When Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in St. Thomas, Ontario, raised money for a building expansion, they also remembered people who live with AIDS in Uganda.
This church of 100 families was planning an addition to their building that would cost $750,000. But after hearing about the AIDS crisis in Uganda from Ida Mutoigo, director of Christian Reformed World Relief Committee-Canada, Rev. Tom Baird said the congregation felt compelled to help.
“Ida Mutoigo came to our church and talked about AIDS. She asked everyone who was up to 15 years old to stand and those 55 years and older to stand. Then she told us that in the average city [in Uganda] this is what it looks like—everyone in the center age group is dead,” said Baird. “It galvanized [us] to do something about it.”
So the church leadership asked the congregation to prayerfully consider what they could give. They challenged church members to raise $1 million; $750,000 for the expansion, $75,000 for CRWRC’s AIDS relief program and the balance to pay off the church’s debt to position itself to plant another church in five years.
The congregation raised the entire amount on one Sunday.
“Our congregation caught a vision of what God can do,” Baird said, “and we came to believe that with God absolutely anything is possible.”