We had a wonderful Sunday this past week, from Sunday school, to worship, to a worship service at the DCRC in the afternoon. What a blessing to be with God’s people!
I found myself today contemplating God’s blessings and my responsibility regarding them. In fact, on the drive home from Springfield, I started a quick inventory of God’s blessings in my life. While it is true that my life is not everything I had once hoped for or dreamed of, what I have received from God’s hand is often more than I could have ever hoped for.
We can gain nothing by withholding God’s blessings, and we can gain everything by sharing God’s blessings with others. A wise person once said, “It is in giving that you receive.” I have to agree. In fact, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).
Whatever your mission project or favorite charity, during this Easter season I hope you will take the time to make a difference in someone else’s life.
2010 Mother’s Day Project
The subject of health care has been the basis of many a heated debate recently. Whatever your view, and wherever you stand on the current health care issues here in the United States, you need to know that even at its worst in the U.S., we have so much more than many people throughout the world.
On May 9th we will celebrate Mother’s Day, purchasing gifts, cards, flowers and maybe even a fancy dinner for Mom. However, this week I would like to suggest another way to honor Mom.
Life as a woman, a wife and a mother in rural Africa includes many of the same joys experienced by American women in those roles. But for many African women life also includes the challenge of protecting the health of their children and themselves in places where lack of prevention, diagnosis or care often leads to life-threatening illness or even death.
• A woman in African dies from cervical cancer every ten minutes.
• One out of every 16 women in sub-Saharan Africa dies from complications of pregnancy or childbirth.
• As many as 100,000 women each year suffer fistulas as a result of obstructed labor.
• Over 30% of children in sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished, and growth is stunted in two out of Eve youngsters.
• Malaria kills 3,000 African children every day.
• 800,000 children die each year in Africa from diarrhea and dehydration.
Since 2001, the Presbyterian Church USA has sponsored a Mother’s Day mission activity. This year that program is being expanded to support the Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project, an opportunity to help our church partners in Africa provide preventive health services and medical care to women and children, while we honor women in our own families on Mother’s Day. For 2010, International Health & Development Ministries and Presbyterian Women are working together to make special Mother’s Day cards available in exchange for donations to the new Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project.
The 2010 Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day card (pictured) includes images of women and children in three of the African countries where the work of International Health & Development with PC(USA) church partners is focused: Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan. Each photo was taken at the site of a Presbyterian mission hospital or health project. The women and children depicted on the card are representative of so many others in those countries who struggle to build healthy lives for their families. The Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project will help support them in that effort.
Although the PCUSA sponsors this program, you don’t have to be Presbyterian to participate. The cards, pictured here, will be available next Sunday, May 2. You may receive one of these cards for your mom, grandmother, godmother, or any woman you wish to honor on this special day, for a donation amount of your choice. Your gifts to the Healthy Women Healthy Families Mother’s Day Project will support a variety of health programs in Africa including malaria prevention and treatment, obstetrical care, fistula surgery, cervical cancer screening and family health education for women, and immunizations, health screenings, nutritional rehabilitation and primary care for children.
What does it cost in Africa to provide the health services supported by Healthy Women Healthy Families? Here are some examples. These are just some of the ways that your gifts to Healthy Women Healthy Families help protect and restore the health of women and children in Africa.
Cervical cancer screening
Nutritional rehabilitation food for one day
$2 Clinic visit
$10 Prenatal care and delivery, Malaria prevention
$30 Cryotherapy treatment
$200 Fistula surgery
To help these women in Africa while honoring your mother, contact me at 417-844-0629 or send your donation to Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, c/o 113 E. BB, Greenfield, MO 65661, or you can come Ebenezer on Sunday afternoon, May 2, from 1 to 2 p.m. to make your donation.
For more information about Healthy Women Healthy Families and the Mother’s Day project that supports it, please visit the PC(USA) International Health & Development Web site: http://www.pcusa.org/health/international, or contact Gail Bingham at firstname.lastname@example.org; (888) 728-7228, ext. 5573.
God has given us so many wonderful gifts, let us be faithful stewards by sharing those gifts with others who have so much less.
Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church