thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

Help Me Celebrate My 50th Birthday

This is my last week to enjoy my 40’s. The past decade has been quite a ride! But next Friday (Friday the 13th actually), I will be celebrating the big 50. Would you help me celebrate it in a BIG way?

In October – November 2007, I visited a region of Ethiopia called Guraghe. My friend Barbara and I had the opportunity to travel with World Vision and see first hand how the good news of Christ enacted in word and deed can bring real help and hope to people in desperate need. Clean water, health care, food security, the empowerment of women through education, care provided to orphans and vulnerable children, churches being birthed – these are true signs of the life that Jesus desires for all people. I have been thrilled that our faith community has jumped headfirst into a partnership with the people of Guraghe. We have sponsored almost 75 children there and contributed to special projects like the Mother and Infant Nutrition Initiative. As a leader, our commitment really pumps me up and I am extremely proud of our community

There has been one group of servants in Guraghe that have been heavy on my heart lately. One Sunday afternoon in Guraghe, I had lunch with about dozen men who are serving the emerging churches in that community. Evangelical Christianity does not have a long history or broad reach in Guraghe, but in conjunction with the tangible expressions of the Gospel through World Vision, the Church of Jesus Christ is being established and people’s lives are being changed, physically and spiritually.

As we talked with these pastors and they shared their God-stories, I was overwhelmed by their commitment and sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel and the life of the Church. Each of them worked a full time job and yet poured themselves out for the people of the community. Not long ago I read the words from James 1:9, “Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position,” and I immediately thought of these pastors. They wouldn’t trade their call and humble place in life for anything the world could offer. And as I reflected upon these words from Scripture, the Holy Spirit prompted me to do something.

My venti dream for my 50th year is to bring blessing and encouragement to the pastors of Guraghe. Would you help me celebrate my birthday by making that dream a reality?

I have been working with World Vision, both here and in Ethiopia, to find a tangible expression of encouragement and support for these faithful servants. After consultation with the World Vision Guraghe staff and the local pastor’s fellowship in Guraghe we have landed upon a great concept. Our goal is to create a Pastors Resource Center that will help the local pastors serve their people more faithfully and fruitfully. The Resource Center would contain Bible study and other reference materials, musical and sound equipment, and basic office furnishings. All of these items will resource these pastors and greatly encourage them in their common ministry.

Someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday. They wanted to give me something significant and meaningful. While I have never asked for a birthday gift like this, I figured you are only 50 once – why not go for it!

Our church is establishing a special fund to do this very thing. If this resonates with you and you would like to help make this dream a reality, please send a check (payable to CCCSH – memo Guraghe PRC) to:

Christ Community Church of the South Hills
PO Box 13393
Pittsburgh, PA 15243

Thanks so much for considering this. Your generosity will help catalyze spiritual transformation among the people of Guraghe. And synergized with the physical and material expressions of love, men and women, boys and girls will experience the full life of Jesus Christ. And I could think of no better birthday gift!

Stay connected…


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2 Responses

  1. Lamont says:

    What a wonderful idea! This fall, as a kick off for Sunday School, I’m hoping to have an African Drum and Dance day with an opportunity to show the World Vision DVD after the classes. I little culture and more sharing of what we have is the goal!

  2. Anonymous says:

    i hope you had a wonderful and meaningful 50th birthday celebration and received back what your heart is reflecting to the world. it has been a good month! mc

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have the peace that passes understanding at the heart of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world. for the world is more malleable than we think and we must wrestle it from fools. (bono)
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