The Bible says that whoever oppresses the poor insults their Maker, but those who help the poor honor Him. In a world full of AIDS orphans, poverty and starvation, and people desperate for hope, the Church can no longer remain indifferent. We must allow our hearts to be broken by the things that break the heart of God.
The Evergreen Community aims to be a group of people who honor God the way that He wants to be honored, not necessarily in the way that is most comfortable or convenient for us. And that means actually doing something for the poor, because that’s what God wants, even if it pulls us far outside of our comfort zones.
The reason we call this “justice” rather than charity is because we have a responsibility. We have been commanded to give out of our wealth to the poor in their poverty (1 John 3:17, James 1:27, 2:14-17) . This is therefore an obligation, not a gift. It’s uncomfortable to think of it this way, but we owe God our obedience… and we owe the poor our help. Thus, when we give or do acts of charity, it’s only what is right, what is just. Justice. And when we fail to give that way…
We need to realize how easy it is to fall into the trap of “doing church” and becoming useless to the world around us. Sharing the love of Christ is about more than sharing the “Plan of Salvation.” It’s about loving people the way that Jesus loved them- giving them what they need physically, loving them unconditionally and sacrificially, all the while sharing the Good News of the Kingdom.
Here are some things Evergreen is currently involved in:
Community Partners and Financial Priorities for 2017
After seeking input from the community, the Benevolence Team has set the following priorities for our benevolence giving this year. Our monthly budget is based on our goal to give away 14% of all that comes in. When we are able to meet our budget obligations, we will be funding the following projects and organizations:
Funds are set aside for this purpose, and home groups or other groups of Evergreeners are able to request funds by submitting an email to Sarah and the Benevolence Team with the answers to the questions here.
Portland Metro Partners
Terre Blanche, Haiti
For several years, Evergreen has been helping fund a community-based water project in the remote village of Terre Blanche, in northern Haiti. Here’s a link to a recent study that showed that biosand filters are effective. If you’re interested in learning about the village we serve, Terre Blanche, you can read more about it on the website of Haiti Foundation of Hope , which is the organization we go to Haiti with. Individuals who would like to be part of a team going to Haiti can apply via the website listed above.
- We provide the meal – ingredients, cook it and help clean up
- Serve the meal and dine with those who come.
HomePDX is a unique community reaching out to the homeless population of Portland. We’ve been supporting and serving with them for years now. Come join us the first Sunday of every other month – watch the announcements on Sundays for more info!
Become a part of Evergreen’s Kiva group and make a difference through international microfinance!
A number of Evergreen individuals and families are involved in fostering children! Here’s something we wrote recently about this:
We at Evergreen, get to be community to another foster child. In addition to Lindsay Burke, Dustin and Kelli have decided to open their home to a child. While the two children are quite young and what we say may not affect them now, it is important that we work now on having supportive language with them and their foster families. We also need to be aware that our older kids are listening and are taking cues from us.
Here are a few areas to be sensitive to:
- Jason Johnson, author of The Beauty and Brokeness of Foster Care says, “Foster care is less about getting a child for your family and more about giving your family for a child.” These kids are joining amazingly, loving homes and our tendency is to celebrate. But the reality is they are leaving their birth parents and this can be tough.
- Please be cautious about how you talk about the child’s past history.
- Give grace for behavior issues, they are a healing individual that is in need of your love, support and prayers.
- The birth parents are people too. Pray for them as they deal with their loss and current struggles.
- There is no guarantee (but a hope for an opportunity for adoption) that our families will get the opportunity to parent these children long term. It is a reality that they are aware of and often think about. Please be sensitive around this subject and support them in this.
Our role as a community is to love these little girls along side of their foster families. We get to show them the who Jesus is and share the gospel with them by our words and actions. Pray for Lindsay, Dustin, Kelli, Gram and Owen as they share a meaningful role in these children’s lives.
Here are ways you can support these families:
- Become a respite care provider! Like most parents, these families need breaks and knowing they can have a trusted individual care for their foster child is extremely helpful, email me to get started: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help with household chores: clean their bathroom/kitchen, vacuum, dust, mow their lawns, weed their garden beds, etc.
- Bring a meal or give a gift card to a local restaurant or send a pizza delivery!
- Buy their groceries for the week
- Pray! Pray for the DHS caseworkers that they make right and Godly decisions, pray for the court dates that the judges will make decisions that are in the best interest of the child, pray for the birth parents and siblings, pray for the foster families give them wisdom.