2022 Global Partner Updates
We invite you to read updates from each of our Global Partners below as they tend to their growing faith communities while they live out their call to show the love of God to all. Please prayerfully consider giving a gift that will support our Global Partners as they continue to offer hope, peace, joy, and love in their communities.
The first week of Advent focused on the word HOPE. Sometimes, it is easy to lose sight of hope when we see and hear things going on not only in our community, but around the world. Our neighbors in Haiti are experiencing a humanitarian crisis as violent gangs have grown in number and power over the last few years resulting in widespread hunger and illness.
From a distance, we might think the people of Haiti have no hope. As people of faith, it is important for us to remember that we can hold onto hope because we remember all what God has done. While reporters share news of devastation, if you look closely, you can see glimmers of hope through God’s people. One reporter shared that she found that, “Haitians feel a lot of solidarity with each other. A lot of people will tell you that they survive with the help from their neighbors.”
Fanfan, the Director of Faith Academy, is one of the people bringing hope to his neighbors and community through the school. Faith Academy works to give children a better hope for tomorrow through education. This past spring, they had a 100% pass rate for the students passing their government exams thanks to our yearly investment in teachers for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students.
While school has not been in session this fall, Fanfan found a creative way to bring hope to people through the support of our church. When the building project had to stop due to unrest, the energy of the workers was put into planting a garden to provide food for the community. This garden that took root and provided a harvest of hope over this last year was made possible by our church’s support. Even though school is currently closed, our church is still providing teachers salary support so they don’t have to find other jobs and can be ready and waiting for the students return.
Dr. Brené Brown qualifies hope as, “a function of struggle – we develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort. It’s also important to know that hope is learned.” It is clear that even with the struggle the children of Haiti are experiencing, they are learning about and experiencing hope in tangible ways thanks to the work of Fanfan and the teachers.
Thank you for being a part of what God has done in Haiti over this last year through your support to bring hope to children who desperately need it. We invite you to continue to pray for our neighbors in Haiti and consider giving what you can to continue to support Faith Academy, which serves as a physical sign of God’s hope for the community.
Prayer for our partners in Haiti
God we lift up Faith Academy, Fanfan, the teachers, and the children. We thank you for their work in Haiti produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, and Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Way of Faith UMC & Missionary Sarah Putman
The second week of Advent focused on the word PEACE. Our Global Partners Way of Faith United Methodist Church and missionary Sarah Putman in Cluj, Romania faithfully live out God’s call to welcome, support, and minister with not only to the people of Cluj, but also Ukrainian refugees as they were desperate to experience some peace in the midst of war.
This year, thanks to a large financial investment, we were able to help Way of Faith UMC transform a hotel into a community center called Meeting Point. The goal of Meeting Point is to holistically care for people and to build and nurture relationships. The renovations to the hotel allows Meeting Point to be a place of peace and support to so many through a variety of ways:
- Casa Filip has provided a place to stay for over 200 cancer patients as they go in and out of the city for treatment.
- Houses the headquarters for Alfa Grup, a nonprofit committed to coming alongside orphans providing emotional, spiritual, and familial support.
- The Raza Project mentors and houses young adults who aged out of the orphan system preparing them to thrive as adults.
- Creating office space for counselors and psychologists to meet with clients.
When the war broke out in Ukraine, the church and Meeting Point were able to open their doors to be a harbor for over 160 Ukrianians fleeing their country seeking peace and safety. The church and Meeting Point has not only provided a place to escape, they also offer refugees psychological, spiritual, and next steps support. The church comes alongside each family to either help them to their next destination or find more stable housing in Cluj allowing for a relationship to be built. Way of Faith UMC now considers itself an international worshiping congregation engaging Ukrainian refugees each week by speaking in Romanian and English. Sarah Putman is able to use her God given gifts of singing and worship leading to make the Ukrainian people feel included by singing in English.
Pastor Rares shares that, “all of this is only possible because we have the space to be able to use in such a good location as well as the staffing to be able to continue to envision where God can take all of this.” Our church’s financial contributions helped this God dream turn into a reality providing funding for rent, renovation and staffing support.
Thank you for your investment in Way of Faith United Methodist Church since 2016 and Sarah Putman since 2019. Sarah and the church are truly dedicated to offering peace and care to the most vulnerable and hurting. We invite you to continue to pray for our partners in Cluj, Romania and consider giving what you can to support what God is doing through our partners.
Prayer for our partners in Cluj, Romania
God we lift up Way of Faith UMC, Meeting Point, and Sarah Putman and the Kingdom work they are doing in Your name. We ask that you give them endurance and strength as they continue to faithfully offer peace to their community and the Ukrainian refugees. We pray for an end to the war so that all people may experience Your peace. Amen.
Samara United Methodist Church
The third week of Advent focused on the word JOY. Dr. Brené Brene found in her research that joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that were bound to a belief in human interconnectedness and a power greater than us. We are thankful for the long and ongoing connection and relationship with our partners at Samara United Methodist Church in Russia. For over 26 years, we have considered Samara UMC a sister church to Hyde Park Community UMC making visits to each other that brings great joy to all! You might remember their last visit to Cincinnati in the summer of 2019?
When the war broke out in Ukraine, multiple emails of support and love were sent to our partners in Samara to assure them we knew that they longed for peace. Pastor Natalia shared that the emails and Zooms during this time, “gave us faith and strengthened us in our ministry. Today, everyday seems like a miracle that we can serve our Lord. We want to keep doing good works and talking about Christ. Your support and prayers give us the strength to move on.”
Despite difficult circumstances due to the war, our partners are committed to spreading joy and hope by sharing the love of Jesus to the most vulnerable in their community. They express gratitude to our church for supporting the following ministries this past year:
- A Place of Kindness – a new ministry that started in March providing hot meals to people and inviting them to participate in faith discussions that has led to people being open to share and talk about their struggles and concerns, especially during the war.
- Ministry with divorced women – Pastor Natalia meets weekly with non-believing women who suffer from the destruction of family and need spiritual and psychological help and support.
- Ministry with youth – offering a safer space for youth who don’t know Jesus to gather in a cafe to discuss life issues and spiritual topics.
- Serving Roma children – purchasing shoes and school supplies for them and teaching hygiene skills and helping them learn to write and read.
Our partners at Samara UMC are a great example of how human interconnectedness with God can spread joy and hope in the midst of adversity. They live out the promise that Jesus shares in John 16:22, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” Thank you for your support of our partners at Samara United Methodist Church as they spread joy to people who desperately need it. We invite you to continue to pray for our partners at Samara UMC and consider giving what you can to support what God is doing through our partners.
We hope that you will join us for worship in person or online on January 1st at 9:30a when we worship with our sister church at Samara UMC thanks to technology as Pastor Natalia shares a message on the importance of covenant.
Prayer for our partners at Samara UMC
God we lift up Samara United Methodist Church and Pastor Natalia. May they experience Your comfort in times of sorrow and distress. Enfold them in Your love, giving light and hope as live out Your call to bring the good news of Jesus to all. We ask that You give them endurance and strength as they continue to faithfully offer joy to their community in the midst of despair. We pray for an end to the war so that all people may experience Your joy and peace. Amen.
Tijuana Christian Mission
The fourth week of Advent focuses on the word LOVE. As we lit the fourth and final candle on our Advent wreath we can see that the light comes very close to overcoming all darkness. The only candle that is left now is the center candle, the Christ candle, which we will light on Christmas Eve. At Christmastime, we as people of faith celebrate God’s greatest gift of love – Jesus. Jesus was born a baby, fully God and fully human, and taught us how to love by living with us on earth and being an example to us.
Our partners at Tijuana Christian Mission (TCM), is an orphanage with campuses in Tijuana and Rosarito, is faithfully serving God by showing love to the most vulnerable children in Mexico. Children who come from broken homes or from no home at all. Tijuana Christian Mission is able to provide a loving family environment for children who have seen and experienced abuse, neglect and extreme poverty. TCM currently houses 75 children and works to show deep love for each child committed to not only meeting the physical needs of the children, but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
One of the ways our church has supported TCM this year in holistically caring for each child is by providing financial support to help fund two psychologists to meet with the children. So many of the children have experienced unexplainable trauma before coming to TCM. The psychologists are a huge piece of their process of healing and helping them receive the love TCM gives. It is through the loving-kindness of TCM that the children can begin to see how the light and love of Jesus overcomes the darkness they have experienced.
Thank you so much for your ongoing love for the children at TCM and support of this important ministry. We invite you to continue to pray for the children and staff at Tijuana Christian Mission and consider giving what you can to support what God is doing through our partners.
Prayer for our partners at Tijuana Christian Mission
God we lift up the children and staff at Tijuana Christian Mission. We know You have a special heart for children and orphans. We pray that the children at TCM feel Your deep love for them tangibly through the ministry of Tijuana Christian Mission. Thank you for the dedicated staff who provide love and care for each child. May each experience body, mind, and soul healing. Amen.
Leadership from Tijuana Christian Mission are planning on visiting our church in February or March (date TBD). Our next visit to Tijuana Christian Mission will be June 17-22, 2023 to serve alongside the staff to support the ministry at TCM and share God’s love to the children.