Thank You, West Side Family!

This June $98,700 was given to our Bless Big Global partners! With Session matching that means we are sending $197,400 to encourage our partners in the gospel in Ukraine, Kenya, Nigeria, Syria, and the Dominican Republic. We thank God for your generosity in participating in sharing and showing the good news of Jesus around the world.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.2 Corinthians 9:8

God’s mission is global. We have the chance this June to send tangible expression of our partnership to brothers and sisters in Christ who are giving visible witnessing to the good news of Jesus around the world. The Session (leadership team) here at West Side has allocated the same amount of money – at least $100,000 – for matching funds to designated global mission partners with whom West Side has enjoyed a longstanding relationship.
  • Three of the partnerships are addressing the crisis in Ukraine (Greater Europe Mission, World Vision and World Concern).

  • The Kids Alive International project (with long time missionaries Vic and Leslie Trautwein in the Dominican Republic) is targeted to help them raise the $90,000 needed to expand their school in the village of Caraballo.
  • Path from Poverty and Wheelchairs for Nigeria each partner with and entrust local leadership with the important work of providing water tanks for families in rural Kenya and wheelchairs for polio survivors in Nigeria.

  • The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon is a new relationship introduced to us by our long time partnership with The Outreach Foundation. The church in Aleppo seeks to rebuild the Aleppo Christian Center after the sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church of Aleppo was destroyed in 2012 by radical Islamic groups in two consecutive explosions.
Learn more about these Global Mission partners below and prepare to Bless Big in June – beginning on Pentecost Sunday and finishing with our celebration on June 26 when we commission our Youth Mission team traveling to the Dominican Republic this summer.

Meet our global partners

We want to share the blessings we have received with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are or have experienced the displacement of war in Ukraine and Syria, along with with those who are working to provide access to education, water and wheelchairs for the flourishing of their neighbors.

Ukrainian Relief Efforts

All three of our mission partners are meeting the needs in the lives of the millions of Ukrainian refugees.

Donations will be made accross our three partners: World Concern, World Vision, Greater Europe Mission.

Kids Alive International: Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic is a country mired in deep poverty and home to more than 10 million people. For over 25 years, Kids Alive has grown to serve over 2,000 children in family-style residential homes, care centers, and schools. Without intervention, most of our children would be unable to break the cycle of poverty that traps them in hopelessness.

Kids Alive remains steadfast in our mission to bring hope to those who feel trapped, and we have clearly seen God’s hand working to transform lives. Our ministries are experiencing success in breaking cycles of poverty and putting kids on the road to brighter futures. Most importantly, every child we serve hears about the God of hope who desperately loves them.

Visit Kids Alive International DR

The Outreach Foundation: Syria Lebanon Partnership

Many families of The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon now require assistance for life’s basic needs after collapsed economies, political instability, and the pandemic. Syria has the added burden of post-war recovery, and Lebanon continues to rebuild after the August 4, 2020, port explosion. The Synod supports 40 congregations and their ministries, and while much of its focus is on developing educational institutions in Syria and Lebanon, there is a growing need to support ministries that bring relief and hope and also allow the Synod to assist some of the congregations whose families are struggling.

Visit The Outreach Foundation: Syria Lebanon Partnership

Path From Poverty

Every day in rural Kenya, millions of people suffer from a lack of access to clean, safe water. Women and girls endure the greatest hardships as they are primarily responsible for gathering water. The negative side effects of gathering and drinking dirty water are broad and profound.

At Path From Poverty, compassion, justice and sustainability ideals are instilled into every initiative and every program, delivering an impact powerful enough to change lives long after a program has ended.

We support the following women’s group projects in Kenya:
  • Business and leadership training
  • Clean, safe water, in the form of 10,000L rainwater catchment water tanks 
  • Solar power, including panels, chargers, and utility packs
  • Education Scholarships 

Visit Path From Poverty

Wheelchairs for Nigeria

Nigeria has more polio than anywhere in the world. There are uncounted tens of thousands of children and adults who spend their lives crawling on the ground. Billions of dollars have been given for polio eradication by the Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and others. The good news is that the last 3 cases of polio in Nigeria were in August 2016. The bad news is that very little is being done to help the tens of thousands of survivors. Most are hidden away, so that few people realize how huge the need is.

Our very own Dr. Ron Rice and his Nigerian partner Ayuba Gufwan, who walks on his hands from polio, have built and donated over 24,000 wheelchairs to Nigeria's polio survivors. They have their own shop in Jos, Nigeria, with 60 employees, where they build these 3-wheeled, hand-pedaled "tricycles" out of bicycle parts for $150. Five of the employees are polio survivors themselves. This is by far the largest wheelchair ministry in all of Nigeria, a country that is almost two thirds the population of the U.S.

Visit Wheelchairs for Nigeria

Giving FAQs

How do I participate?

Online: use the drop-down menu on our online giving page to choose the organization whose work you want to support. All online gifts are passed along without names or contact information to the organizations. Online donations made for Ukrainian Relief will be allocated across our three partners. If you want your donation to go to a particular relief organization, please note this in the memo box on step 2 of Online Giving or in the memo line of your check.

Giving to Multiple Organizations Online: If you would like to give to multiple organizations, you will need to make a separate online gift for each organization. After your first gift, you can select the option to give again. Just chose your next organization on the drop down menu ("Unified Giving" is the default so just click the down arrow to find the organization you would like to give to).

By check: Make your check out directly to the organization and send it to West Side. We will match the funds and send those funds along with your check to the organization. This way that organization has your contact information to send you a thank you. If you prefer to be anonymous to the organization write your check to West Side Presbyterian and place the name of the organization in the memo line or enclose a letter that clearly designates each organization and the amount you have included for them.

What if I want to give to one of the mission partners for the Ukrainian relief?

If you want your donation to go to a particular relief organization, please note this in the memo box on step 2 of Online Giving or in the memo line of your check.

Do I have to choose one of the organizations?

If you do not care to designate any organization then Session will match and allocate your gift one or more of our Global partners. By check simply write “Bless Big Global” in the memo line of your check. Online choose “Bless Big – General” from the drop-down menu on the online giving page.

When can we start giving?

Online giving is available from June 1 in anticipation of Pentecost Sunday, June 5. Checks can be submitted anytime and should be clearly designated. All gifts must be received by June 26 to be eligible for matching.