“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

– Matthew 13: 31-32

 

In this year’s End of Financial Year Appeal, we are celebrating the impact of our overseas projects. Often the success of our work is above and beyond what was expected, and we stand in awe of the grace of God for this!

In Jesus’ teaching about the mustard seed, we are reminded that from small beginnings, much bigger things can grow. We are all familiar with this phrase or the many variants of it. It can be used in relation to gardening and plants, and Jesus seems to draw on this understanding in his parable of the mustard seed. The parable gives an immediate sense of growth and transformation, of what can happen from the smallest beginnings.

In the parable, Jesus likens the kingdom of God to the seed and subsequent tree. From the smallest beginnings, the generosity and abundance of God allows the tree to offer shelter and security to the nesting birds. It is not too difficult to imagine the whole of creation resting under the umbrella of God’s providence.

Yet the kingdom of God is not just to come in the future; it is already here, as Jesus reminds us. We live for God’s kingdom as we follow God’s call, offering shelter and comfort to those suffering the effects of poverty and injustice.

In this year’s End of Financial Year Appeal, we are celebrating the many ways in which the work of our partners overseas is like the mustard seed growing into something bigger, with more impact than we could have imagined.

Over the years we have worked with Anglican and like-minded partners to provide often the smallest of ‘seed’ funding in projects. We have continued to partner with them in the belief that God’s generosity will nurture and grow our programs in unexpected ways.

A celebration of past and future

Community members from the Diocese of Niassa in Mozambique enjoy the benefits of clean and safe water.

Below are three short stories about how small investment has provided a bigger change than we could have anticipated.

In Mozambique, we invested in a pilot project around community water and sanitation. Over the three year life of the project the results have been staggering, with more than 60,000 households in 258 communities gaining a better understanding of health and hygiene. This water and sanitation work has now been integrated into the work across the local diocese.

Better knowledge has resulted in fewer cases of debilitating illness and the halving of child mortality.

We have been supporting the health and community work of the Anglican Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza since 1988. During that time the political landscape has changed dramatically; wars have been fought, and Gaza is now a closed territory. For the last eight years, we have committed to the hospital’s breast cancer screening and awareness-raising work, which has led to the hospital becoming one of the leading breast cancer centres in the Gaza Strip. This has, in turn, enabled the hospital to attract considerably more funding from the international community, with plans to triple their work in this area. Early screening can significantly reduce death rates and offer hope for a better future.

In Solomon Islands, our church partner has been working with communities to introduce solar lighting to replace kerosene lamps. Kerosene is not only expensive and environmentally unfriendly, but is potentially a fire risk and health hazard. Our partner has reported that two dioceses are now completely ‘kerosene-free’, meaning that people enjoy cheaper, cleaner and sustainable lighting for their daily lives.

All of this work has been done because of the faithful support of people like you. As a small agency we count it a privilege to plant seeds of life that blossom into programs with extraordinary impact. Thank God for such grace!

We invite you to contribute to our Seeds for Life End of Financial Year Appeal by supporting our projects as we plant seeds for life and future transformation.

Pew sheet

We have created a pew sheet for our End of Financial Year Appeal for you to distribute amongst your church congregation.

Click here to download the pew sheet for free.

To donate to our 2017 Seeds for Life End of Financial Year Appeal, please click on the ‘Please Donate’ button below (choose ‘2017 (B) End of Financial Year Appeal: Seeds for Life’ from the ‘Donation’ drop-down menu) or call us on 1800 249 880.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque/money order made payable to Anglican Overseas Aid to:

Anglican Overseas Aid
2017 End of Financial Year Appeal
P.O. Box 389
Abbotsford, Vic, 3067