Missionary Facilitates Move from Charity to Justice
By David Webb
The pastor knew he had to do something. One member of his congregation told him how her husband was abusive. Holding her hand and offering words of consolation just weren't enough, so Rev. Don Edwards decided to go to law school. That action would eventually lead Edwards from the pulpit to the law office to the mission fields of Shalom Zone: Grace Ministries in Roanoke, Virginia, as a Church & Community Worker (CCW), a missionary working within the United States.
"Answering the call to be a CCW let me find a place where my skills in the pastorate and knowledge of the legal system came together," Edwards said. Similarly, Grace Ministries provides a place where different sections of the Roanoke community can come together and can learn from one another.
While not a critic of technology, Edwards recognizes some negative consequences that accompany it. "As we move towards greater reliance on technology," Edwards said, "people often don't even know the person next to them." As that trend continues, communities run the risk of falling in upon themselves and collapsing. Those who are already marginalized get pushed even farther away, and crime and violence increase.
Grace Ministries keeps people aware of what Edwards calls "inner-city strength." He posed a question: "If you have nothing, what do you have?" The answer: you have one another. With this philosophy, bridges connect people of different classes, coalitions are created instead of paternalism, and we move from charity to justice.
Through The Advance, you and your congregation can share in Grace Ministries' mission. A Covenant Relationship with Rev. Don Edwards would provide both financial support to the missionary community, as well as a prayerful connection among you, Edwards, and people in need. Support at any level advances hope and makes a difference on the path from charity to justice.
The Advance is pleased to recognize Gary and Allyson Ball as September's Advocates of the Month. Nominated by Dr. Belinda Forbes, Advance #12109Z, a Global Ministries missionary in Nicaragua, Gary and Allyson have offered scholarship funding through Accion Medica Cristiana (Christian Medical Action), Advance #14846A, which has made a significance difference in the lives of many Nicaraguans since 2004. In addition, Gary, a dentist, has made volunteer trips to Nicaragua and offered his services beside Dr. Forbes. Dr. Ball said, "We believe strongly in the work that you and the entire staff of AMC do, and the power of education. The Lord has blessed my entire family in so many ways with wonderful blessings, opportunities for education, and so much grace in our lives, and this is a small way that we have found to give back."
Searching for projects is now faster and easier on The Advance Project Search page. Searches are now available by location, by ministry, and by partnerships. Projects connected with UMCOR and UMW are also highlighted. Clear, bold graphics facilitate searches.
Check out mission projects to support through The Advance.
The 10-Fold Campaign is rapidly approaching! With hopes of gaining over 10,000 advocates for each of 10 projects encompassing 10 areas of mission, this interactive online event has already begun generating excitement throughout The United Methodist Church. The featured resource for September is the downloadable 10-Fold participant's guide. To sign up for more information, register at www.10-fold.org and then confirm your information. We'll see you on October 10!
Updates and Announcements
- Throughout the summer, The Advance kept you posted on the progress of Dr. Lauren Brown, who biked across the US to advocate and raise $25,000 in financial support for Methodist Dormitories for Rural Children, Advance #3021179. Dr. Brown finished the trip ahead of schedule, when he and his wife rode into Washington, DC on August 8. Some donors sent their contributions directly to The Advance, but Dr. Brown was personally aware of about 60% of the financial goal.
- Do you live in or near Northern Illinois Conference? If so, you won't want to miss hearing from Yema Luhahi, Advance #11943Z, a Global Ministries missionary in Kenya. Yema is visiting NIC throughout November. For more information, please email Emmy Lou John.
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