This Sunday, we’re introducing you to a new St Andrew’s Mission Partner, International China Concern (ICC). Founded in 1993, ICC is a Christian development organisation that seeks to provide love, hope, and opportunity to children with disabilities in Mainland China.
ICC’s work focusses on two areas. Firstly, caring for vulnerable children with disabilities at family-style group homes in Changsha and Hengyang in Hunan Province. Secondly, seeking to prevent abandonment by providing family support services to those raising children with disabilities. In February 2019, ICC was approved as a Foreign Non-Governmental Organisation (FNGO) working in China, setting up a representative office in Hunan.
Why has St Andrew’s Council decided that our church should enter a partnership with ICC?
The Bible is clear that God’s people ought to have his heart for the poor, the vulnerable, the orphans, and the oppressed. The children who ICC care for are amongst the most vulnerable and needy anywhere. ICC have a proven track record of providing much needed and excellent care for disabled children and supporting families. They do so with a priority to share the love of Jesus. This is an organisation with a Kingdom impact.
Partnering with such organisations also benefits our church community. Our natural human inclination is to gravitate towards the safe, comfortable, and familiar. We often find people with high needs uncomfortable. However, Jesus calls on us to be different.
He once told the host of a dinner party that he had invited all the wrong people, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:12-14).
The difficulties (or disabilities) that people encounter are not to be avoided, but honoured. As we serve, we spiritually grow, discovering and using our gifts. We also learn more deeply about our own needs, and treasure the gospel more deeply. Disabilities are like the grains of sand that become pearls in our community.
So what can you do? Learn more about ICC this Sunday and beyond. As we often encourage you, prayerfully consider how you can be involved. This may be through a partnership in financial giving, prayer, or volunteering.