--By Leslie Uriss Spehar--
Ingomar Church will welcome World Vision President Richard Stearns on Sunday, April 3. Stearns has traveled to more than 40 of the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, and has a first-hand understanding of the issues that affect the poor. His message, “Somebody Else’s Kids,” is one that many members of the church have come to understand through small group studies of two of Stearn’s books.
“We did a church-wide study in 2011 of Rich Stearns’ book, The Hole in our Gospel,” said Trina Walker, Director of Strategic Implementation at Ingomar, who is helping to coordinate the event on April 3.
The book takes an in-depth look at Jesus’ call to love our neighbors and encourages readers to use their time, talent and money to help others near and far. Lack of adequate housing and employment, as well as hunger, are some of the topics he examines, along with people around the world not having access to clean drinking water.
During this same time period, Pastor David Streets shared a video entitled The Advent Conspiracy and challenged church members to look beyond holiday commercialism, consumerism, and seasonal stress of Christmas to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All.
“Our pastor talked about doing something different in the world,” Walker said.
The book, coupled with Streets’ challenge, inspired church members to create Ingomar Living Waters, an outreach ministry that provides money for clean wells and water filtration systems around the world to a number of different organizations. To date, they have raised $443,440 for 52 projects in 10 countries comprising 44 wells, 15 filtration projects, 17 sanitation projects, 13 water distribution projects, and 12 other types of water-related projects that have assisted a whopping 89,300 people.
In 2014, Ingomar Church did another church-wide study of a second book by Stearns entitled, Unfinished. In this book he examines the idea that Jesus left us with a challenge to change the world by proclaiming God’s truth and demonstrating his love, but that this task remains unfinished.
“Many of the folks here at our church were compelled by Rich Stearns’ words to not just be a one-hour-on-Sunday type of Christian,” said Walker.
To this end, members of the church volunteer monthly at World Vision’s distribution center in Sewickley to pack supplies that they send around the world. It’s through this connection that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have Stearns speak at their church.
“We’ve asked the Distribution Center for several years if there was any chance for Rich Stearns to come and speak at the church,” said Walker. “We hope that he might inspire others, whether that’s through being involved in World Vision or defining their own purpose for fulfilling Christ’s call in their lives.”
Stearns will speak at Ingomar Church during three worship services at 9, 10, and 11:15 a.m. on April 3. All who attend will have the opportunity to make a monthly pledge or one-time gift to help refugees around the world. Checks, debit or credit cards will be accepted.
World Vision is also providing a special book Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung with Tim Downs as a thank you to those who respond that day.
Ingomar Church is located at 1501 W. Ingomar Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. For more information, contact Trina Walker at 412-364-3613 or email@example.com.
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