By Canon William E. Deiss
ARDF is a small but growing organization, and I believe we are poised to make a huge impact over the next ten years. When I think about what is in store for ARDF and our faithful partners, two words come to mind: opportunity and momentum.
As Anglicans, we have an incredible opportunity to partner with more than 80 million other members of the global Anglican Communion, most of whom live in developing nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. These faithful brothers and sisters are already building powerful ministries in some of the worlds’ poorest communities—and they have invited us to labor beside them through prayer and financial support.
ARDF unites three donor organizations in the United States, Canada and Australia that together provide the majority of funding for our development projects around the world. A Global Board of Trustees comprised of six Anglican Archbishops representing the very areas we wish to serve oversees these three organizations, and is responsible for approving every project. As former Global Trustee and Uganda Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said, “For the first time in the history of giving within the Church, we see true partnership, not patronage.”
This is true partnership that ultimately transforms lives not only for the recipient church but for the donor as well.
There is a growing sense of momentum within ARDF and within The Anglican Church in North America as a whole. Over the last five years, we have been able to more than double the number of projects funded, and with God’s grace, we hope to continue growing at the same rate over the next five years.
We are well on our way to this goal. In June 25, 2014, five new projects were approved that will provide clean water, vocational skills for youth, soil rehabilitation, community outreach spaces, and new school facilities in Pakistan, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda. We are thrilled to start raising funds for another seven development projects slated for approval by our Global Trustee in December, 2014. In addition, two major relief efforts are raising funds for refugees in South Sudan and persecuted Christians in Iraqi and Syria. Above all, the Gospel is being proclaimed to more and more people around the world.
There are far more opportunities for development and relief partnerships with our brothers and sisters in the developing world than ARDF can possibly fulfill, yet we are determined to be faithful to God’s call. As our Honorary Chair, Baroness Caroline Cox has said, “We know that we can’t do everything. But we must not do nothing.”
We have an incredible opportunity to change lives and show the love of Christ throughout the world. Will you join us?