Click on any of the links below to learn more about our international outreach efforts.
St. Andrew has been committed to mission in Romania since the 1990’s. Under the communist regime religious education for children was ruled against the law and only the Orthodox church operated under the direct supervision of the government. In 1989, after the revolution, churches gained freedom, but struggled with resources and knowledge of child education. The original mission involved supporting churches in this early venture, where a group of church members packaged up a Vacation Bible School and headed to Romania.
We now partner with a local Baptist church to help support their mission. Florin and his church have planted 5 village churches, where they provide spiritual development, needed resources for the children to remain in school, a hot meal a day for children attending school, and the Bread Project. Today a team travels to Romania each summer to run a Vacation Bible School with as many as 100 Roma children in attendance. In addition, clothes, shoes, and school supplies are sent through out the year, as well as funding of the Bread Project.
According to Healthcare Without Harm, U.S. hospitals generate more than two million tons of medical waste each year. Much of that waste is unused medical supplies and equipment. While in the developing world, World Health Organization estimates that more than 10 million children under the age of five die due to inadequate medical care.
So what can be done?
MedShare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of the surplus of medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. We collect surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, medical distribution companies and individuals, and then redistribute them to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. We also outfit medical missions and safety net clinics in both the U.S. and abroad.
Since 2009, many at St. Andrew have volunteered at MedShare and each Sunday we will have sign up sheets available, in the fellowship hall between services.
After meeting with village leaders, local government officials and various local non-profit organizations St. Andrew put together a five-year plan for what it hopes to accomplish in Buenos Aires. Rather than helping with a few projects in one village and then moving on to another village, St. Andrew has made a long-term commitment to stay in Buenos Aires and help the village meet as many of the needs of the villagers as possible.
Since St. Andrew sent down the initial emergency funds in 1998, the church has been a part of many projects in the village and has sent three work groups down to El Salvador.
The first work group went to the village in October of 2002 to construct a pre-fabricated 60-foot long metal building, which is used by the village as a combination school and community center.
A second “team” was sent to the village in 2004 to build a community center after the church purchased the plot of land where the community center was to be located and then donated both the land and the building to the village.
In 2007 the church sent a third team to the village to build an additional school room as the village had outgrown the three-room school building the church had built in 2002 and a second room that World Vision Canada (link) had constructed in 2006.
On April 4, 2010 a fourth team left for El Salvador. The project this time was the construction of a playground as well as a basketball court that also doubles as a mini soccer field.
It is the goal of St. Andrew to serve as a model to other organizations and individuals who wish to help in similar ways in El Salvador. We are more than happy to speak with you and share what we have learned so that you can choose a village to support and them as best as you possible can. If you would like more information about St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and its work in El Salvador please feel free to contact Stacey Schoeningh, our Mission Coordinator.