compassion

Compassion Sunday

This year we hosted Compassion Sunday at services throughout our Berkeley church to encourage our people and their guests to sponsor children through Compassion International. It coincided with Mother’s Day, May 12th!

Compassion International is a Christian organization that connects children in poverty with sponsors who ensure the sponsored child can receive food, education, medical care, mentorship, and, most importantly, can learn about Jesus. Compassion does this by partnering with local churches who share the Gospel and provide care for these children and their families.

Our church has sponsored over 800 children across the last 25 years of our partnership with Compassion! During this year’s Compassion Sunday, we found sponsors for 189 children: working professionals and college students became sponsors (some for the first time!), and even our Element high school students and middle school students got together in lifegroups to shoulder the responsibility together.

Compassion has provided a portal on their site for us to sponsor children and have that child linked to our church. It enables anyone to sponsor a child online at anytime. Thank God for good work and for all that Compassion International does to fight and release children from poverty in Jesus’ name!


Ministry from a college student's perspective

Live Christmas music floats through the room—there’s the sound of joyful conversation and laughter. College students are making jokes with various grandmas and grandpas they just met about the recent Cal versus Stanford game. There’s something rare about this intergenerational fellowship. But we hope more and more people get to experience something precious like this, which is why we’re continuing to add to the number of elderly care centers we visit through our Elderly Care Ministry (ECM).

This past December, some of our college students had the opportunity to go to McClure Care Home and minister to elderly residents by putting on a Sunday worship service. This was our first time ever visiting McClure Care Home, so it was an exciting new venture for our students to take on together. They prepared Christmas ornaments as gifts for the residents, a music program complete with instruments and singing, and a message.

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John Lin, a senior in our MakeNew fellowship was thankful that a lot of residents were attentive to the message and even sang along with them. As he was preparing his message on Matthew 9:1-3, he noted, “I was really blessed writing my message. It really solidified my understanding of the Bible in that passage…I have to be able to preach to myself before preaching to others. And I think just writing a message, even if you don’t give it, is something everyone should do. It’s a really good experience.”

He said it was really special for him and his friends to work together—“we set up everything and each person got to own a different task. There was something dynamic about moving together as a group. It’s not one person doing it by themselves, but it’s really all of us trying to follow Jesus together.”