Even Founding Pastor, Randy Brainard, was taken back by the outpouring of generosity from his congregation for their Easter offering this year. His congregation of approximately 400 donated over 95,000 dollars to help children in need.
The Easter offering is a special tradition at Hope Community Church in Tucson, Arizona. Since it was planted in 2011, Pastor Randy wanted a practical way to express the church’s overflowing gratefulness to the Lord. He decided to initiate an Easter offering that would be dedicated to people in need.
Each year, Hope selects a general theme for the offering. This year it was designated for health needs of vulnerable children. GlobalFingerprints was selected to be one of the recipients.
GlobalFingerprints will receive more than $26,000 from the offering that will be dedicated to the health needs of sponsored children such as nutritional supplements and deworming medications.
The four weeks leading up to Easter, Hope Church invited each of the organizations receiving the contributions to come and present how the money will be used. This gave the congregation a clear picture of where their contributions would go.
Shelbyrae Myers, GlobalFingerprints Site Coordinator for Zambia, presented the many health needs of GlobalFingerprints children to the congregation and visited the children’s Sunday school classes to share more about the lives of children in Africa.
According to Randy’s wife, Julie, part of what makes this Easter offering special is the role children play. School-age children are given a five or ten-dollar-bill by the church. Teachers then explain the parable of the talents and encourage the children to use their ingenuity to multiply what they were given. Kids do everything from walking dogs to organizing bake sales. This year, the children were given $550 dollars and returned over $2,500. It was an amazing five-fold return!
Julie has seen how incorporating the children has made the Easter offering a family event. “It’s something entire families can participate in”, she said.
The Easter offering has become a cherished tradition at Hope. “It’s something people get excited about every year. It’s become part of who we are”, Julie said.