My name’s Andrea Smith. I’m a United Methodist pastor in the western part of North Carolina leading a movement of people trying to follow the Way of Christ. Our hope and intent is to follow in the steps of Christ as best we can while being relevant, real, and non-threatening to the culture around us. Jesus didn’t “stand above” folks . . . he walked alongside them. In the local “church” I believe over the past 2000 years we’ve forgotten how he led. Therefore the vision of the movement of West is to be real, relevant, and non-threatening in all that we do as we offer people the love, redemption, and grace that Christ offered.
Even with things like ALS Ice Bucket Challenges.
I believe the people who have experienced the dumping of ice water on their heads for the ALS challenge will not soon forget WHY they did it! A HUGE awareness for a tragic disease is occurring because of the charitable act of thousands!
It’s bold, fun, and making a difference for a disease that needs awareness and research!
Seth Godin even commented in his blog on Tuesday how this challenge is bringing huge awareness and normalizing charitable behavior.
No matter HOW you look at it, it is making an impact and bringing about a positive change in the world!
Therefore, West should be all over it! But how?
We discussed this as a staff. We remembered people we know who suffer(ed) from this disease AND we want to support the MANY who have already been a part of this movement!
BUT there was something else we had to remember!
One staff shared a story of a friend in South Africa questioning the buckets of water being poured out via social media.
We immediately stopped remembering only one perspective!
We realized we had to remember our friends on the other side of the globe who see and experience our lives through social media.
We needed to remember our friends from the Deaf Village who have frequently had to purchase water because they did not have enough to host the mission teams or take care of the day to day operation of the village and factory.
We needed to remember our friends in Uganda.
It was just a few short months ago that water in the form of tears streamed down our faces as we heard the stories of the village women walking 4-5 miles each day just to get water to prepare one meal a day.
That was just in April!! HOW could I forget!?!!?
So . . .in keeping with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because we believe in the spirit and mission it is supporting . . . but also staying true to our relationships we’ve started on the other side of the world, we want to be a part of the challenge!
Yet we feel we must do so in a way that we are helping as much as we can. And respecting all that we can.
We live in a world where electricity and satellite signals join us together with our peers across the oceans. With just a few clicks our friends in Africa have seen this Ice Bucket Challenge and wondered why we are repeatedly throwing away a precious commodity.
We are inviting you to give to the ALS/Clean Water Challenge.
All monies given for the next two weeks (through Sept. 1) tagged for Missions will go to the ALS organization. HOWEVER, for each dollar that is given to ALS, West will match funds out of the missions line item in our budget and we will provide Pastor Geoffrey and our friends at Acres of Hope with EQUAL monies so that they can purchase a fresh water tank for the pod houses there in Uganda.
This way . . there are many wins. Wins here with the ice buckets but also wins globally with our friends getting clean water to drink and taking steps forward to make a difference on the other side of the globe. Remembering. And sustaining additional hope and dreams.
Grace and Peace,
Click This Link and be sure to select “Missions Fund”.