Recently, a colleague of mine asked me, “Will World Impact’s focus on communities of poverty in American cities be affected by the increasing number of international partners?” In fact, many people are surprised when they hear that an organization called World Impact focuses so heavily on communities of poverty in the United States.
Our model follows that laid out by the Apostles. The Spirit led them to cities, such as Jerusalem, Ephesus, or Rome. It just makes sense. Think of how news travels. It starts in the city, where people do business with one another, then radiates to the highways and byways. If you want to get to the heart of a nation, reach its cities. However, something interesting happens to Paul in Acts 16. He has a vision of a man from Macedonia saying, “Come over here and help us.” He immediately started working hard to get to Macedonia.
It just so happens that many of the communities of poverty in the United States have high concentrations of immigrants and refugees who still have ties with their countries of origin. When these men and women seek ministry training with World Impact, many of them have told us, “We need this for my friends back home.” To the best of our ability we will always respond to this request for help, following the model of the Macedonian Call.
These opportunities to “come over here and help us” are becoming increasingly common. Just this past week, we received a request from a pastor in South Sudan (pictured below) to get training curriculum. Several of the churches that he is supporting are 10-15 hours from electricity.
Many of the people we work with are from war torn places, and our Trauma Healing material has resonated with them. We are working to transport Trauma Healing training material by mule over a range of mountains into an undisclosed country.
And lastly, this week my coworker Juan Pablo Herrera and his wife Sol of Dallas, TX, are taking a 15-passenger van full of Church-Based Seminary books to Bogota, Colombia. They will be outfitting one of two training centers for pastors of ministry leaders in Bogota.
Reports like this stop me in my tracks to give thanks to the Lord for what he is allowing World Impact to be a part of. It needs to be repeated that He doesn’t need us, but He wants to include us. Surely God rejoices as His kingdom spreads.
I want to extend a special thanks to you for your partnership. You are an impact partner because you are making an impact. Whether it’s through your prayers for us as an organization or for me as a leader, your friendship, or the encouragement of knowing that you are on the other end of a phone call or an email, you are making a lasting, eternal difference.
-Dr. Alvin Sanders