Over the past 4 years, COMMUNITY has allocated $1.75 million to the work of four missional ministries . . . the NewThing Network, Frontline Ministries in the Philippines, our work in Haiti and Africa, mostly in partnership with World Relief, and the work of Community 4:12. And this weekend, we will host our 5th annual Celebration Generosity.
I love this weekend and the generosity it inpsires. To be honest, it is also a bit stressful, because my entire year's budget is determined by what Community 4:12 receives in designated gifts on this weekend. I've never been particularly concerned about the money . . . God has been amazingly faithful in providing the resources we've needed for the work He's led us to do. But, I'd be lieing if I didn't say I harbor a bit of human anxiety heading into the weekend.
Everything we do, from Gift Marts to tutoring, to having space to run clinics and programs is fueled by the funding that comes in this weekend. Our hope this next year is to continue our various programs and events and to:
- provide at least 150 kids in East Aurora and Joliet with tutors and mentors,
- continue supporting Emmanuel House in East Aurora by helping at least 4 low-income families begin the path of moving into homeownership and out of the cycle of poverty,
- sponsor Gift Marts in Aurora, Joliet, and Chicago to raise thousands of dollars to support educational initiatives at our partner schools.
In addition to that, three new things we are dreaming about for this year are:
- Beginning a ministry in Chicago that will allow our two campuses to come alongside low-income families and individuals in the city through partnerships with World Relief and other organizations.
- Increasing involvement in our Parent Mentor program to at least 50 parents in Aurora and Joliet.
- Creating an East Aurora Restore Team of at least 10 families that are committed to living in East Aurora and working relentlessly for community development. We will not create deep, significant, and lasting impact unless we have families living in the neighborhood and doing life in partnership with the community, so that will be a big focus for us this year.
If you attend COMMUNITY, I hope you will join us this weekend and consider supporting the work of Community 4:12, and/or any of the great causes. If you aren't able to join us, you can make a donation on-line; just specify in the comments which Team (Community 4:12, NewThing, Haiti, or Philippines) you'd like your donation to go towards.