Partners In Mission: The Front lines of Ministry
They are partners.
The four people standing together in a small village are very different, yet united by a common goal. The first is an Adventist Pastor whose parish is spread over more than 400 square miles, and who oversees 16 churches. This small village is within his parish and he longs to see a church established in it. The second is a young teacher—a volunteer who had ridden her bike for over an hour (over some very difficult roads) to get to this particular village, and to greet some eager students. The third is the administrator of the church’s literacy program. She is organizer, trainer, manager, cheerleader, and soulmate to the teachers—all Adventist members—who teach in church run literacy classes four days a week, because they want to improve the lives of those around them and because they want to show God’s love in a tangible and real way to their communities. And the last is the Pastor from an Adventist church in North America whose congregation has learned about this particular project, and who are supporting them through their prayers and financial gifts.
These four individuals are the church on the very front lines of mission, brought together by a common love for the gospel, concern for a world in need, and commitment to one another’s ministry. They represent the partnerships that make Adventist missions a vital part of the life of our church. They are brought together by Hope for Humanity, one of the oldest formal ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
The church’s interests in ministry and broad and diverse, with ministries for dozens of groups and needs. Hope for Humanity is a ministry of the church with the specific calling and ministry to serve the poor in the name of Jesus.
There are many ways in which Adventists have worked with the poor around the world and throughout our history. In some cases the church has served as simply the infrastructure through which charitable works can be carried out, with no reference to the message and mission of the church. In some cases the church has sought out professional staff who act on their behalf to meet human needs—and who engage church members as volunteers—but who do not themselves represent the mission or ministry of the church.
The work funded by Hope for Humanity around the world is always done hand-in-hand with the church, as full partners in compassionate and transforming ministry. It is only in this way that the redemptive mission of the church can be realized, and that the potential for development and transformation be attained by the people and communities we serve.
The projects funded by Hope for Humanity are carefully initiated, planned, and implemented to be of both earthly and heavenly importance. It is the goal of Hope for Humanity to reach out in ways that meet the spiritual as well as their physical and social needs of the communities we serve.
In this task we pray as well as plan. We worship as well as work. We rejoice in the eternal reward as well as the benefits for life here on earth.