Advent Conspiracy

Christmas. It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. Or at least that’s the way it should be. Somehow we lose our passion to worship Jesus fully amidst the commercialism and busyness that has sabotaged the season. Joining Advent Conspiracy is a decision to make this time about Jesus and no other. We commit to worship more fully. We pledge to spend less on gifts that hold no meaning and instead give of ourselves relationally. And love the way Jesus loved, by finding the poor, forgotten, overlooked and sick of our communities and joining Him in giving to help those who need it most. It’s simple. It’s transformational. It’s Advent Conspiracy.

This December 24 at 4pm we will come together under the glow of candlelight and the familiarity of the carols to remember and celebrate a Savior born to us, Immanuel, God With Us.

We will receive an offering that evening that reflects our heart to devote less to the materialism of the season and instead invest in hope, love and peace. Our 2016 Advent Conspiracy projects are described below. Will you join the conspiracy?

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Advent Conspiracy Giving Recipients 2016

Compassion Connect, Portland, Oregon

http://compassionconnect.com/

About Compassion Connect

Compassion Connect exists to create models of service that unite Churches together to serve their local communities. Compassion Clinics (free health clinics that offer medical and dental care) have been the main model of service over the 10 plus years they have been operating. There are Compassion Clinics in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, and international locations reaching thousands of people annually through the love of God. Compassion Clinics provide tangible opportunities for Christian communities to join together to express the Gospel of Jesus through compassionate service. 

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Jesus

In 2014, GPBC helped launch and continues to participate in and support the Compassion SW clinic at Wilson High School. We've seen close to a thousand guests receive free and compassionate care at Compassion SW these past three years. It has been an exciting and humbling movement to be a part of.

Every clinic borrows the necessary medical and dental equipment directly from Compassion Connect who fundraise on behalf of all clinics so that a central "library" exists of materials that each clinic can use. However, that equipment library is showing it's age. During our 2016 Compassion SW clinic, several members of the GPBC community served on the Dental Team and witnessed first hand the long lines that a faulty x-ray machine caused. Our guests at times waited hours just to get the x-rays they needed to be seen by a dentist. That is not the kind of love that we want to show our neighbors. 

Therefore, our 2016 gift will…

…replace a malfunctioning mouth sensor in their x-ray camera, purchase new rechargeable batteries and a few other miscellaneous needs that will significantly upgrade the dental x-ray station that is critical to the success and flow of the mobile dental unit. Estimated cost for these items: $5000. 

EPIK, Portland, OR and beyond 

http://epikproject.org/

About EPIK

The Epik Project was founded in 2012 as a response to the horrific reality of people being bought and sold for sex against their will. EPIK stands for Everyman Protecting Innocent Kids and their mission is to bring men to the fight to end the demand for prostituted people. Their objective is to disrupt demand – directly confronting local sex buyers at the point of sale.

Since it's inception, EPIK has become a national leader in the anti-trafficking movement and have intervened to stop nearly 30,000 attempts to purchase another human being for sex. They are poised to disrupt 70,000 attempts in 2017. That is 100,000 less instances of exploitation of children and women. 

In cooperation with Portland Police Sex Trafficking Unit, EPIK has helped in the arrest of over 20 of the most frequent buyers in their database.

However, without changed hearts, the horror of trafficking will inevitably continue. As EPIK has worked to communicate the reality of sex slavery to buyers, they realize that they cannot speak exactly as a survivor would. There is power in survivors being able to speak directly to the types of men who have exploited them in the past; a power to change hearts.

Operation Real Women

EPIK is forming a partnership with two other human trafficking survivor organizations, The Rebecca Bender Initiative (a survivor-led non-profit that assists survivors of sex trafficking in finding true freedom through individual restoration) and Annie Cannons (an organization that trains survivors of human trafficking in the skill of programming), to create a website that potential buyers would be directed to when a sale is disrupted.

The aim is for the Rebecca Bender Initiative to produce 60-second survivor videos that answer this basic question: "Based on your personal story, what is the most important thing you want potential buyers to know?" The Annie Cannons project will then take these videos and build a website around them using a storyboard landing page that provides an immersive experience intended to disrupt the buyer.

Buyers can watch up to ten minutes of available content that has been analyzed to produce the highest measurable impact on their decision to stop purchasing sex. The goal is to see long-term commitment to change from these men who have now heard directly from the very women they are exploiting. 

Our 2016 gift will…

…help bring the Operation Real Women website into reality. It will cost $1500 with a volunteer filmmaker/editor or $5000 to hire one to produce the 5-10 survivor videos. $3500 will get the initial website off the ground with another $7500 to create the expanded, fully immersive design that will leverage the survivor videos to their fullest in order to disrupt demand.

New Mama Kits, Cape Town, South Africa

http://nomuck.com/

Meet the Harger Family

Video from July 2015 as they were readying to leave for South Africa

We were so pleased to have been introduced to Jordan and Heather Harger for this Advent season through our Global Partners, Kimberly and Oliver. The Hargers are YWAM teammates of the Brunes in Cape Town, South Africa. While both serve as Justice and Reconciliation staff, the focus of the Harger family is unique to their giftings, background and calling.

While living comfortably in Orlando, Florida, Jordan and Heather felt the nudge of God on their lives and hearts to uproot themselves for the sake of the Gospel and a people half way around the world. Their family of six saw Him opening doors for them in Cape Town, South Africa to serve the community of 7 De Lann, a shanty town experiencing extreme poverty, even in the context of South African poverty. It fit their family calling to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with those who are voiceless, powerless and forgotten.

Since their move in 2015, the Hargers have been learning the local language, asking questions, listening a lot and leaning in to hear the mission God has for them in South Africa. In Florida, Jordan was a firefighter and a paramedic and that medical training has equipped him to help in the local clinic, providing wound care and meeting other basic health care needs. He and Heather have a thriving aquaponics greenhouse where their goal is to provide 50% of the food necessary to feed the kids at the preschool. Both also engage in healthcare training and education in the community. Recently, Heather finished her training to be a doula (birth coach).

One of the shocking discoveries Heather made during her doula training is that these women they are helping are so impoverished that the children are born with nothing; no blankets, bottles, diapers, baby wash, breast pads for the mamas, etc… As Heather and Jordan monitor and build relationships with these new moms, they not only want to educate them in prenatal care and support them emotionally, they want to meet their physical needs too. It would only cost $35 to assemble a “new mama kit” that would include many of the items above that could then be gifted to news moms.

Our 2016 gift will…

…purchase up to 75 "New Mama Kits" to bestow to new moms who Heather, as a newly trained doula, will assist through childbirth. Our gift will also pay for Jordan to maintain his certification as a paramedic, keeping him equipped to serve the emergency medical needs of the 7 De Laan community.

 

**Make donations out to GPBC and designate “Advent Conspiracy” in the memo line. (Gifts may not be directed to specific projects.) Gifts may be submitted prior to the Christmas Eve offering or through Sunday, January 15. Gifts may also be made online anytime. Just choose "Advent Conspiracy Donation" on the drop down menu.