I hadn't actually intended to participate in a blogging fast, but it just turned out that I managed to go almost a month without posting anything. I did want to share an update on our church's involvement with the KidsHeart Africa project in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi. I had mentioned previously that our pastor and children's minister were traveling there to do an assessment of the needs and the possibilities of our church's involvement in helping to meet those. They had an outstanding experience and came back excited about some ways we could make a significant difference in the lives of the children through providing them with expanded, more permanent school facilities.
Word & Way ran an article about our churches involvement in their most recent issue, written by Janis Mansker, our children's minister. I'd encourage you to take a few minutes to look at it.
Pastor Euticals who heads up the school was won to Christ through the efforts of some FMB missionaries when he was a teenager. He felt called into the ministry and has chosen to continue ministering to the children of this slum area, many of whom are AIDS orphans. Our church has responded with overwhelming generosity to this project. We had been challenged to give at least $10,000 by the end of the summer to receive a matching gift in that amount from an anonymous donor in our congregation. On the first Sunday of the offering for the project, we received more than $33,000 with pledges over a 3 year period of more than $165,000. God has blessed our congregation with folks who respond generously to needs as they are shared.
We're also gearing up for a Summer of Service where we are planning to engage in all kinds of different service projects in the greater Kansas City area. We've been busily compiling and fine tuning a list of 208 ideas that were generated in a church-wide listening session we held on a Sunday evening about 3 weeks ago. It's exciting to see the enthusiasm that is growing among our members as we step out of our comfort zone a bit and seek to meet the needs of others around us.