Christmas season is upon us! It’s that wonderful time when we make extra room in our hearts, homes and churches. For the Vails, it’s time to scrounge through our closets and garage to find extra chairs and a table extension because … there’s always room for one more!
It’s in that same spirit that we, as the Foursquare family, come together this year in a way that we cannot do alone; a way that can extend our big table of hospitality throughout the nations so that more people, including our own global family, will have something to eat, and can share the light and love of Christmas in their communities.
This is why I’m so thrilled about this year’s Christmas project. It’s a joint venture between Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) and Foursquare Missions International (FMI) as we come together to save lives, extend the gospel and help the most vulnerable in Jesus’ name. We want to provide meals for those in hard-hit regions and nations where there is starvation and food insecurity.
Food insecurity simply means that people do not know where their next meal will come from. The number of people globally in this situation has skyrocketed in the past two years to 811 million globally—that’s an increase of 161 million just in the past two years!
COVID-19 has played a huge role in this, affecting jobs, food distribution chains, economies and even the ability of pastors to make a living through the offerings from church meetings. Beyond this, however, persecution is also on the rise as Christians are marginalized in food distribution, along with the global disasters, refugee crises and famines.
It is our time to step up and help out.
Here’s what I love about FDR, and this project with FMI and The Foursquare Church globally. FDR is not a standalone relief organization. It works with and through FMI and the local church on the ground. Who knows the neighborhood and the context better? Who is the long-term presence that has been around and will be here in the future? The local church is the ultimate point of response to need and crisis in a community as it shares with everyone in Jesus’ name; no strings attached—just hope attached.
The Commissary is still open!
This isn’t anything new or innovative per se in Foursquare; it’s been around since the Commissary founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, where this arm of compassion led one local church, Angelus Temple, to meet the needs of a city suffering the bitter pangs of the Great Depression. Since then, FMI missionaries and churches globally, and districts and churches domestically, regularly respond as well. “Relief as Mission” doesn’t separate our relief efforts, but rather demonstrates the words of the gospel that we share.
So, this Christmas, let’s do something awesome together that we cannot do alone—save lives from hunger and food insecurity, bring hope in Jesus’ name globally, and extend that table of hospitality through the local church around the world. Whether an individual person buys a meal for one person, or a church comes together to buy 10,000, let’s extend our big family table in Jesus’ name!