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CFL Partner Testimonies

West Wyomissing Chapel – Reading, PA

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For the last several years, at Christmas, our church has tried to connect with a ministry that would help a specific need, either local to our area or worldwide. Our hope was that our financial gift would help the ministry, but also educate our church about needs around the world and how we can meet those needs. We have partnered with Life Outreach International with their water, shoe, and human trafficking projects. Each year LIFE’s projects have helped us meet our goals as a church. The videos and printed materials they provided help us advertise and become fully engaged with each ministry.

We are a small church of about 150 attendees on Sunday morning and over the past three years we have raised about $17,000 which is huge for our little congregation. Partnering with Life Outreach has helped us engage in an outward focus each Christmas season. Many of our church members plan and look forward to giving toward LIFE’s mission projects. Often our church uses their giving as a Christmas gift. They donate toward the project in honor of a friend or family member allowing their gift to benefit those in need.

We have found the staff at Life Outreach to be very accommodating and they become friends and prayer supporters to what we’re doing here at West Wyomissing Chapel. We are already looking to the next project which is Mission Feeding. This ministry has so many different opportunities to help many under resourced people and children. As a small church we love to partner with Life Outreach International on different projects where we can help make a difference.

Pilgrim Congregational Church – Bloomfield Hills, MI

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In 2011, Pilgrim Congregational Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, celebrated its 50-year anniversary. Our small, high-steepled church with room for 120 congregants is situated on a picturesque hilltop in suburban Detroit. In recent years, its attendance has declined with an aging congregation and with new families choosing area mega-churches. But those remaining are committed Christians led by our Pastor John who preaches the Word, and guides us along a path of prayer, fellowship, and caring.

Benevolent outreach has been a signature of Pilgrim from the beginning, first serving several local relief agencies then expanding to other missions and missionaries around the world as our church grew. Our Board of Christian Service is charged with the responsibility for outreach and is funded by Pilgrim’s operating budget, however, the Board has long sponsored various off-budget projects throughout the year that allow the congregation to become more personally involved – collecting school supplies during VBS week for local family shelters, canned goods at Thanksgiving for a local food pantry, hats and gloves for the Salvation Army at Christmas, and a ‘spare change’ drive during Lent for world famine relief.

For many years, during Lent we collected change for World Vision’s Love Loaves project, but in 2009 World Vision discontinued this program. A search for a new Lenten Project was underway. One of our Board members, a leading area pediatric doctor, told us that a major cause for infant mortality worldwide was the lack of clean water, not only for baby but also for pregnant moms. With this report, the Board decided to focus on a Lenten project to address this water problem. Our criteria were simple: the organization must be Christian-led with a Biblical mission statement, it must have global reach, it must have an outstanding reputation among charitable organizations, and, practically, it must offer a convenient method for our collections (our project asks members to collect ‘spare change’ at home for seven weeks). Water for Life met these criteria and our congregation quickly embraced this project for Lent in 2010. Banks, pamphlets, CD’s, bulletin inserts were all provided. Our children passed out and collected the banks. The congregation was kept updated and encouraged through a ‘Minute for Missions’ during Sunday worship services. This collection has now been one of the features of our Lenten season for the last eight years – banks are passed out the first Sunday of Lent and collected the Sunday after Easter.

As we now prepare for our ninth fund drive, we are delighted that we have been able to donate over $6000 for new water wells and look forward to continuing to be a part of the water solution. We were a little surprised when, after seven years and as small as we are, we had funded one well ($4800), and now a second well is our goal.

It is difficult to grasp the long chain of events that must fall into place to bring a fresh cup of clean water to a child’s lips after a few coins have been put into a collection bank in a church thousands of miles away, but it’s a vision we can create with the help of the materials Water for Life has to offer and each year now our congregation anticipates another opportunity to do our part. Thank you.

 

Melbourne Beach Community Chapel – Melbourne Beach, FL

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Melbourne Beach Community Chapel raised money again this year by collecting jars of coins through their Sunday School. Last year they raised money for our Christmas Shoes project and this year they wanted to raise money for Water for Life. They were able to raise $4,800 for a complete water well! We are so grateful for their church family! Below is a photo of some of the Sunday School kids with their poster sharing about their “Penny Drive”.

 

Embers Life Group – Morganton, NC

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Embers Life Group is a part of New Day Christian Church in North Carolina. This past summer their Life Group held a yard sale to raise money to support the efforts of digging water wells or supplying villages with LIFE Filter Kits. An Embers Life Group member stated, “Our group and ministry realized that water is something that we can’t live without, but yet we often take it for granted.” Embers Life Group raised $1,300 for Water for LIFE and we are so grateful for their hard work and generous support! Below is a photo of the members of Embers Life Group.

Gentle Shepherd Fellowship – White Hall, IL

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Pastor John McCorkle and his church Gentle Shepherd Fellowship gave shoes from LIFE Outreach International to an orphanage in Romania. They provided socks to go along with the shoes they sent. The church processed shipping on October 13th and they were told that it would take 1 to 2 months to arrive in Romania. Pastor John received a message from the missionaries Ruben and Karen in early December asking for prayer that the shoes would arrive quickly because they were taking Christmas presents to the children in the town of Pesac in the next few days. Karen said, “It would take a miracle.” The church immediately put the request out to their prayer chain. On December 12th, Pastor John received the message from the missionaries that the packages arrived! Pastor John said it best, “What a mighty God we serve!!”

At LIFE Outreach International we are so grateful for our amazing church partners that help share the love of Jesus in Word and Deed! Not only were Ruben and Karen able to help give children shoes, but they also currently have 17 children that live in their orphanage. Their heart is to raise the children to be strong men and woman of God. We are so grateful for those who are serving Christ around the world! Below are photos of children receiving shoes in Pesac, Romania.

Community Chapel – Melbourne Beach, FL

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Every year our congregation brings in jars of coins they have saved throughout the year to give to the Sunday school for a mission project. We count the coins and have fun guessing ‘how much’! This year we read about your shoe project and the whole congregation (approx. 100) got behind the outreach. Our “Penny Drive” had the highest total to date!! $673.20 for 187 pair of shoes!!! Praise God, we are delighted to send this change to you and thank you for this vision to bring smiles to many children with love in Christ.

Trinity Family Fellowship Church – Yakima, WA

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Ryan said, “I was watching TV one day at night and I was going to bed and I saw them eating dirt. At first I had $25.00 and then I wanted to send it to Africa.” Ryan’s Dad said, God grabbed that money and multiplied it and Ryan was able to feed a lot of kids with that money and I’m just thankful that God is working in my son.”

Pastor Dennis Smith, Trinity Family Fellowship Church, Yakima, Washington, said, “Ryan has this heart for helping people.”

That night at church, after Ryan shared his vision of sending money to Africa to feed the children, he was able to give a $1,000 donation to Mission Feeding.

Ryan’s Story from LifetodayTV on Vimeo.

Tulia Christian Fellowship – Tulia, TX

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Tulia Christian Fellowship, Tulia, TX – Pastor Rusty Gray states, “I pastor a great group of people in rural West Texas. Our church, Tulia Christian Fellowship is in Tulia, TX. We have been struggling with drought for several years here in the panhandle. We have been praying and trusting God for rain along the way, we have never lost hope or our faith in God’s goodness. A few months ago God laid it on our hearts to raise $5,000.00 to drill a well. We wanted the help others have clean water and hear the gospel. We stood on Proverbs 11:25 – that as we water others we will be watered also.

Since that Sunday six weeks ago we have raised the money for the well, and it has not stopped raining! It is pouring outside right now as I write this letter. Many of our areas have had over 10 inches of rain. All the weather forecasters say the drought in our area is over! We thank God for the rain and for answered prayer.