Deep in the DNA of Pathmakers Church is a deep conviction that God wants a portion of the money that we raise on any given weekend and through the regular support of stakeholders invested in the mission of Pathmakers to be spent, not just outside our walls, but outside of our control. It keeps us humble, it keeps us aware of the needs of others, and it reminds us constantly that “the money” is not “our money” at all… it’s “God’s money.” For that reason, we’re taking 10% of our gross income every month to give to worthy causes during our first year as a church. Next year it might be more. And this isn’t an amount where some of it goes to pay our internal costs related to outreach, or to cover the salaries of missions or outreach staff, or missions projects we originate and have control over. This is 10% that literally passes into a separate bank account with the purpose of giving to another organization. Sure, we’re careful about who we give the money to, but once we give it, it’s theirs to use for the expansion of God’s Kingdom and the benefit of human beings made in God’s image. (Makes sense, right? I mean, you do that when you give to Pathmakers Church).
This time, we’re giving to World Vision’s Japan Relief Fund. World Vision is a unique organization in that it is both a respected missionary organization in Christian circles and a respected relief agency internationally. It’s no small accomplishment to be so widely respected by government and religious groups.
There are many worthy organizations contributing to the relief efforts in Japan, but what makes World Vision’s efforts so special to us are the fact that World Vision is both locally invested and committed to the Gospel. World Vision Japan has offices in Tokyo with Board Members who are Japanese. This isn’t simply some group of Americans or Europeans milling around cocktail parties and calling it a relief organization. These are real people doing real work in Japan. As a result, not only was World Vision Japan poised to start meeting needs within hours of the disaster (in addition to their connection to the larger World Vision organization), the needs were being met by people who understand the culture because they ARE the culture. Similar to the vision of Pathmakers Church, World Vision Japan is reaching out to neighbors with tangible efforts in hopes of creating avenues for the Gospel to be spread.
And while the newscasts are shifting from Japan’s immediate humanitarian crisis to on-again-off-again nuclear concerns to politics at home and other crises abroad, World Vision remains active in Japan and continues its work with children and families most devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. The needs don’t end just because the newscasts do. So we stand with the people of Japan through World Vision. And we bow in prayer on their behalf.
Keep World Vision Japan and the people they are reaching out to in your prayers. And if you would like to contribute directly to the World Vision Japan Relief Effort, several children and their families will be grateful beyond words.