by Jeff Brown on August 20, 2021
August 27, 2021
“Central Presbyterian Church seeks the transformation of our lives, our communities, and the world through the renewing work of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God.”
By now, the words of Central’s vision statement should be familiar. Pastor Clay shares a version of this statement each Sunday as he begins his sermon. It’s on our website, and the language is increasingly becoming ingrained into all of Central’s ministries. Part of that “seeking transformation” must call for us, as disciples of Christ, to take action when needed, offering ourselves as resources for the Lord’s transforming work.
By now, you have likely heard of the humanitarian crises in both Haiti and Afghanistan. As these situations develop, many have asked “what is Central doing, and what can I do to help?” After all, Hebrews 13:1 reminds us to "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters."
Central has long had a relationship with the people of Haiti. Did you know your church has supported efforts there for more than 30 years? Central has helped to bolster initiatives ranging from training Haitian pastors to health care and educational opportunities for the poor, to food programs helping to meet the nourishment needs of the countries poorest people.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday, August 14, 2021. This tragic event caused widespread destruction in the Caribbean country. To date, the death toll has risen to more than 1,400, while nearly 7,000 are injured and many more are still missing. Search and rescue teams continue to try and find survivors amidst the devastation.
Compounding the search and rescue activity was Tropical Depression Grace. This storm struck overnight on August 16. Humanitarian and disaster response teams had to pause or reduce many of their operations. The significant rainfall has caused landslides, blocked major highways, and caused extensive flooding.
In response, Central’s missions committee has approved a $3,000 donation to support the La Gonave and Fauche Hospital Medical Fund in Haiti. This is possible directly through your ongoing generosity to the mission of Central Church. Our partners on the ground in Haiti have also asked for your prayers. Specifically:
The Afghani crisis is equally heart-wrenching. It appears however there may be opportunities developing soon that will allow the Central community to serve as agents of Christ’s transformative work right here in our own backyard. It is anticipated more than 1,000 Afghan refugees who aided the American war efforts could come to St. Louis. Some organizations, such as Oasis International, are already purchasing mattresses for these families. The International Institute of St. Louis (IIS) is gearing up to take a collection of goods in September for Afghan families (more information to follow), and has posted a number of jobs they need to fill as they prepare to support our soon-to-be new neighbors. You can learn more about these job openings here. Central’s local missions team is working closely with these front-line organizations to learn how we can support their efforts.
Please continue to pray for those who have been displaced and are facing the myriad of challenges that lie ahead, and watch for more details coming abut how you might get involved. Returning to the beginning of Hebrews 13, the author reminds us that we are to "not forget to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."
May the transformative work of Jesus Christ indeed change our world, our community, and us.