The end of the year is when we prepare for a great start to next year! One of the ways we look forward to a great year in 2024 is through our end-of-year giving opportunity called Encounter! Encounter is a chance to fuel next year’s goals that God has laid on the hearts of our church and our leaders. This year, our desire through Encounter is to put the Gospel in motion through projects that move the mission of God forward - it’s the Gospel on wheels!
Goal 1: Four Motorbikes for Cuban Pastors
One of our main areas of Global Impact is the country of Cuba. According to the US State Department, only 5% of Cubans attend a Bible-believing church. It is also a country in great need of humanitarian aid, so we have been in ministry there since 1997. This year, we seek to equip four of our Cuban Pastors, who oversee two churches each. These pastors lead one church and travel between 25 and 40 miles to the other community to oversee the second church. They usually walk, take a bicycle, or try to catch a ride. This becomes especially difficult in rainy weather! Very few cars are available in Cuba, and gasoline is very expensive, so these four pastors would greatly benefit from an electric motor scooter capable of traveling 70 miles on a single charge.
Goal 2: New Church Van
In 2002, we bought an excellent church minibus that has been a fantastic resource for ministry. We use the minibus and the current van to minister to children and teens. We also use them to transport friends staying at the homeless shelter who do not have cars right now. As we do this ministry, we have used this minibus and used it up! It has reached the end of its service life with issues of rust and reliability, not to mention the challenge of passing the safety inspection each year! We are seeking to replace the bus with a 15-passenger van, allowing us to transport a similar amount of people while having a large pool of drivers to pick from. Adding a second van will enable us to move up to 30 people at a time without renting vehicles or carpooling.
Goal 3: New West Entrance
Our facility is one of our greatest assets for ministry. The current West Entrance is nearing the end of its usable life and needs attention. The awning is weather-beaten, the doors are becoming difficult to lock and maintain, and the columns are slowly sinking into the ground. We have already started some of the preparation, including the removal of leaking skylights. This design has enhanced security options and ties together our separate buildings in a new, creative way. It also matches design elements from our south entrance to give our exterior a more unified look.
As we bid farewell to 2023, we eagerly anticipate the opportunities that lie ahead in 2024, embarking on exciting projects that promise a positive impact. We invite you to join us in prayer, contemplating how you might participate in this meaningful mission. Our ambitious target for Encounter 2024 is to raise $120,000 above regular tithes and giving. We understand that each person and family is in a different position to give! This year has posed challenges for many, and we want to emphasize that there is no pressure or obligation to contribute beyond your regular tithing. However, for those who can, Encounter provides a unique chance to actively engage with our vision for 2024 and drive it forward. We encourage you to seek guidance through prayer, asking God what role He envisions for you in Encounter, and we trust in His provision for our needs and are grateful for any gifts.