This past Sunday we had the pleasure of having a Ukrainian family join us for worship. It was great to have them with us, especially as the father of the family shared during adult Sunday school about the many ways that God has been at work in their transition to the United States.
I mentioned the opportunity to support this family as well. They are getting settled in Marshalltown with the help of Marshalltown United for Ukraine who has helped them find a place to live and provide for their necessities. However, they are in need of a vehicle to drive as well. One of their new acquaintances here generously offered to sell them a really good vehicle for $1600. When the Mission and Evangelism Committee here at First Presbyterian heard about this, they decided to use some of our Local Option Benevolence funds to purchase the car for this family.
I didn’t explain on Sunday, but our Mission and Evangelism Committee gives away about 10% of our yearly budget to other groups and missionaries and needs in Marshalltown and throughout the world. Some of these funds are budgeted for the year, such as our giving to our missionaries (like Shawn and Nancy Paul, Dan and Elizabeth Turk, etc.). However, the Committee also sets aside some monies into what is called the “Local Option Benevolence Fund”. This fund is intended for things exactly like responding to a new Ukrainian family in town. Last year when we were creating a budget there is no way we could have budgeted for responding to the war in Ukraine, let alone a specific amount of money like $1600 for a vehicle for this family. So, this fund allows the committee to respond to specific requests that come up throughout the year and have the possibility of supporting them without having to reduce other giving or ask for additional funds.
All that is to say, I am really glad that we have this system in place in order to be able to help this family. Your regular giving makes these sorts of things possible. If you would like to support this family further, you can bring a gift card for gas or food to the church one of these next few Sundays and we will get the cards to them.
If you want to learn more about the group that is supporting these families and helping them to move to the Marshalltown area, you can read Jean Bower’s article from the Times Republican.
- Pastor Bryan
P.S. We are going to take a break from the blog over Christmas and the new year. It will be back on January 10.