For the past year and half, Diaconia Center of Relief and Development has been working to build a strong base of American supporters and partners. Throughout the past year, we’ve been successful in expanding our partnerships both within the Presbyterian Church USA, and also with other nonprofit organizations. In this article, we briefly summarize what has happened and what we’re looking forward to in 2015.
The year 2014 was one of growth and clarity for our office in the United States. In the early spring of the year, we closed an agreement with our American partner organization Heartland Alliance International (HAI). Our relationship with HAI has allowed us to write grants and work closely with their leadership to gain instrumental insight and support, as we work to expand our American partnership base and design future projects. In 2015, it is our intention to work even more closely with HAI, as we both strive to alleviate poverty across the world.
In early spring of 2014, our office published Diaconia’s first-ever English language Annual Report. It has been crucial in helping us get our story and vision out to an American audience.
In the late summer and early fall of 2014, we began negotiations with two new partners: The Presbyterian Foundation (PC USA), and the Food Resources Bank (FRB). Both the Presbyterian Foundation and the FRB align well with our center’s mission, and we are looking forward to strengthening our partnership with these two organizations throughout 2015. The Presbyterian Foundation is planning to make our center a Special Partners Ministry of their foundation. As such, the Presbyterian Foundation will work closely with us to showcase our global projects to church congregations around the United States, along with offering consulting and support services. The Food Resources Bank is a membership consortium of Christian churches, organizations, farmers, and individuals that seek to alleviate global hunger. FRB’s unique model links agricultural communities in the United States to small-holder farmers in developing countries to create sustainable solutions to global hunger.
To open 2015, Jeremy Ault and Jan Dus will be spending two weeks in January visiting over 10 congregations throughout the United States. From January 8th to January 23rd, they will be travelling to over 6 states. The point of the trip is to share ministry updates and explore ways in which our congregational partners can support our center both financially and spiritually in 2015. The trip will take them from Maryland to Oklahoma, from Nebraska to Kentucky, and from Chicago to Cincinnati. We are looking forward to strengthening our current partnerships, and are hoping to recruit new congregations and individuals.
In February of 2015, our American office will be moving to a new office! The Plymouth United Church of Christ (UCC) of Milwaukee will be our new homebase. We are very excited about the development and look forward to forging an even deeper relationship with the United Church of Christ of Wisconsin and the Plymouth UCC congregation. We will be sending pictures and our new address when the move has been finalized!