The Family International in Africa

August 2, 2012 in Humanitarian work, Missionary Work, The Family International, Volunteering

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The Family International has been active in Africa since the 1970s, but it is over the last decade that The Family International has become a strong proactive presence in Africa.

The Family International in Africa

The Family International in Africa

Today The Family International is active in 19 African countries, with 24 missionary teams, 22 Family community centres, and several associate projects. The needs are great, and TFI’s efforts in Africa have been recognized by NGO and government officials.

Family members use their experience and expertise to bring God’s love in a tangible way, whether it be bringing the much acclaimed STEPS character building educational program to help children traumatized by war have hope for a happier future, or organizing ongoing medical relief programs in rural areas.

 

The Family International Initiatives

The Family International also run a number of initiatives for sustainable micro enterprises aimed at helping families and communities economically. The Family International run orphanages and schools, and are active in their local communities in a number of ways. In each project the goal is always the same: to help each individual realize their worth in God’s kingdom, and to communicate God’s love in a way that can impact their life in a positive way.

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The Family International – Why Give Overseas

July 24, 2012 in Non Profit Foundations, The Family International, Volunteering

By The Family International: A common notion in the US, and other Western Nations is “why should we give overseas, we need help right here?” It certainly is true, one needn’t look far in any direction to find someone in need, even in the US.

This saying is used by The Family International often: “charity begins at home,” but, the need goes well beyond the borders of home. Only about 2 cents of every dollar given in to philanthropy by US foundation grants goes overseas. In fact, American foreign aid has dropped over the last 10 years to the point that the US is now giving less to foreign aid than any other industrialized country in the world.

Why Give Overseas

Why Give Overseas – TFI Missionaries

The good news is that even you can make a difference. Overseas is one place where your giving can make a serious impact. If you look at the needs of the entire third world, yes, it’s overwhelming. But, on a specific community basis, it’s easy enough to make an impact. The needs of each individual community are able to be addressed. Most need food, and a plan to farm their food. They need water. They need medicine. They need education for their children. And, in many cases, they need vocational education.

In most nations people expect far less than even those in the lowest income bracket in the US. There are effective charities and humanitarian organizations that have been able to address these needs on a grassroots level, and are actually changing circumstances for entire villages and communities.

This is where your dollars will stretch and impact. The Family International organization says “In some of these places donations of $20 a month can feed a family, or provide a small business with startup capitol”. This kind of giving is very rewarding, as you see the relationship between your contribution, and the changes taking place.

The Family International suggests “For the most rewarding experience, pick a specific project to get involved with, and foster a long term relationship with the project. You may even want to visit the location, and get to know the community you are sponsoring.”

Giving and getting involved with needs from overseas can widen your world view, and change your perspective on life at home as well. You will probably find yourself valuing your life more, and also evaluating your needs and wants against the plight of a community you personally know. Contact The Family International for more information.

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Loving your Enemies -By The Family Missionaries

July 24, 2012 in Missionary Work, The Family International

“Love your enemies” was one of Jesus mandates from the Sermon on the Mount. These three simple words consistently prove how weak our Love is without God’s help, as we all indeed know that it is not easy to love one’s enemies. This can be especially true if you are involved in humanitarian work or missionary service in a war torn area or country.

The Family International

Loving your Enemies The Family Missionaries

Although missionaries and humanitarian aid workers are instructed to remain neutral in situations of conflict, it can be difficult not to feel anger, hatred and a desire for revenge when you actually witness the atrocities of one party or another. As a Christian we can take the “hate the sin, love the sinner” approach in that we are able to understand that those committing acts of violence and war are still people who Christ loves and forgives. We must pray for God to speak to the hearts of each individual involved in conflict, and to bring them to His love and forgiveness.

As Jesus said, “they who live by the sword will die by the sword. Mat 26:52” One of the reasons that we seek to stay out of the conflict is that we do not wish to participate in any activity that will perpetuate the cycle of violence. Rather we seek to lay down our lives to bring peace, even as Jesus did.

However, you may sometimes find that protecting the innocent may sometimes require a definite response. There may be times when Christians, and possibly even missionaries and aid workers, will have to defend the defenseless. This is not “living by the sword” or using violence as a first response to conflict. This is the last resort course of action when lives are in danger.

If you are ever in a life threatening situation, such as what you might face in war time, or terrorist situation, you may wonder what the right response would be. If God has entrusted a flock into your care, then your response should be to seek first their safety and their protection. Hopefully this will mean removing them from harm’s way.

The Family International Missionaries and aid workers who choose to serve in areas of conflict should be clear as to what their organization’s policies are, and ready to uphold them.

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Tips for Prospective Missionaries with Children By The Family International

July 24, 2012 in Evangelizing, Missionary Work, The Family International, Volunteering

Missionaries with Children

Family International Missionaries with Children

The opportunity to serve on a foreign mission field with your family along side is a dream of many a missionary. Giving your children the opportunity to experience life in another part of the world, and within another culture is certainly a formative and exciting experience for your children, but it also presents some challenges and issues that you want to be aware of before you embark on your mission.

Here are a few of the challenges you may face:

  • Education. Continuing your child’s education is absolutely necessary. So, you must decide how you will do this in a new country. Many missionaries choose to homeschool. If you choose this course, you will probably want to order your curriculum, work books and all school supplies before you leave. Other options are correspondence school and putting your children in a local school.
  • Health. A third world country will present health issues that you probably have not faced before. Bacterial illnesses and parasites are a new thing you will face. Focus on your children’s health and boost their immune system as well as you can to prepare them for new exposure. You will probably also want to get some vaccinations for certain illnesses before your departure, depending on where you will be going.
  • Culture shock. Depending on the age of your children this may or may not be an issue. Younger children tend to adjust more quickly than older children do. For younger children play up the excitement of traveling, seeing new sights and brining God’s love to new people. Also, make sure you bring familiar items that will make transitioning easier, such as favorite toys, books, and pictures. You may even want to bring some favorite foods, like peanut butter, if they are not available in your new country, just to make the transition easier. With older children they may have a more difficult time leaving friends, and the comfort of home. Be gentle with them if they struggle with these things. Try to help integrate them into your new work as soon as possible. Feeling needed and valued on the mission will help them understand why the sacrifices are necessary.

Overall, the experience of serving as a family can be an extremely positive one. Support your children in prayer, be understanding in your communications with them, and do your best to make the experience a fun one. Get in touch with The Family International for more information.

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