Aleppo Presbyterian Church, Syria
- How Lives are Changed: In the once thriving city of Aleppo, from which many have fled as refugees, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church and his young family have chosen to stay. “We stay to give the people hope. They are not abandoned; they are not alone,” Pastor I. shared with me. “Our city once had 4 million people living here. Now we have less than 2 million, and we have no regular electricity or running water. It’s all been destroyed in the fighting.” This congregation’s church building was destroyed by rebel rocket attacks in 2012. Since then, the 100 members who have stayed climb five stories of steps to reach the pastor’s apartment. Here they gather each week for worship and during the week for fellowship. “We want the community to know that the church is not the building. The church is the gathered people of God,” shared one elder. In addition to providing spiritual encouragement and tangible relief aid to a people and neighborhood battered by war, this congregation (along with many other churches in Aleppo) has drilled a well on its property. These wells are often the only water source for days on end, and the lines begin early in the morning and last until late at night. When the pastor approached him to pay for the fuel, the petrol station owner refused payment and said: “I’ve been watching you. Every day you provide water free of charge to the entire neighborhood, Muslim and Christian. This is my way of saying thank you.”
- Website URL: www.facebook.com/Presbyterian-Church-of-Aleppo-1034796719899531/?rc=p
- How Lives are Changed: Juan Ana Cafe is grown, processed, roasted, and packaged in San Lucas, Guatemala. The only part of the process that is not in local hands is the movement of the bags once they land in the US! This Direct Trade Model ensures the highest quality of product as well as the largest impact on the community! Our farmers’ Arabica coffee is grown under a full shade canopy at the ideal altitude (between 5,200 and 6,000 feet) in rich volcanic ash soil. In other words, it’s the best coffee on the planet. Combine the great taste with the great cause, and it’s almost too good to be true!
- Volunteer Opportunity: Sell coffee once a month at Oak Grove
- Website URL: www.sanlucasmission.org/juan-ana-cafe/juan-ana-coffee/overview/
International Village Clinic, India
- How Lives are Changed: The International Village Clinic (IVC) is dedicated to bringing health and medical services to the poor villages of India.
- Website URL: http://www.villageclinic.org/
- How Lives are Changed: Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
- Website URL: www.kiva.org
Palestinian Olive Oil
- How Lives are Changed: Palestine Peace Awareness Inc. is a registered non-profit organization. Proceeds are used to directly benefit Palestinian farmers and children living in occupied Palestine and to create awareness for peace in Palestine. The name “Zatoun” could not be registered because the legal name of a non-profit must reflect its purpose. However, Zatoun continues as our trade name because it speaks to people through its Arabic character and direct translation to the word “olive”. Zatoun helps to create a context based in ordinary everyday life to view and discuss the situation in Palestine-Israel. No longer is it an abstract geopolitical issue involving power elites and undefined national interest. Support the farmers of Palestine in the struggle for their livelihood and land. Farmers are paid fair trade prices through PFTA. Also, one dollar of each bottle sold will go to help support Project Hope, an arts and education program for young people in Palestine. An additional amount goes to replant olive trees inside Palestine which have been destroyed by the occupation.
- Volunteer Opportunity: Sell olive oil once a month at Oak Grove
- Website URL: http://www.zatoun.com/
Presbyterian Education Board, Pakistan
- How Lives are Changed: Our mission is to provide, in an enduring way, the highest quality education responsive to the needs of individuals with preparation for the needs and demands of the 21st century. We wish to offer this education to individuals of all religious backgrounds, regardless of their ability to pay, who choose to come to missionary institutions to receive high quality education fully informed by missionary values.
- Website URL: http://peb.edu.pk/
San Lucas Mission
- How Lives are Changed: The San Lucas Mission was originally founded by the Franciscan order in the late 16th Century, with the building of the Mission Church around 1584. In 1958, as the Catholic Church in Rome called for greater involvement of clergy and lay people in world missions, the Diocese of New Ulm responded by launching a diocesan partnership with the Diocese of Sololá, Guatemala. Fr. Greg Schaffer, a diocesan priest from New Ulm, began serving as pastor of the San Lucas Mission in 1962. Perhaps one of the most well-known missions in Guatemala, its long-term devotion has been the enhancement and enrichment of the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, and physically – by addressing both the immediate effects of poverty and its underlying causes.
- Website URL: www.sanlucasmission.org
SLT Scholars, Guatemala
- How Lives are Changed: The SLT Scholars program arose from the desire of parents and students to have the opportunity for students to be able to continue to study after finishing elementary school. There are seven junior high schools in San Lucas – one is a small public school, which can only attend to about 20% of the students who wish to study in junior high, and make various charges: the others are all fee paying. The program is intended to provide bright, needy students with the opportunity to study in the junior high of their choice.
- Website URL: http://sltscholars.org/