As has been case and will continue to be our practice, the special offerings from holidays will be given away and invested into the Kingdom to further the mission of God as He progressively redeems this world. This past Easter the offering in question was just under $70K which is nothing short of incredible. God continues to work through the willingness and generosity of His people who call The Chapel home. As was already mentioned, all of this money will be invested in the Kingdom outside of The Chapel. We worship a generous God and He expects His people to reflect His heart in such ways both individually and corporately. When we do so, we declare to the world that our faith is real and our hearts have been changed. While giving is not the only way in which these things are demonstrated, it is a very tangible way to do so.
The money given during this past Easter will be invested into two geographies—one close and one far. The local ministry is Isaiah 61 Project which is focused on bringing holistic transformation to the community of Niagara Falls, which as many of you know is a community with significant needs, perhaps one could say the most challenging community in WNY. Isaiah 61 Project is committed to bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ into that context to transform people, families, neighborhoods, and eventually impact the entire city.
The second place we will be investing this money is Sierra Leone. Part of that investment will go to World Hope International to help them fully fund their anti-trafficking rescue center in Freetown. Globally, human trafficking is a $32 billion a year “business” that enslaves approximately 27 million people most of whom are women (80%) and children (up to 50%). The average age of a child sold into slavery is only 12 years.[i]
The other place this money will go is to the WNY Sierra Leone Alliance which is a group of organizations who have a common mission to ensure that every man, woman and child in Sierra Leone sees, hears, experiences and has the opportunity to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This Alliance consists of Global Outreach Mission, EduNations, Jericho Road Ministries, Let Them LOL, Houghton College and The Chapel. This Alliance has been in existence for more than three years and has planned, prioritized and implemented gospel centric activity in Sierra Leone exceeding several hundreds of thousands of dollars touching thousands of lives in that time frame. Thank you again for your generosity and please be in prayer for these partners as they endeavor to make a difference in some of the most difficult places on the planet.
[i] Sources:worldhope.org and U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, International Labour Organization