Do the public schools in your area need support? The answer is almost always a resounding YES. Here is how you can help!
1. Join Pastors For Texas Children
2. Find a local school that your faith community can support.
3. Bolster your mission efforts through advocacy work to ensure that the school you support gets its needs met from the state.
Want to engage in meaningful mission work on the Mexican-American border?
Adopt a Border Community!
Churches on the border are serving people with great needs. People in their congregations and in their communities are plagued by poverty, hunger, housing needs, under-funded schools, high drop out rates, immigration issues and separation of families, and predatory lenders.
If you or your faith community is looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of people living on the border, you have a unique opportunity. Adopt a Border Community and commit to serving alongside the people there and supporting them in their work.
What do we do when we adopt a border community?
- Plan a mission trip to the border
- Worship together
- Listen, hear their stories, seek to understand their unique environment
- Find out about their ongoing missions and ministries and see how you can help
- Share their stories and what you learn with your own faith community and network
- Send financial support for their ministries
Diann Berry, a CBF Field Personnel, has been working in the Rio Grande Valley since 2005. She blogs about the work happening in her community. Read along and understand more about life and ministry in the Valley.
Fellowship Southwest is committed to combating predatory lending in the form of payday lenders and auto/title loans.
The Bible has a lot to say about usury.
Stephen K. Reeves, who leads the advocacy efforts for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has put together a comprehensive library full of documents/resources on payday lending.
The states in the southwest have some of the highest APRs in the country. When people with very limited income and no other resources available have a crisis: a flat tire, a sick child, a broken AC unit, they have very few choices. Payday lenders are often the only way they can make ends meet in an emergency.
One loan leads to the need for another. In fact, 90% of payday loans issued are to recurring customers. The loans are designed to entangle consumers in a debt trap.
Predatory lending directly impacts our communities. When a family’s finances are tied up in outrageous debts, they can’t provide basic necessities for their families like food, diapers and school supplies. Many churches and organizations pick up the slack to help. As Jesus said, “The poor are always with you.” But our resources are often already strained and stretched, and it benefits all of us to empower people away from payday loans so that they aren’t reliant on emergency and relief services from churches.
Fellowship Southwest believes in a twofold approach to predatory lending: Mission and Advocacy. As with many of our projects, the most effective way to help is this twofold approach: provide services and resources to people in need, and advocate for lasting change through public policy.
As a missions approach, creating alternative loan programs is a great way to serve people that might otherwise get trapped in a payday loan debt cycle. This is also a way to help rescue people from their debt cycle by offering a fair loan to pay off their payday loan debt. If you are interested in setting up an alternative loan program partnering a local congregation or group with a local credit union, contact us.
Although not a disaster relief organization, Fellowship Southwest responds when major disasters strike, doing this through its own resources or in concert with partner organizations. Fellowship Southwest's model for response ministry is to be a long-term presence, helping communities recover and rebuild. We might be among the last to arrive, but are often the last to leave.