International (MNN) — Years ago, one ministry was working hard to help pick up the pieces of the Soviet Union by delivering aid to the many who were now receiving only 10% of the income they had received in the past. As the ministry struggled to meet the numerous needs of those around them, their leader had a thought: Why can't we mobilize people to come and bring humanitarian aid with them?
Eventually, this ministry became the Global Aid Network (GAiN). And out of that one thought came GAiN's Advocates program.
"[GAiN advocates] come on as official representatives of GAiN wherever they happen to live," says Tom Miller. "That saves the ministry massive amounts of money and provides the opportunity for many people to be involved in international ministry right where they are."
Essentially, advocates are able to be significantly involved in international missions right in their home towns. Advocates rally the believers around them to get excited about missions by helping spread the Gospel through various aid projects with GAiN.
"The function of an advocate is to represent GAiN right where they are," explains Miller. "Advocates will seek out speaking opportunities in local churches, in home groups, in community civic groups, to share the need that exists in the world and which GAiN can help meet."
One of those needs is met with CarePacks: 2-gallon zip-lock bags filled with a notebook, pencils, a ruler, a toothbrush, a comb and other necessities for kids around the world who may not be able even to attend school without the necessary supplies. Each CarePack also includes a bracelet that explains the Gospel.
The packs are delivered by believers who go on short-term trips with GAiN and share the Good News with the kids who receive the packs–just as the ministry leader had initially suggested.
GAiN advocates are being asked to raise 7,000 of the 50,000 CarePacks GAiN plans to send with teams over the next twelve months. It's simple to host a drive at Christmas, in a small group, or for a church missions week.
GAiN advocates are the conduits to reaching thousands of children every year through CarePacks and other projects. "Our advocates in Global Aid Network speak for those who have no voice in the world," notes Miller.
GAiN is always looking for more believers dedicated to advocating aid in the name of Christ. If you're interested in becoming an advocate, click here to learn more, or e-mail Miller at Tom.Miller@gainusa.org.