Call your church to action for foreign assistance

Most Americans overestimate the percentage of the U.S. budget spent on foreign assistance. Here’s a video showing just how drastic the difference is between typical perceptions and the actual amount. (Spoiler alert: It’s less than 1% of the federal budget.)

 

Yet these programs are life-saving. According to our friends at ONE, “Thanks to the United States’ and other donor support for international aid, we have reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 98% over the last two decades, and more than 5.5 million children have been given immunizations from life-threatening diseases. An amazing one billion people are living healthier and more productive lives due to our investment in agricultural development.”

 

The U.S. foreign assistance budget is constantly threatened with cuts. Too many of us overestimate what is spent on foreign assistance, and we underestimate the impact of this funding. In the last year, we’ve seen funding cut drastically. In the next two months, the federal government will be making even more decisions on cuts that will determine the future of foreign assistance.

 

The week of January 26th—February 3rd, Food for the Hungry is joining ONE and other faith partners for a week of awareness to protect the poor around the world. Will you participate with us in the Call to Prayer-Call to Action?

 

Here are ways that your church can get involved this week and in the months to come, courtesy of Marisa Vertrees, Faith Mobilization Manager at ONE.

 

1. Hold a service

Congregations can devote an entire service to raising the issues of extreme poverty using prayers, scripture readings, and the sermon to focus attention on the needs and issue a call to action. ONE offers service guides to help get your started!

2. Share mission testimony

Do you have a mission or international service program at your congregation? Consider having someone from this committee or ministry speak during or after your service to share their stories and get others involved. Share compelling stories as well with ONE by sending them to marisa.vertrees@one.org.

3. Small groups

The small group setting is perfect for having a discussion about the issues and what people can do to get involved. Use an adult faith group or social concerns meeting to host an Advocacy in Action briefing, sharing more information about what U.S. foreign assistance does. Briefing information can be found through contacting Faith@ONE, or your local ONE leader.

4. Host a table

Set up a table in your church foyer to distribute information and invite people to sign up for ONE.

ONE has more resources here, including bulletin announcements, stories to share, and a full how-to sheet. Leave a comment below to tell us about how your church is responding.

Related posts:

  1. The impact of one church
  2. How the Poor Will Change Your Church
  3. The impact of one church – part two
  4. Picture your church in Mozambique
  5. Rwanda: Guest Speaker in Phoenix

About Wendy McMahan

Wendy McMahan is grateful for her front row seat in watching God “reconcile all things to Himself.” (Colossians 1:20) She still can’t believe that she gets to participate in His story every day. Wendy and her husband are proud parents to two daughters and have been foster parents to children of all ages. Wendy serves as Director of Church Engagement at Food for the Hungry. She hosts the Poverty Unlocked podcast.

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