By Brad Phillips
Persecution Project Foundation is a ministry to the persecuted church in Africa. I am privileged to be working with this ministry. But just because this is my full-time job, it doesn’t mean I am exempted from any obligation to my local community.
Jesus condemns the Pharisees who “travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte,” and when he becomes a proselyte, they make him twice as much a child of hell as themselves.
All of us have a ministry. And we all have a local ministry to our community whether we know it or not. Put another way, ministry is unavoidable if you are a Christian. The only question is whether your ministry will be effective or neglected.
PPF Director Matt Chancey and his family are my neighbors in East Africa. Although Matt regularly travels with me to several remote and difficult areas in Sudan to do ministry work for PPF, he and his family are certainly not idle when they are back home. In addition to hosting dozens of people in their home every week for fellowship and hospitality, the Chanceys also reach out to the poor in their community.
Just a few miles from their home sits the largest slum in Africa. Within the slum is a church community PPF has known for years. Recently, Matt and his wife, Jennie, took five of their children into Kibera. Jennie organized and led a sewing class for 20 women desiring to learn a new skill to help provide for their children in the slum.
While Jennie was sewing Kanga skirts with ladies, the two oldest Chancey boys, John and Alex, led a LEGO(TM) Brick Workshop” for half a dozen boys from the slum. These are kids who have never seen LEGO(TM) bricks, let alone played with them. John and Alex donated two bags of bricks from their collection and taught the boys how to use their creativity and imagination to take what is in their minds and build it with the bricks. To be precise, John and Alex didn’t have to teach anything – the boys from the slum took to the LEGO(TM) bricks like ducks to water! And the Chancey boys made new friends and learned to come alongside those in need… even through constructive play.
There are two points I want to make by telling this story. The first is that I thought you would be encouraged by seeing that your support of PPF is not confined to just the specific ministry projects of the organization, but that it also takes in the “collateral ministry” of the people who work with PPF.
The second point is actually a challenge and a question. What “collateral ministry” work are you doing for your local community? Will you share it with me? I would love to see some examples of what you, our ministry partners, are doing in your communities. You can send your stories and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Collateral ministry” is a very important part of our lives and testimonies. I pray God gives me a greater desire and more ideas on how to bless my family and others outside “official channels.”