We often get letters of thanks from missionaries who we support around the world. Here is a letter from Anne Hughes, who works in Spain in a cafe that shares the Gospel with people who take the long El Camino Santiago trail as a pilgrimage to get in touch with God. Frankly, many people end the trail very discouraged and Anne and her team are there to bring a message of hope.
|Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! – Psalm 106:1
Dear [Beaverton Foursquare],
I hope this Thanksgiving finds you well, celebrating with family or good friends (who can be like family anyway, right?).
Mark, I want you to know how grateful I am for your support this year. It hasn´t been easy, but your faithfulness, generosity, and willingness to give has meant so much to me. God has been incredibly faithful in His provision, and although I am not quite out of the woods, I am humbled greatly by how people like you have stepped up to help. I truly would not be in Spain without you. Thank you SO MUCH!
Please know that pilgrims are also grateful for the work that is done at Pilgrim House, and you play a vital role in that.
Have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!
“Miraculously, the new well has much more volume of water than anticipated. All our students and staff were lit up, and for the first time ever water overflow in abundance to the church, my house and the dormitory. My heart was overflowing with joy and tears in my eyes to see fresh water running in to our house, showers and kitchen. We all had refreshing shower in the afternoon of November 20th, 2015. This is the end of the drought and opening of a new refreshing year 2016 and the years ahead.” (Pastor Titus Luther, National Leader, Solomon Islands Foursquare Church)
It is hard for those of us who live in Oregon to imagine life without water. Yet the clean water we enjoy is a luxury very few people in the world enjoy. According to the United Nations,
- 884 million people in the world lack access to safe water supplies.
- More than 840,000 people die each year from water-related disease.
- In many developing countries, millions of women spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources. (as pictured below)
- More than 1/2 of all primary schools in developing countries don’t have adequate water facilities and nearly 2/3 lack adequate sanitation.
- Clean water is one aspect of improving sustainable food production in order to reduce poverty and hunger.
- By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.
- Every $1 spent on water and sanitation generates $8 as a result of saved time, increased productivity and reduced health care costs.
The water tower shown here was constructed by our friends in Solomon Islands in order to serve their campus with abundant clean water. Prior to the deep-water well that we drilled (75 feet deep), the property had two shallow wells that were used for cleaning, drinking (after being boiled) and cooking. The deep well provides clean, drinkable water. As Titus himself says, this is a game changer. The water will serve not only the campus school (100 K-6 kids) and institute (training 35 live-in pastors), but will also be given to the surrounding community as living water. That is what abundance does!
Three years ago I was in the Solomon Islands and saw the work Titus is doing. He has an outreach center that feeds street kids in Honiara, Guadalcanal. When some of the kids show the heart for the Gospel, he invites them to live at the institute. There they prepare for ministry or higher education. In the second year they are sent out as missionaries to the more than 300 occupied islands of the Solomons. After graduation, many will go to these islands to plant churches and remain as the pastors.
This is the nature of Christian Advocacy. Titus loves the unwanted children of the streets of Honiara. He has advocated for them for a completely different life. Then he invites fellow advocates with unique skills and resources to be a part of his plan. We were privileged to partner with Grace Covenant Church in North Carolina in the development of this water system. Titus and his team is changing the world of the Solomon Islands!
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)