Members and friends of La Cañada Presbyterian Church are pooling their resources and skills to help children and their families in Los Angeles, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Burma and surrounding communities. They have raised $198,000 and hope to reach $275,000 by the end of June.
Through their annual program called "Faith Missions," the church gives the challenge to members and friends not only to give financially but also to go to where their money goes.
After church member Belinda Randolph and her 9-year-old son visited with homeless people in Pershing Square in Los Angeles, she said, "I learned that homeless people are often lonely. People ignore them. Now, I know I can make a difference just by giving a listening ear and a little time."
The church has been supporting children in an orphanage in Nairobi Kenya, and a group of youth and their parents numbering 22 from the church are visiting them in July 2006. Past groups from the church have visited Brazil, India, Serbia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Skid Row in L.A., Tijuana, Mississippi, Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Germany.
One of the orphans in Nairobi wrote, "Thank you for helping us buy a new home."
"Those are the kinds of words that motivate me to keep giving, especially when they come from a little orphan girl in Kenya who lost both of her parents to the AIDS pandemic," said Rev. Jim Milley. "Those words, written in a handmade card of pink construction paper, covered with stickers and magic marker pictures, were meant for all of us."
A list of most of the people and projects supported by the church are found on the outreach page of the church's website at www.lacanadapc.org.FAITH MISSIONS ? Participants in the Faith Missions project are, from left back row, Bob Burt, George Rinker, Linda Nydam, Sandy Larson, Jim Milley and Doug Abajian; front row from left, Cary Moore, Renee Wherley, Deena Keys and Dianne Popp.lch-presby.missions.050-BPhotoInfoS71QJ3FF20060504iynucbnc(LA)