PUMC Gives Wings for Redbird (4/20/14)

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in God Moments, Mission: NJandCountry, redbird | 0 comments

Somebody Needs to Help These Poor People!

Wings4RedBird_2012Years ago, PUMC member Don Beckett and his wife were driving through the hill country of Appalachia.  Surrounded by poverty, Mrs. Becket said “somebody needs to help these poor people!”  Years later, Don had lost his wife, but he never lost his wife’s plea on behalf of the poor children in Eastern Kentucky.    In 2013 a team from our church journeyed to Red Bird Mission, which is in the center of the Redbird Mission Conference of the United Methodist Church.  The Redbird Conference is one of three “missionary conferences” within the United States (a “conference” is a regional collection of United Methodist churches… PUMC is in the “Greater New Jersey Annual Conference”).  A missionary conference is an area whose financial resources can’t meet their needs; support from the entire United Methodist Church is needed.   

The team spent a week using their carpentry and painting skills to participate in the repair of a home.  They did what they could, but it was soon time to return home and hand the touch to the next volunteer team.

But the cry of the needy children in Appalachia never left our church’s ears.

One month ago,  as part of our Lenten series of the “Five Practices of Fruitful Living,” we learned to be intentional about our Spiritual Growth.  The series identified one of the practices as “Risk Taking Mission”- trusting in God’s provision and grace and reaching out to share in the burdens that burdens the heart of Christ.

Instead of a simple sermon series, for one month we put Risk Taking Mission into practice.  We set a goal of raising $1000 for the Red Bird Mission during the 40 days of Lent.  However, we were drawn by God’s call for Risk Taking mission; it was clear that we had lowered the bar into our comfort zone.  What if we determined to raise $2500 instead?  Could God be trusted to enable children to place money into a birdhouse?  Could God be trusted to work through the parents to enable them to give far beyond anyone’s expectations?  (Pastor Larry has led us in this direction before!  Remember our pledge for “Wings of the Morning?”  Click Here.)

The Answer is YES!!!

On Easter Sunday we learned that the God who gives eternal life can indeed be trusted to multiply the little we have.  The God who empowered Gideon’s 300 men to defeat an army of Midianites so large that they couldn’t be counted (see Judges chapter 7).   The Bible describes the enemy army  as “thick as locusts”).  Not only did we meet our ambitious goal of $2500, God allowed us to exceed it.  Far beyond our human comprehension and abilities, God used us to raise $3,642!  God’s grace abounds.  This amount was added to the $600 already budgeted from our Missions fund, and an initial goal of $1000 was transformed into a final value of $4242! 

This money will be going to a community desperate for help.  It will feed, clothe, and shelter people.  It will provide health care.  It will enable the 23 churches in the Redbird Conference to not only care for its people, but to demonstrate the glory and power of God’s love.

“Somebody needs to help these poor people!”  It’s not Gideon,  it’s not us, it’s not even a colored-in Cardinal or a  birdhouse.  God working through people yielded to Him and trusting in His power and not in their own resources, can do more than we could ever imagine.

If we think we’re doing something big, God’s got an idea that’s so much bigger.

To learn more about our support of the Red Bird Mission, Click Here.

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Why Are We Doing This???

Below is a video depicting the desperate situation and poverty of the children in Appalachia.  This video is one of a several series of videos on You Tube.  Click Here to see more…

 

 

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