2003 Mission Investment Projects
The portion of the Mission Investment funds received by the North American Division each year is divided between two unions on a rotating basis. For 2003, projects in the Atlantic Union and Pacific Union are the recipients. The following projects were recommended by the respective unions and have been approved by the North American Division.
Atlantic Union Projects
Genesee Valley Sickle Cell Outreach Project (Northeastern Conference)
The Jefferson Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rochester, New York plans to broaden their Community Services outreach to include a Sickle Cell Education and Support Center. While the Sickle Cell program will not only be responsive to the needs of those individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, it will also serve as an opportunity for Adventists to share the love of Jesus with the community.
Camp Cherokee Master Plan (New York Conference)
Camp Cherokee in the Northeastern Conference has existed for more than 100 years and is showing its age. The camp must be completely rebuilt in order to fulfill its mission to the young people in the New York Conference. A master plan has been developed for rebuilding the camp and the leaders believe that total reconstruction can be done within six years. Phase One of the rebuilding project will include the recreational pavilion, boys cabins, girls cabins, family cabins, and the maintenance building. With the completion of a new camp, regular services to the youth, teachers, and pastors can be conducted.
Pacific Union Project
Health & Evangelistic Initiative for the Fresno Hmong People
This project includes a special outreach program to the 20,000 Hmong people from Laos who have settled in the Fresno, California area. During the Viet Nam War, these people who had worked with the United States had to flee for their lives when the U.S. pulled out in 1975. For years, many of the Hmong people lived in refugee camps in Thailand. However, in 1979, the Hmong were admitted in the U.S. as resident aliens.
Traditionally, the Hmong were farmers. Unfortunately, however, because they have been removed from their farmlands, they face a daily struggle of trying to make a living. Their struggle is exacerbated by language barriers and poor health, specifically adult onset diabetes and hypertension. Mental health distress also plagues the Hmong people.
In response to the needs of the Hmong, Pastor Neng Lee of the Central California Conference launched a church planting effort in 1996. The church has offered garden plots to over 1,500 people and language tutoring to those who desire to learn English. The Fresno Hmong Group desires to develop a Health and Evangelistic initiative for this unreached population. Some of the goals include providing urgently needed diabetes education for management and prevention, providing tools for lifestyle changes such as exercise and cooking schools, training Hmong church members in outreach, small group ministry and other leadership roles. This project will also develop support and accountability groups to help ensure success through consistency.