributed to the cost of greatly needed medical equipment, patient treatments, and Memorial Hospital building project.
“He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.” (Luke 9:11)
Because you gave to the Silk Road Region, food assistance in the Arabian Peninsula will be provided for 2 households for an entire month. 2,600 households will be provided with a month’s supply of drinking water. Education will be brought to vulnerable believers to help raise their level of education and standing in society – this helps decrease their vulnerability to persecution. A significant contribution was made to the Human Rights and Emergency Fund that helps provide financial support for persecuted Christians in Crisis. Funds help with relocation, legal costs, and emergency medical assistance.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)
In Iraq through Mobile Medical, donations were given to help support the cost of hiring local doctors and medical personnel, and to purchase medications and other supplies for patient visits.
“Dear supporters … thank you for support of the Loving Iraq Mobile Medical Clinic Approved Special. We appreciate your financial gifts and also your prayers. Your generosity will allow us to continue making a difference in Iraq and present the love of Christ in a practical way.” – Don Orr, International Worker in the Silk Road Region
In Serbia, FAC helped 3 attend a recovery program to help with addictions. They will receive room and board, counseling, skill training, and discipleship.
In Novi Sad, Serbia, two
months of hospice care has been provided for terminally ill patients and women of Serbia have been given hope and a future through drug rehab programs.
“I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you, so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid’ …” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Because you gave to the Asian Spice Region, 2 women will have their month’s salary covered through the Sustainable Rural Livelihood program, in order to pay for her family’s medical and educational expenses.
Through the Love One Another Foundation, peace camps were supported to send university students to attend interfaith dialogue where they will learn about of peace and examine each other’s Holy Books. Preschool students in a deeply impoverished community will have uniforms and snacks, and staff salaries will be supported.
Through the Beautiful Gate Ministry, you’ve supported the local church to provide meals and lodging to villagers who come to the city for medical care. The Pastors will also do follow-up care and support to these individuals in their local village.
In the foothills of high mountains in the Asian Spice Region there was once a café outreach centre that was reaching the community with the love and message of Christ. This café burnt down in 2010 along with one third of their community. The café has been partially rebuilt but they are still in need. Because you gave, contributions were made towards a new coffee machine and café furnishings. Pray that the café would become a catalyst for the transformation of this damaged community.
In South Thailand, your contributions will help to provide outreach events and freedom training to help women on their journey to freedom from exploitation
In Papua many people live far away from medical centres, your donation will provide 5 midwifery kits to provide proper birthing equipment and medicine for each woman during labor and delivery. 3 families will be provided with mosquito nets to protect from malaria. 6 churches will be provided with medicine to care for sick people in their village over a 6-month period.
In Southeast Asia through Tricked, Trafficked, Treasured, women trapped in sex trafficking will be able to find healing in shelters. They will be provided with schooling and vocational training.
Refugees living in extreme poverty will have the opportunity to learn urban gardening through greenhouses built with funds donated by people like you! Wonder Products also works to provide jobs for refugees who have a difficult time finding employment. Your donation will go to the expansion of employment opportunities.
“ … uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed … deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4)
In Taiwan, Vietnamese immigrants searching for a better life will find gifts that offer both physical and spiritual care. Many of these immigrants have been exploited and this program will restore hope for a future.
Sea To Sea
Because you gave, Senior High students from FAC will be able to have a cross-cultural missions experience right here at home, providing a day camp in northeast Calgary this spring break.
Refugees who are new to Canada will have the support they need to get set up in their new homes.
Christ’s love has been sent around the world due to your generous donations. Pray that God reveals what He wants us to do next. Maybe you’re being called to pray for one of these projects. Maybe God is asking you to give to missions. Maybe God is calling you to go to one of these places this summer.
It is our hope that this event is the launch-pad for more impactful activities in the future to grow the Kingdom – all for Jesus.
Written by Briana Southerland
If you want to know more about how to pray, give, or go on a short-term missions trip contact firstname.lastname@example.org.