Let’s stop for a moment to think about that which perhaps we cannot see. Let’s look beyond the walls of our church, beyond the boundaries of our community—even beyond the borders of our nation. There is much to see, much to talk about and think about . . . but for a moment, let’s talk about this: right now nearly 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS around the globe. The Sub-Saharan countries of Africa are disproportionately impacted, with nearly 26 million of those cases in this region alone.
“HIV/AIDS is still a worldwide issue,” says Phyllis Wezeman, a member of First Presbyterian Church of South Bend, Indiana. She leads Malawi Matters—a nonprofit that has not shied away from talking about the issue but is tackling it head on. The organization develops and facilitates HIV and AIDS education with the people of Malawi.
Malawi Matters is 100 percent volunteer driven. Donations are used for developing and supporting important training programs, and for much-needed supplies. Wezeman’s church is part of the Presbytery of Wabash Valley, which has answered the call to become a Matthew 25 mid council.
As a Matthew 25 mid council, the presbytery has committed to “radical and fearless discipleship” to embrace one or more of three focuses: building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. The presbytery uses its portion of the Peace & Global Witness Offering in support of Malawi Matters. These gifts support field work in more than 200 congregations and villages and more than 1,500 schools. Volunteers also travel to Malawi to serve as facilitators on teaching teams.
Malawi Matters is just one beautiful example of how Presbyterians who support the Peace & Global Witness Offering are building God’s household, a household of peace.
Our 25% portion of this offering will go to a scholarship ministry at the Antioch Baptist Church in Bedford Hills, a church many of you may be familiar with through our yearly participation in the Martin Luther King Community Worship Service in January:
Scholarship Ministry – The Scholarship Ministry encourages the youth of Antioch to continue their education upon graduation from high school, disseminates grant and educational funding information, and highlights internship and employment opportunities. The Scholarship ministry evaluates scholarship applications and recommends awards from the Annie Y. Fisher College Scholarship Fund. This ministry provides ongoing mentoring to college students throughout their rigorous educational pursuits.
Twenty-five percent will support regional efforts in our mid councils, and 50 percent will go the Presbyterian Mission Agency for its ministries of education and partnership with active peacemakers all around the world. Please consider contributing to this offering, either online, or by sending a check to the church office, marking it for “Peace and Global Witness.”