As a church, LCBC’s mission is to introduce people to Jesus and together fully follow him. A Big part of that mission is investing in the lives of people not only in the state of Pennsylvania, but in the lives of people in neighboring communities around the world through Global Initiatives.
Our Global Initiatives ministry is a crucial part of who we are as a group of people on fire for Jesus and looking to live the best life through him. We invited Pearl Parks, our Global Outreach Coordinator, to answer a few questions about the heart behind the ministry and the steps we can take as a church to continue to share the love of Jesus both locally and globally.
Q: What is Global Initiatives at LCBC?
A: We believe that God is about making this world a better place, and that he has invited us to be a part of this by loving our neighbors. Loving our neighbors is one of the greatest callings as the Church, and we believe that means crossing our streets as well as oceans. It’s our desire to be a part of what God is doing not just in the state of Pennsylvania, but around the world, which is why every LCBC location adopts a community in another country.
Q: What do you mean by adopts a community?
A: Each LCBC location adopts a community in another country by sponsoring children and supporting community development through a Christ-centered non-profit organization. We choose to focus our energy intentionally this way so that we can partner with excellence and help the community go further faster without our efforts being diluted.
Q: What organizations do we partner with as a church to sponsor children and communities?
A: At this time we partner with World Vision, Compassion International, 410 Bridge, Food for the Hungry, Christian Relief Fund, and Dignity Freedom Network. These organizations all excel not only in poverty-alleviation, but also in sharing the love of Jesus with the communities they walk alongside.
Q: Why do we call our global trips “Sponsorship Team Trips” instead of “Missions Trips” or something different?
A: We choose to use the name Sponsorship Team Trips because our trips aren’t typically what people think of when they hear the term “Missions Trips.” When we send out teams to global communities, we don’t necessarily take part in building projects or running programs because we believe our partner communities can often do these tasks better themselves. Our primary goal with a Sponsorship Team Trip is to build relationships with the partner community and catch the vision of what God is doing there so that we can invite others to be a part of it as well as encourage and support the long-term work happening there.
Q: What does a typical Sponsorship Team Trip look like?
A: Sometimes the community wants us to work alongside them in a practical way, like running a medical clinic or providing activities for children. But other times they just want to invite us into their churches, offices, and homes to observe what they’re doing, for us to get to know one another, and to learn. The teams travel to their location’s sponsored community and participants often get a chance to visit their sponsored child as a part of the experience.
Q: What kind of life change have we seen through our relationship with our global partner communities?
A: We’ve seen tons of life change in the global communities, including access to clean water, healthcare, education, spiritual nurture, and food and livelihood security. Our local communities who have traveled on Sponsorship Team Trips have been challenged to step into someone else’s shoes and view things from a broader perspective. We always find that we have just as much to learn from our partner communities as we might be able to offer to them, and while we may have more financial resources, we’re often challenged and inspired by the incredible faith and relationships that they model to us. Our people come home challenged to take next steps in their faith and grow in their generosity.
Q: What else do you want our church family to know about Global Initiatives?
A: It matters. It can seem like such a small drop in the bucket to give $35 or $39 a month towards sponsoring a child, and we can even forget that we do it because it just automatically gets debited from our checking accounts. But when you look into the eyes of a child who is healthy and thriving because they know they are loved and are receiving the care they need, it’s not just about dollars. It’s about people. People just like you and me—mothers, fathers, children, friends, siblings…not only are individual lives impacted through sponsorship, but entire communities are transformed. This is love that brings life change.
To find out more about Global Initiatives at LCBC, Sponsorship Team Trips, and sponsoring a child, visit LCBCchurch.com/Global-Initiatives.