APRIL 2009

Dear EAPE Partner,

EAPE is unique in many ways, but one of my favorites is that in addition to launching our own ministries, we have played a significant part in the development of many other missionary ventures, some of which have succeeded far beyond our wildest dreams. In almost every case, these ministry relationships have grown out of Bart’s and my personal friendships with visionary leaders who share our commitment to the poor. Leaders like Millard Fuller, who in 1976 founded Habitat for Humanity and who was a champion for decent, affordable housing for poor people right up to his recent death. With your support over the past twenty five years, I have spoken at more than one hundred Habitat fundraisers, and for a time I also served alongside President Jimmy Carter on Habitat’s board of directors. During those years, Habitat built more than 300,000 simple homes for more than 1.5 million needy people around the world.

On March 14, it was my great privilege to preach the sermon at Millard’s memorial service in Atlanta, Georgia. I have lost a great friend, and the Church has lost a strong voice, but Habitat will keep rolling along, as will the Fuller Housing Project under the direction of Millard’s wife Linda. Of course, Millard’s legacy goes far beyond the number of houses he helped to build. Truly he helped shaped the consciousness of a whole generation of Christians, who learned from him not only the joy of swinging a hammer in the name of Jesus, but also the family- transforming power of a decent, affordable place to live. A millionaire before he reached thirty, it was said that God gave Millard the wisdom to do what even the rich young ruler described in the Gospels wouldn’t do…to obey his Lord when he said, ‘Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor’.

Another biblically-based revolutionary is our own Shane Claiborne, who was one of the founding partners of The Simple Way community in Philadelphia and who is now one of the most popular Christians speakers in this country and around the world. Through his bestselling books, The Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President, and through his many speaking engagements, Shane has challenged tens of thousands of young Christians to live out the radical teachings of Jesus as set forth in the red letters of scripture. These kids, who like to call themselves ‘ordinary radicals’ are like the leaven Jesus describes in Matthew 13, permeating churches and universities across America with a spirit of spiritual renewal.

This coming December Shane will be a featured speaker at the famous Urbana Missionary Conference, where he will have the opportunity to address more than 20,000 collegians who will come together for the express purpose of considering vocations in missionary service. In 1987, when I spoke at this conference, literally thousands of students made commitments to totally surrender their lives to Christian service. In the two decades since then, both Bart and I have encountered those ‘kids’ doing great things for Jesus all over the world. Now I am hoping for an even greater result from Shane’s preaching. Remember, Shane is one of the Red Letter Christian Speakers EAPE is committed to encouraging and equipping, and our EAPE office now handles all the arrangements for his many speaking engagements. Truly, your gifts are helping to make the phenomenal ministry of this young man possible.

The last of the many dedicated missionaries that I’ll mention in this newsletter is Suzie Slonaker, the founder of a program in the Pacific Northwest (REACH) that touches hundreds of children who, through no fault of their own, have been victimized by AIDS. Providing a summer camp program for these children, extensive counseling for their parents, and a year-round support program carried out by volunteers we helped Suzie recruit, REACH children are being nurtured into fellowship with God and given deliverance from despair. The good news is that EAPE recently played a major role in securing a grant of $145,000 for REACH, which will enable them to keep going strong despite our troubled economy.

The list goes on and on. Ours is a Kingdom enterprise that is truly actualizing its mission statement: To inspire and enable followers of Jesus to live out God’s love for the poor and oppressed. That is why I ask for your continued support. During these days of economic recession, there are supporters who find that they cannot continue to give as they have in the past, so I’m asking those who can to give even more. The good work being carried out by such remarkable people deserves our support. Don’t let up! We need you!


Tony Campolo

Tony Campolo


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