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in your community

Think Globally, Act Locally:
Starting a Movement
in Berks County
LCBC Berks


att Parks, Campus Pastor at LCBC Berks, traveled to
the Bekaa Valley on the border of Syria and Lebanon
during the winter of 2016 and returned to Berks
County, Pennsylvania with the dream of a movement in his mind.
"I saw firsthand the extensive hopelessness and need of the refugee
crisis," Matt explains. "We knew we simply could not say a prayer
and walk away. We had to help, and we had to do something
bigger than our local church alone. This was when the idea of
connecting with the local community to make a difference started
to take root."
LCBC Berks is one of the locations of LCBC (Lives
Changed By Christ) Church, one church with multiple locations
throughout the state of Pennsylvania. LCBC's mission is to
introduce people to Jesus and together fully follow Him. The
Berks location is located off of HWY 61 in Leesport, and has been
an LCBC location since December of 2015.
One of LCBC's values as a church involves investing in
communities in need-but the global need that the team felt
seemed hopeless at first. This community was halfway around the
world, and it involved people in the largest humanitarian crisis
since World War II, according to World Vision, a global Christian
humanitarian organization. But a desire to do something greater as
a community outweighed the fear of not having enough impact.
"When a community, church, or individual chooses to look
outward, to see the needs around them both locally and globally
and then do something about it, they start to realize how much
they can make a difference in the world, in their community, and

in their own lives," says Parks. The LCBC Berks location's dream
of making a difference for children in the community of Lebanon,
Syria and surrounding countries also comes directly from what
God tells us about serving the world. "Jesus knew the world was
desperate for hope, joy, love, and grace. He's made us, the local
Church, responsible for sharing this great news and hope with the
Partnering with World Vision and the Reading Berks
Conference of Churches, the church started a movement that
began in Berks and is reaching all the way to Lebanon, Syria. It
was the goal of LCBC Berks to have a real impact by sending
Promise Packs-backpacks filled with life-saving supplies-to
Syrian refugee children impacted by the six years of war that their
country has faced.
Funded by the LCBC community, $24,000 was raised to send
12,000 Promise Packs to children in need, including personal care
items, a blanket, and school supplies-tools to bring comfort and
care in the midst of uncertain and difficult times. Along with the
donations came raw supplies, which the community took the
time to assemble during "packing parties," a time of work and
celebration as well as time and remembrance for others who are
less fortunate in the world.
LCBC Berks and World Vision have already started making
an impact through the Promise Packs, but the hope is that it won't
stop there. "The local church can impact its community and the
world just by starting something," Matt says. "When we stop just
agreeing that something needs to be done and start acting, it adds
to the larger movement of the Global Church working to be the
hope and grace of Jesus to the world."



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