Dear EAPE Partner,
This is an upbeat time for me. Everywhere I go I see evidence of young Christians responding to the call to reach out to help the poor and oppressed of the world. What is especially gratifying is that EAPE has had a major role in making this orientation to service so prevalent. Over the years, literally thousands of college and university students have had their lives changed and challenged to serve needy people by working in our ministries, whether it was through involvement in our summer programs on the streets of Philadelphia and Camden or being engaged in our extensive ministries in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
There is something else that you should know about what your gifts are doing. With your help, EAPE has lent support to a variety of NEW fledgling ministries. Young men and women of vision and daring have initiated programs that are meeting a host of special needs for oppressed people. Let me tell you about just a few of the ministries we’ve been able to help because of you.
There's REACH, a ministry that gives hundreds of kids in America's Pacific Northwest who are HIV positive and suffer from AIDS a happy summer camp experience. REACH also provides these children and their parents with year-around-counseling support.
Then there's the work of Peace of the City. This is an inner city outreach program that includes tutoring, Bible studies, and a variety of cultural enrichment programs for needy kids in Buffalo, New York.
You also need to know about SPEAK, a network of student groups on university campuses across Europe and on increasing numbers of campuses here in America that are engaging collegians in political efforts to end poverty and to stop sexual trafficking.
Just a few days ago I visited a Midwestern college which has gained significant recognition because of its service/study program. This college involves hundreds of its students in a variety of community outreach ministries that include tutoring "at risk" children, an AIDS hospice, building houses with Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Housing Initiative, a shelter for homeless battered women, and several Young Life clubs that have evangelistically-based programs for teenagers.
The assistant dean of student affairs at this school met me at the airport and, after giving me a run down on all the good things that these students were doing, declared, "None of this would be happening if it wasn't for EAPE!" He went on explain that he had been challenged and inspired to create this extensive service/study program when, as a senior in college, he came to work with EAPE for a summer in a government housing project in Philadelphia. Having witnessed what he and other college students could do for needy kids, and how they themselves could be changed into radically committed Christians through the experience, he decided that he wanted to start outreach efforts like ours. And that's what he did.
Stories like this one are numerous. The influence of EAPE has extended around the world and exceeds what I had thought possible when we started out over 30 years ago.
I can tell you with certainty that what you invest in EAPE has wonderful far-reaching consequences. That is why I do not hesitate to ask you to give generously to EAPE and to pray for our young workers. They daily risk their lives serving Christ in dangerous places, but are challenged by their service experiences to go out to attempt great things for God.
P.S. Did you know that Tony is podcasting? Check out his website and listen to archives of Tony on Across the Pond - a weekly show broadcast on Premier Christian Radio in the United Kingdom and Saturday’s with Mark and Tony – a humorous dialogue about serious issues with comedian Mark Lowry. Go to www.tonycampolo.org, click on “media” and look for these shows and others to hear Tony.
ABOUT TONY + APRIL 2008