The Journey to Wellness: 2021 Spring Appeal

The Journey to Wellness: 2021 Spring Appeal

April 2021

Dear Friends,

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” 1 Corinthians 12:26

2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Global Ministries. In the 25 years since its inception this ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ has been journeying with partners in this new chapter of global mission together around the world to ensure that all of God’s creation is cared for and has the ability to live in fullness of joy and wellness.

This journey to wellness is not an easy one. With partners in close to 90 countries, wellness looks different for communities. Wellness means that all are in good health “especially as an actively sought goal.” This journey to wellness is an encounter with the manifestations of injustices which continue to marginalize communities globally, undermining the quality of life of billions around the world whose quality of life and human dignity are disrupted by economic inequality, displacement, climate change, health disparities, and forms of discrimination.

As Global Ministries celebrates its 25th anniversary, we do so in the throes of a pandemic which is redefining the world in which we live. This health pandemic has highlighted and amplified the pandemics of racism, poverty, and injustices. The world is witnessing the fault lines of disparities which are diminishing the quality of life for many whose lives are already disrupted by the lack of basic needs and the lack of care for creation which is itself a pandemic.

COVID-19 is a disruption in the ways life functions and the ways communities connect with each other locally and globally. The development of vaccines addresses the healing of the body, however our communities are on a journey to wellness, where justice prevails and we are living out God’s radical love by confronting powers that deny the fullness of life and the integrity of creation. In this 25th year, the Global Ministries core value of justice continues to be of high priority.

Lockdowns across the world mean reduced air travel, challenging the ability to be present with each other. Yet, Global Ministries, including through the presence of mission personnel, continues the journey to wellness with partners who are engaged in providing for those who are often overlooked and underserved.

Global Ministries is present with international partners who are responding to the challenges brought by the pandemic through providing food, hygiene materials, and financial assistance for families in the Philippines and in the Dominican Republic. We are present also with partners responding through the creation of income-generation projects for women in the India and the Democratic Republic of Congo to sew and sell face masks. Through securing medical equipment and personal protection gear for medical staff and medical equipment, we are present with church partners who are running hospitals and healthcare programs in Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

While COVID-19 occupied the news for 2020 and will for some time, there were other places where in Beirut, a major explosion destroyed parts of the city. Global Ministries partners with several partner churches who are working to minster with the devastated community. Nishan Bakalian, mission co-worker serving in Beirut summarized the critical ministry of presence: Our work in the meantime is to pray, serve, listen, encourage, and trust God fiercely through all of this. The people of Beirut are making the journey to wellness, providing and caring for those who were injured, displaced, and suffering the losses of loved one.

Communities across the world are facing challenges and they are providing solutions to address COVID-19 and other social issues. In Mexico, the Intercultural Research Studies Institute (INESIN) is working with children to plant trees. This act of community care will have long reaching benefits for the people of Chiapas where deforestation is one of many environmental challenges in the state. The planting of trees is also contributing to the journey to wellness for all creation.

The journey to wellness is also an invitation for you to bring healing to the world. Your gifts to Global Ministries are a part of the journey to wellness with approximately 290 faith-based partners with whom we are living in community. This journey is marked by mutuality, as we all walk in hope with others in God’s mission. Thank you for your gifts and your presence on this journey we undertake together as a global family.

With blessings on the journey ahead,