Back in November of last year at the Acts 29 Conference in Dallas, Texas, we announced a new partnership with Compassion International. Compassion describes their main objective as Releasing Children From Poverty in Jesus’ Name. It is clearly a truly noble cause, but Acts 29 is a single issue organisation, and as important as releasing churchmen from poverty is, what does it have to do with church planting?
This partnership will result in the planting of new Acts 29 assessed churches in the neediest parts of the world.
What we have managed to achieve with Compassion is a truly unique partnership, which will result in the planting of new, gospel-centered, Acts 29 assessed churches in the neediest parts of the world. Each one of these churches which also will be linked directly with existing Acts 29 sponsoring churches. This means not only will children be sponsored, but gospel partnerships will exist amongst churches all over the world.
The Pilot Project
Acts 29 and Compassion have already run the first pilot project of this partnership. Back in 2014, Compassion introduced us to a Brazilian pastor called Izaias Martins Arid. He lives in the city of Redenção, in the state of Ceará, in the north east of Brazil. Pastor Izaias has a huge heart for the people of his city, including the African population that live there who have a long complicated history in his country. In fact, Redenção got its name because it was the first city in Brazil to abolish the slavery of African immigrants. The repercussions of slavery can still be felt in that state, and Redenção is a city that is in great need, physically and spiritually. Children often survive on less than $1.25 per day, and there is very little gospel witness in the surrounding area.
Acts 29 Latin America have now assessed Izaias, and the church is on course to come into full membership of Acts 29. Izaias will actually be the first ever Acts 29 member who can’t speak English! While this creates a number of issues with communication, these are exactly the kinds of issues we need to engage with as we become more and more a diverse, global family of church-planting churches. With the help of the Church of Eleven22 in Florida, the church will launch in April with 200 children sponsored from the start.
In late 2015, some of the Acts 29 team went with Compassion to visit Izaias and have produced this short video to introduce the project to you:
How can I get involved?
Where do we go from here? We dream of planting churches all over the world in the neediest places, often in partnership with Compassion. It is our conviction that the most effective way to care for children in poverty and need is to plant a church. The church is a community created by the gospel, comprised of men and women with new hearts who become the focal point of care in that area because the love of Christ fills their hearts.
Please join with us in celebrating the church plant in Redenção. If you’re connected to an Acts 29 church, we invite you to prayerfully consider partnering with Compassion through Acts 29. We would love to see our churches engage with new church plants in completely different parts of the world. This will create lasting relationships which, by the grace of God, will bear much gospel fruit as churches are planted which in turn will plant even more church-planting churches!
For more information on how Compassion International partners with local churches watch this video:
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