Who is my neighbor? This question from The Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 has been and continues to be our reference point as we look to help God’s people in the world through international missions. First Presbyterian Church Mission Work Group members prayerfully seek to help further God’s ministry to his children with emphasis on projects that flow from an existing relationship between the congregation and the recipient(s), with priority given to projects that are ongoing and offer possible reciprocal mission opportunities.
In past years we have helped fund the building of earthquake resistant homes in Haiti and assisted with funds for a Hospice for AIDS patients in Bunda, Africa. Currently, we are focused on three international missions: Kenya Africa Clean Water Project, Frontera de Cristo on the US-Mexico border, and Al Amana Centre in Oman.
Helping the Kenya Clean Water Project
First Presbyterian Church partners with the local Rotary club, the Lincoln Methodist Church, and other churches to help fund the Meru, Kenya, Africa Clean Water project. The project’s 5-year goal is to bring sustainable, clean, filtered water to 68 schools in rural areas. A simple filtration system is installed and local adults are taught how to monitor and maintain the system. Phase 1 of the project started in 2013 in the rugged and mountainous countryside with installation in 27 schools serving 7,793 students. With the new system in place, students are doing better in school with fewer sick days.
Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfSPXp-i0-4
“Love your neighbor as yourself…” James 2:8b
Presbyterians on the US-Mexico Border – Frontera de Cristo
Frontera de Cristo (FdC) is a Presbyterian border ministry located in the sister cities of Agua Prieta, Sonora and Douglas, Arizona. They have six primary areas of ministry: Migrant Resource Center (left above), New Hope Community Center, Mission Education Ministry, Family Ministry, Church Development, and Health Ministry. In 2015, seven representatives from the First Presbyterian Church of Scottsbluff participated in a 3-day Mission Education trip. In 2016, our congregation partnered with FdC in two ways: a $5,000 gift for their ongoing ministry and the sale (by our youth fellowship) of coffee from Cafe Justo, a grower owned cooperative in southern Chiapas Mexico and roasted and sold in Agua Prieta. Cafe Justo was formed to address the poverty and migration from Mexico to the US. FdC was and is an integral partner for this growing business.
Website link: fronteradecristo.org/
“…for the Lord is a God of justice…” Isaiah 30:18b.
Christian-Muslim Relations – Al Amana Centre
In 2016, First Presbyterian Church has taken on a new partnership with Al Amana Centre in Muscat, Oman. Oman is a small country on the Arabian Peninsula bordered on the north by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and on the south by the Arabian Sea. The people of Oman are predominantly Muslim. Al Amana Centre staff, including Reverend Justin Meyers (Associate Director of the Centre), are bringing Christians and Muslims together for the study both the things held in common and the distinct differences between each religion; for understanding, for reconciliation of issues, for shared relationships, and for fostering peace. The Qu’ran and the Bible have over 50 people in common, many in the same narratives. Sharing the word from each religious book in prayer and with a deliberate sense of understanding helps bring God and God’s mission in the world to participants. Friendships are formed spanning cultural and religious differences with understanding and appreciation for each other. Fear gives way to peace.
To learn more, visit: http://www.alamanacentre.org/index.php?pageid=5
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11