Mission Gift Recipients
In keeping with our calling as followers of Jesus, we dedicate 10 percent of funds raised to three mission projects:
Through its work in NE Portland’s Cully Neighborhood, Living Cully reinterprets sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy by concentrating environmental investments at the neighborhood scale and braiding those investments with traditional community development resources.
Living Cully is an innovative collaboration that formed in 2010 between Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Hacienda Community Development Corporation, Native American Youth and Family Center, and Verde.
Westminster’s capital campaign gift to Living Cully will be used to support a new land acquisition fund. Those funds reside within Habitat for Humanity but are earmarked for use only in the Cully neighborhood. Because available land is often quickly bought, this fund will allow Living Cully to purchase land that may have once had a single family home and then to build several low income townhouses for purchase.
In 2016, Westminster entered into a partnership with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in supporting two mission co-workers, Sandi and Brian Thompson-Royer, who have been serving the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala. Over the last three years that partnership has deepened. In 2017, twelve members of Westminster traveled to Guatemala to spend time with the Thompson-Royers and to meet some of the women with whom they minister.
Westminster continues to support our mission co-workers by sending funds for their position and for specific programs, but with the capital campaign, the church leadership wanted to make a more significant investment.
For the past three years the Presbytery of Western North Carolina has overseen a microloan program for women in Guatemala, and Westminster’s funds will support this already-established program. The goal of this project is to help women find opportunity, hope, freedom and economic resources for themselves and their families.
Examples of some of the projects funded by microloans include a special occasion cake-baking industry; a woman contracting with the local school to provide homemade snacks; and shops of goods sold at home or on portable carts.
MAJI DEVELOPMENT COALITION (MaDeCo)
Westminster member Caroline has invited Westminster to be a partner in an international project to bring solar power to rural parts of Ethiopian.
The small town of Majilies on the southwestern edge of the Ethiopian highlands, near the Sudan border. Today, the Ethiopian power grid ends many miles away and development has stalled. In fact, no aid or development organizations have ever worked in Maji District. Community members feel neglected and bypassed. Youth migrate to the cities looking for work. Men feel demoralized. Women do backbreaking work gardening, carrying water and wood, caring for children and the elderly, and providing food for their families. Over 60% of district households have no access to clean water. They are thrilled to have a development organization of their own.
One of the first projects of the development coalition is to bring solar power to areas that lie beyond the power grid. Maji District is an ideal site for an off-grid power demonstration model for Ethiopia because:
People can’t afford alternatives to electricity--such as kerosene for lanterns. They can’t even afford candles on a regular basis. The live in the dark when the sun goes down and use flashlights in emergency.
No power also means no industry. Women bear the brunt of the physical labor it takes to care for families where people grow what they eat.
People do know what they're missing. They hear radio news. Cell phones have come. Folks know enough of what’s happening in the rest of the world to feel abandoned and demoralized.
Westminster’s commitment to the solar power project of MaDeCo helps them move closer to their financial goal of $125,000, and helps bring light to that part of the world.