Ministry & missions
Project Outreach Soacha shack built during Annual Meeting 2012
June 19, 2012
Good Samaritan Society staff members constructed a "Soacha shack" during the Society's 2012 Annual Meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D. The shack was built to give Society staff members attending the meeting a better sense of the kinds of living conditions that exist in Colombia. The shack is common in Soacha, Colombia, where the Society's Project Outreach is helping seniors in need. In the video below, Greg Wilcox, the Society's Senior Pastor and V.P. for Mission Effectiveness, gives us a tour of the shack.
Watch video: Project Outreach Soacha shack - Good Samaritan Society Annual Meeting 2012
Click here to read more about Project Outreach
Travel to Colombia enlightens, inspires Society staff
Apr 11, 2012
Mission work isn’t limited to serving a hot meal or sharing sweat equity through a hammer and nail. Often, it is much more.
It is fellowship. Engagement. Sharing Christ’s love in word and deed.
Left: Michelle Short from Good Samaritan Society – Canton visits with Conchita Bolanos, a resident in Soacha, Colombia, who Short has been sponsoring
Solidarity also fits, according to Greg Wilcox, senior pastor and vice president of mission effectiveness for the Good Samaritan Society. Read more
Ministry and missions have always been a part of life within the Good Samaritan Society. One of the Society's biggest on-going projects in the category of "ministry and missions" is Project Outreach.
Project Outreach is a ministry that gives residents, staff members and friends of the Society the opportunity to reach out in ways that can make a real impact in places such as Colombia, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Residents and staff members want to help others. Helping others adds life to our days and can help us find meaning and purpose. Project Outreach gives us the opportunity to help, with the knowledge that we don’t have to do it all ourselves. As members of a large Christian community, our strength in numbers helps us accomplish great things. Even pennies, when joined with contributions, prayers and spiritual support from more than 240 Good Samaritan Society communities of care across the country, can make a tremendous difference in places where $100 can pay for a month’s rent or a year of education for a child.
Why Colombia, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe?
As the ministry of the Good Samaritan Society continues to grow, so do the connections we make within our global community. These connections have opened the door for ministry as we keep in mind God’s call to care for one another locally, while at the same time looking outward. Project Outreach began in 1966 with the “Vietnam Project,” when support from Good Samaritan residents and staff members helped change the lives of orphaned children half a world away. In the mid-1970s, the Society began supporting LAMB Hospital in Bangladesh. Relationships between people living and working within Good Samaritan and mission organizations in Colombia and Zimbabwe have opened new doors for sharing God’s love in Christ in those parts of the world.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia ministers to the poor and displaced people of Colombia through various ministries while working to help overcome poverty through education and leadership development.
Three-and-a-half million Colombians have been displaced by conflict and live in misery belts, where displaced people gather. Those who are fortunate enough to have jobs often make less than $2 a day. Sixty-four percent of Colombians live below the national Colombian poverty line.
Good Samaritan has partnered with the Colombia Lutheran Church to build a senior center and soup kitchen in Soacha, a poor neighborhood outside Bogota. This senior center/soup kitchen provides a meal a day to the poor and displaced elderly living in Soacha and also a place for seniors to come together in fellowship, participate in programs that will enrich their lives and take advantage of work training that will open up new possibilities for income.
Now the two organizations are working together to create a new model for caregiving that has the potential for improving the lives of all seniors in Colombia.
LAMB Hospital in Bangladesh
LAMB Hospital is a small island of Christian compassion and healing in an area that is largely Muslim. With more than 40 percent unemployment, many Bangladeshis live in poverty and on the margins of life.
The hospital draws patients from all over northwest Bangladesh. Its emphasis is on serving women and children, and no one is turned away.
Contributions from Project Outreach to LAMB Hospital are used to help pay for medical treatment and preventive medicine for the poorest of the poor, continuing education opportunities for missionaries and medical staff, hospital staff chaplains’ salaries, Christian reading materials and scholarships for those who will continue to provide much-needed medical care in Bangladesh.
Karanda Hospital in Zimbabwe
Through the Karanda Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe, Good Samaritan residents and staff members can begin helping the last, the lost and the least in Africa. The need is great in this country. One out of four people in Zimbabwe is HIV positive, which has lead to Zimbabwe having the highest orphan rate in the world. The country is in political turmoil, and hunger and poverty are growing at an alarming rate.
The Karanda Mission Hospital is a 130-bed hospital whose overall purpose is to demonstrate the love of Jesus. The hospital is located in Northern Zimbabwe about 125 miles from the capital of Harare. The nearest town is 30 miles away.
The hospital provides a wide variety of surgical and medical treatments; has a school of nursing; provides a variety of community health programs; gives immunizations and puts on AIDS awareness programs; offers home-based care for the terminally ill; and weaves the good news of God’s love in Jesus into all its work. Dr. Roland Stephens, the head surgeon for the hospital, says simply, “We treat — Jesus heals.”
Give us a call
You are invited to join with your brothers and sisters of the Good Samaritan Society in praying for the people of Colombia, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and by contributing what you can to Project Outreach. For more information on how you can get involved in Project Outreach, please call (605) 362-3180.