“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Using donated apples, Pease (Minn.) Christian Reformed Church has baked and sold thousands of apple pies over the last nine years as a fundraiser for participation in the Global Partnership Program with World Renew.
The pie project, started by church member Julie Moorlag, not only raises money for World Renew’s projects in Guatemala but also brings the congregation together to contribute. They are able to cover travel costs and support ongoing community development projects in five villages.
Many members in the congregation grow apple trees, so the church never has to go far to collect donated apples. A crew cleans, peels, cuts, and freezes the apples to get them ready for pies. Between 1,000 to 1,200 pies are made each year—about 10,000 pies since the project began.
Ten years ago, Pease CRC decided to join World Renew’s Global Partnership Program (GPP). The initiative facilitates relationships between a church or group in North America and a church or community elsewhere. It aims to create a deeper connection among Christians, educate churches about life and culture in a different country, and encourage each other’s efforts to bring communities closer to the vision God has for his people.
Pease CRC was already doing local and regional work but wanted to do more. With help from World Renew, the congregation found a partnership that aligned with the church’s gifts and vision. As a result, Pease CRC started working in Guatemala with World Renew partner Vines and Branches.
“For churches to do this [partnership] well, they need a core group of people, . . . [but] make sure that this isn’t a pet project of a few people, but get the whole congregation involved together as part of the body of Christ,” said Pastor Michael Ten Haken.
Not everyone needs to go to Guatemala to be actively involved. “Some have no desire to go to Guatemala,” Ten Haken said, “but they know that doing this will make an impact in the community there.”
If you or your group or church want to make an impact by forming relationships with churches or communities outside of North America, World Renew can help you find a project that aligns with your passions and heart. To learn more, contact
Mary Dykstra at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-552-7972.