(During 2015, Church of the Cross raised money for our Generosity Initiative “The Way of the Cross”. Portions of the funds raised went to support some of our ministry partners in Africa. Here is a report of how those funds were used to bless and serve others.)

by Alison Goldhor

Funds have been sent to three different African countries, in each case to a trusted long-term partner of Church of the Cross.

Kenya

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The new extension to this building, on the right-side, was provided by The Way of the Cross funds.

The partner with whom we’ve had the longest relationship is Bishop David Mutisya, serving in a strongly Muslim part of northern Kenya. He has started a number of parochial schools in the area, as education is a high value for Muslims and they appreciate the good discipline in the Christian schools. Also, unlike traditional schools, girls are given equal opportunities and also equal respect.

The Way of the Cross funds have been used to add an extension to an existing classroom building at St. John’s School, Ukasi.

Ground-breaking is about to begin on new classrooms at another school in the diocese, which was recently started at the request of a Muslim village chief.

So Church of the Cross’ money is literally making friends for the Gospel in northern Kenya.

Tanzania

Further south, in Tanzania, Cross sent a donation for the medical work in Arusha that our missionaries Steve and Jodi Swanson are doing.

  • A big part of Steve’s vision is to train local African doctors who will be able to continue his work as a pediatric specialist. He used our funds to buy his students a number of items that they wouldn’t be able to afford themselves – medical textbooks and also equipment such as stethoscopes, otoscopes and thermometers.
  • Every Friday Steve and Jodi run a clinic for severely malnourished children from the surrounding area. Some families walk for 4 hours, carrying their children, just to get to the clinic every Friday! Jodi has helped to develop a special kind of food for these very sick children. They’ve used our funds to fund the clinic and also the food that they send home with the children.
  • Steve also sees desperately sick children whose families have no money for doctors or medicine and has been able to use COTC funds to pay for these expenses.

In his thank you email, Steve wrote, “We could not do what we are doing without the generous support and funds from individuals and COTC.  Thank you!”

Rwanda

Lastly we sent funds to Rwanda. Cross’s children’s pastor Liz Stewart spent time there a couple of years ago and discovered the huge need for more trained children’s workers.

Liz found out about an excellent 3 year children’s curriculum “Children at Risk” published by David C Cook. This has been tried and tested around the world and now it’s been translated and adapted for use in Rwanda. The Way of the Cross funds made it possible to provide two copies of this curriculum to every parish in the Anglican diocese of Butari. In addition, funds were used to send 2 pastors or children’s workers from every parish to be trained in how to use these materials.

It’s been great to be able to multiply the effectiveness of these funds by investing them in both people and resources.