Monday, January 7, 2013

Growing Together

People often ask how we first learned about African Leadership Partners and their ministry at New Life Homes.

While attending college at Chico State University, I (Tommy) was sitting in a pew at Bidwell Presbyterian Church listening to Peter Kopp, one of the founders of African Leadership Partners, share how can God equips people with practical skills—such a medicine, agriculture, or construction—to help meet the world's greatest needs.

One of the BPC services meets at the El Rey theater.

Bidwell Presbyterian Church has developed a very cool partnership with African Leadership Partners. I began attending Bidwell Pres in 2004, just as it was experiencing awesome, God-led growth. Bidwell Pres is one of the fastest growing Presbyterian churches in America. The pastors and elders of the church are constantly looking for new ways to get members to become more intimately connected with the greatest needs of the world. I originally went to Swaziland as part of a short-term team from Bidwell Pres in 2006. The rest is history.

The partnership between Bidwell Pres and the folks in Swaziland has continued to grow. In 2010, the church raised money through a special offering to build a school. The school currently educates approximately 75 orphaned and vulnerable children, and is transforming education in the local community. One of the biggest needs New Life Homes is currently facing is housing for missionaries and school teachers. As a result of not enough housing, some missionaries and their families are traveling long distances on dangerous roads, where auto accidents are frequent.

The New Life School

The members of Bidwell Pres wanted to do something to further support the ministry of New Life Homes. This year, they dedicated their Christmas Eve offering to build two new homes on the farm. They raised $31,750! What a special Christmas gift to the children of New Life Homes and the local community.

God is so good and we are thankful for their generosity. We look forward to sending along pictures as construction progresses and eventually having short-term teams stay in the facilities. Bidwell Pres and New Life Homes have cultivated a unique and beautiful relationship that we look forward growing this relationship even more.

Here is a short promo video the folks at Bidwell Pres put together. Enjoy!

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