From the Magazine

In Fátima, Argentina, a Nazarene church has put down deep roots, cultivating a compassionate presence through a project centered on simply loving God and loving others.

How do we find hope when all seems hopeless? And how do we find God's hope when it isn’t obvious? Perhaps this is what it means to have faith—that thing with the potential to be beautiful gift even in the midst of desperation because it is an anchor, a guidepost.

Even though church services were on lockdown and many Nazarenes struggled with COVID-19, God has been at work in new ways during this difficult time. 

Rev. Sergei and Olga Onofriichuk, who lead ministries in the town of Kazatin, Ukraine, have creatively assisted their community through food distribution to many who are experiencing great need, ongoing rehabilitation for addicts, and an alternative kindergarten and school for the town.  

 

In Nepal, the local Church of the Nazarene is doing something a little different: they’re planting trees. In fact, they’ve planted about 3,300 of them over the last four years.

 

woman planting

 

We face a world full of inequalities, a world that needs to know the true purpose of God's kingdom. God has delegated this mission to the church. In this way, compassion becomes a way of life for everyone who knows God. 

Compassion is related to two biblical principles inherent in every believer: giving and love.

 

relief

 

It’s hard to imagine the trees that used to surround Paradise, California, giving weight to the city’s name. Patches of growth still exist, but much of the remaining forest stands as dark, burned pillars, marked with spray paint so they can be removed. Behind the Paradise Church of the Nazarene, several properties are visible: monochromatic patches of debris, colored the rusty brown color the Camp Fire left behind.

 

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The first (original) Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles, the Glory Barn, built in 1898.

 

Most of us want to do the right thing. When disaster or tragedy strikes, we share money and resources. Giving feels good, and it is good to give. How is it then, that really generous people can, for example, walk by a homeless person sleeping in a dark doorway after enjoying a good meal? I’ve done this myself. Can we do the right thing without compassion—without “suffering with” those nearby who are in need? 

 

On an early spring morning in Kent, Washington, a group of women are gathered around a tall cutting table, watching Sandy Appl demonstrate how to use a rotary cutter. The device, which looks a lot like a tiny pizza cutter, makes cutting strips of fabric as easy as drawing a line.