Photo: Refugee teen having a blast at camp.
By Carl Stagner
“You accepted us like family. Here we weren’t the foreigners—the refugees. We were part of the group. Thank you.” When the Church of God is willing to work together to advance the kingdom, people notice. Lives are touched. Hearts are softened. Seeds are planted. History tells us many of these seeds not only germinate, but bear fruit and spread more seeds. This summer, moved by the refugee crisis in our world today, Church of God leaders in Germany committed to invest in six refugees from Afghanistan. Each one separated from family and friends after fleeing dangerous living conditions, these refugee youth with a background in Islam would not only hear the gospel, but feel sincere love and grace from peers who humbly bear the name of Christ. IYC students helped make it all possible. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy, IYC: International Youth Convention, Youth Ministries
Tagged Afghanistan, camp, crisis, evangelism, Germany, Islam, IYC, Josh Weiger, missions, Muslim, refugee, sponsor, Spread the Word, Teenfreizeit, teens, thank you, underwrite, youth
Text by Abby Knowles; Video edited by Jared Powell
Today we want to once again say, “Thank you, Church of God!” Because of your contribution to the TraffickLight initiative, lives are forever changed and the kingdom’s limits are reaching new bounds. As the final dollars came in this summer, we reached a total amount raised of over $715,000. This is amazing, and the impact is significant! Our ministry partners have the ability to expand their mission and see dreams realized because of your support and sacrifice. Check out the video to see a recap of this project. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, CHOG TraffickLight
Tagged cause, CHOG TraffickLight, exploitation, freedom, fundraiser, global, human trafficking, initiative, rescue, sex trade, sex trafficking, thank you
Photo: The Tonsupa church worship under a temporary structure.
By Jon and Karen Lambert
On Saturday, April 16, 2016, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit us here in Ecuador. The quake lasted 49 seconds. The weeks that followed seem like a dream—a bad dream. The death toll for the first weeks steadily rose to 655, and then the government decided not to share the final totals, so the actual death toll may never be known. We know 17,638 people were treated for injuries, and 25,091 were housed in temporary shelters. Cities and towns at the epicenter are 70- to 90-percent destroyed. The United Nations estimates that 350,000 people in Ecuador will need some type of assistance due to damage or loss of income. It is a blessing that none of our church family were killed or seriously injured in the quake. The mental anguish we still see on faces in the devastation zone is heartbreaking. Parents who searched for children buried under debris and small children who didn’t understand why “Mami” and “Papi” never came home have accepted the sad truth that their loved ones are gone. Cities along the coast from Manta to Tonsupa were without water and electricity for over a month. Some rural areas are still without basic services. Three of our congregations and one house church are in the areas heavily affected by the 7.8 earthquake and the severe aftershocks that continue to this day—nearly three months later. Continue reading