God Calls Us to be Neighborly

Dear Friends:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no greater commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)

This winter, temperatures in Indianapolis have been in the -20’s including the wind chill factor.  I (Julia) don’t remember ever being so cold; yet I have the luxury of living in a warm house and the opportunity to work in, what would be considered on most days, a warm office.  However, I am mindful of the millions of displaced people around the world who are living in houses made of plastic tarps and without food, winter coats and boots -- women, men, and children uprooted from their homes and experiencing unimaginable suffering as a result of war and senseless acts of violence perpetuated by, among others, extreme groups in the name of religion.  

2015_spring_appeal_photo.jpgThere are hundreds of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan and I can visualize those I met this past fall in Amman.  One family included three generations sharing a small room in an Orthodox Church.  They had lost everything because they were forced to leave their homes. In the midst of this human tragedy, you are there providing assistance through the Orthodox Initiative, which is under the patronage of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.  The Orthodox Initiative is providing cooking stoves, food, winter jackets, boots, and school kits to many who left their homes with only the clothes on their backs.  You also are there through the presence of Global Ministries missionary, Nathaniel Bailey, with the Orthodox Initiative.  

Through your gifts to Global Ministries, you are reaching out to your neighbors around the globe, including those refugees and many others.  Your sacred gifts are making a real difference in the world by providing a life-line to those who are holding on by their fingertips. 

In the spirit of the Resurrection your gifts give new life to the displaced, the abused and the marginalized. Your gifts are witnessing to the grace of God, in which each of us walks.  Thank you for being neighborly, for being loving, for being forgiving, and for being concerned about what goes on beyond our doorsteps in a world that is too often uncaring.  May we continue to walk together on this journey of discipleship and always remember that God calls us to be neighborly.

Sincerely,                                         

Julia Brown Karimu
Co-Executive, Global Ministries
President, Division of Overseas Ministries 

James A. Moos
Co-Executive, Global Ministries
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries

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