Thanksgiving Love Offering 2019

Two Unique, Life-changing Opportunities To Give

 

Mountain Life loves to share God’s blessings with people near and far.  We have discovered that the Thanksgiving season is a great time to take a special church-wide love offering for people who God has put across our path.  We have entered into strategic partnerships with wonderful ministries around the world.  Through these we often discover compassionate ways to alleviate human suffering and pain.  In this process, bridges are built between those who receive our gifts and believers in Jesus (our partners) who share the gospel with them. This Thanksgiving we joyfully announce two significant projects to which God has led us. We will be supporting Ugandan refugees in Kijayo and Indonesian victims who have lost an arm or leg.

Because of our long-term relationships with our ministry partners, these projects give us an up close and personal avenue to make a huge difference in these dramatic human situations.  We also can be assured that 100 percent of what is given goes directly to those in need.

Kijayo Village Refugee Project – Uganda

We were introduced to the plight of the Kijayo villagers through our partner in Uganda, KEST (Kampala Evangelical School of Theology). KEST’s mission is to prepare and equip men and women for effective ministry in both the church and their respective communities. Their values are uniquely Evangelical, African and Holistic.

The Kijayo Village story is a study in heartache, hope and compassion. On February 20, 2015, 690 families were forcefully evicted to free-up land for the Hoima Sugar Company. This action was a result of new government policies to promote industrialization. In the process, houses were burnt, food and property destroyed. Some people were beaten and others were shot. The affected  families had nowhere to go. The Kijayo Christian Fellowship Church, together with the local Village Council, offered to host most of the families on a small piece of land next to the church. These internally displaced people live on the small plot of land without basic necessities, jobs are scarce, and access to education opportunities are very limited. They are doing all they can to create a community but are barely able to meet their needs.  There are currently 2,020 persons of all ages living in these conditions.

Life next to the little church is tough and unforgiving. Families in the village struggle to survive. Most, have only one meal a day. The situation is bleak:

  • Limited access to farmable land means the villagers can’t grow enough food, making poverty a universal condition in the camp.
  • As a result children suffer malnutrition and are prone to illnesses. Until recently, basic sanitation and access to potable water were nonexistent.
  • The lack of local means of livelihood sources mean that the young and able bodied leave for the cities in search of employment.
  • Those who leave deprive their families of manpower and protection – this leaves wives and children alone and vulnerable to crime and abuse.
  • If someone is able to find work, what is earned is barely enough to sustain a hand-to-mouth existence.
  • All sectors of the community are affected.

Over the past two years Mountain Life Church has come alongside the village in a small way and helped finance a solidly built latrine and repair the village’s only water well and pump. While this has helped, much more is needed.

Immediate priorities are to address health, water and sanitation needs – specifically latrines, clean water access and disease prevention. Intermediate priorities include shelter improvements, lighting and security, and tackling a severe drainage issue. Longer term goals are improving access to education and purchasing a plot of land for sustenance farming projects.

Watch the Kijayo Village video here.
 

Amputee Ministry Project – Indonesia

Where would you turn for help after losing a limb, your livelihood and hope in a country with limited medical care and opportunities for the disabled? With God’s grace, it is the vision of our mission partner, let’s call him Peter, and his co-worker, Barnabas, to answer that question by establishing a life-changing Community Health Education (CHE) Amputee Development Project in Indonesia. (More detailed information and photos will be presented during the November 17 MLC services.) But they can’t do it without Mountain Life Church coming alongside them. Amputations in this part of the world are frequent largely because of motorbike accidents. Thousands of motorbikes travel the roads daily and are what MLC personnel ride occasionally too when in country. Much like a scene from a battlefield, in this country the accident victim does not have the luxury of state-of-the-art surgery. Instead, the doctors quickly amputate a leg. And without the likelihood of getting a good prosthesis, the victim hobbles around on crutches for decades. He then resorts to menial work or even begging to care for his family.

Our mission partner’s interest in helping amputees began in early 2017. It started when he prayed for an artificial limb for a woman in one of the ladies’ livelihood groups. Shortly thereafter his prayers were answered. He was able to partner with a charitable organization in Texas that makes high quality limb components available. He also partners with a local doctor who offers her services at reduced rates. And MLC has played a small role too, given the continuity of our partnership from the inception of the amputee ministry to now. We helped our partner’s ladies’ livelihood project and later the amputee ministry get off the ground with limited contributions.  And we have established caring, personal relationships with the amputees.

While we in the U.S. may find the plight of those crippled in a country half-way around the world a distant concern, that’s not the case with our mission partners. On any given day Barnabas can be seen walking the streets in search of the “lame” who want to “walk;” and hopefully, with God’s grace, change their lives and rejoin society with dignity. But due to the shipping, fitting and therapy costs ($500 per limb) they have only been able to procure limbs for 12 people. And they have no facilities for CHE development lessons or livelihood support. The life-changing CHE Amputee Development Project would provide 30 limbs in 2020 for amputees. And to help assure that holistic changes are integrated into their lives, the amputees would participate in regular CHE lessons. Seed funds for small livelihood projects would also be provided on condition that a portion of the profits be allocated to a savings fund. The fruit of the project would be transferrable and become a light to other amputees and the public at large. This ambitious three-year CHE effort for 30 new amputees, a facility and staff can only become a reality with a generous Love Offering from Mountain Life Church.