February 18, 2019
You've Changed the World
September 28, 2018 | Kathy Smarrella
In conjunction with our REACH campaign, an account to support the Least of These (as described in Matthew 25:40) was established; 10% of all that comes into the church through REACH is put in a fund to support various ministries, organizations, and projects right here in Michiana, and throughout our country and the world. Through the last two and a half years of REACH, almost $250,000 has been distributed across the globe and right here in our own backyard.
First and foremost, we wanted to thank YOU for donating your money to REACH. It is because of your generosity that we are able to support various ministries locally and throughout the world. We wanted to share how you have made an impact. Here are some of the recent Least of These stories:
Feed the Hungry
$11,000 was given to Feed the Hungry to send a container of much-needed food and supplies to communities in Torit, South Sudan, where civil war has ravaged communities over the last two years. Rice meals have been given to mothers and children throughout the area and reports are that children are slowly gaining weight, the rate of sickness has decreased, and people are returning to work and school. One of the pastors said, “Women who travel to gather firewood do it with peace of mind because their children have something to eat in their absence."
$25,000 was sent to the Love-a-Child organization outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to replace a 200,000-watt generator that powers the Jesus Healing Center and the Malnutrition Center, serving the poorest of poor in neighborhoods in Haiti. The Jesus Healing Center and Malnutrition Center are lights in the darkness in Haiti, providing medical care for thousands of patients that may otherwise do without treatment. Each morning when the gates open, hundreds of patients are lined up to receive medical care. Women receive proper nutrition and prenatal care prior to giving birth to their infants are healthy when they are born, and children are enrolled in a feeding program so they are able to get proper nutrition.
La Viña Purral
With just over $3,000, the La Viña Purral church in the outskirts of San Jose, Costa Rica was completely remodeled from the floor through the roof. Initially, the plan was to put in a new ceiling and repair the roof. As the project started, it became clear that the entire roof had to go. The remodel allows this church of 170 people to have more adequate space for people in this tough community to attend church.
Elm Road Elementary School
Many students in Northern Indiana rely on school for their most nutritious (or only) meal of the day, and on weekends, many go without. Since January 2018, with Least of These funds of about $3,500, 30 children from the Elm Road Elementary School have been sent home each Friday with backpacks of kid-friendly, shelf-stable and ready-to-eat meals, ensuring that they have something to eat on weekends and holiday breaks during the school year. Without these backpacks, these kids may not have adequate nutrition while away from school and improve their ability to learn and quality of life.
Mishawaka Police Department
This past summer, $5,000 of Least of These funds were given to the Mishawaka Police Department so that they could meet the needs of children in the community whose bikes had been stolen or lost (or families who just cannot afford the cost of bicycles). Members of the police force connected to Mishawaka schools contacted
Additional Least of These funds were sent to:
- Rural communities in Malawi, Africa to provide bike ambulances
- Northern Uganda refugee camps, providing bathrooms and desks for a refugee-run school and to a single mom of eight children who lost the roof of their home in a storm
- A Vineyard church in San Jose, Costa Rica for a bus that will be used to support missions, outreach and transport disabled people to church
- The homeless in Sturgis, Michigan
- The Crossing School in northern Indiana
- A sugar camp ministry in the Dominican Republic
- Several other worthy ministries
Your generous donations to REACH are being used across the world in the name of Jesus, literally as the hands and feet of our Savior. Thank you, Vineyard, for making a difference to the ends of the earth!
Kathy Smarrella oversees spiritual development, groups, retreats, and events with the ultimate goal of creating spiritually healthy followers of Jesus here at The Vineyard Church. She also directs our community outreach and missions efforts, helping our church become the hands and feet of Jesus in our community and across the world.