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APRIL 7 – FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT (World Service Fund, with focus on General Board of Higher Education and Ministry)


"I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." — Isaiah 43:19, NRSV

United Methodist college students in Africa now have a unique, affordable tool to help them study. After nearly two years of discussion and research, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the African Association of Methodist Institutions of Higher Education obtained 1,000 custom e-readers to give to students throughout Africa.

Participating institutions include Africa University in Zimbabwe, United Methodist University in Mozambique, Wesley University in Nigeria, Wesley College in Tanzania and others.

Many African students come from rural areas with limited electricity, and the program enables them to use solar-charged mobile devices to reach the Internet. They also face the ever-rising cost of textbooks, and access to e-books and virtual libraries can make education much more affordable.

Rather than adapting an existing tablet brand, AAMIHE contracted with developers and created a low-cost tablet designed specifically for their schools. The Azpen e-reader was born.

"The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry serves the entire global church," said the Rev. Kim Cape, general secretary. "Our role is to nurture faithful Methodists of all backgrounds and provide the resources to help them become principled Christian leaders. We are excited to help improve access to higher education for students across Africa through this new collaboration."

Thanks to United Methodist support of the World Service Fund, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is transforming lives in new and exciting ways.

— Adapted from "Specially Designed E-readers Support Students in Africa" by Katie Tait, GBHEM website, March 4, 2019

Loving God, you make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. When challenges confront us, grant us the wisdom and courage to respond. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday in Lent — God of all blessings, we bring our gifts to you this morning, knowing that you are the source – not just of these gifts but of all we have. We know that the measure of your generosity is not counted in the value of things we own or the balances of our accounts; but we remember as the Apostle Paul gave testimony, "I regard them as rubbish, in order that I might gain Christ." As we dedicate these gifts, help us to keep focused on the gift that is greater than all others, the redemption and resurrection made available to us through a growing trust in Christ, our rock and our salvation. Amen. (Philippians 3:4b-14

As the leadership-development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has a vital mission: to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ's calling in their lives by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation.

When United Methodist congregations pay their World Service Fund apportionment, they nurture the important work of Higher Education and Ministry. The fund also assists other denominational agencies to build new churches, pay missionary salaries, expand Bible studies, continue a proud tradition of cooperation and dialogue with other faith traditions, express the church's commitment to God's reign through advocacy for peace and justice, encourage church growth and discipleship and, in short, reach out to God's children throughout the world.

All of this happens because you give. Thank you for supporting the World Service Fund!

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