On Sunday, November 1st, we will celebrate our birthday as a church family. To celebrate, we'll collect a special offering and 100% of the collection will go to 6 global initiatives that are directly linked to Ethos family members. One of these global initiatives is in Jamaica — specifically the organization, One53, Inc.
"One53, Inc. is a Nashville-based 501c3 organization that provides an education to individuals in Jamaica, equipping them with the skills needed to obtain meaningful employment or start a successful business. For those seeking to launch an entrepreneurial endeavor, One53 will fund their startup (through a micro loan) and provide office space to help incubate the business. The organization focuses solely on individuals in the St Thomas parish — presently the poorest parish in Jamaica with the lowest levels of economic activity on the island.
The organization was founded by Dave & Lindsay Culbreath (Ethos family members) and Matt Yates. Dave has been involved in various mission efforts in Jamaica since 1998, Lindsay since 2002 and Matt since 2004. Dave’s been to the island 29 times, Lindsay 13 and Matt 24 — together, they are responsible for having led nearly 1,000 people on mission trips to Jamaica.
After years of mission trips, the construction of two dozen homes, a church, a school and the repair of more than a dozen homes, One53 was born out of an effort to fill the gap that has hampered the success of Jamaicans in the St Thomas parish — the lack of an education and the ability to hope and aspire for more that it affords.
Many lack the financial resources to finish secondary school and fall out of the school system — just as many of their parents did — and, as a result, struggle throughout their lives to find meaningful employment. This struggle often leads to crime and gang activity — and often pushes individuals further from the Lord. Our goal is to break this cycle by helping those who need it the most while reflecting the Love of the Lord to them.
With the special offering on November 1st, three businesses will be launched for the following three individuals.
Boris is a husband and father of 3 kids (one with health issues), and he is out of work. Boris member of the Morant Bay Church. He is an outstanding chef who cooks for all the groups we send to Morant Bay (Tusculum Church of Christ and Lipscomb University trips). His lifelong dream is to open his own restaurant, and we want to make that happen! We also want to fly him to Nashville to make and bottle his “special sauce” and jerk seasoning to be sold here and also in Jamaica.
Chris is a 31 year old man, who is paralyzed from the waist down and living in state-run St. Thomas Infirmary (think mental ward, hospice unit, long term care facility). People are typically sent there to die. Chris is an artist and makes incredible pieces art out of things he gets from the local dump, which is across the street from the infirmary. We want to help get his art sold here in Nashville and in hotels in Jamaica. He can produce 10 pieces a week, totally made from reclaimed items. With the income from his art, we hope to get him out of the infirmary and with a member of his family in a home. He is not yet a believer; and our dream is to see him baptized.
We want to help Marcia open a shop & cook shop (think small restaurant that makes one or two items). She has a building on her property on the road, and it’s right beside a school. She has a built-in customer base because of the proximity to the school, and she can provide low cost food and snacks for the kids there."
On November 1st, we get the opportunity to join in with Dave, Lindsey, and Matt and all those working in Jamaica on behalf of One53, Inc. 7.5% of our Birthday Offering will go to advance the work of One53 in Jamaica. Be praying today for the individuals served through One53, and pray how God is inviting you to be a part of it. If you'd like to give online to our special offering (100% is going to 6 global initiatives), you can give here. Please choose "Awaken a Movement" as your designation.
For more information about Birthday Sunday 2015, go here.