"Miraculous" Giving for Sudan at Ginghamsburg Church
March 5, 2009—"I was blown away once again," said Karen Smith of Ginghamsburg Church's fifth Christmas Miracle Offering for Sudan. Smith, the director of communications and global initiatives at Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio, works year around to lift up the church's Sudan Project which has raised nearly $4 million for Sudan since 2004.
The 2008 offering, which totaled $725,749, for Ginghamsburg's Sudan Project came just one day after GM closed a major automotive plant in nearby Dayton-one of the area's largest employers. Ginghamsburg's lead pastor, Michael Slaughter noted the increasing needs in the community. "In the last year we have gone from feeding 300 to 1,500 people each week through our ministries," he said.
"This is an incredible time to be the church," says Slaughter. "Our well being is not in circumstances, but in God." He says of the sacrificial giving of Ginghamsburg and others in this time of great economic need.
UMCOR in Sudan
The Sudan Project is a partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) that began with the church's first miracle offering in 2004. The first offering helped establish UMCOR's work in South Darfur.
UMCOR's Sudan work now includes projects in the capital city of Khartoum, South Darfur and South Sudan. The seed planted by Ginghamsburg in 2004 has leveraged more funds and staff from other sources leading to a comprehensive program that spans three regions in Africa's largest nation.
The 2008 Christmas Miracle offering will support Ginghamsburg's continuing commitment to child protection and water programs in South Darfur. These programs literally bring new life and hope to communities in the depth of despair.
The village of Deriga in South Darfur now calls their community "Ohio Village" for what Ginghamsburg's gifts had brought to them. The area had been decimated by the ongoing violence in Darfur. The water yard UMCOR built there brought 12,000 people to this once-empty community. With so many people now living in Deriga, they needed jobs, the agriculture program sponsored by Ginghamsburg helped provide food and employment. The children needed schools to improve their future. Two schools have been constructed through Ginghamsburg's partnership with UMCOR and two more are under construction.
"I rejoice in the faithfulness of Ginghamsburg's people to God's work in the world," said Sam Dixon, UMCOR's top executive. "Their gifts bring life to a desolate part of the world."