On Resurrection Sunday, many Canadians will get up bright and early to make their way to church.
Some on the west coast might stroll to the church down the block under an umbrella.
There is a chance prairie church-goers or those in the east might need to scrape their windshields before piling into their cars to get to their Sunday services.
Regardless of where one lives, however, it is encouraging to hear about Christians around the world who go to great lengths to be a part of holy celebrations, church gatherings and discipleship opportunities.
Bakita Ayok walked about 100 km across the unforgiving landscape of northern South Sudan to learn how to encourage her local church to reach her community with Christ’s love.
The Church Outreach and Discipleship Program, supported by Samaritan’s Purse Canada, teaches men and women how to lead their congregations in reaching out through evangelism and projects that meet practical needs.
It trains them to do this relying on God and using what He has provided them with rather than on outside resources.
“When you are united with others, you can overcome weakness. Even though we are suffering, we don’t focus on our poverty, but we look out for others.”
“I learned how to be a hard worker so I can help myself and others,” Ayok says with hope and confidence even though she lives in a country where famine and food shortages are affecting millions. “I hope that Samaritan’s Purse can conduct more teachings so more people can be reached with this message.”
Heard, healed and inspired
When Ayok first heard the gospel, she suffered from mental illness, but as the local church prayed for her and provided support and guidance, she was healed. She became a faithful follower of Jesus and is committed to showing that same love and care to others.
Equipped church members in South Sudan, and around the world, are having a meaningful impact in their communities, one person, and one family at a time.
“Vulnerability is not inability,” say two Christian leaders in South Sudan who are helping Samaritan’s Purse train local church leaders. “Vulnerable people can be strong but are just without resources.”
Those who have received the training say their congregations have been inspired to care for widows, take the ill to receive medical care, provide food for orphans, and plant gardens for those without food.
“When you are united with others, you can overcome weakness,” says program participant James Wol. “Even though we are suffering, we don’t focus on our poverty, but we look out for others.”
Please pray God will continue to use His church members around the world to share acts of kindness in His name. And this Easter, please consider making a donation to equip pastors and church leaders to inspire those they lead to reach out to care for their communities and show Christ’s love.
Working tirelessly to meet the physical and spiritual needs in their communities, many local churches around the world are a source of help, comfort, and support. Your gift will allow Samaritan's Purse to help the international church continue to be a tangible model of Christ's love.