We are nearing the end of a season of wonder and I confess I have never ceased to be amazed at the number of projects and their huge impact for our local and worldwide communities that Derry undertakes. I say this because my first church was a small congregation in western Pennsylvania where I remember hearing adults talk about “living link missionaries.” These missionaries seemed to be far away, so I wondered: where were these missionaries and what did they do there?
My experience of mission at Derry has vastly enlarged my understanding of how we, individually and collectively, are a link to others. I am thinking especially of the ministry of the Presbyterian Education Board (PEB) in Pakistan, which Derry members have been supporting — first in small ways beginning in 2009, and now in significantly substantial ways through a variety of fundraising endeavors and the personal involvement of many. This is about education for the most needy in Pakistan, where government-run schools are inadequate and where many children could suffer lifelong illiteracy.
Derry’s Shares for Scholarships campaign, under way now and continuing through February, supports the education of children in PEB schools. Last year 54 folks at Derry raised $23,200 in scholarship funds that are benefiting 55 children who attend PEB day and boarding schools. It is my good fortune and a blessing to be able to send Adan, a little guy who is a day student, to nursery school. His letter from 2022 tells me that his favorite subject is English and that he wants to be an engineer. Wonderful!
Derry members support the work of PEB through Friends of the Presbyterian Education Board here and across the country. There are now three schools in Sargodha (a large city of about 660,000 people) that serve more than 1,000 boys and girls who are Christians and Muslims. An annual scholarship is $400 for a day student and $800 for a boarding student. A share is any amount you might wish to allow God, though you, to support the education of a child.
I believe we are truly God’s links to youngsters who will have hope of a better future, a chance to rise out of poverty, and the promise of becoming educated citizens who are prepared to serve their communities and the world. A card from PEB reminded me of Hebrews 6:1, “God is not unjust: God will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped God’s people and continue to help them.”
I invite you to join me by becoming a link of God’s love to one of God’s children by giving online or by sending checks to Derry Church notated “Pakistan Scholarships.”