Our Ministries


Loaves and Fishes Project

In 2001, Marta Nimlos, from Richmond Beach Congregational UCC in Shoreline, WA, did a senior high project of sending 5,000 books to Emfundweni Primary, an impoverished, black school in Zwide township, outside of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Her congregation helped contribute books and money to ship them. In 2002, Marta and her parents made a joyous visit and celebration with Emfundweni students and their strong Christian staff.

Marta was also instrumental in collecting enough money to add a room to the extremely overcrowded school. The local development specialist, Andre Forbes, presented the proposal and funding to the school district - and two schoolrooms were built!

In October of 2003, Andre Forbes, traveled to Seattle. He spoke at our church service, as did Rodric Peffer, the principal of a "colored" high school, Bethelsdorp Secondary School. They noted the conditions under which many students at both schools live -- high unemployment (nearly 90% in Zwide), high death rates from AIDS,homes constructed of scrap and cast-off materials, little food and a high illiteracy rate.

 Since apartheid was abolished in 1994, many families are hopeful for their children's future, but must send their children to school with no lunch, as they must choose between tuition costs and food. Many of our church members were deeply touched by the plight of the hungry students.

Richmond Beach UCC “Loaves and Fishes Brigade” grew out of these experiences. Our purpose is to feed hungry students in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. An initial auction raised over $5,500 toward this project.

Since 2003 we have continued to raise funds for the project and are pledging $5,000 per year as a congregation towards the feeding program at both schools. Volunteers at each school work hard to stretch every dollar to feed the neediest students, many of them AIDS orphans, living with grandparents who struggle to support and educate them. Because of the local volunteers' careful stewardship with these funds, we've been able to add another elementary school, Van Der Kemp Primary, to our cluster of Loaves and Fishes schools.

One particularly touching story to come from this project was of the young teenager, who was saving her bread to take home to share with her mother to show her how fresh and good it was!

We request prayers for these students, and our mission. We invite you to participate in helping to nourish these students to reach their potential.

Loaves and Fishes News

10:05AM

Auction, September 30th

1:00PM

Loaves and Fishes Update

The feeding programs that RBCC UCC financially supports at three schools outside of Port Elizabeth, South Africa is going strong!  This year our Loaves and Fishes committee affirmed sending extra money for food parcels that would go home with the poorest students during the Christmas break.  The families are thrilled and grateful.  After school resumes we are working to receive some video footage to share with our congregation so we can have a more personal sense about the impact these programs are having.



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