20 years of partnership

by Mikel Berger

Note: This post was originally published three weeks ago, just before the restrictions for COVID-19 took over our attention. We are re-posting it today with this video update Mikel recorded with Andrew Dodd from Bethesda. Andrew shares how COVID-19 is impacting South Africa and Bethesda's ministry to orphans and vulnerable children:


Our partner in global orphan and vulnerable child care is celebrating an anniversary this year. Bethesda Outreach is 20 years old in 2020. Kossuth has partnered with Bethesda from the very beginnings of the children’s home in gospel-centered and family-based care for the most vulnerable.


Any good partnership is a two-way street. 


Kossuth assists Bethesda financially. We sent Tonya Small to serve at Bethesda for nearly 12 years. Two Kossuth members, Daryl Starr and myself, currently serve on the board of directors. Many of you have made short term trips. In taking groups of Purdue Fellowship of Christian Athletes students to Bethesda over spring and summer breaks, Marty Dittmar has probably flown between the USA and South Africa more than anyone in recorded history.


But for all that we do, I see a lot more coming our way from Bethesda than going out to them. 


Just for me personally, the people who serve at Bethesda have been used by God to open my eyes to his love for the fatherless. When I read verses like Psalm 82:3, “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless,” I no longer hear some vague call for “justice.” Instead, I can now think of Jack Msiza. Jack and his wife, Maria, are South African house parents at Bethesda. Jack stepping in to be a father to multiple children who were fatherless is a tangible form of justice that my mind can comprehend. It gives me a picture of the gospel: a foster-father loving a child who has done nothing for him and is often unlovable—just as God, my heavenly father, did for me. I’m only able to see those things personally because our church has a partnership with Bethesda.


You don’t have to join me on the board to start to learn more about God’s love for the fatherless. Let me encourage you to start by taking part in Bethesda’s 20/20 Campaign. At a minimum, sign up for the special emails. For 20 months you’ll receive an email that will help you to pray and will educate you on different aspects of orphan and vulnerable child care. You might also consider giving individually to support Bethesda financially during those 20 months. 


There are other creative ways we can further strengthen the partnership between Kossuth and Bethesda. If you are interested, I’m glad to chat with you about them.


Sign up for Bethesda’s 20/20 campaign and then shoot me an email.