The Rev. Cn. David Roseberry
The Matthew 25 Initiative was created by the Province to help churches share the love of Christ with the least, the last, and the lost. Thanks to the Initiative, in the last few years, many congregations have started new ministries. Look at four unique ways grassroots outreaches are making a difference in their communities.
1.Vita Nova INC
In the name of Christ, Vita Nova INC. of Perry, New York provides safe housing and Godly discipleship to men coming out of prison who often struggle with life controlling issues. Often, the only option is to return to the familiar places, relationships, and habits that did not serve them well before. Instead of being forced to return to their old ways of life, Vita Nova INC. offers healing and hope through a new relationship and a new way of life. Immediate physical needs of housing and meals are met while Christ-centered programs are offered, providing a fresh way forward and hope for their present and future.
2. Restoration Immigration Legal Aid
Providing much needed legal aid to those who have come to our country hoping for a place of safety, belonging, and freedom, Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) of Arlington, Virginia ministers to those who are most vulnerable and have the fewest resources. Since 2016, RILA has served more than 50 clients through monthly legal aid clinics. The majority of these clients have experienced trauma, or even life-threatening events that led to their coming to the US, and now seek asylum. During clinics, volunteers provide legal assistance, a meal, childcare, interpretation services, and prayer. This ministry is meeting very real, and otherwise very costly and complex, needs of our new neighbors and offers compassionate assistance in the name of Jesus.
3. St. Lazarus Mission
Extending the hands of Christ to love the least, lonely, labeled, and lost, St. Lazarus Mission of Dayton, Ohio is connecting parishes to elderly care in nursing homes. More than 1 million people are living in America’s 16,000 nursing homes. While engaging in ministry in multiple locations, each nursing home is adopted by a specific leader who can be the day-to-day “champion” for the people at their site. This model fosters deep relation- ships with residents, staff, and family, and belonging and care for those so often forgotten outside the walls of their nursing home.
4. Arizona Neighborhood Transformation
In the small, tight-knit community of Guadeloupe, Arizona, where less than half the children will graduate from high school, Arizona Neighborhood Transformation has created not only physical space, but real opportunity to help their children succeed in school and beyond. The Guadeloupe Learning Lab is a place where children receive after-school tutoring and summer education, as well as help with real life issues they may be having. Parents are encouraged to work with their children and teachers during the school year. Directed and facilitated by community members with a heart for the Kingdom, the Learning Lab is meeting needs in the lives of these children and their present and future families in the name of Jesus.