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Jeremy Ault, Director of International Fundraising

This past weekend found me (Jeremy Ault) speaking to our friends at Faith United Presbyterian Church in Tinley Park, IL.  I had prepared a short lecture to introduce Diaconia and our work.  It was replete with pictures and anecdotes about the organizations we partner with and about the countries in which we work.  I had given this same talk many times before. I felt ready.  It would be a breeze.  And, yet, sitting there in the cold, unforgiving pew, I felt a tinge of anxiety. Would my message align with the sermon of the day?  Would church members even be interested in global issues?  Were we forcing a relationship where one didn’t exist? WHY WAS I THERE?

Luckily for me, Pastor Adam Malak concentrated his message around the tenacity of hope–a hope that never dies even amidst the overwhelming feeling that the world, and sometimes our lives, are inundated with negativity.  And as the Sunday service careened toward the inevitable moment for a “Minute for Mission,” I gained confidence.  I realized that the hope we have in redemption and justice, even when circumstances seem impossible, is a strong motivational factor not only for individuals, but for organizations as well, including us at Diaconia.  It was language to which we all can relate.

Our mission at Diaconia is a simple one: We seek to promote justice and improve the lives of those in greatest need.  It’s general, and yet, it’s also specific.  For we use that missional focus to envision a world of peace, of harmony, of justice, all the while, deconstructing our lofty goals into concrete steps: We provide microloans to women in Ethiopia, helping them to establish their own business and provide for their families.  We assist in the training of nurses in Moldova to provide much-needed medical and psychological care to the elderly.  We care for refugees in Jordan, Burma/Myanmar, and in Ukraine, by providing them with clothing, food, and a safe-haven for thought and reflection.  We work to improve the lives of those with mental disabilities in Georgia through our support of therapy and educational classes offered by our partner APSNC.

In each region where we work, the initial evaluation of the problem is bleak. Sometimes, the poverty and the isolation of people we work with is such that it seems impossible for hope.  And yet, step-by-step, we want to improve the lives of one person, then two, then three, and then…..

That Sunday at Faith United made me realize the tenacity not only of hope, but of our supporters in the United States and the Czech Republic.  It reminded me of the tenacity of mothers working against all odds to care for their children.  It reminded me of the tenacity of our partner organizations carrying on their mission in challenging circumstances.  And it reminded me of the tenacity that we all must have to fight and believe in a better, more just world.  And I am thankful for that–so is Diaconia.

And I see this hope in our donors–people that not only believe change can happen, but actively put their hard-earned resources to ensure that it does.  For even though a gift might seem small, for us, it’s a testament to the fact that we’re all in this together–everyone, across the globe.  Your support within the past two months has been instrumental in carrying on our mission.

We thank you:

  1. Mike Weddle and Sandi Rowland  (Moldova)

  2. Paula Denson (Moldova)

  3. Jody and Bill Filipi (All Projects)

  4. Pat Brown (Administration and Projects)

  5. Carl O. Belt ( All Projects)

  6. Beverly and Glenn Schmidt (All Projects)

  7. Sally Bourque – Laycsak (Moldova)

  8. Joyce Smith (Ukraine)

  9. First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater (All Projects)

  10. First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland (Syrian Refugees)

  11. First Presbyterian Church of Ponca City (All Projects)

  12. Phillips66 (Moldova)
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