For over 45 years our church has collected a special offering during the Thanksgiving season. Originally, it was used to help the church pay off existing debt. Once the debt was paid off the church decided to use the offering to help bless people locally, nationally, and globally. In past years, we've helped orphans in Africa, helped build churches in Latin America and provide mental health counseling services to local schools.
This year's Thanksgiving Offering recipients will be...
Isaiah 117 House provides physical and emotional support in a safe and loving home for children awaiting foster care placement.
When children are removed from their homes out of concern for their welfare, they are usually brought to the Department of Children's Services Offices to await placement with a foster family. This wait can be several hours to nearly a full day. These children often have nothing with them and are scared, lonely, hungry, and often in dirty clothing.
Isaiah 117 wants to provide a comforting home where these children instead can be brought to wait-a place that is safe with friendly and loving volunteers who provide them clean clothes, smiles, toys, and snuggly blankets. This space will allow children to receive the comfort and care they need while DCS staff are able to the necessary paperwork and identify a good foster placement.
We are gifting $5,000 to help with their launch of a NEW house in Whitestown that will serve Boone, Hendricks & Montgomery Counties.
Over the past several years you’ve given over $20,000 to help provide Christian based counseling to those in our local community who need it. This has been a tremendous tool to help support our local schools and fellow neighbors. We’d like to continue being able to offer this to those in need.
We will give $5,000 to continue this service this next year.
- Plant Indy is a partnership of local churches to plant and revitalize healthy churches in central Indiana. Part of the Thanksgiving Offering will go to Plant Indy, to help fund the next church planting residency participant. This individual will complete a one year residency at a local church before they go on to plant a church in central Indiana.
- Refuge Church is in Beech Grove and was started as a church plant 5 years ago. They are a growing multi-cultural church that’s reaching the south side! We’re excited to be able to bless them with a monetary gift and continue to pray for the work that’s happening at Refuge.
- We've been helping Lebanon Bible Baptist Church for the past 5 months as they've been without a pastor and are seeking the Lord's will as to what the future might hold. We've provided weekly pulpit supply, our youth group completed a work day around their property and we're currently working with them to determine what the next steps around church planting are. We hope to have a more complete plan near the first week of November.
The OPEN Initiative is an ABWE focus to plant churches in seven unreached areas globally over the next seven years and to ignite Great Commission thinking and implementation among North American and national churches as part of this effort.
Our gift of $15,000 will support research and survey trips, start-up field costs and ongoing team care. We will be one of the anchor churches supporting this overall effort in addition to specific missionaries.
A few years ago, Rich & Cherry Smith (our supported Missionaries in Guatemala) started learning more about a huge issue in the area of orphan care. Specifically, the need to disciple/mentor those in their teen years living within systems of protection, especially those who then ‘age out ‘at the age of 18.
Most of the time, these kids have nearly no resources, nowhere to go & no one to go to. This vulnerability puts these kids in extremely high-risk situations.
So Rich & Cherry started praying...praying for funds for a piece of land, for funds needed to build a Training Center as well as a Transition Home and staff to help with all of it. They now have land are are ready to keep moving!
We plan to give them $5,000 towards the funds needed for this Transition Home!
Read more about their project here.
Our Missions Training will take place at the Radius Conference in California. It is a unique two-day event where the ideas, philosophies, and methodologies of historic and contemporary missions are discussed and taught by pastors, missiologists, and experienced cross-cultural church planters. This is an ideal opportunity for pastors, missionary candidates, and church leaders to become better informed on the state of modern missions and learn how Radius can assist local churches in equipping their members to take the gospel where it has never been.
We will use $5,000 to send our Pastors & Church Planting Team to this conference in June 2023.
Rudi van Jaarsveld, the CEO of Bethesda Outreach Ministries in South Africa, recently visited West Bridge and gave us an update re: their ministry. Bethesda Outreach exists to care for orphan children in family units on a property north of the capital city of Pretoria. There is a Christian School onsite - Jabulane Christian Academy (JCA). This school helps educate and disciple the orphan children in the Bethesda homes. Many other children in the local community also attend the school for a fee. Bethesda is structured so that JCA school profits help cover the costs of childcare for the orphans in the Bethesda homes. Over the last 5 years, two (2) unforeseen events have had a major negative impact on the school’s finances.
Firstly, in 2018, the South African Council of Educators (SACE) began refusing to certify foreign missionary teachers as accredited teachers in South Africa. This directly led to Bethesda losing four (4) fully funded missionary teachers, who had to be replaced with salaried South African teachers. This cost about 10% of the annual operating budget.
Secondly, the Covid19 pandemic and the lockdowns had an extremely negative effect on the local economy. Due to massive job losses, many parents were forced to remove their children from JCA, as they could no longer afford the tuition. This resulted in lost income to Bethesda - another 10% of the operating budget.
In order to continue providing the orphan children with a high quality education, and to help reduce the strain on the organization’s budget, the leadership of West Bridge Church proposes to help Bethesda Outreach with their Christmas Project fundraising efforts.
We will give $5,000 to help fund the salaries of 4 teachers at JCA - the same number that were lost due to the government’s decision to no longer certify the American missionaries. Watch
Our loan amount for the 12,000 sq. ft. addition, expanded parking lot, updated sanitation and new elevator is now down to $800,000! With your help, we hope to completely pay this off in the next couple years. Any amount of money given to the 2022 Thanksgiving Offering after we’ve paid all the other commitments will go to lowering the principal amount on the loan.
We hope to give $30,000 towards this loan balance!