Before his ascension to heaven, the risen Lord Jesus spoke to his disciples in Jerusalem:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
As Christ’s followers here and now, we believe that our Lord calls us to continue witnessing around the world with his love.
Through the International Partnership Committee and the mission partnership between the Presbytery of Tampa Bay and the Presbytery of Honduras, members from our congregation have engaged in week-long mission trips to the country of Honduras in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2016. During these wonderful mission experiences, youth and adults from First Pres. have felt their faith in Christ deepened as we have worked alongside our Honduran brothers and sisters in Christ building churches, offering medical care and sharing the love of Christ throughout Central America.
Nationally and internationally, along with 11,000 other PC (USA) congregations, people are being trained and supported in ministry and mission personnel are blanketing the globe with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our church’s investment in World Missions also includes our support of five General Assembly Mission Partners: John McCall, mission co-worker in Taiwan; Rev. Josh and Kjm Vis, mission co-workers in Brazil; Ruth Brown, mission co-worker in Congo; Rev. Derek Forbes, mission co-worker in Zimbabwe; and Sharon Bryant, mission co-worker in Thailand.
Over the past year, our congregation has also shared God’s love world-wide as we collected $3,805 in our Christmas Eve Offering for Medical Missions. These gifts went to support the Medical Benevolence Foundation Mobile Health Clinics in Malawi, Bangladesh and Haiti, and Dr. Moreno’s Clinic at the Pena de Horeb Presbyterian Church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Easter 2016, we gave $2,266 to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering to provide relief to those affected by natural disasters (through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance), provide food to the hungry and assist in helping to empower the poor and oppressed.
Summer 2014, members of our church were extravagantly generous in providing Scholarships for Honduran School Children. Our initial goal of $3500 in donations grew to nearly $12,000, as we tried to break the cycle of poverty in Honduras by helping children attend school beyond the 6th grade.
Also in 2014, through our world mission budget, our congregation has supported the work of a son of our congregation, Rev. Dr. Fred Foy Strang and the Training Center for Massai church leaders in Kenya and Tanzania. Our church made a gift of $2000.00 to the construction of this new facility.