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“The Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Rom. 8:26

Sunday, March 16

The Lord’s Day

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Minute for Mission: Self-Development of People

Members of the Rio Grande Fishermen Cooperative. Photo courtesy of Rio Grande Fishermen Cooperative

 

Members of the Rio Grande Fishermen Cooperative.

 

Photo courtesy of Rio Grande Fishermen Cooperative

 

Struggling to earn a living in Punta Gorda, Belize, members of the Rio Grande Fishermen Cooperative discovered that sea cucumbers are the answer! The small, snake-like fish are plentiful in Belize’s coastal waters and are easy to catch. Not eaten by the people of Belize, sea cucumbers are in high demand in parts of China. Members of the cooperative decided to begin harvesting sea cucumbers for export there.

But they ran into two problems: They needed additional space in their small production facility to process their catch. And they needed more freezers to store the processed sea cucumbers until they had enough for a full shipment. Financially, those two requirements cost more than the co-op could afford. What could they do?

In 2012 the co-op applied to the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP), a ministry of One Great Hour of Sharing, for a grant. SDOP makes dreams come true for people contending with poverty, both in the United States and in five other regions of the world. To be funded, a project must be presented, owned, and controlled by an economically poor community group that will benefit directly from their work together.

SDOP agreed to help the co-op, enabling the Belizeans to expand their facilities and buy additional freezers. Members are now regularly shipping sea cucumbers to China; their economic situation is greatly improved!

Self-Development of People is concentrating part of its international grant program in Belize between 2010 and 2015. Please keep SDOP and the people of Belize in your prayers.

Rev. Wayne A. Gnatuk, churchwide relations, Self-Development of People

Let us pray

God of compassion, we pray that the people confronting poverty in Belize will continue to find ways to overcome it. Through our prayers and gifts, may they be blessed! In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Gen. 12:1–4a
“The God of Abraham Praise”
HB 89, PH 488

Ps. 121
“I to the Hills Will Lift My Eyes”
HB 377, PH 234

Rom. 4:1–5, 13–17
“Jesus, Lover of My Soul”
HB 216, PH 303

John 3:1–17
“To God Be the Glory”
PH 485

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 84; 150
First Reading Genesis 41:14-45
Second Reading Romans 6:3-14
Gospel Reading John 5:19-24
Evening Psalms 42; 32

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